Tag Archive | writingtips

Blog Tip Series: More than One Account

blog-tips2

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?

Advertisements

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:
giphy-54
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:
giphy-56
  • 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.

source.gif

  • 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.

giphy (57).gif

  • 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)

dontbehardonyourself

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 😛

Clichés Clichés Clichés

58584639

(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!