Beat Sheets, Helpful Websites, & Books For Authors

I’m going to make a concerted effort to create posts with helpful information for aspiring authors. Over the years, I have read a ridiculous amount of books on the craft, stalked awesome websites with great info, and I have created documents to help organize my novel.

Helpful Websites

Creative Indie – By Derek Murphy – One-Page Plot Outline

Janice Hardy’s Fiction University – Show Don’t Tell

Query Shark

Query Tracker

Books on Writing Craft & Style

  1. The Lively Art of Writing by Lucile Vaughan Payne (there are three books – one on composition, one on forms, and one on style.) I bought mine at thrift books.
  2. Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint by Nancy Kress
  3. Creating Character Ars by K.M. Weiland
  4. Show Don’t Tell by Janice Hardy

Templates

Beat Sheet

Novel Outline Template – 3 ACT

For the Novel Outline Template, it is crucial to have the Navigation Pane selected in Word and the bullets on the left side. You can quickly move through different sections in the document by selecting one of the headers listed in the Navigation Pane.

Hopefully, you find this helpful. And if you have any questions, hit me up.

Self-sufficient Gremlins

I don’t always listen to my husband … ok, I almost never listen to my husband. He can preach about something for years before I decide he might actually be onto something. I usually nod my head, grunt once or twice, and pretend to be actively listening. Hey, stop judging me. Y’all know if your man starts spouting off about car parts or something else that isn’t revving your engine, your eyes glaze over and you stop listening. That’s just how it is.

Anyway, where was I? Oh, yeah … he was definitely onto something this week. He had been saying it for months, but I just brushed it off … until I hit my limit with my gremlins. I work full-time, and I try to keep my house somewhat in order. After watching my kids come home from school and just loaf around, then pile dishes, laundry and junk all over the place – momma was d-o-n-e. Once the dishes were washed and put away, laundry was done, I had the discussion with said gremlins. They will wash any dish they dirty. If momma cooks, they get to wash the pans. They will each have a laundry basket in their room, and they will do their own laundry.

Such a good little gremlin.

So far, it has worked beautifully. This is the best my sink has ever looked. Neither one of them thinks it will stick, but it doesn’t benefit for it not to. It definitely won’t benefit their future spouse if I revert back to the way it was. The last thing I want is for my gremlins to expect that a woman is supposed to take care of everything inside of the house. Women are in the workforce and bringing in the bacon as well, so our ‘job’ isn’t to take care of the house, bring the man a drink when his runs out, cook, clean and iron his clothes. No, sir. When part of the bills are paid for by the woman, the man should step up.

I can almost hear men fussing about the lawn and what they take care of outside. Listen, women aren’t too good to mow a lawn or spray the weeds. Especially, when their man is doing their part with the upkeep of the inside of their house. It should be a partnership.

I personally just think it’s BS when a woman is judged by what the inside of her house looks like when she is pulling in just as much or more than the man. No woman should feel guilty that she didn’t make supper after a long, hard day at work. That’s why I’m determined to have two self-sufficient gremlins.

Here’s a tip for fellow moms of gremlins. If you have a router, check into getting the app on your phone. I have a Nighthawk from Netgear, and I love the little Device Manager button that I can click into and shut off a specific device in my home.

What? You didn’t wash your plate? Good-bye internet for Desktop-XXXX. Bwah ha ha. Get some, fool. I probably shouldn’t get as much enjoyment from it as I do. I was literally popping a Dorito into my mouth as I clicked the button and watched my son’s bedroom door from my desk. It didn’t take long before he went and washed the dirty plate he left sitting on the table.

Mom -1; Adolescent Gremlin – 0

~Tiff~  #momofgremlins

Write On

Listen, y’all, have been in a little bit of a funk over the last few weeks. The cold – it slices right through me, and I just want to burrow under a blanket while ignoring the outside world. Don’t get me wrong. I like people. Ok, ok … stop laughing. I’ll change the sentence. I like most people. With that being said, I’m just not one of those folks that adores winter and dreams in snowflakes. Spring and summer are my jelly. Yeah, equivalent to blackberry jelly. If you haven’t had decent blackberry jelly, I’ll send a prayer your way. You haven’t lived until that sweet deliciousness has hit your tongue. Just sayin’.

Even though I’m wrapping myself in a million soft, fuzzy blankets with hideous designs and staying mostly inside, I am still managing to click away on the keyboard. I’m still sending queries out for my latest novel. It’s not a fast process. It’s a slow, methodical process. Being in a corporate environment where everything is moving at lightning speed, I can imagine what literary agents face every time they open their inbox, and personally, I don’t envy them. It has to be tough because every rejection they send out is dashing someone’s dream and quite possibly ruining their day.

As a writer, I try not to let the querying process get to me. For the literary agents, a rejection isn’t sent out to hurt someone. It’s just a business and they can’t accept every query they receive. Use those rejections as a motivator to learn more and become even better. Life is a journey, y’all. We need to continue to learn from our mistakes and grow as human beings.

I have also officially started outlining my next novel, so I probably won’t be sleeping as well until I have it completely hammered out. Once it’s in my head, it takes over. So, I plan on being done with the outline over the next month, then finish my first draft by June. For me, it helps to have a goal. Once I start writing, I keep a running record of what my wordcount is each day. I try to range between 1,200 and 1,500 per day, but I don’t beat myself up if one day is shorter or if I miss a day because I know there will be days where my brain is like a brand new machine and I’m churning out more than my goal.

If you’re feeling deflated as a rejection enters your inbox, don’t let it get you down. Chin up, ladies and gents, and write on. Greatness rises from rejections.

~Tiff~

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