Saturday, April 28, 2012

You can do anything, even if you are a kid...

You can do anything even if you are a kid.” Those words were used in a review of PLAYING THE BASEBALL CARD on Barnes and Noble, one of my books that has maintained a top 1% sales rank at B&N for well over a year. The reviewer went on to call it a “Great book,” and “Very inspiring.”

It is all about empowering youth.

Yes, you can do anything, even if you are a kid. Those words really do describe much of my writing, and I’m pleased the Barnes and Noble reviewer saw that in one of my books. It really is all about empowering kids. Many kids will tell you they can do more than society lets them do, and they want to do more. Of course, society protects young people from themselves, and doesn’t allow things such as medical decisions and driving until certain ages, drinking until even older, and requires all kinds of safety protection for younger people. These age-related safeguards are understandable.

In a perfect society, kids would also be protected from tragedy, and from abusive adults including relatives. However, we do not live in a perfect society, and often kids have to try and protect themselves. Alas, many kids, especially younger kids, often don’t have the means or ability to protect themselves.

In some of my stories, kids have taken steps to keep themselves away from danger and dangerous situations. Some of these kids have also taken steps to find a way to support themselves and find a way out of repressive, regressive, aggressive, violent and even lethal circumstances.

The message I try to impart is that people of any age, especially including kids, can do a lot more than they think they can. Young people often surprise themselves, and those around them, with what they are capable of doing.

There is one other message that I hope my books convey, and that is the idea of supportive friends and family. I know, with absolute certainty, that we can all do more if we have supportive friends, and supportive families, even if those families are related by chance and not by blood.

If my stories help young people, by giving examples of kids persevering in difficult situations, then I will be very satisfied. If my stories help young people overcome their own challenges, and perhaps find some inspiration, then I will be happy. If my stories help young people find the tenacity and courage to succeed in their own lives, then I will be very pleased. If my stories help achieve some better understanding among friends and families, then I will consider myself fulfilled.

If even one young person finds some example in one of my books that he or she can use in their own life, then I will consider that every moment I spent writing those books was the best possible way to spend that time.

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Refining the way I write...

I've had a whole hit and miss thing going on with my writing, recently.  Over the Easter long weekend, for example, I managed 15,000 words as I try to complete two works in progress.  (The second and third books of the Prince David series, if you have to know.)  But, at other times, I've become bogged down, and I struggle to turn out 1,000 words in a week. 

Of course, it doesn’t help that I have a demanding full time job, as well, so my writing time frequently becomes very limited.  But, a lot of the problem revolves around the fact that I’ve been also been slow to adapt to some important skills involved in writing.  As in, writing novels. 

It’s not that I can’t write, because I can.  It’s just that sometimes I get into the heart of my work-in-progress novel, and lose my way.  I find that I haven’t researched properly, or I need a name, or I lose track of what I really want out of this story line.  To help resolve this issue, I’ve started doing more outlining of my stories as I write.  However, I also realize that I need to do more of this.  Outlining, that is.  And, research.  Most importantly, I need to better outline and research before I really get going.  That way, as I get on a roll and as the words flow, I can really keep going and not have to stop for things that I should know already. 

So, having been thinking about this a bit, recently, I was quite pleasantly surprised and pleased to see a recent April 4th post by Amanda Hocking, on her blog, in which she tells of (some time ago) hearing Gary Paulsen (she thinks) describe the need to outline.  Amanda goes on to talk about what works for her, and I am certainly going to take notice of her advice.  So, now, with a big thank you to Amanda Hocking, I will redouble my efforts to plan and outline my works in progress, and let’s hope I can speed up my production a bit.  And, just for the record, here’s what I’ve got on the go, right now.

Happy Reading,


Friday, April 6, 2012

Important Rules for Writers and Authors

I cannot claim originality, but I've adapted and adjusted this list of Important Rules for Writers and  Authors and it's now perfect for me.  It is just too good not to share:

   So, now that you've read this advice, get busy and start writing!