Saturday, January 30, 2016

Building a Relationship with Your Characters

   Characters are one of the most important things about a book, so it's important to connect with the people you've created in your head so they seem real to your readers.

 I thought that was a good opening line *pats self on the back* so now, let's get down to it!

 Basically, if you can't connect with your characters; how can you expect your readers to? Get comfortable with them, know them, describe them and their actions. You will need to have some sort of connection with your characters for 2 reasons.
1) Because your book won't reach its full potential otherwise, and 2) Because your characters (or some of them) are going to be with you for awhile--pages and pages, in fact.

 You need to know your characters. Maybe you don't have all of your characters figured out yet--their personalities, features, attitudes, etc.--but you should have your main character figured out before ever sitting down to write that first page. The main character is the "person" that is going to take you and your readers on a crazy adventure throughout the book, so you need to know who he/she is so your readers know too. They don't need to know everything at once but they need a general feel of who he/she is. You also can't have your character switching personalities every few pages (unless that's part of the plot/story, of course).

 You are your characters' puppeteer. You can get them to do whatever you want! Smile, nod, shake hands, jump off a cliff--the possibilities are endless and the power is in your hands! But making your characters simply do what you want isn't enough. You need to convey/describe your character's feelings as they do that action. This will not only help you get closer to your character, but it will also make your writing better, story stronger, and give your readers necessary information.

 You know that sluggish feeling you get when you know you should probably write but don't really feel like it? We've all been there. We've all have wanted to avoid the voices in our head at one time or another. It's not just you. So you aren't the only one who has trouble connecting with your characters when you force yourself to write. Forcing yourself to write can be good or bad, depending on you. Forcing yourself to write can make it difficult for you to fall into your story and connect with your characters. Maybe you should think about taking the day off from writing, even if that means putting you off-schedule. Not being able to fall into writing can be risky for your book.

 Forming a relationship with your characters can be difficult, and it's probably because they're in your head, but you can get started with these tips. Good luck!

  Happy writing! <3 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

How to: Planning to Self-Publish?

   Have you decided to self-publish? Excellent! Before you get started, though, you're going to need to outline a plan. It's the same as outlining a plot for a book.

When you self-publish, you're not only the author of your book but you're also its editor, publisher, and marketer. You have several jobs that will take up a lot of time. Don't get frustrated as this is a rather long process.

 Edit. First and foremost, you have to edit your book. Several times, in fact. Editing can take months, especially when you have to do it more than a few times. That's okay though, you should take your time and pay attention to detail. I would use a red pen for this process. Using another color--like blue or black--will make it difficult for you to distinguish the mistakes you've corrected from the actual text.

 Saving Money. You're going to need a good amount of money to self-publish. You're going to need money to copyright your book's content, purchase a good-looking book cover (which doesn't come cheap), to send out review copies, list giveaways, advertising, etc. Set a goal amount of money you want to have to spend only on your book's progress. Save until you reach that goal and then you're all set to jump into the rest of the publishing process!

 Marketing Plan. Before publishing, you should be signed up for every social media website there is--Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. Sign yourself up for any website that could help you with getting the word out there! If you're already signed up for some of these, you should be mentioning your book on social media long before you plan to self-publish. Now, I don't mean share your manuscript with everyone--that could be risky if you haven't gotten it copyrighted yet--but maybe mention the title of your book and talk about it some.

You should also sign up for Goodreads and sign up for their Author Program. That generates quite a bit of buzz! Their Author Program allows you to list giveaways, post about your book on forums, publicize your upcoming events, write quizzes for your book, and so much more! I'm on the website every day. I'm addicted!

  Starting a Blog. Starting a blog to talk about yourself and your book is also a good idea. This will give you the ability to blog about your self-publishing experience to help others who are thinking about doing the same thing. This will help generate followers so they will see the posts you've mentioned your book in (aka you get free marketing).

 Cover Artist. Who are you going to hire to make the cover for your book? There are several artists that you can find and contact online. All you have to do is type in "book cover artists" into your search engine and then you can take your pick! Make sure to look at their prices and compare that with their portfolio. You'll want to pick someone professional, who won't try to sell you a cover that someone else has already used, or someone that will sell your book cover to another up-and-coming author.

 Create an Author Website. Starting an author website can be quite helpful in generating buzz. Through this you can direct visitors to your blog, Goodreads Author Page, social media profiles, and more! Having a website will make it easy for your social media and blog followers to check out your website to learn more about you. To get a general idea of what your website should contain, check out mine at

 How Are You Going to Sell? Are you going to sell your book in paperback or ebook, or both? Where are you going to sell your book? Are you going to publish through Createspace, Smashwords, Kindle Direct Publishing, Lulu, maybe through another? This is a very important decision to make and you need to choose wisely. Compare and consider all of your options. And research these websites as much as you can so you can figure out their pros and cons. Make the right choice for you and your book! You have to decide so you can begin formatting your book to their standards. 

 Format. Depending on how you self-publish and where, there will be a certain way they will require you to format your book so it can be loaded to look pretty for your readers. For ebooks, you might want to add a Table of Contents to make it easier to get around on an iPad or Kindle. For paperbacks, you'll want to pay close attention to those margin guidelines.

Well, that's all the advice I can think to give you. The self-publishing road ahead is going to be a bumpy one so don't get too frustrated and I wish you luck!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

10 of My Favorite Quotes About Writing

   Here are some of my favorite quotes about writing :)

 1.  "I am a writer, therefore, I am not sane" Edgor Allan Poe

 2.  "Writing a book is like telling a joke and having to wait 2 years to know whether or not it was funny" -Alain de Botton  

 3.  "If a story is in you, it has to come out" - William Faulkner

 4.  "I write to live and I live to write." - Unknown

 5.  "No one can tell your story so tell it yourself. No one can write your story so write it yourself" - 

 6.  "You can make anything by writing" -C.S. Lewis 

 7.  "Growing up is highly overrated. Just be an author" - Neil Gaiman

 8.  "A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper" - E.B. White

 9.  "Be ruthless about protecting writing days, I.E., do not cave in to endless requests to have 'essentials' and 'long overdue' meetings on those days" - J.K. Rowling

 10.  "Fiction is the truth inside the life" - Stephen King

Hope a few of these quotes encourage you to write this week :)

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Why I Write

   The undeniable desire to get words down on paper is strong, especially when those words turn into something greater. Words become pages, which develop into a story and people that seem real to you and others that read your words.

 Everyone writes for different reasons. Maybe you like to create things--places, people, or stories--or maybe you write because it relaxes you in some way. Eliminating your characters can be a real stress-reliever lol.

 I write for the rush. The undeniable desire to be someone else is strong at times. I can't deny the words that fly through my head. Every fight scene; every kissing scene; every idea sends a rush through my veins. This rush usually causes me to crank up my music, like now (good thing I took American Sign Language as my second language in high school because I turn it up loud enough that I could end up deaf one day). The beat of the music and the feel of the words causes the words to flow from my mind and down to my fingers.

 I write because I love it. It is as simple as that. I write to escape and be someone who can fight an enemy with one hand tied behind her back. I write to be someone who doesn't have to worry with things that I do, but instead, worry about escaping a labyrinth. When I write, my worries and the world around me fades away. I find myself in another world that I wish was real.

 I read for the same reason; to not be me for a while. I was going to the bookstore every month, and leaving with a stack of 4 or 5 books. Reading was an escape for me before I started writing. Though, reading doesn't compensate writing for me. They're not so different but I want to be the one writing the story for someone else. I have to write almost every day so the words don't build up in my system.

Happy writing! <3

Saturday, January 2, 2016

My Favorite 2015 Reads!

Here are my favorite reads of the year!!  

Well, 2015 has come and gone, and now 2016 is right around the corner! I've read so many good books this year! I've past my Goodreads goal this year! I've read so many different books; some good, some bad but I'm glad I read them regardless. I hope to read just as many good books next year!

Click on any of the titles below to read their reviews. There might be a few spoilers so watch out!

  1.  The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare. I cannot praise this series enough! I really can't! There are no words to describe these books. They are just breathtaking.
 This series has everything you could possibly want in it! Romance, action, and wonderful characters. Cassandra Clare's books always seem to knock me breathless. I can never put down her books once I pick one up! I am always excited to read her books! I'm so glad I read this series and I always recommend these books to everyone I know!

  2.  If He Had Been With Me by Laura Nowlin. This book was heartbreaking, and I loved it! This book actually made me cry, and if you know me, that doesn't happen often. The characters are wonderfully unique and special, but the two main characters are so frustrating! It bothered me whenever Finn and Autumn weren't together or talking. It made me so happy to see them finally get together...Then the ending crushed me.
 You know immediately from reading the Prologue, that Finn is going to die, so you set yourself up for the bad ending. But then there are 336 pages of you falling in love with Finn and Autumn. And then, the ending hits you like a brick wall and it's so sad.

  3.  Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken. Jude...I was sad for days after finishing this book. I was emotionally scarred. One second, Jude was there and everything was fine. They all got out, it's all good. But then! But then Ruby realizes that it isn't Jude. It's a guy that looks like him but it's not him and it was just so crushing to find out that one of my favorite characters was crushed...
 It was really, really good and exciting regardless of this tragedy! I couldn't put this book down! I hope they turn this series into a movie series. I would really like to see it on the big screen.

  4.  Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover. This story was very original! This is the first Colleen Hoover book I really loved. I genuinely enjoyed this book! The characters are unique and the story is very original to me. I took American Sign Language as my foreign language in high school and I've been searching for a YA contemporary with a deafy since I started learning ASL. It was amazing to find one and I was totally excited! I was not disappointed! I loved this book and finished it in no time!

  5.  In The After Light by Alexandra Bracken. I loved the characters in this series and I was sad to see it end. It was so frustrating to watch Liam and Ruby be so mean to each other, and it was hilarious to see Chubs and Vida get together! I saw a few deaths I didn't see coming, and there was a death I wish had happened. Regardless, I was pretty okay with the ending to this series, aside from it ending.
 I did feel like we didn't get a enough time to process Liam's brother's death. It made me sad. I wanted to grieve even though I was happy it wasn't Liam who was murdered! 

 6. Sacrificed by Emily Wibberley. This book was so exciting! I really enjoyed reading Clio's story. This story was very unique and gripping, despite its rather slow beginning. I found myself rooting for Clio throughout the whole book. And I am obsessed with Riece! If the mixture of Clio's innocence and Riece's steamy/hotness doesn't get you fired up then nothing will!

  7. Forsworn by Emily Wibberley. I love this series setting, the characters and almost everything about it! I especially like Riece and Clio and I'm just dying for them to get together in the third installment of The Last Oracle series! I think the first two books were about equally good. I can't decide which is my favorite.

  8.  Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout. The Lux series doesn't have the best writing but the characters are lovable! The story is quirky and different, and the book also reminds me of Twilight a lot. The characters keep me hooked throughout this series! Daemon is so snarky, cute, funny, and tough! Totally drool-worthy!

  9.  Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout. The Lux series doesn't have the best writing but the characters are lovable! The story is quirky and different, and the book also reminds me of Twilight a lot. The characters keep me hooked throughout this series! Daemon is so snarky, cute, funny, and tough! Totally drool-worthy!

  10.  Life and Death by Stephenie Meyer. I had quite a few problems with this book but I enjoyed visiting the world of Twilight again. I wouldn't really recommend this book to anyone. If you're a true Twiheart, you will pick up this book but you will most likely be disappointed. Stephenie Meyer should have done the smart thing and released Midnight Sun.

What was your favorite book of the year? Comment below!

Please check out my website and my other blogs and please follow me! :)