Tag Archive | reading

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

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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?

 

 

Be Humble (For Writers)

Hey everyone! How is your weekend going? Before we get into today’s blog post, I want to post some updates.

  1. Thank you to everyone who followed me on Twitter. I really appreciate it!
  2. This blog is almost at 2K followers!!! I want to do something special then, but I need some ideas. If anyone has any ideas, please let me know.
  3. I noticed some readers are still looking for Clash of Tides. If you are looking for the story, please click here: My Tapas. You can also email me here: Email Me.

That’s all the updates from me, so let’s get into today’s discussion.

Today, I want to talk about humility.

Dwayne Johnson once said, “I’m always asked, ‘What’s the secret to success?’ But there are no secrets. Be humble. Be hungry. And always be the hardest worker in the room.”

(Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/dwayne_johnson_760904?src=t_humble)

The keywords in that quote are “Be humble.”

As writers, some of us hope to publish our stories and grow our readership. To increase our readership, we need to expand our brand across multiple platforms, thus making a name for ourselves. While making our name and stories known, some of us may grow in popularity. Or at least, we’ll get more recognition for our work.

As they say, the more popular and powerful one becomes, the more corrupt they get. That’s why it’s important to be and stay humble. Even if you’re successful, we should never forget where we came from. Like most people in life, things aren’t handed to them; they have to work for it.

After writing online for so long, I’ve seen “popular” writers group themselves together and look down on others in the community. These writers often call themselves “The best…(genre).” Honestly, and this is just my opinion, it’s not a good look when you put yourself above others. As writers, we should support each other, not act like we are better.

On WordPress, I haven’t seen this. But imagine a group of well-known WordPress bloggers starting a group and calling themselves “The best bloggers on WordPress.” Would you be inclined to follow people like that? For me, personally, I wouldn’t. I don’t feel any one blogger is above another.

That’s why it’s best to be humble, to remember that we weren’t always on top. Many days or nights are spent alone writing, rewriting, and analyzing our stories over and over again. Until our work reaches a broad audience, we only have those few readers who support us.

As they say, “You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.”  

To my fellow writers, please be humble and remember to support your fellow writers. We’re in this writing game together, and together, we will lift each other up, not watch each other fall.

23igt7

Question: What do you think? Do you think it’s better to be a humble writer?

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?

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.

Looking Back: Inspirations From 2017

Hey, everyone! How are you doing this weekend?

Unfortunately, I’m not feeling well today, so I’m sitting in bed. I figured this would be a good time to write a blog post about 2017. But before we get into that, I do have a few updates for everyone!

  1. Clash of Tides is still going through beta, but I already have notes for the second draft. I’m excited to work on the second draft of the story.
  2. I’m still posting the first draft of COT online for all those who want to read the ending. Remember, you can find updates here: Find Me.
  3. I haven’t forgotten about 9/Nine Realms, but I decided to rewrite the story, so it’s going through some editing.
  4. I do freelance writing now, so if you ever need a project done, let me know.

Now, back to the blog post! As the year slowly comes to an end, more and more bloggers are posting about their thoughts from 2017. Today, I want to discuss what stories inspired me this year for my own work.

And of course, I want to hear what inspired you, too.

Here is my list of the most inspirational stories from 2017:

I’m going to break down the list by following: movie, TV show, video game, and soundtrack.

Movie from 2017:

The Shape of Water

the-shape-of-water-poster-copy(image from http://www.joblo.com)

There are so many words I can write about this movie, but I’ll try to keep it simple and spoiler-free. When I think of The Shape of Water, I think of two words: beautiful and unique. It was beautiful because the love between the human and merman (or more like a humanoid mercreature) felt genuine. The depth of the main characters sadness and desire to help another lonely creature broke my heart. Unlike most movies I’ve watched, this presented unique storytelling I haven’t seen before. Of course, no story is perfect. The Shape of Water has its flaws, but they can easily be overlooked by the great acting and storyline. As someone who is finalizing their merman romance fantasy story, this was an inspiring movie to see. Also, it gave me ideas on how to plot the second book in my series.

TV Show from 2017:

The Ancient Magus’ Bride

magusbride(image from http://www.sevenseasentertainment.com)

Honestly, I just binged watch this show and manga this weekend. The world captured me so much that I just had to keep investing in the story. While some of the characters are cliché, I felt the world-building was excellent. The Ancient Magus’ Bride reminds me of a Hayao Miyazaki film full of magic and wonder. It’s almost like around every corner new magical beings are waiting to be discovered.

Video Game from 2017:

LOZ: Breath of the Wild

Zelda-Breath-of-the-Wild-767817

I already did a full blog post on this game, so I won’t discuss it again, but gah, this game was so good! Between the vast world, fantastic soundtrack and an incredible cast of characters, I couldn’t help but be inspired by this creation. Even though Link doesn’t talk in the game, his feelings were portrayed clearly by his actions. I can honestly say this story inspired me to improve 9/Nine Realms, which is why I haven’t blogged about that story in a while.

Music from 2017:

Nier Music Concert

I never played the game to this series, but I found this musical gem will browsing YouTube. As most writers know, some writers listen to music while they write. For me, I’m one of those writers. A good soundtrack helps me see a scene vividly in my mind. When I listed to the Nier Music Concert, I came up with like five new scenes in a matter of minutes.

If you’re interested, have a listen. It definitely has elements of that fantasy feeling.

Well, there you have it, my list from 2017! I’m actually proud of myself. All of these things are in fact, from 2017. Overall, I feel like 2017 was a creativity year.

If you don’t mind, can you share what has inspired you from 2017?

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?