In every book marketing article I've ever read, they discuss social media platforms. The number one suggestion is to avoid getting overwhelmed by trying to run your book marketing on ALL the platforms. Pick two or three that come most naturally to you and use those. For me, Facebook is number one. I like words, and Facebook lets me use lots of words. Pinterest is second. I technically have a Twitter and Instagram, but if you want to hear from me those aren't the platforms to follow me on.
Facebook and Pinterest are relatively easy for me to use, I enjoy using them as part of my every day life, and there wasn't a big learning curve for me. I'm still getting used to some of the features for advertising, something you can utilize on both Facebook and Pinterest platforms. In this blog post I'm focusing on using Pinterest to generate ideas, to outline and plot your story, to develop characters, and even to edit and publish books.
Having a Pinterest Board or Section for different stories, characters, and/or topics related to writing helps keep me organized and gives me the perfect place to browse when I'm in need of inspiration specific to my story. It also gives me great images to use (with credit given where known, of course) for promotion, marketing, or just random tid-bits for my biggest fans. It's fun for fans to see what images or bits of lore inspire the stories they love, so definitely take the time to pin things that help you write your novel. You may end up needing it some day!
A Crash-Course on using Pinterest
I'm from the generation of computer-users who learned on a big, clunky box that didn't even have the internet. The very first story I ever wrote was painstakingly typed out in an ancient version of Word and saved to a floppy disk, as there were no such things as USBs or "the cloud". So I get it if social media doesn't come naturally to you as breathing, like it seems to be for the generations that are cutting teeth on Ipads and Smartphones. For those who consider themselves tech-challenged or just like having things explained to them in language a five-year-old could understand, these step-by--steps to using Pinterest are for you:
There is also a search function at the top of the page. Use keywords for topics or images that come to your mind when you think of your story and see what comes up. Pin what you like, scroll past what you don't.
People often think that writing a story and drawing a comic are two very different things, but when you think about it, they are extremely similar. In both, you are using a specific medium to describe what is happening and tell a story. They also both take a very long time to do. Even choosing what angle to present the scene in a comic is similar to which perspective you choose to show the story from in writing. Because of this, I think that looking at your story, or the scene you are writing as a comic can have a very positive effect on your writing.
Staring at a word document can be the most daunting thing in the world. I often wonder how my brain can work through plot holes, catch mistakes, or even make sense of one more page. Last year, as I geared up for another Nanowrimo, I read a motivational essay whose first bullet point for success was: DRINK LOTS OF COFFEE!
I laughed, but once I got in the thick of Nano madness, I realized that a caffeine rush could help propel my productivity. Now, I don't drink coffee, so instead, I began the tradition of starting each writing session with a mug of Stephens hot chocolate.
It was lovely.
On those cold, November mornings, I looked forward to my mug and keyboard. I completely understand how people get attached to such a calming moment with themselves. Plus, I finished my 50,000 words in just twenty two days of writing. It was incredible!
But, drinking that many calories isn't sustainable and I need to be productive every day. Some mornings, I dread sitting down to my keyboard because I have no idea how to crush any more crappy words out of my brain. It is much, much harder without caffeine.
But I've learned a few things. Ways to dig deeper and let go so I can accomplish my goals regardless of how hard the day is.
1. Take a moment to inspire yourself.
Meditation. Connecting with Nature. Praying. There are so many ways you can feed your soul. Writing is often a spiritual experience for me and I like to involve God in the process. I begin with a prayer, then spend a moment of mediation- not thinking about my book, but thinking about what I believe in. What matters to me. More often than not, those themes find a way into my writing and make it more genuine, complex and enjoyable.
Last weekend I had the opportunity to attend the LDStorymakers Conference held in Provo, Utah. I would definitely label it as the best writers’ conference I’ve been to thus far, and I was not disappointed by my third year attending in the least. They do feed their attendees, which I love, but more than that, I appreciate how their classes are always so well prepared and relevant to my needs as a writer.
While I was at Storymakers, I took a class from Amanda Rawnson Hill (author of “The Three Rules of Everyday Magic”), who taught us her secret weapon for going from 28 drafts of a manuscript before publishing, to only 4. This secret weapon is starting with a theme in mind and threading that theme through your story. If this is done from the very first draft, it is so much easier to bring the story together in each subsequent revision.
Have you ever dreamed of writing a novel? Does your personal muse pull you toward the creative ranks of authors? Welcome! We love having you! The world needs your voice. It doesn't matter if you think your story has already been told. The truth is, it has never been told by YOU.
So, how does a novel come together? Where do you even begin? Here you'll find a brief overview of the process of crafting a novel. These are the steps you should take on your own before you query or pitch it to an agent or editor.
People have differing opinions on how to outline. Some people like to build every little detail J.K. Rowling style before they sit down to write their first word. They have offices covered in sticky notes, plot lines drawn across the ceiling, and notebooks spilling with character sketches. Others, prefer to write by the seat of their pants (we call these people 'pantsers'). They might have a general idea of their story, but they follow their characters wherever they want to go, learning about them on the way.
There isn't a wrong or a right way to outline, but you have to have a few things straight before you start writing.
1. Who are you following? What do they want?
2. What is standing in their way? What is their try-fail cycle?
3. How will it end? Do they get what they want, or what they need?
As long as you have the beginning and the end goal in mind, you can navigate your beloved characters through whatever waters come between. But you must have that end goal like a lighthouse leading you on, or else you might never make it to shore.
We're all writers, we're all moms, writing our way through the "brambles" of life and our stories.