Tag Archive | writingadvice

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?

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How to Measure a Writing Community

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How is everyone doing? Sorry, I’ve been off the WordPress grind for a while, but I’ve been working on my submissions.

Basically, this has been me:

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Oh! I also won a writing contest on Writing.com, and I got an honorable mention in another contest :3 I’m super happy about it, and I didn’t expect to win. Everyone there has been supportive and it actual inspired today’s blog post.

Today, I want to discuss how to measure a writing community.

When I say measure a writing community, I mean how to measure if it’s good, or if it’s bad. Now since I’ve found a good community, these are things I will look for in the future:

  1. Does the community inspire you to be better? – To emphasize my point here, I’m going to take an example from my own experiences. On Wattpad, I was never inspired to be better or to improve my writing. This was because so many poorly written stories were popular. Not only were the poorly written stories popular, the website was also giving them awards based on their reads and votes. Sadly, that didn’t inspire me to improve. It inspired me to write a cliché story and not worry about grammar and spelling. Needless to say, that didn’t work for me. On Writing.com, thanks to the reviews I get, I am inspired to improve my craft and master the written word.
  1. Are you able to find others that support you? – To be fair, I feel like you can find supportive people in any community, but those friendships shouldn’t turn into a competition. In the writing community, it’s easy to turn against one another or get discouraged by another’s success, especially someone who’s a friend. Thanks to my past experiences, I know what to look for in a writing buddy. All I can say is be cautious and watch people’s motivations. Have fun in your writing community, and try to find others who genuinely appreciate you.
  1. Are you progressing? – If you follow my blog, then you know progression is an important goal to me. In your writing Community, you want to measure your improvement. You can ask yourself the following questions:
  • Are you gaining more followers and readers?
  • Are you uploading new content faster? (motivated for your readers)
  • Are you winning any writing contest?
  • Are you inspired to be involved in the community?
  • Are you making genuine writer friends?

If you answer no to any of those questions, then ask why? You may find the community you are using isn’t right for you. If it isn’t, remember, that’s ok! There is nothing wrong with feeling like a certain website isn’t the place for you.

I can say from my own experiences that leaving behind some writing websites worked out best for me. When I originally started writing fanfiction on Wattpad, that community worked for me. However, now since I’m older and working on original stories, Writing.com has proven to be a better environment. On Writing.com, I won 1st place in one writing contest and got an honorable mention in another. So, you see, leaving behind one community for another isn’t a bad thing ^__^

I hope this post will help new writers and experienced writers find a community that works for them. There are many websites out there, so don’t limit yourself to a place where you are not happy.

What writing community do you use, and are you progressing there?

 

Video Games and Writing (For Writers) 

Before we begin today’s topic, I want to let you know the following:

– I’m still beta reading two stories, and I hope to get them done soon. 

– If you were following me on Wattpad, I left there and moved to Penana.com and Writing.com. Once I’ve been on both sites for a while, I’ll post my reviews. 
However, I will say that Writing.com has a lot of users, and I’ve already gotten feedback on my work^^. They are serious about critiques there, so if you decide to join, put your thick skin on.
Now, onto the topic!
Ok, I’m sure you’re thinking, “Aka, what does video games have to do with writing?” Well, my answer is, “A lot!”
Lastly, I’ve been playing the awesome, new:
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I can say with honesty this is my favorite game in the franchise. In the past, my favorite was FF 8. Growing up, J-RPGs (Role Playing Games) played a significant role in my life and how I learned storytelling. Not only did playing Japanese RPGs help me but also anime did, too. For those who read my stories, you’ll notice a strong influence of Japanese storytelling. I know many people say playing video games is a waste of time, but I beg to differ.
When I play a good game, with character depth, development, great world-building, and plot, it’s like reading a story you don’t want to end.
RPGs, can, and will, help you improve your writing, and here’s how:
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  • Character Development – In a good video game, you will see amazing character development with the MC. Like with any story, you will see what the character lacks in the beginning, and you’ll see how they grow throughout the story. Of course, all the events in the story should have some impact on the MC, even if it’s a mild event. No scene should be wasted. Also, the supporting characters should help the MC grow. In FF 15, I think this was done beautifully! I’ve only been playing the game for two weeks, but there have been many “small” scenes where the MC is challenged by the supporting characters, and I can already see how he grows based on those events.

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  • World-Building – This is a major aspect of a game. For the player, exploring the world is essential to the experience. The same applies to reading a book. If you don’t have good world-building, then the reader won’t get into the story. The joy of playing a good RPG is it taught me to have a vast world, a place where the reader can’t wait to find out more. In Clash of Tides, I adopted the same idea. I haven’t written all of it yet, but the world of Clash of Tides is huge. I did the same for 9/Nine Realms, so I’m excited to write that story soon.

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  • Plot and Story – For any player or reader, the plot and story are important. If you have an engaging story with a great hook, you can lure your reader in right away. However, you want to make sure you keep the reader invested. What do you need to keep the reader in the story? A good plot! To me, a good plot is a balance of emotional, heart touching moments and action. With that being said, you need to make everything flows well. I honestly learned good scene transitions from anime, manga, and video games.

Well, that’s it for today! I hope you enjoyed this post, and don’t forget, all around us is a story, we just have to look for it^^. 

Yes, I’m proud to be a female gamer. Video games have taught me so much, and without them, I probably wouldn’t be a writer today =)

Is there any other form of entertainment that influenced your writing?

 

Don’t Be Hard on Yourself (For Writers)

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Lately, people have been telling me not to be so hard on myself. Even people online have been telling me the same thing.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, then you know I’m hard on myself about writing. When I was on the train today, I started thinking about this.

If you have a goal, especially one you are passionate about, then you may be prone to toxic thoughts. What are toxic thoughts? Well, thoughts about self-doubt are negative thoughts.

Many of you have told me you’re passed feeling self-doubt about your writing. Maybe that’s because you are older than me and have more experience, I don’t know. However, I do know negative thoughts are real, and every writer has them. If you are hard on yourself to be a great writer, then stop, now! Being overly critical of yourself isn’t a solution, and it’s more detrimental than helpful. How do I know? Because that’s me – that’s my personality in a nutshell. When I am passionate about something, I try to be the best I can.

However, trying to be the best has led me to some dark places. For example:

  1. In despair, I have removed my stories
  2. I’ve deleted manuscripts
  3. I’ve lost fellow writer friends from jealousy
  4. I’ve lost readers because I’m wishy-washy with my stories

In some ways, it’s interesting. I never tried to be well-known on WordPress, and I just wrote posts for my own enjoyment. However, for my writing, I write to find an audience. Do you see where I am getting at here? Write because you enjoy it.

I know it’s hard, trust me. In today’s world of social media – Wattpad, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and various other websites, it’s hard not to feel competitive. It seems everywhere we go online, it’s a contest.

Who has the best story?

Who writes the best?

Who is more likely to get published?

The world is shifting (the online world anyway) – it doesn’t really seem about quality as it does quantity. The more you post, the more attention you get. The more stories you write, the more readers will find you. If you disagree with me, then please feel free to comment.

The point of this post is – please, don’t be so hard on yourself. There is only so much time in the day to write, to live, to work, to study, and to give social media your attention.

Even Stephen King said:

“There have been times when for me the act of writing has been a little act of faith, a spit in the eye of despair.”

King, Stephen. On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft (p. 249). Scribner. Kindle Edition.

I feel that way, a lot! And re-reading Stephen King’s book on writing helped me to feel better. Remember, we all want to succeed; I know I do, but we need to take a step back, exhale, and say, “I won’t be hard on myself.”

P.S. I really need to start taking my own advice 😛

What level are you at in the writing process?

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Hey, everyone! I hope you’ve been having a good weekend. I created this poll because I want to know my followers better. I talk about writing, a lot! I want to know what level everyone is at in their writing process ^__^ If you don’t mind sharing, please take the poll below:

Clichés Clichés Clichés

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(image from memegenerator.net)

Yes! Today I want to talk about clichés. Cliches get a lot of bad press, from just about, everyone. However, people who are just readers and watchers generally like clichés. If the concept weren’t good, it wouldn’t be a cliché, right?

The reason I’m talking about clichés today is because of the book I am reading. The book is an adult fantasy story, and sadly, I’m inclined to stop reading it. Next year, I plan to work on my first true adult story, so I decided to get a feel for what is selling in the market. I know I’ve said this before, but I’m going to say it again, adult fiction bores me to tears. I think the only adult fiction I’ve liked is the Anita Blake series (barely), Game of Thrones, and Outlander (borderline).

Other than that, I don’t like many adult books. For some reason, I don’t feel adult fiction has a real sense of adventure. It’s more structured.

Anyway, back to clichés. I know most bloggers list out the different clichés, but I’m not going to do that. Instead, I’m going to mention how clichés can help us grow our readership.

So, how can clichés help us?

Well, one, it helps readers with expectations. If the story has certain elements of a cliché, then they know what kind of adventure they are in for.

For example, if at the beginning of the book, the main character is told, “I’ve been waiting for this moment to tell you the truth.” Well, then we know the character is about to embark on a quest or have some emotional turmoil from whatever changes are coming their way.

Could they be the chosen one? – Cliché!!

Another example:

The book starts out with a female character at a party. She’s had a few drinks, but she doesn’t want to stay. As she walks out the door, a male character comes up behind her and says she shouldn’t walk home alone. Female character protests and says she’s fine. The male character insists he should go with her. As they are talking, her phone vibrates, and she comments that her boyfriend wants her to call him. The first male character we met grimaced at the mention of her boyfriend.

What have we learned about these characters?

  1. The main female character may like to be alone
  2. If the first male character we met isn’t related to her, we can assume he may be a love interest later
  3. The first male character doesn’t like the female character’s boyfriend
  4. Our hook is, “Why is the female character at a party without her boyfriend?” and “What is the relationship between her and the first guy we saw?”

What cliché could this be? Love triangle!! If the main female character mentions how protective or good looking the first guy is, then yeah, we got a love triangle.

Both of these examples show how clichés can guide readers. While yes, I agree you shouldn’t fill your stories with clichés after clichés (Wattpad stories), but put your own spin on them.

Clichés are like word usage, only use them when necessary. What are your thoughts on clichés? Do you use them in your stories?

That’s all for this weekend! Thanks for reading!

Time to Focus

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Before I begin, I want to thank everyone who commented on my post – Motivation and Writing (For Writers). Many of you said wonderful things about how I wrote that article, and you shared with me your motivation. Thanks again, all you lovely writers out there =) If I haven’t responded to your comment yet, I will soon.

So…

Strange, and it may be just me, but I’ve noticed the number of blog posts, and comments have declined recently.

And sure enough, my suspicions were correct! There are a few bloggers I follow who posted what is going on in their lives. Some are catching up with outside activities, and others are working on their stories.

To copy what they did, I want to let you know what I’m up to.

  1. I won’t be posting and commenting on blogs that much anymore. Since we only have three months left in the year, I want to focus on getting Clash of Tides and Love for an Angel done.
  2. Writing short stories – Next year, I plan to pursue publication. However, before I do that, I want to test the waters, build up some publication creds, and learn to write a query letter. My goal is to write five good story stories and publish them.
  3. Beginning Jan 1, 2017, I plan to start working on my new books:
  • Battle of the Five Kings (Game of Thrones/ Feudal Japan inspired)
  • 9/Nine Realms (Legend of Zelda/ Summoner/ Final Fantasy inspired).
  • Corruption of Competition (Sci-fi/Dystopian/new world order) Formerly, Spoiled Rich Girl. The title is still in progress.

Whew, I have a lot of projects to work on. Not to mention I still have school and work, so there you have it! I’ll be posting new content every other day instead of every day. I hope you’ll miss me 🙂 It will just be me and my characters for a while.

Oh, and this is more of a rant about a book I’m reading right now, but can the instant love stop already. I’m only on chapter 6 of the book I’m reading, and the two characters are about to jump in each other pants. And for the love of all good writing, it better not be because they are mates.

Ok, I’m done now.

#romancereaderproblems