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.

The Pooter Gremlin

I know it has been a few days since I blogged. Some of you might have been wondering if I survived the onslaught of male teenagers that invaded my home over the weekend. Somehow, I managed to live through it. Watching teenage gremlins interact is perplexing at times. There’s just a big part of me that wonders about their thought processes and maybe someone else can weigh in on it because I just don’t get it. While they’re laughing like hysterical hyenas, I’m looking at them like they’re all buffoons.

There’s a stupid, little black rubber device that makes farting noises when you squeeze it. It is the dumbest thing EVER. My adolescent gremlin has been ‘borrowing’ it from one of his friends for over a week, and I loathe the stupid thing. Y’all want to know what it’s called? Take a wild guess. It’s a genius name, or so I’m told. It’s called … The Pooter. Not. Even. Kidding. Within the last few weeks, I had the pleasure of watching the movie Idiocracy, and I wonder if that’s what our future generation is actually going to look like. Here it is, The Pooter:

So, as I was giving the death stare to The Pooter my gremlin was holding, he pulled out his cell phone and showed me a video. I watched it, and I laughed. I’m so mad that I laughed, but his friend’s reaction was hilarious. Here it is for your enjoyment:

I always thought I would have a girl, but I managed to churn out gremlins instead. I’m a little bit of a girly girl. I like fixing my hair, doing my make-up, painting my nails and all that jazz. I have lovely smelling lotions in every bathroom along with perfumes and pretty little bottles of deliciously smelling soaps. As I paint my nails, I get to hear my gremlins discuss the fact that I literally just painted my nails two days ago. I want to give them the bird, but I continue painting my nails and let it roll off because I know their sense of time sucks. It had been a week since I painted my nails, and I wasn’t going to be needled by gremlins that can’t find a massive bottle of ketchup in the fridge when it is literally almost smacking them in the face when they open the stupid doors. #micdrop

This is my life. On the bright side, when I have other gremlins over, I have the pleasure of listening to them “rap”. My gremlin says he’s the producer because he’s good at editing. I always tell them to shoot for the stars and to dream big, so I will never be the one to tell them they can’t do something because the odds are against them. That it’s impossible. I believe the impossible is possible. You will hear so many noes in your life, folks, but it only takes one yes. Life is about learning from your mistakes. It’s about chasing the impossible dream. Maybe these boys never make it rapping. Maybe I never make it writing. But, when we leave this Earth and take our last breath, at least we tried.

~Tiff~  #momofgremlins

Ashyer Black – Query Letter

I’ve been pretty quiet when it comes to putting my query letter out there for people to review and see. Of course, I’m not counting any family or friends who read through it, helped edit it, and all that jazz. I love them, and I appreciate their advice, but I think they’re a little partial and completely biased. As I’m getting older, I’m realizing that I need to put myself out there a little more to see if there are any words of wisdom from the strangers on the web. So, without further ado, here is my current query.

September 17, 2019

Dear Ms. Agent,

My name is Tiffany Berry, a once upon a time city girl dragged to a small, southern town in Kentucky by a redneck Marine, where I still stop my car for critters scampering across the road, much to the dismay of my neighbors. As a transplant to Kentucky, I have fallen in love with it over the past decade, which is why I weave it into my story. This girl bleeds blue, and I have read that you have a soft spot for BBN as well as animals, so I am hoping my story resonates with you. I am seeking representation for my completed 72,000-word young adult fantasy novel, ASHYER BLACK AND THE DRAGON STONE. Here’s a brief description.

Twelve-year-old Ashyer Black wasn’t always a slave, but that changed when the Noctis infiltrated every branch of government, every city, and even the smallest of rural towns, enslaving all the humans, including the children. Ashyer’s imprisoned in an orphanage with Kase, his only friend, who Ashyer has spent his life protecting. As Ashyer approaches this thirteenth birthday, fear pushes his friend, Kase, to the edge. As Ashyer clings to a strand of hope and defies the Noctis, someone from their past shows up where he least expects them to and breaks them free.

As they flee, Ashyer finds out he is made of magic. Not only is he made of magic, but he is a Venator, a magic creature who comes into their powers right before their thirteenth birthday. He barely has time to come to terms with it before he is shipped off to Magtech Vocational Academy (M.V.A.), School of Magic and Technology.

At M.V.A., Ashyer learns about the Noctis—once Venators that turned to using forbidden, dark magic. During the school’s annual Sortilege Ceremony, Ashyer’s scroll marks the path to the Dragon Stone – one of the stones keeping Arsen Valdis, master of the Noctis, locked up to where he can’t destroy every world. Ashyer is determined to end the Noctis’ reign of slavery over Earth, but secrets unfold, and warnings are given as Ashyer and his friends prepare for the journey to recover the Dragon Stone, removing it from Arsen’s control forever.

ASHYER BLACK AND THE DRAGON STONE is about the power of friendship and the bonds of family—even when it isn’t by blood.

I’d be happy to send you the entire manuscript. Thank you for your time and consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yep, that’s it, ladies and gents. I’m hoping that other fellow writers going through the querying process have niblets of information to pass along.

Tiff

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