Tag Archive | Fiction

Try Something New (For writers) – Part 2

Hey, everyone!

Before we get into today’s discussion, I have a few updates for everyone.

  1. If you’re a reader and still want to read my work, you can find me here: https://tapas.io/Akaluv89. Personally, I don’t agree with how this site charges per chapter for certain stories, but my stories are FREE! I don’t believe in charging for first drafts. Love for an Angel and Clash of Tides are posted there, along with some short stories. Future online works will be posted there, too. The account WILL NOT be deleted. 
  2. I am going through contest submissions now, so the winner will be announced next week!
  3. I will respond to everyone. Many of you have messaged me to do reviews, comments, and awards; I promise I’ll get back to everyone!

I have many things going on in my personal life right now, so I haven’t been giving WordPress the attention it needs. However, the weekend it coming up, so I’ll be able to catch up on blog posts and stuff soon. Also, I got my ticket for Tokyo! I’ll be heading to Japan next month!!

Now, today I want to talk about:

Try something new

(taken from https://giphy.com)

In a past blog post, I mentioned that if something isn’t working, then try something new. I’m a big, big believer in not staying in just one place – which is probably why I don’t have a house – so if I see an opportunity to move on, then I’ll do it. I get it, moving on and trying something new is scary. As human beings, we want to be comfortable, but unfortunately, that isn’t how the world works.

As Lisa Nichols says,

74793ffcdbddd78786d47ec7063d927f--lisa-nichols-quotes-phoenix-rising

(taken from: https://www.pinterest.com/mcneilpamm/lisa-nichols/?lp=true)

This is so true, and it’s something as writers I feel holds us back. I’ve heard from many, many of you that using one website wasn’t enough to get traffic for your work, or even that your marketing for your self-published books wasn’t good enough.

If something isn’t working, move on to your next opportunity! Please, please don’t stick to the same places. I wanted to hold off on giving some good news, but recently, when I joined Tapas, one of my stories got featured. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting it, but it made me glad I moved on from one website and tried something different.

Between Writing.com and Tapas, I gained what I didn’t after three years on Wattpad. I got noticed for my work. I want the same for everyone. Moving on did me good, so please consider that for yourself.

As the saying goes, “If ifs and buts were candies and nuts, we’d all have a merry Christmas.”

Excuses don’t get us candies and nuts, they just slow down our progression, or halt us in our journey.

Question: Have you ever tried something new for your writing or writer’s platform? Did it work for you?

 

Contest Reminder!

Hiiii

This is a reminder that contest submissions are due tomorrow night, PST!

The prize is a $25 Amazon gift card. If you want to enter, leave me a comment in the comment section or email me. You can read about the contest here: 1500 Followers Writing Contest!

I can’t wait to read all the stories!

Once all the contest submissions are in, I’ll post a new blog post. Some upcoming topics are:

  1. Issues in the writing community – Do writers need to rewrite their work?
  2. Round 2 – If something isn’t working, then try something new. 
  3. Showing your personality to your readers

If there are any topics you want me to post, please let me know.

If you are looking for my stories, you can read which sites I’m on here: Where to find me (akaluv99).

Building Yourself Up (For Writers)

Hey, everyone! Before we begin, I want to say,

Winter is here

Just kidding! But I am excited about Game of Thrones tomorrow, but no, I really wanted to say thank you to everyone who commented on my last blog post. The amount of support and advice I got was overwhelming. I feel much better about my decision to try and get traditional published or even self-publish, so instead of anxiety now, I can focus on finalizing Clash of Tides for querying.

So, today I wanted to discuss building yourself up. As writers, we are always trying to improve our skills, grow our readership, and just maintain a presence online.

We already know how the greats did it: Stephen King, J K Rowling, and many other authors. However, in today’s world, lots of people are building up their brand.

Of course, as writers, it makes us feel better when we read about other writers getting rejected and still succeeding. But what about business owners, musicians, and other artists that start from nothing? Well, there are plenty of stories about them. During the last few days, I’ve researched people that are inspiring, who help me to keep moving and not give up.

So today, I want to talk about a company that changed how we read, buy books, and even look at publishing: Amazon.

I’m not sure if any of you know this, but Jeffrey P. Bezos started Amazon out of his garage at 30 years old. Yes, out of his garage at only 30 years old.

This information is taken from http://www.fundable.com:

 1994: Jeff Bezos quits his job and launches Amazon out of his garage.
Within 30 Days, it is doing $20,000 per week in sales.

1995: Bezos raises an $8 Million round of funding from Kleiner Perkins.

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 per share.

1999: Bezos is named Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year” for popularizing online shopping.

2009: Bezos acquires Tony Tsieh’s Zappos through a stock swap.

2013: Bezos acquires the Washington Post.

If we look at these dates, it took Jeffery 4 years before he really got noticed for Amazon. Along the way, it wasn’t always an easy journey. Think about it, if he gave up on starting Amazon, where would we be today? Of course, I’m sure someone else may have made self-publishing a thing, but Amazon is now a legend in the online world. Honestly, I feel that’s how it is with writing. It’s a long, never ending road of working hard and waiting for our stuff to get noticed.

Growing your readership and improving your craft takes time. So please, to new and old writers (and this may sound strange coming from me), please don’t get discouraged. For new writers, at a minimum give yourself 1-2 years to build up your craft and presence online. Seriously, don’t rush the process like I did. If you ever need someone to beta read for you or help you with your stories, I’m just an email away. I started this blog to help other writers, that’s what I want to do. If another writer offers to help you, take them up on that offer. Really, you have nothing to lose.

The most that will happen is they won’t get back to you, but if they do, that could be some valuable feedback. I started this blog to help other writers, so I’m here if you need me.

Lastly, I’ve almost reached 1500 followers! Once I do, I plan to hold a writing contest! The prize will probably be a $25 Amazon gift card, but hey, that is some free books. More details to come.

Question: How long did it take you to build up your craft and presence online? From what I’ve noticed, it takes about 1-2 years to build up a readership.

(I haven’t forgotten about the comments. I will respond to you.)

 

 

 

Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing

First and foremost, this post isn’t about the differences between self-publishing and traditional publishing. There are already plenty of blog posts, books, and articles about the various methods of publishing.

Today, this post is about which path I should take for my stories. As Clash of Tides goes through beta, rewrite, and then editing, I’m getting ever closer to the publishing phase. For the past few weeks, I kept thinking about what route I want to take. Honestly, I already know the benefits of both, but the scary thing is knowing which one will work for me.

With self-publishing, I’m in control of everything, so I do like that aspect. When I originally wrote Clash of Tides, it was for New Adults, especially for other black women who don’t see diversity with lead female characters. I know for a fact that publishers will have writers change their stories to fit more of a Young Adult audience. For Clash of Tides, I want Elena to be in her 20s, period. Personally, I don’t like how publishers will force writers to change their work, but I get why they do it.

Then again, maybe I’m just scared. Submitting a query letter to an agent isn’t has nervewracking as self-publishing. Sometimes, I wonder if I want to spend all that money myself – cover design, editor, marketing, etc.

Basically, all the below:

publishing

(taken from giphy.com)

Right now, I’m tired of feeling the disappointment and failure with my work. It feels no matter how hard I try, I never get a payoff. The thoughts of self-publishing and then barely seeing any reviews on my work would probably depress me, especially after all the money I spent. Then again, I know other writers go through the same things all the time. However, there is just something unsettling knowing that writers who write fanfiction online get paid more than a writer who actually tried to self-publish decent, original work. I mean, I know for a fact that some fanfiction writers get $300-$600 every three months from ad-revenue for stories that aren’t their own. And yet, a self-published writer who got betas, paid for cover art and an editing service won’t even crack $50 a month. Maybe that’s just the age we live in, but it doesn’t make me want to jump on the self-publishing thing. Mostly, it makes me want to quit writing and just learn something else.

Also, with how readership is these days, most readers don’t want to buy books. They want everything for free. I question how I would feel posting my hard work for only .99 cents and not getting one purchase. Sadly, readers rather pay $5 for a Starbucks drink than a writer’s story.

Ultimately, it’s a tough decision, and me, and you, as a writer have to decide. I’m at that point where I don’t even want to post my work online anymore. I mostly just want to write the stories I want to read and then store them on my hard drive for my eyes only.

As a writer, I know it’s not good to think that way, but the road taken has already broken me, and the road not taken may destroy me. Decisions Decisions. Well, at least with traditional publishing, if my stories got accepted, I would be overjoyed!

Now since Clash of Tides is almost put to rest, I have so many new stories I’m working on. All characters will be in their 20s, so New Adult to Adult stories. I don’t want to change that. There is already enough YA stories, and sadly, I feel most of them are the same. They are pretty much different settings, different characters, and the same storylines. A special teenage girl snowflake goes on a journey, meets a hot guy, defeats the villain, and then has a happy ending. I feel it’s time for something new to come along.

Whoa! That was longer than I thought it would be. Sorry if this came off like ranting, but I felt these are important things to consider. Thanks for reading, and I want to know,

“Do you have any fears about self-publishing or traditional publishing? If you already have done either, what was it like?”

 

Video Games and Writing – Part 2

Before we begin with today’s topic, I wanted to post some updates from me. So, over the weekend, I removed all my original stories from online, but for Writing.com. Why you wonder? Well, my original stories were online long enough. Now since I’m working on the rewrite for Clash of Tides (and hoping to submit it at the end of the year), it’s time for a change. Going forward, I won’t be posting my full rough drafts online anymore. To everyone who read my stories, thanks for the support! I won’t lie, the journey of posting my stories online has been conflicting, and I can’t say I enjoyed it. However, with this day and age of the internet, it’s something I needed to experience.

If Clash of Tides gets picked up (which I doubt), I’ll be sure to let everyone know!

Now for today’s post!

If you follow my blog, then you know I’ve posted about this before. Lately, my time has been spent playing this:

1 - Zelda Breath Of The Wild Title GIF.gif

It’s been years since I’ve returned to my video games ways, but with all the good games out, I couldn’t resist. The Legend of Zelda games is one of my favorites! I especially love Link’s character.

In addition to playing Breath of the Wild, I’m also working on 9/Nine Realms right now. My goal is to get the rough draft of 9/Nine Realms done before the end of the year. 9/Nine Realms is my first Epic Fantasy, and the world-building is difficult for me; however, Breath of the Wild has inspired me to try some new things. So like my post before, I want to point out the benefits of playing video games and being a writer.

1. Experiencing an adventure – When we read books, we’re following along with the characters on their journey, but with reading, we’re not interacting with the world the writer created. With video games, especially games like Breath of the Wild, we get to actually experience the world. Of course, I don’t mean with the five senses. I mean we get to explore the world and learn about the lore.

For example, let’s say in your story, you need more experience writing puzzles in a dungeon or sending your characters on a quest to recover something. If a video game takes place in a fantasy world (it’s own world), you can experince that in the game. From there, you can build upon that inspiration and write your story.

2. The lore – When playing an Epic Fantasy game, you learn about the lore of the world and how everything ties together. Sure, you can read that in a book, but it is fun when you see images of old gods and royalty in games.

Thanks to Breath of the Wild, I was able to get inspired for 9/Nine Realms, so I’m excited to see how the story progresses.

I mean, come on, look at theses:

Zelda_2

Zelda_1

Question: For you, what is the hardest part about world-building? When it comes to world-building, what inspires you?

Thanks for reading! I’ll respond to all comments tomorrow!

 

 

Burnout (For Writers)

Hey, everyone! I’m trying to get back to my normal posting schedule, so please forgive me for not being on track. To give you a quick update, I’ve been working on plotting out 9/Nine Realms and doing some world-building. For my past stories, I didn’t do enough world-building, so I want to improve that with 9/Nine Realms. Once I get the world and lore done, I plan to start writing the rest of the story!

For today, I want to discuss “Burnout.” I’m sure that everyone knows what burnout is, but if you don’t, here is the definition:

“Physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress.” – Google.com 

This is the definition I’ll be discussing today. As writers, we’re always writing, always thinking, and most importantly, we want to grow our readership. If you focus on everything we have to do as writers, it’s easy to burn your mind out.

Hell, there is:
Marketing
Character Design
Author (writer) Platform
The Actual Writing
Blogging
The Actual Writing 

Editing
Cover Design
Finding Beta Readers
The Actual Writing

That’s a lot, and really, we don’t want to do this to our manuscripts:

Burnout

I can add more to that list, but I feel this is enough. Basically, there’s a lot of stuff to do. In a way, being a writer is a job, but sadly, a job you don’t get paid for, yet.

If you look at the list and oh, let’s add “read other writers’ stories too, then it’s easy to burn yourself out. Remember, take a breather and relax. We want to write, publish, and get our stories to our readers, but burning ourselves out won’t help.

In the past, I spent every waking moment writing. My only focus was to get better, to make my readers happy and grow my readership. However, in the end, it was kind of pointless. So yeah, I improved my writing skills, and some readers enjoyed my work, but sadly, my writing obsession hasn’t paid off for me.

Maybe I was rushing it, or perhaps I didn’t take the time to breathe. Once in awhile, do this:

realx.gif

The important thing is, don’t burnout! When you burn yourself out, you can’t write, you can’t focus or think, and you’ll be miserable. If you find being a writer is overwhelming, take a step back and relax. For me, when I get super stressed about my stories, I lay down, close my eyes, and imagine the world I’m writing about for fun. Maybe closing your eyes and spending time with your characters will relax your mind. What I mean is, don’t work, just shut your eyes and go into the world of your imagination.

Question: When you’re overwhelmed with your stories, how do you relax?

P.S. 1,428 followers!! Thank you so much for following me!!
All gifs are from giphy.com

My Return

I'm Back

Hey, everyone!

I didn’t mean to be MIA for so long, but my Vegas trip really tired my body out. I had a great time! I even got inspired to write a new short story that I may turn into something else later.

How is everyone doing? Sorry for the lack of updates. I do plan to update something soon, so I hope you’re ready to read some new content.

Also, I plan to get some artwork of my characters done again! Is there any particular character you want to see?

I’ll catch up with everyone soon.

Right now, I’m working on the following:

Planning my trip to Tokyo
– Learning Web Development, refreshing my Japanese, and working on Technical Writing
– Finalizing Clash of Tides and working on the second draft
– Reaching out to editors
– Plotting out 9/Nine Realms

Basically, I’ll be like

work work work

What are you all working on?

PS. I still need to respond to comments, and I’ll do that soon.