Nancy's Books

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Journal, a Secret Weapon for Writers, Part I

A journal can be your secret weapon for writing. What is the best source for ideas? Life, of course. Things happen. Funny things. Sad things. Everything imaginable.

When you get an idea, write it down immediately. Keep a notebook handy for that purpose. If you overhear an interesting phrase or an unusual use of a word, add it to the notebook and allow a character to think those thoughts or use the phrase in dialog to add distinctive voice to your story. Story ideas pop up around us all the time. Make a habit to listen and look for possible plot ideas or interesting characters traits. You never know who will say or do something to make you think, laugh, wonder, or tease your imagination.
The idea or comment you write may not work for the piece you are currently working on but it may be perfect for a future project. If you fail to record information, you are more likely to not remember it, and if you write it on a scrap piece of paper, it may be lost. Get in the habit of collecting ideas for writing and place them where they are easily accessible,  such as a journal.
Sometimes I hear song lyrics and I think “That’s just what my character would say.” I have even pulled off the road to write in my journal.
A journal can hold the inventory you turn to when you need the extra oomph for your manuscript.
Call for Submissions for Adult Writers:
Brigantine Media’s Publish or Perish contest seeks authors who can help market their books.
Authors today must be more than authors. They also must take an active role creating a market for their books to have sales success.
We’ll let you in on a secret: today, publishers choose book projects based partially or entirely on the author’s ability to help in the sales process. We think it’s time to be honest about the need for authors to be marketers, too.
> Criteria
Submit your manuscript as well as your marketing ideas for the book. Entries will be judged 50 percent on the book’s content and 50 percent on the marketing plan for the book. Length limit: 150,000 words for the manuscript; 5,000 words for the marketing plan.
> Prize

The winner of the contest will receive a publishing contract and a $2,000 cash advance against royalties. The winner will receive the cash advance when he or she signs the publishing contract. And since we think the winning author will have a successful book, the winner agrees to give Brigantine Media right of first refusal on his or her next two subsequent books.
> Cost
There is no cost to enter the Publish or Perish contest!
> Important Dates
Entries will be accepted from April 15 through August 15, 2015.
The winner will be announced September 15, 2015.
Submission guidelines at http://www.publishorperishcontest.com/the-contest

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