Author challenge: Who Are Your Three Ideal Readers

Hello to everyone in the blogosphere. I have a special challenge for you, but before I explain what the challenge is, I’d first like to encourage you to sign up for my BB, so you can receive a free gift and news and updates about my author journey. Without further ado, here’s my challenge.

The question for you is: Who are the three ideal people you write for? I’ll share my answers with you, but first, here’s what I’d like you to do. Before you answer this question, spend some time in prayer over your three people and journal about them. If finding free images on Pixabay, Unsplash or any other sites where you can download free for commercial use photos, and create your images using your software of choice. If you decide to post your three ideal readers on your blog or website, please tag me on social media or pingback to this post so I can read your answers and share them on my social media. My answers are as follows.
1. My daughter Sharen, for whom the original version of Shadow of Truth was dedicated to.
2. The person who suffers from PTSD, due to a horrific incident they witnessed as a chile or any traumatic experience he or she experienced in his or her life. No matter what you’ve been through, remember you’re not alone.
3. The person who feels jaded by her friends and family due to her disability.

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Inspirational Journeys Presents: How to Incert Hyperlinks in a WordPress blog post

Hello everyone in the blogosphere,
Here’s today’s video and podcast episode about inserting hyperlinks in your blog posts.

If you have any questions about this writing tip or you’d like to share tips you’ve learned during your author journey, please email me or connect with me on Facebook, twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Please fill out the contact form below if you wish to subscribe to my email list and receive a free short story.


5 Narrative Mistakes to Avoid: Guest post by Desiree Villena

With so much writing advice available on the Internet, it would take forever to incorporate every single tip into your work. For this reason, it’s sometimes more practical to opt for the process of elimination instead. In other words: you can best improve your writing by keeping an eye out for common narrative mistakes to avoid.
So which false steps should you steer clear of in the minefield that is writing a book? Here are five of the most common narrative mistakes to avoid when you’re writing your novel.
1. Don’t just show — sometimes it’s good to tell
The old adage ‘show, don’t tell’ has a proven track record in encouraging writers to find subtle ways of expression. Still, it’s not an unbreakable writerly pact; on the contrary, it’s a rule you can (and should) defy when necessary.
Think hard about the context of the scene you’re writing and decide accordingly. For example, ‘telling’ things can be an excellent narrative technique if your character is unable to emotionally process a given situation because, say, they’re living through trauma. Here, you may find that simply stating, ‘Darren didn’t know what to do next’ can be a more effective way to portray emotional paralysis than an elaborate description of Darren wandering around his apartment and gazing out of the window. Sometimes, just telling can be punchier.
Finally, if you’re forcing yourself to ‘show’ instead of ‘tell’ purely to meet this rule’s demands, you risk ending up with some awkward turns of phrase. Your prose is the essence of your work, so don’t compromise its quality for the sake of ‘showing’.
2. Don’t overuse foreshadowing
Writers are often told to foreshadow ensuing turns of events to pique the readers’ curiosity. It’s a great technique for building suspense, and can be especially compelling when used in your book description, but overdoing it in the text itself can make readers impatient. And a frustrated reader does one of two things you don’t want them to do: they either skip pages or, even worse, give up on reading your book.
So, be kind to your readers — try not to irritate them with too many teasing clues. Most importantly, trust them to keep reading without the help of one too many a hint. After all, they picked your book and trusted you to take them on a fictional journey.
3. Don’t (completely) disregard genre
It’s fun to experiment, and brilliant books can be born at the intersection of genres. If you write literary fiction, a niche that really tests the boundaries of genres as a whole, you may have more room to experiment. For example, Paul Auster’s The New York Trilogy is at home in the mystery genre as well as among literary fiction, and Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being blends fiction with nonfiction in a characteristically ‘auto-fictional’ move.
In most other cases, though, it’s beneficial for your brand — and your story — to limit yourself to one or (at most) two genres: too many overlaps always pose the risk of alienating readers, and you might find even yourself mixing up genre tropes. It’s easy, for instance, to find people who either love historical fiction about Tudor England, sci-fi novels about alien invasions, or romance books about relationship turbulence. However, it’s much harder to find someone interested in all three, so a romance novel about an alien invasion of Tudor England would probably struggle to appeal to a decent readership.
Don’t forget that this tip also applies to your book cover design. Remember, even though we’re technically not supposed to, readers do pick books on the basis of their covers since covers can say a lot about what to expect from a book. As such, make sure your cover design effectively reflects your genre. (Bonus points if you can get your author website and other promotional materials designed with your genre’s aesthetic in mind!)
4. Don’t forget to pace effectively
As you’re writing, try to keep an eye on the pace of your story. Some days writing is a struggle, and though you may still manage to produce something, you might find that you wrote 1,000 words about your character’s stroll through the park and then spent a meager 200 on a crucial revelation. Similarly, you may have taken some time to get into gear for a new chapter, and ended up over-writing your character’s morning routine, when you could have launched straight into the action instead.
To prevent this, go over your work regularly, keeping note of how many words each section has taken up. If you notice an unreasonable inequality, you probably have to speed up certain sections. Which brings us to the final mistake you should try to avoid…
5. Don’t allow yourself to get too attached
You need to bear this one in mind while you’re writing, so you can be prepared for the next stage: editing, a.k.a. the stage in which you will probably need to kill some of your darlings.
Of course, no writer can help getting attached to their work, and that’s fine! However, being emotionally attached and emotionally blinded are two very different things. When you’re writing your first draft, try your hardest to get your story out on paper, and be proud of yourself — after all, the first draft is the part that requires the most perseverance.
But don’t take your armor off just yet, because you’ll need your courage for the editing process. To really mine the potential of your writing and remove elements that don’t contribute enough, you will have to detach yourself from how good it felt to write that one scene, how fantastic that one sentence sounds, or how funny that dialogue exchange seems. Editing is hard, but keep at it! Just remember, no one’s first draft is flawless.
Finally, though all these mistakes are important to bear in mind, don’t let them overwhelm you. If worrying about potential mistakes while you write is too stressful, write badly and courageously, as long as you get words on the page. One of the most widely accepted pieces of writerly wisdom is that “You can always edit a bad page, but you can’t edit a blank page” — that’s what you should keep in mind as you write your own story into existence.

Desiree Villena is a writer with Reedsy, a marketplace that connects authors with resources on self-publishing and professionals to help polish their books. In her spare time, Desiree enjoys reading contemporary fiction and writing short stories. She tries her best to avoid all of these narrative mistakes!

#amwriting, #WritingTips

Inspirational Journeys Presents: The Four Ps of Writing: Positive Mistakes, Protected time: Platform and Process

Hello everyone in the blogosphere:
Last night, I had a fabulous conversation with Tish Bouvier on her Write Coffee Repeat podcast about the three Ps of writing. In my short summary episode, I discussed these aspects of the writing life and added a bonus aspect, which we didn’t mention, yet is the most part of the writing life, in my opinion. I’ll briefly describe the 4 Ps of writing below, follow by links to both podcast episodes for your listening pleasure.

Positive mistakes

Positive mistakes are the flubs that lead to better creative opportunities or enhancements in your writing and marketing efforts. What improvements have you made from your positive mistakes and what have you learned from these mishaps?

Protected time

The time you spend writing, on social media, with your family, and creating a work/life balance is an important part of the creative lifestyle. What strategies do you use to create a balance between your writing and your everyday life?


Creating your author platform is essential if you want to get your book(s) into the hands of readers. Your platform is where you connect with like-minded people and build a strong writing community. What are your favorite platforms and what strategies do you use to make them work for you?


The heart of the writing life is your creative process. Everyone’s process is different. Learn from the experts and writers in your community, but create your own process and do what works for you.

Click the link below to hear my solo episode, where I discuss these aspects of the writing life:

Click the link below to hear my conversation with Tish Bouvier on Write Coffee Repeat:

Visit Tish’s website:

Connect with me at the following links:

Subscribe to my YouTube channel and my podcast at the links below.

Fill out the contact form below if you wish to subscribe to my email list and receive a free short story.

#Amediting, #amwriting, #WritingTips

Inspirational Journeys Presents: 3 Tips for Repurposing Dump Scenes in your Writing

To all you fiction writers out in the blogosphere, here are three things you can do to repurpose your dumped scenes;

Dump your scenes in groups, according to a side character’s POV or a plot sequence. For example, if you have four scenes with one of your secondary characters, group them together, so you can pull them from your notebook or junk journal for use in a separate document.

Place your pieced together scene groups in separate documents to rewrite later. For example, I have a document simply called, Shelly’s story where I put scenes featuring my secondary character, so I can write her story later.

Use the scenes or chapters you’ve grouped together in their separate documents, to write a separate story or group of stories that coincide with your full-length novel. You can either put them together in a collection, or if you have longer pieces, such as novellas or novelettes, you can publish them as single titles and/or put them together in a collection later on.

To hear me explain this topic in greater detail, click the following links:


If you have suggestions for future podcast episodes or videos, or you’d like to be a guest on Inspirational Journeys, you can connect with me in one of the following ways:

Send an email to annwrites75@gmail.com with Inspirational Journeys in the subject line,
Connect with me on social media at the following links:

or fill out the contact form below.

Until next time, happy writing, stay safe and healthy and remember you are always in my prayers.

#WritingTips, marketing tips, publishing

#InspirationalJourneys Presents: Weekend Wrap up, Furious Fiction and Women in Publishing Summit Highlights

Hello, to everyone in the blogosphere. Today, I have a couple of things I want to talk about. I explain them in greater detail in my latest podcast episode.

First of all, I would like to celebrate my first entry submitted to the monthly furious fiction competition, which takes place the first weekend of each month. This contest is sponsored by the Australian Writers Center and stories can be no longer than 500 words. The contest if free, and you have a chance to win $500 each month that you participate. The writing prompt for March was as follows: Your story must have a character in disguise. Your story must be set in a park and it must contain a mirror. I wrote a story entitled Calm before the Fall, using the victim from A Journey of Faith: A Stepping Stones Mystery.

The second topic in today’s episode of #InspirationalJourneys is my highlights from the Women in Publishing Summit March 2-8, 2020. The nuggets I found from the various presentations are as follows. Each of these nuggets are explained in greater detail in the episode linked below.


Although an author writes one draft of a story, don’t expect your first draft to be ready to send to an editor. One of the editors said either she or one of her clients revised their manuscript seventeen times, before it was ready to publish. There are different types of editors: developmental/content editors, line editors, copy editors and proofreaders. Don’t rely on one editor to do all the various types of edits.

Self-publishing your book:

Self-published or Indie authors wear three hats: The author hat, when you write the book, the publisher’s hat, when you get your book formatted, edited and hire a cover designer, upload your book to the different platforms etc., and the marketer’s hat once your book is published.

What readers look for:

In a bookstore, a reader checks the cover, the blurb and the author’s writing style, among other things, to determine whether or not the book is worth the purchase. Readers also look for books that are in a series first, genre specific books second, and books by their favorite authors third. I also learned that poetry books are often published in series.

Click the link below for today’s episode of the #InspirationalJourneys podcast:

#Amediting, #WritingTips

Changing Point of View During the Editing Process

Hello everyone in the blogosphere,
I have a couple of writing tips to share, one of which is changing the point of view of your novel during the editing process. I wrote an entire book in Third Person, but my main character told me in no uncertain terms that she needed me to let her tell her story, at sometime after 4 AM on February 20, 2020. That same afternoon, I started rewriting Chapter one in First person. As I did so, I realized that my Main Character’s questions could be written in the narration of the story, instead of internal dialogue in italics.
The second tip, after you’ve decided which POV is the right fit for your book, is to ask yourself why elements of your story and your characters develop the way they do.

‘to see my quick tip video, visit:

To hear my discussion of these tips in greater detail, listen to my latest podcast episode:

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Inspirational Journeys Podcast:

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send an email to annwrites75@gmail.com with “newsletter” in the subject for email list subscriptions and “Inspirational Journeys” in the subject line to be a guest on my podcast
Send me a message on social media with your name and email address and whether you’d like to subscribe to my newsletter or be a guest on my podcast, or fill out the contact form below.



Inspirational Journeys Presents: Weekend Wrap Up

Hello to all my readers, followers and fans in the blogosphere.

This weekend, I have learned three new things to make our writing lives easier. I’ll share the tips with you here and share the link to today’s episode of Inspirational Journeys, where I discuss these tips in greater detail.

Create an invoice template for your writing business.

If you’ve been hired by a company or individual to complete some freelance work, odds are, they’ll ask you to send an invoice for the service you rendered. On Friday, I learned how to create my own invoices to send to my client. Once I put together the first invoice, I created a template to use for future invoices. Once you create your template, you can add in any additional information for a specific project, and resave the document under the project name.

Create book templates for your manuscripts.

If you have a book already formatted, you can resave the formatted document under a file name such as “book template”, in another folder. Once you’ve created the template, you can save and close out your original file. Within my book template, I keep the front matter pages as a place holder, so I can change the necessary information pertaining to the manuscript I’m working on. If you have back matter in your book, move it to another document, then cut out the text of the book itself, leaving chapter numbers, style and page breaks intact. I put 20 chapters in my template, but you can use any number that works for your book. You can add or delete chapters as needed. After you add in your last chapter, copy your back matter in your document. From there, you can copy and paste the text of each chapter into your document or start writing your book within your template. Be sure to rename the file, so you won’t lose the template you’ve created.

Store your important files in multiple places.

This tip may be the most important one of all. If you have a google, Microsoft or iCloud account, transport any important files over to one or all of these places, so you won’t lose all your hard work.

Use these three tips to save time and stress as you move forward in your writing journey. To hear my full discussion of these tips, visit:


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https://www. youtube.com/user/annsmusic1

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Inspirational Journeys Presents: Weekend Wrap Up and Blurb Tips

Hello everyone in the blogosphere:

In today’s weekend wrap up, I talk about the goals I’ve accomplished this weekend and I share some tips for writing blurbs for your fiction. I’ll break down the notes to ponder here, but I go over them in greater detail in the podcast episode. Your Blurb elements are as follows:

* Name your main character(s).
* Briefly describe your setting.
* Name the problem your characters face.
* Provide questions to make your potential readers want more.

To hear today’s episode, visit the following link:

If you’d like to be a guest on Inspirational Journeys, you can do one of three things: Send an email to annwrites75@gmail.com with “Inspirational Journeys” in the subject line, message me on social media with your name, email address and whether you’re an author, creative artist or an entrepreneur at:

Or fill out the contact form below.