Greetings My Peeps!

NaNoWriMo: is it worth it?

Greetings My Lovelies!

 

For years I’ve heard and seen people talk about NaNoWriMo, which stands for National November Writing Month.  The basic premise of this event is for you to pump out a 50k word story in 30 days.  I’ve never worried about it because that seemed like an awful amount of work that I wasn’t sure if I was ready to tackle.  But this year I decided to give it a go.  I mean what’s the worse that can happen?  My writing has been pretty much non-existent lately so I’m hoping that this will help kick my butt into gear and get me back into the habit or writing a little bit each day.  

So here’s what I’ve learned so far.

Setting up is pretty easy.  It’s free!  The daily goal is 1667 words a day.  But there a ton of resources to help you.  There are forums for any and all topics to help you if you get stuck.  They also have this nifty thing called Word Sprints which is basically a timer that you set and try to punch out as many words as you can within that time frame.  When racing against the clock, you don’t have time to worry over every single word.  Using sprints is a great way to really hit the word count.  You can also join up with your region and gain access to write ins around you.  Write ins are exactly what they sound like.  People participating in NaNoWriMo meet up and write together.  It’s a great way to meet your fellow writers.  The region I’m in has their own open chat room where you can join in on word sprints or ask questions and get help in real time.

It’s only four days into it but I’m going pretty strong.  I just attended my 1st write in it was nice to meet writers near me.  At the end of the month I’ll check back in with you guys and let you know what pros and cons I discovered during this process.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo?  Comment below and share your tags!  We can pair up and do this challenge together!

 

Want other content?  Want to get to know me on a personal level?  Follow me on my other sites by clicking the links below:

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book reviews, Greetings My Peeps!

Book Review: Catwoman Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas

Greetings My Lovelies!

 

It’s Monday so that’s means that it’s time once again for me to do a book review.  Yea! So here’s how this works. I rate books on a scale of coffee cups….because I love coffee.  Also there will be no spoilers in these reviews.

 

0 cups= I hated it/couldn’t finish

1 cup= did like but finished bc I’m stubborn

2 cups= meh

3 cups= Not the best but interesting enough to finish

4 cups= I really like it.  

5 cups=OMG YOU HAVE TO READ THIS

Rating:

4 Cups

 

General Overview:

This is the third installment of the DC Icon series.  It follows Selina Kyle as she returns to Gotham City and sets herself up as the Queen of the Underworld.  Instead of Batman, they pair her up with Luke Fox, the son of Lucius Fox, with the call sign of Batwing.  We see some old favorites like Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, and the Joker.  This story has an ending that I never saw coming.

 

My Thoughts:

As a kid I loved Catwoman.  I still do today (minus that Halley Berry film).  Catwoman lives her life by her own rules and no one else.  I also love Sarah J Maas.  I stumbled across her Throne of Glass series and instantly fell in love then I read A Court of Thorn and Roses and sold my soul to her.  So this mash up of my two favorite women was a match made in heaven.  I had no idea where the book was heading but that’s the way I like it.  I never got the impression that Selina was whole good or bad, which is true to her character.  I loved the cat and mouse between Catwoman and Batwing.  It never bothered me once that she wasn’t with Batman.  The ages wouldn’t work so hey…I also loved the Harley and Ivy dynamic.  All in all, another good read from my queen.

 

Reread factor:

This was an entertaining read.  I’ll definitely read it again at some point, but probably when I stumble across it on my shelves.

 

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Greetings My Peeps!, writing help

World Building for Dummies

Greetings My Lovelies!

 

The world that you build for your characters to play in can make or break your story.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come across a story that was great but I spent half the time confused because I was trying to understand the rules of the world.  Sometimes they give me names of people or cultures without explaining anything about it and then roll on.  Or sometimes they’ll sum up what appears to be complex magical system with a few short sentences and never build.  

Now I had decided that I wanted to do a world building post a while back, but as I sat down to get into it, I realized that it was an awfully big concept to squeeze into a few short paragraphs.  I mean, no one wants to reach a mile long post.  So I’ve decided that the better course of action would be to split it up into smaller, more manageable sections.  These being land, people, religion, economy, the every day man, crime, and finally maps. I know what you’re thinking….how can I build a world when I don’t have a world to go off on.  Trust me.  It will all make sense when it’s all said and done with. 

But just one small thing before I leave you.  World building is essential to your writing.  There’s no half assing it, or getting around it.  Not every world build has to be elaborate or complex, although, if you are making a whole new world from scratch you might want to put some extra though into it.  If your world is just a slight variation of this one then all you really need to do is figure out how the changes you made will logically fit.  And there’s the key word logic.  Even in fantasy worlds there has to be a bit of logic when it comes to the inner workings of your world.

Well that’s it for today.  If you any questions about world building, comment below.  I’ll try to make sure I address them in their proper places or right away if you say it’s an emergency.

On a different note….

My book, Time of Prophecy is available in paperback and e-reader.  Follow the link here for a list of all the places you can find it.  I hope you enjoy reading it as much a I enjoyed writing it!

 

Want other content?  Want to get to know me on a personal level?  Follow me on my other sites by clicking the links below:

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Want to help me continue putting out content be it book reviews, writing help, or epic stories, click the link below and become a patron today!  Patrons get special goodies like sneak previews, bonus content, and opportunities not available to public.

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See ya next time!

 

Greetings My Peeps!, writing help

Fiverr a Hidden Gem!

Greetings My Lovelies!

 

Boy oh boy what a week.  I have survived my first week at school back with my students.  I have to say that it went pretty well.  But that makes me afraid for this week.  Positive thoughts though. 

Any who, let me tell you about this nifty little sight that I came across thanks to one of my favorite Youtubers, Safiya Nygaard.  She does a lot of weird posts and I love her.  Well one thing that she tried was Fiverr and that got me wondering if it could be used for writers.  I have not been paid to talk about this site.  This is just for fun/my opinion.

Now if you’re not familiar with Fiverr its a website where freelancers can post their resume.  Think of it like the personals in a newspaper.  Most of the jobs cost….that’s right 5 bucks, but there are more expensive ones too.  Those tend to belong to the professionals.  There’s a wide range of freelancers to choose from.  All you have to do is enter what you’re searching for and then have at it.  So far I’ve used Fiverr for editing and book cover designs.

The editors I’ve used are super friendly and they won’t break the bank.  Now I can hear a few of you already. “But if they’re cheap, they’re bad.”  Maybe but any editor worth their salt should be willing to talk to you about the changes they made.  If they don’t then you have a bad editor, no matter the cost.  Editors are there to help you and to help make sure that your book is the best that it can be.  I’ve seen big publisher books with mistakes.  No one’s perfect, but if you’re just starting out, you gotta do the best that you can with the funds that you have and a cheap editor is better than no editor at all.  Now some editors aren’t familiar with novel writing and rule bending that comes with that. But once you explain your thought process they will either agree with you or help explain it better.  I’ll use them again for future novels.  It  cost me about $300 for a custom job.  All in all it never hurts to ask.

I used to make all my book covers to help cut costs.  It’s not a bad option but what I wanted exceeded my skill level, time to learn, and patience to apply.  So for 30 bucks I got a new cover for a previous book (you know to test the waters).  Let’s say that I will be using this person again.  The thing that many cover designers do is have you pick the images that you like and then they blend it into your cover. Some have unlimited revisions while others only allow for three.  So please make sure that you look at everything before you hand over cash.

But overall, for the services that I’ve used, I can say that I’m satisfied with what I got.  The next service I want to check out would be book interiors.  I’ll be sure to let y’all know when and if I do.

Question Time:

Have you used Fiverr before?  For what?

Where did you find your editor/book cover designer?

Comment below, I’d love to hear from you!

 

See ya next time!

Want other content?  Want to get to know me on a personal level?  Follow me on my other sites by clicking the links below:

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book reviews, Greetings My Peeps!

Book Review: Willa of the Wood by Robert Beatty

Greetings My Lovelies!

 

It’s Monday so that’s means that it’s time once again for me to do a book review.  Yea!  So here’s how this works.  I rate books on a scale of coffee cups….because I love coffee.  Also there will be no spoilers in these reviews.

0 cups= I hated it/couldn’t finish

1 cup= did like but finished bc I’m stubborn

2 cups= meh

3 cups= Not the best but interesting enough to finish

4 cups= I really like it.  

5 cups=OMG YOU HAVE TO READ THIS

 

Rating:

4 Cups

General Overview:

We find ourselves once again in the mountains of North Carolina where magic still lives.  It is here that we meet the young thief Willa as she struggles to earn praise from her clan’s leader and to ensure her peoples survival.  Willa belongs to a race of creatures call Faeran. The were once a great people who were friends to all manner of flora and fauna, but now they are dying out.  They blame this on the influx of human homesteaders and developers who are encroaching on their lands. But not all is what it seams. When Willa gets hurt on a thieving job, her world gets thrown into chaos and she questions everything.  As she does, she discovers some horrible truths as well as some pleasant ones. By the end everything is settle but not in the way that you hope

My Thoughts:

Once again Beatty brings us to the magic that can only be found in the mountains.  I love how he works alongside Native American and folklorist. Willa is a character that I feel sorry for.  Unlike Seraphina in the first set of books, Willa’s world is harsh before everything hits the fan. It’s amazing that she even retained the capacity to grow at all.  I really don’t want to go into more because I fear it might end up in spoiler land and I don’t want to to do that to anyone. But this book sucks you in slowly and surely, leaving you crying but happy at the end.  

Reread factor:

This is one that I will definitely read again when the mood strikes me.  When I get around to having children, this will for sure be a bedtime story.

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See ya next time!

Greetings My Peeps!, writing help

5 Tips for Writing Scenes

Greetings My Lovelies!

 

Scenes make up everything in writing….

If you didn’t know well now ya know (Hamilton).

Writing them can be excruciating.   How do you create the right amount of emotion using only words?  I mean it’s not like you can add lens flares, choir boys singing, or dramatic music to your scenes….or can you?  Here are 5 tips to help you write better scenes.

1.   Does this scene even need to be included?

This may seem like a simple and slightly ridiculous question to ask, but it’s important.  Can you story carry on without this scene?  If the answer is yes then cut the scene.  Scenes need to convey something be it emotional development, action that moves the plot forward, or shows some form of character development or show something about the character(s). If the scene you’re planning on doesn’t meet any of that, then it might be best to cut it.

2.    Use the five senses.

Now I know this is a common suggestion but just how in the world are you supposed to do that.  Well here’s what I do using an action scene.

We heard them before we saw them.  The ground thundered beneath our feet; the terrible drumming march of a thousand demons.  My men shifted behind me, their chain mail and armor clinking softly.  The wind shifted and with it came the fetid odor that assaulted the delicate skin of my nose and caused the bile to rise to the back of my throat.  My stomach rolled in violation coating my tongue with the acrid taste of fear.  A fear that I can’t show.  Not if I don’t want my men to flee.  So I swallow it down.  It sticks in my throat and stays there.  I lift my eyes to the heavens.  Even the stars have fled from this ungodly army.  Five seconds.  I give myself over to the fear for five seconds.  After that, I cannot have any other thoughts in my head, not if I want to survive the night.

One.

Two.

Three.

Four.

Five.

I am ready.

From the tree line, gleaming eyes emerge.  They have arrived.  With a roar that turned my blood to ice and my limbs to quiver, the demon hoard descended.  The smell of carrion crashed over the field.  I grip my blade tighter; the sweat on my palms making the hilt slick.  That could cost me my life but I don’t have time to wipe them.  Summoning a roar of my own, I raise my sword to the sky.

“For Mareth!”

My men roar in reply and we surge to meet the black army that we meet with the familiar song of clashing blades and screams of the dying.  It is a good night to die.

 

Did you become the character?  Did you feel what he felt?  That’s what you need to do when you write.  Don’t be the god that observes.  Be the on in the moment.  Think of how you would feel in that situation, let you body feel it then put that to paper.

3. Want a dramatic flare to your writing?  Slow down the pacing.  Or speed it up.

When the character in the above scene counted to five I made each count it’s own paragraph.  That will naturally slow the pacing.  Up until that moment the pacing was much faster.  Play around with the pacing.  The more action you put into a single paragraph the faster it will be.  This can be applied to all types of scenes not just action ones.  In a romantic scene maybe have your characters come together slowly making each paragraph only a few sentences as they notice more, feel more.  It’s your story, have fun playing with it.  The rules that we learned in school don’t necessarily apply.

4. Use music for emotions.

I’m a music lover.  I work better with it than without.  I listen to music when I write.  I have several playlists that are just for writing.  I have my general writing music playlist, but I also have ones that are for spooky themes, villains, fighting, romance.  All the songs in those playlists play up to the emotions that I need.  When I’m working on a scene and it starts to give me trouble I start the appropriate playlist.  I listen to it for a bit and then get right back at it with the right mindset.  So play around on wherever you get your music and create playlists for the emotions that you know you struggle with.

5. Act it out

I know this sounds a bit strange but trust me.  When I get stuck, I step away from my computer and act the scene out as best I can.  This also helps with dialogue.  Acting it out will help you achieve some all too important realism in your writing.  Pay attention to the facial expressions you make when you talk.  What’s you body language like?  Now you might get some weird looks from your significant other, but they’ll get use to it.  My hubby just rolls his eyes and asks if I’ve finally lost my mind every time.  If you choose to apply this method, do so at your own risk or comfort.

 

Well that’s it.  My five tips to help you write scenes.  Do you have different methods that you use?  Let me know by commenting below.  I’d love to hear them!

 

Want other content?  Want to get to know me on a personal level?  Follow me on my other sites by clicking the links below:

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See ya next time!

book reviews, Greetings My Peeps!

Book Review: The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley

Greetings My Peoples!

It’s Monday so that’s means that it’s time once again for me to do a book review. 

So here’s how this works.  I rate books on a scale of coffee cups….because I love coffee.  Also there will be no spoilers in these reviews.

0 cups= I hated it/couldn’t finish

1 cup= did like but finished bc I’m stubborn

2 cups= meh

3 cups= Not the best but interesting enough to finish

4 cups= I really like it.  

5 cups=OMG YOU HAVE TO READ THIS

Rating: 4 Cups

General Overview:

Verity Gray is an archaeologist who gets summoned to a sleepy fishing town the Scottish highlands by her slightly eccentric boss who has been looking for the lost Ninth Roman Legion for decades. On the way to the dig sight she runs into a charming Scotsman because you can’t have a story in the highlands without a hansom Scott. As it turns out, her boss started the dig not because anyone found a clue but because a little boy has claimed to see ghosts. Naturally, Verity gets upset but she also gets drawn into a situation that is part crime novel and part supernatural. And it could just cost her life if she’s not careful.

My Thoughts:

I’ve read Susanna’s other books and loved them.  This one is no different.  I honestly didn’t know how this story was going to end.  I think I read it in one day without meaning to.  It starts out a bit slow but that’s where the author is so clever.  She lulls you into thinking that it’s going to be a slow book and then she slyly starts throwing things your way, slowly hooking you without you realizing it.  I know her style and it still gets me every time.  There is a bit of romance in this book but it’s not the main drive.  It does feel natural given what happens throughout the story and you really root for them in the end.  And speaking of the end, the ending of this book is (to me) bittersweet.  Things are finally brought to light but not everyone comes out alright in the end.

Reread factor:

Definitely one that I would read again.  It’s not a story that grabs you by the collar and drags you through to the end.  This is a story that slowly ensnares you until you’re left sitting there wondering where did the day go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want other content?  Want to get to know me on a personal level?  Follow me on my other sites by clicking the links below:

 

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See ya next time!