Tagged: creative writing

500 Followers

Title says it all!!!  My blog officially has 500 followers now (Facebook followers included!)!

I’m so proud of what I’ve accomplished and I’m even prouder to be a part of this community.

Thanks for all that you do.  This journey would be meaningless without you.

thank you gif

HOORAYYYYY!

Cheers!!!!

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500 Followers

Title says it all!!!  My blog officially has 500 followers now (Facebook followers included!)!

I’m so proud of what I’ve accomplished and I’m even prouder to be a part of this community.

Thanks for all that you do.  This journey would be meaningless without you.

thank you gif

HOORAYYYYY!

Cheers!!!!

Everyone Wants to Win, But No One Wants to Play

pay attention

It’s a frustrating truth: everyone wants to win, but no one wants to play.

What am I talking about?

Everyone is trying to sell something.  There are plenty of bloggers out there who are trying to gain support and traffic for their brand, their product, their work of art.  And I understand that; heck, I’m doing the same thing!

But you know what makes being a seller REALLLLLY hard?

Having nobody that wants to buy.

In today’s world, it’s so easy to be “double-sided”.  It’s easy to “go through the motions”.  I’ve had several people act excited about wanting to buy my book and read it…but then they never did.  I even asked them about it.

Their response?  “Uhh…I don’t have money to spend on your book.  Sorry.”

“It’s 0.99 cents”.

“……..”

See what I mean?

Look, I have no problem if you don’t want to buy my book.  If you aren’t interested, I’m not going to blame you.  But please…PLEASE don’t lie to me.  That hurts way more.

As bloggers, we need to have a sense of community.  And that community will never exist if we continue to form this false sense of security–this false sense of companionship.  If everyone pats each other on the back, but without actually caring…there will be no community.

Please, let’s just all be honest with each other.  I understand that, at times, it can be hard to tell someone the truth.  I really do.  But that doesn’t mean lying is the answer.

Everyone wants to win.  Everyone is selling something.  But in order to sell something, you need buyers.

And sometimes, to get buyers, you need to buy.

Sig and Armstrong

Be a part of a community.  Take a chance with someone else’s work.  Believe me, it’ll work wonders for you and your community.

Recently, a duo of blogging brothers published a new story on Amazon.  What did I do?  I bought it right away.  Was it my kind of story?  No.  But did I at least give them a chance?  Yes.  And that’s what matters.

Be a part of a community.  Participate.

That’s how you win!

What do you think?

TO BE WRITTEN Character tip #2

Our first character tip was BE BOLD.

We all want our main characters to stand out and be unique.  Who wants to simply copy one character from another story?  That’s no fun.  And it won’t make us feel proud of ourselves.  Sure, characters from other stories can INSPIRE the characters in our own stories…but they shouldn’t be exactly the same.

Similarly, being bold means being pronounced and having a sense of identity.  Nobody likes a character that is wishy-washy and, in essence, has no character.

Which brings me to Character Tip #2

Tip #2: Have integrity

Have you ever read a book where one character makes a decision that is TOTALLY against…well, his or her character?

It’s like if the Balrog started gushing about how much he loves puppies.

Image result for pic of the balrog

MY PUPPIEEEEESSSSSSSSS!!!!!!

Essentially, we must make sure that our characters keep in character.  Sure, characters can change in the same way that real-live people can.  There’s nothing wrong with that…it’s realistic!  But what happens when characters are ALWAYS changing?  Grumpy here, selfless in this scene, a bully in another…it just doesn’t make sense.

If your character doesn’t have integrity, make sure you give the reader a good explanation as to why.  Maybe the hero of the story is having a rough day, and THAT’S why he acts like a jerk…that makes sense.  But if the hero suddenly just decides to act like a jerk, for no good reason other than, say, to advance the plot?  Uh, no.

Have integrity.


So the next book in my fantasy series, Elithius, is coming out in December.  If you haven’t already, check out Book One of Elithius here.  I promise, you won’t be disappointed.

elithius-cover-official

Cover art by Elizabeth M

 

The Darkness Within Overview

So, it’s officially happening.  The second book of my fantasy series, Elithius, is coming out in December.

It’s crazy to think of how far I’ve come with this series…it’s crazier to think about how much is left to go!

I’m so excited…so proud…and yet so humbled to be making this journey with all of you.

I thought I’d provide and overview of my upcoming book, just to give you an idea of what to expect.

Here goes:

Front Cover Elithius 2

Name: Elithius, Book Two: The Darkness Within

Genre: Fantasy/Dark/Supernatural/Romance/Anime

Length: 385 pages

Description:

John Hedekira and his friends must venture into the Gray Lands in order to rescue John’s sister, Cassie.  Upon entering the Gray Lands, they make new friends…and new enemies.  Before they know it, they are thrown into the middle of a raging war, in which loyalties and friendships will be tested, darker and more heinous powers will challenge them…and souls will be ripped apart.

The adventures of John and his friends have only begun.

EXCERPT:

The force of Kiilda’s first attack makes me stumble backwards and I flail my arms in an attempt to stay on my feet.  I right myself just in time to block Its second attack.  I was expecting Kiilda to be set upon killing me; I figured that that was all It cared about.  I showed up here, dangling from a chain in a giant hole in the ground, to fight to the death.

For my sister.

Nevertheless, the proficiency of Kiilda is startling.  For being so large, Kiilda moves with agility and speed that even I don’t possess.  And, of course, the monster possesses strength; It is made of stone.

But there’s more to It than that; there’s more to the fear and sense of intimidation that is being driven into my heart.  Kiilda shows no expression.  Its face never changes.  The monster charges after me, Its mouth hanging open, a dull, ghoulish look etched across Its face.  The truth is, as I stand my ground, blocking blow after blow, I finally come to understand the inhumanness of Kiilda.  My sense of understanding is so real, I know that it cannot hold any falsity—I have experienced this thing for ten seconds…and I can already sense that It isn’t even alive.  I can sense that It has no soul.

I feel my heart drop to my stomach.  Shivering inwardly, I think to myself, It’s like It’s…a doll.  A body without a soul.

I deflect a slash for my face, ducking underneath my sword, and then I take a chance and abandon defense, stabbing for Kiilda’s stomach.  Kiilda was lunging after me, leaving Its body completely exposed.  Maybe It thought that I would have been too focused on protecting myself to attack.  Or maybe It makes no such considerations at all.  Either way, I already know my sword will meet its mark….


I’m so excited to share this story with you.  I poured so much of myself into this book, even more than the last one.

As always, I’d like to know, What do you think???

How To Determine Who Your Real Followers Are

Image result for pic of supportive followers

Sooner or later, whether you like it or not, you’re going to find yourself wondering, “Who are my real followers?”

Sometimes I see these blogs where the author has gained a following of 2,000…or 20,000, or even 120,000.  That’s a LOT of followers, and I dream of having that many.  That being said, it’s interesting to note that these blogs only merit about 15-70 Likes per post.  You might think, “What’s wrong with that?  70 Likes is a lot!”  But compare that to the number of followers.   If you have 10,000 followers, and you only get 70 Likes…wouldn’t you be disappointed?  Shouldn’t you be getting…hmm, maybe at least a couple thousand Likes, assuming that other few thousand weren’t online that day?

What’s going on here?

All right, I’ll admit, we could get crazy with the statistics of blogging; maybe it’s not fair for me to say that only 70 people care about your blog when you have 2000 followers, just because you got only 70 Likes.  Maybe those 70 Likes consist of 70 different people each time you publish a post, so from that perspective, you really might have a huge following, depending on how many people are online on different days.

Whatever the case, that’s what this post is about: recognizing that Likes aren’t love, for better or for worse (I just made a political pun and a marriage pun right there!).

Why?

When someone Likes a post of yours, they don’t necessarily need to View it.  You don’t need to go far to see what I’m talking about.  In your Reader, you can see that–without having to click and OPEN a post–you can press the Like button.  And you don’t even have to know what you’re Liking.  You can appear to be a faithful follower, but in reality, you’re just going through the motions.

People can and have done this to me multiple times.

How do I know?  How do YOU know?  Well, go to your Stats page.  Heck, just go to your “Blog Posts” page, where you can see your most recently published articles.  You should be able to see the number of Likes, Comments…and yes, Views!

Does the number of Views outweigh the Likes?  If it does, then great job!

Image result for wordpress symbol for views

the image is not mine

Now, the people who Liked your post STILL might not have Viewed it.  We can’t tell if the people who Liked also Viewed.  But still, the number of Views is more important, because in order to tally Views…well, someone has to actually open up your post!  Which means it’s more likely that they read it.  Which means it’s more likely that they care.

And bingo.  You’ve found your true followers.

You’re followers are the people who read your posts, not Like them.  Because you can Like without reading.  

Monitor your Views.  If they are lower than your Likes, try to change that.  Work hard to make posts that are attractive and that really draw people in.  Make your writing desirable and View-worthy.  It’s easy to Like something.  It’s harder to View.  Which means Views are worth more.

What do you think?

Elithius Excerpt–Blood and Shadow

In preparation for the release of my newest book, which will be published in December, I thought I’d share with you an excerpt from Book One of Elithius!


 

A loud, terrifying scream sounds just outside our house, and an instant later I hear the front door get broken down.  Cassie and Luke begin screaming with panic and horror and immediately I rush for the only decent weapon I own; the sword standing upright in the corner of my room.

With a surge of speed, I burst out of my room.  They already have my siblings.  Fear is the only thing empowering me as I stab one of the intruders in front of me.  Only then do I acknowledge what I just attacked.  It is a horrifying beast, black as the shadows in the room, standing like a man, but with horrible teeth and eyes, a grotesque face, and a large, muscular body.  The room is filled with them.  I immediately know what they are.  They are Evil.

They begin dragging Cassie and Luke out of the house.  I cry out to my siblings, raising my sword, but I am blocked by a horde of the beasts.  The darkness is so thick around me, so dark I’ve never seen anything like it, as though the darkness is a black wall connecting the beasts, emanating from their skin.  The way they move makes my head swim, like they keep multiplying and then vanishing into the darkness.  Finally, I abandon caution and charge them, and two of them step out to meet me.  One after another, I cut both of them down, reacting out of pure instinct.  I hear my siblings scream from outside and I raise my head to look for them beyond our demolished front door.  I see them with their arms outstretched for me, and then, all of a sudden, I feel pain erupt in my stomach.

And I gasp.  Time freezes for a moment, and I grunt with alarm again, looking down at the blade sticking into my body.  The blade retracts, and I release a quivering breath.  Falling to the ground on my side, I watch as my blood pools beneath me, warm against my side.  As I lay there,—sharp, burning pain running through me—I look up, seeing outside in the fading light of day a distinct figure: a beast with long, matted hair, and a red cape.  Every Evil returns to his side, swarming about him.  And I know that he is their leader.

Then they leave.  Their cries sound for long, pain-filled moments after, and then they fade into silence.  And all that’s left behind is blood and shadow.

New Interior TGL 1

Art by Clare S, my awesome little sister


As always, I’d love to know, What do you think?

Click here to read more of Elithius!

elithius-cover-official

Cover art by Elizabeth M