If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

October Interviews
10/2 Debra H. Goldstein, Two Bites To Many
10/10 Connie Berry, A Legacy of Murder
10/17 Lida Sideris, Double Murder or Nothing
10/23 Toni L. P. Kelner writing as Leigh Perry, The Skeleton Stuffs A Stocking
10/30 Jennifer David Hesse, Autumn Alibi

Saturday Guest Bloggers:
10/5 Ang Pompano
10/12 Eyes of Texas Anthology Writers
10/19 Neil Plakcy

WWK Bloggers: 10/26 Kait Carson


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Lyrical Press will publish Kaye George's Vintage Sweets mystery series. The first book, Revenge Is Sweet, will be released in March. Look for the interview here on 3/11.

Shari Randall will be writing again for St. Martin's, perhaps under a pseudonym. We look forward to reading Shari's Ice Cream Shop Mystery series debuting next year. Congratulations, Shari!

Susan Van Kirk's A Death At Tippett Pond was released on June 15th. Read E. B. Davis's interview with Susan.

KM Rockwood's "Frozen Daiquiris" appears in The Best Laid Plans: 21 Stories of Mystery & Suspense, edited by Judy Penz Sheluk. The anthology was released on June 18th.

Fishy Business anthology authors include KM Rockwood, Debra Goldstein, and James M. Jackson. This volume was edited by Linda Rodriguez.

Please read Margaret S. Hamilton and Debra Goldstein's short stories (don't ask about their modus operandi) in a new anthology, Cooked To Death Vol. IV: Cold Cut Files.

Warren Bull's Abraham Lincoln: Seldom Told Stories was released. It is available at: GoRead: https://www.goread.com/book/abraham-lincoln-seldom-told-stories or at Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/ydaklx8p

Grace Topping's mystery, Staging is Murder was released April 30.


Saturday, January 27, 2018

A Plotting and a Planning by Kait Carson

No resolutions this year. Which is good, considering that although I am writing this in early January (and shivering under SW Florida freeze warnings), by the time you read this I’d have broken most of the resolutions. Turns out there is a reason for that, and a solution, and it’s similar to my writing style.

As 2017 faded into 2018, newspapers and blogs filled with stories suggesting goal setting as the avenue to make lasting changes. Resolutions, they say, are all or nothing and once broken, stay that way. Goals provide a different avenue. They can be broken down into small, attainable, chunks. Something that can be measured and achieved. These small successes build on each other until, voila – on December 31, 2018, the goal is accomplished and the change made and lasting. Resolution success by a different name.

Building a year by goal setting makes perfect sense to a writer. It’s the same way we build novels, stories, and blogs. My natural writing style is pantser. I have an overall storyline (the resolution) but no detail to get from inciting incident to satisfying conclusion (attainable goals). In fact, even though I have a general idea of the story, the perpetrator is often a mystery to me until I complete the first draft, and sometimes the second or the third!

A few years ago, I discovered a book that helped me go from pantser to a combination outliner pantser I call a plotster. The book, Rachel Aaron’s 2,000 to 10,000 talked about planning scenes—not the book—using bullet point outlines. The process was a revelation. Scenes are the building blocks of a story like goals are the building blocks of lasting change. Scene by scene the stories in my books unfolded in an orderly fashion and followed an arc to the ultimate resolution.

Goal by goal, the changes I want to make in my life can build on each other to accomplish the changes I want to make in my life. Last year’s traditional resolutions were failures. Forgotten before the month was out. The jury is still out on whether the program will be successful—it’s only January 6 today, but the principles are familiar.

How about you? Did you make resolutions this year? Or like me, did you decide to set goals?


Jim Jackson said...

Welcome to the club, Kait. I moved from resolutions to goals some time ago. Last year I wrote a blog on a particular kind of goal that often works best. Here’s the link should you (or anyone) be interested.

~ Jim

Margaret Turkevich said...

I set goals: daily (a list of no more than three items), weekly, monthly, and yearly. That seems to induce less guilt.

Sasscer Hill said...

I don't make New Year resolutions. I think they are an inevitable road to failure.

And I do very much as you do with my writing. No resolutions. What works for me is trickery! I tell myself, I'm going to sit down and write a page. This goal is neither overwhelming nor likely to fail. And what usualy happens is that once I start writing, I end up not stopping after one page, I keep going until I have the best part of a scene. Later I polish the scene, add bits that echo previous themes/emotions/occurrences in the story. Maybe a little internal monologue, a bit of the five senses. Then it is easy to go back later, read over what I've written, finish the scene with a gut punch, and voila, I have written a new chapter!

I find starting a new chapter that is not a direct continuation of the previous chapter almost as hard to staring a new novel. Thus, I lie to myself and say just one page, you can do one page, you know you can!

Sheryl Jeffries said...

Thanks so much for the post, I downloaded the book that you suggested and thank you, Jim, for directing us to your blog post which I've bookmarked. I've decided to focus more on things this year that will help me grow into becoming a better writer. The top of my list is to set up my blog and maintaining it, I've bailed on many of them. I've been active on Goodreads since 2008 and yet, I've not posted many reviews as I should have but this year I've got a "Bullet Journal" that will keep me ahead of the game in posting them in a timely order. I love being involved in the Guppy group and learning the mechanics of writing. I'm looking forward to taking classes and hopefully attending a few conferences this year. So that's my goals for this year, it's the year of Sheryl. I hope that doesn't sound selfish but since my retirement, I've been a very active volunteer and it's almost like having a full-time job, I adore helping others but I've lost myself in the process.

Warren Bull said...

I'm finding that sustaining my efforts at the goals I have are more than sufficient for me.

Grace Topping said...

Excellent post, Kait. Your approach is so sensible. One year, I established the goal of having my first draft completed by the end of May because I was going to be gone for a month and wanted to leave my draft with friends to review while I was gone. I think having that goal helped me complete it. Otherwise, I might still be working on it. But come to think of it, I am still revising and revising. But I'm getting there.

Gloria Alden said...

Kait, I don't make resolutions, at least not for years and years. Instead on my kitchen counter I write things I want to accomplish be it as simple as cleaning the bird cages or writing another chapter in my book, or writing a letter to a friend, or calling to make an appointment for something, or cleaning a room. Each day I add to my list and use a color marker to color what I finished.

KM Rockwood said...

I find life is too uncertain to make resolutions. Things that seem important at the time may fade into the background entirely, and things that I didn't even know about become all-consuming.

Kait said...

My apologies to all! My computer went on life support yesterday and I ended up spending the day with the repair folks. Turned out to be a problem with my malware program that was resolved by turning it off!

@Jim, I remember that post and took some lessons from it at the time. Yes, SMART is the wellspring of goal success. It's such a simple concept, but so difficult to learn!

@Margaret - this year I bought the Ink & Volt planner - it's set up to encourage that style of goal setting. I was thrilled to discover this morning when I reviewed the monthly goals that I had succeeded int those, but not the weekly ones, which tells me I need to re-think how I set those.

@Sasccer - YES! That is my process exactly. Amazing what a little trickery can do! I also try to edit as I go in the first draft. I find it makes for a much more enjoyable editing process at the end of the day.

@Sheryl - We'll all be here to help you celebrate. Definitely not selfish. Sounds like you are on the right track completely. Looking forward to hearing more from you. The book has been a tremendous help to me. Hope you find it so as well.

@Warren - Way to go!

@ Grace - You will finish it, and it is an excellent book. I know because I was a lucky beta reader. Can't wait to read the end result.

@Gloria - What a great system, and visual. Do you always accomplish all the goals or do you roll over the ones that remain?

@KM - So true, KM!

yunus malik said...

How do you skyrocket your book sales without a bigger platform, email list, paid traffic, or PR?
It starts by understanding how your readers buy books today, and how you can reach them (without a huge marketing budget).
I've found something that can show you how.
Bestseller Ranking Pro provides authors and publishers with live data on every single bestseller list on Amazon for eBooks and physical books (all 19,669 of them and counting), as well as advanced video trainings on how to maximize your sales and sales rankings on Amazon.
Check it out here: http://XXX.bsrpro.hop.clickbank.net
If you haven't met Tom Corson-Knowles yet, the author who created Bestseller Ranking Pro, I think you'll find his story inspiring.
Like most authors who have been in the game for years, the only signs of interest Tom got from publishers were rejection letters. After six years of trying to get a traditional publishing deal, he finally decided to self publish his first book on Kindle in February, 2012.
It was a life-changing decision.
Just twelve months after publishing that first book, he had his first $12,000+ month from Kindle ebook royalties alone!
You can learn how in this video. These strategies have also helped him and his clients become #1 Amazon bestselling authors.
If you're going to write, publish or promote a book this year, you need to see this: