Category Archives: General

How Ed Sheeran’s Album Divide Can Help with Your Fiction Writing

Inspiration for your fiction writing business can come from anywhere and for me last week, it arrived in the shape of a fantastic CD by British Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran and his latest album called Divide.

Click Here to Find Out More About The Album

How Ed Sheerans Album Can Help with Your Fiction Writing3 Ways Songs Can Help Your Fiction Writing Excel

I played Ed Sheeran’s latest album Divide while I was doing my hair – black girl and yeah, it takes a while – lol. Anyway this CD is absolutely fantastic and I would recommend it to anyone.

I like to think that songs are basically short stories written and sung to music so after listening to the album, it got me thinking about how songs can help with my fiction writing process. I came up with three ideas.

#1 Write What You Know

Ed Sheeran writes about his childhood in the song Castle on The Hill. He describes what it was like growing up in his home town, his friends, family and the life experiences he had along the way such as breaking his leg at six and having his first kiss at fifteen.

I have definitely used my own history when writing some of my stories. It is so much easier to write about something that you have first hand knowledge of. I used bits and pieces of my own past experiences to create certain characters for certain stories. I also incorporated and was inspired by stories of my friends and my family, making sure to change certain details so as not to offend anyone.

#2 Use Simple Language

The songs on Ed Sheeran’s album are very easy to understand. The lyrics have been constructed using every day language so you know exactly what he is singing about when you listen to the words. He proves that you do not have to use over complicated language to get your ideas or stories across.

When I read fiction I want to be entertained. I do not want to have to go look in a dictionary or do a Google search to find out what a long word means. When I write my short  stories, I use simple every day language which I hope is entertaining and helps to move the story along. I don’t want to be known as a literary genius. I want to make money writing books that sell. Yes please :)

#3 Create Images from Your Words

I love all the songs on the album and each one provides you with enough information so that you can conjure up images of what Ed is singing about.

One particular song that I have fallen in love with is called Supermarket Flowers. It actually brought a tear to my eye when I first listened to it and I had to hit the replay button a couple of times. The song is about the death of his grandmother but seen and experienced through the eyes of his mother. It is so poignant and you can easily visualise the actions that his mother is taking as he explains how she,

“… took the supermarket flowers from the windowsill..”
and
“…. threw the day old tea from the cup …”

The best line in the song is,

“You were an angel in the shape of my mum.”

This is the type of imagery I hope to be able to create in my own writing. I don’t think I am quite there yet but the more that I write, the better my descriptive skills will become.

In Summary

There are lots of different things that can help you with the writing process and listening to music might be something that would benefit you.

I am so happy that I purchased Ed Sheeran’s album and that I had the time to sit and listen to the whole thing. I think that he is a great storyteller. This has made me anxious to listen to other artists and their albums for more inspiration. I think Adele’s latest album will be my next purchase :)

Have Your Say: Does music help to inspire your writing? I would love you to share your thoughts in the section below.

My February Highlights – Love is in The Air!

My February Highlights

February has been an exciting month. I got busy with my fiction writing business and I made sure to take time out to enjoy life. Next week’s post will look at what I achieved business-wise. This post will focus on the lovely things that happened during February.

My February Highlights

My February Highlights

These are the things that brought me joy in February 2017

  • I watched LaLa Land at the cinema with my sister
  • I saw my dear friend and her husband sing Jazz in London
  • I saw Mel Brooks
  • I published a short story
  • I received a beautiful single red rose for Valentine’s Day
  • I went to the theatre to watch Dirty Great Love Story with my sister
  • I went to dinner with my work colleagues
  • I went to my work’s End of Show party celebrations
  • I went to Granada for a long weekend

I read the following book:

For Now and Forever (The Inn at Sunset Harbour 1) by Sophie Love

(Hmm, need to do much better in March)

I wrote at least 100 words in my journal everyday for the whole month

My Fun Plans for March

I have booked theatre tickets for a show that looks like it should be fun. And I have booked a little holiday jaunt away, which I am sooooo looking forward to. I will share more info in my next update.

Journaling

I am really enjoying the process of writing in my journal. I write something in my book just before I get ready for bed. This is my chance to pause and reflect on the day that I have had. I think about the positive things that have occurred and then try to figure out any lessons that I have learned. That is what I then write about. I really want this to become a fixed daily habit and so far I have been writing something almost daily for around 2 ½ months.

That’s it for now – next week’s post will review and assess my online business goals.

Have Your Say: What non-work related things did you get up to in February? What was the highlight for you. I would love for you to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

How To Use Your Facebook Page To Increase Engagement – 5 Top Tips

Facebook is the most popular social media platform that people use. If you are a fiction writer, blogger, or product creator, it makes sense to harness its power to try and engage with those who are interested in what do. You can do this by setting up a Facebook Page.

How to use Facebook Pages to increase engagementCreating your own Facebook Page can be a very useful marketing and branding tool and the great news is that you can do this for free. Once you have set up your page, it can help you to:

  • Let people know more about you
  • Get more visitors to your blog
  • Get subscribers to your mailing list

5 Ways To Increase Engagement on Facebook

I did a little bit of research and found that there are 5 top things you should do that will help to increase engagement. These tips would be suitable for all types of Facebook Pages and they are really easy to implement.

  1. Share Relevant Photos
  2. Ask Simple Questions
  3. Add Your Facebook Page Link Everywhere
  4. Like Similar Facebook Pages in Your Genre
  5. Promote Your Book / Products

#1 – Share Relevant Photos

A great way to show your personal side is to share photos on your page. You can choose to use your own pictures or you can buy them. Add a quote that is relevant to your niche. You can even take a look at pictures from other people’s Facebook Pages and share them on yours.

#2 – Ask Simple Questions

You can encourage interaction on your page by asking a question. Think about questions that are easy to answer so that people do not have to think too hard. There is a reason why people love the Thumbs Up buttons on Facebook. It is a quick and easy way to leave a response. Pose fun questions that require either a yes or no answer or something like who is your favourite author or what is your favourite chocolate bar. Easy to answer questions can bring a some traction to your page.

#3 – Add Your Facebook Page Link Everywhere

If you have a Facebook Page, you want people to be able to join it quite easily so take the hard work out of it by adding your Page Link to your blog. You can add it to the sidebar of your website too.

You should also add the link to the bottom of your emails and newsletters so that people can go to it straight away. Mention the link and ask people to Like the page.

Other places to add your Page link are the confirmation page when people sign up to your mailing list and you can also add the link inside your books.

Hey! Click Here To Follow Me on Facebook! See what I did there ;)

#4 – Like Similar Facebook Pages in Your Genre

It might take a little research but you should find a selection of Facebook Pages that are in your genre or niche. Visit the page and use your Facebook Page Profile to Like these pages. You should always interact on these pages by leaving relevant comments and liking relevant posts. Don’t go overboard or you will look like a spammer.

#5 – Promote Your Books / Products

A Facebook Page is a great tool to help promote your books or products. You can write blog posts and add the link to your page. You can use your Amazon affiliate links to add your books too.

If you are interested in using Facebook’s advertising service, you will need to have a Facebook Page in order to make use of that service. Advertising on Facebook has helped many authors rake in the cash but there is a learning curve as you have to figure out how to set well targeted ads.

I will be looking into doing this sometime in the future.

What I Will Be Doing With My Facebook Pages

I have two main Facebook Pages set up. One is called Victoria Virgo – Writer. This page is related to this blog.

Click Here to Follow Me on Facebook

The other Facebook Page is Audra Bell Writes, which is connected to my author website.

I need to go and add my links to the places I mentioned above and I have set out a schedule of things I will post on a daily and weekly basis. This should lead to increased engagement, which I hope will lead to people being interested in taking a look at my blog (s) and deciding to become a subscriber to my list.

I will make a note of some statistics now and I will then come back to do a follow up post to see if there has been any difference. That’s all for now folks :)

*The Pic? Me in Cuba – Oct 2016

Have Your Say: What do you think of Facebook Pages? Have you set one up for your own blog or business? I would love for you to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

My January Highlights – Harry Potter Rocks!

If you want to ensure that you are living the life of your dreams, you have to take action. You have to make plans in order to get things done. I set out some monthly goals for January that were do to with working on creating an online income from my writing. I will publish my January Review post next week.

My January Highlights 2017What I Got Up to in January

This post focuses on the personal and fun side of things. One way to make sure that you are leading a life that you actually enjoy is to reflect on the things that you have achieved and then make more plans for more fun stuff. Here are some of the fun things that I got up to in January 2017.

My January Highlights

  • I celebrated New Year’s Day in Spain
  • I took 3 bags of clothes to the charity shop
  • I visited The Harry Potter Studios in London
  • I purchased a brand new electric toothbrush. Oh what sweet heaven this is :)
  • I watched the hilarious theatre production of Peter Pan Goes Wrong

I Read The Following Books:

  • Wildflower Bay by Rachel Lucas
  • One Week in December (4 short stories)
  • His Sweetest Christmas by Holly Blair
  • The Year of Saying Yes by Hannah Doyle
  • A Year of Doing Good by Judith O’Reilly
  • Once Upon a Setup by Kait Nolan

I wrote something in my journal everyday for the whole month

My Fun Plans for February

I already have a couple of things pencilled in my diary for February which I think are very exciting.

I will continue to write in my journal. I tend to focus on something positive that happened during the day. It is nice to write something on a daily basis. It gives me a chance to reflect on the good that has happened and to practise my writing skills.

I also hope to get some work done on my home. More news on that next month.

Have Your Say: What were the non-work related highlights for you in January? How did it make you feel? I would love for you to share your thoughts in the comments section below.