My Third Novel is Outlined!

What happens when I’m sick for three days? Well, I think I get a little loopy actually. Lookin at this video now, I realize I should never be allowed to film while I’m sick. Luckily, I have Molly to amp up the cute factor in the video while I sound terrible because I’m still working on getting my voice back. Anyways….I outlined my third novel!

I’ve been having terrible progress with my newest novel for two reasons: I’m busy and I’m lazy. I also had a lot of writer’s doubt, aka I thought of giving up being a writer completely. With outlining this novel I’ve learned once again why I love writing and why I’m going to keep pushing to get better.

My third novel has 31 chapters outlined (a 6-page outline!) and very soon I’ll be starting the actual writing process for it!

Here’s a video on how I used to outline:

Find me on Instagram! @mandilynnwrites

 

How to Create a Rainbow Bookshelf!

So a little a while ago I had arranged my books into a rainbow. And by a little awhile apparently, I mean 2015. How it already been almost two years since I arranged my books into a rainbow?? See my previous rainbow bookshelf.

Anywho, I love rainbow bookshelves. They are simply beautiful. The only downside is while everything looks pretty, it’s a total and complete mess when it comes to finding your book. Traditionally I enjoy arranging my books my author, series, and genre (preferably in that order). With that said I can be a tiny OCD when it comes to how my bookshelves look. All that aside I decided to take a deep breath and rearrange my shelves…again! Because honestly, I should probably be doing homework or something right now.
Watch me arrange my books into the prettiest of rainbows!

How to Create a Rainbow Bookshelf:

Strip your bookshelves– This makes for a great time to dust your shelves. How often does a bookworm get to see their shelves naked? Not often at all, so break out the feather duster!
Organize by color– As you pull your books off the shelves organize them in a pile by color. You know the deal: Red, orange, yellow, purple, blue….
Size up your color– this is where things start to get difficult. See what colors you have the most of and figure out how you’re going to fit them on the shelves and which color goes on which shelf. How you do this is up to you. I usually like to have the blue and purple shelves next to each other and the yellow and orange shelves next to each other.
Make a gradient– This step is annoying, but it will be worth it in the end. Work one color at a time (red/pink for example) and group all the similar tones together, then create a gradient. Your bookshelf will look beautiful!
Pile on the books! – Repeat the previous step with all your colors. Now, what about those pesky black books and white books? I usually put them at the bottom of the shelf. While I love all my books mostly equally (let’s face it, we all have favorites) when it comes to color organization, the black and white books don’t always make the cut.
Time for Trinkets– If you have any nick-knacks that you like you put on your shelves, you can organize those by color as well!
So now you should have a rainbow bookshelf! If you made a rainbow bookshelf be sure to send me the photo on Facebook or Twitter so I can see your masterpiece!

Why Do I Write? #IWriteBecause

#IWriteBecause why do I write

Reedsy recently contacted me to do this #IWriteBecause video and I’m so happy to finally share it with all of you! If you’re a writer you’re invited to make your own #IWriteBecause video and submit it to Reedsy and for every submission, they will donate $10 to Room to Read which provides education to girls in Africa and Asia. Join the movement and share your love for writing!

See why other authors write: https://blog.reedsy.com/iwritebecause

#IWriteBecause reedsy author novel

Find me on Instagram! @mandilynnwrites

 

Character Archetypes w/ Desiraye Williams [WordNerds]

Character Archetypes w Desiraye Williams

Miss Desiraye Williams from the WordNerds is visiting us today! If you don’t know who the WordNerds are, be sure to check out their links below, I promise you’ll love their videos! Wondering where I am on this fine Tuesday? Well then hope on over here: http://bit.ly/2oZu9Qv

WordNerds:
Website: http://yawordnerds.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/yawordnerds
Tumblr: http://yawordnerds.tumblr.com

Character Profiling Prompts to Aid in Your Novel’s Plot || YA Ink

Character Profiling Prompts to Aid in Your Novel's Plot || YA Ink

What makes a story? The plot or the characters? It can go either way, but if you’re lucky than the two elements work together to create a gripping novel for your reads. In drafting my third novel I’ve fallen in love with character profiling. I’ve done it in the past, but I was never a fan. The prompts are great to help you figure out who your characters are, but they don’t always help you move forward in plot. Instead you end up with a lot of backstory you now feel obligated to fit into your story.

character development, character profile, writing tips

Fan of Pinterest? I’ve got a board just for character development! Find me here!

I was able to come up with a few prompts that personally helped me develop my characters for novel #3, but it did more than just that. The questions below should help you brainstorm essential traits in your characters that will drive the story forward. Maybe you’ll answer the question and realize Sammy has a lot of attitude. What is she going to do to piss everyone else off in the story? Or what about Nancy? She had a divorce. What happened to her ex-husband? Is he going to show up again? Rocky and Willow hang out a lot. They’ve best friends obviously, but how did they meet? What the one thing that could tear them apart?

See what I’m going far? Go really behind the scenes. Shack things up a bit. Sit down with one of your characters now and ask them a few of these questions:

  • What’s their biggest fear? What’s the one thing that will tear them apart?
    • Got the answer? You should probably work it into the story somehow.
  • What are they trying to accomplish?
    • Let them get really close to accomplishing it. Then, you know, take it away.
  • How are the associated with other characters?
    • I know Rock and Willow met at a bar, but what is it about their two personalities that brought them together?
  • What past event has caused them to be the person they are today?
    • Is Sammy a bitch because of something that happened in high school? Maybe something that ruined her reputation? Now what if that little incident popped up again? Now that would be fun…
  • What’s their tipping point?
    • Make them reach their tipping point.

And of course you should probably figure out what your character looks like, but that’s not as exciting.

Like these prompts? Download the character development prompts or find it on Pinterest!

Character Profiling Prompts to Aid in Your Novel's Plot || YA Ink

Find me on Instagram! @mandilynnwrites

Which Novel Should I Write? || YA Ink

Which Novel Should I Write? WRiting Tips YA Ink

Most writers tend to have countless story ideas. This is great because we feel like we can go on forever writer! The most frightening thing for a writer is when they sick back and can’t think of anything to write. And that’s when writer’s doubt comes in. But today we’re going to be talking about the opposite problem, and that’s having too many story ideas to work with. How do you choose which one to write?

My Almost Second Novel

After I finished writing my first novel, Essence, I knew I wanted to continue writing, and I did! I started writing two novels. I am Mercy, which I’m sure you’re all familiar with, and a never-finished novel titled Ignorance. For a few months, I went back and forth on which manuscript to write. I loved the story for I am Mercy, but I was getting tired of writing in the world of an Essence. The fantasy novel I was working on was completely different and exciting! So which novel did I work on? I choose to work on Ignorance, which turned out to be a bust because it lost its luster and I got bored. The passion that called me to write Ignorance disappeared. I got to exercise my writing muscles and live in a different world for awhile, but in the end, I am Mercy was the story that needed to be told.

Go with Your Gut

The point of this little story is to say go with your gut. You have to write whatever story is calling to your most. At one point that had been Ignorance because I just wanted to write something different, but once I had done that for a little while I went back to working on I am Mercy. The thing you want to be careful with is sticking to your manuscript. Once you start it, try to finish it (unless it feels like a dead end like Ignorance, a novel that will never see the light of day). The last thing you want to do is have piles of unfinished manuscripts.

Which Novel Should I write? Writing Tips

Find me on Instagram! @mandilynnwrites

Book Unboxing || BookCase Club April 2017

BookCase Club Book Unboxing

Get your subscription to BookCase Cub: http://bit.ly/2ljr9R3
Use the code Mandi15 to get 15% off your purchase!

In this Month’s Box:

The Zom-B Chronicles 

by Darren Shan

B Smith doesn’t fully buy into Dad’s racism, but figures it’s easier to go along with it than risk the fights and abuse that will surely follow sticking up for Muslims, black, or immigrants. That is, until zombies attack. This bind-up of the first three novellas in Darren Shan’s Zom-B series leads B on a mad dash through the corridors of high school, a secret underground military complex, and the dangerous streets of a very changed London, making allegiances with anyone who has enough gall to fight off the deadly–and undead–attackers.

Proxy 

by Alex London, C. Alexander London

Knox was born into one of the City’s wealthiest families. A Patron, he has everything a boy could possibly want—the latest tech, the coolest clothes, and a Proxy to take all his punishments. When Knox breaks a vase, Syd is beaten. When Knox plays a practical joke, Syd is forced to haul rocks. And when Knox crashes a car, killing one of his friends, Syd is branded and sentenced to death.

Syd is a Proxy. His life is not his own.

Then again, neither is Knox’s. Knox and Syd have more in common than either would guess. So when Knox and Syd realize that the only way to beat the system is to save each other, they flee. Yet Knox’s father is no ordinary Patron, and Syd is no ordinary Proxy. The ensuing cross-country chase will uncover a secret society of rebels, test both boys’ resolve, and shine a blinding light onto a world of those who owe and those who pay. Some debts, it turns out, cannot be repaid.

BookCase Club Book Unboxing mandilynnwrites

Find me on Instragram! @mandilynnwrites

Novel Editing: QUESTION EVERYTHING

I’ve found that I’m pretty good at editing someone else’s stories, but not my own. Of course the solution is to pretend I wasn’t the one who write the story, but that’s easier said than done. The first trick to achieving this is to just let my manuscript sit for a little bit so I actually do forget what I wrote, this way when I do go to edit, it’s with open eyes. When I go to edit I want to look for inconsistencies in the story and simple mistakes.

Now this is where things get a little hard. You have to go through your manuscript line by line editing, and almost make it a game to find as many mistakes as possible. If you don’t find many, go through it again. This is going to be a lot of work, but I promise you it will make you a better writer. The more scribbles you have on your page, the better. This way when you hand your manuscript to your editor or beta reader they won’t have as much to edit And can give you better quality feedback. After all, if you give them a sloppy manuscript, they want to edit for you again.

6 Reasons To Finish Writing Your Novel

6 reasons to finish your novel

This post is aimed towards myself. I’m sure all you wonderful writing fanatics out there are just busting out words every day. Me? No. I wish I was, I really do! But life gets complicated. Things get in the way, and your motivation gets shot. So here some reasons I need to finish my novel.

1. Because I Said So

I’m stubborn. When I say I’m going to do something, I do it! That’s how I got my first book published, why shouldn’t it work that way for my third book?

2.You Love This Story

It’s true. Novel #3 is my favorite story I’ve written so far. It’s dramatic (in a good way) and I like to think not cheesy. I’ve grown attached to the characters, I just need to live inside their world again to get into the writing mood.

3.If It Was Easy, Everyone Would Do It

I’ve been putting off this book because it’s hard and complex to write, which means it will be a great novel when it’s finished. I just have to do that: finish. And there’s a reason not every book every person has written is amazing. Because it’s hard to write an amazing book! I’m trying to do that. Am I succeeding? I have no idea!

4.Once You Start Something, You Finish It

I feel like this motto has gotten me through a lot of things in life. Don’t half-ass it. If you started, you better finish it.

5.You’ll Regret It

I know if I put a stop to writing this manuscript that I’ll always look back and wonder if other people would have liked the novel, or if it might have been the novel that finally launched my career as an author or got me that publishing deal. I’ll never know unless I keep pushing.

6.You’ll be Proud

No matter what happen with novel #3, even if the finished manuscript never sees the light of day, I’ll be proud that I wrote it and finished it.

6 Reasons to Finish WRiting Your Novel #amwriting

Find me on Instragram! @mandilynnwrites

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Organizing for Less Stress

My life is pretty hectic and I also have a tiny OCD problem in the fact that I love to organize things. Like, a lot. I love labels and draws and containers, and I LOVE planners. You guys have seen my Erin Condren planner a few times now, but I also have a permanent planner that I use for my permanent schedule like work, classes, and when I go to the gym (because otherwise I wouldn’t go).

How I organize my Erin Condren planner and time management: https://mandilynn.com/2014/10/10/time-management/

Get your own Erin Condren planner: https://www.erincondren.com/

Get printable weekly planners: http://elizaellis.blogspot.com.au/2016/03/free-printable-irma-weekly-planners.html