Tagged: Elithius

Getting On the “Write” Side of People—Writer’s Etiquette

spam

Yes, I know that pun in the title was cheesy.  Getting on the “write” side of people?  Seriously…

But anyway, what does all that mean?

Today, I want to briefly share my thoughts about writing etiquette…meaning the way you approach other writers, particularly through the blogosphere.

A lot of the time, we are excited about our own ideas and writing endeavors.  And that is great.  We should be.  If we aren’t excited about what we’re writing, how can we expect others to be?  We think we have totally awesome, unique stories, with attractive, relatable characters, twisted villains, crazy relationships that work out in the end…and we want to share our joy with others.

It’s totally common.  Don’t ever beat yourself up for wanting to share and express your excitement for your own creativity.

Buuuuuut…..

That doesn’t mean you should be shoving yourself in other people’s faces.

tired squidward

When you constantly try to promote yourself…

Look, I get it, we all want to promote ourselves.  Heck, we would all like to be PAID for our ideas, our stories, our hard, written work.  Money is tight when it comes to writing, because you’re either a self-published author (like me), or your an aspiring author waiting for an agent or publisher to get back to you.

It seems like all of our problems will be solved if we simply earn ourselves a nice fat following.  The goal is to have an audience that is so in love with your book, they love it as much as you do.  But how do you go about OBTAINING this audience?

The Wrong Way

“Hi, I’m so-and-so.  I just wrote a book that I think you’ll love.  Would you mind following me so you can get all the updates on my story?  Thanks!”

Bliiiiaaaaaaaaaahhhhh….

The first time you see a comment or email like this, you might be like “Oh, sure!”  But by the tenth time or so, you’re like, “Seriously?” :/

To a degree, I think it’s always fair to give people a chance.  If they want you to check out their book, you might as well do it…give them points for reaching out.

But the problem is, it’s annoying, or even rude, when someone makes a comment on one of your posts that is COMPLETELY unrelated.  In fact, it’s sort of like someone being like:

“I found a new blog.  I’m going to pitch my book to them!”

The problem with this attitude is that it creates a sense of CONSUMERISM.  Everyone is out to get something, but no one wants to give.  No one cares about community.  It’s all about, “Hey, look at me!”

Everyone might be checking each other’s books out, but nobody will be SEEING.

The Right Way

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If you have to pitch your book to someone, if you feel so inclined, be polite about it.  Seriously.  Validate the fact that you might be annoying them, that you aren’t trying to bother them.  Essentially, be human, not some promotional robot.

However, the best way to gain the audience you want and surround yourself with people that are interested in your ideas is to be a PART of that community you desire.

Nothing can be gained without something being given first.  You don’t have to watch Fullmetal Alchemist to believe that 😉

If you want an audience that’s crazy about you, find some people you are crazy about.  Find other bloggers who like the same things, read the same things, and are fighting for the same things.  I have discovered this by entering a community of aspiring writers…which, believe me, is a very big part of the blogosphere!

Become a part of a community.  Comment without wanting something in return.  Like a post without doing it to be noticed.  And follow people out of genuine interest.  What’s more, write about more than just yourself.  Promoting your ideas is great, but it can be annoying to see an endless stream of somebody else’s dream showing up in your inbox.


I hope this post wasn’t offensive to anybody, and I hope it helped enlighten some of you!  Thanks for being a great community!


Another subtle way to promote yourself is to do what I’m doing 🙂

I’d like to show you the cover of my book, and provide a link to where you can find it on Amazon (99 cents as an eBook, $12 as a gorgeous paperback):

Check it out, if you get the chance 🙂

Elithius 1.4

elithius-banner

 

I think we can all agree that our love for a particular story has to do with waaaay more than just the plot.  Don’t get me wrong, everyone loves a fast-paced, intricate, well-planned plot.  After all, if there ISN’T a good plot, then the story will stink…

…no matter how awesome the characters themselves are.

But this doesn’t change the fact that being able to connect with characters is something awesome and extremely special.  Great characters make stories meaningful to us in a personal way; great characters make stories memorable; they can even change the way we view life or ourselves.

Having unique but relatable characters in your story is something every writer should strive for.

I am therefore proud to share that my series, back when it used to be called The Golden Lands, has been praised for having characters that are both human but morally-inspiring.  Nowadays, it can be hard to find characters that can be both.

If a character is too “human”, perhaps they lack the ability to inspire us to be better.  If a character is too upright or saintly, everyone rolls their eyes and thinks, “This is unrealistic.”

How do my characters fit into both categories?

john banner

Elizabeth M’s awesome depiction of John, the main character of TGL/Elithius!

John Hedekira is the main character of my series.  Throughout the series, John struggles with feelings of vengeance towards his enemies, anger towards his friends, confusion within himself and towards his family, and emotional insecurity about his (lack of) parents.  Sometimes he’ll make a poor decision when it comes to intense moral dilemmas, acting off of his gut instead of what’s right.

But John is also very brave.  And he stands up for others when they can’t.  He wants to help to people, still possessing a sense of child-like (but not childish) sense of innocence and heroism that we all should have.  He makes up for his wrongs and he exercises forgiveness and justice.

Image result for avatar the last airbender pic

I remember having a conversation with my dad and older brother about the characters of Avatar: The Last Airbender.  We decided that there was something extremely unique and humbling about the sense of heroism that Aang and Zuko and the other characters had.  Why?  Because they were just kids/teenagers.

I think that some people tend to brush off the pure, inspirational effect that kids can have on us.  Avatar: The Last Airbender is an example of how younger characters are able to teach us some big lessons…and just because the lessons come from younger characters doesn’t make the lessons any less true.

I’m not saying that Elithius is like Avatar.  Elithius is more mature and way darker on a number of levels.  I’m simply drawing a comparison because both stories have young-adult characters.

Here’s what some people have said about the characters in my series:

“This is a well-paced story with compelling main characters and plenty of action”-Smashwords Review

“…John Hedekira and Faith Pinck are both realistic characters with depth, and the story is fast-paced and exciting…”-Smashwords Review

“…The characters are very realistic and the action scenes are amazing…”-Smashwords Review

“…John and Faith’s characters continue to become more developed, and the action scenes are brilliant…”-Smashwords Review

“…The book is well written. The characters, landscape, and especially fight scenes are artfully described by the author…”-Amazon Review


What do you think?  What’s your opinion on character structuring?

Will You Love Me?

The closer we get to the point where we are ready to press “publish”…the inner fear begins to grow.  The quivering starts.  The doubt sets in.  Because, as writers, we know that our careers don’t just depend on us…they depend on our readers.  On our audiences.  We try our hardest.  Will it matter in the end?

Publishing date is approaching.  And this isn’t a question I can answer, but, “Will you love me?”

Image result for picture of a clock ticking down

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?

eBooks or Print? Which Do You Prefer?

Image result for picture of someone reading an ebook

eBooks…

Which one do you prefer?  eBooks are obviously WAY easier to obtain.  If I’m not really sure if I’ll like a book, I’ll buy the eBook version so that it doesn’t have to take up space in my house.  eBooks are also just way more convenient, since you can buy them in the comfort of your home, and you don’t have to wait for them to get delivered to you.

That being said, I think many people are still in love with holding and looking at a PHYSICAL book…or at least I am.  This generation still isn’t internet/technologically friendly enough to respect reading on a computer, tablet, etc.  I’ve never really minded reading books on my devices, but there’s something special about reading a book in print.

Image result for picture of someone reading a book

…or print?

For instance, I think it’s easier to be proud of a physical book that you’re reading; you can take it anywhere and look like an intellectual boss (if that exists)!  I also think that, for promotional reasons, having books in print is better, because other people can actually SEE that you’re reading a book written by so-and-so.  If you’re just reading an eBook on your phone or tablet, it’s harder for people to see that and become aroused by what you’re reading.

Which one do you guys prefer though?  As an author, hearing what you have to say is important to me! eBooks are convenient, print is classy.  Any thoughts?

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?