Tag Archive | feedback

Updates and Instant Gratification

Hey, everyone! I apologize for being MIA, but I’ve been busy this last week. Before we get into today’s blog post, I want to tell you what’s going on with me.

So, last week, I started an in-person creative writing class. The first class was an awesome experience. It was nice meeting other writers and talking about their work in person. In addition to the writing class, I’m been active on Writing.com. On Writing.com, I’ve been doing Contest, Activites, and participating in the discussions.

Since I’m doing CAMP NaNoWriMo this month, I plan to do a lot of writing this weekend. Which means I am going to finish Clash of Tides!!! I am excited and sad, but I’m ready to put Elena’s story on break. For those who follow me, then you know I posted the first chapter of 9/Nine Realms on here. Once I’m done with Clash of Tides, I’ll either start 9/Nine Realms again or pick up a new story, Dawning Dragons. Dawning Dragons is like Eragon in the modern day world. However, the main character is from Baltimore MD, and Dragons aren’t extinct.

After doing period writing for so long, I want to try more modern day work.

Ok, so now onto today’s topic. Since I need to write today, I’m going to keep this short.

Recently, another writer brought up instant gratification when it comes to posting stories online. In a way, getting comments on our stories is like a drug. Getting praise on our stories feeds our egos, it helps us believe we are decent writers with a fighting chance to publish a book one day. However, what is the price for instant gratification?

Well, if we stop getting comments where readers say they love our work, we can get depressed. Our self-doubt will kick in full folds and say, “I guess you weren’t that good after all,” or “See, you blew it! They used to love you and now they don’t.”

As writers, we all know how the old writers did it – they wrote alone, with only a few friends reading their work. Once their stories were polished and ready for the world, then they submitted them. There was no internet to post their stories on, wait for readers and comments. They weren’t competing with other writers and feeling inadequate. It’s was just the writer and their story, and that’s it.

My question to all of you is, “Do you think instant gratification is worth it?”

Please let me know what you think!

Also, I will respond to all comments today ^__^ Thanks for being so awesome, everyone!

Book Review: Stuck in the Game

Hey, everyone!

Today I’m going to post a book review for a fellow blogger and writer, oops, I should say author.

(If you were wondering where I’ve been, I’ve been working on contest entries and manuscript submissions.)

The story is titled, “Stuck in the Game,” by Christopher Keene.

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(image was taken from Amazon)

Note: I was given a copy of the story for this review. I was not paid for writing this. 

I haven’t done an extended book review before, so this is going to be my first one. I decided to divide up this review into three sections:

Plot:

To begin, I’m going to discuss the plot of the story. So, the genre of this book is LitRPG. For those who aren’t familiar with the genre, it’s a subgenre of Science Fiction and Fantasy that describes the hero’s journey within an online computer game. We start the story with the main character, Noah, waking up and finding himself stuck in a Dream Game. After having a car accident, his parents out the Dream Engine is the only way to communicate with him in his unconscious state. Honestly, I liked the opening to the story. For anyone who plays video games, you start at a central point in the character’s  journey. Sometimes that’s the character waking up (cliche, I know), or at the onset of a mission.

Without spoiling the book, I’ll mention a few a few things about the plot I enjoyed:

  • Meeting the different characters was fun to read. Each side character had their own unique personalities and goals.
  • The boss battles were enjoyable. It really felt like reading an RPG to me.
  • The mystery of what happened to the main character’s girlfriend. I thought that plot was fleshed out well.

Here are some things about the plot that bothered me:

  • The twist didn’t feel that shocking, and I felt there were some plot holes.
  • The main bad guy seemed random to the plot, and new characters were thrown in at the end of the book without being mentioned earlier in the story.

Overall, though, I enjoyed the plot. Like with most stories, nothing is perfect, and I wish certain details were fleshed out more.

Character Development:

Again, to avoid spoilers, I won’t mention too much here. I felt Noah only changed in one way during the story. Mostly, he went from avoiding the game to enjoying it. However, I’m not sure if that’s really character growth. He’s stuck in the game, and to survive (not die), he needs to power himself up. Honestly, I didn’t think Noah grew as a person at all during the story. He didn’t learn any lessons, and his views on things didn’t change.

As for the side characters, I only felt one changed during the story. So for character development, I would have to rate this low.

Writing:

If any of you read my stories, you know I’m a descriptive writer so I may be biased here. Don’t get me wrong, the writing wasn’t bad, and it was easy to read, but more description would have been helpful. For the characters, I didn’t get a sense of what they looked like, so it was hard to imagine them. Although, I felt the descriptions of the boss fights and the different realms in the game were well done.

Final Rating:

I’m giving this book 3.5/5 stars. I enjoyed reading it and plan to read the second. I want to know what new boss fights await Noah as he learns more about the Dream Game. If you like videos games, or like animes such as “Sword Art Online,” and “.hack,” then this book is for you.

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

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First, I would like to say thank you for following me!!!! I can’t believe there are over 1,000 of you! When I saw the alert from WordPress, I was shocked. I never thought this blog would get so many followers, but I’m glad people enjoy my posts. Thanks again for following me :3

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Also, I would like to thank Rachael for nominating me for the Mystery Blogger Award! In my next post, I’ll answer her questions. They are hard!

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Here we go!

Today is an important topic to me. I want to discuss getting out that comfort zone. What do I mean by that? I mean that writer zone, you know, the one where only you and a select few people read your writing.

I also call it the safe zone. It’s a beautiful place where you don’t get feedback, and where your friends (or family) say your writing is wonderful.

I’m not going to lie; the safe zone is an awesome place to be. It’s just you and your writing – no pain, no fears, and just pure imagination.

Well sadly, if you want to be a published writer, you need to step out. Meaning, say goodbye to the safe zone and a hello world of *cough* feedback *cough* bloodcurdling pain. I know it sounds horrible, and sometimes, it is. However, if we want to accomplish that goal of seeing our stories in print (or in e-book format), we need to take the good with the bad.

To me, one of the scariest things in life is taking risks. You can take risks by starting a business, getting into a new relationship or even trying to make friends. What do these all have in common? Stepping out of your comfort zone.

Like with anything, it can either end up good or bad? But you know what? At least you tried! And you never know, you may end up finding your new spouse or making a new best friend. The same applies to publishing our stories. Yeah, so your manuscript may fail, or you could write the next Amazon best seller. If you don’t step out of your comfort zone, you’ll never know.

Benedict Cumberbatch once said, “The further you get away from yourself, the more challenging it is. Not to be in your comfort zone is great fun.”

And Lao Tzu said, “A scholar who cherishes the love of comfort is not deemed fit to be a scholar.”

Two different lives, but both are well-known people.

This year, I plan to step out of my comfort zone, but not just with writing.

So take a chance, and say, “Today, I’m stepping out!” It will be a rough ride, but eventually, you’ll get back on that even pavement.

As writers, we write about our characters finishing their journeys. So, start working on your story, because after all, you are the main character.

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Are you going to step out this year?!

Website Review – Writing.com

Hey, everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday with friends and family.

As promised, here is my review of Writing.com.

If you follow my blog, then you know I recently transitioned to Writing.com. Before I list out the pros and cons of the site, I want to say I’m enjoying my experience there so far. However, the site isn’t perfect, and here’s why:

Pros:

Review System – Unlike websites like fanfiction.net, Fictionpress, Wattpad, DA, and Penana, Writing.com encourages reviews. The base of the site is to share your work and get feedback. Honestly, I love that system. To me, that’s how a writing website should be run. However, I do understand that not everyone is looking for feedback on their work, which is why websites like Fictionpress exist. On the website, after you review a piece of writing, you get points. With those points, you can request reviews, buy stuff, and even upgrade your membership.

So far, I’ve received some awesome feedback.

Rating System – I know some people don’t like the 5-star rating systems, but I think it’s a good way to gauge your writing. For example, my ratings tend to be between 3-4.5 stars, which to me are not too bad. Of course, it shows I need to make improvements, but I already knew that =)

Review Template – Like Scri, Writing.com provides review templates for users. I think a lot of writers and readers need review templates. Giving good reviews is like a skill – you should always mention what the writer did well and what they can improve on. I’m glad Writing.com promotes those kinds of reviews.

Filter System – Writing.com has an awesome filtering system. You can filter by the most rated stories – which are usually older stories – or you can filter new stuff first. By default, all new stories show first, and the site promotes new users.

Cons:

Site Layout – The layout of the site is clunky, and there is a lot of information on just one page that can be overwhelming. If you are looking for a simple layout, then Writing.com may not work for you.

Cover Images – Most websites now allow you to upload cover images for your work. The same applies to Writing.com; however, it doesn’t look pretty. The images get compressed and look strange, so if you like websites where you can see your pretty cover picture, Writing.com doesn’t have that.

Community Threads – After my experiences on Wattpad, I run away from threads like talking politics at a family dinner. It’s best to just stay away and run, but I will post like 1-2 questions a month for a presence. With that being said, the threads on Writing.com are also clunky, so it makes it hard to respond to people.

Comment System – Writing.com doesn’t have a comment system, so if you like receiving comments on your work, the site may not work for you. Personally, I don’t really like comment systems on my stories. Most of the time, readers don’t use them anyway, so having a review system is more of a plus for me.

That’s it for today! I hope you enjoyed my review! Once I learn more about the site, I will do an update later. My hope is Writing.com will be my new writing hub, and I can improve my craft from the feedback I receive.

Have an awesome week, everyone!!

When Writers Bully Each Other

 

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This is something that I feel is important to discuss today. Usually, I try not to bring drama to my blog, but I’ve noticed online writing communities are showing more signs of this. Sadly, this is happening across all websites I’ve been on, but I haven’t noticed this on WordPress.

Like in high school, or anytime you bring a group of people together, you will have different opinions and ideas. The same applies to online writing communities. Each and every writer is different, and in today’s online society, all the generations are mixing together.

You have Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, and Generation Z. Honestly, to me anyway, that’s a vast group of people. Of course, each generation was raised differently, and we need to find a way together to get along and accept one another.

Not only that, we need to remember we’re not all perfect. If you are part of a writing community, my best advice is to stay out of the drama. Make friends with writers, and if you get along well, keep up the relationship. If you encounter writers that just bring you down and treat you poorly, ignore them and move on. We shouldn’t let other people ruin our writing experience.

I just wanted to share some encouragement with all of you. Today, I found a review written about one of my stories, and while the review didn’t bother me at all, it was the person who wrote it. I know for a fact the person who wrote it dislikes me with many of their friends, and at this point, I have to question if the review is valid or not. Either way, I’m going to take the feedback into consideration and fix my story. The story they reviewed has received good feedback from other people, so I know it’s not all bad, but it definitely needs some editing.

Please don’t let anyone in a writing community bully you. Writing is a learning process, and if you keep writing, you will improve. Have a wonderful weekend and a great holiday!!

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Trying Something New (For Writers)

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Hello, everyone! It’s been a while since I posted, but it’s mostly because I’ve been thinking a lot these past few days.

Today I want to stress the importance of trying something new. Someone asked me what writing sites I’ve been on, so I’m going to list them. I know some of you already know this, but I thought I would share it again:

  • Fictionpress
  • Deviantart
  • Fanfiction.net
  • Wattpad.com
  • Quizilla (Back in the day)
  • Quotev

Just to let you know, I’ve left all of those. However, I still have dead accounts on a few of them. I did create a Scri account, but I’m still testing it out. After being on all those different websites, I realized why I haven’t made much progress – there mostly for fanfiction and for younger writers who just want to write for fun. While there is nothing wrong with that, at all, I just feel I need to stay focused more on my writing goals.

Don’t get me wrong, some of those sites have original stories, and Wattpad is even publishing writers now, but it’s not the same as a critique site for serious writers. However, I’ve heard that Critique Circle.com is, and I plan to join next year after I improve my writing more. I was told they are hardcore on that site and a writer should have their stuff together before joining.

With that being said, I’ve decided to tackle something new for 2017. No more Wattpad, no more wasting time on threads trying to get readers or dealing with drama there – my focus will just be writing and improving, that’s it.

I’m also going to expand myself by using Instagram and Twitter more. I’ve only been active on Twitter for five days, and I’ve already gained 30 followers and found some new writing groups with other serious writers.

To my fellow writers, if something isn’t working, try something new. Try a new website, change up your tactics or even go out there and meet some people. Switching things up is like trying a new writing process. Eventually, you will find the site that works for you. Right now, I’m still on this journey trying to find where I belong, and I’m hoping I’ll find it soon.

I’m still walking on my writing road, and maybe one day I’ll find my settling point. 

Also, and this is just an idea, but I’m thinking of starting a new WordPress site for Critiques. The whole site would be dedicated to meeting new writers and sharing our stories. I haven’t decided the format or anything, but if anyone has any ideas, please let me know.

Have you found a good place online or in real life that works for? If you did, how did you find it?

Saving Money While Improving Your Craft (For writers)

Hey, everyone! Happy Tuesday!

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It’s hard to believe we are in the last few days of November. It’s been a busy catch-up month, and the catch up for me will pour into December.

How did NaNoWriMo go? Did you win? :3

It’s only Tuesday, and yet again, drama already started on that particular website that grinds my gears. Long story short, someone started a thread for POC (People of Color) in fiction. However, their tone was so aggressive. It’s sad because people were already starting to get turned off from the good they were trying to do. I told them I remembered their last thread started drama (which it did), and their approach may drive supporters away. Of course, I got attacked yet again for not agreeing with people online.

When it comes to online writing sites, be very selective of the ones you join. If I didn’t have such a following there, my account would be deleted so fast. Starting discussions about POC in fiction is a great thing, but we have to be tactful in how we start such conversations. Calling out people of a certain race to not join in with their experiences isn’t the way to help anyone. Martin Luther King preached love and acceptance, and I wish more people online did the same. Needless to say, I’ve decided for my own sanity to take a break from it. Real life is already full of enough drama.

Now since my mini rant is over, I want to share how you can save money and still improve your craft.

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  • Udemy.com 

Recently, Udemy had a sale on Writing Fiction classes for $10, so I figured that would help me learn something new. A literary agent teaches the class, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Udemy.com is just one of the websites that provide cheap or free classes for users to take. While no, the classes aren’t accredited; however, they are still useful for honing up your skills. Surprisingly, they are decent in length. I am still trying to finish up my “Writing With Flair” class.

  • Used Writing Books 

Buying used writing guides off Amazon is another way you can save money. I know most people use e-books and free guides online, but having a physical is always nice, too.

  • Community College Courses and Workshops

If you are low on money, consider taking a class at your local community college or a single day workshop. A writer’s workshop may also help with getting feedback on your stories.

  • Ask a Trusted Writer Friend

 As much as we love our friends and want their help, I advise only asking a writer friend you trust. Someone who will be honest with you, but also won’t praise everything you write. You need serious critiques with constructive criticism

I hope this post was helpful, and you got some ideas on how to save some money while learning your craft.

Until next time, have an awesome day! Oh, before I forget, does anyone have any good recommendations on where I can get feedback for my work? I really want to get some feedback, so I know what to address in the second draft of my stories. Thanks!

Do you have any tips for saving money as a writer? If you want, please share them.