Posts Tagged ‘november’

Some of the best advice I ever read was to always make the reader feel the emotions instead of just using words like “She was sad”. Let them feel the sadness, feel the despair welling up inside of them. Have them relate instead of just telling them how it is. Let them describe the moment as sad.

I wanted to start off with this topic. What is the power of a word? Obviously it has some power, otherwise books wouldn’t exist. They wouldn’t be enjoyable or readable if nothing made any sort of impact on the reader. The book would remain flat and dull. The power of a word is how you use it and where you place it. I can say “He loves her very much.” and place “only” in front of most of the words and it would mean something totally different. Does he love only her? He only loves her sounds ominous as if someone’s jealous and wants him to love them too. Let’s change it around a little. “Only, he loved her.” This reflects a sort of curious observation like someone just remarks upon this fact as if just realizing it.

The question I want to ask you next is this. How powerful are your words? Are you using difficult words that people have to look up to make yourself seem smarter? Are you using words dumbed down enough that every crowd can read them and the more sophisticated reader might reject as being easy reading or childlike? You should use words to target your specific type of audience. A murder mystery can be more adept at wordplay, throwing in the occasional word to look up in your dictionary, because children won’t likely be reading them. Is your book adult themed or child themed? Who is it targeting and why? Will that age group enjoy that book if you wrote to a different category? Dystopian will most likely draw the young adult range while stories of children’s adventures will target kids. Sci fi may appeal to more boys than girls; romance appeals mostly to women. Now use the wordplay that these audiences will identify with. Use the words to make these people imagine your world. Murder mysteries are complex, throwing you a loop every time you’ve thought that you’ve caught the killer. They are tricky, more adult, and more dangerous in the theme. They have more risk. You can take risks with the wordplay as well. It shouldn’t be a mystery who your main audience is. (pun intended, HA!)

 

Learn your audience; learn your motive; learn how to play your audience and keep them on the edge of their seat because John is about to jump off that cliff. Make them feel the fear of the gun pressed against his back. Learn the power behind the words.

 

xoxo,

Ella

 

 

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Going to make this quick, but if you can tell, those especially that personally know me, know that my name isn’t actually Ella Charlotte Douglas.

My actual last name is one in a million trillion. Seriously.

When I first began writing, my friends and I were constantly going back and forth off of a website called DeviantArt and writing and drawing to our heart’s content. My friend had a pseudonym-so naturally I thought that I had to have one as well. Other writer friends kept up with this trend and we all had them by the end. I kept mine and keep using it under my writing as of now. I began this blog from my inspiration for my writing, Edgar Allan Poe, and the title of my book which was important to me in many ways. The book itself may fade into absolute oblivion as I move forward with other books I love so much more but it was still written partially and the plot still floats around my drawers-filling up several legal pads and those black and white notebooks you can buy for a quarter before school starts.

The black raven that graces my desk is a nod to Poe, a gifted writer and mysterious persona. While I don’t love all of his works, some rather dark and disturbing; he still has his famous Nevermore poem and his Heartbeat Under the Floorboards story. While one is fascinating in how mysterious and prophetic the bird is, the other is a depiction of man’s guilt and how he cannot just get away with it. The story itself is solemn, but he depicts a vivid tale with this story. It always stayed in the back of my mind. The raven has become a symbol of authors-aesthetic to the dreamer who wants to become a real author.

Secondly, we come to the November part of this blog. November is my birth month, always depicted in stories as the month where nothing particularly exciting happens as Thanksgiving is often overlooked for Christmas and only towards the end of “ugly and dreary gray November” is Thanksgiving even celebrated. Maybe it’s that I want November to go down in my history as something more than just that boring month, but I feel a fierce pride whenever someone describes this month as boring and gray. Leaves have fallen in late October, thus the beautiful vivid colors disappear as well. The air turns cold for good and the annoyance of sweaters and scarves and having to wear a jacket in the south begins. Perhaps that’s what November was never loved quite like December is or any other month. It’s also National Novel Writing Month, which for those of you who haven’t hear me rave about it- it’s the month where writers come together to post their success on the challenge of 50,000 word novel and encourage one another. It’s seriously uplifting to see strangers push others in such a loving way towards such a cool goal. There’s no competition but friendly competition. These are only a few reasons why I love November. November reminded me of that cold, gray weather where you shuffle along to school and bundle up in pea coats before sitting in front of the fire and reading large volume editions of old books found in your private library. Something about that takes me to some silly image of this, and it struck me vividly of this mysterious story I was writing at the time. November fit as the title.

I said I’d make this quick and here I am 595 words into this and I am just now scratching the surface of the pseudonym. When I was born, my middle name was to be used as my first. My middle name is actually Elizabeth like 3 million other people in the world. From the moment I was born, my dad reverted back to my first name and my brothers followed him, leaving only my mother still calling me Elizabeth. I didn’t like my name growing up. Elizabeth just sounded so much prettier to me but I loved the nickname Ella for it. I didn’t add that to it until much later when I originally came up with my last name pseudonym. Mine wasn’t random, more like what my name should’ve been if only a few things were different. For instance, my heritage is Scottish, heavily so from my dad’s side. My father was adopted by his stepfather changing his name from his birth name Douglas. We traced back my family history-something that fascinates me as I love history and anything to do with where we came from. I love stories-especially true ones. Douglas was one of the main families in Scotland, assisting Robert the Bruce in many of his battles. When I began thinking of my name for my pseudonym, I chose what my name should’ve been-only adding in the Charlotte as my middle name later when the name evolved to more than just what I could’ve been but what I am now as well. The name is, without putting too much fruity nonsense behind it, more of a symbol of what I could be if I became an author and also a piece of me from being a writer now. I don’t want that name to become like I am somebody else when I write. I’m still the same person as that pseudonym. I don’t have some strange alter ego that I want to hide behind or reinvent myself. I’m quite happy with the turn in my life that God has made and I have no intention of changing besides how God calls me to.

 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,

xoxo,

Ella Charlotte Douglas

I haven’t had much time to do much of anything. I’ve mostly focused my writing on my other blog as of late, you can find it here. For work, I am a cosmetologist (a hairstylist in case you didn’t know the exact term) and I wanted to continue my writing with a blog for my Faith, hair, fashion and beauty that I’m interested in. I branch out quite a bit on my tastes and there’s hardly any kind of writing that I don’t want to at least try. I’m not much for journalism or horror but I love my murder mysteries, adventure novels, romance, sci fi and fantasy novels. I love writing on my blog especially since it’s more day to day and less content that I physically have to think up. I’ve been writing off and on with my limited time. I attempted NaNoWriMo this year since my job search was yielding little results at the time. The story began panning out a little too much like the Hunger Games so I had to cease and desist from that tale before I went back to writing my murder mystery and my Fairytale book. Fairytale still has a timeline tucked away in my room with character boards all stacked behind my door when I can’t have them out for too long but I definitely want to continue. I do want to continue writing, especially resurrecting this blog alongside my main one, Made Up and Cuttin’ Up, as well as adding to my Wattpad. I want to keep all of that up-just finding the inspiration to really get me going is harder than I thought. Recently, for Christmas, one of my good writing friends gave me a notebook alongside a pack of cards for story prompts. You draw a card and it tells you something to prompt you into writing. For instance, the one I drew recently was the “Indy Card” which meant you make your hero do something reckless and hero-like in the story to switch it up. Only way to start writing is to actually start, right? Here goes one of my 2017 resolutions…

 

xoxo,

Ella

image

Ever heard of accountability partners? The first thing you may think of (if you are a Christian) is an accountability partner for resisting a certain type of sin that you know you struggle with. The second thing you may think of is a workout buddy. You wanted to shed those extra pounds or get toned but you have zero desire to go through with your goal and thus get your friend to pester you until you can’t ignore it any longer. This same idea can apply to writing. Don’t keep yourself at a standstill. Don’t start a book only to leave it for years until you finally get off your butt to do another chapter or two. Keep yourself accountable. It is a good deal harder to let down your friend than it is to make excuses to yourself.

Write until your fingers cramp.

Write until your pen runs out of ink and then go get another pen or pencil.

  Get a partner and keep them on top of you, nagging you and pushing you to try harder when the inspiration just isn’t there.

Change it up with different materials and different writing utensils.

I once had a writer friend tell me that she switched up each time she wrote with a different writing pad. One day, she used a dry erase marker and a white board. Another, she used her notebooks and colored pens and another, she used her ipod to type notes.

Type on your keyboard. Type in Starbucks. Change up your environment. Change up the font that you use. Use a quill and ink. Use parchment. Use a typewriter.

But just write.

And when those fail, your friend won’t. If nothing else, go read your friend’s work. Go read a book in your free time. Listen to music that matches your story and get scribbling. Go on Pinterest and make a story board to get inspiration for the clothes, faces, and environment for the story.  Just get accountability and write.

Xoxo,
Ella

When did you get your start?:
I think the first thing I ever really wrote was in grade 5. It had to do with kids at a camp and a unicorn and that’s all I can remember, haha. That’s actually only a year or two after I started reading Harry Potter, so I guess you could say that’s what made me want to write!

How many books have you written?:
I’ve finished a total of 4 books. One when I was seventeen, which I shall never ever mention ever again because it was bad. It was so, so bad. A couple years later I wrote another one and last year I sent it out to a butt-load of agents, but alas. No one was interested. I actually wrote the sequel to that one, too. My most recent is the one I’m most proud of, at the moment. It’s the longest one I’ve written and I’m going to attempt publishing with that one as well.

What kind of experience have you had in writing?:
I guess…not a whole lot? I didn’t really do much online with it until a couple years ago, so I’m still pretty new to a lot of the stuff happening with writing on the internet. Back in 2011, I took a Creative Writing course offered at the college in my city. It was taught by a published author and gave me huge insight into the publishing world, which I will be forever grateful for.

Do you participate in any challenges?:
Depends on the challenge, haha. I’ve never done NaNoWriMo, and I don’t think I ever will, simply because I know that it’s just something I wouldn’t be able to complete. I did just take part in #PitchWars, which is run by Brenda Drake! And back in January she also ran #PitMad on Twitter. Both of those are good ways to start getting your work out there.

What kinds of writing do you do? What kind of themes do you use?:
Most—if not all—of the writing I do, would be considered YA Urban/Contemporary Fantasy. As for themes, I don’t really….write specifically to have a theme? If that makes any sense, haha. Basically, I just sit down and write and if a theme appears, that’s awesome! Although I suppose, I do usually have one theme, and that’s simply the loyalty of friends. I love writing characters with bonds of friendship so strong they’d do anything for each other. Like the Golden Trio, or Scott and Stiles, or Allison and Lydia.

What is your method?:
Honestly, I just sit down and write. I’ll know how I want the story to end, and I’ll have certain big impact scenes thought out, but I’ve never been one to sit down and outline a story. I just write on the go and hope it all makes sense when I’m done, haha.

What’s the latest project you’ve been working on?:
Into That Darkness! It’s a YA Contemporary Fantasy set mostly in Rome. It has to do with dreams and nightmares and there’s a little sprinkle of Greco-Roman mythology in there, as well. The main character, Atlanta, is biracial and another one of the leads is a POC as well. There’s also a disabled character and a queer character who get some major page time. It’s definitely the proudest I’ve been of my writing so far.

Do you have any undercurrent themes (thematic elements) to your story? If so, explain:
Wow, this is like an English essay type question, haha. In all honesty, I have no idea. Like I said earlier, I don’t sit down to write a story knowing that there are themes I want to get across. It’s never something that really occurs to me. I know that, with the plans I have for the sequels to Into That Darkness, I want to get across that girls can do whatever they want, kiss whomever they want, and it doesn’t make them a slut or a whore or bleh, any of those words. Also, just friendship friendship friendship.

What view do you position your characters in? Ex. First Person, narrative, etc.:
Third person! My first ever book was first person POV, but I’ve realized I’m not a fan of that writing style. So third person POV it is! And actually, I take it one step further and write in 3rd Person Present POV. So things like, “She says” “He moves away” “It catches on fire”. You’d think it would be a bit more challenging, trying to keep the tense right, but it’s pretty easy.

What does your character’s voice sound like in your head?:
You know, I’ve never really thought about it? I know exactly what all my characters look like, but I’ve never really thought about what they would sound like.

What accents do they have? Do they have any speech quirks or characteristics?:
Atlanta has an American one. Others will have different ones, because of where they grew up.

Can you describe their body structure/how they move?:
Atlanta is a tall girl—5’9”—and has a runner’s build, because, well, she’s a runner! So she’s long and lean, a little lanky. I picture her moving like she has a purpose, you know? Again, she’s a runner, so she walks faster and with longer strides, shoulders back.

Do any of them have siblings?:
Atlanta has a sister, although that sister is only mentioned briefly. And the character of Quin has a sister, as well, but she has yet to be mentioned.

How does your character show affection?:
She jokes around with you, makes physical contact (hugs, hand holding etc). She’ll tell you sometimes, too. Things like, “I love you”.

How well do they take criticism? How do they react to others noticing their flaws?:
Atlanta’s pretty mature at receiving criticism. She understands that it’s usually because people are trying to help. As for the second part of that question, she get’s a little defensive when it’s first brought up, and may even tell the person “no, you’re wrong,”, but when’s she’s alone afterwards, she’d probably think about it and try to see where the person was coming from. And she’d probably admit they were right.

Last of all, how much do you work on your books on a weekly basis?:
Depends, really. If I’m feeling really gung-ho about it, I usually write every day, even if it’s just a paragraph or two. But there are other times when I may only write two or three times in a month. And that’s usually because I’ve written myself into a bit of a corner and I can’t figure out how to get out. That’s when I turn to friends to bounce ideas off of.

Do you have any advice for any aspiring writers?:
I mean, technically, I’m still one of those aspiring writers, but I’ll tell you what I’ve been told. Read, read, read! You’ll only grow if you read! And of course, keep writing! Each time you write, you get better, you learn, and it only continues. You’re first attempts will be bad, there’s no way around it. But your second attempts will be better. And your third better yet. And your fourth, and…well, you get the point.
If writing is something you really want to do, just keep doing it. Be brave and start getting your work out there. Enter contests. Post it on writing websites like WattPad and Figment. Accept criticism. Take the criticism you receive and apply it. If you get multiple people telling you something, it probably means you should take a look. I know it’s scary, because that story—that book—is your baby. But that baby has to grow.
Just keep trying, is all I’m saying. Keep reading. Keep writing.

About this wannabe author:
Aged 23, Frannie is a classic case of a Harry Potter-generation child. Always trying to find the magic in everything. She’s got a severe case of sarcastic-little-shit-itis and will agree with you if you call her loud and obnoxious. Because she is. Something about that red hair, maybe?
Frannie, when not serving coffee to rude customers, can be found reading, writing and procrastinating on Tumblr. She’s a fangirl of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, worships at the feet of Pacific Rim, and somehow manages to drag her sorry butt to the gym twice a week.
You can find Frannie on Tumblr or Twitter. If, you know, you wanted to see what the hell she’s up to these days. The great, white north isn’t that terrifying. Just watch out for those geese.
fighthehurricane.tumblr.com/
twitter.com/sarfreakinbear

frannie

Hey, y’all, I’m going to be posting my work every now and then just to get something out there and get some input from you writers and authors who have already made it and would love to help me critique a few things. (Plus, when is it never not fun to post some of your work that you are super proud of?)

 

  I am still continuing my interviews-although most of them will be most likely written since the interviewees are either too busy to make time to be socially awkward with me on camera or live in a completely different state/country. (Big shout out to all those who have taken the time to answer my questionnaire and pour their personalities and past over the paper and/or camera!)

  “In the Works” will be a small series based solely upon my projects that are-well, you guessed it- in the works. I’ve been working on a number of stories and switching back and forth whenever I have a particular burst of energy and spurt of ideas to add to the growing plot, characters, and background. 

 

  My baby right now has to be Freefall. I wanted to delve into some sci-fi while playing around with the perspective of four characters-two girls, two boys. The girls are obvious since I enjoy writing about girls far more than boys. In truth, I understand them better and for obvious reasons. The boys are more of a challenge since it would force me to think like a boy and test my pencil whenever I felt the desire to draw my characters. Each project/story of mine I like to switch up different ideas and various backgrounds solely to test my ability to see if I can pull it off. Most stories will never reach the shelves in publication but the practice is all I need to become what I really want for my future as an author. 

  Freefall is set way into the future when the earth is barely inhabited and the main hub of activity is the Nova Commander S16, an enormous Death Star of the galaxy. Freefall was heavily influenced by Ender’s Game, a book by Orson Scott Card and a pretty fabulous read, IMO. I’m not used to sci-fi, most of it usually creeping me out too much, but this seemed like the right step to take since I’m entirely too caught up in Fantasy and the occasional Romance. These characters are different than any others I have tried to come up with. Most of my girls being total badbutts content on keeping their mouths clean, being in the mid-teen age range, and falling in love with the first boy who happens to look their way. I wanted to switch it up slightly, giving my girls a different outlook. Yes, they still are determined to win every single fight and carry the same morals as every other girl has to do and yes, they do fall in love at some point and time. But not with any of the main four, and in one of my OC’s case, he has been dead for years. The age range of the four have been changed to late teens, early twenties in regards to the jobs aboard the Nova Commander. Both boys have no love interest within the four, and neither do they have any inclination to keep finding attraction elsewhere. Besides the occasional flirtation, they stick mainly to their job and don’t veer off task with pointless drama. They know what is at stake here and they figure out a way to fix it. 

  Or do they? 

  I won’t give you the full on details for that would slightly ruin the book. One day, I hope to make this baby project a part of my collection of published novels. I’m excited to keep working on this and giving you brief updates on my work and daily projects going on. 

 

  Scan0046

  {[my sketch of Ekaterina Bennett, one of the main OC’s in my story Freefall. I am going to continue this short series of drawings for each of my mains long after the final battle when they are most broken and scarred. Her tag is “Almost Human” up in the top right corner]}

  “Apprehension rolled uncomfortably in Katty’s stomach-a feeling that she was not used to. Her fingers twitched against her crossed arms, their itch bothering her. Why should she be so jumpy? It was not as if she could lose to the newbie. Somehow, she had convinced herself that Gypsy was indestructible. There was something so hard about her. She knew what the problem was. She had no idea what she was up against. Rolling her eyes and huffing her exasperation, Katty raked her tongue across the smoothness of her front teeth and sucked in sharply. A quiet, hissing slurp jolted her back into consciousness. Gypsy had gone so quickly up in rankings that she was to face her on the mats. There had been a brief set of rules that banned teammates from fighting against one another in the spirit of dividing the team, but it all depended on how the cadets moved. Their fluidity, styles, and finishing techniques literally matched up perfectly in few teams, narrowing down the results that the doctors and Heads had to make to set the Venture teams together. The rules had been disbanded quickly. This match would assure that the two were paired almost perfectly for a team together. Katty had been watching Gypsy’s performance and absolutely hated her opponent’s tactics. They mirrored hers too well.

  Across the mat, she hoped to catch her opponent’s eye. She doubted that her surefire expression of complete determination would shake her as it had with past opponents but one could always hope. Surprisingly, Gypsy never glanced directly at her. Her gaze was fixed on the mats or roving around the entire training room never once making eye contact with a single person. There was something almost listless about her gaze, her focus solely upon mental capabilities. The alarm rang, ending the match in front of them. A small crowd had gathered around the mat in anticipation for the fight. Ekaterina shuddered internally as her palms began to sweat beneath the wraps bandaging her hands. A few janitors hurried upon the mat, briefly mopping it up and sweeping debris off of the surface. It was the cleanest it would become for their match. Somewhere up above, Ekaterina could make out the faint outline of a box that seemed to materialize from the wall. No one would notice without actually looking for it. It hid itself well. Shaking her bob slightly, Katty blinked several times in rapid succession. What was wrong with her focus?

  She scowled, not able to keep her true feelings underneath the surface anymore. She should have felt sickly satisfied that she could go head to head against Gypsy and win, but this one was different. Katty was sure of it.

  Stepping onto the mat, Katty began a few loosening stretches to get her muscles warm, all the while keeping her eyes trained on the smaller figure ahead of her. Gypsy had bared herself of her jacket, clad only in a black tank that showed off her muscles and copper skin with her prominent collarbone protruding and tight sweatpants drawn closely to her ankles. She left nothing to hang off of or get ahold of during the fight. She was lean and muscled, faint scars etching places on her skin that her random spray of freckles hadn’t covered. What had she been through?

  Bouncing back and forth between her left and right foot, Gypsy rolled her shoulders back to ease her tensions, her muscled shoulders flexing briefly. Her eyes glowed against her darkness, her lips narrowing further in concentration.

  Katty was not aware of the rest of their brief warmup, but the match had begun before her mind could comprehend the bell ringing.

  There was not anyone else besides Gypsy and herself. Bouncing between each foot, Gypsy concentrated on Katty’s middle and lunged before Katty would have anticipated. Attacking first had never been her style, but this time, she seemed to have different tactics at first. She fell back easily into her style once she had landed her first three blows, fully rattling Katty. Scowling darkly, Katty felt her instincts take over. She swiped her legs underneath the quick feet of her gypsied companion, knocking her off of her balance. Slamming down her forearm against Gypsy’s throat, she kneed her in the gut and scrambled to get her right arm restrained before she could land a blow. Gypsy was too quick for her.

  A fist slammed into Katty’s unprotected side, her breath leaving her body with a satisfying whoosh. Sucking wind, Katty was thrown from Gypsy’s tight body and slammed down into the mat. Soot burned into her skin as she scrambled up to her feet. Gypsy was already on her feet but she seemed slowed for some reason. Her attack came like liquid honey. Hurriedly, Katty ducked her punch and head-butted her backwards. She felt something pop within her opponent, and Gypsy let out a pained half scream before staggering backwards. Gypsy’s face turned a sickly white, her freckles standing out sharply, eyes flashing brightly before dulling as her eyelids closed. She fell backwards, clutching her middle where Katty must have broken something or heavily bruised it.

  Heart hammering within her, Katty stared at the figure barely twitching on the floor and let her breath out that she must have been holding the entire time. Oxygen rushed into her system as the nervousness flowed out. She couldn’t help a satisfied smirk. She had won.

  Medics rushed to Gypsy’s motionless body on the mat’s corner, but Katty had already exited. She had won and that was all she cared about. Her legacy was still intact. No losses besides Sholto. With a pang, she realized the hatred that had bubbled up within her at her first and only loss versus her teammate. That had begun the long hatred for the tall, young man although Katty often attributed it to his horrible attitude. No one particularly cared that she hated him or her reasons; but her justification wasn’t that she was bitter that she had lost but that it was his fault for being a smug, know-it-all tag. Wincing slightly, Katty scooped up her belongings and returned quickly to the locker room. Wasn’t that what she was? Her rebuke of herself echoed in her mind. She shook this feeling off as she stripped to get in the showers.

  It didn’t matter. Gypsy was a part of the rest of them and they would all burn. It didn’t matter who she was anyway.

  It didn’t matter who Ekaterina turned into either to get her goals.

  At least, she told herself that.”

 

 

  I hope you enjoyed my brief snippet of my newest baby! 

 xoxo, Ella

She’s still alive!

 

 Multiple apologies for my extreme absence. My life took an enormous turn and either became extremely busy or I couldn’t put my pen to paper and not sound ridiculously stupid. (At least, in my head :P) My project for the near future is to continue a series of videos and/or written interviews with various writers that I know. Hopefully this will gain some much needed exposure for them and explain to you why their book series needs to be read. After all, isn’t that what we are all here for?

   My first interview was with one of my best friends, Monica Bond, who was one of my NaNoWriMo writer buddies who kept me up to date with all of the latest books that I needed to read, (still do since I’m a lazy procrastinator when it comes to finishing anything) and met me for frequent Starbucks dates where we forced each other to write our wordcount for that day and to finish out the goal. Her book was actually the second written in a series of books she refers to as The 8th Day of the Week. Portal, the first book, and Time, her second finished novel, are soon to be published; I will post the new links to our pages of books that we plan on publishing in the near future. Be looking forward to these new videos and interviews with my lovely friends and watch for lists of questions that could help you further improve your writing!

 xoxo,

 Ella