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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Five Top Tips to Make you a Better Writer Today

As part of my ongoing series on tips from a writing consultant, I'm sharing five top tips to make you a better writer today.

Shelf of Classic Books from the Blog Post Five Top Tips to Make You a Better Writer Today from Extra Ink Edits, Writing Consultant offering Editing Services for Writers1. Read something classic.
It doesn't have to be a huge volume. It could be as simple as a poem. The classics are classic for a reason. They resonate across generations and geography. 

2. Carry a notebook with you or something to record digitally or your voice. 
Then, when ideas inspire you, jot them down. You don't have to wait until a genius plot idea pops in your mind. Simply write down what interests you today. 
"I wonder who built these buildings"There's a simple thought that might span an interesting area of research to lead somewhere.
"I love the way the cinnamon brings out the chocolate flavor in this cake." — Now you have an interesting beginning of a realistic description to add texture to your next story. 

Hand Holding Pen from the Blog Post Five Top Tips to Make You a Better Writer Today from Extra Ink Edits, Writing Consultant offering Editing Services for Writers
3. Observe people. 
What do you notice? Chances are, it's not their eye color. Or hair color. Unless it's super obvious for some reason. New writers tend to overplay the physical characteristics when describing characters. It's more effective to describe characters in the way that they actually appear. For example, I just glanced out the window and a man walked by. This is how it struck me— "He strode with purpose, his arm swinging aggressively at his side." That conveys much more than his eyes were blue. Besides, were they? I have no idea. He was across the street. Eye color implies intimacy. You have to be close to someone to notice. If you mention eye color, let it be for a specific and special reason. 

4. Look up hashtags on Twitter. 
#amwriting, #writetip, #amediting, #pubtip, #querytip, #amquerying
Those are a few helpful hashtags where you may find some useful information. 

Frog Holding Pen from the Blog Post Five Top Tips to Make You a Better Writer Today from Extra Ink Edits, Writing Consultant offering Editing Services for Writers5. Write something.
Maybe it's a sentence. Maybe it's a paragraph. If it's one page or fifty, writing is what makes you a writer. Go on then. Write. 

My best to you all,

For personalized help from a writing consultant and editing services for writers, visit Extra Ink Edits

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Cover Reveal for Aboard Providence!

Hello! Today I'm taking part in a cover reveal for author Keely Keith!

I'm excited about this book, as I was privileged to read an early version and offered some editorial advice. Be sure to enter the giveaway below for your chance to win an autographed copy of Aboard Providence!

My best to you all,

Here's the official cover release press information....

Book Info:

Title: Aboard Providence
Author: Keely Brooke Keith
Publisher: CrossRiver Media Group
Released Date: October 20, 2016
Pre-order Link: CrossRiver Media

One Sentence Summary:
A voyage aboard Providence changes Jonah’s plans, but can it change his heart?

In November 1860, Jonah Ashton is determined to finish his studies at Penn’s Medical School before rumors of Southern rebellion erupt into all-out war. When he learns his father has joined a group of Virginia families planning to sail from America to form a new settlement elsewhere, he travels to his family’s estate intent on saying goodbye. However, when an accident leaves his father in need of a physician, Jonah agrees to serve as ship’s doctor, but he resolves to return to medical school as quickly as possible.

While aboard the Providence, Jonah falls in love with former classmate Marian Foster. Despite their love for each other, Marian has no desire to return to America with him.

After an arduous voyage, Providence runs aground on an uncharted land in the South Atlantic Ocean. While the rest of the settlers celebrate finding the land they wanted, Jonah takes off to explore the island and he soon discovers a startling truth that changes everything, but can it change his heart?

Quotes about the book:
A delightful adventure reminiscent of Swiss Family Robinson, Aboard Providence is one of those novels that will stick with me because I feel I’ve lived it. A captivating, well-researched, and deftly written tale I can confidently recommend to a wide range of readers.” –Heather Day Gilbert, author of Amazon Norse bestseller God’s Daughter

With vivid settings and multi-layered characters, Keely Brooke Keith whisks her readers off on a page-turning journey, not just across the ocean, but within the heart. You won’t be able to put Aboard Providence down until the final word is read and then you will long for more.” –Brenda S. Anderson, author of the Coming Home series

A blend of history and romance with a compelling inspirational message, Keith expertly weaves an intriguing tale. Fans of the Uncharted Series won’t want to miss this journey.” –Heidi McCahan, author of Unraveled

Keely Brooke Keith is a master storyteller, weaving adventure, love, and wonderful characters into a vivid story that will take readers on an unforgettable voyage to a new place. Full of inspirational messages and tales of God’s love, readers will find themselves longing for more. Keely’s story teaches all of us that the journey is just the beginning!” –Christina Yother, author of the Hollow Hearts series

Author Info:

Author Bio:
Keely Brooke Keith is the author of the Uncharted series (Edenbrooke Press) and Aboard Providence (CrossRiver Media). Her novels are known for blending genres in surprising ways. When she isn’t writing stories, Keely enjoys playing bass guitar, preparing homeschool lessons, and collecting antique textbooks. Originally from St. Joseph, Missouri, Keely resides with her husband and their daughter on a hilltop south of Nashville where she dreams up stories, hoping to encourage, comfort, and inspire readers. She is a member of ACFW.

Social Media Links:

Find Keely’s books online:

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Ten Facts About Me

Image of Top Ten Tuesday in Yellow and Orange on Top Ten Tuesday Blog Post of Editor and Writing Consultant Megan Easley-Walsh of Extra Ink Edits

Today's top ten Tuesday from The Broke and the Bookish is a fun theme. It's ten facts about the writer of the post... so, here are ten facts about me!

1. I've lived in a lot of places. I grew up in a military family and now I live in Ireland with my Irish husband. I've previously lived in Germany, Alaska, California, New York, Illinois and South Carolina.

Image of Extra Ink Edits Logo, Provider of Professional Editing Services, on Top Ten Tuesday Blog Post of Editor and Writing Consultant Megan Easley-Walsh of Extra Ink Edits
2. I'm a writer and researcher. I also own a writing consultancy, where I am a professional editor.

3. I live beside the beach, enjoy hearing seagulls sing and have seen more rainbows in Ireland than the rest of my life combined.

Image of Ursula Le Guin quotation, "But when people say, 'Did you always want to be a writer?', I have to say no! I always was a writer." from Extra Ink Edits, Provider of Editing Services for Writers on Blog Post

4. I "wrote" my first story when I was three. My mother had to actually write it for me, as I didn't know how to read or write, but I told it to her. Hence, I love this quotation ----------->>>>

Image of Altesch Glacier in Switzerland, largest in Europe, on Blog Post of Top Ten Tuesday from Extra Ink Edits, Writing Consultancy and Provider of Professional Editing Services

5. In high school, I went ice climbing on the largest glacier in Europe.

Image of Musical Notes on Blog Post of Top Ten Tuesday from Extra Ink Edits, Writing Consultancy and Provider of Professional Editing Services
6. I'm a lifetime member of the Girl Scouts of America and earned my Gold Award.

7. I've played the flute since I was 11 and love to sing also.

8. I like both history and humanity subjects and science subjects so much that I combined them together into my international relations degrees.

9. I am a certified English teacher and taught writing to international college students in the UNESCO literature city of Dublin.

10. I love donkeys (they're extremely sweet and friendly!) and art photography included. Here's a photo I took of donkeys.
Photograph of Two Donkeys on a Fence Post with Yellow Flowers and Hills by Megan Easley-Walsh, Owner of Extra Ink Edits

My best to you all,

Monday, July 11, 2016

Beta Readers, Critique Partners, Editors and More


As part of my ongoing advice for writers from a writing consultant series, I'd like to discuss beta reading, critique partners, editors
and more on today's post!

When a book is written and a writer has put the final finishing touches on the manuscript, the writing process is still not completed. That's because every book needs a reader. The first reader is the author. This is an incredibly exciting time. Many writers dread edits, but it's thrilling to think that you are the first person in the entire world to ever read this book.

Beyond the writer herself or himself, though, who next reads the book?

A beta reader is someone who reads the book to give overall impressions. This person, presumably, does not know about the story beforehand. Have a big reveal? See if it works on your beta reader. Beta readers can be friends, family members or other colleagues.

You can also hire a professional beta reader, who will be skilled in understanding the mechanics of a story.

A critique partner (often abbreviated to CP) is someone who is also a writer and functions as a beta reader and editor (sometimes) for the manuscript. This is an exchange process. You review each other's manuscripts.
Although many people find this useful, remember please that your goal is to make your writing stronger. Therefore, you need someone who is further along in the process to read your work. This can become tricky since it's an exchange. Critique partners thus can be a step, but probably won't be your best final step. An exception to this is if you are both already successful in your writing careers.

An editor is someone who professionally improves writing. Ideally, that editor has years of experience and may even be trained as a writing teacher. They may perform a content edit, a copy edit (proofreading) or a full edit, that includes all.

For all of your editing needs, including professional beta reading, visit Extra Ink Edits. I'd be honored to read your writing and help you.

My best to you all,

Thursday, July 7, 2016

What does literature have to say about living together in peace?

In high school, one of our readings was "Black Men and Public Spaces" by Doctor Brent Staples, Author and Editorial Writer for The New York Times. 
It stuck with me, the feelings that unfairly arise in others out of fear, out of judgement, out of failing to realize that the insides of a person are what makes one bad or good, that the outside is only what the world sees. It seems especially relevant today. Here is a portion of it.

"And I soon gathered that being perceived as dangerous is a hazard in itself. I only needed to turn a corner into a dicey situation, or crowd some frightened, armed person in a foyer somewhere, or make an errant move after being pulled over by a policeman. Where fear and weapons meet – and they often do in urban America – there is always the possibility of death."
I looked up the reading. You can read the entirety of it here.

I have been a fan of Langston Hughes for many years. Here is an especially poignant poem of his. Langston's dream in this poem is mine as well. 

I Dream A World by Langston Hughes

I dream a world where man
No other man will scorn,
Where love will bless the earth
And peace its paths adorn
I dream a world where all
Will know sweet freedom's way,
Where greed no longer saps the soul
Nor avarice blights our day.
A world I dream where black or white,
Whatever race you be,
Will share the bounties of the earth
And every man is free,
Where wretchedness will hang its head
And joy, like a pearl,
Attends the needs of all mankind-
Of such I dream, my world!

My best to you all,