Posted in Fiction, Writing

What is a Better Platform for Fiction Writers? Wattpad VS WordPress

While WordPress has been my main platform since 2015 I have had some issues maintaining a posting longevity. Due to the way searches appear on WordPress it is hard for older content to get found unless it is in a very specific range that is very searched but not filled with content. My post writing characters with dyslexia fits into that category.

So for fiction writers who have a hard time figuring out exactly what niche to write in, getting the kind of feedback on work that is necessary to keep your stamina up is impossible. The only authors who I can tell use WordPress effectively as a platform already have a following. Because fiction is supposed to be the base of our platform and short stories often do not have high SEO names it is hard for them to be found by the WordPress algorithm. The whole thing has left me with a wide variety of content that doesn’t get seen and one post that does. It’s also very hard for people to follow series in this format as people will be more likely to find your 8th post than you first.

That’s why during my temporary hiatus I used wattpad. I’ve tried using this reading and writing platform in the past and it wasn’t very effective but that’s because I was using It wrong. Postings one story in many parts I have already gotten 3 times the amount of views on that one story than on all the fiction posted on WordPress. I’m still exploring the pros and cons of wattpad but I have found it much more rewarding to write there than I have on WordPress. I do intend to start writing on WordPress again but it’s hard to say if I will have the motivation to stick with it for the rest of the year.

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Posted in Create YOUR World

How to Define Success–Things to Learn To Be An Expert

How much do you really need to know in order to be an expert? Mike Boyd has popularized his style of learning, learn quick, on his YouTube channel. In contrast with the 10,000 hour rule, he sets goals for skills to learn and it takes him a surprisingly short amount of time to obtain his goals. But would you define him an expert? He sets goals that make him feel comfortable in saying that he can indeed complete the skill and sometimes they aren’t huge unobtainable ideas. So that begs the question:

What do you define success as?money-2696234_1920.jpg

If you don’t set concrete goals for yourself it is very easy for self-doubt to creep in. Everyone seems to be talking about SMART goals recently, so I’ll leave it to you to decide if that is the right way for you to plan. But make sure you do set goals and not just the big ones.

Set lots of tiny goals along the way and reward yourself for completing them.

It’s going to take time to achieve almost anything. If you don’t set small goals along the way you’ll never feel accomplished and will be much more likely to give up. Then you also need to reward yourself for each step. Don’t wait until the end for one big party. Keep yourself in a good mood the whole time. Use positive reinforcement on your own mind to keep steadily improving.

The 89 percent rule.

money-2724241_1920.jpgI once heard that you should only try your best until you are at 89 percent of your our goal. By trying to get that last one percent perfect you’ll be using up so much time and won’t be learning much. But what you learned from completing the first 99 percent will make your next attempt so much better. In other words, don’t be a perfectionist. Move on to the next step on the proses because you might not realize that you have made a huge mistake and need to restart completely. And the next time you do it it will be so much easier.

Posted in Create YOUR World

What is the Plot of the Story of YOUR Life?

Why leave anything to chance? I think you can shape the plot of your life and completely plan it out. If you want to know how read on. This is the notepad I use in this post but it is not required: Accomplish Knock Knock Pad

Stop for a moment and write down things that you wish would happen in your life. These are the “maybe nevers”. Its a place for my mind to wander freely without my stamping out ideas and in a way it’s a bucket list. Here we return to the determination aspect and ask:

What Drives You?austin-chan-275638-unsplash.jpg

If your life were a book, what would your end goal be?

If you were the very skilled main character what would you be able to do?

Some of mine are:

Have an amusement park (like The Wizarding World of Harry Potter) made off of one of my works

and

Speak fluent Japanese

Then we need to break it down into smaller and smaller goals, things that seem reasonable to achieve.

The next section is the “somedays”. These should relate to the “maybe nevers” and build up to them but are still goals in their own right.

What do want to tell your kids about?

What would make you the hottest bachelor in your town?

What is on your bucket list?

Two of mine are:

Speak at a convention

Go to Japan for the 2020 Olympics

These both are huge accomplishments that can build up and lead to these other goals.

The “near futures” section I think of as later in this year or in the next two. These can more directly lead up to the “somedays”.

Where do you see yourself in two years?

What do you want to change in your life right now?

What can you do to take your career to the next level?

You don’t need to know how to achieve these things, just knowing you want them is enough.rawpixel-com-561415-unsplash.jpg

Some of mine:

Get published

get hired at either a film company or prop house

get a youtube play button

and then I wrote down one that surprised me: Launch a product for sale.

I had no idea this was a goal of mine but when I was thinking through what my goals for my blog were I realized I wanted to make a little bit of money off of it. ($5 a month so I could justify paying for the site).

The next smallest section of the list is ‘weekend’ followed by ‘tomorrow’ and ‘today’.

I don’t like this breakdown. For the most part, I write out my goals at night on the weekend so my list looks a little more like this: ‘This week’ ‘tomorrow’ and ‘asatte’ (day after tomorrow in Japanese). But you might want to break it down into months or weeks first.

But how does this directly correlate with uncovering the plot of your life? Well, you can only look so far into the future before things get cloudy. I write out as many steps as I can and break it down as much as a can but there are many splits in life and you can never tell what twist and turns await you. So don’t get to far ahead of yourself

So in order to have an amusement park, my work has to be popular enough to have a panel, one way to make my work popular is to post on my blog and on youtube, in order to get fans on these platforms I have to come up with and post content.

In order to make my livelihood off of my passion, I have to get a job in the industry so that I can work my way up, to do that I have to move to where the job I want is which means that I have to graduate so ill put all my homework in my planner.ian-schneider-66374-unsplash.jpg

Posted in Create YOUR World

Find Your Style and Dress Like a Main Character

Dressing like a badass is the best way to “fake it till you make it”. No matter how you define badass, you can figure out your style and start feeling more comfortable in your own skin. Almost every character you find, from kids cartoons to video games wears the same thing every day. While I don’t recommend that I can tell you how to find a style you love.

Find people you love

Go online and look up characters you admire. Whether they are drawn or real people, pay attention to what they wear, someone picked it out for a reason. Try to pay attention to what they have in common. Look up different real-life people and find styles you like then search for more similar styles. I have a Pinterest board and the best pictures ate saved to a folder on my laptop.A lot of the pictures I saved had girls with short hair and side bangs.png

You Can Do the Same Thing with Clothing

Go to you’re closet and go through it, looking for pieces that fit with this style. I found that a lot of my clothes could be worn a different way to fit my style. Remember you were drawn to those pieces of clothing for a reason. You probably don’t want a complete overhaul of your wardrobe. Move them all the best pieces to one side of your closet. You don’t have to throw out the other stuff but you probably will in time.

Now you just need to look for the few staple pieces you don’t have.

The next thing I’ll recommend (like any good Oregonian) is to go to a high-end thrift store and look around. You’ll find the widest selection of all types of brands. There will be styles from all different eras and body types. It’s also nice because it’s cheap. If you end up changing your mind you haven’t spent too much. It’s a good way to slowly change out your closet and find new styles that flatter your body type.

A lot of the pictures I saved had girls with short hair and side bangsAnother thing I’ve found very helpful is to choose one statement piece that you were almost every day.

Things like cool looking gloves, hats, belts, and scarves are things that epic main characters have. Look around on Amazon, Etsy and wish to find some very specific statement pieces. Go back to your pictures and see if there are any of these pieces that show up time after time.

That’s what you should spend the most money on.

A spin-off of this idea is the talisman. Many main characters have a bracelet, necklace or other statement objects they have with them every day. Read more here:

Posted in Create YOUR World

I Don’t Want to Be Me Remedy!

So I had a quarter life crises. I didn’t want to be who I was. If you want to wake up and be someone new tomorrow well… I can tell you what I did.

1. Start by making a list of people you want to be likejustin-luebke-92162-unsplash.jpg

I wrote down my favorite characters from TV, anime, games, movies and real human peoples who I wanted to be like. They all tended to match my character type which we found in the last section.

alexis-fauvet-499829-unsplash.jpg2. Next, you want to narrow down the specific traits you admire.

There are plenty of characters that I love who are serial killers but that’s not the trait that makes me like them and not something I want to become.

Mine were:

Confident . Quick-Witted . Charismatic . Suave . Skilled– Jack of All Trades . Influential . funny . Outgoing

There were others on my list but I felt like these were the ones I most needed to work on.

Then I did what every savy teenager does when faced with a problem.

florian-biedermann-314401-unsplash.jpg3. Googe how to become___

So basically I went to Wiki how and skimmed the posts. I looked for commonalities between the personality traits and started making a list of things to change.

Ones I see a lot are:

Stand Up Straight . Dress for Success . Smile More

So then we have some things to improve upon. I looked up tips on how to remember to do these things. Choosing a few simple things to start working on makes it much less overwhelming.

4. Fake it til you make itsharon-garcia-458002-unsplash.jpg

Wake up every morning and pretend you are the main character of your life. Act like those characters, respond how that character responds. If you keep pretending it will become habit. Then you will be that person. This has to do with the way the synapses connect in the mind to create habits.

5. Define success for yourselfjonathan-daniels-399452-unsplash.jpg

The easiest way to do this is to write out your dream life. Imagine how you want to be living if everything in life was promised to you. This is a technique I learned in a college class it’s not just some stupid thing I made up. If you want to wake up tomorrow and be a new person you have to know what you’re aiming for. Don’t skip this step. I know it seems hard.

Heres how mine starts:

I live in a house overflowing in treasures from other countries. It is open air in some rooms and looks out over a huge garden on a lot of acreage by the ocean. It is luxurious while still having the tiki/treehouse theme.

ornella-binni-102185-unsplash.jpg6. Make a new set of standards

Nothing in you’re life is going to change unless you hold yourself to taking the better route not the easier one. The best way of doing this is to make a list of standers that you hold yourself to so you don’t cheat later. You need to set goals in a few categories.

Relationship . Financial . Health . Character . Hobbies . Career

To inspire you, here are a few of mine:

At work, I will find coworkers who can teach me a lot of skills in life and work but also honor me and my contribution.

I will make friends who are fun loving yet refined and intelligent. They will encourage me to be my best as well as teach me new things.

I will spend money on only necessities like food but will be able to treat myself to the few thing that will really make me happy.

I will set aside money to travel from each paycheck.

For more information take a look at this PDF!

Now that you have a clear idea of who you want to wake up as tomorrow let’s move to the next section where we define your style and help you dress for success!

 

Posted in Better Life- Tips, Just for fun- Youtube

The ‘Pump Me Up’ Playlist and Why You Need One.

img_8027-e1502853927166.jpgThere are some days when the work is overwhelming. So I created a playlist of some of my favorite videos to watch to get my energy up. I dubbed it the “Pump Me Up” playlist because I can always find something on it to get my energy up so I can get work done. I suggest you make your own, though, because surely your tastes are different from mine. If you would like to see the kind of content I have on mine, feel free to take a look.

 

 

Posted in Writing

Living with Dyslexia– What still trips me up after 20 years

If you came here from my other Writing Characters with Dyslexia blogs, welcome. This one might be slightly more personal but should still help you get a better understanding of how to write your characters. Dyslexia, as I have said, is different for everyone, but here is what I still have trouble with after years of help.

Sentence Structure

If you were to meet me in person or text back and forth with me you would find a lot of run on sentences and misplaced words. Maybe you can even tell just reading my articles. I use words I know how to spell rather than the first word I thought of. For instance ‘tired’ becomes ‘exhausted’  because the latter is easier for me to remember. When talking, I will really closely mimic people I look up to using emphasis in the same places as them and the same word choice.

Tone of Voice

I get so carried away trying to figure out what people are saying that I don’t listen to what their tone of voice is saying. I’m awful at sarcasm even though I use it quite a bit. No one can tell when I’m being sarcastic and I can’t tell when they are either. This is applicable to all cues you get from tone of voice.

Spanish and French

Any language that uses the same alphabet as English is near impossible for me to read or understand. However, I’m much better at Japanese because EVERYTHING is different. I learn from the ground up all over again and can’t relate it to English in the least.

Commas

Even though I know the rules of where to place them, commas illude me. I have to use auto correct to get them in almost all situations. I also will combine sentences with commas instead of using a period. Thank god I live in modern America!

I hope this helped you write more realistic characters or understand dyslexia more. If you have any questions feel free to reach out to me either in the comments or on my contact page!

Posted in Fiction, Publishing, Writing

How To Develop Infinite Novel Plots (With Your Own Personal Theme)

I’m always surprised by how many people have problems coming up with ideas for their books. I’ve never been the type to not have six or seven projects going at once. But there is one thing that I think is unaccounted for when people browse story starting sentences or images. This is something that I have always used and could not develop ideas without.

The Base Story

Now, this is the single most important, root for building every novel you could ever think of.  I always have my niche story start. Think of it as the first building block, the foundation to build upon. This could be as simple as ‘Man Vs. Nature’ or as complex as ‘Man struggling in the business world’ but it is the one common thread that all of your novels will have in common.

It MUST be Something that Interests YOU Deeply

For me, it’s gay romance where one of the main characters does not want to admit he’s gay. I find the dynamic extremely interesting with a thousand different plots. When you try to think of your base story make sure:

It can be set all different places across space and/or time.

You can interchange character types easily.

It is deeply interesting to YOU (not your mom, boyfriend or publisher).

It is flexible enough to fit many different subplots, character developments, and won’t have the same overall outline.

It can be used as a subplot if your interest turns to something else.

So for my example:

Novel 1: Boy is running for a position of power and is blackmailed into a marriage with another guy, main characters does not want to admit he’s gay but ends up falling in love. Novel 2: Boy has no memory of the past as he has died and while traveling through the afterlife the main characters

Novel 2: Boy has no memory of the past as he has died and while traveling through the afterlife the main characters does not want to admit he’s gay but ends up falling in love with his guide.Novel 3:

Novel 3: One of the most popular singers in America does not want to admit he’s gay because he’ll fall out of popular light, but he’s head over heals in love with someone.

I have 20+ ideas that center around this one idea. Whenever I’m stuck, I just start with this concept and brainstorm off of it. It’s a great starting place to get my mojo going.

It has Other Benefits Too!

If being able to develop plots extremely quickly isn’t enough, consider the fallowing. Your books will all be in the same category, making readers find your other work easier. Your publisher will know what to expect for you and can more easily pitch your book. Your current readers will like more that just your fist book and will look forward to others.

I hope this helps you with your plot development basics! Have a great day!

Posted in Writing

A Note on How to Write Gay Fiction

I have found that people are most interested in the things they know the least about. One of my most popular posts is ‘How to write characters with dyslexia’ in which I try to help people better understand what dyslexia effects in my life. It was not until just a moment ago that I realized I had another type of character that people were still fascinated by… Gay ones. So here we go, this is my number one and most important tip.

It is exactly the same as writing straight fiction.

When you are writing the actual romance, falling in love is the same for all types of people.

What is different is how the world reacts.

Once upon a time, I wrote a gay romance and the person who read it misread all the pronouns to make the main character a girl. It works for me, they liked the novel they just weren’t open enough to LGBT ideas for me to correct them.

So that is my footnote on how I suggest you write gay fiction- the same way as everything else.

Posted in Fiction, Publishing, Writing

Interview With Self-Published Author Annie Louise Twitchell

Annie Louise Twitchell used to be like the rest of us, an aspiring writer. But she was braver than the rest of us and took on the challenge of self-publishing. Her book Spinner of Secrets has been described as an “amazing retelling” and “an enchanting fairy tale retelling written with a lyrical hand.” She has been running her blog since December of 2015 and detailed the publication of her book but I was also able to interview Annie about her process of writing and publishing Spinner of Secrets. So please read on for tips and tricks for publishing your first novel.

What is your background in writing?

I don’t really remember a time when I wasn’t writing. I taught myself to write cursive when I was five or so, so I could “write pretty”. I’ve always adored books. My dad read The Hobbit out loud to me and my brothers when I was quite small; it became my favorite book of all time and still is. I joined my uncle’s website for writers when I was 13, and won my first writing contest within a year – it was a Christmas writing contest, and if I remember, I was the youngest person competing. I was pretty proud of myself for winning. I’m quite sure I’ve written over one million words since then.

What inspired you to write this specific story?

A writing prompt on a forum. The prompt was to write a short story with the following three elements, person, place, and thing: an outlaw, a castle, and a rose. My first impulse was to write Beauty and the Beast, but after thinking about it, I ended up doing Rumpelstiltskin. Why not? I fell in love with the story and just went with it. It was two years in creating, almost exactly from when I posted the prompt reply and when I published the book.

What was it like writing in a specific time period?

I inhale historical fiction, so I have a lot of background for it. It’s a fairy tale, so I didn’t worry too much about having every detail perfect. Fairy tales allow for some flexibility. The biggest thing was figuring out how to convey passage of time – they didn’t measure time in minutes and seconds, as one of my beta readers pointed out. So I had to do a lot of research into that. There were other things I had to research as well; that wasn’t hard, because I know how to do that.

What did you do in order to keep the story of Rumpelstiltskin fresh while staying true to the story?

To keep a little more reality in it, instead of spinning gold from straw, Letta spins linen thread. Linen thread is made from the fibers in flax straw, which has to go through quite the process to get to the point of spinning. It involves water and rotting off the husk. Spinning linen thread from raw straw is impossible to do overnight. I spent a couple years working with fiber animals and fiber arts. I’ve done some spinning and let me tell you, it is not as easy as they make it look.

Do you have any tips for wannabe authors?

Write like nothing matters, edit edit edit edit edit, and at some point be willing to draw the line and say this is good. Not okay, not good enough, but this is good. There are going to be people who hate your work, there are going to be people who are really mean and cruel about it. Don’t you dare let that stop you. This is your story, not theirs. Yes, take the constructive criticism. Take the people saying “I think this needs to change…” – especially if they’re your beta readers or editors and you asked them to. But even then, it’s your story, not theirs. They’re trying to help you improve it. You can decide not to change something if you don’t want to.

What were your goals when you published Spinner of Secrets?

Really, it was about me. Beating my anxiety, putting a finished work out there, putting down the voices in my head that said I’m not good enough, I’m only a girl, I don’t have any right to even try. The month before publication was really hard and exhausting, and I’m still kind of patching myself up after it. But I did it. I have a stack of my books sitting on my chair.

What went into creating the cover and synopsis?

The synopsis, I just worked at for a year or so. I had a sudden burst of inspiration (probably while I was making dinner) and just kept refining and polishing it. The cover was a lot of fun, actually. I took the photo at the river near my house, which I frequently haunt, and my housemate/sister/best friend worked with me to design it. She’s a professional photographer and has a lot of experience with graphic design. I’ve gotten both extremes in response to it – either they hate it and it’s dull and boring, or they love it and it draws them right in. It was mostly other authors who said they hated it, interestingly enough, and other people who loved it. I love it, especially in print, and it’s perfect for the story.

 

What advice would you give to other authors who were going to self-publish?

Get help. Beta readers, proofreaders, an editor if you can afford one (I couldn’t, so I had seven beta readers plus me and my mom and my proofreader.) Definitely invest in a proofreader. It’s less expensive than an editor but it will help polish everything up and catch those annoying typos. Do your research. Just because it’s faster than traditional publishing, doesn’t mean it’s easier. Everything is on you. You are the party responsible for getting it out there looking decent. Market yourself and your book. Run specials and promote them. Do. Your. Research.

Would you self-publish again?

Absolutely. I love having the control and the freedom, as well as doing it on my own schedule. I also found I love the formatting and designing process. It was so. Much. Fun. Definitely work, but it was fun! It was a challenge and it was an exciting one that I was able to meet.

What’s next? Another book maybe?

Ahh, yes. Currently I’m working on eight books as well as a poetry collection. Which one ends up being published first is yet to be seen, although it will probably be another novella, just because I’ll finish with that first. My writing style is really weird – I write and write and write, and then I leave it be for a long time and work on something else. It gives the story breathing space, it gives me breathing space, and it just makes the process easier for me. It’s like making bread. You have to let it rest in between beating the snot out of it, otherwise it comes out dry, flat, tough, and tasteless.

If you want to find out more information about Annie Louise Twitchell find her on Facebook or her Blog! And don’t forget to order her book Spinner of Secrets so you can experience the tale of Rumpelstiltskin like never before.