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What Makes a Good Writer?

Hey, everyone! So, I know I’ve been MIA for a while, but I do have an excuse. Last week, well, that just wasn’t my week. I’m hoping this week will be better, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

To summarize, I was having issues with the house, my debit card information got stolen, again, and my car window stopped working, so it’s been crappy. However, I am going out of town for Memorial Day weekend. There won’t be any new posts or chapter updates, but I’ll be sure to update when I return.

Now, onto today’s topic! I want to discuss what makes a good writer. This subject goes back to my own writing journey and wanting to build up my readers online. As I was walking through the city, I thought about the following questions:

– What makes a bad writer?
– What makes a good writer?
– What makes an awesome writer?
– What makes an excellent writer?

I feel like every writer will have a different answer to these questions, but for the purpose of this post, I will start with only the first two questions.

Back when I was trying to build my following online, I often wondered if I was a bad writer. To explain further, I didn’t have a huge following compared to other writers, so I just assumed I was a bad writer. When I thought about it some more, I realized a bad writer is more like a writer who gave up. Now, there’s nothing wrong with leaving writing behind, but it’s never a good idea to quit something before you try every option (if you’re trying something new, it takes about 6 months to a 1 year to see any signs of improvement).

To me, a bad writer isn’t one with grammar errors, plot holes or undeveloped characters in their work, it’s a writer who gave up too soon.

In the words of Neil Gaiman,

Don'tgiveup.gif
That takes me to the next question, what makes a good writer? Well, to me, it’s simple, a good writer is one that:

burce
If you’ve been discouraged in the past but kept on writing, then you’re a good writer. Why? Because you didn’t give up, and you’re still trying to improve your craft. You may not be an awesome writer, but you’re on your way there. It’s sad that it took me so long to realize this, but it’s import to focus on the writing. Everything else may let you down – fellow writers, readers, and various social media sites – but your characters will always be there for you, waiting for you to tell their story. 

So what do you think? What do you think makes a bad writer and a good writer?

Also, I will respond to everyone’s comment! And as always, thanks so much for reading and supporting my blog!

(images from https://giphy.com)

Writers’ Groups and Thoughts

Hey, everyone!

I wanted to let you all know I’m still alive, and I’m sorry for the lack of updates. First, I want to thank everyone who commented on the previous blog post. I wrote that blog post to get other writers’ opinions on the Goodreads issue, and I’m glad to report that she was able to get her story removed from Goodreads. I strongly believe that a writer should be able to get their unpublished manuscripts removed from Goodreads, and not be forced to have their work posted there.

If you find your unpublished work posted to Goodreads, you can get it removed, but please keep in mind that readers can post the story and review it.

In other news, I’ve been in a slump recently, probably because I try to help people and get no appreciation or understanding. I get someone being mad or upset, but I don’t care for people who are passive aggressive or give someone the silent treatment. But that’s human nature, I guess.

Anyway, today, I wanted to talk about Writers’ Groups. I know I’ve mentioned this a little bit in the past, but I wanted to discuss “in-person” groups. Since I’ve been taking my writing class, I’ve found I really enjoy a small collection of writers sitting down and discussing their work.

There’s a special feeling you get when speaking about your work in real life, with like-minded individuals. We talk about our stories; we mention different writing styles, writers we enjoy, and ways to break writing rules.

When you’re with other writers, you’ll think:

you'll think

Honestly, after experiencing a real-life writers group, I feel all serious writers should find their own group. Of course, only if they want to. While meeting writers online can be fun (and frustrating), it doesn’t beat having your own dedicated circle of writer friends that will support you and review your work. I don’t want to cheapen online friendships, but if you can, try to turn those friendships into real life ones. When you can sit around, laugh, and bounce ideas off other writers, it’s nice to feel you’re not alone.

You’ll feel like:

hug

Question: do any of you have a real life writers group you meet with? If you do, can you share with us your experiences?

(I plan to be active on my blog again, so don’t worry)

Goodreads, where should we draw the line? (For Writers)

Hey, everyone! It wasn’t my intention to post this topic today, but another writer and I have been discussing this recently.

To give you some background, and some of you may already know this, I learned a few weeks ago that stories posted on Wattpad are considered self-published by sites like Goodreads. You may be asking, “Aka, why is this important?”

Well, I’ll tell you. Some writers on Wattpad, mostly the popular ones, have been getting Goodreads reviews on their books. The issue here is, the stories they posted are first drafts, not finalized products. When we think of Goodreads, we think of a place to review published and finalized self-published books, not first drafts online.

Since the stories posted to Wattpad are free, we’re wondering if it’s right that readers are leaving detailed reviews on unedited work. The “where should we draw the line?” question comes from the fact these stories are free. It is right that readers are posting detailed reviews and rating on books that are still in progress? Giving feedback on Wattpad is fine, but should that also apply to Goodreads? To explain further, I mean that some writers may not want early draft reviews posted to Goodreads, as they still have time to edit and fix their work. Not only that, but the reviews may hinder the writer from posting their work in the future.

Also, Goodreads has confirmed they won’t remove detailed reviews for first draft Wattpad books, as they are self-published to Wattpad. So, even if you, as the writer, request these reviews to be removed, they won’t do. In short, “completed Wattpad books are considered self-published. The same also applies to other websites like Fictionpress.”

However, posting work online as become even more complex with Wattpad’s ads revenue program and websites like Radish. With the revenue program, readers click on ads in Wattpad’s popular stories, thus providing money for the writer. And with Radish, readers are actually PAYING for the story (for those who follow me, I covered this in another post.) On Wattpad, even if the readers aren’t spending their own money, they are providing money to the writers by watching the ads.

My writer friend feels that if a reader paid for the story through Radish (or other sites like Tapas and Kindle, of course, they have a right to post the review on Goodreads.)

For myself, I have mixed feelings about this. It’s a known thing in the internet world that if you post your work online, you’re opening yourself up to this – getting bad reviews, people stealing your work, and losing first publishing rights.

Also, since this mostly happens to popular writers online, it’s to be expected. Honestly, you can’t get 1M+ reads and think you’ll get away unscathed. Some think the number of reads shouldn’t matter, but what do you think?

I do know this has happened to lesser known writers online, too, but not as much. In the end, it’s a moral argument. I’ll be honest about my feelings, though, when you post your work online, anything can happen. Some Wattpad writers and other writers on different websites feel readers are entitled, and I do agree with this.

We can’t stop readers from posting reviews on our stories, free, first drafts, or not, but what do you all feel about this?

The important discussion for today: Do you think first drafts posted online should receive reviews on Goodreads? Where do we draw the line with Goodreads reviews? Do you feel these reviews will hurt the writer’s future with trying to publish later?

(If you have an opinion, please post it. We want to know what other writers think about this. And as a warning, please be careful when you post your work online. We both didn’t know about the Goodreads thing. For this reason, I’m very glad I no longer post my long stories on Wattpad.)

1-year Anniversary!!

I wanted to post this earlier, but I had writing class tonight. So, I saw this in my notifications:

1-year Anniversary

 

Today, marks a year ago that I left Wattpad behind to create my own website. I’m always amazed how much can change in one year, but looking back on everything, it was for the best.

I’ve met so many writers here, and all of them are awesome, wonderful people. Basically, there are many adjectives to describe them ^___^

I don’t want to list out specific blogs, but I want to say thank you to everyone for supporting me throughout the year. When I first started this blog, it was to ease my pain from another writing site. Over this year, I regained my confidence back as a writer, and my self-doubt has retreated somewhere in the depths of my mind (and I hope it stays there).

If you are struggling as a writer, don’t give up. I know it sounds cliche, but you really have to keep pushing yourself. It’s a scary thought giving up before you even know your real potential. And that’s what I almost did, but now, I finally feel well-rounded as a writer.

So, I don’t have much to blog about today since this is just a thank you post, but I did see this eariler:

 

The Gunslinger by Stephen King was one of the first books I read that got me into fantasy. As for the trailer, I have my own feelings on it, but it sparked a question I wanted to ask you all.

If you had a choice, what medium would you choose for your stories and why? Would you choose a tv show, movie, anime, or stay in book format?

For my stories, I always imagined them in anime form. Honestly, I don’t know how I feel about actors playing my characters. The joy of anime format is the characters can look the way you want since they don’t need a cast. So, what about you, what medium would you choose?

 

Free Content and Readers (For Writers)

Hey! I hope everyone is doing well and had a good holiday.

A few bloggers have inspired today’s blog post, but before we dive in, I want to share a few updates with all of you =)

  • On Writing.com, I opened my Novel Review Forum! If you are interested in joining the site and want chapter reviews for your story, please post your info. Here is the link: Novel Review Forum. So far, I’m reviewing one story. 
  • I created the WordPress Writers Skype chat group. I’m usually on Skype, so if you want to talk, just drop by. Here is the link: https://join.skype.com/AR9vFyqNXfQR
  • My short story on Writing.com has been nominated for an award! When I got the email, I was shocked.
  • Lastly, I’m in the process of looking for an editor. So if you know anyone, please let me know. 

Alright, on to today’s topic. Let’s discuss!

Entitled Readers

Recently, I’ve noticed more bloggers and fellow writers mentioning this topic. If you haven’t heard of this before, entitled readers are readers that expect an author’s content to be free. Basically, they don’t want to pay for the stories. I’m bringing this up because it appears to be an issue many writers are facing. Of course, I’m not going to say all readers act entitled, but I have noticed a few.

Like with most issues facing the writing community today, this stems from the internet. With the rise of websites allowing writers to upload their stories – and mobile book apps – readers have easy access to stories, for free. Let me just say, there’s nothing wrong with wanting content for free, but we shouldn’t complain when writers start charging for their work. Writing, for many, is a profession. For most people, when they invest in their hobby, their goal is to eventually make money from their work. Believe me, I understand why these readers feel this way, but sadly, that isn’t how the world works.

If you enjoy an author’s work, and they decide to start selling it, we should support them. More than likely, that person has bills to pay, a family to take care, medical issues, or whatever. The point is, as readers, we shouldn’t feel entitled to someone’s hard work.

Writing isn’t easy; time is spent plotting the stories, developing the characters, creating the worlds and etc. I have yet to sell my stories, but I’ll be starting that process later this year. For now, I only hear about these concerns from published writers, but I guess soon I’ll see how bad it is.

Personally, I think online writing sites contribute to this trend of free content, so I doubt this will slow down anytime soon. In the end, we need to remember this:

eitlied

So, for today’s discussion question, I ask, “How do you feel about this subject? Do you think these readers are justified in their feelings for free content?”

(PS. I will respond to everyone’s comments soon, I promise. I’ve been busy with submissions and writing contests. I’m so tired…I want to sleep for like two days.)