My unpatented approach to a wimpy attention span!

https://www.amazon.com/Dana-Mentink/e/B001JRXHXK?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_4&qid=1602597451&sr=8-4

What’s to be done with a flabby attention span?

I have a problem. I have trouble keeping my thought train on the track until it reaches the station, if you understand what I mean. You know what? It’s not getting better as I age, unfortunately. So how does a gal who is distracted by literally everything manage to write more than forty books? I have developed a system that works for me. When I outline it for you, you’ll probably think it’s completely ridiculous, but all I can say is it works for me. I call it…the mini goal method. Basically, I break my life into mini tasks instead of mighty ones. Allow me to illustrate. Below is a typical writing day for me.

Up and at ‘em! I am an early riser. Bible study, prayer time, walk the dog, feed the turtle. A quick check in with my Private FB group and I’m ready to brew some coffee and get started.

Write 1000 words in my armchair. No getting up. No checking the phone. Tushy in the chair and here we go!

My mind is wandering and I am antsy to move. Time for a snack. Put the laundry in. Take Junie the Wonder Dog for another walk. Drink some water. Plan out the next scene while you’re zooming around.

Write 1000 words in the garden. That text can wait. The phone will survive without attention. Stop looking at those birds. Okay, maybe a tiny peek at the wee little lizard because…I mean…he’s adorable!

Lunch! Woo hoo! Papa Bear is waiting. The porch will be perfect if it’s not too beastly hot. Listen to those hummingbirds.

Go for a walk without Junie. Ignore those sad terrier eyes. Walk fast. You’ll solve all your plot problems and get that poor woman out of the trunk you’ve placed her.

Write 1000 words now that you know how to get the heroine out of the trunk. Move the laundry to the dryer, post some afternoon social media content.

It’s 4:00 and time to “quit.” Look up and notice there are dishes to be done, laundry to be folded, and a dog to be snuggled. Return the box turtle to her night accommodations. Remember that you forgot to drink water all day. Start in on dinner preparations and think about how you’ll save the hero from that nasty bullet wound he incurred this afternoon.

The day’s almost done and I met my word count. Woo hoo! Mini tasks met and work count complete. Ready to get started tomorrow!

So you see? As my father always told me, “You can only eat an elephant one bite at a time!”…especially if you have a flabby attention span!

(You can find more of these pithy articles at Because Fiction Magazine.)https://www.becausefiction.com/dana-mentink/

Find out more about Dana at http://www.danamentink.com

Exclamation Points! Be careful! They can be dangerous!

Yes, I love them too! Exclamation points are so wonderful! As young writers we learn how to use them to convey excitement and big emotion! But, you know what? They can also weaken your writing and take the emotional punch out of an otherwise great book. So take a look at the video, and see what you think. https://youtu.be/nYjsTMslauY

https://www.danamentink.com/

An insider look…from the Barney Fife of the fiction world!

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so click the link. Trust me, this fiction writing world is GLAM!

Getting out some old school tools!

 

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I have always said that the truth is far stranger than fiction. This pandemic business has proved my point for sure. I thought I’d take a break from my my current inspy suspense series to bring you three observations about this wild and wacky time we are experiencing. 

  1. The old ways are turning out to be pretty handy after all! Last year I taught third grade and we finished the year remotely. Do you know what we did to help keep our third graders connected? We sent them postcards! Good old fashioned snail mail with actual handwritten jokes on them. You know what? They were THRILLED. A young teacher at our site wondered how the kids would stay in touch with each other. How about we try that old school technique known as…a phone call! Yep, the old dinosaur ways are still useful after all! 

2. Privacy is at a premium. We’ve got four people (two college kids and Papa Bear and me) living in a teeny tiny house along with a dog,  a box turtle and two frogs. There are online classes, work meetings, and personal calls going on all over the place. Having a private conversation is really a challenge. I have taken to sitting in my car in the garage to chat. Weird, huh? My mode of transportation has morphed into a private office! Stranger than fiction! 

3.  And the final strangeness…in order to celebrate our fifth graders graduation from school, we were asked to video tape ourselves clapping. You haven’t experienced awkward until you are cheering and clapping by yourself in the back yard while your hubby records you. Odd! Even weirder, my older bear cub is graduating from junior college and they were afraid the caps wouldn’t arrive in time, so they sent them a Snap Chat filter to photoshop a cap on their heads. 

In a million years, would you ever have expected the world to change so dramatically? Me neither. Stranger than fiction indeed! 

What strikes you as strange these days? 

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https://www.bookbub.com/profile/dana-mentink

 

Fiction Writing…it’ll cost ya, or not!

“If you have fresh ideas, a strong voice, and a simple word processor (or even a pad of paper) you can write a book.”

I am constantly amazed at how many programs, templates, gizmos and gadgets there are to enhance the life of a fiction writer. I’ve probably purchased more of these things than I shall admit to. (That nifty top of the line planner has now been consigned to the bottom of my drawer.) Sure the technology tools are sweet…programs that help you note take, organize and map out your plots, characters, etc, but you know what? A binder with tabs can help you do that as well. How about that coolio wireless pen that enables one to write notes that are transferred directly to a file on the iPad? Awesome? Yes! Necessary? No. I mean this to be an encouragement to writers out there. If you have fresh ideas, a strong voice, and a simple word processor (or even a pad of paper) you can write a book. Trust me…I’ve written more than forty with a simple keyboard and a WHOLE LOT OF BINDERS!

Rein in those horses, writers!

 

Hi, all. Just saddling up for some last round final edits and I thought I’d share some hard won wisdom with you! Check out the video link below!

https://youtu.be/wEEjw0jgUs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow me on my Amazon author page for all the exciting announcements!

Dana’s Amazon Author Page

Writing a novel is like square dancing…with chickens.

Easy, right? A novel is just a matter of making things up. How hard can it be? A little action, a hefty dose of romance, some snappy dialogue? Presto you have a novel….unless everything spins out of control somewhere in those last 20,000 words! Take a look at the video and see what you think.

To your corners, chickens! It’s time to write a novel

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Info about Dana’s latest series

Author reads an excerpt…

In which we explore the glamorous side of professional writing….

 

Trust me. I’m a professional.

In which I celebrate the art of snoozing!

 

Oh boy! You know what? I’ve found the secret to writing productivity…it’s called SLEEP. Personally, I haven’t slept soundly since the debacle of 1998, but things have only gotten worse over the past few years. At the moment, it’s a dry cough keeping me up. Papa Bear, perhaps having heard enough of said cough, suggested a humidifier. I was reluctant, because of a previous experience where the ceiling plaster caved in thanks to a humidifier (refer to debacle of 1998). They’ve improved these things, and we’ve improved our ceiling. Result? I slept great! I have consequently finished a chapter of my novella, two blog posts, planned a FB live event (Dec. 4, EST on the FB Dana Mentink Reader page if you are so inclined) and roasted a pan of golden beets. All this time, I thought the answer to the perfect night sleep was in the pillow (see video). Anyhoo, I am happy, celebrating the release of the Gold Country Cowboy series, and looking forward to another night of good sleep. How about you, friends? Got any good sleeping tips?

 

Lost Christmas Memories

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