The Instance of Gold

What is it to us if people view our work? Does it actually matter how many hits our site takes, or how much recognition we get from fans?

The answer is yes, it does matter. Everyone wants to be noticed whether they want to admit it to themselves or not. It’s the way our human minds work. To feel respected and honored at finding out that people appreciate all the hard work that we do.

Because, my fellow bloggers, we do work hard.

We follow our dreams whether it is writing, painting, or socializing. We step foot into a world where no one else dares to go, because they see it as foolish and not the “correct” way of life.  The biggest thing that separates us is that we have a dream. A dream to be bigger, and greater, than we are right now. To achieve what seems to be the impossible, but we know deep down in our hearts that our dream is true.

Can you feel it. That raw energy coursing through your bones as you do the thing you love. Writers getting a sensual high when they’re on the brink of a tremendous idea, just like when painters feel the rhythm in their brush as they paint the flowers.

It may take time for you to notice it, or for you to find the one thing that makes up your dream in life.

The reason I’m bringing this up on this very special day is that I have finally found my purpose. I’ve known for years that I wanted to be a writer. Storming the impossible book industry that is incredibly hard to break through.  It was today though, while I was sitting in class that I realized I don’t need to follow the “correct” way of life anymore.

Why should I waste my time learning things that I don’t care to learn about. Why shouldn’t I focus my energy on figuring out the book industry now instead of learning about the history of a writer who has been dead for over 100 years?

For many, we may feel the pressure to follow the way our societies want us to go. They may force school down your throat, or shove a big paying job in your hands, and tell you to be happy because you are successful….

But is that truly being successful?

Because if you aren’t able to do the one thing that makes you happy, is that a success!?!

I’ve learned through life, as a creative person, that I don’t belong in the social majority. Writing should be my life, and it WILL be my life all because of a dream to be great.

I’m not trying to tell anyone that they need to quit school or leave their jobs, but what I’m trying to show you is that just because it’s the norm, does NOT mean you have to follow the rules.

Rules are made to break. And when you finally see that your heart and soul are with you on this journey those rules will vanish completely.

Follow your heart and know that with each step you take it gf-heartbrings you closer to your dreams.

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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.

Quenching Your Thirst: The Hunger Games Trilogy

Happy Thirst-day!

On this special edition, I will be critiquing the Hunger Games Trilogy all in one. With so many fans and public awareness, I will simply be stating more about my own thoughts on the series rather than on an individual book.hunger_games_trilogy (1)

Name:

      Book 1– The Hunger Games

      Book 2– Catching Fire

      Book 3– Mockingjay

Author: Suzanne Collins

YA Genre: Dystopian

Pages:  1163 Combined

Reading time:  1 week

Rating: 3 out of 5

Trilogy Overview:

Well if you haven’t heard about this book or series already, here is a quick overview. Katniss Everdeen lives in a dystopian world where people are being mistreated by the government. As punishment for a battle fought close to a century ago, the government forces 24 kids from the rebellion 

side and makes them enter a game for their life. Everyone has played by the rules the last 75 years, obeying the strict eye of the government.

 Until Katniss comes along.

catching fire

She defies the government by using her wit and “charm” to overcome the challenges the government poses on her. 

As almost everyone knows there are movies based on these books. The first one has already come out being a big hit and the second comes out in theaters on November 22, 2013.

So read the series before the movie premier and compare the two.

Trilogy Review:

I must say, for a trilogy that has been the in the hype of entertainment for the last few years, I was thoroughly disappointed. After watching the first movie about a year ago, I loved the entire idea of the hunger games,  but now after reading the series I was stunned into an agitated silence. This dystopian feel of the books only showed even deeper in the books. So deep that you began to see how helpless the entire cause was for the protagonist of the story.

When I read stories I don’t look for happy endings, or for a guy to save the girl like in the Disney fairytales. Instead I look for morals from the author. What message is the author trying to send to her readers is a huge part about why I love books, but the message throughout this trilogy was next to nothing but depressing. It gives no hope to our race as humans, basically saying that we are meant to suffer and continue suffering and shouldn’t look for a happier outcome.
Is this really what America wants to see in the next few decades?

Back in the great depression years, America used to fantasize about superheroes like superman and captain america, and now look at what we wish upon our nation and the world. All we can think about is a zombie apocalypse, Dystopian worlds for our future, and aliens massacring the world.

These books are no exception to this way of thinking, and without a message from the author telling us about how we can get past it I will never appreciate these books in the literary world.

Life should be about overcoming the darkness of our day to day lives and instead this trilogy leaves a sour taste in my mouth and words I wish I had never read.

Please let me know how you liked the books, because I did enjoy them while I was reading. It was just the message that crumpled my hopes for the story.

Does Word Count Matter?

Does word count matter?

This is a question every author must face while writing their book. I wish it weren’t true, but I think that may be the case.  With my book reaching 100,000 words, it can be lengthy for someone who has never been published before. This truly isn’t very large, but when you look at the young adult genre they recommend around 60 or 80 thousand…not 10! Young readers like quick reads, and if they don’t know the author they may not pick up a large book.

Personally I love large books. The BIGGER they are the BETTER!!!

Here are a few tips to keep in mind while writing your books. The things you should be thinking about before and after.

1. Focus on writing-

While writing your book, DO NOT think about the word count at all! Right now I am writing the first novel to a trilogy I am working on and I keep repeating to myself, “I need to keep it short, I only want 60,000 words.” But I’ve realized that while that is going through my head I am missing some very important conversations between my characters.

Sure I can try to slim my book down a little, but the truth is-  the less you write the more likely you will skip over a really important part.

So the moral is to FOCUS on your writing and not on how long it should be.

2. Editing the rough draft-

Your all done with your book! You feel great like you had just climbed Mount Everest or finished a Marathon. The problem is…now comes the hard part.

Writing your book was easier then editing.

When you go back and edit your book you may notice that some of the great ideas you had before didn’t work out so well. In the process of editing you need to first take out everything you don’t need, and add in the things you do need. After rereading through the book several times you should be getting a feel of how long your book is actually going to be.

3. Final Changes-

Now is the time to fully embrace the length of your book. Is it too long, too short? If your new to publishing you should really consider not having your word count stand out. Most agents don’t like unique lengths by unpublished authors. The more subtle the word count the better.

So if its too long, you need to say good bye to a few of your pages/chapters. You’ve already reduced the amount of things you absolutely don’t want in your story, but now you need to realize some parts need to be pulled for the sake of selling.

I hope this helps those thinking about word count. And remember,  if you don’t have a strong writer’s platform you might want to think of what your genre requires on length.

As Always,

A. Willow

An Expression of Rejection

To express one’s self on a page is hard to do. It comes from the soul hidden deep behind the corners of your mind. All you want to focus on is what feels real, what feels right.

But then you get rejection after rejection and you can’t help to think that maybe your miracle will never happen.

Becoming published is a business you must have patience in, which I lack severally. I wish the day would come where I can float among the clouds of achievement, where I can see my work on a shelf and I can say “That’s my baby. That’s my treasured book.”

To imagine that moment brings tears of joy to my eyes. To actually think I could be chosen for such a high achievement. I just have to keep telling myself, be patient, work hard, and  soon you’ll get there.

If you are in the same position as I am, I just want you to know that a rejection isn’t the end of the world. You just have to believe that out of all the thousands of literary agents out there only ONE is perfect for you. We just haven’t found them yet.

Stay inspired to write, and you’ll get there when the time is right.

A. Willow