Tag Archive | Writing

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).

Updates and Life

Today’s blog post is just some updates on me, as some things have changed recently. I do plan to post a new topic soon about world-building and balance.

Here are the updates:

If you haven’t already noticed, my Wattpad account is deleted. After years of unhappiness there, I ultimately decided to let the account die. I wanted to pass it on, but I felt it’s best to have a clean slate. Over the years, there was too much drama, bad blood, and my fanfictions were always overshadowing my original work. Though I’m sad about deleting the account, it needed to happen.

If you read my stories on Wattpad, thank you for the support! I do have good news for my readers. I’ve joined a new website, and I’ve uploaded Love for an Angel there and my horror stories. In the future, I also plan to post the Clash of Tides ending too (and the unedited chapters). However, please know the story is going through a rewrite (that won’t be posted online), but any feedback I can get will be appreciated. If you want the link to the site, you can contact me here: Email Me. I’m still on Writing.com for improvement, but this new site is to build readership. Trust me, I won’t be moving sites anymore. I’m done now. Where I am, is where I stay.

I also have some new stories I plan to post in the future. I may post 9/Nine Realms there and Dawning Dragons.

If you want to know what sites I’m on, just email me or post a comment.

2. I got my first rejection a few months back. I didn’t say anything because I was too upset and busy, but I’m good now. Rejections happen, but you have to keep going. I’ll be submitting short stories again to magazines soon. 🙂

3. Writing contest!! Please submit your story! We want to read them and offer feedback if you request it =)

4. I’m taking a break from Twitter right now. I stretched myself too thin with so many social media sites. A smart writer told me once, “Don’t get so caught up in social media that you forget the writing.” I was forgetting the writing, so I’m taking a break.

That’s it for me! Recently, one of my readers reached out to me and encouraged me to keep on writing. I wasn’t fair to the loyal readers who supported me on Wattpad, and I apologize for that. There were many things happening in the background with other writers, so that added to my annoyance and frustration, but as I said before, I won’t be moving sites again.

Lastly, life is a journey, and none of us are perfect, so I ask for your forgiveness.

Other than that, I don’t have any updates right now. There are only five months left in the year, so let’s make them great ones!

Question: So far, what have you accomplished this year, and what left do you want to do? 

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.)

 

 

 

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!