What Are You Reading?: June 17th

I changed up the title a little, mostly because a lot of the nonfiction books that I have lined up to read have titles that are about a mile long, and I could not find a way to list them in the title without truncating said title so much that you could not determine what book I was talking about.  Anywho…

I finished up last week’s books sometime around Wednesday, and I spent the next two days thinking of ways to apply those techniques to my writing process for a week or two to see if they added to my production or subtracted from it.  I will start testing those on Monday, when my writing routine picks back up.  (I rarely write on the weekends.  I use Saturday and Sunday to schedule announcements, format books, make book covers, and so on.)

This week, I will be reading Successful Self-Publishing:  How to Self-Publish and Market your Book in Ebook and Print by Joanna Penn and Fat Girl Hiking by Juniper Shaw.

I chose Joanna Penn’s book because I am beginning to up my game when it comes to publishing, both nonfiction and fiction, and I needed more information on how to make my adventure as successful as possible.  I love her podcast, and I listen to it as often as I can.  Especially when I need the inspiration to get off my behind and get to work.

Fat Girl Hiking is a review request from a brand-new author.  Juniper asked me to read her book and leave an honest review almost a month ago, and due to school getting out, kids in general, and life, well, I haven’t gotten to it yet.  So I am adding that to my reading list for this upcoming week.

What are you planning to read this week?

What Are You Reading? – Week of June 4

So, I am trying this new thing to get me to read more because, honestly, I haven’t been doing a great job reading books as much as I used to.  Okay, let’s me honest.  I haven’t read a book in almost two months.

That is so not me.

So, every Saturday, I will post what I will be reading in the upcoming week.  I will also be writing reviews for them as soon as I can, but I don’t know when they will be posted on the blog here, yet.  I have a lot of catch-up to do with my reviews.

This week, I will be reading The Successful Author Mindset: A Handbook for Surviving the Writer’s Journey by Joanna Penn and Lifelong Writing Habit: The Secret to Writing Every Day: Write Faster, Write Smarter by Chris Fox.

I purchased both of these in the e-book format simply because it’s easier for me to keep up with one tablet reader than it is for me to keep up with two paperback books, especially with as much as I am on the go with the kids.  And considering how hard I am on paperback books, I really didn’t want to mess up one of them by shoving it in my bag over and over again when I have to get up and walk a child into an appointment or something along those lines.

So, anywho, this is what I am reading this week.  I’m hoping that these two books will get me back on track so that I can get back to writing.  I have let myself be out of the game for far too long.

World-Building Series: Special Item Creation

As my writing year progresses, I am finding that I am utilizing tools in my process that I have not mentioned in my Story Workbook series or anywhere else on my blog, but I use them so often that I have taken the time to template them for ease-of-use.  I have also begun referring to these tools in my prompt collections, and since I had so much trouble finding premade ones on the internet when I first started using them, I have decided to make the ones I created available for you to download and use as often as you wish.

This is an eight-part series.  Every Monday for the next eight weeks, I will share one worksheet and go over a few examples that I use them for.  I will be presenting them to you in the order in which my brain creates a story: Lands, Creatures, Races, Deities, Characters, Buildings, Vehicles, and Special Items.  This is, under no circumstances, the way you have to create a world or a story–this is just how much brain puts the “world pieces” together.  This series will conclude on April 3rd.

Well, this is the final week of my World-building worksheet series. I hope that you have enjoyed it and that the worksheets I have provided have been helping your keep the facts straight.  This week, I am sharing my last worksheet, the Special Item Creation Worksheet.  This is another one of those that I only seem to use when I am writing something in the fantasy genre, occasionally in the science fiction genre.  I use this sheet mainly when I am writing a story where the entire journey revolves around a single magical or mystical item.  Where would Lord of the Rings be without the One Ring?  How about the Hammer of Thor?  How about Raistlin Majere’s staff?  A few of those examples don’t have entire books focusing on them, but they are still important to the story or the series, nonetheless, so it was important that the details about those items stayed the same through all of the stories. And although I do not use this worksheet very often, it is my favorite one to use because I can create anything magical, mystical, or mythical, and I can give that item its own story.

Use these worksheets any way you wish to create your world.  Feel free to share them–just link back to my page when you do!

special-item-creation-sheet

Story Workbook Series: Series Wrap-Up

If you have been following this series since I began it back in November 2016, then you should have most of a Story Workbook in front of you.  It may not be pretty, but you have gotten the information down.  It’s out of your head, and it is down on paper so it cannot be forgotten.

And that is the point of a story workbook.

Because you will forget it.

So, if you take anything away from this series, let it be this:  WRITE IT DOWN!

It doesn’t have to be organized, but let’s face it, being organized makes it a great deal easier to find those pesky details from book one or paragraph four that you can’t seem to remember off the top of your head in book three or in the final paragraph of your story.  But it does have to be written down and, preferably, in the same notebook or folder.

So, now that you have finished your story workbook, and you know everything there is to know about your world and your characters, let’s go write the book.

I hope you enjoyed this series!  I had a blast writing it.

World-Building Series: Vehicle Creation

As my writing year progresses, I am finding that I am utilizing tools in my process that I have not mentioned in my Story Workbook series or anywhere else on my blog, but I use them so often that I have taken the time to template them for ease-of-use.  I have also begun referring to these tools in my prompt collections, and since I had so much trouble finding premade ones on the internet when I first started using them, I have decided to make the ones I created available for you to download and use as often as you wish.

This is an eight-part series.  Every Monday for the next eight weeks, I will share one worksheet and go over a few examples that I use them for.  I will be presenting them to you in the order in which my brain creates a story: Lands, Creatures, Races, Deities, Characters, Buildings, Vehicles, and Special Items.  This is, under no circumstances, the way you have to create a world or a story–this is just how much brain puts the “world pieces” together.  This series will conclude on April 3rd.

This week I am sharing my Vehicle Creation Sheet.  Again, not another one that I use very often, but it does have its uses.  It’s another one of those issues where sometimes you just have to remember the details of something you have created, so it’s just easier to write it all down in one place, draw a little picture to give you an idea of what you are talking about, and then file it for later use.  Have fun with this one.

Use these worksheets any way you wish to create your world.  Feel free to share them–just link back to my page when you do!

vehicle-creation-sheet

World-Building Series: Building Creation

As my writing year progresses, I am finding that I am utilizing tools in my process that I have not mentioned in my Story Workbook series or anywhere else on my blog, but I use them so often that I have taken the time to template them for ease-of-use.  I have also begun referring to these tools in my prompt collections, and since I had so much trouble finding premade ones on the internet when I first started using them, I have decided to make the ones I created available for you to download and use as often as you wish.

This is an eight-part series.  Every Monday for the next eight weeks, I will share one worksheet and go over a few examples that I use them for.  I will be presenting them to you in the order in which my brain creates a story: Lands, Creatures, Races, Deities, Characters, Buildings, Vehicles, and Special Items.  This is, under no circumstances, the way you have to create a world or a story–this is just how much brain puts the “world pieces” together.  This series will conclude on April 3rd.

This week, I am sharing my Building Creation Sheet.  Sometimes, you just have a building that you need to remember information on.  Either your character lives there or they spend a great deal of time throughout your novel in this building, so you need to know that the tapestry of the lion is between the two windows, and that the cracked pane of glass is in the lower left side of the window to the right of the lion tapestry.  Or maybe you need to remember that the third step on the stairwell creaks.  Little details matter, and they can be so hard to remember when you are trying to get your book down on paper and out into the world for others to read.

Use these worksheets any way you wish to create your world.  Feel free to share them–just link back to my page when you do!

building-creation-sheet

World-Building Series: Character Creation

As my writing year progresses, I am finding that I am utilizing tools in my process that I have not mentioned in my Story Workbook series or anywhere else on my blog, but I use them so often that I have taken the time to template them for ease-of-use.  I have also begun referring to these tools in my prompt collections, and since I had so much trouble finding premade ones on the internet when I first started using them, I have decided to make the ones I created available for you to download and use as often as you wish.

This is an eight-part series.  Every Monday for the next eight weeks, I will share one worksheet and go over a few examples that I use them for.  I will be presenting them to you in the order in which my brain creates a story: Lands, Creatures, Races, Deities, Characters, Buildings, Vehicles, and Special Items.  This is, under no circumstances, the way you have to create a world or a story–this is just how much brain puts the “world pieces” together.  This series will conclude on April 3rd.

This week I am sharing my Character Creation Sheet.  This is, by far, the most used of my writing worksheets.  I keep a stash of these printed out and on-hand at all times.  When you are filling out this packet, don’t feel intimidated if you can’t answer some of the questions immediately, or at all.  Some stories don’t require the amount of investment in your character as some others do.  For a short story, and maybe even for a novella, you may not have to fill in a large majority of this packet of questions.  For novels, you may find yourself writing in the margins because you are out of room in the boxes.

Use these worksheets any way you wish to create your world.  Feel free to share them–just link back to my page when you do!

character-creation-sheet

World-Building Series: Deity Creation

As my writing year progresses, I am finding that I am utilizing tools in my process that I have not mentioned in my Story Workbook series or anywhere else on my blog, but I use them so often that I have taken the time to template them for ease-of-use.  I have also begun referring to these tools in my prompt collections, and since I had so much trouble finding premade ones on the internet when I first started using them, I have decided to make the ones I created available for you to download and use as often as you wish.

This is an eight-part series.  Every Monday for the next eight weeks, I will share one worksheet and go over a few examples that I use them for.  I will be presenting them to you in the order in which my brain creates a story: Lands, Creatures, Races, Deities, Characters, Buildings, Vehicles, and Special Items.  This is, under no circumstances, the way you have to create a world or a story–this is just how much brain puts the “world pieces” together.  This series will conclude on April 3rd.

This week I am featuring the Deity Creation Worksheet.  Not all worlds have gods and goddesses, and even those that do have the religious infrastructure do not always center around them.  However, many fantasy stories do.  Take Dragonlance, for example.  Krynn and its inhabitants suffer at the hands of Takhisis all the time, and many of them offer prayers to Paladine throughout the many novels.   I will admit that I do not use this sheet as often as the others, but I do find it very useful when I need it, so I wanted to share it.

Use these worksheets any way you wish to create your world.  Feel free to share them–just link back to my page when you do!

deity-creation-sheet

Story Workbook Series: Part 5: Countries/Realms

Week before last, we went over continents and large land masses and how I set them up within the World section of my Story Workbooks.  As I said before, this is just the way I set my workbook up and this is the information that I tend to include because it is important to my way of creating.  You can organize your workbook and include any information that you wish.

After you have set up your workbook with continent tabs, country sub-tans, city/town sub-sub-tabs and so on, you have to start detailing your world.  I have provided a graphic below that includes the majority of the information that I use.  You don’t have to include all of this information, but remember that the culture and society that your character grew up in will greatly affect the way he responds to society as an adult.  A character who grew up in a matriarchal society will treat women with more reverence and respect than a character who grew up in a patriarchal society, most likely.  So please fill in as much of this information as you can.

2017-02-28Another thing I include is creatures and races.  Any forests or areas uninhabited by sentient beings, I list with a tabbed section and I draw a rough map and populate it with creatures.  It helps me keep track of what can and can’t exist in the climate I created there.

If any races gather in a specific region who wouldn’t normally be there, I note that as well.

Any detail you come up with, write it down.  When you are writing, you have to immerse your reader in your world, and it is hard to pull off if you do not know your world well enough.  So, create your world.  Draw in as many of the details as you can.

And it’s okay if you can’t come up with all the details now.  When we start working on the cities and towns in the next segment, you can come back and add in details as you need to.

This concludes the Countries/Realms overview.  I hope that this layout helps you as you are creating your world and your story workbook.

World-Building Series: Race Creation

As my writing year progresses, I am finding that I am utilizing tools in my process that I have not mentioned in my Story Workbook series or anywhere else on my blog, but I use them so often that I have taken the time to template them for ease-of-use.  I have also begun referring to these tools in my prompt collections, and since I had so much trouble finding premade ones on the internet when I first started using them, I have decided to make the ones I created available for you to download and use as often as you wish.

This is an eight-part series.  Every Monday for the next eight weeks, I will share one worksheet and go over a few examples that I use them for.  I will be presenting them to you in the order in which my brain creates a story: Lands, Creatures, Races, Deities, Characters, Buildings, Vehicles, and Special Items.  This is, under no circumstances, the way you have to create a world or a story–this is just how much brain puts the “world pieces” together.  This series will conclude on April 3rd.

This week, I am sharing my Race Creation Worksheet.  For most genres, you won’t have to worry too much about creating races because well, humans will be pretty much it, but for science fiction and fantasy, which are my preferred genres to work in, including other races kind of goes without being said.  What would Lord of the Rings be without the elves of Rivendell, the hobbits of the Shire, and so on?  I use this worksheet to set up the culture and lifestyle of any sentient being in my current work.  If it can form a society with trade, laws, social norms, etc, it needs a Race Creation Sheet.

Use these worksheets any way you wish to create your world.  Feel free to share them–just link back to my page when you do!

race-creation-sheet