My Mission For You:

Don't let #Doubt extinguish your #Sparks. Find the #Sparks you need to ignite your stories, dreams, and life.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Diverse Character - X + Y + Z



INTRODUCTION:

There’s been a lot of talk about adding diverse characters to fictional books. Most of the time, this is about including people of color if you’re a Caucasian writer, but all writers can add diverse characters to their books. And why stop at race? In this series, I’m going to list all sorts of diverse characters.

Note: I'm not knowledgeable about all types of people, so I'm skipping my usual tips in favor of letting others share their knowledge. See below 

**I won't be able to list them all, so here's a list of ethnic groups...with a list of even more lists at the bottom of the page. lol



Here are the diverse characters for X:

Individuals with Xanthocyanopsy (only see blue and yellow)

Individuals with Xanthopsia (objects appear yellow)

Xenophobics (Individuals with the fear or strangers or foreigners)

X-Men (Individuals with powers)

Xylophone Player



Here are the diverse characters for Y:

Yakuts (Turkic-speaking Siberian people)

Yankees (US)

Yazidis (Kurdish sub-group)

Yemeni Individuals (From Yemen)

Yogis (Individuals who are proficient in yoga)

YOU!

(Put yourself in your books or give your characters your traits.)

Yo-yoer (Professional yo-yo trick artist)



Here are the diverse characters for Z:

Zambians (Individuals from Zambia)

Zimbabweans

Zombies 

Image from Pixabay
Zoologist

Zoo Employee

Zoophobics (Individuals with the fear of animals)

Zulus Individuals (Bantu ethnic group)



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SHARE: If you can come up with more diverse characters that start with V or W let me know and I will add them to my list.

QUESTION: Do you have tips or Do's/Dont's for one of the characters I mentioned above? Share your advice for writing about those characters in your comment.

Have you written about a character from my list?



Monday, November 13, 2017

Empowering Women - Madeline Stuart



Every month I am highlighting an empowering woman. This month it is:


Madeline Stuart

Madeline Stuart is a young woman who became known for being the first person with Down Syndrome to model, which was always her dream.

In 2014, she saw a fashion show in Brisbane with her mother. and that’s where her dream began. After struggling with her weight, she lost 44 pounds. A year later, her mother started an online campaign to help Madeline land the coveted modeling contract, which led to not one, but two modeling contracts for Manifesta Fitness Wear and EverMaya Handbags.

Later, she participated in a bridal photoshoot for Rixey Manor and also appeared in Vogue. Since then, she’s been on the catwalk for New York Fashion Week twice, “becoming the second model with Down Syndrome at the event after Jamie Brewer. She also became the face of GlossiGirl (a cosmetic company).


Photo

All of this has led to Madeline being known at the first professional model with Down Syndrome in the world. If that’s not enough, she even had a bag named after her: The Madeline by Evermaya. All of its sales are donated to National Down Syndrome Society.

And her pictures are just stunning.

From her website:

“Maddy really wants to change the way people discriminate against disability through gaining attention through social media. She wants people to know that Down Syndrome is a blessing, something to be celebrated.” 


INSPIRING SONG:


QUESTION: Have you seen Madeline's photos on Facebook or elsewhere?



Friday, November 10, 2017

Fighting with the Ending / Guest Post by Patricia Josephine / Mistakes of the Past





GUEST POST by Patricia Josephine


Fighting with the Ending:

I’m a panster, so when I write, I don’t have an outline or even a plan for the story. What starts me is a character or a scene that excites me and I can’t get it out of my head fast enough. I start writing with zero direction. That often means I have no idea how to end the story. I don’t figure it out until I’m there, staring at the screen, and wondering how to save the day.

The ending to Mistakes of the Past went through quite a few different versions before I finally got it right. Luc went from three chances at redemptions to one, back to three, then finally one. There was a sex scene, but that got axed. Another scene moved from one location to another. Parts got cut then added back in and adjusted to fit. Whole elements that I researched were discarded. Even lines I loved didn’t make the final cut.

It was quite the evolution. Sometimes you have to fight to get it right, to find the perfect resolution that readers love. I hope this ending is one that readers will enjoy. At the very least, I enjoy the ending. That’s got to be a good sign, right?



Blurb:

Luc seeks atonement for the actions that banished him from his home. Living as a priest in a small town, he strives to show how much he’s changed with the hope that one day he can return to his family.

Haunted by the guilt that destroyed her family, Rose has shut her heart off. She vows to never let anyone near again lest she hurt them. When she meets Luc, she can’t deny the draw she feels to him.

But the past is not easily forgotten. When Luc’s past finds him, Rose is caught in the middle. Forced to face who he used to be, Luc must decide if he’s willing to give up his chance at redemption to save Rose. But doing so means he won’t be able to hide who he is. Will Rose be able to reconcile the man she knows with the devil he used to be? Or are the mistakes of the past too damning?


Buy Links:

Amazon–– https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0768T62H5
Smashwords–– https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/754277
B&N–– https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/mistakes-of-the-past-patricia-josephine/1127262701?ean=2940154593783
Kobo–– https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/mistakes-of-the-past
iTunes–– https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/mistakes-of-the-past/id1298802560?mt=11



About the Author:

Patricia Josephine never set out to become a writer. In fact, she never considered it an option during high school and college. She was all about art. On a whim, she wrote down a story bouncing in her head. That was the start of it and she hasn't regretted a moment. She writes young adult under the name Patricia Lynne.

Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo, has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow, and an obsession with Doctor Who.


Links:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/plynne_writes
Website: http://www.patricialynne.com
Newsletter: http://www.patricialynne.com/newsletter.html 
Books: http://www.patricialynne.com/my-books.html
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/108938106639683446081/posts/p/pub
Wattpad: http://www.wattpad.com/user/patricialynne07
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13460894.Patricia_Josephine


Comment: Give Patricia some love!

QUESTION: Have you ever struggled with the ending for a story you were writing?



Monday, November 6, 2017

Books for Writers - Children's Writer's Word Book



Sherry Ellis recommended this book to me when I was helping my mom with her children’s story.

Writing for children can be tricky. There are several different genres including picture books, picture story books, easy readers, for specific age groups, and chapter books. Each of these have guidelines such as word count, age brackets, and reading levels. You really have to know the ins and outs of what type of children’s book you want to write and the age of your target readers.



Children’s Writer’s Word Book by Alijandra Mogilner & Tayopa Mogilner is a great tool to help you learn how to write a children’s book. This book is divided into 7 sections from kindergarten to grade 6th and middle grade. Under each section is a word list that all children learn at the level and can be in your story. There’s explanations for what children learn in the classroom at each grade level, publishing information such as what publishers expect in terms of length and content, and also short writing samples to give you an idea of how to write for each level.

At the end of the book, there’s a neat thesaurus that highlights common words and provides synonym alternatives for different grades.

EX: abandon (4th): desert (1st), discard (6th), give up (K), leave (1st), quit (1st), reject (5th), surrender (5th), yield (4th).

EX: zone (4th): area (3rd), arena (5th), belt (2nd), district (4th), field (2nd), part (1st), quarter 
(1st), ranger (3rd), realm (4th), region (4th), section (4th), space (1st), sphere (6th), territory (3rd), ward (5th).

If you want to write for children, but you don’t understand the levels and age groups, this book will assist you greatly.




QUESTION: Are there any words I shared above that surprise you with the grade level that they are for?


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

So, I Tried a Thing... / IWSG

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a safe place for insecure writers of all kinds.
Sign up here: Insecure Writer’s Support Group 



YouTube: Alex had asked me: Where else can I go to promote my books online?

Here is my answer:



****

So, I tried a thing that didn't turn out as planned.

During the summer, I set up a talk at a local library. I wanted the practice because, back in January, I was asked to be the speaking author for a local chapter of writers who get together for an annual book and author luncheon. Everything I've done this year has been gearing me up for that, but I wanted to do a real in-person discussion and reading before that luncheon. That's where my local library came in. I promoted it as much as I could through social media and other authors in my area were kind enough to share the information. 

The big day came.

I set up my stuff.

And only one person came, fellow IWSGer, M.J. Fifield.

I am not a public speaker. I didn't want to forget anything, so I had my speech on paper. MJ let me practice reading my speech to her and gave me a pointer: to try to memorize my speech so next time I can use my printed speech as more of a guide. I'll do that next time, MJ. Or, at least, I'll try. lol

I had a feeling only my mom and MJ would be there. MY TRUE FANS! Yay! I was bummed that the other people I knew locally didn't come and that the library didn't do what I'd seen them do for other authors, but that happens. Even if something doesn't turn out, we learn from it.

At least I know the luncheon in January guarantees people will be there. Score!

I am doing something next month, though, a local book signing on November 18th with 49 other authors, one of which will be MJ! So far, I haven't had luck selling books at an event, but that has to change eventually, right? RIGHT?! 

(I didn't admit to this before, but that big event I did in June, it resulted in one book sale thanks to MJ buying a copy of Tsunami Crimes. In return, I bought Effigy from her. It was great for other reasons, though. I got a bunch of new subscribers, handed out stacks of postcards, and networked.)

So other than my "failure" at selling books at events, I just realized this post is also about MJ. She'll hate me for this but...three cheers for MJ!!!

HIP-HIP- HOORAY!

HIP-HIP-HOORAY!!

HIP-HIP-HOORAY!!!

THANK YOU, MJ!


QUESTION: Have you done an event that was a bust?


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