Tag Archives: dark fantasy

Yup I’ll Be That Guy

Hey!  So you know how I criticize people for always blogging like “BUY MY BOOK”?

Well, I’m about to be that guy.

Money’s kind of short and I need to pay rent and eat (I do have a job, it’s just not enough).

I’d like to suggest that you purchase (yes, the accursed p-word!) your summer reading NOW, since it’s not like the story is going to disappear from your Kindle app.  $5.99 isn’t a lot–it’s the price of your coffee, your visit to the bar, your sandwich, etc.  But that’s all it costs to get my 350-page YA fantasy novel.

And it would really help your beloved blogger out 🙂

Here’s the description and a link.  Cheers!

Elithius New
Copyright 2018 Elizabeth M.

“The clock is ticking…”

His parents abandon him when he’s thirteen. He’s left to care for his little brother and sister. Life is tough. Things can’t seem to get any worse.

But then fabled monsters of the Dark Lands break down the door. They kidnap his siblings. And they leave him bleeding out on the floor of his own home.

But he survives.

Fear Hedekira is a hot-headed sixteen-year-old faced with a world that is becoming more warped by the day. Joined by his friends Aislin and Arik, it becomes his mission to punish the monsters that attacked him–the Volcyrie–and rescue his brother and sister. But time is not on his side. If he can’t free his siblings in time, they’ll be taken to another world entirely…where they will be sacrificed to the God of Death.

The story of Elithius has just begun.

Get your copy here!

Modern Fantasy vs. Traditional Fantasy

Although it is certainly not the most popular genre in literature, fantasy is still a prevalent concept to this day.  New authors are emerging with intriguing worlds and systems of magic, and it seems like the influx of new ideas and creativity is boundless.

But which is better, modern fantasy or traditional fantasy?  What’s the difference?

Traditional Fantasy

What comes to mind when you hear “traditional fantasy”?  Probably The Lord of the Rings.  Why?  Because J.R.R. Tolkien has been called the “father of modern fantasy” (which means his type of fantasy is technically old, but it just paved the way for modern fantasy).

Image result for lord of the rings art

The Lord of the Rings was one of the first stories that had a truly unique world, a world with its own history, diverse cultures, races, secrets, etc.  Even if you aren’t a fan of Tolkien, you have to appreciate the sheer greatness and vastness of Middle Earth.  To this day, all the works of Tolkien haven’t been deciphered and published…a job which has been passed down to Tolkien’s son, Christopher Tolkien.  It’s incredible that an elderly man could have such a crazy but fantastic imagination!

Image result for lord of the rings art

As is evident by the pictures I’m using, people go crazy for the world that Tolkien created.  Something that I think a lot of people are impressed by is how well Tolkien contrasts light and darkness, the forces of Good and Evil, without sounding preachy or sugar-coating anything.  Although, in my opinion, the books themselves are not fantastically written, the STORIES of Middle Earth are fantastic and beautiful.

Okay, yeah yeah, Tolkien is great.  But what’s unique about his literature, giving it the title “traditional fantasy”?

Well, like a lot of old stories (aka, classics), the Lord of the Rings is written with a sense of the True, the Good, and the Beautiful.  According to the Ancient Greeks, particularly the philosophers, art was meant to reflect the True, the Good, and the Beautiful.

The work of art should reveal to the viewers the Truth…so that they people might understand the Good…and, in doing the Good, they might obtain what is Beautiful.

Isn’t that awesome?

And the Lord of the Rings does this by pitting Good versus Evil against each other, by showing how wonderful Light is against Darkness, by creating heroes and stories that are truly empowering to those that witness and read them.

This is what makes traditional fantasy unique and treasured.  Pick up The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Once and Future King, and you’ll know what I’m talking about.  It is from these stories that we obtain the idea of fantasy, and, in light of the True, Good, and Beautiful, what fantasy is meant to be.

Modern Fantasy

Modern fantasy both has and lacks some things that traditional fantasy lacks and has.  For instance, modern fantasy is very entertaining.  Pick up Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson (sometimes called the Modern Tolkien), or the Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, and you’ll find these books are very entertaining.  Usually, the pacing is a lot faster.

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Some good things about these books is that the characters are more relatable.  They have flaws.  It’s not that the characters in LOTR do not have flaws, it’s just that the characters are not as “down to earth”.  They don’t struggle as much, or their flaws just aren’t as apparent or human.

Contrast that with the heroes of Mistborn or The Mortal Instruments.  These characters are more down to earth.  They have relationship issues, identity issues.  Things that people struggle with on a day-to-day basis.  This is good; it helps people connect better with the characters they are reading about, it might even help them overcome similar problems.

Image result for the mortal instruments

However, from what I’ve read, what do modern fantasy stories lack (sometimes)?

The True, the Good, and the Beautiful.

Sometimes, I get the sense that authors are trying to justify their own problems through their characters by allowing the characters to be heroic even though they aren’t truly True or Good.  This can obscure a story from becoming Beautiful.

It’s not just fantasy; take a look around you.  Standards aren’t too high anymore for a “hero”.  They can drop somebody dead without thinking, steal, and act out of vengeance and still be paraded about.  Who cares if they sleep around, kiss three different boys, etc?

There can just be a lack of depth to the writing too, as if Modern Fantasy does nothing to challenge the reader to think about life’s big questions.  There is less of “what does it mean to be human?”  “what is truly evil and truly good?” etc.  It’s simply all about “what happens to this characters, the choices he or she makes, etc”.  And then we are left with the uncertain feeling of what’s right or wrong, or even believing (in error) that there is no right or wrong.


I’d love to hear your thoughts on this matter!  Are there any modern fantasy stories that impress you?  Fail to live up to expectations?  Let me know in the comments!

As luck would have it, I have written my own fantasy novel!  I would love to hear how it makes you feel and think.

Is it a good modern fantasy novel?  On Kindle, it’s only $0.99!  I know you have 99 cents to spare, so the only reason you wouldn’t buy it is because you’re lazy!  And you don’t want to be lazy 😉

Click here!

elithius-cover-official
Cover art by Elizabeth M

The Story

As my audience gets larger, it’s important that I reexplain what this blog is about.  This blog is obviously about sharing my experiences as an author/blogger.  Most of my posts are about how we can become better writers and bloggers.

But this blog is also about Elithius.  Elithius is the fantasy series that I’m writing; it had previously been called The Golden Lands, but I decided to change the name because I thought Elithius was a cooler name.

So, what’s Elithius about?

Here’s my logline:

John Hedekira and his friends must track and rescue Cassie and Luke, John’s little sister and brother, before they can be taken and sacrificed to the God of Death by Nirak, the Red Captain.

elithius-cover-official

That’s the initial plot.  But to go into more detail…

John Hedekira is the main character of this series.  Quite unexpectedly, his home is raided by a band of Evil–mysterious, unearthly creatures–and the Evil kidnap his siblings and leave him for dead.  John survives the encounter, however, is determined to rescue his siblings and get revenge.

The thing is, there’s a time limit; John must save his siblings–Cassie and Luke–before they can be sacrificed to the God of Death.

Saving Cassie and Luke is far from simple.  As John chases the Evil, he makes friends, but loyalties are tested and betrayal is in the air.  His desire for vengeance grows stronger.  A mysterious ghost is discovered to be hunting him.  And even Death itself will try to ensnare John.

John and his friends have to fight with every ounce they have in order to overcome trial after trial.

Can John and his friends rescue Cassie and Luke in time, in spite of these obstacles?  And who will they be when all is said and done?


This is the story I wrote.  I really hope you guys enjoy it when it’s ready!  In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been posting a little less, but that’s just because I’m trying to finish revising the novel.  Thanks again for all your support!

What do you think of my story?  Does it sound interesting?  Is this a book you would want to read?

Cover Description!!

elithius-cover-official

As I mentioned yesterday, the cover of my first book has finally been finished!

Credits

All credit goes to Elizabeth M., who happens to run a blog over at https://lilyorphaned.wordpress.com/

Elizabeth, as is evident by the image above, is an excellent artist.  She’s just beginning her career as a cover/character/anything-you-want designer.  Aside from being skilled and disciplined, Elizabeth is EXTREMELY patient.  She knows how to listen and take corrections (or enforce her own).  I don’t know if she’s quite ready to receive a torrent of requests right now, but if you ever want a cover for your book, or if you would like your book to be illustrated (she does children’s books, too!) I would highly recommend her!  You can contact her here: lilyorphaned@gmail.com

Right, on to the description!

Description

I would ask you to take another good look at the cover.  Notice the light as it falls through the trees, look at the thick, luscious grass.  The picture perfectly captures the feel of the Golden Lands.  It’s pretty.  It’s peaceful.  It’s even magical.  Come on, let’s be honest, you could fall in love in this place!  Or maybe you could die peacefully here.  Or maybe, this is what heaven looks like after you die!

That’s how the Golden Lands is supposed to feel.

So…why is there a determined, angry-looking kid standing there with a sword?

That kid is John Hedekira, the main character of Elithius.  Other than looking like a boss, he’s not really doing anything.  But what’s the point of a book cover?  It’s to make you feel or understand something about the story.  How does John make you feel?  What do you think his appearance is saying about the story?

Maybe…he’s angry about something.  Maybe he has a sword because things actually aren’t as great in the Golden Lands as we would think.

That sounds a lot like life, doesn’t it?  Nothing is ever quite as perfect as it seems.  The world might look beautiful and wonderful, but oftentimes, it’s not a wonderful place.

What makes the Golden Land a not-so-nice place?

“Well, start reading the book and you’ll find out!”

And that’s the point of the book cover 😉


Thanks for all the support!  Hope you guys are excited!  Once again, great job Elizabeth!

Blogging Vices

I know we’ve already talked about this before, but this is an important topic, and I think we should discuss it in depth.

Blogging Vices are no-no’s, things that we shouldn’t do in the blogosphere and which will ultimately lead to our failure.  These vices disrupt the atmosphere of blogging, and make it something unhealthy.

So, what are these blogging vices?

1. A consumerist attitude

 

its-all-about-me
The image is not mine

Ever run into that person in the blogosphere who seems like they can’t stop trying to GET something from you?  They continuously reappear in your blogging circle (come on, everybody has one) and seem as if they are spamming everyone for attention?

Look, I get.  We are all trying to accomplish something through blogging.

Maybe we want popularity, just for the sake of popularity.  Maybe we want popularity for a book or another form of art.  Maybe blogging is directly related to our job–it’s a business for us.

I get it.  We all want attention, we all have something to prove.

Which means that if we all act like consumers, no one will get anywhere.

In order to gain, you have to give.  It’s a simple rule of life–not really a rule, to be honest.  More or less UNFORTUNATELY, life doesn’t always work like that.  Sometimes we gain without having to give (yay!)…and sometimes we give without gaining anything (awww…).

But the point is, in order to have a healthy blogging atmosphere that benefits EVERYONE (including ourselves), we have to be willing to give, not just gain.  If we have an attitude where we are only looking out for ourselves, we aren’t going to gain any loyal followers, we aren’t going to acquire massive audiences.  Because all we ever cared about was ME. ME. ME.

2. ONLY blogging about your personal endeavors

thank you gif

This is a personal pet-peeve of mine.  I see these bloggers who have a decent following (1,000+) and all they ever do is blog about their personal endeavors.  Their posts read something like this:

“Update on my story, (insert title here)!  Check it out!”

“Guess what!  My story is now FREE for a limited time only”

or,

“Part 17 of my blogging series, check out the other chapters here!”

And they NEVER.  BLOG.  ABOUT.  ANYTHING.  ELSE.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand that you’re here to promote something.  I’m writing a book, and will I use this blog to promote it?   YES.  But if I allow my book to become the focus, if I make my blog all about ME, will anyone care?  No.

Because no one likes a selfish, self-promoting jerk.

In regards to this vice, there needs to be a healthy balance.  To be honest, it’s less of an “equal” balance; I would advise that you blog about things that other people can actually care about. Write posts that appeal to OTHER people, not just to yourself and your super loyal followers.

It’s a simple truth: if you blog about things that appeal to other people, if you make them interested in your blog for THEIR sake (not yours), they will eventually be interested in your own writing endeavors.

But in order to gain their attention, you have to be willing to GIVE something to them.  (And no, I don’t mean your free book!)

3. Spam bloggers

spam
the image is not mine

I remember when a random blogger re-blogged a post of mine.  It was the first time I got a re-blog, and I was ecstatic.  I decided that I would reward that person by following their blog.

It didn’t take me long to realize that I had made a mistake.

This person re-blogged about twenty posts a day.  No joke.   There are these people on the blogosphere who act more like Spam than human, and it drives me crazy.  I can’t concentrate on my newsfeed with all of their stuff clogging up my Reader.

Don’t be a spam blogger.  If you write often, that’s great!  I think that’s a good habit.  But don’t SPAM people.  Believe me, it will have a negative effect, not a positive one.


So, these are some vices I would advise you to avoid!

What do you think?  What are some vices that bug you?  

Blogging Vices

I know we’ve already talked about this before, but this is an important topic, and I think we should discuss it in depth.

Blogging Vices are no-no’s, things that we shouldn’t do in the blogosphere and which will ultimately lead to our failure.  These vices disrupt the atmosphere of blogging, and make it something unhealthy.

So, what are these blogging vices?

1. A consumerist attitude

 

its-all-about-me
The image is not mine

Ever run into that person in the blogosphere who seems like they can’t stop trying to GET something from you?  They continuously reappear in your blogging circle (come on, everybody has one) and seem as if they are spamming everyone for attention?

Look, I get.  We are all trying to accomplish something through blogging.

Maybe we want popularity, just for the sake of popularity.  Maybe we want popularity for a book or another form of art.  Maybe blogging is directly related to our job–it’s a business for us.

I get it.  We all want attention, we all have something to prove.

Which means that if we all act like consumers, no one will get anywhere.

In order to gain, you have to give.  It’s a simple rule of life–not really a rule, to be honest.  More or less UNFORTUNATELY, life doesn’t always work like that.  Sometimes we gain without having to give (yay!)…and sometimes we give without gaining anything (awww…).

But the point is, in order to have a healthy blogging atmosphere that benefits EVERYONE (including ourselves), we have to be willing to give, not just gain.  If we have an attitude where we are only looking out for ourselves, we aren’t going to gain any loyal followers, we aren’t going to acquire massive audiences.  Because all we ever cared about was ME. ME. ME.

2. ONLY blogging about your personal endeavors

thank you gif

This is a personal pet-peeve of mine.  I see these bloggers who have a decent following (1,000+) and all they ever do is blog about their personal endeavors.  Their posts read something like this:

“Update on my story, (insert title here)!  Check it out!”

“Guess what!  My story is now FREE for a limited time only”

or,

“Part 17 of my blogging series, check out the other chapters here!”

And they NEVER.  BLOG.  ABOUT.  ANYTHING.  ELSE.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand that you’re here to promote something.  I’m writing a book, and will I use this blog to promote it?   YES.  But if I allow my book to become the focus, if I make my blog all about ME, will anyone care?  No.

Because no one likes a selfish, self-promoting jerk.

In regards to this vice, there needs to be a healthy balance.  To be honest, it’s less of an “equal” balance; I would advise that you blog about things that other people can actually care about. Write posts that appeal to OTHER people, not just to yourself and your super loyal followers.

It’s a simple truth: if you blog about things that appeal to other people, if you make them interested in your blog for THEIR sake (not yours), they will eventually be interested in your own writing endeavors.

But in order to gain their attention, you have to be willing to GIVE something to them.  (And no, I don’t mean your free book!)

3. Spam bloggers

spam
the image is not mine

I remember when a random blogger re-blogged a post of mine.  It was the first time I got a re-blog, and I was ecstatic.  I decided that I would reward that person by following their blog.

It didn’t take me long to realize that I had made a mistake.

This person re-blogged about twenty posts a day.  No joke.   There are these people on the blogosphere who act more like Spam than human, and it drives me crazy.  I can’t concentrate on my newsfeed with all of their stuff clogging up my Reader.

Don’t be a spam blogger.  If you write often, that’s great!  I think that’s a good habit.  But don’t SPAM people.  Believe me, it will have a negative effect, not a positive one.


So, these are some vices I would advise you to avoid!

What do you think?  What are some vices that bug you?  

Longer or Shorter Books? Which Do You Prefer?

books
the image is not mine

This is actually a serious question.  I think there are different types of readers out there.  There are some who prefer quicker, shorter novels that they can read in a day or two.  And then there are other readers who like novels that are longer, that they can snuggle up with for a week or two, and read at a leisurely pace.

Make note, this post has nothing to do with how readers PACE themselves.  I genuinely want to know which kind of book you prefer: long or short.

I think we can agree that some books are TOO long…those exceeding 800 pages tend to push it for me.  If the book is part of a series, all right, maybe it’s not such a big deal (in the case of Inheritance by Christopher Paolini).  But no one likes picking up a standalone that’s 800 pages long.   If the story is 800 pages long, why not split it up into three smaller books?  Big books can be daunting.

The benefits of longer books, especially if they are a part of a series, is that those books seem to go way deeper into character development, plot development, cultural issues and formation, descriptive writing, etc.  Shorter, fast-paced books seem to avoid these; they are page turners, instead.  Don’t get me wrong, there can still be lots of descriptive writing (like in The Lord of the Flies).  But shorter novels tend to focus more on actions, without taking the time to describe the setting.

froggy

I’m currently wondering about how I should form my own book series, Elithius.  Before, when my series was called “The Golden Lands”, I had planned about 18 volumes of novella-sized stories.  No volume was going to exceed 200 pages.

But now, I’m considering compiling several of the books together.  For instance, the first four volumes of the story will now become Book One of Elithius.  

What do you think of this?  Do you prefer longer or shorter books?

Do you think it’s better to keep the volumes separate, and have a lot of books, or to make them more novel-sized (about 320 pages each), and have just a few books?

Your input really matters!!!

You Can’t Edit a Blank Page

i-am-a-writer

“I don’t believe in writer’s block. Think about it — when you were blocked in college and had to write a paper, didn’t it always manage to fix itself the night before the paper was due? Writer’s block is having too much time on your hands. If you have a limited amount of time to write, you just sit down and do it. You might not write well every day, but you can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.”

-Jodi Picoult

That last part of Jodi’s advice is critical.  We never think of writing like that.  So many times, when we are lacking inspiration, we think, “What’s the point?  I’m going to write this scene, or this blog post, and it will be crap.  Why write, when it’s going to be worth nothing?”

I’ve done that SO many times.

The problem with being a writer is that you eventually become a perfectionist.  And when you become a perfectionist, you, well, want everything to be perfect.  After writing for so many years, there have been those times when we have enjoyed the sweet taste of perfect writing.  We remember the feeling of being able to pour everything out onto the page with perfect clarity and drive, knowing exactly what we want to say and how to say it.

So, what do we do when we aren’t in that state of “perfect” inspiration?

We don’t write.

Because it won’t be perfect.  And we, as writers, are perfectionists.

And we need to get over this.  Right.  Now.

Because you can’t edit a blank page.

If you never write at all, then you will have accomplished NOTHING.  There won’t be any perfection, because you weren’t willing to put up with imperfection.

There’s something beautiful about writing; namely, it’s a battle for purity.  Purity which stems from a desire for reaching something greater, something higher, something that we all dream of.  Our culture seriously lacks this desire for purity, for perfection.  Because we’re so used to settling for less.  In regards to our jobs, our relationships, our bad habits.  We never try to rise above imperfection.

I think it’s beautiful that we, as writers, are striving for perfection.

But first, we have to work on our imperfections.  However, you can’t work on imperfections if you don’t let them out first.

So write.  Write a bad page.  You can always edit it.  You can always make yourself stronger through it.  Don’t wait for inspiration; don’t wait for perfection.  Go make it happen.  Go get it.

Write.


What do you think?

Elithius 1.2

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So Elithius is the name of my fantasy universe; it’s also the name of my book series.  There are three separate worlds in Elithius, all connected by portals: the Golden Lands, the Gray Lands, and the Dark Lands.

There’s not much more that I’m going to say regarding the three worlds of Elithius.  If you missed anything I said about them, you can get up to speed here.


Main Characters

One thing that my series has always been applauded for is my characters.  People tell me they are realistic, very human, but also very inspirational too.  I would say that this is true mainly because I base most of my main-characters on real people!

For instance, the main character of the series, John Hedekira, is based on me.  As you would imagine, it’s a lot easier for me to convey the emotions, desires, and ups-and-downs of John, since I’m simply writing about a character who IS me.  I also think that writing my story in 1st person helps with connecting readers to my characters.

I thought that today I’d give you something of an overview of my two main-characters, the inspirations and stories behind each of them, and how they contribute to the story.

John Hedekira

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My awesome sister’s drawing of John

John is the main-main-character of the series.  He’s depicted as a 16-year-old boy/young man, full of teenage-passion, anger, frustration, and cynicism.  Having been abandoned by his parents when he was thirteen, the duty of looking after his little siblings (Cassie and Luke) has fallen to him.

John’s love for his siblings begins to deteriorate as they become equally depressed with their hard, parent-less lives, and start to distance themselves from him.  Eventually, he loses all feelings for them, and resolves to shut them out of his life and just look out for himself.

That’s when the story really kicks off.

You see, the prologue of the first book is filled with vague imagery and a lot of symbolism, namely concerning how the Evil (the bad guys of my story) affect the universe of Elithius.  One important theme that the reader should detect is that the evil inside of ourselves is directly related to the Evil (capital “e”).

How so?  To quote the book, “Evil follows where evil is committed”

And this relates to John and his siblings because…?

After blowing up at his siblings and resolving to shut them out of his life, John’s home is suddenly attacked by a band of Evil.

(Make note: John and his siblings live in the GOLDEN Lands.  To a certain degree, being invaded by Evil is totally random.)

The Evil kidnap Cassie and Luke and leave John for dead.  Thus, the story begins.

John is determined to rescue Cassie and Luke…but only out of duty towards his family.  His main goal is that of revenge; he wants to see all Evil suffer.

John, therefore, becomes the driving source of human emotion in the series.  He suffers the most out of any character, and falls the lowest.  He is consumed by the most hatred, which makes his moments of redemption that much greater.  John is unique but, in a very special way, so personally relatable to the human failings and emotions that we all have.

All of this being said, John is still the hero.  He struggles, yes.  But he is undoubtedly the hero…for reasons that I can’t say here (for the sake of avoiding spoilers!).

I like John because he is me; I get to envision myself at both high points and low points of life, and learn something about myself as a result.  Writing a story with yourself as a character can be a very humbling experience, as much as it can be empowering…and that’s the reason why I based John on myself: to learn more about myself and become a better version of myself.

And also because I thought it was just plain cool 😉

Faith Pinck

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My sister’s awesome drawing of Faith…this image reveals a bit too much…oh well!

Faith Pinck is the sweetheart of the series.  That being said, don’t mess with her either, because she is pretty handy with a bow.

Faith is based on a friend of mine, and although Faith’s character is involved in the main romance of the series, I didn’t base her on my friend for romantic reasons.  Putting my friend in the story was an attempt to give us something to talk about, in all honesty.  Whether or not that has been a success is besides the point.  Faith is an intimate part of Elithius, whether it influences my friendship with my friend or not!

So Faith left her parents for the sake of wanting to do something with her life.  She is an optimistic, generous person; maybe she doesn’t understand the way the world works, but her heart is in the right place.

Well, along comes John.  John gets beaten up by the bully of Faith’s village, and Faith brings him back to health.  John explains his mission to her, and she decides to help him…this is the kind of thing she’s been waiting for: a way to “make a difference”.

Thus, their friendship begins.

Faith, as the second-main-character, is the gentle, female counterpart of John.  She is, quite fittingly, the force of compassion, mercy, and unconditional hope for John and the rest of their friends.  She doesn’t give up on anyone, no matter how low he or she falls, no matter what situation they’ve gotten themselves into.  Although she doesn’t have as many “epic” moments as John, I think she is considerably the most “loved” character of the series.

And that’s why she’s a very special part of the series; she adds a touch of sweetness to the story, in a way that only a girl can.


What do you think?  How do you think characters should influence a story?

How To Earn Followers…and How NOT to Earn Them

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Some people claim that they really don’t care how many followers they have.  And that’s great!  Because, if all you care about is the number of followers you have, it’s easy to get depressed.  If I was only concerned with having a big following…I’d quit!

That being said, I think we can agree (especially my fellow self published authors out there!) that we would all like to be popular.  We would like to be like that OTHER blogger, who has 10,000+ followers.

So…how do we reach such a goal?

The answer is actually ridiculously simple and obvious: you need to write.

And you need to publish well-written, attractive posts.

Although I’m sure you can reason WHY this is the answer, I’m going to state it for you.  This method of publishing attractive posts works because 1) publishing posts is the only way you have the POSSIBILITY of getting seen 2) if your posts are seen, they are more likely to be read (duh) and 3) if people read your posts, maybe they’ll follow you.

The logic is elementary, my dear friends.

So in order to get followers, the only real way to do this is to write.

Attractive Posts

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Attractive…like Aragorn 😉

What would I consider to be an “attractive” post?  First, it should have a good title, something that can be meaningful to anyone.  And not an “inside joke” title, or something that only you and your “close followers” really understand.  Be practical.  Titles make a difference.

Pictures.  Pictures are important for breaking up text and adding some beauty, silliness, quirk, etc. to your posts.  They are able to draw people in…thus the “attractive” part.

I’ve honestly noticed that a few of my followers are suckers for images containing beautiful, magical scenery (I mean, who isn’t, but…).  So, I do my best to satisfy those followers and give them what they want! You know who you are 😉

So pictures are important from a visual point of view; on that note, I think it’s worthwhile to mention that your posts should have small paragraphs.  No one likes reading huge, block paragraphs.  It hurts your eyes, requires too much concentration, etc.

And lastly, make sure you have an informal writing style, with a dash of wit!  No one likes reading a ton of big words and lofty prose.  Shakespeare lived in the 1500s; don’t forget that.  Save the vocabulary and intricate prose for STORIES, not casual posts (like this one).

Unattractive Posts

tired squidward
Unattractive…like Squidward

Okay, so all of those things make for an attractive post…but what makes for an UN-attractive post?  What will turn off your followers, or make people roll their eyes at you?

Posting too much about your own personal writing endeavors.

Now I would know firsthand that this is a terrible way both to gain and keep followers interested, because I used to do this!  All I would do is write these short little posts, pitching my story constantly, basically nagging people into liking my ideas.  And you know what?  It DIDN’T WORK.

Because no one wants to be constantly listening to you promote yourself.  In the end, you sound like a self-centered jerk, who is…well, self-centered.

Okay, I get it: obviously, you SHOULD post about your personal endeavors from time to time.  Your followers SHOULD care about your endeavors; otherwise, they aren’t good followers.  But don’t make personal endeavors the focus.  Write about things that people can appreciate for THEIR OWN sake, not for YOURS.  Once they actually care about you, your writing, and your blog, then they will care about your personal writing endeavors.

Another thing that will get on people’s nerves: spamming them with comments and likes, just so that they will check out your blog in return.

It goes something like this: “Hey!   Your blog is great!  I like how you’re writing a book.  I’m writing a book too.  You should come check it out!  Thanks!”

Uhhh…..No.

This technique CAN be successful (because I used to do this too!), but it doesn’t gain you followers that actually care.  And, let’s face it, having someone like ten of your posts, only to post a comment like that, shows you how LITTLE they care, and how fake their Likes are.   In the end, it’s kind of offensive.

So don’t do that either 🙂

The best way to gain followers is to write attractive posts, and be courteous.  Be honest.  Read OTHER people’s posts, and be proactive.  Comment thoughtfully, not for personal gain.  Create a good, clean, healthy atmosphere, and it will pay off.  Follow who you WANT to follow, not out of pity or obligation.  Otherwise, will you really be following them?

What do you think?