[Preptober pt.2] Mindmapping v. Outlining v. Pansting

***Before I get to the juicy stuff, let’s get some housecleaning done. Be sure you read all the way to the bottom for some ways you can access to exclusive content not available to the public. If this is your first time joining us, we here at FyreSyde are a husband and wife duo who made the decision we wanted to offer a community to help our creative entrepreneurs, readers, bloggers and authors alike. Blaise’s book, Blessing of Luna can be found on Amazon in audiobook, paperback and eBook with the second book in the series, Bane of Tenebris, due to be released in July of 2019. If you would like to sign up for the launch team and receive a free digital copy of the book, please take the time to fill out this form.*** 


 

We are back again! This time, we’re facing some serious opponents in the cage: Mindmapping versus Outlining versus pantsing. FIGHT!

To begin to find out how we want to cheer for these titans in the ring, we need to understand what each of them are:

mind-mapping-graphic-100679740-large

Mindmapping:

The real definition, according to Mindmapping.com, is:

“A graphical way to represent ideas and concepts. It is a visual thinking tool that helps structuring information, helping you to better analyze, comprehend, synthesize, recall and generate new ideas. Just as in every great idea, its power lies in its simplicity.”

Put simply, it’s the messiest form of getting anything you can think of down on paper in some kind of graphic. It can be in the circle web, a tree branch system, etc.

A great tool authors can use is called Freemind. It’s absolutely free and makes the process much easier. 

Once the process is complete you can move onto your second opponent in the cage: Outlining.


Outlining:

Going back to the official definition, according to Dictionary.com, an outline is:

“a general sketch, account, or report, indicating only the main features, as of a book, subject, or project”

What does this mean? Just as it says. You are putting your story in such a way that you dan-wellscan see it’s pacing, plot line, characters, etc.

There are many ways you can do this. However, some of those I use are Dan Well’s 7-point plot structure, The Embryo Method, and of course my favorite, the 3 Act, 9 Block, 27 Chapters method founded by Katytastic. Each of them are powerful and some of the most efficient ways to outline I’ve found! It’s up to you to decide on what’s best for you and your novel!


Pantsing

Pantsing is the most free approach to writing a novel. There’s no dedication to an outline. Often there’s not even a mind-mapping technique involved. It’s the most Stephen King method out there and still one of my most preferred.

However!

quote-but-it-s-writing-damn-it-not-washing-the-car-or-putting-on-eyeliner-if-you-can-take-stephen-king-89-85-72I am what is known as a Plotster. Most of the time, despite my love for the methods above, I don’t really use them I’d rather have a general idea as vague as possible so I can let the characters and story evolve as they will. When I do outline, it’s often Dan Well’s method which gives you the meat and leaves out the details.


But, which is right for me?

This is for you, as the creator, to decide. Some great questions you can ask are:

  1. What do I know about my story?
  2. Do I want to know everything up front or allow some freedom to move around?
  3. Do I even want to mind-map?
  4. Do I need to mind-map?
  5. What would benefit the story most?

download (2)Ultimately, you know your story better than anyone. you know what it needs, how the world feels and what you want to know – which can be as much or as little as you like.

  • Try each of them out! Maybe one feels right.
  • Do your research. There are many and I mean many ways to go about creating your story.

Never give up! There’s a story inside of you, you just may have to really dig deep to find it!

BEFORE YOU GO! PLEASE READ ON!


Thank you so much for joining us this week. We are so excited to share this series with you and hope it helps during these next two months. We invite you to sign up for our newsletter and receive not one but two free eBooks as a thank you! We will never spam you!

As we mentioned above, we’re offering exclusive content only available to those who support us on Patreon. Why Patreon? Because it’ll help us reach our goals of putting out printing compilations, extras and eventually publishing opportunities to authors struggling to either start or are desperately looking to avoid the slush piles of bigger publishing houses. 

We welcome you to join us twice a week on our Twitch channel where you can get to know us on a more personal basis, watch as we work, play video games and chat with our readers live! As of now we’re aiming for 7 – 9PM CST Wednesdays and Sundays! 

If you have the time and want to find some wonderful folks who can help you design the perfect eye-catching book cover, please drop by our friends at Damonza.com. Use the code, FYRESYDE to get 5% off your purchase! We use no one but this team of dedicated professionals for all of our book covers.

Had trouble with Word losing your files? Want a place you can plan, outline, have your character sheets, research, etc? Look no further than Scriviner. Trusted by our authors for almost a year, Scriviner is available wherever you need it to be. Now as an app! Click the links for Mac or Windows.

If you would like to write for us, please get in touch with us at fyresydepublishing@gmail.com! We would love to talk with you!

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[Preptober Pt.1] Deciding What to Write

***Before I get to the juicy stuff, let’s get some housecleaning done. Be sure you read all the way to the bottom for some ways you can access to exclusive content not available to the public. If this is your first time joining us, we here at FyreSyde are a husband and wife duo who made the decision we wanted to offer a community to help our creative entrepreneurs, readers, bloggers and authors alike. Blaise’s book, Blessing of Luna can be found on Amazon in audiobook, paperback and eBook with the second book in the series, Bane of Tenebris, due to be released in July of 2019. If you would like to sign up for the launch team and receive a free digital copy of the book, please email us at fyresydepublishing@gmail.com with “Launch Team” in the subject line.*** 


PBR_LogoSo, as you have probably noticed if you have any presence in the writing community or social media in general, you are noticing the term Preptober being used all over the place. 

One simply does not walk into Twitter and not see this hashtag haunting the pages. 

What Is Preptober?

Simply put, Preptober is a month authors of all kinds and genres use to prepare for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). In this four part series, I hope to help give you ways you can benefit the most from Preptober. If you’re stuck on how to schedule preptober in a way you find helpful, check out this helpful little schedule sheet.

What You Can Look Forward To:

To get your feet wet in what I’m planning, here’s a rundown:

  1. Part 1 – Deciding what to write
  2. Part 2 – Mind mapping v. Outlining v. Pantsing
  3. Part 3 – Deciding an outline method
  4. Part 4 – Fleshing out your outline

Without further hesitation, let’s get this show on the road.

If you’ve done NaNoWriMo then you know the goal is to begin a brand new project with the end goal of publishing it either traditionally, self-publishing or indie publishing.

It Gets Us All: The Questionwriting-meme

Many authors struggle with this first question: What should I write? What genre is popular? What if the story I have doesn’t sell? I’m going to ask you to put away the question of popularity and selling and focus only on the story you, the author, wants to tell.

To figure it out, ask yourself these questions:

  1. What’s something you have either in your mind or written in a journal somewhere that you’ve always wanted to write but haven’t for any number of reasons?
  2. What story is going to keep you interested?
  3. What are you passionate about?
  4. Which one can you finish fastest?

By figuring out these questions, you’ve already helped yourself decide on a story you want to dedicate time and energy to. If you can’t answer these questions or fear you might get distracted, take a step back and write a few scenes.

download (1)Isn’t Writing before NaNo Cheating?

Believe it or not this isn’t cheating. Writing out a few scenes can help you get a feel for the characters you’re fixing to spend the next month with. Develop some locations, a music playlist, and some character sheets.

You may find you’re still stuck and that’s perfectly fine! Now is the time to catch up on your To Be Read List (TBR List) to get some inspiration. Reach for your favorite movies, play your favorite games (if you’re a gamer) and listen to your favorite music. You may just need to refill your think tank.

Once you know what you want to write, give yourself a few short sentences to describe your story. This is what we call an elevator pitch but I’ll cover more on that in a later post.

Never give up! There’s a story inside of you, you just may have to really dig deep to find it!

BEFORE YOU GO! PLEASE READ ON!


Thank you so much for joining us this week. We are so excited to share this series with you and hope it helps during these next two months. We invite you to sign up for our newsletter and receive not one but two free eBooks as a thank you! We will never spam you!

As we mentioned above, we’re offering exclusive content only available to those who support us on Patreon. Why Patreon? Because it’ll help us reach our goals of putting out printing compilations, extras and eventually publishing opportunities to authors struggling to either start or are desperately looking to avoid the slush piles of bigger publishing houses. 

We welcome you to join us twice a week on our Twitch channel where you can get to know us on a more personal basis, watch as we work, play video games and chat with our readers live! As of now we’re aiming for 7 – 9PM CST Wednesdays and Sundays! 

If you have the time and want to find some wonderful folks who can help you design the perfect eye-catching book cover, please drop by our friends at Damonza.com. Use the code, FYRESYDE to get 5% off your purchase! We use no one but this team of dedicated professionals for all of our book covers.

Had trouble with Word losing your files? Want a place you can plan, outline, have your character sheets, research, etc? Look no further than Scriviner. Trusted by our authors for almost a year, Scriviner is available wherever you need it to be. Now as an app! Click the links for Mac or Windows.

If you would like to write for us, please get in touch with us at fyresydepublishing@gmail.com! We would love to talk with you!

[Failure pt.2] You’re Going to Experience It…We all Do

FearisALiar

We’re all going to fail at something. 

It’s something that’s hard to swallow but true. We are all going to fail at something. It could be from something simple to breaking a key off in a door lock or something big like a failed book title. 

The beauty is, there’s nothing wrong with it as long as you choose to keep trying. This is the difference between a failure and someone who fails. The failure stays down and quits fighting while the one who fails keeps getting up and trying new things.

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” — Winston Churchill  

 

It’s perfectly fine if your first trial fails. It’s supposed to!

 As an author, I am constantly learning to accept there are projects that may not see the light of day for one reason or another. The beauty of it is, it’s okay. Odds are you’re not going to have a perfect first draft. As a matter of fact, it’s most likely going to be horrible, however, the most important thing is for it to simply exist. You can’t edit a blank canvas 12071-terry-pratchett-first-draft-quotebut you can edit a bad first draft.

We see it all the time. New editions of books, remakes of games, character designs updated after years. These are people who realize that they’re allowed to edit or fix something. They developed their skills, honed them and got back in the saddle. Whatever you, never settle on your first draft of anything being your magnum opus. It won’t be. It’s not supposed to be.

The Wright Brothers went through many stages of the first planes which failed miserably. J.K Rowling wrote her first draft on a napkin and received multiple rejections on Harry Potter before it got picked up.

Allow yourself to fail. In the long run, it is the ultimate teacher and can make something turn into something else you never thought of.

 

Starting is Hard….

 

“The hardest thing to do is to start.” — Stephen King

He was right. Beginning anything new is terrifying. You may fear not having enough money, enough time, giving up something like binge watching Netflix, feeling you’re too advanced in age? 

 If this is you (because it was and sometimes still is me) ask why you’re terrified? Then weight the pros and cons. What do you have to benefit from being willing to fail? What do you have to lose? 

 Then remember: “I’m not alone. Others have failed before and become great. I can do this too.”

 Every single success story from Apple to Pixar, from Harry Potter to Twilight, have experienced failure. The difference, they didn’t quit. They took the hits and got back up.

To quote a very amazing rat: “Change is nature, dad and it starts when we decide.” 159578a41f29f4b8a14c080117a55d8d


 Got any comments? Feedback on what you’ve read or something to add? Feel free to leave it in the comments! We love to hear from our readers! If you want to support FyreSyde or see what we’re up to, feel free to subscribe! 

Want to write for us? Get an interview? Have questions or need advice, feel free to contact us at fyresydepublishing@gmail.com! We’re open to guest posts anytime. It usually takes at least 24-hours for Blaise to respond but she does her best. Patience is appreciated.

[Failure Series] Part 1: Understanding Failure and Why We Need It

Failure. 

So often we’re terrified of this one little word. It paralyzes us. Keeps us fearful and holds us back from attempting a deeply ingrained dream. It scares us so bad, often we think it’s better not to try than fail altogether. Who knew one little word held so much power?

In this series on failure, our hope is that our readers will learn not to fear failure but embrace it as a step in their journey to success.

What Is Failure?

The best way to start understanding something is to become familiar with what it is.

According to Dictionary.com, failure is defined as:

  1. A lack of success
  2. nonperformance
  3. or an insufficiency

You’ll notice, nowhere in those definitions are the words “impossible”, “Non-attainable” or “unreachable.” The common themes are “a lack” of something. When looked at by entrepreneurs, the art of failing is when one stops (nonperformance) trying to attain their goals (a lack of success). dont-fear-failure-fear-the-absence-of-progress-motivational-gym-quotes

Why Does It Terrify Us?

Good question. What exactly is it about failure that terrifies someone enough to keep them from even trying? Is it a damaging view of others? Maybe we’re afraid to give our last dimes to obtain something only to have it backfire. Perhaps it’s the idea of wasting time over something which seems silly.  Truth is, why failure paralyzes differs from person to person. It often depends on the individual.

History Is Made on Failure

No matter how terrifying, failure is one of the most beautiful things in the history of creation. Every living and non-living thing has experienced a form of failure. The next time you sit down at your laptop, your phone, your game system, the airport, etc, take a solid look. Every inventor of these great technological advances suffered failure! You have your phone because of ridicule and failure! Airplanes are flying on the backs of multiple failures! The books we read were printed on failure. The list goes on! What makes this different is these failures didn’t stop until they made the plane fly. Made the internet work. Made a website where most of the world’s online commerce occurs. History, great and small was built on the backs of failures. 

Why It Is More Valuable Than Success

db12c93a5358756069a09d2cacd08033This is most likely going to sound like the most absurd of ideas but it holds true. Bishop T.D. Jakes states, “we learn more from our failures, than our successes.” Why does he say this? Because once you’ve reached your success, whatever it may be, you are beginning something anew. You reach failure again and again when you work to brand and market that success. Failures are teachers. They beat us down, they hurt, they ache but in the end, we can choose to get up or we can stay down. Failure is the best learning tool. When Charles Darwin wrote his Origin of Species, he witnessed one the most elaborate examples of failure. Nature. 

Why We Need Failure

We wouldn’t grow without it. Our characters wouldn’t build to become something stronger. Our intellects wouldn’t be pushed to solve the problems caused by failure to become success. Bishop Jakes offers a story about his father, who began a business with only a mop and a bucket in a difficult time in history. However, he persevered and built a truly flourishing enterprise. 

The Truth Is, Your Dream Has to Sound Insane

Going back to Bishop Jakes. In his most recent appearance at the Global Leadership Summit, he states “your dream has to sound unattainable for it to be worth it.” It has to sound like it’ll hurt or is it worth your failure? For avid viewers of the popular Food Network show, Chopped, one cannot watch an episode without hearing stories of people who gave everything to obtain their culinary dreams. Did they think they’d get as much back as they did? No! Not at all but they took a risk and landed in one of the most viewed shows on television. 

“Your dream has to sound unattainable for it to be worth it.” — T.D Jakes, Founder of the Potter’s House

Ultimately, failure is terrifying. There’s no escaping the fact. The trick is to look it in the eyes and push through to make your dream a reality. Ask yourself, what have I really got to lose? Then ask – What have I honestly got to gain?

Failure-2

Some great resources for when you need some reassurance:

Soar by T.D Jakes, Potter’s House

Creativity, Inc by Ed Catmull, Pixar

Power of Your Potential by John Maxwell, author, pastor

 

[Marketing 101] Your Website is Your Hub

How many times has this happened to you? A customer or potential customer walks up to you in something as large as ReaperCon to something as small as the grocery store line, the two of you strike up a conversation and it leads to what it is you do. This could be an author, an artist, maybe an Avon agent, whatever your specialty.

Anyway, they ask you, “Do you have a website I can go to?” You happen to respond with anything from an “I’m working on one” or “I use Facebook” and all of a sudden you find yourself locked in this awkward silent moment.

Believe me dear readers, it does happen. More often than you may expect. 

The moral is, you must have a website. Nowadays, a website is a company’s first go to in order to find out just how serious you are about your craft.

Now, this also happens. You may have a website that has the domain name in it and to many this is perfectly fine as far as hubs like WordPress and Weebly but trust me, nothing bothers a potential client more than not have the old .com, .org, etc.

Marketing 101.png

Why? You might ask. 

Because a personal domain symbolizes professionalism. The next time you’re on a major site, how often do you see http://www.site.reallylongdomainname.sitehost… you most likely get the point. You don’t. Not ever. Please don’t do this.

As hard as it is to accept, if you wish to define yourself as a professional, you must invest in your website.

Think of it as your central hub. Your social media can be seen as spider threads. They branch out and reach potential customers and contacts but ultimately lead them back to your website.

 

Forbes magazine offers three powerful reasons as to why your website is vital to growing your small business.

  1. Your website is important in building first impressions
  2. Your website is your “shopping window”
  3. If your website is “sloppy” or “missing”, then you are losing business

 

To quote them:

“They’re likely to dismiss you entirely, as well, should they believe your website doesn’t reflect the kind of experience your business – or a business like yours – should offer.” — Forbes Magazine

 

The truth is, with sites offering low rates on hosting such as godaddy.com, hostgator.com, and bluehost.com, just to name a few, there really isn’t much of an excuse to not have a professional website. Even WordPress has two different venues you may use to construct your professionally designed website.

A question you may ask then is, “what if I don’t know how to set a site up?” 

website-builders-comparisonTo this, the reply would be to invest the money to have it made the best it can be or to utilize sites with pre-made templates like weebly.com, squarespace.com, tyepad.com or wix.com. You may also use blogger which may be easier for those just beginning to get their feet wet in site design.

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to cover all of your options in this blog post but that’s where search engines like google are your best friend. Do some research to find which is best for you. Check their pros and cons, maybe try them since sites like Squarespace and Typead often offer trial periods.

Some closing thoughts…

Whichever you choose and however you choose to go about it, make sure it’s the best you can make it, shows off your brand and highlights the products or services you plan to promote the most.

Remember! People are more likely to purchase from a brand they learn to trust and see as professional. Your website should tell your story, have a product/service page, etc. If you have any questions please feel free to email us at fyresydepublishing.com and subscribe to learn what’s coming down the pike!

 

 

[Marketing101] The 80/20 Rule

Marketing-Quotes-8If you’ve been on social media, and I know you have, for any amount of time, you have probably come across the 80/20 Rule at some point.

This little rule can change so many things if applied correctly.

Now, I think anyone who sells anything can agree that getting posts bashing a reader over the brain with “Buy my…” can not only result in massive brain hemorrhaging but also send people running as fast as they can to the “unfollow”, “unlike”, etc button.

Why is this?

Because in marketing, people want to be seen as valuable. They want to feel like the services they’re being offered fills a need that they have. Truth is, they may not even know they have it. They want to feel like they’re being invested in and appreciated.

We need to focus not on what people are giving us but what we are giving to them. We need to focus on how they feel when they’ve invested their time and money into a dream they know little about.

“If I know how to make you feel good, then odds are, you will keep coming back.” Danny Meyer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group and Founder of Shake Shack

So what is the 80/20 Rule?

Put simply, in terms of posting on social media, it’s focusing 20% of the content on one’s own product, service, etc while focusing 80% on your readers. Whoever they may be.764348-Gary-Vaynerchuk-Quote-The-best-marketing-strategy-ever-CARE

You can do this by sharing articles about topics close to your heart, adventures in starting up your business, inspirational quotes and retweeting and commenting on their content.

Social media has made it so easy for us to just spam our streams with me, me, me. The truth is it’s not a “me” market, especially as an author, artist, etc. Getting in the mindset of a market of “we” can make a world of difference.

“One of the best ways to let people know about your book is to not talk about it yourself, but to let readers know about it in other ways, and get them talking.”

Rachel Thompson, Founder of BadRedHeadMedia

Rachel Thompson is one of the leading ladies in the world of book marketing. She has written some of the most amazing books titled The 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge and How to Best Optimize Blog Posts for SEO: 25 Tested Tips Writers Need to Know Now.She is also the founder and organizer of NaNoProMo featuring some of the leading names and their advice on how to market social media among other valuable subjects.

In her blog, titled How To Develop and Perfect Your Book Marketing, she offers some helpful resources and advice on how to enhance your marketing and turn you “me” view into a “we” view. I would recommend reading her blog for any a

The truth is, in the end we’re all living beings with jobs, struggles and times when funds are tight.

As a bonus, check out this article about the 80/20 Rule in regards to time management!