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Why get KDP Rocket

Diana here:

It’s been a while since the Pencildancers have posted as we’ve all been busy writing… except for Angie who has been traveling. She’s been to Scotland! Look for articles on how to research using genealogy in the future.

I wanted to hop on and tell you about a software program I use a lot. It’s KDP Rocket. Why do you need to know about this?

Because you are publishing your own work or hope too soon.

KDP Rocket has been around for a while and a lifetime price but version 2 is coming out soon so the price will go up. If you are anything like the Pencildancers the tools we need for writing get expensive and if you can swing a product that works for a lifetime price you grab it.

This product has saved me hours of work in searching for keywords to add to Amazon’s marketing service, which means I have more time to write while my books are being seen and bought.
Rocket also helps me search for information like what categories to list my book, it helps with the best keywords, and it helps me look at the competition for what is selling well.

Again, why does any of this matter?

Because you don’t want to put your book in a category so large that you may never be seen.
Because you do want to write a book like the ones that are selling.
Because you want those 7 keywords Amazon lets you have to be the best possible to get your book noticed.
Because you have an idea for a book and want to see if the idea is valid. Rocket can help with that. (see Book Idea Validation Article)

I do use Rocket. I signed up as an affiliate because I believe in it. The other bonus to this program is the quick, friendly and helpful customer support.

If you are thinking this might be for you check it out. But do it before the next version comes out and the lifetime price disappears. At least check it out, there is a 30-day return no questions asked.

Hop on over and see what it's all about and if it's for you.


Creative Brain Versus Editing Brain

Jen here:

One of the biggest causes of writer’s block is getting the editing brain involved when the creative brain should be working. That happens when the editorial and creative departments of your brain mingle. If you don’t shut off your editing brain while you’re writing, it will strangle you.

The Deep Work Habit

Like any good habit, it takes time to develop the ability to stay in creative brain. In other arenas, this can be called deep work. It’s where we immerse ourselves in the storyworld we have created. Our characters come alive, the scenes spool out in front of us, and we feel like we are merely transcriptionists to what is playing out before our very eyes.

We live in a society that values reachability and instant response. And this is a great way to kill creativity. Turn off notifications on your computer. Silence your phone. Set a time rfor 25 or 55 minutes and don’t look at email, texts, social media or anything else until your time is up. Soon your brain will get used to this and fall into the rhythm when you go into deep mode. But it takes awhile to develop the habit.


Prewriting is one of the best ways to beat writer’s block and to ensure that your scene has all of the great components it needs before you even start writing it. It’s also a way to write more quickly, because when you know what a scene is going to be about, it’s easier to see it play out in your head.

Here’s how it works. Based on your plot and what’s gone on before, decide what kind of scene you are writing. Do you need a goal/conflict/disaster? Or a reaction/dilmma/decision? Jot down some notes of what those components could be. Your previous scene should feed you your starting point for this.

Who’s going to be in the scene? Who’s the POV character? What does she want? Where is the scene set? These don’t have to be perfect or set in stone. You’re just looking for a starting point. The brain freezes up when it has unlimited options. Narrow some of those down and let the creativity flow.

Pre-writing lets the editorial department of your brain do its planning. But then it needs to leave. Write the scene without analyzing it. Just create. And when you’re done, go back and analyze it to see if it meets the flow and structure that it needs to. But don’t think about that while you are actually writing. Pre-writing should give you enough structure to free up the Creative department to write and to tell the Editorial department to shut up.

Write Now, Edit Later

Writing and editing are two different parts of the brain. You want to stay in Creative brain to keep the ideas flowing. Resist the urge to critique or change any actual writing. Jot things down now. Fix things later. Do research later.

I use Scrivener to write, and I love the Document Notes pane. I can pop notes in there about what I need to check out, what I’m uncertain about. It reassures my brain that the idea has been recorded and I won’t forget about it. And it allows me to stay in Creative mode.

When you are done Creating, put it aside and come back to it later. Now you can come back with the Editor brain and start applying structure and analyze and fix things. Don’t mix the two up or you will get yourself stuck with writer’s block. If you can write and edit on separate days, do it.

Your Goal

Your main goal is to write, turn off the internal editor, and know that the first draft will be crummy, and that’s okay. If the rules and structure are getting you down, toss them. Write your story and then go back and use the structure to figure out what’s missing and how to fix it. The more you write this way, the greater of a habit it will become and writer’s block will be simply a bad memory.

Now go write your story!

Jennifer and the other Pencildancers have released Worthy to Write: Blank Page Tying Your Stomach in Knots? 30 Prayers to Tackle That Fear. Jennifer's latest books~ Protective Custody: A cop burned by love falls for a key witness in a crime implicating the town’s rich and powerful.  Coming Home A strong- willed young woman must discover her brother’s killer before she’s the next victim. The prequelBe Mine, is also available. Can a simple thank you note turn into something more? Get the first chapter of Coming Home and Protective Custody at www.JenniferVanderklipp.com

Editing and Creative Writing Giving you a Headache?

Diana here:
First, let’s get the science stuff by a non-science person out of the way.

Our brains have 2 sides, left and right. One of them is all about math, organization, and logistics—yawn, the other is for fantastic fun, colorful times, engaging dialogue, art, music and all that is good in life.

I’m guessing you know which part of my brain gets used the most.

But to perform the best as a writer we need both sides but must separate the two halves. The creative side needs to feel unconstrained by rules and the wise owl on our shoulder telling us to put in that comma, take out that word and find a stronger one. It’s also pushy and wants to have an intricate part of our creative process. But we must train that pesky owl to wait for his turn.

What can we do to separate those two brains?
Popular advice:

1.     Write in the morning. Edit in the afternoon. OR the reverse if you are more creative in the afternoons.

2.     Edit your last chapter before writing your next because it gets you back into your story.

3.     Edit every other day, write the other days.

4.     Print your work and only edit the hard copy.

5.     Use one computer for writing and a different one for editing. (In what world do writers have two computers? Most of us are happy to have a dedicated writing space.)

6.     Put a hat on your head when editing. Take it off when writing.

7.     Don’t change a word during the writing process. Free write and edit when you are done.

Here’s my advice.

Be prepared with your synopsis before you begin. If you don’t know what you want to write, you’ll waste time with your editor brain attempting to make something out of nothing.

With the scene you want to write in your mind, hit the keyboard. If you seem to stumble because you can’t remember if a word is capitalized or needs a hyphen, highlight that word and keep going.

Can’t think of the right word at all? Type  XXX or YYY –you pick it’s your work and keep writing until you can’t go anymore.

Then take a break. Eat something, go outside, or at least stretch your arms over your head. Then go back and look for the highlighted spots and edit them. Then do a find search for those capital letters and fill in those places.

When you finish the first draft, put on your editor hat, (make it fun, bejewel it with the word editor or get a white hat and a permanent marker if that’s more your thing) print out the manuscript.

Yes, print it out. Your eyes will not catch things on the computer screen. You do not want a reader asking why you wrote sale when you meant sail. Which is why listening to your book to catch errors doesn’t always work.

Next pull out a red pen. Yes, a red pen. It shows up the best when you go back to put your changes into your manuscript. You may think you’ll catch that comma you added with a blue or black pen, but odds are you won’t because it blends in with the black ink from the printer.

Don’t let the combined process break your brain. It’s good to have two sides, it’s what’s kept us safe when we come up with ideas like: Wouldn’t it be exciting to jump from one rooftop to another because one of our characters did it an t worked out great.

What’s your advice for separating the creative brain from the editing brain? 

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