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"Social Distancing Our Thoughts"

Not too long ago, we asked readers of the Path To Publishing newsletters to let us know why they subscribe to and read the newsletter, as well as to share with us any information they’d like us to address in future newsletters. First, we want to thank all of you who replied. Second, we’d like to share some of the responses we received as well as our reply.


Below is an email we received from a Path To Publishing newsletter subscriber along with our reply:


Subscriber: Hello! My main goal is to help spread Christ’s Gospel message via whatever story God placed in me. I know it’s within me and I just have to know how to get it out. But even before I got serious with my Catholic faith, I’ve been writing. In fact, I’m a full-time copywriter as of this moment.


My main roadblock right now is the writing process itself. I’ve had fiction novel drafts since I was in high school (I’m 24 now), but I have too many ideas for a story (I need to separate them into their own proper storylines). I’m not sure how to follow the proper plot structure (been reading about Dramatica lately).


One thing’s for certain: I seriously need a mentor. Like, seriously. In fact, I’m planning to become a member (Path To Publishing membership site, aka Pathfinder Literary Academy). I just want to know if we’re a good fit? Am I someone you want to work with?


You may notice that my thoughts are all over the place. That has always been my weakness. Too many ideas running in my head that I struggle how to properly organize them. Especially when I’m excited/nervous.


Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. 🙏 Hoping to hear from you soon!


Sincerely.


Path To Publishing CEO, Joylynn M. Ross: Thank you so much for not only taking the time to subscribe to the Path To Publishing newsletter, but for actually reading it, and then taking the time to reply to our call from authors and writers as to the type of information, assistance, and resources they would like addressed.


I know what it feels like to have a million and one ideas swarming through your head, written on sticky notes, receipts, the back of envelopes, and multiple Word docs. If it’s not a constant barrage of thoughts, ideas, and concepts begging to be transformed into the written word, it’s the constant urging and anxiousness of the characters waiting—begging—to be developed and given a voice.

Not too long ago, I wrote the following Facebook post: “I find that sometimes creativity is a gift and a curse. The ideas really need to learn how to social distance themselves before entering my mind.”


But you and I both know it’s no easy feat to control our thoughts and ideas so easily—that crazy mob! Over a decade ago, I collected every book idea I had and turned it into a 14-book series. That’s right! All those different characters who wanted to break free from my mind were granted their wish. Over 14 books, I allowed them to have their say. That 14-book series is actually broken up into four series within itself. The first series consists of five books where I pretty much introduced every single character whom I eventually dedicated a full book to in the books of the remaining series. And for those that I didn’t put in the series, I gave them a short story, novella, or what I call an urban tract (small, quick eBook-only read—sometimes no more than 25 pages).

I will say that since doing so, I feel like I’m headed back to where I started from . . . with a whole new set of ideas and characters lying dormant on sticky notes, receipts, envelopes and multiple Word docs. But at least I finished a lot of what I started! And even better—over the years, I’ve figured out how to take all my story and book ideas, outline them so that they are no longer scattered thoughts, and then build a story using the structured outline as the foundation on which to build the story.


I figured that I wasn’t alone, so I took my system and strategy and created the Outline & Story Builder Program. I won’t go into the details and pricing of the 30-day program because that’s not what this reply is about. It’s about letting you know that, like myself, you are not alone and that there is a solution for your problem. However, if you are interested in learning about how to give your thoughts and ideas rhyme, reason, and organization with my Outline & Story Building Program, let me know and I’ll be glad to share the details with you.


When God gives you a vision in the form of a story to share with His people that they might receive the message He has for them through your pen, He also gives you provisions and resources. That’s what Path To Publishing is all about; providing writers and authors the resources—the help/team/people—they need to write, publish, and distribute their stories in excellence. From book coaches, to ghostwriters, to editors, to book cover designers and typesetters, we have the industry experts and publishing professionals you will need to help you do just that. You can learn more about our literary services, resources, and writing and publishing offerings by visiting https://www.pathtopublishing.com/services.


The writing and publishing process is no joyride, it’s a journey . . . one you should not travel alone. So, having a mentor, coach, consultant, a team, and a tribe of like-minded fellow literary artists is exactly what you need. You will find all of that and then some within the Path To Publishing community. With that being said, joining the Path To Publishing membership website, aka Pathfinder Literary Academy, would be a great start. You can join by visiting https://www.pathtopublishing.com/paidwebsite. If you have a story to tell, testimony to share, or message to deliver, if you want to build your book in excellence, and/or build a profitable book business (literary career) while creating multiple streams of cohesive income to sustain and grow your business, then you are absolutely a good fit, and we welcome you to the Path To Publishing family with open arms!


Thank you, again, for taking the time to subscribe to this newsletter, read it, and respond. We’re wishing you much literary success!


-Joylynn M. Ross

CEO of Path To Publishing


P.S. I know it can get confusing when trying to follow the writing rules and tips from the professionals and gurus while making your best effort to pen what is flowing through your spirit. So, I’m sharing with you below another post I shared that you might find helpful:


Yes!!! Finally!!! I never thought I’d find someone who feels the same way I do about writing courses, workshops, webinars, classes, college courses, etc. where the craft of storytelling is being taught.


I always felt that my “Write the Story You Haven’t Told” Writing Workshop was a unicorn. I teach my students all the rules for writing—pretty much everything all the gurus and experts have taught a million times over. But then, I spend the majority of the time encouraging my students to forget about all the fricken rules and just write! Of course, I offer them guidance and ways to do so throughout my workshop. But if I’m going to encourage them to break the rules, it’s my obligation to at least teach them the rules so that they’ll know which ones they are breaking and why.

Now, I’m not saying break all the standard rules when it comes to “great” storytelling, but if these rules start to block your creativity and prevent you from telling your story, screw ‘em! I know that sounds horrible, which is why I usually wouldn’t dare share this ranting strategy of mine outside of my “Write the Story You Haven’t Told” Writing Workshop. But now that I don’t feel alone in this world of storytelling—thanks to an excerpt I share below of Steven James’s article in Writer’s Digest—I’m going to shout it from the rooftop: “Screw those storytelling rules . . . well, some of them anyway . . .!”


“Regardless of how many acts or scenes your story has, this is what it needs to have in order to be effective and complete: an orientation to the world of the characters, an origination of conflict, an escalation of tension, rising stakes, a moment at which everything seems lost, a climactic encounter, a satisfying conclusion, and a transformation of a character or situation (usually both).


“Forget, too, what you’ve learned about stories building through ‘rising action,’ as many popular plot graphs would have you believe. Stories build through escalating tension. Simply making more exciting things happen doesn’t ensure that readers will remain interested as the story progresses. Tightening the tension does.


“Popular outline and structure “formulas” are filled with misconceptions about what makes a story work. Rather than straightjacketing your story by forcing it into three acts, or trying to map it out as “character-driven” or “plot-driven,” take the organic approach by first simply asking yourself what is truly at the heart of your story.


‘Let narrative forces rather than formulas drive your story forward.’ —Steven James


Link to full article: https://bit.ly/3gZmjEK.

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