Playing with Book Covers


For Camp Nano I have been thinking a lot about my next project and what I want to write about. I’ve had this story idea for a couple of months and wrote a chapter, but realized that I’d started way too late in the story.
After mulling it around in my brain, I came up with the perfect scenario, why my main character is where she is, and how she got there.
I got to thinking about book covers–especially since I’m thinking about going indie with this one. I have a daughter who loves photography and makes a rather stunning model herself. I took some of her images, cropped them and added the title and theme to the images. After playing with several different ideas, I came up with these:

This is the her image. And this is how I edited the cover. 

I found another image I liked. Here is the original.

And after adding color to the flowers:

Getting better, right? This one is my favorite.

And here is the final version. Note the color I added to the flower in this one as well.

Now that I have all these ideas for a book cover, I have to get busy and write it, right?

What do you do to inspire yourself?

You can follow Sarah Elizabeth Waggoner on her photography page

Ways to Motivate Yourself to Write-Or getting derailed


It was my turn to give the writing lesson at our month writer’s group. I’m a decent writer, okay some days I’m brilliant and other days I feel like I’m completely wasting my time writing such drivel. I digress. I needed to come up with something brilliant on writing. I seem to always go back to what is the hardest part of writing for me. It’s what I call”

Which means: Butt In Seat Hands On Keyboard
It means sitting down and working through the hard stuff.
I was surfing the internet looking for ideas to stay focused and getting through writer’s block. One of the suggestions really intrigued me. Start from the end of the book and write backward. Sometimes we know where we’re going and sometimes we don’t. Writing the end of the book often focuses us as to where we need to go. I’d written an entire novel, but hated the ending. It fell flat, kind of like another book series I’ll not mention the name. Let’s just say for four whole books the author set us up for an epic battle which didn’t happen. I don’t want to disappoint my readers like that. I have to have an epic battle, but have the outcome such that I leave it open for two more books.

Writing a series is tricky. If you think about Star Wars the first one which was really the fourth one. Again, I digress. Luke and Hans defeat the death star, but the bad guy gets away. Another example, Harry Potter gets the sorcerers stone, but doesn’t defeat Voldemort. I don’t want to be a complete copy cat, but I have to finish the first book with a satisfactory ending without killing off the bad guy. Then what would be the point of the rest of the books?
Going back to the idea of writing the ending–I wrote the last scene. I like it. Now I’ll start writing backwards to the point in my story where I feel like it got off track.
So what do you do when your story gets off track?

Staying Motivated


It’s been a really long time since I’ve posted. I had full intentions of writing inspiring articles every week. And then school started. Yep, I’m a teacher. Not thrilled with being a teacher, I would rather be writing! But then what writer doesn’t want to stay home and write all day? Still, until I make that million selling books, I have to bring in some income. Because as much as I love to write, I love to eat.

After a year of neglect–both on my website and on my writing, I’ve decided that I MUST rebuild myself and look at my writing seriously. Only if it’s just for an hour or so a day.

The most important part of establishing yourself as a writer is to set aside time to write. I have done this most of my writing life, but seem to have forgotten this. It’s important to examine your bio-rhythms and figure out what time of day is your best writing. Whatever time of day you decide to call your writing time, make them your sacred hours. Make sure that nothing distracts you. Turn off/close out Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Shut down your email, turn off your phone notifications. Get rid of whatever interrupts you from writing. If you have a writing buddy, connect with them daily and be accountable. Some people are really motivated by having someone they can turn to who understands and is supportive. Join a critique group. You will be amazed at how much you can get done when you know you have to have pages written by the time you meet next. Last, allow yourself to write crap! You can edit words, but you can never edit a blank page.

So on that note, I’m off to write an epic battle scene for my current WIP.

What do you do to stay motivated?