Tag Archive | Fiction

Encouragement Tuesday (For Writers)

When we strive to attain our goals,
we will have days harder than others

We will have laughs, tears, and smiles,
and we will even have some fear

When the journey gets tough,
keep reaching for the stars and don’t give up

Reach_for_Stars_1

Advertisements

Diversity in Fiction

Hey, everyone! I hope your weekend is going well.

So, as I slowly expand my writing platform and join other writing communities, I noticed the topic of diversity comes up, a lot. Of course, it totally makes sense why more readers and agents are requesting stories with diverse characters.

In our modern society, people from all different backgrounds live together, work together, and form relationships. This post isn’t about how to write a story with diversity, but its asking, do you include diversity in your stories?

When some people think of diversity, they think this:

diversity

(taken from https://giphy.com)

Recently, I started a post about this on another writing site, and someone made a good point. They said that diversity isn’t limited to skin color, but also includes personality.

Many of you already know this, but one of my goals as a writer is to write black female characters as the protagonists. I’ve already started that with Elena, and I have a new character, Jada.

First, I’m curious to know if you have any diverse characters in your story. Second, how do you feel about “forced diversity”? Another issue with diversity is forced diversity. To explain further, forced diversity has diverse characters just for the sake of it.

Many writers feel that forced diversity doesn’t work, but how do you feel?

When we write our stories, we need to consider the setting, timeline, and the theme we’re trying to show. For our work to be believable, we need to write it as realistic as possible. Of course, with fantasy, you have some more wiggle room, but you still want to consider your readers.

I think for diversity in stories, we also need to determine our audience. In the US, there’s a lot of room for diversity in stories, but can we really expect the same for countries outside of the western world? For example, think of Japan. Growing up and even now, I love anime, but alas, there aren’t many black female characters in their stories. But of course, that makes sense given the country. Should we hold other countries to the same diverse expectation?

I know this post is short for today, but I wanted to make this more of a discussion post. Personally, I didn’t want to do a post on how to write diverse characters, as I feel that’s understood. However, if anyone wants a post like that later, please let me know. From what I’ve seen, agents are looking for diverse books, at least on Twitter, anyway.

To get the discussion started, please post your answers to the questions below:

  •  Do you include diversity in your stories?

  • How do you feel about “forced diversity”?

  • Should we hold other countries to the same diverse expectation?

 

 

Protecting Your Work Online

For today, let’s jump right into the topic and discussion. If you follow me on Twitter, then you know I’ve been tweeting about plagiarism.

A close writer friend of mine had her concept stolen by another writer, a popular writer. She spoke to the website about it, but nothing was done on her behalf. After everything that happened, I was inspired to write this post about protecting your stories online. In the past, writers weren’t told they needed a “platform.” They didn’t need a bunch of readers following them, a Twitter following, website or blog following, they just needed to network in real life and submit their stories to publishers.

In our age of technology, more and more writers are posting their first drafts online for readers. As we all know, posting your work online is risky, and we need to learn how to protect our stories.

If you notice someone is copying your ideas, here are some things you can do:

  1. Confront them – if you feel the person won’t be too defensive and acknowledge what they did, then communicate with them.

    Note: You can contact the website you post on to see if they’ll remove the story, but based on my experience, that doesn’t do much. 

  2. Make your work private – let’s say you confront the individual and they don’t agree they copied your ideas. Or you still want feedback on your stories but don’t want to risk someone stealing it, then make your work private. On WordPress and other websites, you can make pages password protected. And better yet, use Google Docs.
  3.  Remove your work – ultimately, you may have to remove the story from online. If you have a large readership or a good number of writer friends, this will hurt. But, you need to decide what’s more important: readership or protecting your stories? By removing your work, you ensure no one can take your concepts and ideas.

While plagiarism is mostly the copy of work, not concepts and ideas, I feel concepts in the creative world is important. A concept, especially a good concept, can change the way we look at something.

For example, take Harry Potter and Game of Thrones. Harry Potter is about a magical school. If J.K Rowling posted her work online and got popular, how many magical school stories do you think would pop up? A lot! Once her concept was copied, it would no longer be unique to her, thus she would have lost her idea.

Same with Game of Thrones – a vast world where different houses fight to control the whole realm. If the story was posted online first and then stolen, imagine that someone wrote close to the same story, but instead of the most powerful house being able to control dragons, it was mermaids. Same concepts, but only a few things are different.

Most YA dystopian novels are the same concepts, but different skin. The premise is always a teenager that’s different saves the world from the evil adults (bad society). Stories that follow this are:
Hunger Games
Red Queen (this also takes concepts from Game of Thrones with houses)
The Selection
The Maze Runner
Divergent

Honestly, there is a line between inspiration, taking concepts, and plagiarism, but I wonder, what’s that line? What do you think?

(warning: there are writers online that are known to steal concepts, so please protect your work.)

How to be Your Own Fan

Hey, everyone! I hope you’re doing well.

Before we begin, here are some updates!

  • For 2018, I’m working on a new novella. It’s about zombies, space, humans with powers, and after Earth. Basically, bad s*** happens. It’s my primary project for this year besides rewriting COT and 9/Nine Realms.
  • I’ve reached 200 followers on Twitter, thus completing my Twitter goals. Yes, I aimed low for Twitter because I don’t understand it. If you want to follow me on Twitter, here is my link: My Twitter. I post poems, short stories, graphics, etc. Please follow me =)
  • I’m doing a Technical Writing program! Yes, by the end of this year, I’ll be certified in Technical Writing. I’m super excited to make this change and hope to have a full-time writing job. Once I’m done with tech writing, I’ll be working on my second Creative Writing cert.

Now, on to today’s post!

As you saw by the title, I want to talk about being your own fan.

As writers, many of us know the impact readers have on us. Readers can make us feel like this:

happy_1

Orrr this:

sad

Readers can encourage us, devalue us, or send us into a depression. Basically, readers who enjoy our work are worth gold to us, while the opposite can make us sad. No one likes bad feedback or harsh reviews of their work. I was told many writers avoid looking at Goodreads for that reason; however, not all Goodreads reviews are bad. Many times there are positive reviews, and we can see who enjoyed our stories. 

But guess who the most important fan of all is? The answer is:

you

Yes, you, the writer who is putting in endless free hours of work into the story. Unless you’re collaborating with another writer, all the ideas belong to you. They were birthed from your mind, you, and you alone. Writing is a lonely job and finding the motivation to continue the story can be hard. Therefore, you need to be your own fan – you need to love your writing, characters, and world. Of course, still be open to improvement, but you need to be your biggest cheerleader. 

I want to mention different ways I’ve been my own fan, and I hope others will do the same:

  1. Write one-shots or drabbles of your stories. One-shots and drabbles are short fiction. One-shots are usually short stories, and drabbles are 100-word stories. For example, to better understand Hass, I wrote short stories about him growing up in the sea and working for the royal family. Also, to expand on Assan’s and Elena’s relationship, I wrote cute alternate universe (AU) stories. One of them is a modern-day story where they go to Disneyland on a date. Needless to say, Assan wasn’t a fan of The Little Mermaid ride =)

    If you ever have free time, write your characters in different scenarios.

  2.  Get artwork done of your characters. If you follow my blog, then you know I love getting artwork done. Sometimes, seeing your characters in real life can be a huge motivator. Not only can you see what you created, but it can inspire you to get additional artwork. Typically, you can get headshots of your characters done for $15-$30 on DeviantArt. Even if you don’t have money now, save up for a few months and then see what artists are out there. In the past, I’ve worked with some fantastic artists, and I’m hoping to get more artwork done soon.
  3. Make a playlist. This one is straightforward, but I felt it was necessary to mention. As writers, when we’re writing, some of us listen to music. Listening to music can help us set the setting and write the scene, so why not make a playlist for your stories. For Clash of Tides, I have a full playlist I listen to while writing. After all, it’s a great motivator if we imagine our stories becoming a movie, TV show, video game, comic, or anime.

So…I’ve already gone past 500 words, so I’ll probably make a part 2 of this topic, but I hope you enjoyed today’s blog post!

Remember, when it comes to our stories, we need to:

Keep moving_2

Question: What motivates you to keep writing? How are you your own fan?

Blog Tip Series: Produce Quality Content

It’s my first post for 2018! As mentioned previously, my major goal this year is to work on my writing, nothing else. I also know other people have goals, too, and for some of them, it’s dedicating more time to their blog.

Some of you mentioned that I’m a popular blogger, but honestly, I don’t feel like one. When I originally created this blog, I didn’t want popularity, but since I know others want to grow their blog readership this year, I decided a helpful post was needed.

In the past, I discussed posting your content. If anyone wants a refresher before reading today’s topic, you can find my old post here: Blog Tip Series: Posting Content.

To begin, I want to stress how important it is to produce quality content. Of course, with writing and blogging, you’re always learning but try your best when you post something. When luring readers to your blog, you want to earn their trust; you want them to feel that your content is reliable and they can learn from you.

Depending on what topic you blog about, you want to make sure you do the following:

  • Research! – If you do research for your stories, then do research for your blog. Citing sources and providing real-life examples goes a long way.
  • Dress it Up – By this, I mean switch up your post by including gifs and pictures. Sometimes, I even use mems I created myself to enhance my blog post. You can easily create memes here: https://memegenerator.net.
  • Word Count – This is a strange one to include, but you want your post to be a decent size. I found 500 words works, and anything longer than that may bore readers.
  • Stay Focused – When you write a post, don’t go on a tangent. Focus on your subject by keeping to your main points. Before I write a blog post, I outline what I’m going to write about.  

I won’t mention good grammar and spelling because that’s understood.

I hope that was helpful and,

remember-you-got-this
I won’t do a question today, but feel free to post any comment you want.

Saying Goodbye…

To 2017!!!
New Year

If you read the title and thought I was leaving, nope! I just wanted to post an overview of 2017 before I left today. For my birthday and new years, I’m heading to Disneyland! Strange place to go, right? Well, this year I didn’t go to a major theme park, so I figured before the year is done, I might as well go to Disney.

I wanted to thank everyone for a full, awesome year of following my blog, reading my posts, and for commenting! We’ve had some excellent discussions this year, and next year, I hope to bring more of that to this blog.

Here are some posts that highlight the year:
All the post below have the most comments (over 30 comments) and engagement from 2017.
Blog Tip Series: Being Active in the Community
Own Your Titles (For Writers)
Blog Tip Series: Responding to Comments
Measuring Accomplishments
Free Content and Readers (For Writers)
Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing

Next year, I plan to get a full domain name, so that change will be coming. I also want to interact with everyone more, so I’ll be looking for bloggers to do guest posts.

Lastly, I always plan to keep this blog about writing, especially topics that affect the writing community. As I branch out from online writing communities and start going to more conferences, I plan to share that knowledge with everyone.

I’m a little sad to leave 2017 behind and get older, but I’m excited about what 2018 will bring. My primary focus for next year is my writing career, so we’ll see what happens.

What is one thing you accomplished this year, and what is one thing you hope to do in 2018?

I know some people don’t like setting goals, but maybe we can start with mentioning one thing. This year, I finished Clash of Tides, and next year, I hope to get an agent, but we’ll see.

Happy Holidays!

Whoa! Three posts in one week! I’m finally getting back to my old schedule.

Before the long weekend begins, I have a message from my characters to all of you:

Holiday Card_Assan_1

Monochrome Assan (merman and a main character in Clash of Tides) was done by Bianca Loran. She is an excellent artist, and you can find her work here: biancaloran.deviantart.com.

I plan to get more artwork done by her for Clash of Tides. If you’re interested in the story, you can find it here: Clash of Tides.

For now, have a wonderful weekend, everyone, and enjoy sending time with family and relaxing! I’ll be writing, reading, lazying about, and sleeping =)  See you next week!