All posts by Angela Booth

About Angela Booth

Copywriter Angela Booth's clients tell her she performs "word magic." Whether she's writing advertising materials, Web content, or ghostwriting for her clients, she's committed to helping them to achieve results, fast. Author of one of the first books about online business, Making The Internet Work For Your Business, Angela's written many business books which have been published by major publishers. She's an enthusiastic self-publisher and writing teacher.

Writing Journal 20: Planning Everything

Writing Journal 20: Planning Everything

My writing journal for Monday, September 1, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

An early start, with fiction and nonfiction. Managed 2,000 words on the novella (it’s steaming right along), and 1,500 on the nonfiction book.

Honey’s breakfast, and email. Then my breakfast, while I read over a couple of short stories from students, and make notes, for the students, and for Julia.

Next: planning.

Getting Things Done — you need a system

It’s the first day of the month, so I need to spend time planning. As I’ve mentioned, I use a modified form of the Getting Things Done system.

In GTD terms, Evernote is my Inbox. Everything gets dumped into Evernote. I sort it out at the end of the day, when I do my daily review and word counts.

Projects and tasks get dumped into OmniFocus and Things. Why two task managers? Honestly, I have no idea. I like OmniFocus because of the Forecast views, which Things doesn’t have. I use Things as an extension of Evernote, even though I use Reminders in notebooks in Evernote too.

And I use lots of paper… I have a large Behance Action book which I use with Circa paper, several other paper notebooks both small and large, AND I use index cards.

I think on paper; I remember something when I write it by hand. If I type it, I tend to forget. I tend to doodle a lot, too, when I’m working things out. So paper wins. :-)

Every page of paper gets snapped with Evernote’s camera. Most of these images — cluster diagrams, notes on a scene, ideas which crop up when I’m working on something else — are deleted in my weekly reviews. However, some I keep.

For example, I had a “warning” dream last week, and I’ll keep the notes I made on that. I have these kinds of dreams occasionally. The first time I had one was around a year BEFORE my life went to total cr*p. In the dream, I was in a car, driving down a very steep, narrow and curving road. I knew the road well. Then the brakes failed. This dream recurred for months. Did I pay attention to what was happening in my life? No, but I have ever since.

Whenever I get one of these kinds of dreams these days, I start to pay close attention to what’s happening.

Apropos of dreams: if you don’t keep a dream journal for your writing, start to keep one. Your journal can be a huge source of inspiration.

Monthly and weekly goals — create them

The first day of the month’s an excellent time to plan. You’ve got a whole month ahead of you — four weeks. What can you accomplish in those weeks? What would you like your life to be like a month from now?

I start my monthly planning session by creating some goals for the month. I write some notes about upcoming projects and tasks. Then I look back over the past month, and try to see what I could do better as well as what I’ve accomplished. We can always do better. :-)

Next, I work out what I need to do this week, as far as client deadlines, and my own deadlines, are concerned.

With my planning done, I move on to current projects.

Two video scripts this week

I’ve got a couple of scripts to do so I create some cluster diagrams, and do some research, while keeping the clients’ calls to action in mind.

Writing tip: whenever you’re writing copy, keep your client’s goals in mind.

Lunchtime — I need to run some errands, and stop in at the library to return some books.

I spend a couple of hours at the library, because I always seem to get more done there. I do more work on the scripts.

Then I write 500 words of a Christmas short story. My goal is to create an ebook of 25 Christmas stories,  more or less as writing exercises. I love Amazon. What’s not to like about putting your writing exercises online and selling them? ;-)

Back to the office to more student and client email. I make some notes so so that Julia can send out responses.

Next, the client blogging I didn’t get to yesterday. I create several more draft posts. I finish two more, and schedule them for publishing. I shoot off more messages to remind clients to send me images.

Done for the day. Time for the daily review, and word count.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Journal 19: Edits and Sunday Blogging

Writing Journal 19:  Edits and Sunday Blogging

My writing journal for Sunday, August 31, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

Fiction focus today

I received novella #3 back from the editor last night, so I’ve decided to focus on fiction this morning. I’m on-track for the nonfiction book, so that’s fine.

I slept in this morning (horrors), so I need to get caught up. It won’t be a full working day because it’s Sunday, which means I have commitments.

I managed to get a couple of timer sessions (35 minutes each) of novella #4 done, with 2,300 words. However, I’ll need to do a read-through because the characters aren’t reacting the way I expected they would. In a way, that’s fine, because the characters are starting to drive the book; in another way, it’s a disaster. Over the years, I’ve found that characters can drive a book right off a cliff. I may need to back up a couple of scenes.

Time for Honey’s breakfast.

Then my own breakfast, while reading email. I’m still hugely impressed with Mailbox. It’s a delight to use on a phone. It’s intelligent too. It picks up what you want to do with a message from how you’ve handled similar messages in the past. It offers to handle future messages for you in the same way.

Lots of student emails today. I’m a little behind on student feedback. I made some notes on student projects I read on my iPad last night. I’ve just got to call up Notability on my Mac this morning, and copy the notes to email, and send them off.

Edits of novella #3

I’ve looked the material over, and there isn’t much to do. However “much” is relative. It’s a long novella. I could have made it shorter, if I’d taken the characters in hand. :-) Not to worry, it will get done today, then it gets shipped off to the client.

I’ve got a lot of client blogging to do today. However, I’ll leave that for this afternoon. I’ll focus on the edits for now.

Whew — the edits are done. Time to leave it for now; before I’m late…

Back again: final read of novella #3

I’m back. I do a quick read of novella #3, and it’s time to focus on creating draft posts for my own and clients’ blogs.

Finally done. Sadly, not as many draft posts as I’d hoped to do. Enough for now. Time for the daily review, and word count. And that’s it for today. :-)

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Journal 18: Scrivener and Blogging

Writing Journal 18:  Scrivener and Blogging

My writing journal for Saturday, August 30, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

Firstly, thank you for the kind words, if you sent me a message, or called to say that you enjoy the journal entries, and that they inspire you when you see what writing for a living involves. That’s what I hoped the journal entries would do… :-)

Busy: fiction and nonfiction

After yesterday, I was determined to get a flying start on fiction and nonfiction, so I kept going until I had 2,000 words of each.

The novella’s progressing well. However, I needed to introduce one of the characters earlier. It’s a romance, so the sooner you get the romance moving along the better. Ideally that happens on the first page, or at least the first five pages.

I’d written some cute material. but it had to go. Now both main characters appear in the first scene. It’s still cute. :-) When you start a novel, or short story, there’s a lot to set up. Don’t try to get it “right”. Just get something written. You can fix it later.

So I wrote the first scene, then went back to writing the next scene I’d outlined. Usually, I’d wait to fill in scenes until I finished the first draft. Whatever works. :-)

Speaking of drafts.

Second drafts in Scrivener

Nicole Crail asked about “version control” of drafts in the Scrivener Community on Google+.

You don’t need to use versions when you use Scrivener.

Here’s what I said…

I use Snapshots, icon changes, labels and annotations for revisions, rather than saving versions, as such. Pretty much as Gwen Hernandez suggests in her excellent article.

I also use a lot of Collections, to work out character and plot arcs. I use Collections to remove characters too – if I create a search collection for a character’s name, and see that he appears in just a couple of scenes, that’s a clue that he probably isn’t all that important.

Scrivener’s tools are brilliant. And you can use Compile as often as you like. Before the first edit, I compile the material to MOBI, for a read-through, away from my desk. I suppose that’s a version, but I delete it immediately I’ve read it.

I do a lot of ghostwriting, so I often compile chapters to PDF, for clients for feedback.

When Scrivener was in beta, I’d save the entire file under another name, but I haven’t done that in years. Scrivener saves my backups to Dropbox automatically. The backups are there, all zipped and ready, in case disaster happens to the file. I’ve never had it happen, but it could. I look on the backups as versions, too.

Email – student feedback, and projects

Time for email, and Honey’s breakfast, then my own.

As always, there’s a mile of email. Lots of feedback for students. I can’t get to the longer material until this evening, so I use Send to Kindle.

I mentioned Notability yesterday. Now that it’s on Mac too, it makes it easier to grab my notes add them to email. I can make notes on Notability on my iPad, and they appear on my desktop, ready to use. Perfect.

Client blogging — draft posts

My eyes are on the clock, because I need to run errands this afternoon. (Sigh.) So I dive into clients’ blogs, to create a couple more draft posts. I manage to complete three drafts, and schedule them for next week. They’ll go out automatically.

I’ve got a boilerplate “SEND ME MORE STUFF TO BLOG!!” message which I send to three blogging clients. Of course, the boilerplate message is phrased more delicately than that, but it reminds them to send me what they have.

Errands…

Out to lunch, and to run errands.

Back too late to do anything except answer some email. A respectable word count today.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Journal 17: Web Writing, Fiction, and Parrots

Writing Journal 17:  Web Writing, Fiction, and Parrots

My writing journal for Friday, August 29, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

Rush gig: Web pages for a copywriting client

No fiction or nonfiction this morning. Last night I received a message from a client. He needs a set of Web pages in a hurry. I got up, made coffee, and started working on them immediately.

Result? I feel vaguely disoriented. My mind expects me to open Scrivener and work on my novella, and then the nonfiction book. The boys in the basement are upset. They’re yelling. :-)

I’ve drafted the Web pages, so it’s time to take a break, feed Honey, and check email.

Email: Mailbox is amazingly fast

Mailbox can’t sort my email as Gmail does, so I’m still opening the morning’s email in Gmail. Then I use Mailbox for the rest of the day.

After working with Mailbox throughout the day on my devices and Mac, Gmail-in-browser (Chrome) appears SLOW and sluggish. It’s a relief to close it down.

Mailbox creates its own labels in Gmail. That’s handy, because I can move messages in Gmail to Mailbox labels — Later, To Read — and deal with them in Mailbox.

I read somewhere that the developers wanted Mailbox to be more like messaging than email, and it has that feel. You can draft an email message in Mailbox on Mac, then open Mailbox on the iPad, and the message is there instantly, ready for you to complete and send.

Gmail has the BEST spam control

Using Mailbox has helped me to appreciate Gmail. You can add your iCloud accounts to Mailbox, so I’m seeing more spam than I normally do. All my other email accounts are directed to Gmail, because it detects spam wonderfully well. With Mailbox, you get the iCloud spam, as-is.

Email’s done, so it’s time to have my own breakfast, and then get back to writing the client’s Web pages.

After breakfast, it’s back to the rush copywriting job until it’s time for my walk.

Parrots everywhere: spring is coming

Lots of birds around today, mainly small honey-eating parrots, and the horrible Indian mynahs. They’re called “flying rats” for a reason. Mynahs have bullied native finches out of existence. We used to have finches in abundance, now they’re rare. I haven’t seen any in our garden in at least a couple of years, and that’s sad.

Eastern Rosella

According to Birdlife Australia — the parrots are Eastern Rosellas and Rainbow Lorikeets. They swoop across the road and in and out of bushes. Then they settle to feed on banksia flowers.

The Web pages are proofed, and off to the client.

Lunch at the computer; no time for our usual Friday lunch — and no hummingbird cake. (Sniff.)

After a busy morning, it takes an hour to catch up on email and phone calls.

I complete the draft of an article about Haiku Deck. Haiku Deck has saved me lots of time over the past year.

Back to the novella, at last

My brain’s fuzzy; I’m not in the mood for fiction, but I press on anyway. I read through what I have, make some notes and create a cluster diagram Before I know it, I’ve completed 1200 words.

On to nonfiction. After a couple of timer sessions, 1500 words, which is fine for today.

I need the rest of the afternoon to catch up on admin, so I turn up Spotify, and get on with it. Sigh… I do dislike administrative stuff, but needs must.

Notability arrives for the Mac — good news

One of my favorite iPad apps is available for the Mac. Great news. I use Notability for interviews, as well for planning. TC has an article on it. Apparently it’s popular with students who record lectures and make notes, and lawyers too.

Finally the day’s done. I do the daily review, and total my word count – and the week is done too.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

photo credit: Chip_2904 via photo pin cc

Presentation Apps: 5 Haiku Deck Tips

Presentation Apps: 5 Haiku Deck Tips

While there are many presentation apps, there are none which are as useful as Haiku Deck. Not only can you use this app for personal presentations, you can publish them on the Haiku Deck website, and share your decks with the world.

What’s Haiku Deck? Martin Smith nails it:

Haiku Deck is a magical visual merchandising tool… Haiku Deck combines visual marketing, tactics and strategy into an easy to use online marketing tool.

If you normally create presentations with PowerPoint or Keynote, you’ll be thrilled at how FAST you create them with Haiku Deck. Here’s why:

  • Instant images. You don’t need to buy images, or search for free images with CC licenses, or resize and otherwise mess with images. Consider how many more presentations you could create – and will enjoy creating – if you don’t have to spend time collecting images;
  • Instant formatting. Haiku Deck uses themes, so there’s no formatting. That said, you can easily start your next PP presentation in Haiku Deck by collecting the images you need there, then export your deck to PowerPoint.

PowerPoint

My Authentic Writing deck exported from Haiku Deck to PowerPoint.

Our first three tips cover presentations in general. The final two tips increase your creativity and productivity when you use Haiku Deck.

1. BELIEVE: Be Passionate

If you dislike presentations, focus on your enthusiasm. Become enthusiastic about your topic, and smile. Visualize yourself giving an upbeat, energetic presentation. Watch Steve Jobs. Here’s part of his 2010 keynote for the iPad. If you can match Jobs’s enthusiasm, you’ll give a great presentation.

2. Nouns. And Verbs. Keep It Simple

Although you can use bullet points in your presentations, don’t, unless you have a very specific reason for it. Bullet points deaden a presentation. Use nouns, and verbs. Check out my Authentic Writing deck – nouns and verbs.

Ray Bradbury’s a wonderful storyteller, and has a great writing strategy. He makes lists of nouns:

He began making long lists of nouns as triggers for ideas and potential titles for stories…

3. Rehearse. Then Be in the Moment

Why just nouns and verbs? So that you stay in the moment when you present. Simple slides, with images which make an impact on you and your audience force you to be present – you can’t read your notes. Rehearse your presentation, using notes, until you can give your presentation smoothly, without notes.

Then have fun with it. Interact with your audience. It’s not the end of the world if you have to go back a couple of slides because you forgot to mention something.

4. From Haiku Deck to PowerPoint, PDF, and the World

As we suggested, you can use Haiku Deck to kickstart your PowerPoint presentations. Create your deck, then export to PowerPoint.

Alternatively, export to PDF, to get full-sized images from their source.

Here’s Kent Gustavson’s PDF-export process:

“In preparing for my TEDx, I used the web app, and exported the presentation as a PDF, which allowed me to find the original images on Flickr, and insert them into a presentation that was at a higher resolution to the TED specifications.”

Once you’ve completed your Haiku Deck, you can embed the deck into your site or blog, and can send links to your social media accounts.

5. Let Haiku Deck Inspire You

Every blogger and content creator feels totally uninspired at times. Haiku Deck can help. Begin a new deck. Add a noun and a verb to a slide. Search for images.

I’ve found it helps to doodle as you do this, here’s why. Doodling helps creativity. The benefits of doodling:

.. include increased creativity, because you’re liberating your mind from traditional, linear and linguistic thinking and moving into a more organic thinking space, heightened information processing, heightened information retention and the ability to view content from a variety of different angles.

Keep adding slides to your Haiku Deck, and doodling. You’ll get inspired very quickly. When you’re ready to create content, start creating. Haiku Deck automatically saves your “inspiration”decks. You can work with them later, or just delete them.

Presentation Apps: 5 Haiku Deck Tips

My decks on Haiku Deck.

So there you have it. Give Haiku Deck a try. It’s a superb presentation app; you’ll speed through your presentations, and you’ll enjoy it.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Journal 16: Meetings

Writing Journal 16:  Meetings

My writing journal for Thursday, August 28, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

The novella is moving right along

No more hiccups with the novella. I like the world that I’m creating in it. I might set another novella in this particular world. Wrote 1,000 words this morning, even after spending 30 minutes researching old French titles and nobility. I couldn’t put the research off, because it affects the plot.

The nonfiction book is skipping along too; 1,000 words on that. I’ve got a lot to do today, so since the book’s on track, I wanted to get to email quickly.

I like Mailbox in general, but I’m used to Gmail sorting the mail for me. Although I didn’t like Gmail’s tabs initially, I’m used to them, and don’t want to deal with unsorted mail.  So when I saw that I had a couple of hundred messages staring at me this morning in Mailbox, I panicked and opened Gmail.

Once I dealt with the deluge, I went back to Mailbox. I love Mailbox’s idea of having messages pop back into the Inbox later in the day, but I wish that Mailbox would sort the email, as Gmail does.

Mailbox is still in beta however, so I won’t complain too much. I’m sure they’ve got lots of goodies planned. It’s perfect on devices; I used to hate checking email on my phone; Mailbox makes it fast. Elegant.

After spending a timer session responding to messages, I gave Honey her breakfast, and made some notes for Julia.

Next, student emails and projects. I’ve got a couple of meetings today, which means that I’m in a rush to get everything done. I eat breakfast at the computer.

I managed to get a lot done; the rest will have to wait until tomorrow or the weekend.

Out most of the day

Lunch with a writer friend. He’s recently jumped from his magazine writing gig to a gig with a PR company. We chat about Web content, and publishing.

Then off to the the meetings.

They went well, and were fun, but I got back very late.

After I’d returned phone calls, I only had a couple of timer sessions to fill, so I wrote some first draft material on a couple of copywriting projects and the day was over.

Before closing down, I edited the photos of whiteboards etc from the meetings in Evernote. Did you know you can edit images in Evernote very simply?

A quick Evernote tip: photos

After you’ve photographed something with Evernote’s camera, you can edit it inside Evernote, using any image editor on your computer.

Right-click the image, and choose Open With. Choose an image editor, and edit the image in the editor. When you save the image, the image updates itself inside Evernote. It’s fast, it’s brilliant, and it’s one of my favorite Evernote features.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

photo credit: Daniel E Lee via photopin cc

Writing Journal 15: Phone Coaching, Mailbox

Writing Journal 15: Phone Coaching, Mailbox

My writing journal for Wednesday, August 27, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

Yes! The words are flowing again

A great writing morning. Up early again, and 1,100 of novella #4 flowed easily. I would have managed more words, but needed to research a couple of character names. I do most research after the first draft, but character names are vital, so I needed to get a couple of 18th century French surnames right.

Next, I focused on the novella’s first two scenes. I gave one of the main characters more to do (rather than just talk), and made him stronger. He’s now got more potential for change, which magically made the later scene, which I wrote today, stronger too. When in doubt, always go back to the beginning. Kick it up a notch.

Tip: when you’re writing fiction, have people do stuff. Don’t just say “he was a mean old man” — show him kicking the cat when no one’s looking.

If you follow the strategies in Authentic Writing, you’ll discover some of these simple tricks for yourself.

I managed 2,000 words of nonfiction. If I keep this up, I’ll finish the ebook before the deadline. That’s always a good thing.

Julia’s sent off novella #3 to the editor. Julia likes the book, so that’s good too.

It rained overnight, and it’s still raining. No time for a walk this morning. I’ve got errands to run, so I need to get some client copywriting projects under way, because I’ll be gone for most of the morning.

This afternoon, I have some client and student coaching. In between all that, I need to work on another couple of blog posts for clients. And complete the client presentation. Another hour on that should do it.

Honey’s arthritis is making her stiff this morning. She still gobbles her breakfast. She’s always been a good eater.

Phone coaching sessions

I had lunch with a friend who runs a local bookkeeping service for small businesses. We talked about Google+, which I enjoy, and which she’s just starting to use.

In the office again, to more email — and a surprise. I received an invitation to the beta of Mailbox for Mac.

Mailbox is owned by Dropbox. If you link Mailbox and Dropbox, you get a free gig of storage. Here’s a review of Mailbox. I like the threading; it’s easier to follow conversations.

First impressions: it feels like Sparrow — an email app I paid for. Then stopped using because of the bugs. Once the bugs were ironed out, Google acquired it. Mailbox is much faster than Sparrow; Sparrow took forever to download emails.

Next, preparation for the coaching sessions, and the sessions themselves.

Then onward to a couple of quick blog posts for clients blogs. They’re already drafted. I added a few paragraphs to each, and they were done and scheduled. They would have been faster, but I had to hunt for images. I meant to find more images last weekend, but didn’t get around to it.

And the day’s done. Daily review; word counts respectable.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Journal 14: Editing with Scrivener

Writing Journal 14: Editing with Scrivener

My writing journal for Tuesday, August 26, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

Novella: write and EDIT, again

Up at 5AM, to a very sluggish start. I did a cluster diagram — but the words wouldn’t flow.

I shouldn’t complain. I had a good run, of very good days. :-) It happens like this sometimes. I know what the problem is, I need to get the two main characters from point A, to point D, and the emotional connection isn’t there.

It will come. I know I need to make the beginning stronger. I’ll reread what I have later today. Maybe I’ll be able to write a few more words.

Despite the dribble of words I managed to write 1,000 of them. However, it took me twice as long as usual. At one point, I would have settled for 500 words.

I’m still editing novella #3. I need to get that off to the contracted editor today, so I don’t have time for nonfiction. I’m pleased now that I was ahead of schedule on that book, otherwise I would have been behind.

I’m hoping that a dry spell hasn’t set in. Dry spells happen with your writing occasionally; all you can do is press on.

Time for Honey’s breakfast. It’s raining. How annoying. I need to walk off my bad mood; I shouldn’t get frustrated, but I do. A walk would help.

Email. Then breakfast.

Next, I prepare for a phone coaching session with a writer.

The coaching session goes well. We’ve scheduled a follow-up for the weekend.

I’ve got to complete a presentation for a client this week. I’ve come up with some ideas, so I pitch them to him on the phone.

He chooses the idea he likes. So, I need to draft it, and choose the number of slides, before I worry about design. I’ll be passing this off to a designer. However, it’s easier to give the designer an idea of the feeling I want for each slide by choosing fonts and images which give the right mood, and help convey the message.

I check email, and make some notes, so that Julia can work up the quotes.

Lunch time already. Time for a break to run some errands.

Then back to novella #3. I need to get it done. No excuses. Scrivener makes editing easy. I use the split screen function a lot, and I also have lots of Quick Ref documents open.

How to edit with Scrivener

These edits are taking much longer than I thought they would. I know why — the novella is much longer than I’d imagined it would be.

I wrote a blog post on how to edit fiction with Scrivener.

FINALLY,  it’s done. I send Julia the Scrivener file, so she can do quick read and check, before sending it to the editor.

This editor is fast, so it should be back by the weekend. At that stage, I’ll read through it again, change what needs changing, maybe add a little more material. Then it goes to the proofreader.

What a LONG day. A final check of email, then my daily review, and word counts. Fingers crossed that tomorrow flows more smoothly. :-)

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Journal 14: Short Stories Sell

Writing Journal 14: Short Stories Sell

My writing journal for Monday, August 25, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

Novellas

Up at 5AM, eager to write. Did more outlining on the current novella, which is #4, and wrote 1,100 words. I could have written more, but spent one timer session to researching so that I can create the meta data for novella #3.

I spent an hour reading #3, in preparation for the edit. I need to get my edit finished, so that I can send off it off to the contracted editor. I promised her the material today, thinking that I could get it done over the weekend, but that didn’t happen.

Also wrote 1,000 words of nonfiction on the client’s book. I’m a little ahead of where I should be, so I stole time from this project for the novella.

Breakfast for Honey, and for me, while reading email. We get a lot of email over the weekend, because students complete their exercises, and are impatient for feedback. So, email takes a little longer today.

Time for a walk, and then time to sort out the week’s schedule with Julia.

Next, I work on a couple of copywriting projects from last week. I always like to leave a couple of days between writing, and editing, to clear my mind. They’re fine, so Julia can send them to the clients.

Blog posts. One for a client blog, and Short Stories Sell, for the freelance writing blog.

I also wrote a blog post for the Just Write a Book Blog, Write a Novel, or a Short Story?

Lunch, at my computer, reading students’ projects.

Short stories SELL (for the first time in decades)

Readers buy short stories. I know that from my experiences with publishing my own fiction to Amazon, and ghostwriting fiction for clients.

Writers think that there’s a catch… Why do short stories sell on Amazon?

I’m sure that it’s because we’re all pressed for time. I download a short story to read because I have a few minutes to relax, and I’m in the mood for a story of that genre.

In the days when I bought hardcover and paperback books, and visited the library every week, I felt obliged to read everything I hauled home. I went to all that trouble, so I should read the books, right? :-) Today, I’ve got 2,000 ebooks on my Kindle. I may read a chapter or three, or I may read the entire ebook.

Consider too, Kindle Unlimited. Readers can download ten ebooks at a time. Why not download a short story? They can finish a story quickly.

So that’s my theory on why short stories sell now: readers like them because they’re a quick read.

You don’t have to write a novel to justify your price

Writers tend to think that if they write a short story, they have to give it away for free, or sell it for 99 cents. Nonsense. Sell your story for $2.99.

Client deadline

Next, I’m on deadline for a long article I’m ghostwriting for a client. I had a chat with him last week to get material. Now I need to add the additional material, and write another draft.

I can chop the article into separate documents in Scrivener, and then drag the snippets around. Then, if I like the structure of the article in Scrivenings mode, I can redo the transitions, and it’s done. God bless Scrivener. Saves so much time.

That’s it for today. :-)

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Journal 13: Closing Programs, and Blogging Preparation

Writing Journal 13:  Closing Programs, and Blogging Preparation

My writing journal for Sunday, August 24, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

Novella: clustering and outlining

Up at 5AM as usual. Yawning after a late night with student phone coaching.

So, just 1,000 words of fiction this morning. I spent an hour doing cluster diagrams and creating a full outline of the novella. Now that I know the characters, the outline is easy to create.

If you’re a pantser, I encourage you to outline, even if you only outline a few scenes ahead. Fiction is all about emotion. Think about the emotional journey your characters — and readers — will take.

They start in one emotional space, and end in another. You need to show that journey, in scenes. Dig underneath the surface emotions. If your character is sad, what lies underneath that sadness? What images appear in your character’s mind?

You can do a lot of digging in your next draft(s). However, if you think about what you’re doing in your first draft, you’re laying the foundations of a strong book.

Consider your character’s flaws, too. I wrote about character flaws here.

Next, on to nonfiction, another 2, 500 words. I mark the areas in which I need to do research with XXXs.

Email, and Honey’s breakfast.

No time to walk today.

Writing programs closing — 5 close on August 30

We’ve got many writing programs, so we’re withdrawing all those programs we’re not actively promoting.

I chose the programs which will close on August 30, and wrote a short blog post for the freelance writing blog.

Time for my own breakfast, while reviewing student exercises. Lots of email messages, and lots of updates on Trello. I set up boards for students on Trello, because it eliminates the fuss of email.

I downloaded Folia yesterday. It might become more useful than Trello. Here’s a review of Folia on TNW.

I’ve started using it, and hope that I’ll be able to use it for writing courses.

Next, I need to create a couple of short videos for students, so that takes us up to lunchtime. It’s Sunday, so lots of things to do, and no more writing time until late afternoon.

Sunday blogging; drafts and more drafts

It’s Sunday, so it’s blog preparation time. I sort through all the blog post ideas in Evernote, and create draft posts for my own and clients’ blogs.

I didn’t get a chance to read through the third novella last night. I got caught up in reading students’ projects, then phone coaching. Finally, I was just too tired.

I still need to sort out the meta data for the novella, and edit the first two novellas, adding links to the others in the back matter.

I’ve done my daily review, and totted up the word counts, so they’re done, and I’m done for the day too.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.