Tuesday, August 22, 2017

How to Choose a Book Topic

So, you want to write a book, but you don't know where to start. It's a lot of easier than you might think, but before you get into the actual details of writing, you have to choose a topic. This is perhaps the hardest and most important part of writing. I tend to have all kinds of book ideas swirling in my head, but how do I know which ones are viable for the market? Well, that's easy. I choose a topic that I'm passionate about and want to know more about. Chances are if I love it, so will others. Ultimately, you must remember that you are generally writing for yourself.

Have you ever been in a Bible class, and thought "I love this verse," or "Wow! This is such a great topic?" Those thoughts are the ones you want to follow to choose a book topic. It is the thing that sparks your interest that will sustain you through the writing process, and will keep readers interested.

Here are a few ways I've found that help me select a topic:

  • Read! Read your Bible. Read the newspaper. Read books. Reading helps to inspire creativity, and it is one of the best ways to find a topic.
  • Make a list. List your hobbies, things you like and things you'd like to know more about. Use these topics as a catalyst for your book topic. 
  • Talk to people. Find out what your friends are interested in. Ask them what subjects they may have wanted to study, but haven't been able to find material for.
  • Watch the news. Is there a story you find interesting, or incredible? Dig into it, and see if there is enough information to write a book.
  • Free write. Spend a bit of time writing everyday. Don't set confines to what your writing, just write. Write about anything that pops into your head.
  • Gather Stories. Chances are you've done something that makes great story fodder. Have you traveled, or lived through an event that'd make a great story? If so, write about it.

Once you've figured out your topic, it's time to flesh it out and brain storm. I like to write a few sentences about my selected topic. 

For Example:

Topic: How to Plan the Perfect Wedding 

  1. Selecting the venue.
  2. Choosing the right decor.
  3. How to select flowers for the season.
  4. Selecting the time of day.
Once, I have figured out about thirteen different sentences within a topic, I start writing. Really! It's that simple. You can choose a topic, and you can write a book! Why not start today?

For more writing information check out, Remove Your Shackles & Write.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Help! I Self-edit

Never fear, you can self-edit! In a perfect world, Indie authors would all have the money to spend on a professional editor. I mean, who wouldn't want their manuscripts professionally edited. I know that I'd love it, but since I can't afford it, I've had to learn a few self-editing techniques to get me through.

When I edit my manuscript, it is a several step process. I've listed the things I use, and hopefully, you will find something useful in the list.

Self-Editing Techniques

  • Write a piece and read it out loud. This helps to ensure that the flow is good. 
  • Use the Microsoft Word program. I have it set to catch both grammar and spelling mistakes. It will still miss some things, but it catches quite a bit.
  • Spring for the full-edition of Grammarly. Grammarly searches for word use, grammar mistakes, repetitive words, plagiarism, and more!  (A word of caution. If you are in America, you have to set it to use American English. Mine was set up to use British English for awhile, and one of my books was corrected and uploaded with British English. I got a two-star review because of all of the "spelling mistakes." OOPS!)
  • Set your Microsoft Word program to read your manuscript back to you. This works even better than reading out loud because sometimes you read what you think you see instead of what's written. 
What are your self-editing tips? Please leave them in the comments below. 


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Writer's Group a Valuable Resource

Writing can be a very lonely habit. Perhaps when you hear the word writer, you imagine a person huddled in the corner, staring off into space, and scribbling words in a notebook or typing on a computer. This picture isn't necessarily that far off from reality. Writers do tend to spend a lot of time in isolation bouncing ideas off of blank walls, or reading out loud to themselves. But, writing doesn't have to be a solitary experience.

What if I were to tell you there are places where these weird creatures we call writers gather together to discuss writing, ask for help, and learn from each other? You might think what is this magical place, and does it really exist? I am here to tell you, that yes. It does.

The writer's group can be a HUGE asset for a writer. Many towns have them, and the first place you should inquire about them is your local library. Local writer's groups generally are comprised of writers of all levels, genres, and ages. I've been attending various writer's groups for the last ten years, and I love them.

Many writer's groups serve as mini-workshops where writers bring in a project they are working on and ask for constructive criticism. These groups are really helpful when you are stuck in a section of your book, or just need to know if something is flowing right in a certain passage.

If you don't have a local group, or you can't find one, it's really easy to start one. In fact, this month (August 2017) is the first month for the Beeville Writers Club. I moved here in 2016 and there wasn't a group, so I contacted the library. The head librarian was more than happy to help me set up a meeting place, and even advertise the group. Our first meeting was a huge success and we even had five people in attendance!

If you've been nervous about attending a local writer's group, don't be! Just go and visit a few times, and see if the group is right for you. If it's not, move on, but if it is, stay awhile, get comfortable and see how things are done. Once you're comfortable get ready to learn and have more fun than you can imagine!


Act Now! Free for a limited time: The Collision of Fire and Ice by Arwen Chandler

The Collision of Fire and Ice is currently free for download until August 16, 2017. It is an adventure story in the style of Game of Thrones, and Lord of the Rings, but a story all its own. Of course, it's a clean read, so you don't have to hide your face or avert your eyes! You might say it's guilt free.

About The Collision of Fire and Ice

"Karn Elohite faces a future he could never have imagined. Destined for greatness, by the hand of the goddess, he must learn to wield the blue flame that burns inside him -- a power that both gives life and destroys. Like a plague, the Maekel clan sweeps across the land, burning and plundering villages in their wake. Karn must unite forces with the most unlikely allies imaginable, the offspring of his mother's killer, and royal descendants of the Maekel clan. Together with his Warband, his new found allies, and the help of the goddess, he must learn to control the gifts the goddess has given, and resume the age of the dragon riders. Will Karn defeat the only man in Arcadia who carries a magic as powerful as his own? Can anyone survive the Maekel's bloodthirsty regime?"

Want to read an excerpt and see if this book is for you? Check it out on Sculpting Words from Air!  Click: Here.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Wolf's Claim by Lynn Nodima

Wolf's Claim is the second in the Texas Ranch Wolf Pack Series. It continues the adventure from Wolf's Man and introduces new characters. I've been able to read this from its start, and it has been truly enjoyable. If you're into shifter romance books, don't miss this book. It's a completely clean read, that you'll enjoy reading again and again.


About Wolf's Claim:

"When human-raised Nate mates with Janelle and becomes Alpha to the Texas Ranch Wolf Pack, he knows his life will change forever. He just doesn't know how much . . ..

Then the Were Council, Rulers of Were, decrees death to an entire werepanther clowder for crimes their dead Queen committed. As a cop, Nate defended helpless people. When the new Queen asks Nate for sanctuary, how can he turn her away?

But it isn't easy combining a pack of werewolves and a clowder of werepanthers when both sides fear the other. Especially when Lycos, ancient King of Were appears . . ..

This is the second novella in the Texas Ranch Wolf Pack series."

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Wolf's Man: Texas Ranch Wolf Pack (Texas Ranch Wolf Pack Series Book 1) by Lynn Nodima

If you are into shifter romance novels, this book is for you. It is a wonderfully thrilling book. I was privileged to be a beta reader for Lynn, so I have gotten to see it grow from its inception. It was a really thrilling experience!

I am excited to be able to share this book with you, and I hope you take the time to read and review it. It already has a five-star rating, and from what I hear, people are eagerly reading it, and downloading the next book in the series.

Since I am close to the author I can't write an Amazon review, but if I could, I'd say,

"All the excitement of True Blood, without the guilt!"



About Wolf's Man (Texas Ranch Wolf Pack Series Book 1)

While Janelle is away at college, werecats attack her pack. When she returns home for senior spring break, she finds the entire pack slaughtered, even the pups, and the smell of werecat is strong.

Evading the two cats hunting for her, she jumps into the SUV of a handsome man sitting at a red light. With his help, she gets away from the cats, temporarily.

However, things are not as they seem. The man she car-jacks is a vacationing cop with a secret even he doesn't know.

Will she be arrested, or will this Adonis in a t-shirt drive her to safety?

This is a novella of 35,311 words.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Ungodly Clutter by Monica Mynk

We recently returned from a teen lectureship and I've been thinking a lot about how I can do more for God in several areas of my life. I know keeping you up to date on great new books written by Christian authors is a full-time effort, but it is worth it! (And one I need to work at.) It is wonderful to know that someone looking for a study book can find one here. Or, if a sister needs to get away from it all and disappear into a book, she can find a clean read from fellow Christian authors.

I am uncertain who still follows COCWA, but if you're out there, I want to thank you. And, if you have a moment check out Ungodly Clutter by Monica Mynk!

About Ungodly Clutter:

"Have you ever been embarrassed to invite someone into your home? Cobwebs in the corners? Laundry piled to the ceiling? Mile-high dishes in the sink? If it’s true that cleanliness is next to godliness, does that mean those of us too stressed and over-worked to maintain a clean home are ungodly?
Perhaps, God would be appalled to enter many of our homes... but not for the reasons we might think! Today’s world is full of distractions and many litter our living space without us giving them a second thought.
How can Christian women cleanse their homes of the idols and temptations that hinder salvation?"