Tuesday, July 28, 2015

My Weird Writing Habits

   All writers are weird. We're usually awkward and would rather sit at our desks and type away all day rather than exposing ourselves to the great outdoors. I guess we're also like vampires...

 All writers have different ways of writing, and ways of how to write. Some of us sit at our computers for hours on end every day, while others can only write so many words a day, or week, etc. Every writer is different and has their own way of doing things as they write the stories they want to tell, so I thought I'd share my random writing habits with you :)

 When writing is going well: I sit at my computer for hours with my ear buds blaring loud music of various genres. I usually do some weird/awkward "dance moves" as I do this too....

 When I have writer's block: I sulk around for hours, days, weeks, or months until I can shake the horribleness that is writer's block. It feels like my mind is in a gloomy blank throughout the time. I do random things when I can't write, and am seriously depressed and angry when this happens lol.

 When the words just flow: When I'm having one of those amazing days where the words just flow from my fingers without much effort, I find it hard to sit still. It feels like I have a million tiny bugs crawling all over me. I can't bring myself to stay seated at my computer. I have to get up every page or so to walk in a circle, before coming back to continue my frantic typing. Weird, I know.

 When I don't feel like writing: I watch TV while trying to cram as many potato chips in my mouth as I can, or read...Maybe think about writing. Pretty boring, huh?

 If I skip a day of writing because I don't feel like it: "WHY? Whyyyyyy did I do thaaaaaat??" I beat myself up pretty bad when I skip a day to do literally nothing.

  Tell me some of the random writing things you do when writing in the comments below.

Happy writing! <3

www.ashleyearley.com
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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Get The Darkest Light for Free

Right now until July 31st, you can get my novel, The Darkest Light for FREE at Smashwords.com! Get your free copy by using the promo-code, SW100 at check out!


Be sure to grab a copy before time runs out! Only at Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/542697

Thanks for the support guys!! <3




Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Writing a Book (Writing Your First Book)

   Writing a book can be a wonderfully difficult experience.

 I have a few tips to help you get started:

 Start small. You don't have to sit down and write a full chapter in the one day that you decide to write a book. Maybe just a few words to get you started, or you can write down all the ideas you have for the book. That's where my second tip comes in.

 Have an outline. Have a relative idea of what you want to write about? Good. You should probably write it down. Not just the general idea though. You should write down something more in-depth, like the plot of the book. As you continue to write your book, you should write down every little idea that pops into your head, even if it sounds stupid. You don't have to use every idea, but it is good to have ideas written down somewhere in case you forget, or actually want to use it. You could always change the idea, morph it to fit your book. All of my plot notes start with "Have (such and such character) do (something)." They're stupid notes, but when I need to write fast, that's how I jot them down.

 If you don't have the full plot figured out. It's okay if you don't have the full plot figured out! I almost never have my books totally planned (I'm just one of those writers). I can have the middle and the ending, or the beginning and the middle, or the beginning and the end of a book. As long as you know what you want to write about and have some general idea of an outline. You don't have to have everything figured out. The more you write, the more ideas you will come up with, so don't get frustrated.

 Writing regularly. I highly suggest writing on a regular basis. Maybe you don't write everyday, but you should write a couple of times a week, if you don't have severe writer's block (you should try to write to overcome this). If you don't write regularly, you might forget where you are and what you were doing when you stopped last. It also keeps your momentum up. You are more likely to write in the same manor if you write more.

 Deadlines. Giving yourself a deadline for each day, week, or month will keep you motivated. Lindsay Cummings tries to write 1,000 words a day. Stephen King tries to write 2,000. Everyone is different and only you know what you are capable of in a day. Sometimes it takes authors years to finish writing a book.

 Read, read, read! You should read more than you write! Writing is important, but reading can do wonders for your book, and yourself as a writer. Reading can give you ideas (don't plagiarize though, obviously), can inspire you to write, and trigger your creative juices. When I'm reading a good book, I usually have to put it down so I can start writing. When I feel inspired, it feels like I'm overwhelmed with words. 

 How I think of a book as I write.

 I see a book as a puzzle. There are all these little, intricate pieces that require careful observation before you try putting them in the slot you think they belong in. Example: Maybe you add some tiny detail half-way through your book that turns out to be very important at, or towards the end.

 I think of chapters as a staircase. You move up a step after each chapter you complete, because in each chapter you are building the story, and building suspense.

 As a writer, it is your job to make all of the pieces fit, unless you're writing one of those books that have a split ending where you want the reader to decide the ending, like in Inception. (Yes, I am aware that it's a movie but I couldn't think of a book).

And it is your job to build the story as you climb the staircase of chapters.

 Don't give up. You will feel very accomplished when you finish your first book.

 Write another. Don't get frustrated if the book you have just completed doesn't go anywhere. Maybe you try to get it published, or represented but you can't. That's okay! Many authors get rejected. J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books were rejected by eight publishers. For more information on negative feedback, click here.

 No matter what happens, nothing should discourage you if writing is something you love and want to do.

Editing your book. Click on the link if you're at the stage of editing: http://www.ashleyearleybooks.blogspot.com/2015/07/editing-your-book.html

Happy writing! Good luck on your book!

www.ashleyearley.com
www.ashleyearleybooks.tumblr.com


Saturday, July 18, 2015

Writing Distractions

   Getting distracted while writing is really easy.

 With social media, it's difficult not to get distracted. I myself am constantly on Instagram and Twitter, or Blogger. I can't help myself. I'm always checking out what's going on, and checking in on friends. Texts and calls are another distraction.

 Put your phone on do-not-disturb and turn the Internet off on your computer, and get writing. And if these things don't help you, maybe write in a notebook instead. Do whatever you have to in order to stay off your phone and the Internet entirely so you can be focused on your project.

 It's the only way to get yourself motivated and focused!

 Not all distractions are bad though. If you're really sucked into a book that you're reading, you shouldn't necessarily pull yourself away from it to write. You should always read more than you write. Reading gets the creative juices flowing. It helps the words flow from your mind so you can type it, or write it down on paper.

 Reading also helps with writer's block. If you're in a rut, read a book. Finish it front to back, or just read it until you get inspired enough to say, "Okay, I'm ready to sit down and fill a blank page."

 If nothing helps you focus and shake those distractions, there's only so much you can do.

 Things can get frustrating if you can't focus your mind on the world you are trying to create and be part of. When you can't focus, you don't write the same way you normally would. The words you write can seem dull. If you can't focus at all after a certain amount of time, maybe your mind is trying to tell you something. Walk away and do something to get your mind off your frustration. Come back to it later and turn all distractions off again as you try to focus solely on writing.

 Okay, so that's all I have to say about that. Now go write!

www.ashleyearley.com
www.ashleyearleybooks.tumblr.com

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Dealing with Negative Feedback

   Every writer has dealt with negative feedback.

 It doesn't matter if you write poetry, short stories, reviews of books, or books. Not everyone is going to like your work. Not everyone is going to agree with your opinions.

 Negative feedback can come from anyone. A publisher, editor, agent, even a friend. Anyone can say that they don't like your book, and that's okay because that is their opinion. They have a right to have an opinion and post it on social media, Amazon, Goodreads, etc. because your book is out there and people are allowed--and going--to talk about it.

  You can either take negative feedback as a learning experience, or ignore the negative comments that people make about your work. What you should NEVER do is reply to a negative comment hostilely. The comment is this persons own opinion. He/she isn't speaking for the whole world. This is what they think and you should accept it and move on. Don't say anything back along the lines of, "You're too simple minded to understand that my story/book is actually great." No hostility should be exchanged what-so-ever!!

 Because:

  1. That's really rude and unprofessional. YOU come out sounding like the simple minded one. Your book isn't perfect! No book is! J.K. Rowling's book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, was rejected by 8 publishers and gets negative feedback from readers. Now, I'm not comparing your book to anything J.K. Rowling has written; I'm just saying that even one of the most popular and loved books in the world gets negative feedback from readers.

  2. You're hurting yourself by doing this more than the other person. Your readers will lose respect for you, and will lose interest in your book because of your rudeness. (This could seriously damage you if you're a self-published author.)

 I'm not saying that negative feedback doesn't hurt. I'm just saying that you shouldn't reply to comments with the intention of being mean/rude. You should be happy that someone has reviewed, or talked about your book, even if they didn't like it.

 Negative feedback shouldn't deter you from writing. The more you write, the better you get! So don't give up!

Happy writing! <3

www.ashleyearley.com
www.ashleyearleybooks.tumblr.com

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Editing Your Book

 To me, there's more work put into editing than writing a book.

 When editing you correct grammar, add sentences and scenes to make your book make more sense, take scenes out, rewrite things, fix the format of the book, etc., etc...So much effort is put into editing a book. And you can't do it just once.

 I just finished editing the last novel I wrote and I'm about to start faze-two of editing it. I've changed the way I edit. I edited The Darkest Light almost four times and there are still a lot of mistakes. When I edited it, I didn't take out enough scenes either. There are a lot of things I now realize I should have done differently with it, but I published it and there's nothing I can really do about it now. I've moved on. But now I know for next time.

 Here's how I'm going to start editing, I think.

   Phase 1: correct grammar, add a sentence here and there, rewrite things here and there.

   Phase 2: decide how to change format, and add scenes/sentences to make book better.

 This, I'm hoping, will make editing go faster. Maybe I'll have to edit it one more time because I'll be adding things, but I won't worry about that unless I decide to self-publish this one too. If I can edit like this, I won't have to re-read the same book over and over and over again and get bored with it, and there shouldn't be as many mistakes when, and if, I edit it a third time.

 So, yeah, that's how I'm going to start editing my novels.

 You should always edit your book. Nothing about your book is perfect. Nothing. It always needs to be fixed. There are always things about your book that will need to be changed/corrected. I find mistakes in books that I read (that are traditionally published) all the time, and they have professionals checking their books.

 So you should always edit your book multiple times before submitting it to a literary agent, editor, or publish it yourself. Editing is really important. If you don't edit, agents and such won't take you as seriously because you've basically half-done your book. If you don't edit it, you haven't really finished the book.

 Happy writing! <3

www.ashleyearley.com
www.ashleyearleybooks.tumblr.com


Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Darkest Light Giveaway

  Hi everybody!!

 I'm giving away 2 paperback copies of The Darkest Light on Goodreads!


 The giveaway has already started and lasts until September 10th of this year :)

Click the link below to enter to win!
https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/145336-the-darkest-light


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Writing About Someone You Know

  "If a writer falls in love with you, you can never die."

 I love this quote. It's so true. Writers tend to write about people they know, or take someone from an experience they had and put it in their book.

 John Green is a good example. There was a part in his book Looking for Alaska when a guy ran around campus, wearing a fox hat while shouting different things about how he was the "motherfucking fox" and no one could catch him. Someone asked John where he got the idea for the fox hat in an interview.

"Q: Where did you get the fox hat idea from?
 A: In high school, I had a friend who would wear a fox hat when breaking rules, and when asked why he was wearing a fox hat, he would always say, "Because no one can catch the motherfucking fox." That is the only true answer."
from the Exclusive Collector's Edition of Looking for Alaska by John Green

 It was a funny scene that added a nice touch to the book whenever some of the characters wanted to play a prank.

 It's okay to write about someone you know as long as you don't use their real name (when writing fiction). If you're writing non-fiction, I suggest you ask the person if they want to stay anonymous. In my books, I don't usually base a character off of an actual person. But, in the last book I wrote (which I'm editing now), I did.

 The last book I wrote was difficult to write, but somehow easy at the same time. I had problems writing it because when I started it, it was the first full contemporary novel I've ever been determined to finish, and just before starting it, I had ended a relationship with someone.

 So when I first started writing this book, I was actually re-writing it because I'd written the first 4 chapters when I was fourteen. They were terrible chapters, and therefore I struggled to reword things and had a hard time in deciding what I wanted to keep and didn't. I wrote 5 or 6 chapters and it was like my brain turned off, like someone flipped a switch. In that last chapter I'd gotten to before my brain shut off, I'd introduced the male lead.

I had to stop and seriously think about what I was doing, because I immediately noticed that I was writing about this person that I'd just cut ties with. And I didn't want that.

Writers always put their experiences, feelings, etc. in their writing. They sometimes even include people that were in their lives--whether it's family members, old friends, new friends, past loves, or acquaintances, etc. You might end up in one of our stories. It's just a thing we do.

Anyway, I found myself writing about this person and didn't want to write about them because I was still angry and upset about the situation that led me to cut them from my life, so I walked away from writing for a few weeks; maybe adding a sentence here and there but never sitting down and allowing myself to be engulfed in writing it.

After a while, my anger subsided enough for me to actually write, deciding that I was going to write this book and finish it. But I wasn't going to make the male character that person. (I'm tempted to call him, He Who Shall Not Be Named lol). I still struggled to finish the book, but it was mostly because it was my first totally contemporary romance novel (I'm not good at writing about normal lives), but it became easier the closer I came to the end. I managed to finish the book after a few months without making the character into that person, but I did add a few things that we did whenever the two characters teased each other.

 I like how the novel turned out and I'm hoping to get it published, but first I have a lot of editing to do. 

 Anyway, I'm rambling on. The whole point of this blog post is that it is okay to write about someone you know. As long as you don't have bad intentions behind it as a revenge thing, or planning on revealing this person's deepest, darkest secrets to the world in your book, it's okay. Just get permission to use the person's name (if writing non-fiction), and not use their real name at all in fiction. And don't exaggerate. Sometimes it is good to have something happen that's over dramatic, but if you're writing about someone you know, that could be bad.

 Happy writing! <3




Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Oh, the Book Feels!: We're back!

Oh, the Book Feels!: We're back!: Hellllooooo, everyone!

If you're reading this, you are now visiting the new and improved Oh, the Book Feels blog!

We used to be powered by Wordpress, but after months of trying to fix issues and photos not showing up in blog posts anymore, we have decided to switch over to blogger.com for my sanity, and possibly yours as well. :)

It's easier to find reviews since we now have a tab specifically for reviews! Please keep in mind that not all reviews are currently up yet and they will be posted over the next following weeks. There's still a lot of work to be done, but I didn't want to wait to make the blog live
again!

To celebrate, we are doing a few giveaways during the month of July! To start this one off, we will be giving away custom signed copy of The Darkest Light by Ashley Early and Confessions of an Ex Hot Mess by L.K. Elliot!!

All you have to do is repost the photo below on instagram and use the hashtag #OTBFgiveaway and tag/follow @ohthebookfeels, @lk.elliot, and @ashley_earley!



Read more about the books and authors below!




After discovering a secret her parents have kept from her all her life, Alyssa’s life begins to unravel, and she’s thrown into a magical world she never knew existed—one that’s both frightening and intriguing to her.
 While trying to discover who she really is, and who her father was, she begins to see the darkness this unknown land holds, and fears becoming part of that darkness. 
Torn between this new world, and the human world, Alyssa must make the ultimate decision between the possibility of losing herself forever to become part of it, or stay behind and let the world of F├Âld perish. As if her life wasn’t complicated enough, she’s falling for two guys—that live in totally different worlds. Wesley and Archer couldn’t be more different, but they both have her captivated. 
A battle is coming. Will Alyssa be forced to fight against the people she loves?



Ashley Earley is an 18-year-old author who lives in Georgia, where she’s working on her next book. When she’s not writing, she’s posting on her blog, reading, spending time with her friends, or obsessing over a book character. Her obsession with books started at the age of twelve, before developing a love for writing at the age of fourteen, when she wrote her first novel. Visit her online at www.ashleyearley.com.