Tag Archive | howto

Writing Community Warning Signs

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Hey, everyone! Sorry for the late blog post. Life has been a tornado these last few days, but I’m finally back with an update!

Here are a few things happening with me:

  1. If you haven’t noticed, I finally took the words “unworthy writer” off my blog. For me, that’s a significant accomplishment. For so long, I felt my writing was awful, just downright terrible, but I want to view myself differently and have confidence.
  2. Please follow me on Twitter! I’m trying to build my author platform, so I want to grow my Twitter account. The link is here: My Twitter.
  3. I’m really, really not a fan of Tapas, but I needed a place to host my online stories. Since Writing.com is more of a private site, I’ve uploaded some work on Tapas. If you used to read my old stories on Wattpad, please follow me on Tapas here: My Tapas Account. As I said previously, I won’t be deleting this account. This is my permanent home, along with my blog, Writing.com, and Twitter.

Today, I was originally going to discuss determination, but, something ugly happened over the last few days. Instead of determination, I want to mention warning signs that new writers and writers new to online writing communities should look out for.

So far, this is the list I have (but please comment if you feel more things should be added):

  1. Bullying from other writers! – If you notice any bullying between writers, and if it happens frequently, then leave! I can’t stress this enough. Writers shouldn’t be attacking each other on these online communities, especially in forums and threads. If you are old enough to surf the internet, you need to understand that everyone will have a different opinion. We can’t control how someone else thinks, but you can control how you respond to it. Also, if the website lets the bullying slide or shows favoritism, you’ll see how the management thinks.
  2.   Rant books! – We all need to rant at times, it helps us blow off steam. However, there is a difference between ranting and shaming other writers. To be fair, I used to enjoy rant books back in the day, but as I’ve grown as a writer, I realized how childish they are. In the end, calling out other writers for their personal decisions with their work is childish. Sure, you can use examples from various writings you’ve seen to make points on your blogs, which is the same as using published work, but actually shaming a writer for selecting a particular publisher or leaving a website is silly.

    Here are my thoughts:
    Writing Community Memes_2

    If you see an overwhelming number of rant books on a writing website talking about other writers, move on. It shows most of the writers there are angry (and sadly, I used to be one of them, but I’ve freed myself from it), and instead of focusing on anger, move on. Lord knows I did, and now I’m better for it.

  3. Plagiarism! This is a huge one! As mentioned in another blog post, we know posting our work online is risking, but hear me out. If you notice well-known writers on a writing site talking about getting their work stolen, pay attention to the frequency.  If it happens, let’s say, once a month, maybe shrug if off. We all know free online communities will have this problem. Many younger readers read online, and of course, sometimes, they copy what they enjoy. However, if you notice messages going out every week, there’s a problem, especially if you see other well-known writers copying each other. The scary thing is, many well-known writers on these websites are trying to publish. Think about that for a moment. You write a remarkable story, get lots of readers, but another well-known writer copies your ideas, wanting to publish the said book. No!

    In the end…
    Writing Community Memes_1

Don’t waste your time on a writing community like that, seriously, it isn’t worth it. I merely write this post to help others decide where to upload their work. Online writing communities are a great way to make friends, share your work and get readers, but it’s risky. I always tell people now to test out a community for three months and see how it goes. If you see those warnings signs, walk away.

For writers, above anything, your goals should be this:

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This post is way over my 500-word limit, but I hoped you learned something from it. My question to you is:

What writing community do you use? Have you noticed any of these things?

 

(PS. I haven’t noticed any of these things on Writing.com or Tapas. Gif is from giphy.com, and I made the memes.)

 

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Near the End (For Writers)

Last weekend, I started writing the Epilogue for Clash of Tides! Yes, the Epilogue! My first novel is almost complete, and this is how I feel right now (and I’m sure other writers have felt this way, too):

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I won’t lie; it feels good to almost be done with Clash of Tides, but at the same time, I’m sad. I’ve been with Elena on her journey, and I had my own journey, too. Clash of Tides has visited different writing websites, has had different readers, and ultimately, will be edited for submission to an agent.

It’s so strange to think how far I’ve come with this story and in my own writing journey. After years of frustration (including a year of dealing with some stuck-up writers), I’ve finally found writing websites that work for me (after talking with a fellow writer last night, I realize I’m tired of so many young adult stories. I guess that explains why Wattpad and me broke up; my stories are definitely not young adult). And, I’m also taking my first in-person writing class right now with other writers! It’s been, ugh, I can’t think of the words. A roller-coaster. Now since things are dropping into place, and I’ll be working on my next series soon, I feel like this:

Dance

Even though the story is almost finished, I know there is still work to be done. Once I get the re-write and edits done, I plan to hire an editor! Ahh!! It’s so wild to think I’ll be getting my own editor. Many of you have done this before, but I’m super happy to finally be following my writing dreams. Also, in June, I plan to start my own freelance writing business, so there are big things ahead.

Now, enough about me, how are you all doing?

When you reach the end of your long stories, how do you feel? Do you start thinking about writing and editing, or do you start with the next idea in your head? I wanted to blog more about reaching the end of our novels, but I felt it would be more fun to discuss instead.

So, share with me your thoughts, everyone! If you are a published writer, how did it feel to finish your story and prepare it for publishing? I would love to read your thoughts!

Now, I am going to go plan out the next books in the Clash of Tides series. I still have two more books to write until I can finally type,

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Blog Tip Series: More than One Account

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Hi! How are you doing today?

Welcome

As I mentioned in my other post, I’ve been MIA because I was working on contest entries and submissions for Writing.com. Also, last week was insanely busy! Needless to say, I’m glad it’s over.

And, I just realized this blog is going to be a year old next month. Honestly, I can’t believe so much has changed in a year. It was around this time last year that I wanted to leave Wattpad behind for good, but I didn’t know what to do. Luckily, someone told me about WordPress and advised I create a website here. Ya know, sometimes I do miss the old writing site I was on because it was easier to meet other writers (sad, I know), but overall, I still prefer WordPress. It’s nice to write the stories I want without dealing with annoying rules and popularity contests.

Anyway, today’s post isn’t about my blog anniversary, it’s about more blogging tips!

Today’s blogging tip may be a strange one, but it’s something I feel is important. To summarize the tip, it’s “Have more than one Account.” To explain further, I feel many writers have their main base for all their work. Now, that may work for some writers, but I feel it’s important to expand your platform online. For example, if you stick to one website, then you are missing out on other followers and readers.

Let’s say you only have your WordPress blog – that’s all you use. You get a few followers and some readers, but it’s only other users on WordPress, which limits you. If you want to capture potential readers outside of WordPress, then YOU, as the writer or blogger, need to do the work. Remember, we want people to read our content, so we have to search for them. Yes, I know it sucks, and it adds more work, but that’s part of an Author Platform.

We can’t stay in one place and think people will come to us because it doesn’t work like that. If you compare “real life” to the “online world,” then writers in real life essentially do the same thing. They go to writer’s conferences, library events and even ask local bookstores to stock their stories. Hell, I know one writer got popular on Wattpad because they were PMing other users (just readers), to check out their stories.

So, throughout those different avenues, they are finding readers for their work. And when they do that, best believe they are mentioning their website and any blogs they have. So if you do decide to expand outside of WordPress, mention your blog. That way, you’ll bring more readers to you. On my many different websites, I will tell readers about my blog. In the future, I plan to use Instagram to expand myself, and hopefully, grow my blog. Personally, I’ve tried to use Twitter, but I don’t like Twitting every day. Also, I’ve noticed some writers on Twitter are so desperate for readers, they’ll follow a bunch of people and then unfollow them. That’s actually a pet peeve of mine.

However, don’t let my experiences discourage you. If you want to find more readers for your blog, then step outside, and find new places to expand your content. ^__^ After all, finding more readers is like this:

Adventure

(taken from https://giphy.com)

What websites do you use to find readers, and have you enjoyed the experiences there?

Blog Tip Series: Responding to Comments

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Hey, everyone! Did anyone watch the game yesterday? I’m not a big Superbowl person, but the ending was so wild! It reminded me to never give up :3

Anyway, back on topic! Over the weekend, I reached a milestone on this blog I never expected. Thanks to all of you wonderful readers, I have 1,133 followers. That may not seem like much, but it’s huge to me! This blog is my first online accomplishment, so, I want to give back by sharing more blogging tips. =)

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Now since I’ve reached all my blogging goals, I want to focus on my writing goals. Don’t worry, I won’t be giving up my blog =)

Today, I want to talk about responding to comments. If you follow my blog, you know I mentioned this in the past, but I want to have a deeper discussion about responses.

When you think of your blog, what words come to mind? For me, I think of the word “Social.” After all, having a blog is part of social media. That tells me I need to converse on my blog. Now, I’m sure you are wondering why that is important. Well, it’s simple, really.

If you want to gain more followers for your blog, then interact with your readers. And when I say “interact,” I don’t mean responding to comments with “Thanks for reading.” I’m saying have an actual conversation with your readers. I won’t lie to you, it’s a big pet peeve of mine to see bloggers respond to long comments with “Thanks for reading.” If a reader takes the time to write a long, thoughtful comment on your post, then have the same decency. Showing you care about your readers goes a long way.

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Here are some tips on how I respond to readers:

  • Respond to every comment on your post. It may take a while, but it will show to your old and new readers you care.
  • Actually read the comment and respond accordingly. Don’t respond with a simple “Thanks for reading.”
  • Make time to respond. Finding time can be hard, so maybe take an hour every other day just for comments. (This is the technique I use)
  • Engage in conversation. Have a discussion in your comment section. If the reader responds to you, keep the conversation going (for as long as you can).
  • Visit the reader’s blog! Visit your readers’ blogs and comment on their posts.

Honestly, I have unfollowed bloggers who didn’t respond to their comments. I know it’s hard sometimes, but engagement is important. My blog wouldn’t have grown without it. So next time you get a comment, respond to the reader. I’m sure they’ll appreciate it :3

P.S. After jumping around to different writing websites, I feel the WordPress community is the best one to engage with.  And also, Clash of Tides will be finished by the end of February!! Super excited!

How do you handle comments on your blog?

Visualizing Your Stories (For Writers)

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Hey, everyone! I hope you are having a wonderful weekend =)

Unfortunately, I’ve been sick these past two days, but I’m slowly getting better. Thanks to everyone who commented on my last blog post! It was neat to see how everyone handles another writer’s success. Also, I want to thank those who encourage me to keep on writing :3 It’s kind of you to care about me and comment on my blog.

Today, I want to talk about a method I use for my writing.

If you read my stories, or if you used to read my stories (yes, I know they are no longer available), then you may notice I’m a slow writer. The truth is, yes, I am a slow writer. However, there is a reason I take forever to write a chapter. This method may seem strange to some, but it’s something I feel makes my stories better.

Ok, I’m sure you’re wondering what the method is? Well, I visualize everything as if it were a TV show, anime, or movie. I play out the chapter in my head like a visual medium. Honestly, as writers, we know if a movie or TV show is bad. If I visualize the chapter and see that some scenes or dialogue doesn’t make sense, I scrap it. Because of this process, it takes me a while to get everything down in words. When I visualize the chapter, I do everything – and I mean everything: dialogue, description, and setting.

In other words, if I can’t imagine it, then I don’t write it. To explain further, I’ll use an example. You know when you are watching a movie, and certain scenes don’t seem right? It’s like, why would the character say that? Or what’s the point of the characters doing that quest? It’s the same type of idea. If it doesn’t flow well like a movie (or in my case, more an anime), then the idea isn’t working. When I was writing the end of Clash of Tides, I actually had this problem. Elena’s story became so delicate, I needed to make sure I wrote it realistically. The same applies to my newest story, Battle of the Five Kings, which is a dark, high fantasy story.

However, sometimes (and it’s rare), I don’t need to imagine what I’m writing first. Recently, I wrote this 100-word prompt, and it’s gotten excellent reviews on Writing.com so far.

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She couldn’t resist him any longer. His touch was divine, his form was perfection, and his voice was like slink caressing her skin.

He leaned in closer, brushing his lips against her caramel flesh and ebony locks. With slow movements, he journeyed with kisses from her neck to her ear. He whispered, “Lana, may I have you?” His deep voice echoed in her skull, and her defenses were invaded.

His wings fluttered, flickering with delight and then quickly encased her, bringing her body to his.

He was her angel, but she was his sin.

“Yes, Uriel, I’m yours,” she moaned.

~ 100 Words

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When I wrote the above, I was free writing, so I didn’t imangine it first. The good thing, though, is we have various bad examples of visual storytelling. Mainly, bad movies.

Overall, I do enjoy sitting for a good thirty minutes and just daydreaming about my world. However, I have to make sure I don’t fall into the trap of Maladaptive Daydreaming. You can learn more here: Maladaptive Daydreaming – What is it?

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I hope you found this post helpful!

What methods do you use to plan out your chapters?

(Sorry for any grammar or spelling mistakes. I’m still high off cough medicine)

How to Handle Another Writer’s Success

AHHHH!! SORRY FOR THE TYPO!!! I FIXED IT!

NOW!!

Before we get into today’s topic, I want to say thank you to everyone who did the writing prompt! I loved reading everyone’s writing :3

Oh! And here is a few updates from me:

– I entered my first short story contest on Writing.com. So far, my story has gotten all four and five-star ratings. I’m so happy about it!

– Clash of Tides should be done soon. I’m so excited! I can’t wait to do some rewrites and then send it to my betas.

– I’ll be working on 9/Nine Realms and my short stories next.

Ok! Now for today’s topic. I’m sure some, if not more, of us struggle with this. How do we handle it when a fellow writer is doing better than us? Well, I’ll let the following describe the various emotions:

  1. The shock, you know, the part of you who is like how did they sell more books (or get more readers) than me?

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2. The keeping your real feelings on the inside because you are trying to be nice. Inside you are like,

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3. The, “That’s cool, yeah, I-I-I’m ok.”

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4. And the one where you just cry your eyes out (yeahhh, I’ve done that. I thought Clash of Tides would have done better online).

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5.Overall, though, this is how we should handle a fellow writer’s success:

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If a fellow writer or writer friend is advancing further than you, don’t hate on them or get too depressed. I know it’s hard to do sometimes, and I also struggle with this. I have a writer friend who is way more successful online than I am, but I also recognize our target audiences are very different. So, what works for her will not work for me, and it happens. All I can do is improve my craft, keep writing, and not give up. Writing isn’t easy, but remember, we need to support each other^^

I never want to feel like I’m in competition with other writers again. Before, it was a horrible experience, but hopefully, with my blog, I can promote change =)

How do you handle another writer’s success?

Blog Tip Series: Being Active in the Community

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Hello, everyone! How are you doing today? I hope you’re having a good Monday! I’m off today for MLK day, so I decided to update my blog.

Today, I’m going to post more blogging tips. Later, I’ll post about the award I received. So, I checked my followers and saw 1,043. I finally reached the 1,000 follow milestone, and believe me, it wasn’t easy. Before, I said, “You have to give to get.” And honestly, I’ve found that so true online.

If you want people to follow you, you need to take an interest in their blog as well. Believe me; I understand how hard it is to balance social media. I’m sure some of you are thinking,

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“Wait, I have to post, research and comment on other blogs too?” My answer is yes! The easiest way for people to find you is to be active in the community. Meaning, the more people see you and your comments pop up, the more they’ll take an interest in your blog.

The same concept applies to updating 1-2 times a day. If they see you’re an active blogger, they are more likely to read your stuff. You show you update a lot, but also take an interest in other people. When I first started blogging, I would spend 1-2 hours a day reading other people’s blogs. However, I didn’t limit myself to the “writing” tag. I also used the “anime tag,” the paranormal tag,” and the “reading” tag. Not only do I read the blogs, but I also read other people’s stories. The point is, read blogs and stories that interest you. Just because you are a writer, it doesn’t mean you can’t read blogs about cooking or makeup.

Also, for every post I read (about 10 – 20 post a day), I left a comment for the writer. Leaving comments about what the writer wrote is important. That way, the writer knows, “Hey, this person actually read my post, awesome!” Sometimes, not always, the writer will show you the same courtesy and check out your blog. If they like your blog and find it informative, they’ll follow you.

Overall, do the below, and I’m sure you’ll get new followers:

  • Spend time reading other people’s blog, but don’t limit yourself to one subject
  • Comment on the blogs you read, even if it’s just one sentence
  • Be active in the community and mention other bloggers in your post

Like with any social media site, you need to be active and spend time getting to know others. It’s easy to think “I’m just going to update my blog and that’s it.” However, most websites these days don’t work like that, and WordPress isn’t an exception. If you want followers, step out and go find them; they are just a tag away =)

What methods do you use to grow your blog?