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http://www.reneepawlish.com/promo

 

 

Just popping in to let you know about this great weekend book promo! Almost 50 books, all for $.99

Grab one and go sit by the pool, find a spot at the beach, go to a park, or laze around in your comfy chair.

Happy Reading!

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Keep the Confusion to a Minimum!

Do you ever get a feeling of Déjà vu when you’re talking to somebody?

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You know you’ve said those exact words, but somehow it doesn’t seem like you said it to the person you’re currently speaking to. Or you call somebody you know by another name and not even realize it.

In real life this can embarrass you, but as a writer it can also be very confusing to your reader. This has happened to me a few times, but I’ve caught my mistake before it went any further than the pages of my story. Keeping your character’s activities and personalities consistent is essential for a well-crafted manuscript.

Now image you must keep track of more than one project.

I find when I write multiple series at one time my imagination flows, but my work demands I stay focused. That conversation I thought I had? I did; but with other characters. And the character I so easily called by the wrong name is a character from a different series. These are common mistakes I’ve made, and I know there are more. They can quickly get out of hand when I’m writing multiple series. However, for me, the benefits of writing more than one serious far outweighs these little mistakes that can be caught and fixed.

When I write in multiples, it keeps my word count consistent. If I find I’m stumped on a scene or I can’t quite get to the research I need to finish, I can easily push one to the side and work on another. I use scrivener and this helps me tremendously because you can write by scenes and chapters. Scrivener allows me to move from one project to another as the ideas come, filling in where I need to.

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Another lesson I’ve learned to help me jump from project to project is having a ‘Series Bible’ for each of your series. This is essential, especially as you get deeper into each series you write. Most writers are thinking of scenarios constantly, and if one doesn’t fit in this book, it might fit in another. So why not write out your thoughts and insert them while they are fresh on your mind? Rather than waiting until you finish this book and increasing the chances of losing that thought or passage forever. In a society geared on multitasking, this is an excellent practice to begin. But only start a Series Bible if this method feels comfortable. If you’re the type of writer that needs to write the entire story out at one time tweaking as you go, then this method might not be good for you.

In your series bible, (using a notebook, program on the computer, or storyboard) you to keep track of your characters; their likes and dislikes, physical appearance, their mental capacities and anything else you consider important. Also keep track of the settings; where each scene is taking place, characters new to the series as they appear, personal interactions between characters. The list goes on and should be specific to your books. For instance, I write a cozy murder mysteries and I like to keep track of each method of kill; how does my main character solve the puzzle uniquely so none of my books have the same ending.

Use your Series Bible to write ideas as they come to you, outlining each new book in the series ahead of time. You may find the ideas you come up with are better suited for another series. Either way it’s important to get the ideas down in some form. After you’ve gotten the words written, then it’s easy enough to put your thoughts into a different Series Bible.

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Some people do better with a huge storyboard, outlining the same information where it’s visible to them always. There are also many programs for computers to carry out these goals. Even an Excel spread sheet will help your writing process. Whichever method you use, be sure to keep your Series Bible updated as you go along and refer to back to the information. There’s nothing worse than calling your main character a blue-eyed beauty, only to find out in an earlier book you gave her green eyes.

By having this information at your fingertips you’ll find it easy to check your facts. No matter what method you use, if you’re comfortable about putting your important information in one easy to use location, then it will be worth the time you spent.

Until next time, keep writing, Sam…er…Susan…

 

 

 

 

It’s all about the prep.

Don’t prepare and you might be preparing to fail.
No matter what you’re doing, the job is always easier when you prepare for it ahead of time. Whether you’re cooking a new recipe, planting a garden, building a bookshelf, or writing a book —preparation is the key to success.

There are those that say they are Pantsers and there are those say they are Plotters…

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But, I think, all in all, each of us does a bit of preparation before we sit down to write that first word. We have a general idea of what our book it’s going to be about. Who are main characters will be and the central setting we will create. A Pantser might stop right there and start writing. On the other hand, a plotter (like me) will sit down and do an outline. We want to get as much preparation done before we start making, making the writing process flow.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, there will be changes. Something comes up that makes your story go in a different direction, but if the outline is done and your notes are organized, then it’s easy enough to adjust and move on.
And so tomorrow begins the month of July. This is one of three months that I participate in NaNoWriMo. To me the preparation for this month (as well as April and November) are critical to my success. Writing 50,000 words in 30 days is more than a challenge it’s a conquest!

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Today is June 30th, and I wait with bated breath for midnight. Why? Because I’m ready to go. My outline is complete, I’ve got my first scene is written in my head and I’m just counting the hours to start. Yet, I can also look back and remember when there were times that I wasn’t so prepared. Because of this, I wasted precious time and word counts trying to figure out where I was going.
To all of you who have no preparations set out–there is less than 24 hours to be prepared. Turn off that TV and get ready!
And to all of you who are prepared and are waiting for that stroke of midnight-—good luck. I hope Camp NaNo is a rousing success and at the end of the 30 days you are pleased. Then you will hold a rough draft of your book in your hands, ready to edit and publish.

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Happy Writing!

Mystery Promo!

It’s time for another Mystery/Thriller Promo.

Lots of great books,

ALL FREE

Click below to select the book you’re going to curl up with this weekend.

http://www.reneepawlish.com/promo

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Happy Reading!

 

Give a little back…

There comes a time in your life when it’s important to not only take, but to give back.

As you reach certain levels of success, you need to take somebody under your wing  to mentor.  Give back to your community and, in a broader spectrum, give back to the world.

I was taught this as a young child. But, of course, my parents didn’t call it ‘giving back’ they said you’re doing ‘what’s right’. We helped the lonely and the elderly who lived in our neighborhood by making sure their lawns were cut, they got occasional visits to keep them company, and treats like plates of homemade cookies. We did our part for church, too, making sure we were there for every cleanup and event the church sponsored. And we gave back to the school in forms of being part of the PTA or helping on class activities.

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It was right after I moved to Florida, getting a job with a man who was a community leader, I learned about giving back to the business community. He taught us it wasn’t just giving back money to associations and good causes, it was about giving of yourself. Giving time was  sometimes more important than giving money. A perfect example was after Hurricane Andrew hit Homestead Florida, many of the large nurseries were destroyed. Nurseries unaffected in other parts of the state sent down representatives and supplies to make sure those businesses demolished could rebuild. The made sure families affected would have food, water and shelter. These nurseries that helped didn’t make any money from their efforts; it was simply good will, and it was the right thing to do. This example of giving back made a lasting impression on me.

When I started my gardening business, I made sure I got involved in the community by joining the Chamber of Commerce and other non-profit organizations. Even if I didn’t have money to help these organizations, I had my time and efforts and I gave freely.

Now, as I enter a new stage of my life as a writer, I’m determined to give back once again. And, although I’m not as knowledgeable as other authors with more experience, I freely give what I can to help new authors starting out. Sometimes a kind word of encouragement is all another writer needs. Another way I give back is to read other people’s books and write honest reviews.

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You can easily do this, too.  Or, become a beta reader when you can. And don’t be afraid to promote another author’s book. By promoting other books in your own genre, you will also promote your own books. As more and more people become interested in the same style of writing as yours, you’ll find the sales increasing.

It’s exciting to be part of the writing community, and I’m thrilled to give back. I know most of us are introverts and tend to prefer working from within our own comfort zone, but with the use of the internet you can easily help another writer get through a  tricking plot point . Plus, I’m amazed at how many great friends I’m making.

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So, as a result, occasionally you’ll find I don’t post a traditional blog. Instead I’ll help support other author’s by posting a promotion. This will give you the chance as a reader to have access to new books and new writers you might not have known. It also gives these authors more exposure, which we all need.

I hope you will enjoy these promotions and take advantage of them. Remember if you enjoyed the book take a moment and let the writer know. Send an email or, even better, write a review on Amazon.

I think you’ll find it feels wonderful to give back!

Mystery Lover’s Treat!

FB-Cozy-Promo june 9-11, 2017

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Book lovers and readers of mystery, thriller & suspense, this ones for you!

Click on the link above and you’ll be open a site that will provide you with a great selection of books to download-

FOR FREE

Plus you could win in the  Kindle Giveaway!

Perfect timing for a weekend of mystery- June 9-11, 2017

Use a bit of Sense

When developing a character, I like to think of everything. it’s almost as if I place my character on it examination table.   I go over him from limb-to-limb, cell-to-cell, wondering what makes him tick.

I recently wanted to create a new character and take away one of his senses, but which one which would he lose? Then I thought, well which one would I lose willingly – or, at least, miss the least.

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Would have been my sense of sight? Would I miss watching a morning sunrise or looking into the face of a loved one? Would I miss looking into a garden seeing all the flowers in full bloom or watching a child take his first step? How could I enjoy a quiet snowfall or a thundering storm? No, this isn’t the sense I could lose.

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Maybe I wouldn’t mind losing the sense of smell? Goodness knows there’s enough things to smell throughout my day; the sweet scents coming from my garden flowers or the spicy fragrance from the herbs. Or, that home cooked meal, made from scratch, that you know will stay with you for the whole evening. Or the aroma of the first cup of coffee in the morning, helping wake you up to face your day. No, the sense of smell helps me get through the day, so I don’t want to lose that one either.

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What about the sense of hearing? I have two ears – would it be so awful to lose the sense of sound, or diminish the ability, from just one ear?  Then I remember the beautiful music that gets me through the day, and the sound of laughter from my friends as we share a quiet joke. Or the voice of the newscaster as he tells us what went on during the day and, most importantly, the sounds of my loved ones. No, even though I have two ears, this is one sense I do not want to lose either.

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And what about the sense of taste? It goes along with your sense of smell, but the sense of taste can also protect by keeping you from eating something that is bad. Yet, the special flavor of certain ingredients can help you devour a whole chocolate bar and smile afterwards. Certain distinguishing flavors can bring back memories of food  you’ve had before, like a seasonal fruit. There’s nothing like biting into that first strawberry of the season, or the Christmas cookies only gets baked once a year. While I might lose some weight if I lost my sense of taste, I wouldn’t want to give it up for one pound.

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Then there’s the sense of touch. This is sense can offer us protection by warning you if you are near something too hot or cold. It allows us the luxury of feeling a soft cashmere sweater on your skin, the sweet kiss from your lover. Or the sensation of the smoothness of our baby’s skin and the silkiness of your dog’s soft fur. I wouldn’t want to miss out on the joys the sense of touch can bring either.

I ponder long and hard, finally deciding I don’t want to lose any of my five senses. And it would be cruel-hearted to make my character loose one of theirs. How could I relate to what they’re going through when I can’t experience it myself? Besides, it would make for one miserable character.

So, cherish each of your senses and remember them as you write.

Let your characters feel all they are capable of. Weave each of the 5 senses into your words, so your reader knows what the character is feeling and experiencing.

 

Everyone loves a Villain

 

I recently spent an afternoon with my husband at one of the local tourist spots down here in Florida. I think you all know which one I mean…the main character has big ears and a long tail.

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Like about everybody else in the place I wanted to buy a souvenir. So, I was practical in this issue, and, since it was a hot sunny day, I decided on a ball cap. I examined the selection and saw all the favorite characters that everyone loves; the beautiful princess’s, cute animals and favorite cartoon characters. Then I found the one I had to have! It was embroidered around the cap with villains from the most popular stories and movies.  It surprised me that nobody else was picking it up to buy. It called out to me, with its deep purple color and my favorite villain characters. Characters that scared me when I was a child and made me laugh as an adult.

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This weekend as I was finishing up my first rough copy of the second book in my series, Storm Voices, and I had to do some serious thinking about the villain in my book. Because up until the ending, he’s been a very likeable character.

This made me realize how important the villain is to your story. It would be boring if everything was good in your story and nothing ever posed a challenge or a threat to your characters. Even cartoons have a villain character. It adds interest to the stories suspense, making the reader want to fight and cheer on the main character to defeat that evil villain.

Remember, you need to give your villain interest and depth. Give your reader a reason to cheer on the main character into defeating the villain. It’s up to the writer to make your reader love or hate the villain.

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You can create circumstances where the villain is a nice character and you feel sorry for him, or you can create circumstances where the villain is pure evil and you can’t wait to see him defeated. It’s critical, that your character is  strong; whether it’s the hero or the villain. In some of the best stories I’ve read by Agatha Christie; her hero turns out to be the villain. Now there’s a twist!

So, don’t flat-line your story with boring characters. You created a great hero, now give him the counterpart to make him shine. Make your villain the best you can, whether it be an evil persona or just somebody down on his luck making bad decisions.

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Remember, as a writer, it’s your job to create a villain that grabs your readers.

The Challenges We Face

Facing Challenges.

How do you react to a challenge?

Big or small, we’re faced with challenges every day. Some, it might be best to walk away from, but others can take your life in a whole new direction.

I’ve had serious challenges throughout the course of my life, as I’m sure you have. So I thought I’d share…

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The first one was in college I was in the landscape design program and I walked into a room full of men and three women. The instructor looked at us three women and said, “you’ll never make it through the first semester and you’ll never graduate”. Well, that put my back up against the wall and I accepted his challenge.  Surprise! I graduated with one of the highest grades in the design class.

Another time was right after I got married. I was working for a large design firm and the son-in-law of the owner approached me after I came back from my honeymoon. After congratulation me on getting married, he asked how long he could count on me to work before I got pregnant and left the firm. That was enough for me to look for other avenues of income. When the opportunity came for my husband and I to leave the area and move the Florida, we didn’t hesitate. And little did he know, my son wouldn’t arrive  for 13 years. He sure missed out on the benefit of my employment in those 13 years!

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Of course, being married and raising a child there’s all kinds of challenges that face you on a day-to-day basis. Medical issues pop up, school crisis are averted, and human dynamics are worked through. So far, I’ve been blessed and had few major crisis in this area.

But, I did face another personal challenge just recently, and that was a challenge involving writing…

I was challenged by a group of friends to pursue a lifelong dream and write a book. With a little bit of prodding and poking, I accepted the challenge, and, settled myself down to overcome one more challenge. My goal was to write a full-length book and know somebody read it.

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I overcame that challenge with flying colors I now have 8 books written in 2 different series, with the outlines for many more.

Yet, I found as I accepted this challenge there were many smaller hurdles to overcome. Probably the biggest for me was overcoming my spelling and grammar insecurities. I never seem have a problem finding a story to tell, my problem has always been getting it down on paper so others can enjoy it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m by no means perfect, and I still make a lot of the same mistakes, but at least I don’t  let them hold me back.

The other big challenge I faced was publishing independently. There were so many things to learn and it changes daily. Thankfully there is a good network of other writers that are willing to share their information and support.

Another challenge I faced in this writing process came from some fellow writers. Take part in the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). This meant I would attempt to write a 50,000-word novel in just 30 days.

I figured there was no way this would be possible, but, like every other challenge I imagined unattainable,  I somehow completed it. Since that first NaNoWriMo challenge, it has come a little easier for me. I’ve learned how to prepare and enjoy it. I’ve made some wonderful on-line friends who are more than willing to share what they  learned through their  writing challenges.

And through it all that is what has made each and every challenge achievable; the love and support of my family and friends.

Announcing…

It’s always exciting

when a book is published.

 

And I wanted to share my excitement with you!

 

 

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