Category Archives: Writing topics

Penpals: What a great experience

When I was in fifth grade, a school from Kansas sent a letter asking for someone to be penpals with a little girl named Melinda. They were sending letters all over for the class. Luckily I was chosen.

What embarked was a great time in my young life as I learned about Mindy and her family, and she learned about mine. Sadly, we lost touch. It is something I have thought about over the years.

A few months, ago I became penpals with a six-year-old little girl.

Her grandmother, one of my besties, asked if I would be open to that. I readily said yes. Grabbing some note cards from the Dollar Store, I started my journey with this young person.

She is just learning to read and write, so I will get short sentences and sometimes just words. But that is okay. What is developing between us is a love to write, the companionship of sorts, and joy.

Her grandmother says she gets so excited when she gets letters in the mail from me, and to be honest, I do as well. She was having so much fun now her older brother wanted to be part of it, so now I have two pen-pals.

It keeps me writing, even if it is not toward any of my works. It helps me write at that age level which is good since one of my series is this age level.

Both the mother and grandmother have expressed how happy they are that this is happening. They are both appreciative.

But to be honest, I am not sure who is having more fun, the kids or me. May this journey continue between us.

Charge what you are worth: Developmental editor

 

There are a variety of editors such as content and line editing, copy editors, beta reading and more.

I’m a developmental editor. That involves going over a book’s content and structure which can include loopholes, transitional issues, inconsistencies to name a few.

After I became published I started to offer services to fellow writers in my area for free. For four years I nagged the heck out of them. Not one bite. Finally I stopped asking. Offering what I was offering was not only free but a lot of time I would free up for them. I got tired of writers giving me the look. I decided to than charge. I mean after all, why not?

Of course after I assigned a price for my various services is when people remembered my offer and came a knocking. They were surprised that I charged now. But I didn’t back down. At that time I had two or three books under my belt and life was getting busy with my business.

Time was valuable for all of us.

My prices are bottom of the barrel and in some cases clearance sale prices. Still, the writers thought I was too much. I told them to check online to see if they could do better.

Plus, I showed them where the testimonies from previous clients were. How they were happy with how I helped them. People tried to haggle with me. I didn’t bite.

Being a developmental editor takes a lot of time, especially when a person’s novel is 200-300 pages if not more. I am going line by line of your novel

You don’t think that is time I should be compensated for? If you were me would you do this for free like I offered in the beginning?

Not sure what is worse. You have people wanting you to do this for free. Or writers who know what it takes to do what you are doing and still want that for free or as low as possible.

Charge what you are worth even when people in your own field don’t appreciate it.

Don’t back down. Your time is valuable. And if nothing else that is time taken away from your brand and your books. Is that worth it?

Prompts: Writing or picture

 

I love writing prompts for it makes you really think hard and dig deep to write something that will make sense and fun to read. But a picture prompt are, to me, so much more fun.

I have written stories from these kind of prompts and in fact my favorite story written from such is a paranormal story. I have never written one before. But the picture made my mind go there and back. It is a story that I have received many lovely compliments and it is now in my anthology, “Everyday Musings,” which is out.

It was challenging for me for the genre was new, making it all work out and making sense was another and trying to make it click was a bit of work. But it was fun to do. In fact I, when time permits, will be expanding it further into a longer short story or a short novel.

Prompts are great if you are having writings block, don’t feel like working on your WIP or you just want to try something different. The libraries have plenty of books to choose from, bookstores and online if one just googles.

So try something different. It might lead to something wonderful. It could take your mind and creativeness to places you might not have considered before. It might help you figure something out on another WIP. Plus, it can help you have fun on something not in your box of tricks.

So if you are in a writing group perhaps have prompt night. If you are online and know a few writers suggest a prompt meeting.

It may not be your cup of tea and you will know soon enough. There is little to lose but a lot to gain.