Tag Archive | marketing

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?

 

 

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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.

Sharing a Post: The Truth About Wattpad Stars

Hey, everyone!

I’m sure based on the title, you’re wondering what today’s blog post is about. Well, the focus of today’s post isn’t about me, but it’s about one of my fellow writer friends and their experience with Wattpad as a company.

In the past, I’ve mentioned different writing websites: the good, the bad, and most certainly, the ugly. I know I may come off as “bashing” these sites, but I only want to share my experiences and prepare others for what to expect.

Of course, I know many writers like Wattpad, and please don’t let my experience stop you from using the website; however, just proceed with caution. If you are curious about Wattpad as a company and their Wattpad Stars program (a program where Wattpad selects writers to be published through their connections), then please see my friend’s post here: The Truth About Wattpad Stars.

I hope it will be enlightening and shed some light on how these online writing websites work. After hearing all the things she went through, and what some other writers have gone through, I couldn’t help but feel,

Truth

To new and experienced writers, especially those that want to publish, please don’t let anyone pressure you about your stories. If you don’t feel your story is ready for publication, don’t rush it. Publishing shouldn’t be a race, it should be a journey, and once you feel satisfied with your work, then share it with the world.

Remember, you don’t want to end up like this:

Race

If you want to discuss this topic here, then please, post your comments and let’s converse! Hmm, I guess I could ask questions about this.

After reading her blog post, what are your feelings about these online writing sites? Do you feel it’s better to traditionally publish, self-publish, or do a serial novel (using one of these online websites)?  If you had a chance to publish just your first draft, would you do it, or would you take the time to polish your story first?

Please let me know! And remember, no drama, please.

Learning and Writing With Different Styles

Hello!!!!

Thank you to everyone who read and commented on my last post. It’s nice to read what everyone else is working on and see writers engaging with each other. After all, it’s always good to support your fellow writer.

To everyone who is writing and working on submissions, this is for you:

to the writers

Today, I want to write about learning and writing different styles. I’m sure some of you are wondering what I mean, but don’t worry, I’ll explain it.

Just like many of you, I’m sure you’ve been writing online for a while now. In most online communities, I’ve met a good number of writers – writers who of course, want to write fiction. As fiction writers, one of our goals is to publish and keep improving our craft. However, we all know that fiction writing doesn’t always pay well. I want to write, but sadly, I also need to make money. When I finally decided to write full time, I kept looking at the best-paid jobs for writers. If anyone is interested, I’ve posted some jobs below:

Technical Writer
Copy Writer
Editor

You can also read more here: 6 Awesome Careers for Writers

Now, I’m sure some of you are thinking that’s not the same as fiction writing; it’s boring. And as someone who is trying to be a technical writer, I agree with you. But, I can honestly say technical writing has helped improved my craft.

With technical writing, you need to be clear, direct, and concise. In other words, get the point across with no needless words, and make it clear so readers (in layman’s terms) can understand.

That writing has vastly helped my fiction writing. Before, when I used to write my sentences, I would border on purple prose because I liked “flower language.” Now, when writing my stories, it’s easier for me to notice “filler words” and if my passages aren’t concise. Of course, sometimes, you’ll want to throw your readers off during a story, but overall, we don’t want our books hard to read, or we won’t get readers.

In the beginning, it surprised me that other writers didn’t try for travel writing, article writing, or other professional writing jobs. Just because it isn’t related to fiction writing, doesn’t mean you cannot have fun with it or learn from it. In my travel writing class, I learned describing an environment is important. Mostly because in travel writing, readers will want to smell what you smelled and sense what you sensed. It’s a way of giving the readers a motive to visit that location.

The lead technical writer I once worked with told me this, “I’ve read your stuff, and I really think you would do well with marketing writing.”

what

To those words, I arched an eyebrow and questioned what he said. Then I thought, in a way, if you blog, you’re also doing article and marketing writing, so that gave me something to think about ^__^

Maybe that’s something some of you will think about, too.

Question: as a fiction writer, have you ever thought of doing a more traditional writing job? Why or why not?      

 

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?

 

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?”

 

Life and Updates

Ah! I’m so sorry for the lack of blog post, but yet again, it’s been a busy time for me. Like, seriously busy. I’ve been working on another contest entry and planning out my next book. I have so many ideas in my head that it’s hard to select just one story.

I’m also working on getting my business started, so that’s also eating away my time. However, I wanted to give you all an update on me.

Here are my updates:

– I’m still finalizing Clash of Tides, but I’m nearly there.
– I’m planning out my next book. It’s 9/Nine Realms! I have other ideas (many, in fact) so I may jump around, but for now, I’m going to focus on that story after COT.
– Working on contest entries for Writing.com
– Submitting more short stories to publishers
– I’m looking for an editor, so I’m hoping to have a dedicated person soon.
– New character art! I’ll be doing some new art commissions for Clash of Tides and 9/Nine Realms!
– I went to Comic Con!
– Tonight I had my writing class, and I got some great feedback on my work

And here is me with my lame ass outfit:

20170422_151159

It was so much fun! The costumes were amazing! I met some inspirational cosplayers, enjoyed my fandoms, and I met some fellow writers. I even got ideas to get a booth if I decide to self-publish my stories (I know, they cost money).

It was a great last weekend, and once I get more time to blog again, I’ll write more about it.

And thanks for all the comments on my previous blog post. I have so many that I’m still trying to respond to everyone. I guess free content and readers is a hot topic =)

Lastly, since this blog is turning 1-years old next month, I want to do something special to honor all you wonderful followers. Do you have any ideas for me? Are there any topics you want me to discuss?

Also, what have you all been up to? Has anyone done any submissions, finished a book or finished a chapter in your story?

Please comment and let me know!