Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Tick Tock Plot: This Writer's Journey to Becoming a Plotter

30 Books in 30 Days Challenge

Day One:

Today I read, Tick Tock Plot. When I started out as a writer, I was a full blown pantser (a person who flies by the seat of her pants while she writes)... Now, I am a hybrid of a plotter and a pantser and I find this a much easier process. I didn't take plotting seriously until I took James Patterson's Masterclass and discovered what an invaluable tool this really is.

After that class I wrote Remote Paranoia (PBI Case Files #5) which was part of a box set anthology "Wicked After Dark" that hit the New York Times Bestseller list October 2015. Plotting wasn't the only thing I learned in that class, but it was my greatest takeaway. I am able to produce tighter, page turning stories in half the time I did prior to learning the importance of plotting.

I can tell you, even now, as I continue to grow in the plotting arena, I still leave room for pantsing and this is because I think my creativity would be stifled if I don't allow for some wiggle room while writing.

A lot of what I read in Tick Tock Plot was familiar to me and I had been putting many of the principles into practice already, without a solid process/system in place. This book helped me design my own system, different from the one on the pages, but similar enough to hit criteria expected in today's industry standard. I think that is important, when learning something, identifying what will work for you and what won't and mixing it into your own concoction is a way to find and grow successfully. It is what the author Jacqueline Garlick did in this book. She took many of the principles from Blake Snyder's Beat Sheet  and adapted them into her own process for creating blockbuster novels. The plotting process in this book doesn't stop with the Beat Sheet, she takes it two steps further.

Her idea is to place the components on the beat sheet onto the face of a clock and break it down in timely increments and then plot out the scenes in accordance to the timed theories. In my opinion, this has the potential to create great page turners. In fact, I'm trying a variation of this process with my next book, Cursed (Blood Courtesans Series) which is scheduled to be released November 15th. I spent the day plotting, designing a process from all my lessons from various sources (including the ones in this book) and life experiences and have produced a super solid outline for Cursed. I'm excited to get started on the writing and see how well the story flows. What I essentially have at this point is a very, very rough draft and now my challenge will be to fill in the rest of the story, character components, and bring the final product to life. My goal is to see if I can create the second rough draft to this 45k book in two weeks. I have a super great foundation at this point so I have a good feeling this is one challenge I will find success in.

All in all, the book was well written, had great graphics and the process was easy to read, understand and adapt. Now the question is how well my new process will work. We will find out in 14 days.

Thanks for joining me on this 30 day challenge.

30 Books in 30 Days Challenge: Becoming a Better Writer

30 Books in 30 Days Challenge....

Becoming a published author was a long hard road for me. It wasn't that I couldn't tell a story, create memorable characters, or design new worlds. I've had these skills since I was old enough to pick up a pen, or pencil, or other writing utensil. I loved storytelling, it was an escape from reality and I've been told I'm pretty good at it. There are countless stories that are littering up the landfills written by me, crumpled papers that had characters and worlds that came alive (or died, depending on the story), lost to time and decay... why? Because my issues with becoming an author were far deeper. My insecurities ran through my psyche and caused me to doubt my ability to be a published author.

Instead, I chose the tried and true route, I became a corporate coach and developed myself and others as leaders. I did this for years, found it fulfilling, but something was missing. Then I met my husband, the love of my life, and my world changed again. One thing, I had learned as a child was that I was adaptable and when we discovered there was something wonderful between us, I took the leap and joined him. His job had us traveling for a while. It was the best decision I had ever made. Well one of them. I must admit, it was hard giving up my position in corporate America, but I knew I'd be okay.

It was during the next five years that I started building a life coaching and hypnotherapy practice, working with clients all over the country, via phone and skype, and helping them make lasting changes in their lives. It was during this time that I also decided to pick up a pen and revitalize my passion for writing.

It wasn't until one day, in 2013 when my husband said, "Honey, I love you, but writing is just a hobby for you and that is okay."

That was powerful for me. I have always loved a challenge. He wasn't challenging me, but I took it as a challenge. I had been writing all my life and while it is perfectly fine that it was a hobby, I was going to make it a real business. I was going to start publishing. At the time I was working on my first novel (Lone Wolf Rising) and taking classes to become a certified Transpersonal Hypnotherapist and Master NLP Practitioner.

I knew enough about myself, to identify that the problem, the road block, was inside me. My training helped me overcome these road blocks. I used NLP, self coaching, and self hypnosis to delve into what was keeping me from becoming an author. What I discovered surprised me. Insecurities back to when I was in grade school. Teachers that made fun of me because I was still writing in print when I should've known how to write in cursive (we moved around a lot as a child and different schools from different states had different curriculum). As a child, I couldn't understand this, or what shame I felt when teachers made fun of me for spelling words wrong or not understanding grammar as well as other students did. To add to this, I was sent back a grade because I didn't know how to write in cursive and it put me behind. It didn't matter that I was a great student, I had a thirst for knowledge, I'd be willing to learn outside of school through homework. It mattered that I just wasn't up to that state's level. A kid can't understand this, not really, no matter how enlightened they are or how intelligent they are, it is hard to understand these types of decisions. It really hindered my confidence in my ability to write and communicate.

I grew out of this and became a solid student. Great grades. I eventually learned to adapt. The challenge had been given and I overcame and found success. But a part of me, deep down, inside, was damaged. I had no idea how this impacted me until years later, when my wonderful husband said those words to me. Words that engaged me in a challenge and put me on a path of self discovery.

When I discovered my insecurities, worked through the hidden pain, and found work arounds (like hiring an editor) I was able to publish my first book three months later. Since then I have over 30 published works and that number grows every year. I have great fans who motivate me. I have hundreds of more stories to tell and I'm excited about each one. I have also decided to help other aspiring authors find their path. I have training courses on Skillshare and will be launching a website in September as well.

Growing doesn't stop when the problem is overcome. I can write great tales, but I want to write blockbuster stories that are riveting and keep readers hungry for more. I love to learn about my craft everyday and enjoy when I learn something new that I can add to my skill set.

One of my clients, a couple of months ago, challenged himself to read a book everyday for 30 days. It was one of the best things he could do for his growth and development and it inspired me to do the same thing. A book a day for 30 days. I am up for the challenge. I can, and will do this. Each book will be something to help me as an author. I'll post the titles and a link to my review of those books (as I complete them) to this post... but if you subscribe to this newsletter, you'll get the new links sent to your email when they are published. I'm hoping to share the lessons I learn from these books with you and take away great skills I can add to my own author's toolbox.

30 Books in 30 Days Challenge

Check if you enjoy reading paranormal please check out all my books here on Amazon.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Like Paranormal Romance? Check out this Great New Giveaway

Hi all! I just wanted to pop in and let you know about my newest giveaway this month. Enter for a chance to win a Kindle Fire, a $20 Amazon Gift Card, an autographed copy of Lone Wolf Rising (my first book ever published), or a Kindle copy of my anthology "Paranormal Affairs" which includes 11 first in series books published by me, Jami Brumfield.

Everyone will receive a free copy of Rayne's Thunder (part one) Master Chef with their entry.

Click here to enter and good luck.

Please note these books contain adult subject matter and are recommended for the 18 years and older audience.

If you're not familiar with the books up for grabs I'll post a little something about them below.

Lone Wolf Rising (new adult paranormal adventure, romantic suspense, with a little science fiction flavor)

Vampires, witches, and werewolves, oh my!

Two desirable guys, one lost girl, enemies at every turn, and family secrets that threaten to break the ties that bind. 

The need for vengeance can drive some people to desperation, others to depression, and some go insane with the need to find justice. The desire to avenge the murder of her parents drives Rebecca to make life changing choices that impact her and the people she loves. 

As a human she is a struggling high school student who uses music as a coping mechanism. As a werewolf she has power that positions her to take a bite out of the crime that destroyed her childhood. When the two combine, her life explodes.

While Rebecca attempts to find answers, she is put into a position of authority, one that persuades her to join forces with a Protector who poses as a 'pretend' boyfriend. As this relationship becomes real, the rogue wolves make an attempt to claim the alpha throne. Rebecca’s life is about to shatter, her beliefs will be tested, and her world will never be the same.

First in series available on Amazon for only $0.99 or Free with Kindle Unlimited. One winner from this giveaway will win an autographed copy of this paperback.

Rayne's Thunder (paranormal romantic shifter romantic serial)

Dating a werewolf can get a little hairy, literally and metaphorically. Rayne Manchester's suitors learn this pretty quickly in this fun, action packed shifter romantic serial. Rayne and her siblings, Rhyme and River, have been through a lot lately, and the loss of their father is only more fuel for the firestorm that is their lives. 

Grief offers a subtle salve to the drama that eats up their existence and leaves them spinning like a tornado, but when their uncle reads their father's last will and testament they discover things are only going to get worse. The will divides the massive estate equally, but there is one catch; all three must be mated and married one year from their father's death. If even one of them fails in this mandate, none of them will inherit! Estranged, the siblings will now be forced to help each other. 

Rayne's Thunder is Rayne Manchester's journey toward finding a mate and walking down the aisle. Upcoming, Rhyme's Reason and River's Fire are River and Rhyme's stories to happily ever after. 

Each installment will serve up romance, suspense, intrigue, and action. This box set contains Rayne's Thunder complete romantic serial from beginning to end, all six parts. 

Message from Rayne: 

My father's death rattled me to the core. A part of me died with him and left my world spinning out of control. I needed the sanity, the comfort home and my pack offered. Returning home was the only option. Father was always overbearing, determined, protective. He felt he knew what was best for all of us, even if it wasn't. 

But this time he really overstepped, I mean to tell me who and when I need to marry and mate from beyond the grave is just inexcusable and to make it worse, he wasn't here for me to tell him how furious I was with him. 

There's only one saving grace... at least he left me with a decent list. I'm looking forward to my first date with Brick Mason. I hear he's a mater chef and comes from a respectable alpha family in Wyoming. I suppose we'll see. Whatever happens finding true love is going to be an adventure. I hope you'll join me on my journey to my happily ever after. 

The complete serial is available on Amazon for $4.99.

Everyone who enters the giveaway will receive a Free copy of Rayne's Thunder (part one) Master Chef

Paranormal Affairs (adult paranormal romance and mysteries... all eleven books in this anthology are first in series by paranormal author Jami Brumfield).

11 amazing titles from Best Selling author Jami Brumfield. Paranormal Affairs bundle I is packed with full length and novellas from her hottest paranormal series in the sub genres of Mystery, Romance, Comedy, Ghost, Shifter, Science Fiction, and Fantasy. Each story has kick butt heroines, sexy heroes, danger, suspense, intrigue and many even have visits from the ancients mythological gods and goddesses.

Lost (Ghost Connection) Cassie is trying desperately to be a normal college student but her ghost-ly friends and abilities have made that almost impossible. Sold separately on Amazon for only $0.99.

The Beginning (PBI Case Files) human sisters Frankie and Sarah Hollister are recruited to the Paranormal Bureau of Investigation team and meet their new partners; the dashing dangerous vampire, Devon and the socially inept bear shifter, Fang. They are led by the demi-goddess Karma. Sold separately on Amazon for only $0.99.

To Love a Dragon (Shifter Love Tales) Dragon shifter Prince meets his witch mate during a homicide investigation. Oh the trouble they get into and the curse they help bring about on the Shifters from their goddess Artemis is the beginning of this sexy series with real life issues.Sold separately on Amazon for only $0.99.

The Witch's Vampire (Mystery Springs) Cassie just lost her mother to cancer but that isn’t the most devastating news she receives in this “first in series” book with a HFN ending. Witch doctors, vampires, ancient gods, and past life love affairs are only some of the awesome twists in this love story.Sold individually on Amazon for only $3.99.

Rayne's Thunder (Part One) Master Chef. Rayne returns home from college to attend her father’s funeral and her world is turned upside down when she receives a message from her father beyond the grave. Mate and marry within a year from his death or lose your inheritance. What’s a girl to do? Start dating. Sold individually on Amazon for only $0.99.

The Dragon's Succubus (Demon Fairy Tales) Alleyah is a demon, direct descendant of the devil himself and she’s hell bent on defying her daddy dearest by sending as many of her demon family members back to the bowels of hell. She’s done a good job until her bounty hunter, dragon shifter alpha mate enters her life to turn her over to the supernatural authority for crimes she didn’t commit. Sold individually on Amazon for only $0.99.

Cherished Gift (Paranormal Hypnotherapy Files) Clara Jameson is a human hypnotherapist whose newest client, Jenna is suffering from night terrors that haunt her to the point she attempted to take her own life. On suicide watch, Clara helps Jenna through past life regression hypnosis. Sold individually on Amazon for only $0.99.

Genie's Treasure (Magical Secrets) Siblings Joshua and Josie embark on a treasure hunt for the key to a genie’s lamp. One finds love, the other’s life is endangered, and they both face challenges that will leave them scarred in different ways. Sold individually on Amazon for only $0.99.

Lone Wolf Rising (Winters Saga) the first book in the Winters Saga Trilogy. Rebecca seeks and finds a way to become a werewolf. When she undergoes the change she set herself and her family on a path full of danger, suspense, inter dimension travel, and romantic suspense as they battle the forces of good and evil to save, not only the supernatural worlds they live in, but the human’s as well. Sold individually on Amazon for only $0.99.

Death Interrupted (Vanished Series) Avalon Flight 370 disappears over the Pacific Ocean. Their bodies and the plane will never be found… not in 2014. In the moments before their deaths they are whisked away to a dystopian future where they are forced into relationships with other passengers in order to save the human race. This is the love story between Blake and Melissa. Sold individually on Amazon for only $2.99.

Father Made Me Do It (Demon Ascension Series) Charm Livingston is a vengeance demon. Direct descendant of the devil himself. She wants nothing more than to be human. Her future looks sealed until she answers the call to deliver revenge for a human soul. She finds a warrior angel that helps her on the path to ascension. This book is a romantic comedy full of hilarious characters and story lines that give you a funny look at the underworld and its inhabitants. Sold individually on Amazon for only $3.99.

*Contains Adult content written for readers 18 and older

This set is available on Amazon for only $4.99.

One winner from this giveaway will win a kindle copy of this box set.

Good luck!

Here is the link for the giveaway one more time just in case.