Category Archives: Writing tips and ideas

Do you have a social platform?: You should

Do you have a social platform as an author? Do you think you need one?

When I submitted one of my books in a query letter, the publisher asked, “Where are you at?” He meant did I have a platform. Did I have one?

Fortunately, I pointed him to various places. I was happy I had taken the time to create one. My author website has a drop-down menu that shows you where I am. I copy the link when anyone asks. I have even given talks about creating and maintaining a social platform.

Yet, when I talk to other writers in my area, few have taken the baton to use an author’s platform for their works. It used to get to me, for it is a topic that I believe in so strongly. But now, at this point, I nod and listen. One is unable to lead a horse to water, right? Well, you can, but easier than having an author create a platform. LOL

The thing with creating a platform is not all of them will be a right fit for you. Concentrate on what does work. But even more so, the platform is constantly changing with new forms of promoting yourself. And what used to work may not work anymore.

It can be much, but the results are worth the effort and time.

So, if you are at a point where a publisher asks, hopefully, you can say happily, “Here I am.”

When does a series of a book end?

If you have written an ongoing series, when do you know it is time to end it?

I love reading series that make me wish they never will end. Eventually, it does. Then you have the series that makes you wonder how it should have stopped a volume or two ago.

My children’s series, at this moment, has three volumes, with the fourth one with my editor. My series, a true-life comedy, is a stand-alone book, but volume two is in its final edits with my editor. I have notes to write about half of another volume.

I am wondering if it is time to finish either series. But primarily, the series is geared toward children. Have I run out of ideas? Is there more to this series?

When a series goes on too long, it sours me on that series and sometimes the author.

Do I still have ideas for the fifth volume of my series? What else can I talk about that my fans and readers will want to read where this series concerns?

The concept comes from my Amazon parrot, Jasper, and his personality and our interaction. We rescued him in 1999 at the age of five. He has given me plenty of things to write on. It brings to the front children the problems and crises that are going on in the Amazon rainforest. I have discussed a few of these. My latest volume describes the poaching industry.

Researching online for other issues this precious resource has is something I need to dive into to see if there is another that I can wrap a story around. If I do find such a topic, I still need to take a step back and think if I should continue.

My other projects are rooting for me to stop so I can work on them. Besides being an author that writes for children, and a comedy writer, I have a drama, mystery, and a few other genres WIP waiting to see the day of light.

It tugs at me which route to go. I will need to ponder on this.

What are the tools for an author?

In the beginning, it was simply a writing instrument and paper. That progressed to a typewriter, eraser, and paper. That moved forward to computers, computer programs, and paper and ink for the printer as some examples.

Now they have programs where you can talk, and the machine will type it for you. You have programs that help you with editing, for example, Grammarly.

As technology increases, it is within reason that eventually, we will be able to think of our works where it will be written automatically for us.

With each year comes challenges to learn something new enough to be proficient at it. With each step, the way it used to get further away from how it is now.

The writers in this area know me for a few things. One is I am a pantser and proud of it. I tend to write my manuscripts by hand, my only instrument being a notebook and pen.

It is a pain to type it up, but the juices flow so well for me that I continue to do it. But not only that. I get the satisfaction that I am doing it how it used to be.

No matter how you create your work, so long you get joy from it and produce a product that you are happy with, it does not matter how you got there.