My friend James told me that he was done with his planning his calendar for 2020. He had written out what he would do daily for his brand which is being an author.
Wow I am sure was the first words out of my mouth. Our friend Sandra was equally impressed saying with her full time job she would not be able to do this.
The thought of doing this that far in advance was overwhelming. But not just that not practical. Why? Life. Life always has a way of interrupting us especially when things are going smoothly and we are on a roll.
I know right off the bat there would be the time I would miss while I go back home to Maine to check on my mom. That is always a month long venture at least. I have to include my doctor visits, some that are out of town, my procedures and other stuff doctors throw at me. I have to factor in the days I am not feeling well. There are the trips down to my in-laws for various occasions.
These are just the few things that popped into my head. I am quite confident I left a lot out. And as my mom use to tell me, “This house doesn’t clean itself.” While her house didn’t my house doesn’t either.
So I knew I was not going to approach my planning like James did. I came up with a different outlook for 2020. In my calendar I placed a sheet stapled to each month. On that sheet I wrote what I want to accomplish for that month. It could be looking for reviews, interviews and conferences to researching my current WIP, going back to my writer’s groups and writing. When I did January my list was long but not long enough to be discouraging. I figured if I can get a certain percentage of it I will be okay with that. I wrote up my sheets for January and February. One item on February will be to do March and April and so on.
This is what will work for me. To plan every single day that far is illogical for me. But not just that I could be setting up myself up for failure and disappointment. Who wants that? No, not me.
An opportunity came across my desk which just reminded me again why having an author’s platform is beneficial to writers.
A few months ago I was checking my sites out to make sure all were working like I wanted. I ran across a friend who was entering a submission for a publication. Checking it out further the person who was behind it all invited me to submit also. They were taking 1000 submissions but only one per author would be accepted though you could submit as many as you like. You had to write a flash fiction of 200-300 words. Now this is for an anthology published in Brazil with the release day being 2018.
There would have been a slim chance, a very slim chance, of me hearing about this on my own. But thankfully to my platform it fell into my lap. I only submitted one but I made the first cut! It would be really cool if my short story landed in this book especially one from another country. It would be a new way to make my brand shine with a new audience.
So even though I harp a lot to others about creating one’s brand this is just another example of why one should have one.
I have heard over the years how easy it is to write. It is not that simple or easy. It be great if it was. So I pulled up some notes on things that authors need to remember and include from a character development class I took.
Do you have your setting correct? It tells you where and when a story line is occurring. It has to be believable for it gives you the opportunity to deliver a backdrop for your book. For example if you are in the tundra or jungle odds are the book is an adventure. If the dust bowl in the Midwest is where you are at the character might experience tough times in the story line.
One can’t forget that the mood and setting can change through the book. Location and weather also hints where the reader will find themselves. The setting gives us the physical boundaries and develops the plot and characters. If we can’t wrap our minds around it you will lose us.
You can’t forget the good guy who is the central figure that readers can identify with but they must go through changes through the book or else they will fall flat and be one dimension. You want your characters to be well-rounded. They should have positive features and still be flawed making them dynamic as they change with the experiences they encounter. We develop characters directly or indirectly. Directly we state what the character looks like, what they say, do or feel. Indirectly we let the readers draw the conclusions by the words written.
But hey let’s not forget about the plot which is an arrangement of consequence of the story including conflict and obstacles. And even then there is still more to think on and perfect. One has to include the conflict and the resolution. And still that is not the end.
There is so much more that goes on in writing a book and making it published ready. To tell someone writing is easy has never picked up a pen and tried.