Writer’s Favorite Things (Pt Two #17 to 31) — Derek Barton – 2020

  • 17. Notebook: I am very much into the digital age so I don’t use notebooks, journals or anything that I have to handwrite. I used to have a much better penmenship but these days, it is clear I’ve not used a pen often. I probably couldn’t write cursive to save my life!
  • 18. Favorite Work In Progress: Every WIP is your favorite at the time! You pour your blood, sweat and tears into the work. Of course, you want the writing to be the best every time. It doesn’t always turn out that way and you will find yourself wanting often to go back and rewrite passages or chapters in your books, but like children, sometimes you have to let them go, cherish them as a whole including flaws.
  • 19. Writing Group/Buddy: I don’t belong to any writing group currently. That’s something to think about though. I do have a small circle of people who read the work and critique it for me on occassion but I don’t have anything formal.
  • 20. Writing Spot: No “spot”. I have more of a “get it down and done” philosophy than a Zen Garden spot for writing. I have bought a new writing desk which I am absolutely in love with but it’s not a necessity for me to write.
  • 21. Writing Snack: My key ingredient to a lengthy writing session is caffeine so I tend to mainly drink instead of snack. I do have plenty of favorite snacks but I hold off of those while writing.
  • 22. Ways to Prewrite: I am a big proponent for backstory and character depth. If you can visualize or get into the heart of the character before the story writing takes place, you’ll have a better understanding of that character’s POV and how they would realistically react. One of the infernal sins of any writer is to have unrealistic or unlikely character actions. If the action slaps the reader in the face then they are thinking it over in their mind versus being in your story. You lose credibility and story immersion in one fell swoop!
  • 23. POV to Write In: That’s easy. 3rd person. I have some 1st Person but it definitely is a challenge for me.
  • 24. Pantser or Plotter: I have covered my eccentric, obsessive need for outlining so there’s no way I could even pretend to be a writer that flies by the seat of his pants. I have at the very least a simple “beats outline” to write by and keep me on track.
  • 25. Favorite Villain: Far as movie villains — the usual list of suspects being The Joker, Pinhead, Pennywise the Clown, Jack Torrence. My own written villain would have to be Auste, the Pale Chaos Mage, from Consequences Within Chaos. He had cause to want vengeance but the means that he took made him so hateful. It was that core of pure evil in him that turned another character, LLasher, from the evil path to the repentent hero.
  • 26. Favorite Bookcover: I wish I could say it was one of the ones I have done for my books, but to be completely honest, my favorite is The Bleeding Crown’s book cover done by artist Joy Landa. It truly brought to life that character. One look at the cover and it just pulls you in!
  • 27. Favorite Heroine: Signorney Weaver’s portrayal of Ripley in the Alien franchise was always a fantastic inspiration on how to write a female character. Strong and independent one moment, sensitive and compassionate the next. I think that many women have the mix of the two and many men portray only one side. My favorite heroine that I wrote would be hands-down, Princess Letandra. I am really chomping at the bit to write the third installment of The Wyvernshield series and give you all a glimpse into the hell she’s been put in and what she must do to save Wyvernshield.
  • 28. Writing Cup: Nope. Don’t have one. I think it’s because I don’t drink coffee or tea.
  • 29. Favorite Book on Writing: The writing book Save the Cat that I did a blog on has become very instrumental to my writing and I would still credit, Structuring Your Novel and Outlining Your Novel by K.M. Weland as a fantastic set of reference books to help any manuscript!
  • 30. Favorite Writing Inspired Quote: Not much of a quote person. I like some but don’t memorize them.
  • 31. Favorite Halloween Tradition: My father and I started making my Halloween costumes at a very young age (I think maybe 5). It was the chance to really explore my creativity and imagination. The holiday meant a lot to me and I still like to dress each year.

Writer’s Favorite Things (Pt One #1 to 16) — Derek Barton – 2020

Here’s a little peak into my world as an indie writer.

  1. Introduce yourself: My name is Derek Barton (no middle name – my parents hated theirs and didn’t want to curse me with one too!). I live in Peoria, Arizona (a suburb of Phoenix) and I have a family of my wife, two teenagers, and a fiesty yet adorable five-year-old. They are the core of my entire world.
  2. Writing Goals: My goals are to actually publish the Evade Series by the end of the year. Next year to wrap up the Wyvernshield Series (my fantasy trilogy). But my biggest goal is to get back into writing. It’s not a writer’s block situation, but more of a lack of motivation. I am pushing myself where I didn’t used to have to. That’s why it has become my biggest writer goal.
  3. Writing Tool: I am using my writer’s site for blogs and short stories, using Word for my shorter works (novellas) and using Scrivner for my long fantasy novels. Google and YouTube would also be listed as my best and most used writing tools.
  4. My Favorite Character Written: OOOhhhh that’s tough. That’s like choosing a favorite child, of course. Vicente from Elude would probably be one of the favs due to his resilience, he streetwise drive. Yet Letandra for her constant love and support for her wayward brother and the independence streak in her soul.
  5. My Favorite Book I’ve Written: Another really tough question. Consequences Within Chaos was my first born so a natural favorite, but Elude Part III was awesome as well — wrapped up the series in stunning fashion and it was the hardest to write due to the pressure to be perfect! It’s not perfect, but I love the work all the same.
  6. Favorite Reading Spot: My car has become my pocket library. I pop on an audible book everytime I’m alone and driving in the car. I wasn’t one to normally read a book (I love them, but couldn’t put the effort in getting them out or finding time to actually reading them). I would maybe read six a year if I was lucky. With the audible books I am “reading” one a month at least.
  7. Favorite Genre: I love reading epic fantasy like Game of Thrones, but writing horror is what I get the most satisfaction from.
  8. Favorite Trope: I guess I would say the hero’s journey. You know he’ll fail and yet in the end he always finds a way to victory at the end. Corny, predictable, yet satisfying.
  9. Favorite Author: Still the King, Stephen King that is, of course. Dean Koontz, R.A. Salvatore, Lee Child and Brian Sanderson are close runner’s up.
  10. Writing Fuel: The same fuel to get me out of bed! Diet Rockstars. If they ever outlaw caffeine, I am in such deep shit!
  11. Favorite Place to find Inspiration: Music has been a big part, but also I found inspiration in art and lucid dreaming. Lucid dreaming is the key to your story reaching out from your subconscious to you. It wants to be told and only you are able to free it!
  12. Favorite Writing Music: Epic fantasy requires epic classical music (my all time favorite is the collection called Cronos by Jo Blankenburg). For other works, horror especially, I put on background upbeat or suspenseful modern music (like dubstep).
  13. Writing Advice: Pay attention to your dreams (especially intense or lucid dreams) as you can mine some amazing and awesome stories from there. Stephen King was once asked about “Dream or Writer Journals” and he said he didn’t believe in them. Summarizing, he said that if you can’t keep the story in your head or if it doesn’t keep at you constantly, then they aren’t a powerful enough story to write. If you forget them easily if you don’t write them down, then they weren’t meant to be!
  14. Favorite Genre to Read: I said this already, but I read a ton in the two genres, fantasy and horror. I wouldn’t be able to say which one I like the most however.
  15. Favorite Book: The Stand by King is an alltime classic, but favorite fantasy novels are Homeland (the entire Drizzt Series) by R.A. Salvatore, or the Mordant’s Need series by Stephen R. Donaldson (incredible story of magic vs technology universes).
  16. Favorite Fiction Hero: Stu Redman from The Stand resonates with me. A simple but good man transformed to a great leader in a time of chaos.

Audible Book Review of Jessica Brody’s “Save The Cat! Writes a Novel: The Last Book On Novel Writing You’ll Ever Need” — Derek Barton – 2020

STC

Save The Cat!

by Jessica Brody — a Writer’s Resource & Reference Guide

Released on October 9, 2018 — 311 pages

Narrated by Jessica Brody

So, one of my bi-monthly goals in June (as per the post, Looking Back & Looking Forward – Bi-Monthly Goals) was to read a writing craft reference book. This awesome book,Save The Cat! Writes a Novel: The Last Book On Novel Writing You’ll Ever Need is it. A fantastic guide on how to evolve your stories organically, captivate the reader with the pacing and structure, and how to win lifetime readers over with incredible themes and character arcs.

Originally Save the Cat: The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need  written by Blake Snyder was developed as a way to help screenwriters. He found an almost universal pattern in every award-winning film. In his book, he shares his discovery and shows you the master template he crafted based on his findings.

Side note: The title Save the Cat! is a phrase pinpointing a decisive moment when the protagonist demonstrates that they are worth rooting for. Especially needed in cases of an anti-hero like Jaime Lannister in Game of Thrones or Frank Castle of the Marvel Series, The Punisher. “It’s the scene where we [first] meet the hero”, in order to gain audience favor and support for the main character right from the start.

The Synopsis:

The first novel-writing guide from the best-selling Save the Cat! story-structure series, which reveals the 15 essential plot points needed to make any novel a success.

Novelist Jessica Brody presents a comprehensive story-structure guide for novelists that applies the famed Save the Cat! screenwriting methodology to the world of novel writing.

Revealing the 15 “beats” (plot points) that comprise a successful story–from the opening image to the finale–this book lays out the Ten Story Genres (Monster in the House; Whydunit; Dude with a Problem) alongside quirky, original insights (Save the Cat; Shard of Glass) to help novelists craft a plot that will captivate–and a novel that will sell.

The Review:

I found this book very well planned out and down-to-earth. She lays out this master template for you in simple and defined terms, but also how you can still follow the template without “the dreaded F word”… that F word being Formulaic!

Not only does she give multiple examples taken from great novels like Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle to modern classics like The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, Misery by Stephen King, and The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown, she provides in depth analysis to show where theme and story are laced together seamlessly.

There are ten complete novel templates broken down defining each of the original Ten Story Genres (including Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, and Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill)

Brody takes you through the Opening Image, making it hook your reader and keep them on the edge of their seats, to incorporating meaningful themes, then shaking things up with Debate and Catalyst moments in your stories.

Jbrody

The Narration:

Jessica Brody narrates her novel and brings a ton of energy and excitement, she WANTS you to hit the ground running!

Jessica Brody is the author of more than 20 books for teens, tweens, and adults including Sky Without Stars, Between Burning Worlds, The Chaos of Standing Still, Better You Than Me, A Week of Mondays, 52 Reasons to Hate My Father, and the Unremembered trilogy.

She’s also the author of the Descendants: School of Secrets series, based on the hit Disney Channel original movie, Descendants.

Her books have been translated and published in over 23 countries and several have been optioned for film and television.

The Rating:

In summary, I took a lot from this audio book even though I had heard some similar story structure techniques before. This book was different and impacting in an all new way — it showed how theme can be woven in and character growth is essential to the outline.

I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND this to any author, rookie or veteran! The master story template has been there right before our eyes all this time, but now it has been brought out in a clear and organized manner for all of us to craft our own unique worlds!

 

By DEREK BARTON — Author of the ELUDE series (Parts I, II & III — a Horror/crime thriller), IN FOUR DAYS, EVADE series (Parts I & II).  Also Grim Fantasy novel series CONSEQUENCES WITHIN CHAOS and THE BLEEDING CROWN (both available on Audible.com!).

New Avenues to Me — Derek Barton 2020

Covers

I have been working hard on strengthening and fleshing out my two resources Pinterest and Patreon for you. These sites should give you even more access to me, my work and new materials I am developing.

For those who may not fully understand what Pinterest is, Pinterest is unique search engine for materials, reference resources and finding key elements that fit into your customized categories. In other words, I have currently fourteen “boards” (categories) where I can “pin” material that I feel fall into those categories. For example I have a board called Storyboard: Horror-Suspense & Crime Inspiration.

 

Horror Snip 1

When I find an image that intrigues me, I can pin it and keep in that folder. I also have a board for my Fantasy images. This gives me a handy place to get writing ideas as well as show you the readers where I get some ideas. In my board From My Writer’s Blog I have  six subsections with material showing my self-publishing tactics, some biography blogs, my writing prompt stories, etc.

Writing Snip 1

Some of the other boards are: From My Writer’s Blog, My Horror-Suspense & Grim Fantasy Collection, My Newsletters, Book Reviews, Book Cover Artwork, Landscapes, Batman & Other Comics, My Audiobooks, and My Favorite TV Series.

I can also do my own “pins” like these:

Pin Snip 1

Also on Pinterest I can place reviews on my books, details about my book & audio book giveaways, or I can share pins from other collaborators and authors I find on Pinterest.  If you want to see my work or other things on my site, you can click here and “follow” me so you can see my contributions and additions to the site.

Patreon Snip 1

Patreon I have previously talked about here. I want to this year do even better at maintaining and providing exclusive access to my work. I have decided that I will be writing a fantasy novella based on this:

Writing Prompt 3

The novella will be seen in chapter installments only on Patreon and sold only in paperback format once completed with signature and customized metal bookmarker to my patrons initially.  The other benefits for becoming patrons will still be there — now I just want to make it even better!!

Please see these two sites and let me know what you think of them and if you have suggestions, comments or ideas to provide even more value to you!!

 

 

New YouTube Page! — Derek Barton 2020

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In case you weren’t aware, I now have a YouTube Channel with several book trailers.

Elude Vid

Crime/Horror-Suspense Series

CWC Vid

Epic Fantasy Series

Hidden Vid

Classic Horror Story

These are great reading during your WFH downtime or… Go to Audible.com and immerse you in these narrated novels!

 

 

 

Stay safe – stay healthy!!  Thanks for all your interest and support!

 

Writing Prompt #1 — One. Last. Time. — Derek Barton 2020

Blog 1

I realize it has been awhile since you’ve read anything new from me — either in post, novella or even novel form. Then I ran across this “writing prompt” which piqued my interest.

A writing prompt to those that are unfamiliar to the phrase is a small paragraph to motivate or inspire a writer — a fill-in-the-rest-of-the-story exercise.  Thought this might be a fun way to get some “new” material out while I am still writing, editing, publishing my horror and fantasy series. On a side note, Evade Part One will be out next month!!

ENJOY!!

 



(Writing Prompt provided by tomiadeyemi.com)

She gripped the rim of the porcelain sink and tried to steady her hands. A long serrated hunting knife rested in the grimy sink.

“One last time,” she whispered to herself. 

One. Last. Time.

Evelyn Diane Joyce, or “Evie” as her friends called her, stood in the restroom, staring at her rain-drenched reflection in the mirror. She didn’t recognize herself, covered in mud, grease on her clothes and leaves in her dirty, haystack hair. Dried blood caked under one nostril and her chin was scuffed raw from an earlier fall.

They were in the Calamine Mountain Park. It was around 8 o’clock at night and a surprise rain storm chilled the fall evening air.

One. Last. Time.

He was here. Somewhere hidden among the park’s trees and brush.

Evie knew he’d make his way there. It was the only real structure in the park and on the way to the parking lot. He’d come for certain.

The fluorescent lights suddenly flickered and blinked a few times before completely turning off.

Holding her breath, Evie retrieved the knife then crept over in the blind dark to the nearest stall and went inside. She then climbed onto the toilet seat and crouched behind the door. Waiting was the worst part. All of the exertion weighed upon her and her body shook. Her muscles tightened in her chest as her heart beat furiously. Any moment now he’d walk in, but she wondered if she could actually do this. Sweat trickled down her neck and between her shoulder blades.

Moments later, her ears picked out a whisper of fabric. Then in spite of the pelting rain, she heard the subtle squeak of his sneakers. He was already inside the doorway to the restroom structure.

One. Last. Time.  Was she ready?

The hum of the lights filled the restroom as its motion sensor started the lights back on. He stopped — probably looking around. Jackson Allan Joyce always played it safe. Predictable and yet prepared. Always a slave to compulsive order and rules.

Across the stalls was a line of urinals. Satisfied that he was alone, he stepped over to one directly across from Evie. She peered out at him through the stall door crack. His back was to her. He rested his head on one arm stretched along the wall as he leaned into the urinal. Exhaustion written all over his form. His cyclist spandex suit was ripped at the shoulder and down the back. His arm was covered in drying blood as fresh blood pumped out of a long gash.

It had only been two hours before when they had taken their mountain bikes together along the North Face Trail. After a couple miles up, his bike tire popped when Jackson hit a sharp, partially buried rock in their path. He tumbled and bounced down the cliff then laid unconscious on the side of a rocky trench below the sand trail. Scrub brush and desert weeds shrouded him. She rushed to climb down to him and felt for his pulse. It was there but thready. His cheek and left eye were already bruised and swollen from the initial impact.

As she scrambled back up to their packs, she heard him call out. “Evie, help me. Evie!”

He sounded weak and vulnerable. Her mind whirled with possibilities.

She went to her backpack and from a sheath stowed inside, she removed the hunting blade. “I’m coming, Jackson. Hold on!”

At the bottom again, Evie knelt at his side. He looked confused, his eyes searched her hands spotting the blade. Before his first question, she thrust the knife aiming for his heart. His instincts were stronger and quicker than she expected. The blade pierced his arm as he raised it in defense.

Evie wasn’t done though. She pulled and twisted the knife handle, frantic to free it. When it gave up and popped free of his forearm, she was flung backwards into a small pile of boulders. Jackson wasn’t done either. He bolted up onto his knees then leaped onto her. They tumbled further down the incline of the trench as they wrestled for the knife.

She won the contest when she caught him with a surprise knee to the groin.

Evie ran. She ran not for her life but ran for another chance, another opportunity to escape the cushioned cage that was her doldrum life.  She would kill him. 

She would be free and have a new life. One. Last. Time.

All night, stalking and attacking him, she tried several times to ambush the son-of-a-bitch. Now they were near the parking lot. At the edge of the park.

He was exhausted. She was exhausted. They were both determined to live. Relentless in their endeavors.

Her legs were coiled beneath her, her muscles were taught, her breath captured in her burning legs. The knife was slick in her hand.

With a predatory smile and flash of gnashing teeth, she exploded from the stall…

One. Last. Time!

 

 

Repel The Resistance — Derek Barton – 2020

Blog Pic

 

Definition of Resistance

The “Resistance” is constant but not futile (a tiny joke and a nod to my fellow Star Trek fans out there).  Resistance is the inner voice that every creator, writer, inventor or artist out there hears deep inside. That annoying, grating, self-indulgent nay-sayer who keeps you from pursuing your dreams, goals or from even putting one foot forward to start on your journies. The voice trapping you behind false masks!

Resistance is born from our insecurities, busy outside lives and the lack of faith in our skills. The questions it seeds our minds with grow into trees of self-fulfilling prophecies. In other words, its true purpose is to give you excuse after excuse why you cannot or will not write today. We all have hundreds of unique excuses and seemingly valid reasons for not putting pen to paper.  Everyone has lives and everyone has their own agendas. Yet if you give in to Resistance, you set up a habit of self-destruction and a pattern of sabotage.

Symptoms of Resistance

  • Procrastination — This is a big one for me. I give myself an out by saying, “I just don’t have the energy” or “I’m too tired tonight. One more day and I’ll get to it.”  Lies I tell myself. Resistance provides a nice pillow for me or it provides a comfy couch for me to binge-watch my shows on instead of battling to find the right words for my chapter.
  • Confusion — You are “stuck” or have a minor case of “writer’s block” because you may have written yourself into a tough scenario and don’t know how to write yourself an escape. Or your outline is vague in this spot or too general and now you find you have to fill in the nasty missing link.
  • Loss of creativity — “How can you be expected to write your masterpiece tonight?”  Or another accusation from Resistance, “I’m not feeling it. The scene isn’t going anywhere.” We stare at the screen or the blank paper for a few seconds then let Resistance “save us” and we jump ship.
  • No motivation/muse — Similar to loss of creativity is lack of motivation or the infamous “muse”. You actually know what you want to write, have the story events in your mind but at the same time doubt nags you or a lack of confidence keeps you from even trying.

Causes of Resistance

  • Low energy — One of the common and easiest ways to let Resistance get over your walls and breach your defenses against it. You have to discover the right time for you and when you are at your peak energy output is key to writing quality work. When are you focused?
  • Illness — Poor health or unexpected events are going to happen. Yet if you plan with “life” in mind, you will give yourself some back up or make-up time. Myself, I have been using Bi-monthly Goals and Writing Sprints to understand better on what to plan for and if they are possible in my given time table. I have also been working on my health and trying to approach those goals like my writing goals. In essence, good health and energy IS a writing goal.
  • Poor planning — By knowing your projects, your actual production limits, and keeping in sight holidays and/or special events in your life, you can keep Reistance at bay often. Also using efficient and beneficial planning for your writing will make it easier to progress. I struggle a lot if I don’t work out my outlines well enough or if I have left a spot too general or vague. I stall without direction. I know this about my writing so I need to adjust accordingly in order  to fend off Resistance.
  • Internet distractions — The internet is a double-edged sword for all writers. We use it constantly in our wordcraft, research and even inspiration. However, it is super addictive, highly distracting and often a vicious time-killer. There are actual websites online that prevent you from accessing other websites or email during a programmed time. It protects you from YOU!
  • Lack of character knowledge — The next two are related to poor design or poor development of story elements. If you have a limited idea of what your character is going to do in a scene, no idea of how they might react under pressure or if you have someone with barely any personality, this will leave you with limited material and limited ways to progress your story. Resistance feeds on lost productivity like this.
  • Off course of plot/storyline — Writer’s Block at its finest can be broken down to another version of “don’t know what to write”. The blank page spans for eons in front of you like a white desert, barren and desolate of life. Yes, of course, when a character goes offscript and drags you and the story into a whole other direction, it could be magical and inspiring, but if you find your story has ground to a halt and Resistance is boiling up, you need to re-examine your original story or outline to find your way back. Resistance could be using your detour and “magical moment” as a way to derail your progress!

Answers to Resistance

  • Maintain a better life & work balance — Nothing is easy and finding the perfect blend of writing and having a family life is a difficult but necessary tool to stop Resistance and your writing production. A great way to see where your actual time goes each day is to track your activities and how much each action takes. You can also learn when you are the most productive by listing the times you write, for how long, and what your word count was for the session.
  • Create a Time Table for your week/writing commitments — A great way to beat Resistance is to make writing routine and habitual. Craft a chart for listing 3 Goal Items:  Writing Commitments, Process/Project Tasks, Personal Ojectives.  What will be your Writing Commitment this week (example: a 25-minute session for 5 days of the week as a success)? What is a Process or Project Task you are going to spend time on (like marketing, editing, etc)? And other Personal Objective you want to accomplish during the week?
  • Set up a writing routine/writing space — Finding routine is essential for habit-making. What works for you as a writer?  Does going to local public places like libraries or coffee shops help you get into your writing zone? Do you need a designated place in your house, a specific hour or quiet atmosphere? Would mood music help you produce more or shut out the noise from Resistance? All of these questions are key to learning the writer you are and what will boost your spirit into writing.
  • Freewriting sprints — Sprints are timed freewriting sessions in which you silence your inner editor (Resistance’s bastard cousin) and produce as many words as possible. Leting go of any obstacles or any normal objections you have. Many writers also use these sprints to get past the initial “blah” to writing. Once you have made it past five or ten minutes, you’ll most likely push through to your daily objective.
  • Delve into your backstories — I touched on this above, but not having any true direction or finding your character is too flat to come to life on paper begs Resistance to block you. My advice is to work on their prior lives. What happened to them before your story? Was there an event which guided their behaviors or personalities? Do they hide from stressors, have character flaws, have unknown strengths or are there secrets in their past you could work out which can add depth and color to your character portrait?
  • Research your subject or develope more of your world — This tip is a balancing act. Resistance can hide here and disguise your efforts at world-building or learning historical or scientific facts as a lengthy distraction and keep you away from your true goals of writing. If you are stuck on a specific area or if you need motivation, use this with precision to get through the part. Limit the time donated on this aspect and you should find it a great way to fight back against Resistance.
  • Reward yourself — If you find Resistance is still putting a wedge between you and your work, add a reward for accomplishing your writing goal. It doesn’t have to be big (special food, coffee, or maybe video game time) will be enough spark to push through. If you want bigger, use the reward to honor completed sets of sessions. An example could be taking the family out for a dinner at the end of the week of completed writing sessions. This gives you and the family quality time together and rewarding those who are in your life supporting your writing.
  • Set your Goals and writing plans realistically — Becoming overwhelmed or finding yourself missing out too much on family events or nights out with friends will invite Resistance into your life guaranteed. It’s a part of that Work/Life balancing act I talked about. If you have too many projects hanging over your head, you’ll lose the thrill to writing. When everything about writing becomes a chore, you will know you have to revisit your goals and what you can accomplish.  I recently did some timed sprints myself and learned that I can at the moment produce 400 words of quality writing in 25 minutes. I’m tracking this and hope to continually build this word count up. If I set goals now for myself to write 2000 words a day, I know it will take me almost three hours. I have a full-time day job and a family of five to support and I want to spend time with as well. Three hours a day would be unrealistic and unfair to those who support me — I would quickly become overworked, stressed out and extremely grumpy. I don’t want to live this way nor do I want to put my family through it. I would love to only have writing but it isn’t financially feasible as well. Plotting out the year with this knowledge however and understanding how illness and holidays will interfere, I can better set up realistic goals.

Remember, being an accomplished, seasoned writer or a brand new novelist doesn’t change the fact Resistance will always be there. Resistance has infinite lives and many devious forms. These tips will help and you will probably find even more ways to keep motivated and strong, but give yourself a break. You will not always be able to ward off the demons of Resistance all of your writing career, but once they rear their ugly heads, cut them off cleanly and quickly! Use drive, planning and organization to keep yourself ahead of the game!

 

Good luck and great writing!

2020 Bi-Monthly Goal Breakdown – Derek Barton

Goal 2020

 

With the New Year almost upon us, I have been working out my upcoming goals and what I’d like to see as far as successful production for 2020.

With a lot of excitement, I am hoping to publish my new suspense/supernatural horror series, Evade! And with a lot of joy and sadness, I will be wrapping up my epic fantasy collection, the Wyvernsield Series. While this may be a “goodbye” to current beloved characters, I am already toying with a story idea with new characters beginning this time in Aberrisc!

As you know if you have been reading any of my goal planning posts, I like the bi-monthly process breakdown. This method has proven to generate the most goal success for me. I’ll be continuing the process, but this time with a larger “arching” picture in mind. I’ll be planning the entire year, broken down in two-month objectives by Work In Progress.

Overall Goal Summary: This year’s production goal is to publish four books — Evade Parts #1,2 & 3  and the last book in the Wyvernshield Fantasy Series.

Works In Progress Goals:

EVADE

January – February

  • Complete writing for Book #3 (anticipated 25,000 word count) 
  • Edit Book #1, Book #2
  • Craft Book Blurb
  • Purchase/design book covers for all three books
  • Publish Book #1

March – April

  • Edit Book #3
  • Publish Book #2

May – June

  • Publish Book #3

WYVERNSHIELD BOOK #3

March – August

  • Complete writing (March through August — anticipated word count 100,000)
  • Edit book (September through November)
  • Publish in December

April – May

  • Purchase cover
  • Write up a book blurb
  • Look into a future Set Collection of all three books

Writing goal

  • 125,000/12 mos
  • Evade Book #3 25,000 — 12,500 per month, 3,125 per week, 625 per 5 days
  • Wyvernshield #3 100,000 — 17,000 per month, 4,250 per week, 850 per 5 days

Marketing goals

  • Once per quarter do an ad (Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads or Amazon)
  • Buy new table & cart
  • Buy banner stands
  • Find/design a book stand
  • Buy Metal Bookmarkers for new books
  • Once per quarter do a local book signing
  • Participate in one national comic convention if possible
  • Expand email list
  • Once per quarter do a giveaway
  • Donate older book versions to libraries

So this is the 2020 Plan but as they are “goals”, these are subject to change, subject to incompletion, and subject to postponement! LOL

While 2019 was a tough and emotional year for me and my family, it turned out overall a very important and rewarding year. In the end, I learned you just have to have faith all will work out and have faith in yourself that you have the strength to see it through!

I wish all of you a successful and happy new year as well!

AUTHOR INTERVIEW (Pt 2) & Discussion of Wyvernshield Series with Laura Richcreek — Derek Barton 2019

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Check out this blog on Laurasvoice.com or you can listen to it on YouTube.com — this is Part 2 of a 5 Part Series where we discuss the two fantasy novels, Consequences Within Chaos & The Bleeding Crown of the Wyvernshield Series.

During this part of the interview, we discuss the wide variety of creature and human characters within the two books.

 

AUTHOR INTERVIEW (Pt 1) & Discussion of Wyvernshield Series with Laura Richcreek-Morrison — Derek Barton 2019

Interview Banner

 

Check out this blog on Laurasvoice.com — this is Part 1 of a 5 Part Series where we discuss the two fantasy novels, Consequences Within Chaos & The Bleeding Crown of the Wyvernshield Series.

I discuss with her my inspirations behind some of the unique characters, some of the creatures and give glimpses behind the curtain at what it took to write the complete stories.

TO PROMOTE THIS INTERVIEW SERIES I WILL BE GIVING AWAY A FREE COPY CODE TO CONSEQUENCES WITHIN CHAOS TO THE FIRST TWO PEOPLE TO GO TO MY CONTACT PAGE AND WRITE YOU WANT THE AUDIO BOOK!