Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Darkest Minds Book Trailer

  Soooo I made a book trailer for The Darkest Light. It's kinda cheesy, but it was something I just threw together in, like, half an hour so...yeah, it's not a serious trailer. It was just something a threw together quick.

If you want to learn more about The Darkest Light, click here, for it to pull up on Goodreads. OR, click here, for information about the book to pull up on this blog. The Darkest Light is available on Amazon, Kindle, Barnes& (for the Nook), Kobo, iBooks, and Smashwords.

Don't worry, I might make a better book trailer. Though, I might wait until my next novel to make a fantastic one ;)

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

My Writing Journey

   I started writing when I was 14 and it changed everything. I can't even begin to describe how much it changed my life, and me.

 I started my first novel in a notebook until I got my first computer. Typing was so much faster than writing with a pen. I was amazed by how many words I could write in a day--and amazed that my computer kept up with how many words I had. My first complete novel wasn't good. In fact, it was horrible. My writing had no structure and no personality since I was so inexperienced. It's full of grammatical mistakes and plot holes, but I enjoyed writing it. I didn't care that there were so many mistakes because I had so much fun writing it. (It was the first in a trilogy and none of them were good, though I loved the premise of the story.)

 Writing hasn't gotten easier. But my writing has gotten better over time. I feel like my writing improves with every new novel I start. The first book I wrote was horrible, but I'll never forget it. I'll never forget how accomplished and proud I felt when I finished it. I'll never forget how it felt to write it. Mostly because the same wave of emotions flow through me every time one of my books reaches "the end." It's an amazing feeling. I bask in it for a while, and then it's on to the next idea!

 I never thought I would come this far. When I finished my first book, I didn't think about publishing it. I didn't know what to do with it. I finished it, had fun while writing it, and planned to write another. I was happy to keep the book to myself. I wasn't ready for anyone to read it yet. It wasn't until several months later that I finally let a friend read it. (I'm so sorry!!)

 I didn't think about publishing until about four books later. I'd edit each book from then on, before sending each book out to agents and publishers with no luck, until I finally wondered if I should self-publish. With every new book I wrote, I told myself that if no one wanted to represent it, I would publish it myself. It took me two years before I finally decided to take the bull by the horns. I knew that if I didn't just do it, I would continue to convince myself not to (like so many other writers do). I didn't want to keep putting myself--and my writing--down like that.

 This led to my decision to publish The Darkest Light. I thought the writing was good enough (it was the first book I wrote in present tense) and that the plot was pretty original. It was something totally different from what I'd written before in terms of plot, world, characters and writing style.

 It was a struggle. I ran into many problems along the way, but I got it done and I'm happy that I did. Since then, my knowledge of self-publishing has widened, and I feel that my writing has strengthened with the creation of two more novels.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Why Writing Is Hard

   A lot of people who don't write, wonder why it's so hard. Well, I'm about to tell you.

 Here's a list of why writing is hard:

 Writer's Block. Every writer experiences this at one time or another, and it's horribly frustrating. You're staring at your blank page, or at the last line you wrote, and you're just stuck. You don't know what to write next but you feel like you must continue. You get a headache because you're focusing so hard as you try to think of a ways to continue. You feel like you can't walk away and leave your book this way, you want to finish what you've started. Every writer hates and battles with writer's block. It's just part of the process and it sucks.

 Starting a New Book. Starting a new book means: New characters, new setting, new personalities, new descriptions, new plot, and basically, new everything. Starting a new book can be easy for some people, but it can be difficult for others. Or it just depends on how much of your book you already have planned; you may be one of those magical people that already have the beginning of your book planned so that, now, all you have to do is get it on paper. Lucky you. Writers that can't just pull a beginning out of their magic hat both hate and envy you.

 Trying to be Realistic. Every writer wants their readers to feel the main character; understand the main character; understand the main character's situation; understand and see the world you've placed that character in. But if you're writing, let's say fantasy, it can be hard to describe the interaction your main character has in the world you've placed him/her in while also making this fictional world seem real. You don't want to sound too cheesy; you want this fictional world to be awesome and exciting; you also want your characters to seem realistic, but you're hesitant because you are worried your book sounds stupid.
No idea is stupid.
As long as you act and write like you believe this world is real, your reader will feel that it is. The goal is to always make your book entertaining, exiting, good, and realistic. You can only achieve this if you try your hardest to make it these things. Write what you want to write! That's why you have this ability in the first place. Not everyone can just sit down and write. I know it seems natural, but it's not. It's weird and awesome, so embrace that and write whatever you want to write about.

 Making Things Fit. Imagine that you've dropped your favorite vase and it shatters into a thousand pieces. You want to put that vase back together because you love it. This seems totally impossible, right? Well, that is what it feels like to write a book sometimes. Big pieces have to fit. Small pieces have to fit. All the pieces have to come together in order to put together the thing you are trying to create. Details, details, details; they always must be added to make the book, and plot, good. And it can be really frustrating when you're not entirely sure how all those details come together as you get closer and closer to the climax. UGH.

 Getting Emotionally Attached to a Character You Have to Kill. Now, all writers are weird, so we usually enjoy killing off characters, maybe even the ones we like. Though I like killing characters, I don't enjoy killing off characters that I like. Killing off a likeable character will definitely leave your reader upset, and that's usually a good thing. It means you sell more books lol!
But seriously now.
Killing a character you like is so hard, because you've created this person and it's someone you like and feel really bad about killing, but at the same time, you have to do it because killing him/she is part of the plot. It's necessary, so you do it, but you don't like it.

 Character Development. Writers always put a little bit of themselves in their characters. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, because your unknown readers won't know you so they won't see it, but family and friends and other people that know you, will. Everyone puts a bit of themselves in their characters, but you have a draw a line and avoid stepping over it. It's hard to draw the line. You're you and it's hard to change that. It's hard to come up with a person and then become that person whenever you sit down to write.

 World Development. You may have difficulty in describing the world you've created (if you're writing about a fictional world). You want your reader to grasp the world you've created--to see each detail you see, but you may not want to be too descriptive. Depending on their writing style, writers can have a lot of difficulty with this. I feel that a lot of us don't want to spend too much time describing scenery because their worried about boring their readers.

 Character Descriptions. You may already have an idea of what your main character looks like. Well now you have to get that down on paper. And what about the other characters in your book? They need to have a face too, and a body....and everything that entails creating a fictional-human-being. It can be hard to keep up with character descriptions, especially if you have a lot of characters, and it can be hard to come up with looks because you want everyone to be different and unique in their own way. Yeah...I have the hardest time with this. I usually come up with the description, then write it down under the character's name and keep it tacked to my bulletin board so I can keep up with who's who.

 Coming back to writing after having had walked away. It's hard to come back to writing after you've stopped for awhile, however, it's even harder to re-enter the writing world if you've stopped in the middle of a manuscript, short story, poem, etc. because you have to regain your grip on the story and feelings during the scene you were in.

 Not in the Mood. This happens to me more than anything. After work and classes, who feels like writing? It requires a lot of thinking--too much thinking, so after a long day, it can be super hard to convince yourself to write when all you want to do is lie down and watch TV.

 Editing. Editing is really hard for a lot of writers, because we're not editors. We wrote the story, and now we have to do everything we can to make it as good as it can be before we show it to people, try to get it published, self-publish it, or whatever it is that you plan to do with your manuscript once you're done with this process. Editing consists of grammatical corrections, making things (puzzle pieces) fit, adding sentences or paragraphs to make things more intense, taking out scenes that we feel are unnecessary, and so much more. Editing is not a one-two-three ordeal and I, personally, hate it.
But I do it because--as a writer--it's my job, and my novel is unfinished until I've completed the circle-of-writing, as far as I'm concerned.

Did I miss anything? What should I have added to this list?

Happy writing! <3

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Before Starting Your First Book

    Deciding to write a book is the easy part, everything gets difficult from there on, but I thought I'd share some tips with you before you get started on writing your first book.

 First, you will need to decide whether you will be writing in present, past, third person omniscient, third person objective, or third person limited omniscient. Research what these mean before starting.

 Main character. You don’t have to have his/her personality figured out entirely--you can slowly develop your character's personality as you write--but you will need the character’s looks. Hair color, hair length, face shape, whether they have any distinct facial or bodily features that should be known to the reader, etc.

 You will also need to have some sort of idea of what your book will be about. You can't really dive right into writing a book without having some sort of idea of a plot and setting. If you start writing blindly, your reader won't be able to imagine anything you've written in the beginning. You don't have to have an outline of your book, but you should just have a general idea and setting.

 Page numbers don’t matter. Word count does. If you might want to try to get your book published when you are done, research what word counts are acceptable for the kind of book you are writing. Example: I write young adult books, so my word count range is usually from 50k to 10k. Adult and children books will be different, as will non-fiction.

 Search synonyms to words when needed. I do this constantly when writing a book and it's a big help. You don't want to use the same word, or examples throughout your book. You always want to switch it up a bit so your sentences aren't predictable.

 Always read! You should always read more than you write because you can get ideas. No, I don't mean plagiarism. What I mean is you can get inspired, and you can get an idea of sentence structure. There are a lot of different things you can take away from reading a book, more so if you're a writer than just an avid reader.

 Research writing. I know, but seriously, you should. There are so many writing communities that you can join! You can learn from other writers and you can ask for help (though I would advice not to give too much information). It's really important, as a writer, to put yourself out there. It can be scary, but you will benefit from this whether you plan on trying to get traditionally published, or go with self-publishing, or if you plan to do neither.

 If you're writing your first book, I'm here to tell you that there is no way it's going to be absolutely perfect. Finish it and move on to the next, because the more you write, the more you learn.

Anything I should have added?

Happy writing! <3

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Writing Style (Finding Your Voice)

   It's important as a writer to find your voice. But it can be a challenge.

 Writing style refers to the manner in which an author chooses to write to his or her audience. A style reveals both the writer's personality and voice, but it also shows how he or she perceives the audience. The choice of a conceptual writing style molds the overall character of the work.

 You don't find your voice overnight. Every writer is different. Every writer has different ideas, ways of thinking, ways of conveying their thoughts and feelings, etc. Every writer writes differently. How's that for a tongue-twister?

 You may have found your voice; you may still be striving for it. Either way, finding your voice is a journey. The more you write, the closer you come to finding your voice. So don't be so quick to give up. It takes some writers years to discover and perfect their own voice.
 I have a few tips to help you get started though.

Get out of your comfort-zone.

 Maybe you've written your first short story, or book but you're not sure about your writing. This is normal! First time writers question themselves constantly. But don't panic. Like I said, it's a journey to find your voice; a process like this takes time.

 Maybe you feel that one of your stories should be written in present tense, or past tense, and so on. Only you know what kind of writing fits your story. You should jump around to get a feel for your preferred way of writing. Jumping and playing around with your writing is always a good thing, though it's always difficult to get out of your comfort-zone. You should do this even if you've found your voice!

Eventually, you'll find your voice and you'll be able to just sit down and write!


 I always say to read more than you write, and here is another reason why!
 If you read, you know what kind of writing you like, whether it's past tense, first, third person, really descriptive, or faintly descriptive to leave readers to be more imaginative, etc. Once you figure out the way you like to write, you should struggle to make your writing as unique as possible. (Don't be discouraged if you can't figure out some way to make your writing notable. If your writing is good and you have a unique story, it shouldn't matter).


 Maybe change up your writing a little every time you start another story if you're still not sure about the style you've been using thus-far. I've been doing this for the last year.

 I've changed up my writing during the last 3 books I've written. Since the beginning of my writing journey, I've written in past tense. Past tense gives you more material than present tense, so I liked it. But I decided to try out present tense when I started The Darkest Light.

 It was a struggle. It was a lot harder to write in present tense than I thought it was going to be, so there are a lot of grammatical errors, even though I edited it several, several times. The book isn't perfect but I published it because I was ready to publish a novel and I wanted The Darkest Light to be my first published novel.

 I wrote my next book in present tense too, because I wanted to give it one more shot (plus, I thought present tense fit the book more than past). It was better and I got used to writing in present tense. Now I've switched back to writing in past tense because it's my stronger voice, and I make less mistakes.

 Work hard and pour as much as you can into your writing and things will work out in the end. You'll find your voice.

Happy writing!