Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Guest post with Mercedes King

Today I'm handing y'all over to author Mercedes King.  Enjoy!

Practical Advice for Beginning Writers

So one of your goals is to start / write / finish a novel. Maybe you’ve had this goal before, and you’re wondering, “What can I do differently this time to help me reach my goal?” Good question. Here are a few practical tips that may get you closer to writing, “The End”. (And, no, don’t put that on your manuscript, tempting as it might be.)

Set goals. Scratch that. Set reasonable goals--and make a plan. A plan starts with you writing down your big, ultimate goal. ‘I’m going to write a novel in 2013.’ Can it be done? Sure, but if you’ve never written a full-length novel (an average of 60 - 90,000 words or roughly 300 pages), you’ll want to create a strategy for accomplishing it. Break it down. To complete those 300 pages, you’ll want to set mini-goals, daily goals. Commit to writing 1 - 2 pages a day, or ‘x’ amount of words per day or week. In the long run, those words / pages add up, and you’ll establish consistent writing habits.

Sacrifice. Let’s get it out of the way. Writing those 3 pages a day is going to cost you something valuable: Time. Between taking the kids to practice, showing up for games and school events, getting work projects done on time, and not missing out on Aunt Dottie’s birthday, you’re going to have to carve out time for writing. That means possibly giving up your bowling league for a season, getting up an hour earlier / staying up later, devoting lunchtime or TV time to your craft. Remember, plenty of people talk about writing, but few put forth the necessary discipline. Don’t let that be you.

Be accountable. Gulp. Yep, I said it. In line with disciplining yourself, you’ll want to share your goals with others. Make it known that you’re working on the next great thriller. Friends and family will be supportive--and they will want regular updates. You should also get plugged in with a local writing group and let them know your goals. Writers are a wonderful, wacky bunch, and no one understands a writer like other writers. Plus, they’re in the same situation as you, working on their own goals. It’s a win-win.

Read. This might sound counter-productive, since your free time is supposed to go toward writing, but reading good books is a meaningful influence. You can never go wrong, spending time with your literary heroes.

Reward yourself. Yeah, that’s better. Now we’re on to something you really want to hear. As you reach your goals, mini ones and bigger ones, build in a reward system for yourself. Splurge on a Starbucks when you finish a chapter. Get your nails done, or celebrate with an evening out. Rewarding yourself will keep you motivated and keep you working toward that next milestone. Once you get a taste of how sweet writing-success is, you’ll keep pecking away.

As with any goal worth working for, you’ll make mistakes along the way. It happens. Forgive yourself and move on. Stumbling blocks may come. Leap over them, go around them. You’ll learn a lot on this novel-writing journey, and it will prepare you for writing your next novel, because when it comes to writing, you’re never really done.

About the author:

Mercedes King is an Ohio native and founding member of Sisters in Crime Columbus, Ohio (affectionately dubbed SiCCO). With a degree in Criminology from Capital University and a passion for writing, she crafted O! Jackie, a novel focusing on the private life of Jackie Kennedy. She has also written The Kennedy Chronicles, a series of short stories featuring JFK and Jackie before they were married and before 'Camelot'. Mercedes writes in a variety of genres, including historical and mystery / suspense. In fact, she's working on creating a new genre, 'modern historical'.

Her newest release, Plantation Nation, follows the journey of Emma Cartwright, a 16 year old Southern girl who disguises herself as a young man and joins the Union Army.

Visit her sites, or . Contact her at Mercedes 'at' ojackiebook 'dot' com. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

|  website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter: @Mercedes_King_  |  blog  |  Instagram: mercedes_king_author  |

About Plantation Nation:

Sixteen year old Emma Cartwright runs away from her family’s South Carolina rice plantation after a slave is beaten to death. Determined to join the fight against slavery, Emma enlists in the Union Army disguised as a young man. Nothing could prepare her for the sacrifices needed—and for falling in love for the first time.

|  Amazon  |  B&N  |

And now, enter the tour wide giveaway!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for letting me stop by and share. I wish there was a magic potion that worked for all of us creative types, but all we really have is each other. Hope this helps send some encouragement. Have a great, productive day!!