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Today, I’m feeling good…

So today, I am feeling good because I recently just read over my second book An Orman’s Fate and I have so many ideas on how to extend my story beyond the Truson S.E.T. series. I have so many ideas on how I can extend my career beyond writing romance or even writing fiction in general. I love being in this energy because I feel like I can do whatever I want without no limits. Love it!

Does anybody else ever have that feeling?

Dominique Gibson

 

Why it can be important to have a job while writing your masterpiece

By: Dominique Gibson

I have to admit that I got inspiration for this article from the Romance Writer’s Report. In the July 2019 issue of the RWR, it had an article that talked about how some authors are becoming more successful in indie publishing while others are struggling. There were also a few authors who are struggling to make ends meet in the traditional and indie publishing route as well. As for myself, the dream of becoming a full-time author is a struggle considering I am a self-published author. Based on my writing schedule alone, it has subjected me to write on the weekends because of my full-time job as a preschool teacher. Here are the following pros and cons of having a full-time job while writing your masterpiece.

Reasons why having a full time job is worthwhile:

Getting a paycheck every two weeks: With a full-time job, A writer who writes in the morning, in the evening, or even on the weekends (myself included) won’t have to worry about how to pay the bills when they know that they have a paycheck coming to them every two weeks.

Benefits: This will likely depend on the job that you are working in but if you have a job that has health insurance and 401(K), I wouldn’t consider quitting your job until you have enough money from your writing income to cover those expenses every month. The last thing a writer needs is to give out a whole lot of money to a health insurance provider if they can’t get that money back for the next couple of months.

Structure: I don’t know about other people who are in the writing profession but getting up early in the morning and going to work provides me with the structure I need in order to successfully work on my writing later. Some people say that having a job gives them a purpose in life. I agree with this statement. I’m pretty sure writing could do the same thing but since I’m not making a six-figure income at this point, having a full-time job works for me.

Having a Full-time job in a career you love (besides writing of course)can be rewarding: What do I love besides writing the best stories ever? Teaching. Right now, I’m currently in the process of transitioning from being a preschool teacher to being an infant teacher again just because I love working with infants. The best days I’ve been working in the Early Childhood Field was when I was a lead infant teacher in 2017. Plus, the flexibility of the infants schedule in addition to the light paperwork makes my writing job a whole lot easier. In 2020, I will probably create and design an online course based my experiences on how to write a novel or something along those lines but I’m pretty sure I’ll enjoy that as well.

Reasons why a full-time job can suck

Less writing time: I would be lying if I told you I was happy about having less time to write when Sunday night rolls around and I know that I have to get up and go to work in the morning. I’m always saying to myself “All I need is one more hour…”

Less Marketing Time: This is even worse for me when it comes to this subject. I will admit that the reasons I haven’t been actively promoting my novels is because (1) My budget is low and (2) My full-time job is creeping into my writing business as far as paperwork is concerned. It has gotten to where I either needed to continue working in this pattern and let my writing business suffer or let the job go and find one that allows me the freedom I need on the weekend to let my writing business thrive. I chose to let the job go for a better one.

No Benefits: This is one of the downsides to being a teacher in a daycare setting. While the ones that are teaching in the public, private, and charter school settings have the added benefits of health insurance, dental insurance, and a 401(K), the teachers that works in daycare centers across the country has a 30 to 50 percent chance of obtaining a daycare job with those benefits. The majority of daycare centers offer paid time off and tuition reimbursement, if you plan on pursuing a degree in the field. That’s it. Nada. Nothing else. Don’t believe me? Look up how much daycare workers are getting paid in the U..S. and around the world then get back to me on what you find.

Paperwork, Paperwork, Paperwork: I can’t stress this enough which is probably why I’m switching jobs right now. The paperwork in a preschool classroom is too overwhelming for me to handle. Home visits, child screenings, written observations of fifteen to twenty children everyday…all of this can be extremely tiresome. Add to the fact that you have to do lesson plans and continue to observe and interact with the children on a daily basis…well, there’s your answer as to why there are teachers leaving the Early Childhood field for good.

Directors, Administrators and other people who literally have no idea how Early Childhood Education Works: This can be a challenge as well. There is a reason why I decided to pursue a degree in Early Childhood Administration. There are reasons why I decided to take more online classes in this field—so that I can learn what’s happening in the field right now. Sometimes, I have to take a deep breath when they tell me how to do my job even when they don’t have enough qualifications, experiences, or knowledge to do so.

Overall, I had more cons than I did pros number wise but for me personally, I think the pros has more weight than the cons at this point because I would rather go to work knowing that I’m getting a paycheck every two weeks than to keep writing knowing that my next paycheck won’t be for a couple of months. Therefore, I think I’m going to continue to do the two things that I love until the day I retire (although I don’t think I will ever retire from writing).

Dominique Gibson

What I learned in my Creative Writing Class: Craft Elements

Hello everyone, I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted on my blog. I do apologize as I’ve been busy working a full-time/part-time job promoting An Orman’s Revenge and still going to school part-time at Southern New Hampshire University. But, I will try to post something once a week so that my readers can be in tune with what’s going on in the writing world in addition to keeping you posted on what’s going on with my writing process as well. So, for this blog post, I have decided to focus on something that I just recently focused on in one of my classes that just ended two weeks ago. The majority of what that class talked about was something called Craft Elements.

Actually, there were two different elements that we talked about but I just want to focus on craft elements because that is the overall basis of constructing a novel. There are a lot of craft elements that goes into writing a work of fiction, but the ones I would like to discuss are the ones I feel is most important when it comes to constructing a story. In my class, we had to write an essay describing four to six craft elements that makes up a novel. I’m going to talk about the six craft elements once a week in a blog post so that everyone (Readers and writers) will be able to to do it step-by-step until you’ve feel like you’ve mastered it and want to move on to the next step. These blog posts will mostly target aspiring writers but readers and published authors can join in as well.

So, let’s get on with it. In my essay, I’ve identified the six craft elements that are essential to any story that you’re reading or writing: (1) Character (2) Conflict (3) Dialogue (4) Point-of-view (5) Setting and (6) The overall theme of the story. For this blog post, I want to focus on is character. Obviously, there can’t be a story without having at least one (maybe two or more depending on the story you’re writing) character in your novel. What is the definition of character? A character is a person (or people) who live and die in your story, although it can be the character who is telling you what’s happening on the page.

There have been many novels I have read where the character is the one that’s telling the story. This can sometimes be a good thing as it allows the readers to connect to the characters on a more personal level than if the character was from a distance. Here is one example from the book I’ve recently read for class. The book I chose for the class was Kindred by Octavia E. Butler.

 

***

I lost an arm on my last trip home. My left arm.

And I lost about a year of my life and much of the comfort and security I had not valued until it was gone. When the police released Kevin, he came to the hospital and stayed with me so that I would know I hadn’t lost him too. (Butler p.1).

***

Here is another example from The River:

***

The trouble began long before June 9, 1976, when I became aware of it, but June 9 is the day I remember. It was my twenty-sixth birthday. It was also the day I met Rufus—the day he called me to him for the first time. (Butler, p.5).

***

Out of these two examples, we can see that Octavia is doing a really good job of building character with their readers. I had to admit that when I read the first few sentences, I was immediately hooked. That’s exactly what you want the readers to understand. You want the readers to resonate with the character from the start so that the reader can read the entire story from beginning to end. I’ve read the stories in which I’ve hated the character based on their actions but kept reading because I wanted to know what happened at the end.

Another book that I had previously read started off really well when it came to building character even though it basically a romance novel. The book is called Dreaming of a White Wolf Christmas by Terry Spear.

***

Clara Hart felt like she was being followed. She and her four friends had trekked through the wilderness, stopping for lunch and setting up the two tents for the afternoon, then exploring a bit more before making dinner and sharing stories around the campfire. She hadn’t been camping in years. Even then, she’d only gone as a Girl Scout. She didn’t think her adoptive parents had ever camped out. They preferred ritzy resorts—fine dining, the best of accommodations.

Except for the eerie sensation that they were being watched, Clara was having a ball. (Spear, pg.1).

***

In this passage, we are immediately introduced to the heroine in the story and the conflict that she feels like they are being followed. Terry gives out a little bit of a background as well when it comes to Clara’s background. Just from the two passages alone, we already know that Clara is adopted and that Clara had the type of parents that didn’t enjoy camping too well. They preferred traveling from hotel to hotel vs. camping. Terry is connecting with the readers first with the heroine and then will the hero.

As I write my stories, I always try to entice my readers by introducing the characters first. I want the readers to connect with the characters so that they will be able to connect to the story as well. Some of the stories I read, I remember because of the characters in the story. To this day,  I still remember the characters in the Twilight series, which is still one of my favorite young adult series to date. One of my favorite TV shows, The Vampire Diaries, is still one of my favorite TV shows because of the characters that are involved in the show.

So, that’s it for now. Stay tuned as the next blog post talks about the second craft element in our blog series: Conflict. See you soon!

Dominique

Works Cited

Spear, Terry. Dreaming of a White Wolf Christmas. Sourcebooks Incoporated. Naperville, Illinois.

Butler, Octavia E. Kindred. Beacon Press. Boston, Massachusetts. 2009.