Lanetta J. Sprott

Posts Tagged ‘Writing

Preparations are underway to participate in the annual Bloomin Fest on Saturday, April 3rd. The primary purpose: to sell my books! Signed copies of Where Forever Begins and Finding Closure will be available for purchase.

In addition to the books, I’m preparing an assortment of handcrafted items to sell as well. Someone told me a long time ago: get folks in your booth and even if you don’t sell a book, send them packing with something to remember you. Maybe that day isn’t a good day, financially speaking, to spend the $15 or $17 for a book. But a smaller priced item with a tag that includes the website for later purchase is a good thing.

It was suggested by Erin Cawood to create a brochure or flyer to hand out to all who pass by the booth. Okay. By using software already on the laptop, it’s an easy formatting process. Then I started wondering, what should be included?

  • Picture of the book covers
  • Blurb (same as on the back of the books)
  • Tidbit on the works in progress
  • Author picture

Anything else? That’s when I decided to do an Internet search…

 The first site I visited gave what to put where (I’m using a tri-fold) … very helpful information from the “Write and Publish Fiction, Home for Fiction Writers” website. This is what they suggest:

1)    Front page should include author picture and graphic/illustration of book’s cover

2)    Middle pages add detailed description of book’s topic/theme, author bio, and contact information. Actually, on a tri-fold, the right side could be used as an order form.

3)    Back page – a great place to put review quotes!

So, okay… I’m adding another thing:

  • Review quotes


On to the next website….

Ah, The Dabbling Mum wrote an informative article “Design Your Own Brochure” with reminders on the physical layout, such as font size and type for clarity (oops, will change my “fancy” style back to the “plain” kind), and she shared using bullet points to place emphasis on important information.

In the article “Tips for Creating a Winning Business Brochure” I was reminded about selecting complementary colors… and to limit to two or three. Among a wealth of information provided, the explanation about using quality paper is a valid one.

Okay… is there anything else I need to know?


     Writing, creating a full-length novel, is a slow process. It is for me anyway. When not under-the-gun, like during November’s National Novel Writing Month challenge, each scene percolates, trickles through my mind before words form on the page.

     Developing the “stuff” – introducing the characters, establishing writing style and getting the main characters to the pivotal point of the story – each scene, every action or thought anyone has and all words spoken or heard – for everything there is a reason, a purpose – to move the story along. 

     According to the experts, however, the first draft should be written under the “fast draft” method…. rush rush rush through it, get it down on paper (electronic or tree-based), then begin editing & revising, tweaking through several revisions, filling in where previous notes indicated more research or development would be needed. 

     It’s hard for me to do this.

     I was chatting with an author friend, Erin Cawood, and discovered the fast paced writing process also kills her mojo. When I asked her to explain what “mojo” is, she gave this perfect response: “The enthusiasm mixed in with a passionate flow that allows to you to really create magic with your words.”

     Yes, the key is enthusiasm – the love and passion of the story, the process of creating the magical words to express it just right. This process, at least for Erin and I, takes precious time we are willing, and anxious to spend.

     Multiple rewrites and edits will follow, but only after a slow simmering initial creation!

How do you handle these two situations?

  • When writing in Morgan’s POV, and say, her sister Alice receives a telephone call, the reader/Morgan will not know what the caller is saying, but only read/hear Alice’s side of the conversation, correct?  But, if Morgan is alone, then the reader will read/hear the caller’s conversation as well. Correct? 
  • When Morgan is having a flashback, and she recalls something someone said, then I should use ‘single quotations’ around the quote, correct? See example:

The plans she and Blake had had when selecting their home flooded her thoughts. His words rang clearly as she remembered how he had explained, ‘Don’t worry how small it is now. There is plenty of room to grow.’ He had stood at the kitchen door with a hand on the knob, sporting his wide irresistible smile. The smile grew wider as he opened the door, motioning for her to follow out into the backyard. Holding his arms out wide, he had stepped off a large square, saying, ‘There is ample yard. We can add a family room here when we start having babies.’ She vividly recalled the kiss to her cheek he’d given her as he patted her stomach. Now where his kiss had been, she wiped away a tear and allowed one last time to grieve for the dreams that never came true.

It’s the Friday night before NaNo begins… 

          The trip into town today provided an opportunity for quiet time. While on the twenty mile stretch of curving country road, I listened carefully to the characters dialogue. They spoke of their interests, their sacrifices, their loves. Morgan and Blake both dropped large chunks of “stuff” in my lap and I didn’t have a tape recorder! I hope I have retained everything they shared.

          Once in the store, I recalled over and over what they told me, then I was bombarded again. As I pushed the grocery cart, I turned and walked along a specific aisle and saw much more than the Wal-Mart products flanking both sides… an overwhelming sense of what Morgan is really like flooded my mind.

          She’s in my heart totally now. And, now it’s up to me to get her on paper, to capture the heart of everyone who reads her story.

Morgan’s story begins 12:01 a.m., Sunday, November 1st.

The Next Time Around

NaNoWriMo preparation….


To-do’s other than forming character descriptions & plotting:

  1. Explain, again, then again, to friends and family why you will have limited borrowed time to visit while meeting the challenge!
  2. Print out a November calendar. Annotate things such as:
    1. doctor appointments
    2. other commitments
    3. birthdays (schedule e-mail Happy Birthday’s by 10/31), and
    4. a *menu for each day
  3. Plan *menus
  4. Grocery shop
  5. Cook & freeze dinners
  6. Finish reading any and all non-fiction/fiction books you can muster!
  7. Select/ready “mood” music
  8. Select/ready candle fragrances
  9. Select/ready scented hand soap (we all are washing hands often, correct?)
  10. Select/ready special coffee/tea cup, maybe designated specifically for NaNo!
  11. Find the perfect glass for drinking that water!
  12. Locate isotonic fingerless theraputic gloves… don’t want hands to cramp at the wrong time!
  13. Find a timer to use: one hour max typing, then 15 minute break, then back to creating the story!
  14. Repeat over and over: I will do NO editing. I will do NO editing. I will do NO editing.

What do you do to prep for NaNoWriMo?

Things to do before 12:01 a.m. November 1st!

Create one MS Excel that contains:

  • Worksheet for each main character (pictures, vitals)
  • Worksheet for major scene locations (pictures)
  • Worksheet listing major secondary characters (pictures, too!)
  •  Back up Excel!

Complete character profiles:

  • Morgan
  • Alice (and her twin girls)
  • Blake
  • Gordon
  • Flush out secondary characters and develop mini bio on each.
  • Back up profiles!

Finish briefly plotting storyline

  • Back up plot!

Explain, again, then again, to friends and family why I will be on limited borrowed time to visit while meeting the challenge!

Print out a November calendar and annotate:

  • Doctor appointments
  • Other commitments
  • Birthdays (schedule e-mail Happy Birthday’s by 10/31)
  • *Menu for each day

*Plan menus

Grocery shop

Cook & freeze dinners

Finish reading:

  • Marc McCutcheon’s The Writer’s Digest Sourcebook for Building Believable Characters
  • Linda Edelstein’s Writer’s Guide to Character Traits, in addition to all the wonderful blog articles others are posting!

Select/ready “mood” music: at least 3 different CD’s: celtic harp, classic (some Bach, Beethoven, Massenet, Gluck, and Mozart), Mason William’s classical guitar, and Yanni (as a standby). IMHO, nothing with lyrics as it will distract from what characters are talking about!

Select/ready candle fragrances:  maybe rosemary, white linen, and the soy lavender sounds good.

Ready different scented soaps and hand lotions, to fit the different moods during the writing process!

Locate isotonic fingerless theraputic gloves… don’t want hands to cramp at the wrong time!

Find a timer to use: one hour max typing, then 15 minute break, then back to creating the story!

 What else do I need to do?

Always, repeat over and over: I will do NO editing. I will do NO editing. I will do NO editing.

What do you do in prepping for NaNoWriMo?

Knowing your audience is a must, to a point. Who else will buy and support your novels? If you write, however, strictly to please others, where is the passion, the purpose of telling your story the way it wants/needs to be told?

Not long ago a wise lady said, “Stay true to your self.” This is exactly what I needed to hear at a writing crossroad. A beta reader (BR), an avid fan and supporter of my two previous novels, basically threatened not to ever read any of my works again if I wrote of or implied a particular storyline in Ella.

This “threat” bothered me a great deal. I highly respect the opinion of this BR, but I also know and understand where she is coming from. It is not, however, the same place I am at now, or ever have been for that matter. And, neither has Ella.

It is the “right” and function of every reader to select novels according to their tastes and avoid those that they find of no interest or would find offensive if read. It is just as imperative for the author, the creator, to hold true to ones self.

Stay true to your own self, the truth will set you free!

Native Texan living in the Hill Country writing and experiencing life one day at a time.

Novels by Lanetta J. Sprott:

Where Forever Begins Finding Closure

Where Forever Begins, A Simple Love Story and Finding Closure are available online at Lulu and Amazon.


Read a preview of both novels here.


New goal (to finish book): 95,000

Free Twitter buttons from

    Twitter Updates