Monday, March 20, 2017

Diverse Characters - E + F + G


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 E:


Image from Pixabay



Image from Pixabay

Eskimos (Arctic Natives, Inuits, Native Alaskans)

Exotic Dancers


Here are the diverse characters for F:



Finns (Individuals from Finland)

Individuals with Freckles

French Individuals

Foster Children/Foster Parents 

Here are the diverse characters for G:

Gay Individuals






Ghanaians (Individuals from Ghana)


Giants (Fantasy)




Gothic Individuals 

Image from Pixabay


Image from Pixabay


Image from Pixabay

SHARE: If you can come up with more diverse characters that start with E, F, or G, 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, March 13, 2017

IWSG Book Club on Goodreads! + Books for Writers - Writer's Market

Not on Goodreads?
The IWSG book club is a good reason to join.

Don’t do much on Goodreads?
This is an excellent way to dip your toes in a little more.

Not enough time in your day?
We read one book every two months.

OUR GOAL: The Insecure Writer's Support Group (Book Club) is for writers to read/learn about the writing craft. In this book club, we will swap back and forth between non-fiction writing books and fiction books that demonstrate how to do certain aspects of storytelling. 

No promo. No review or beta reader requests. 

Just writers reading books and discussing those books with other writers.

**The first book will be announced on April 1st.**
**The discussion will start on May 17th.**

For more details and to join: Book Club


The one book all writers should know about is…Writer’s Market. I have told many aspiring authors about this book when they ask me how they can get published. It truly is the “most trusted guide to getting published.”

Every year, a new edition comes out. Each book has a comprehensive list of book publishers, consumer and trade magazines, contests and awards, and literary agents. In the beginning, there’s also articles from bestsellers and industry experts on how to develop your author brand and promote your book. The articles’ subjects are different in each edition.

One thing you can always count on is their sample query letters for fiction, nonfiction, and articles. They offer real query letters that worked or didn’t, and they explain what caught their attention or ruined the query for them. I love to see these query letters.

Another book like Writer’s Market is A Guide to Literary Agents that also comes out with an updated annual version. If what you’re looking for is an agent, this is the book for you! The agent section in Writer’s Market is tiny, but you can be sure that A Guide to Literary Agents lists all the agents in every genre. I’ve used this book many times to build my list of agents.

These two books are priceless for writers.

For UK writers, check out Writers' & Artists' Yearbook.

There's also:

Poet's Market
Children's Writers and Illustrator's Market Book
Novel and Short Story Writer's Market

Note: I don't buy these books. I check them out from my local library. ;)

QUESTIONS: Do you use these books? 
Will you be joining the IWSG Book Club? :D

Monday, March 6, 2017

Empowering Women - Lady Gaga

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


Image from Wikipedia. Source marcen27
Tony Bennett & Lady GaGa 6 License

Lady Gaga wasn’t always understood when she first rose to musical power. Her outfits were crazy and her performances and videos were controversial. I always liked her, though, because I appreciated her creativity and what she was doing.

Remember the legendary meat dress?
“If we don’t stand up for what we believe in, and if we don’t fight for our rights pretty soon, we’re going to have as much rights as the meat on our bones. And, I’m not a piece of meat.”
Then there’s her first MTV VMA performance for Paparazzi. At the end, she’s lifted into the air, bleeding and convulsing. 
“I just knew I had to bleed to death for four minutes on TV…I wanted to say something about how the celebrity sort of has this inevitable demise that we love to watch. But are we killing them or are they killing themselves?”
In 2011, she debuted her song “Born This Way,” a song about love and equality. From the beginning, she fought for LGBT rights. She wrote “Born This Way" in ten minutes and recorded it around the world on her tour bus. This song isn’t just for the LBGT community, though, but for people of all races.

 What about the video and that egg she journeyed in down the red carpet:
“…birthing a race within the race of already existing cultures of humanity—that bears no prejudice and no judgement.”
She started the Born This Way Foundation to help teens struggling with depression and to feel comfortable in their skin.

In recent years, she gained considerable recognition for her tribute to Julie Andrews, her National Anthem performance at Super Bowl 50, her tribute to David Bowie, and her role as the Countess in American Horror Story: Hotel, for which she won an Emmy.

This year she did the Halftime Show for Super Bowl 51, and in my opinion it was the best Halftime Show ever. She opened it by singing "This Land is Your Land" while a fleet of drones created the American flag behind her. And it was neat to see the dance moves from her music videos come back to the stage. 

At the 2016 Oscars, she performed “Till it Happens to You,” her song dedicated to victims of sexual abuse. Gaga was sexually assaulted when she young....
“I didn’t tell anyone for years because I didn’t tell myself for years. And my soul was burnt out until it was gone. And then you have to admit you were in pain, and that you died in a way, but you are in control to bring it back, and there are people in the world who’ll help you.”
Please watch her Oscar performance. Every time I’ve seen it, I’ve been reduced to tears.

Inspiring Song:

So whether you understand her in the moment, you have to admit that she has a way of getting her message out there.

QUESTION: What do you think of her performance?

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

IWSG Twitter Pitch / Reworking an Old Story

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group
Twitter Pitch Party!


July 27, 2017

8:00 am to 8:00 pm Eastern Time

All writers and authors are invited to participate in our very first Twitter Pitch. Invite your writer friends and your publisher/agent. 

Create a Twitter-length pitch for your completed and polished manuscript and leave room for genre, age, and the hashtag. On July 27, Tweet your pitch. If your pitch receives a favorite/heart from a publisher/agent check their submission guidelines and send your requested query.

For the rules go to: IWSG Twitter Pitch

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a safe place for insecure writers.
MARCH QUESTION: Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? Did it work out?

I certainly have. I've shared this story before, but I'll do it again. :) When I was twelve, I started writing a book that flourished into a series. At the age of seventeen, I had reached Book 4 when writer's block hit and hit me hard. I didn't write for months. I felt a total disconnect from my characters and my plot. It took me a long time to realize was because I had matured, and so did my characters, but I wanted them to be older than when they started. So, I set about rewriting the entire series from Book 1. 

For years, I slaved over these stories, and I have finished all 4 books. But I was never completely satisfied with the first book. I kept tweaking it, redoing the beginning, editing it and editing it. It wasn't until 2015 when I asked for beta readers to read the first 3 chapters and the wonderful Yolanda Renee helped me to whip the book into shape. I love it now! 

I actively sought representation last year and only received rejections, but I'm not going to give up on it. I do have to rework Book 2 to fit the changes, and I still have to revise/edit the final two books, and I will...when it's time. :)

OPTIONAL APRIL QUESTION: Have you taken advantage of the annual A to Z Challenge in terms of marketing, networking, publicity for your book? What were the results?

Reminder: The questions are optional and meant as a prompt if you struggle with what to post. You don't have to answer a question if you don't want to. :)

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