Feb 1, 2016

Currently on Wattpad

It's been two weeks since I posted my YA contemporary to Wattpad. I must say, I am now addicted to the site. I'm still trying to figure out how to make the most out of my posting experience. After reading a book on there called "Cracking the Wattpad Code" by Michael Limjoco, I've changed the title from THEN THERE WAS US to STALKER LOVE. According to Limjoco, simpler, more literal titles work best on the site. We'll see if there's any change in reads.

Updated to add: After going back and forth with the titles, I've decided to stick with the original.

I've also changed the cover multiple times. It was important to me that I had a cover I could share, so using just any image wouldn't do. I downloaded a photo from StockSnap.io, fiddled around with it in Fotor, and finally came up with something I think is pleasing to the eye. I liked it so much I shared it on Twitter. I also updated the cover for the short story I wrote for a Teen Fiction Community contest. I've you're struggling to create an appealing cover, I highly recommend Canva as well. It's easy to use and has lots of free templates. I could spend hours on that site, too. In fact, I have.


All in all, I'm having fun on Wattpad. The community there is wonderful. That's another thing I've realized. Being active in the community is vital if you want to do well. The clubs sometimes have great discussions, full of tips and tricks to help you and your story. Don't be shy to say hello. The teen fiction community is one of the largest on Wattpad. There's a vast array of books to read. Some of them are quite good. If you have the time, check out a story called "The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones." It broke my heart in the best way. I'm looking forward to what the coming weeks have in store for me and my stories.

In other news, I managed to complete one of my New Year's resolutions. I finished the YARWA editing course. I now feel confident enough to move on to the other chapters. *does a happy dance*

If you've been on Wattpad, what was the experience like for you?

Jan 21, 2016

A Check in for January

January is almost over, so I thought I'd stop in to tell you guys what I've been up to. The picture above is of my cork board. I'm 13k into my YA contemporary, and yesterday I finally decided that I needed to go back and outline what I've written. I love being a pantser, but a strange thing always happens where I run out of scenes. I guess I'd used up all of the ones that were floating around in my mind. It usually happens at the end of act one. No worries though. After some brainstorming, I know how I want to wrap up this act. I'm excited.

You probably didn't see it, but I wrote a post about posting my story to Wattpad. I ended up deleting it because I thought I'd changed my mind. Here I am blogging about it again. I've uploaded the first chapter of my YA contemporary, THEN THERE WAS US. I'm kind of doing a little experiment to see if I can grow an audience on the site, or make a ton of new friends. It's almost been a week. This Friday makes a week since the story's been up. I have a cover I love, a decent description, and tons of hope.

I've been looking for more opportunities to get my work out there. I've found some, but then the nerves set in. I tend to doubt myself, thinking I'm totally not good enough to enter such a contest. I know it's silly to think that way because you truly never know unless you try. In the same vain as above, I entered a one shot contest on Wattpad. The theme was New Year's resolutions, and I had fun writing my entry. It's called The Riot Queens, and it's about wanting to be someone else for a change.

YARWA Editing Workshop
I signed up for a workshop on editing your NaNo novel. I believe this is our second week. So far I've learned so many new tips and tricks for editing. We only focus on our first chapter, but the plan is to take what we've learned and apply it to our whole manuscript. I honestly have a love, hate relationship with the story I wrote for NaNo. It's written in a completely different style than what I'm used to, third person and the tone is lighter. Maybe I'll also be putting it up on Wattpad. We'll see.

So these have been some of my highlights in January so far. What were/are some of yours?

Jan 9, 2016

Quotes From my Journal

Inspired by DIY MFA, Quotes From my Journal is a round-up of inspiring quotes I've accumulated throughout the week. This week features quotes from Anne Frank to poet Christopher Poindexter. I especially love the one by Jorge Luis Borges.
"Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy." - Anne Frank 
"When writers die they become books, which is, after all, not too bad an incarnation." - Jorge Luis Borges 
"You will never regret being kind." 
"In the world through which I travel I am endlessly creating myself." 
"I will never be a morning person, for the moon and I are much too in love." - Christopher Poindexter.
"And all I loved, I loved alone." - Edgar Allan Poe

Jan 8, 2016

Why I Changed my Goodreads Challenge Goal

Eight days into the new year, and I've already decided that I couldn't quite hack it when it came to two of my resolutions. Judging by the title of this post, I bet you know which ones they are.

Yesterday, I lowered my Goodreads reading challenge goal from fifty to twenty, which is just one more book than I read last year. And you know what? I'm okay with that. I did try you guys, which sounds so silly given that the year has only begun. I didn't try nearly as hard as I should have. When I sat down to read the day before yesterday, I knew in my heart there was no way I'd read fifty books this year or get through ten classics. I think the main reason I set such lofty goals for myself was because I wanted to keep up with everyone else. Some of you read upwards of one hundred books a year, and here I was only having read nineteen.

So I've changed my goal and my attitude. I now only want to read three classics. As the saying goes, it is best to be true to yourself. Cranking up my reading goal so I could sit with the kids who read at a much faster a pace than I do wasn't a good idea. I definitely felt the pressure.

I want to take my time with reading, savoring each glorious sentence. I don't want to rush myself, or get to a point where I feel reading is a chore. There are still so many books I want to read, and at my pace I probably won't get to them all. But the books I do read this year will be remembered. Now that I think about it, I can't remember ever reading so fast. The books I love most were enjoyed for weeks at a time.

Do you ever feel pressure to read more?

Jan 7, 2016

Beautiful People: 2016 Writerly Goals & Resolutions

Hello! I'm popping in today with the Beautiful People link-up hosted by Sky and Cait. I've done the Beautiful Books link-up hosted by them, but this is my first foray with Beautiful People. Let's jump right in.

1. What were your writing achievements last year?

Last year was a decent writing year for me. I managed to finish two manuscripts, both young adult light fantasy. I also did a little bit of querying, then in November I participated in NaNoWriMo. That was basically the highlight of my year in writing.

2. Tell us about your top priority writing project for this year?

I'm almost 10k into a YA contemporary titled THEN THERE WAS US. I don't want to say too much  about it right now, but it was inspired by one of my favorite movies An Education. You guys have no idea how much I love that movie, and when I got the idea for my novel I just knew I had to write it. It has all of the things I love in a contemporary. Writing contemporary again feels like having a bit of chocolate for the first time.

3. List five areas you'd like to work the hardest to improve this year.

1. Characterization - I feel like I could do better at developing my characters. In my first drafts, I tend to do only a little bit of it. 

2. Dialogue - I actually think I've gotten better at this, but there's always room for improvement.

3. Pacing - Yeah, I have a hard time knowing if I'm doing this right. 

4. Setting - Like characterization, I always do the least amount of it while drafting. 

5. Voice - I tend to focus on this the most while I'm writing, but I'd like to make sure it's consistent throughout the whole story.

4. Are you participating in any writing challenges?

I'm not right now, not really, but who knows. The year is still young. I am doing a writing reward system. For every milestone I reach, I get to treat myself. So once I reach 10k I'll be dropping everything to read all day. I'm also challenging myself to write two novels this year, and I'm taking a writing workshop through YARWA.

5. What's your critique partner/beta reader situation like and do you have plans to expand this year?

I do have plans to exchange my NaNo novel with another writer later this year. I don't have a critique group, but I always manage to find someone to swap chapters with if need be. I don't think I'll be expanding. I'm pretty content for now.

6. Do you have plans to read any writer-related books this year? Or are there specific books you want to read for research?

I don't have any plans to read writer-related books this year. I probably will though. I would also love to find some comp titles, so I will be reading for those.

7. Pick one character you'd like to get to know better, and how are you going to achieve this?

I would love to get to get to know my main character Katherine Elliot better. I plan to achieve this by writing her story, then, once it's complete, I'll probably go in and flesh her out some more. I had success filling out character worksheets in the past. I might have to do this for some minor characters.

8. Do you plan to edit or query, and what's your plan of attack?

I definitely plan to do both. My plan of attack is to have this novel finished by May 15, let it rest for two weeks, and then hop right into edits once those two weeks are up. I hope to have the novel edited by August so I can enter Pitch Wars.

9. What are the books you want to see more of, and what "holes" do you think need filling in the literary world?

I would love to see more books featuring characters of color, especially written by people of color. I want to see more POC in fantasies, science fictions, and contemporaries. I think this is a hole that needs to be filled. More people are realizing this, but we obviously aren't where we need to be.

10. What do you hope to have achieved by the end of 2016?

By the end of 2016, I would love to have written two new books. I would love to have both my NaNo novel and current WIP edited and ready for submission. I would love to have made some new acquaintances in the online writing kidlit community. I've also been thinking of putting my NaNo novel up on Wattpad once it's ready to go. And I would love to have a literary agent, but that is out of my control.

Thanks for stopping by to read and comment. As usual, happy reading and writing!