Tag Archive | reading

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).

1500 Followers Writing Contest!

I still can’t believe it! This blog has reached over 1500 followers, and as such, I want to do something fun for everyone. The focus of this blog is in writing, reading, and the writer’s journey. So to celebrate all things related to writing, I’m holding my first writing contest!

Happy

(Taken from giphy.com)

The prize is a $25 Amazon gift card for the winner. My hope is the winner will find new stories to read and check out some of Amazon’s indie’s writers who need support.

What is the writing contest you ask? Well, I decided to do a novel writing contest based on the first three chapters of a story.

I’ll be looking for the following:

Do your first three chapters engage the reader?
Does the writing flow well?
Do you have a hook, established a hint of backstory and a specific setting?
Is the writing free of many spelling and grammar errors? 

When writing a novel, it’s important to ask those questions. The first few pages of a book are critical in getting readers interested, and if it doesn’t capture the readers’ attention, then it’s hard to grow a readership.

For the contest, it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been writing or what genre you write in. I’m just looking for those four criteria.

If you want to help judge the contest, please let me know. Of course, if you decide to help judge the stories, you can’t submit your own work.

If you want to join the contest, please comment with the following:

Your Name
The title of your story
Summary
URL where we can read it

I know some writers don’t post their stories publicly, so if you want to keep it private, that’s fine. While judging the stories, I can also leave you a review if you’re looking for feedback.  Please let me know if there is a passkey to access your work. You don’t have to post the passkey in the comments section. If anyone wishes to email me with a link to their work, that’s fine too. You can email me here: Email Me.

I’ll announce the winner on August 26th!

I hope you’ll join my contest! Submissions are accepted until August 12th. If you have any questions, please let me know!

Let’s get writing (or editing)!

Get writing

(Please note: I know some of you have given me awards, and I’ll posts those next! I’m just so swamped with things on here! But I promise I’ll do it.)

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.)

 

 

 

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!

 

 

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.

 

What Makes a Good Writer?

Hey, everyone! So, I know I’ve been MIA for a while, but I do have an excuse. Last week, well, that just wasn’t my week. I’m hoping this week will be better, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

To summarize, I was having issues with the house, my debit card information got stolen, again, and my car window stopped working, so it’s been crappy. However, I am going out of town for Memorial Day weekend. There won’t be any new posts or chapter updates, but I’ll be sure to update when I return.

Now, onto today’s topic! I want to discuss what makes a good writer. This subject goes back to my own writing journey and wanting to build up my readers online. As I was walking through the city, I thought about the following questions:

– What makes a bad writer?
– What makes a good writer?
– What makes an awesome writer?
– What makes an excellent writer?

I feel like every writer will have a different answer to these questions, but for the purpose of this post, I will start with only the first two questions.

Back when I was trying to build my following online, I often wondered if I was a bad writer. To explain further, I didn’t have a huge following compared to other writers, so I just assumed I was a bad writer. When I thought about it some more, I realized a bad writer is more like a writer who gave up. Now, there’s nothing wrong with leaving writing behind, but it’s never a good idea to quit something before you try every option (if you’re trying something new, it takes about 6 months to a 1 year to see any signs of improvement).

To me, a bad writer isn’t one with grammar errors, plot holes or undeveloped characters in their work, it’s a writer who gave up too soon.

In the words of Neil Gaiman,

Don'tgiveup.gif
That takes me to the next question, what makes a good writer? Well, to me, it’s simple, a good writer is one that:

burce
If you’ve been discouraged in the past but kept on writing, then you’re a good writer. Why? Because you didn’t give up, and you’re still trying to improve your craft. You may not be an awesome writer, but you’re on your way there. It’s sad that it took me so long to realize this, but it’s import to focus on the writing. Everything else may let you down – fellow writers, readers, and various social media sites – but your characters will always be there for you, waiting for you to tell their story. 

So what do you think? What do you think makes a bad writer and a good writer?

Also, I will respond to everyone’s comment! And as always, thanks so much for reading and supporting my blog!

(images from https://giphy.com)

Free Content and Readers (For Writers)

Hey! I hope everyone is doing well and had a good holiday.

A few bloggers have inspired today’s blog post, but before we dive in, I want to share a few updates with all of you =)

  • On Writing.com, I opened my Novel Review Forum! If you are interested in joining the site and want chapter reviews for your story, please post your info. Here is the link: Novel Review Forum. So far, I’m reviewing one story. 
  • I created the WordPress Writers Skype chat group. I’m usually on Skype, so if you want to talk, just drop by. Here is the link: https://join.skype.com/AR9vFyqNXfQR
  • My short story on Writing.com has been nominated for an award! When I got the email, I was shocked.
  • Lastly, I’m in the process of looking for an editor. So if you know anyone, please let me know. 

Alright, on to today’s topic. Let’s discuss!

Entitled Readers

Recently, I’ve noticed more bloggers and fellow writers mentioning this topic. If you haven’t heard of this before, entitled readers are readers that expect an author’s content to be free. Basically, they don’t want to pay for the stories. I’m bringing this up because it appears to be an issue many writers are facing. Of course, I’m not going to say all readers act entitled, but I have noticed a few.

Like with most issues facing the writing community today, this stems from the internet. With the rise of websites allowing writers to upload their stories – and mobile book apps – readers have easy access to stories, for free. Let me just say, there’s nothing wrong with wanting content for free, but we shouldn’t complain when writers start charging for their work. Writing, for many, is a profession. For most people, when they invest in their hobby, their goal is to eventually make money from their work. Believe me, I understand why these readers feel this way, but sadly, that isn’t how the world works.

If you enjoy an author’s work, and they decide to start selling it, we should support them. More than likely, that person has bills to pay, a family to take care, medical issues, or whatever. The point is, as readers, we shouldn’t feel entitled to someone’s hard work.

Writing isn’t easy; time is spent plotting the stories, developing the characters, creating the worlds and etc. I have yet to sell my stories, but I’ll be starting that process later this year. For now, I only hear about these concerns from published writers, but I guess soon I’ll see how bad it is.

Personally, I think online writing sites contribute to this trend of free content, so I doubt this will slow down anytime soon. In the end, we need to remember this:

eitlied

So, for today’s discussion question, I ask, “How do you feel about this subject? Do you think these readers are justified in their feelings for free content?”

(PS. I will respond to everyone’s comments soon, I promise. I’ve been busy with submissions and writing contests. I’m so tired…I want to sleep for like two days.)