Writer Appreciation!

This post is to my fellow writers I have interacted with online. I would like to thank everyone for being brave enough to put their work out there and show the world what we can do. Today I will be dedicating my time to showing everyone the fascinating things I have found on the web within the past week. They are all blogs and I hope everyone can get a chance to support and create that sense of strong community I know we have.

Blog 1– The first I would like to show grabbed my attention as a fantasy genre writer, but after looking at the picture it became much deeper. Not only did she write a wonderful expression of what we need to do when we are going through pain, but she also gives a drawing she drew herself. I loved this combination, and you are my #1 for the week! Keep up the good work Emily, and show everyone your wisdom of getting past the hard times. Feel free to look her up at  Emily’s Remedies at Life is Pain

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Blog 2–  The next blogger is someone whose writing spoke out to me. She has written a book that I am planning on reading soon, but after reading the first few chapters I fell in love with the way she writes. Please visit Bledel Brook’s  blog Live’s I’ve Lived and check out her book on Amazon. Its about overcoming hardships of a young girl growing up into a woman.

Blog 3– A simple father that warms the heart of all of us. Short poems make it an easy quick read, but they stay in your heart and soul for the whole day through. Click on the  The Happy Husband and see what a father can produce through love and caring affection.

Blog 4– The last one of the day is another poem. This specific poem shows us that we may not like the person on shattered-mirrorthe other side of the mirror, but we should handle with reason and not a brutal force of destruction. You should visit the blog Saleem Dreams and the poem Self Reflections. And take a look at his other poems as well.

Thank you fellow writers and dreamers for sharing your hard work with the world. I chose you specifically because I found inspiration in each of your posts. There is a light that shines, and shows that human beings can overcome the dark side of ourselves. In this world today, too many people are falling to the darkness, and I find these writings refreshing. There is hope, there can be change, and there is love out there. We just have to go out and find it!

Please let me know any thought, comment or question you may have. I like talking to aspiring writers, and would love to grow my community with you!

Your community friend,

A. Willow

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Getting a New Slice of Life

Hello Blog Followers,

I would like to say thank you for supporting me and my blog in the past. Although you may have been here before it looks much different now. I did  change my “cray cray for Ya” to “The world of A. willow”.  And here is why….

I felt that the young adult topic was too limiting. I was working with too many blogs at once, and now I am bringing them all together in one wonderful package. I am still an avid Young adult reader and writer, but now I will be posting new things along with the YA topic. These include: poetry, very short stories,  tutorials and help on writing, and just about how my day is going. This in the long run will help you keep better track of me, and I will be posting more often.  

Also with a new name I am getting a new vibe. Blue is cool and relaxing, and I felt it was better for my site to half a water vibe of calm, cool, and yet still energizing. 

Feel free to comment below about what you think, and if you like or dislike this new change. Thanks to everyone and I hope you all have a good day!

Sincerely A. Willow

 

Having Dialogue Anxiety?

Hello fellow writers,

For some of us dialogue comes to us easily and it’s the first thing we think of. Others of us may struggle with certain words in a phrase but know the basic idea of what we want to write. Then there are the unfortunate who don’t have a clue what the characters are going to say.

I have experienced all three of these in the writing of my books, and I’m here to give you some helpful tips as well as advice on why it may not be working for you.

When it comes down to dialogue and getting it right really depends on how well you know your characters. So please take this into consideration as I give the examples below.

Scenario 1: You know exactly what your characters are going to say and can write out conversations easily-

Congratulations! This means you know your characters very well, but you still must be careful. When you start getting used to your characters word choices you can become redundant and continually say the same things over and over again. Don’t worry though, first write everything out: finish the book, chapter, or sentence that’s in your head. Although, to avoid a catastrophe of words you must go back after a long break, and reread everything. You may be surprised how many “Aha’s, So’s and But’s” you find consistently within a chapter.This is when you must reshape and mold the words so your dialogue can flourish.

Scenario 2: You kinda sort know what you want to say, but you kinda sorta need help.

All you need to do is write, write, write. Even if you don’t know what your characters are going to say exactly, the best way to figure it out is to write out the scene. Even if the dialogue doesn’t match your characters personalities you know what is going to happen. This action forces you to get everything off your chest and its the editing part that can get a little difficult. Look over the dialogue and just continue to edit until you get your characters voice. Although I must warn you, if you try editing ten minutes after you write it, all you are going to do is frustrate yourself and be thrown into a dark place you won’t want to be in. My advice to you is skip over this section if you want to continue writing, wait a few days (a week is best) and then go back and think as hard as you want to on the dialogue. It’s never good to get dialogue anxiety and the best way to avoid dialogue becoming your enemy is by leaving it alone for a while.

If that still doesn’t help, and you can’t even write out the scene then you my dear friend are having writers block. Its at the point where you know what you want to write, you know how you want the scene to go, but you just can’t think of how to write it out.

If you need more help on writers block please visit my other posts that will help you more thoroughly:  Writers Block and How to Handle it.

Scenario 3: Your characters are elusive and there is nowhere you can go without saying to yourself, “Dang, I know what he will do but how the hell does he respond to this?”

Dialogue is hard enough as it is, but when you don’t know your characters as well as you should dialogue nearly becomes an impossibility. Think of it this way, when you are talking with a friend or a family member, you always seem to know what they’re going to say . Are you psychic!?! Sadly, your probably not. You just know that person very well, and if you know your characters well you’ll know what they’ll say in any situation. Your characters need to become your best friends, your family, and the people you know best. If you don’t know them well enough then you NEED to.

My best advice for you is to go explore the world. If someone you know acts like your character go become their best friend for a week. If your character is like a TV show star then go stalk them for a month (the character on TV, NOT the actual star. I am not encouraging you to go lurk outside someones house!) If you don’t have a clue  on anyone who is like your character, then you have to go take risks and adventurous endeavors.

For example:photo

If your single go date people you never even thought you would be interested in. You don’t have to be into them, but I will tell you this. Dating someone is going to let a lot more doors open for you then just listening in on conversations. When you date someone you get very personal and hopefully honest with the other person. You begin to notice their little quirks on the third date and possibly even learn why they’re tormented by large dogs.

Here is why I know this can work.

For about a year I was stuck on my second novel in my series. I knew what I wanted the protagonist to be like, I knew what skills he would have, but I had no clue how he would react or what he would say, because to be honest I had never met a guy like this before. Then one day an opportunity arose and a guy asked me on a few dates. To be honest I wasn’t completely into him, but I thought why not give him a chance.

That chance turned into me finally being able to step out of my writers block and write-write-write until my book was finally complete.

Meeting new people gives you the chance to meet the character you never knew!

So whether you are stuck with what to say, or if it comes fluidly, you must look over every detail. Get out into the world, listen to conversations, and explore. Dialogue may not be your top priority but it’s very important to your book, short story, or novel.

Struggling Through the Abyss of Time

Hello Fellow Writers,

Today I will share with you a problem I have been facing over the last six months. I have bashed myself down time and time again because I simply tell myself, “I don’t have any time to write.”

Is this statement true for me as well as for you? Do you feel that time is your enemy with your studies, work, family, and friends that you are unable to make time for your writing?

For some this is a daily struggle, others a few times a month, and a few that hardly have to worry about time. To those of you who don’t worry about timing Hurray to you! but for the rest of us time-crunchers, here are a few of my thoughts that may help you as well as me.

imageThe way we writers must view things no matter how busy we are is that time doesn’t stop just because you’ve stopped writing. You may want to be a big famous author or poet one day, but here’s the thing, if you aren’t writing you are stuck in time. The literary world isn’t going to stop the busy route it’s taking and slab you on the best sellers list.

You have to work for that all on your own.

You won’t be handed your accomplishments, instead you will have to work for what you want in life. We as writers must MAKE time everyday to write, we must make time to market ourselves every week, and we most certainly have to send out our works at least once a month. You need to start being that annoying writer who never takes no for an answer. Get your name out to the public, the publishers, and the literary agents. You need to imagine yourself as a persistent hornet, striking at every opportunity you are given.

Praying to God, talking to your friends, and writing when you simply feel like it isn’t going to be enough.

In america we have this sort of motto, that you can do anything you put your heart to, AS LONG AS YOU WORK YOUR TAIL OFF!

There are no tomorrows without the beginning of today, so start getting off the “another day” train and begin writing today!

Write, write, write.

Work, work, work.

And Advertise yourself.

I know that time might seem like it’s out to get you, but honestly only you can take time by the shirt collar and hold it down to go in the direction you want. Time is not completely our enemy, it just takes the courage to becomes friends with it and make it a frenemy.

Should You Judge a Book by its Cover?

I’m sure many of you have heard time and time again to never, EVER, judge a book by its cover. It’s something that’s been drilled into us since the first time we could read, but does it still do us any good to ignore the one thing that catches our eye?

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 I am here to tell you to Stop following this rule and to START judging!

The phrase, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” may truly have  meant something a decade or so ago, but with this new generation of YA books it’s hard not to disagree?

In earlier years I put my heart and soul into this one little phrase, but as the years went by, the more books I read, the more I realized covers in the Young Adult genre are unique for a reason. YA has stepped up to be the boldest genre in the book world, and for that reason publishers are putting more time into their covers. Covers are now providing the readers with more meaning behind the artwork, and beginning to grasp the concept of the book as  a whole. All it takes is to take a  closer look, into the depths of the illustration itself.

Today I will tell you how to judge a book, and why it is significant.

There are 3 specific qualities that will help you:

Step 1. What grabs at your heart?- There are people who believe that artwork is the gateway into one’s soul. So look around and find the cover that speaks out to you.  When skimming through the hundreds of books on the shelf, it’s easier to find a cover you fall in love with a lot faster than reading every single back that you pass.

So, when you find that one book that seems to be screaming out your name, take it!

Step 2. Take a closer look- Glimpsing a magnificent cover isn’t the same as thoroughly inspecting it. There are going to be certain quirks to the cover that tell you what specific sub-genre it is, and little quirks that will tell you the main theme or plot of the story. For instance, it will be pretty easy to tell if it is a contemporary, romance, fantasy, or paranormal book by just looking at the cover. Teens in their swimsuits on a beach is usually contemporary, while a wolf standing next to a girl with odd colored eyes is normally going to be paranormal. After doing this, you’re going to start getting a sense of the book you are holding in your hand, but we must dig deeper to find the actual story within the artwork.

Usually, the cover will hold a certain trait that is very significant for that book. It will be a little hidden symbol that represents the book as a whole. It could be as simple as a phrase on the front, or a discolored star in the sky, or simply a rock on the ground that is glowing from the moonlight. This shows the interesting aspect that makes the book unique.

Step 3. When in doubt, don’t toss it out- If you aren’t sure about the cover, or even if you’re obsessed, you should still read the back before placing it back. YA covers are supposed to help you decide if the book is right for you, but they shouldn’t be the ultimate decision. The back is there to guide you further into the story you have already seen unfolding in the cover-art.  So when I say you should judge a book by its cover, what I’m actually saying is you should judge a book by the front cover first, and then the back .

With such an intense and wide variety of YA, it might seem like you are being bombarded by all these books you could never hope to read in your lifetime. These steps are supposed to help you find the book that YOU love, but if you have a natural knack for adventure, then maybe it would be wise for you to do the opposite.

Enjoy your crazy cover journey, and let me know how it goes!

What Makes YA Different From Adult Books?

….*Sex and Money
…………………….*Rape and Porn
………………………………………..*Murder and Blood
These are all things that are the *BAM, in your face, type of topics when you read an adult novel. Unlike Teen books, you won’t find a lot of restrictions on what is acceptable to write.
The way I view YA is that it brings in a soft flowing transition into these dramatically dark elements. Instead of reading a book that’s filled with the little details of how a man carefully dismembered all the limbs, and decapitated his head with an axe spitting up the immense density of blood that speckled the entire room with blots of red,  YA takes it a notch down from the extreme level. Don’t get me wrong, YA is still very descriptive and beautifully written, but it’s highly likely you will keep your lunch down much easier without swallowing up that sort of intensity.

Another way is through Emotions! :You might stumble across a similar phrase as this one when reading a YA novel.
“I know it’s not the end of the world, but it sure as hell feels like it!”

16_allison-scott[1]As many of you know, teens are raging with so many hormones, half the time, they don’t think before they act. While adult books bring in emotions a little smoother and more reasonably thought out, YA is a falling chaotic mess of emotions. Now, for example,  if a guy doesn’t think before he takes that big smooch, obvious complications are going to arise. YA involves the teenager’s journey through strong relationships as well as rebelling against anything trying to stop them.(Lets face it, all of us went through this stage!)

When they have that many hormones attacking their body, who would blame them for acting the way they do?

I say let them think it’s the end of the world, because in the end their dramatic lives make irresistibly tasty books.