New Home #movingblogs

1 Comment

Hi everyone my author and Stitch Says blogs now have a new home!!!!

http://ahowland.org/wordpress/

Here you can find everything. It’s still a working process, but all the blogs and comments are there. You can link to other social media and still enjoy my blogs!

Author Ashley Howland

Author Ashley Howland

Thank you for joining me here – I look forward to seeing everyone commenting on my new site. As always have fun!

Back to the grindstone #amediting

Leave a comment

I’m having issues with wordpress, which is making my blogs difficult. I have my tech guy (husband bless him) on to it so hopefully will be fixed.
Back to editing, so your amazing story has returned from someone else… They liked it, but there are some areas to improve. Well I would certainly hope so. Its not like you want it to be perfect. There’s always room for improvement. That doesn’t mean you have to take all their suggestions, but read and note because it will make you think about your writing. The whole process is to have the best story possible, but also to make you the best writer you can be.

image

Learn from every step, especially if you have a writing buddy. They are there to mentor you, use them. Once you have taken those suggestions it is time to put tgem into action. Get back in there and either add, delete or even rewrite your story. Oh and as always have fun!

Writer’s Reveal: Advertising #amwriting

7 Comments

Taking a break from Editing to do our Writer’s Reveal post!
writers-reveal-logo
We’re back into it and amazingly it’s February already!!! So this month’s writer’s reveal topic is advertising…
Generally when I see that word I run. I hate ads, particularly on TV. They rarely inspire me to buy anything and are a general waste of time. The only good thing is they give you time to do something else without missing your favourite show. This is usually important to me because I never only do one thing at a time.
However I am an author now and whether I like it or not Advertising is something I need to focus on. So I try. I use social media for the most part. I have posters, pictures and of course this blog to advertise my books. I try to do it without being annoying. This means not just posting about my books. Of course the only reason I am on social media is because I am an author. So everything I do is really about my books. It’s just not always in your face “READ MY BOOKS, BUY MY BOOKS” Although if you do that would be wonderful!!!
So if I hate ads so much what makes me think other people will buy my books from an ad??? Well I don’t actually think it works very well. However the only way to get your stuff out there is to advertise in some format. After all if no one reads your book as there any point in writing it? In my case probably because my kids will read them, but I much prefer other kids to enjoy my books too. So I advertise.
untitled
I’m not very good at it. This is my plan to improve my advertising in 2014:
• Keep blogging (have been focusing on my writing processes so far this year – really enjoy this)
• Keep helping others advertise their books – my Stitch Says Blog is for author interviews and reviews, happy to help others because I know how hard advertising is!
• Improve my webpage – yep it’s a slow working process, but I am determined to get it right!
• Keep using social media – Face book, twitter, blogs and pinterest are my favourites.
• Hand out stickers, postcards, etc whenever I can
• Do another Author event (had a book launch last year and that was awesome)

Most importantly I intend to keep learning! The only way to be more successful is to keep trying. Happy for any advice in this area…
To see what the other members of the Writer’s reveal group think on this topic visit:

http://jaycwolfe.com.

http://www.aparentinglife.com
http://www.melissawrites.com.au

http://imaginecreatewrite.blogspot.com

http://emhawker.blogspot.com

http://havealaughonme.com/

As always – have fun!

The next step #amediting

2 Comments

576392_10150860055273112_1166455246_n

No we’re not even close to this step… Miles to go. So you’ve read it aloud to some kids who have picked holes in your plot. Go back and fix them. Then read again (aloud or to yourself). Once this is done it’s time to get some professional help. Now that doesn’t mean paying a fortune. I just think getting someone to assess or edit your story can be of great assistance. You can join a writing group (online or in person) or pay someone. Certainly at some stage I will pay for a professional edit. This is essential because there is nothing worse than finding some glaring error like a he instead of a she when reading a really great book. Your book is going to be great, so give it the best chance.

When you get other people to read your book remember their opinion is exactly that… Listen, take heed and change what you need to change to make your book perfect. If you don’t agree don’t change it. I like to have a conversation with myself (yes I’m nuts), but put yourself in the reader’s position. Me critical and reflect on how your story can be perfect.

Some advice when choosing someone to edit or assess your stories:
1. Best not to choose family members. They are either too polite or unnecessarily harsh – either way there are arguments. Leave them until the book is published. They buy it and will love it because you wrote it!
2. Find someone who you trust to be honest. I have had my books assessed and edited by Sally Odgers. This is great because I read her books all the time. My kids love them, so I know her writing style. She’s also affordable and is an excellent editor. So find someone you can trust.
3. If all else fails and you can’t send your book off that’s fine, maybe you’re not ready. Do a writing course, join a group, get to know other authors.
4. Most importantly believe in yourself!

You are one step closer to submitting that book – awesome, have fun!

Loud and Proud #amediting

Leave a comment

IMG_1703

This is Stitch and Chewie’s favourite part of the whole writing process (next to making the material of course!). Yep it’s time to read that story out loud. Now my dogs love to come down for story time and they are wonderful, but they don’t fix holes in the plot. Stitch groans – not sure if that’s because it’s bad or because Chewie is usually lying on him… So I have two other willing recruits for this part of the editing process. My girls. No one can pick a hole in you plot like six and five year olds. I read them the story and they tell me what they think. This works two ways.

20130817_120323

The first is when you read a loud you tend to read what is actually written. Well more closely that when you read in your head. Often reading to yourself is a case of what your brain tells you it says, not what it actually says. So reading out loud is important. Plus if you write children’s books you want parents or teachers to read your stories out loud. The need to flow nicely.

Second: I write for kids, so if my kids don’t get it then I’m not on the right track. It helps that my girls are book worms and have always had a love for story time. They are never backward at telling me when something doesn’t work.

The down side… well it’s not really a downside, just an interesting note. Since I have been reading my manuscripts out loud to the girls I have generated many more writing ideas. How so… well they come up with great suggestions. They even use my characters in their own creative play. At the moment they are sharing an imaginary friend. A fairy named Fidget…. Who I created… Needless to say Fidget now has a whole host of stories I need to write.

The only other issue is my girls don’t quite understand how long it takes to publish a book. So after I read it to them they want to take the finished product to school to share… I’m not that quick, sorry girls!

I recommend reading out loud. Either to yourself or someone else.. give it a try oh and as always have fun!

Editing – Where do I start??? #amediting

1 Comment

1460094_460682334040896_1698185310_n

The same could be said about editing, but you just have to get in there and do it. I set myself daily goals – four chapters, or something like that. It really depends on the size of the story. However that actually comes later. The very first part of editing is to read your story – straight through. I print a copy (you may be able to read from the computer, but that is too hard for me). I do this with a pencil in hand. It’s not about going through every word here. To me this first read through is just to see if I have a story or a mess. Usually it’s an opportunity to note things that haven’t worked and to pick up glaring typing errors. I don’t spend too much time on each page – just quick notes where they are required.

I don’t know if that works for every one, but have a go. Do a first run through and see what you have.

Have to laugh the first time I did this to a completed manuscript was Ghostnapped. I remember reading it and saying to my Husband “I like my story!” I can laugh now, because it seems silly, but that was a big step for me. It meant I was ready to move on as a writer.

Recently I re read one the manuscripts I am editing and my gut reaction was “wow that was like a real story!” Which is stupid considering I now have three published books and a handful of stories in anthologies, but it is still surreal to me. In some ways I think that helps me as a writer. Certainly it pushes me to keep improving. Must get back to the editing (three chapters to go today!!!!) until next time – have fun!

Now for the hard part #amediting

Leave a comment

The first draft is done… you can lie back in the shade and relax…
Laughing
Well for a while anyway. Now you need to begin the hard part, EDITING!!! It is also one of the most important parts. This month I will explore the editing process.

There are a lot of authors out there who are probably much better at this than me. Editing is like everything else. It’s a learning process. I am still learning, but am definitely getting better. I am a firm believer in professional editing, but you need to do a lot of work (some more than others) before you get there. This month it won’t be a how to guide, just a look at what I have discovered and learnt as I have progressed as an author!

Watch this space for lots of interesting ideas, that may help you in your editing process and as always – have fun!

Older Entries

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,272 other followers

%d bloggers like this: