Archive for the ‘writing tips’ Category

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

 

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

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

 

Trust me. I’m a professional.

Unlearning school writing lessons, part 2.

 

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Oh I sure did learn all those school writing rules! And now….I gotta unlearn some of them.

Rule #2: “Spell everything right.” The second rule I heard growing up was that you should spell things correctly when you’re writing. Nope. You absolutely have to spell things correctly when you’re editing and revising and that final copy had better have some impeccable sparkly spelling and grammar, but the time for that is not when the writer is in the middle of a creative whirlwind. As a matter of fact, focusing on perfect spelling while you’re drafting, stymies the creative flow and slows down the work. I’ve seen my little students paralyzed because they couldn’t figure out how to spell a word. I tell them to write like crazy! “Circle the word if you think you’ve botched it and MOOOOOOOVE ON!” To this day, I cannot seem to spell the word rhthm? rythm? Rithim? Errgh! It baffles me, but I don’t let it stop the flow. I soldier on and make sure that the final product is going to be spelled correctly (once I have the rhythm down! Ha!)

Unlearning those school writing lessons…part #1

 

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I’ve got a very weird job, I’ll admit it. Oh not the teaching gig (I teach third grade) though that can be nutty at times too. Recently I went to school dressed as an emoticon, but that’s a whole other blog post.) I meant the fiction writing thing. It’s funny to me how much of my writing time is spent flagrantly “unlearning” the lessons I took in as a child during writing lessons. Though I’d never admit it to my eight year olds, I’ve been putting my mind recently to a couple of those lessons I had to “unlearn” about writing and life.

Rule #1: “Don’t daydream.”
Awww man! I heard that one all the time as a kid. Short attention span. Way too much time lost in books. Head in the clouds, thinking frivolous  thoughts. I totally understand why the teachers over the years tried to squelch that habit. One shouldn’t be drifting to imaginary places when being given a lecture on crucial topics like long division. Now, however, I get paid to daydream. “Give us something new and fresh,” my editors say. I spend quite a number of waking hours lost in la la land. While walking the dog, I’m wrestling with a way to save my characters from a flash flood. Sitting through a boring movie? Hmmm. I wonder what would happen if the hero was suddenly visited by a child he didn’t know he had? I had the best time brainstorming a life or death escape from a burning shed in my newest book, Treacherous Trails. You see? I’m a professional daydreamer. My former teachers would cringe!

Do you ever daydream during important moments? Feel brave enough to share?

Info about Dana’s newest book, Treacherous Trails.

In which I must leave people drowning because it’s Thursday.

 

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Sure, I’d love to have Nora Robert’s schedule and write full time, but let’s face it…I’m no Nora Roberts! I’m just a hard working, suburbanite mom trying to raise two kids and keep up with the cost of living in Northern California! I actually have two jobs which makes me kinda crazy sometimes. Witness my angst as I leave my fictional world in a shambles while I maintain order in elementary school land! Do you feel me, hardworking writers out there? Or really, anyone who is trying to hold down two jobs?

Just tread water, why don’t you?

 

Seriously…I have the BEST idea to change the face of books forever!

 

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Okay editors of Earth. I know you, like me, absolutely adore words. Oh sure you have to insist on pesky word counts and such in order not to produce a volume too heavy for the average sized human to heft. I gotcha. And I know I probably aggravated the beejeebers out of you by submitting that last manuscript with a couple thousand words too many, but listen! I have the BEST idea! I mean this is gonna shake up the writing world more than the invention of the ebook. Ready? Take a peek at the video. You can thank me at your leisure. I’ll wait right here by the phone.

Click. You’ll love it. Promise.

 

Birthing a new book…or an ugly monkey?

 

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Well here we go, people of Earth! It’s launch day for the first book in four book series! Am I excited? Yes! Scared? You betcha! Launching a new book is like having a baby. You hope everyone will say, “Amazing! Spectacular! Look at those ear lobes!” At the same time, you worry that people will say, “Oh man. That baby is just plain ugly, a real wrinkly faced monkey!” Yep, it takes a thick skin to be in this business, let me tell you. It also takes a lot of time. Launch day is the culmination of countless hours of writing, but also booking time on people’s blogs, soliciting reviews, planning posts on various social media channels and creating memes, among other things.

Speaking of hours…I’ve got like a bajillion contests going on to celebrate this book/monkey launch. Here are links to a few, and I also host a giveaway on my YouTube channel and occasionally on Instagram (dana_Mentink) as well as one on Goodreads.

Celebrate Lit Tour and Giveaway

 

Booksweeps 25 Author Giveaway