Changing story directions

Changing directions in your story

Changing directions in your story

Have you ever had one idea for a story, planned it out to go in one direction, only to find that it could go somewhere else?

This is what I’m starting to find in my story… there are a number of ways it could go, depending on the type of town my main character is from. She grew up in regional Victoria and it could either be a large regional center, or a smaller town that is getting smaller as people are moving away. This will be relevant a bit further along in the story.

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Off to a good start… but…

Starting a new story

Starting a new story

My new story was on track, by Saturday, I had the first six chapters written and the story was going well. Over the weekend, I went on camp and came home on Sunday exhausted. Last night, when I went to write the next chapter, the story just didn’t seem to work…

Instead of letting this discourage me, I started playing with a new story! This one is completely different, aimed at adults and based on a flash fiction piece I wrote some time ago. Originally, I thought the flash fiction would be the start of the story, now it looks like it’ll be a few chapters in!

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New writing routine

Getting ready for writing

Getting ready for writing

My new story has been going well. In four days, I’ve written four chapters – that’s my goal, writing a chapter a day until it’s done.

I won’t lie – life is busy. It’s coming up to the end of the school year, and I have one child graduating from Primary School, so we have transition days and graduation ceremonies to attend. It’s also nearly Christmas and all that brings, as well as a 12th birthday party to plan. I’m also at my day job and being mum to two boys. Life is busy, but I have a book to write!

My writing routine this week looks a little like this.

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A new week, a new story

Cubing story starts today!

Cubing story starts today!

It’s early Monday morning. This is the day that my new story starts. I have decided which one to concentrate on first, though the other one may pop up from time to time…

One thing I realised as I was doing some planning over the weekend, is this story will have a strong theme of relationships between my main character (a 12 year old boy) and his dad, mum, grandparents, and others around him. The other story I’ve been working on has similar themes. In both of these, the cube will play a big role in building strained relationships!

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Setting a goal – and a deadline!

My 13 year old at Melbourne Cube Days 2015

My 13 year old at Melbourne Cube Days 2015

Earlier this year, my 13 year old attended the Australian Nationals 2015 run by Speedcubing Australia. He had an amazing weekend, and a few weeks later, took part in the Melbourne Cube Days 2015.

Following these, we were talking about books and whether there were any books that featured kids who cubed. We went looking, but couldn’t find anything! So, my 13 year old has set me a challenge – write some!

I have written one book so far. Cubing for Chronic Fatigue is about a boy called Tony who uses his cube to raise money for the Chronic Fatigue Association after his little brother is diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue. It’s part of my Green Oaks Primary School series and we’re hoping to release it early in 2016.

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Writing a character “cheat sheet”

Creating a character cheat sheet

Creating a character cheat sheet

One  big advantage to writing picture books is there aren’t very many characters, so they are unlikely to change names as the story goes on!

With my chapter books, characters have been known to change names part way through the story, even the school in Swallow Me, NOW! changed names in an early draft! I started a new story the other day, and one character changed name from one page to the next! (That’s what happens when you are writing in 10 minute lots of time!)

In order to keep track of my characters, I’ve started a character cheat sheet.

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ABC – Day 32 – Time for some shout outs

Time for some shout outs

Time for some shout outs

Time for some shout-outs. This may mimic your acknowledgement page, but whom would you like to publicly thank for their help in creating your book or completing it to the point where it is presently?

With all the chapter books I write, the first shout out has to go to the Chapter Book Challenge. Without this challenge, I would still have a lot of half finished manuscripts sitting there without ever getting finished. The deadline of the challenge really pushes me to get the drafts finished.

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ABC – Day 31 – Best advice

Best advice

Best advice

What is the single best piece of advice you’ve ever received about the publishing process and/or what advice would you offer to a first-time author?

Since reading this prompt, I’ve been thinking about the advice I received, and I can’t think of any standouts as the single best piece of advice I’ve received. There has been so much great advice, and some that doesn’t really work for me…

I can think of something I would like to pass on to a first-time author, and this may have been passed on to me  at some point: [Read more…]

ABC – Day 25 – Book as a business

Book as a business

Book as a business

If your goal is to sell books, you must view your book as a business. In what ways do you treat your book as a business? Where could you improve? What resources could you leverage to improve your book business?

I have a huge long list of things I would like to do to improve my book as a business… the biggest thing I would like is time!

One thing I did a few months ago was to get some proper accounting software so that I could keep track of my income and expenses. It’s still a work in progress as I have a lot of transactions to add, but it’s getting there. At least I’m getting my invoicing done quickly!

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ABC – Day 22 – Blurb for my book

Blurb for my books...

Blurb for my books…

If you could ask anyone in the world to write a blurb for your book, who would it be? Why that person/people? How did/will you go about reaching them? Yes – really!

Swallow Me, NOW! has already been published, and I couldn’t think of anyone to write a blurb for this book, so I turned my attention to one of the books I’m currently working on.

Cubing for CFS is based on a fundraiser my 13 year old did earlier in the year to raise money and awareness about Chronic Fatigue. All money went to Emerge Australia. He solved the cube 65 times in half an hour and raised over $200!

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