Posts Tagged ‘tips’

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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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

How to Make a (Mediocre) Comic 

Comics are beautifully complicated, delicate, and versatile creatures that deserve respect and love. They merge everything I love about visual art and writing into one glorious whole. They are worthy to be praised by artists of all species.

 

So here’s the disclaimer: Don’t bother reading this if you plan on making a gorgeous work of art that will be marveled at for centuries, because quite frankly I cannot help you. What will I help you with? A: Getting finished with a comic as quickly as possible. That’s right, I’m writing an article about the things you need to bastardize this miraculous art form. I’m going to be talking about the mediocre comic. 

 

First, though, let me give you my credentials. Wouldn’t you hate to read this whole dirge and then find out at the end that I was actually a sea snail, not a comic artist, and really had no idea what I was talking about? That would suck. So hello! My name is Chloe Cunningham, you can call me Chloe (or y’know, whatever else you feel like calling me), and I am the writer, director, and producer of the painfully mediocre comic, Pirate Comic. 

 

  
 

My comic (see above, on the left) is as expertly lackluster as any comic I have ever read. Mediocrity is a distinct part of its very nature. As such, I consider myself an expert in this subject. Also, because I like using other people’s art as illustration in order to make myself seem less self-absorbed, I’m also going to be showing you guys my very good friend Peter’s mediocre comic, Space Journey. (Shoutout to Pete for not getting mad at me when I call his comic mediocre. You’re great.)

 

 

 

 

So without further ado, let’s get to the point. What do you need in order to make a comic? You need to know what comics are like. There’s really only one way to go about this, and that’s to read comics. But you can’t just passively read comics, you have to pay attention while you’re reading them! There are a lot of important things, but here are the basics that I watch for:

• typography

• panel layout

• gutters

• pacing

• character design

• dialogue

 

All of these things can vary greatly from comic to comic. Compare Stand Still, Stay Silent to Sweet Talk or Jupiter or Wilde Life. Each one has their own very particular style, some very traditional, some very non-traditional.

 

 

 

Typography is one of those things that most authors don’t think about much. I can’t help you with it much, beyond just reminding you to pay attention to it! Especially think about where your speech bubbles will go before you plan your panels and sketch them out. Easily one of the easiest mistakes to make in mediocre comic making is forgetting you need to fit a speech bubble in somewhere and filling the whole page with other stuff. You end up having to block people’s heads out a lot.

 

 

  
 

 

Check out, for example, the horrible layout of this page. Besides just the fact that the time skip is a little unclear and the panel layout makes little sense, that one speech bubble just blocks out the redhead chick’s face! Shameful!

 

 

 

 

Panel Layout and Gutters are really fluid. You can do as much or as little with them as you want! Compare this page of SSSS with this page of Wilde Life. Both accomplish their goals and look fantastic, but the panel styles are totally different!

 

  
 

On the topic of gutters… just use your artsy, beautiful brain and you can work it out. (Gutters, by the way, are the empty spaces between the panel walls). Pete doesn’t use gutters at all in his comic. It worked for him with Space Journey, but not having gutters makes it way harder to avoid tangents and to separate scenes. I personally could never do it myself. The other thing to worry about is gutters that are too far spaced. I don’t have a specific example for this, but even my Pirate Comic has fairly large gutters. I wouldn’t recommend making them any larger: it eats up your panel space really quickly.

 

 

Pacing is probably the most divergent thing on this list. I’ve found that most superhero comic issues read like little mini soap-opera episodes. Graphic novels are specifically written to feel like novels, but they really have about the same amount of content as a short story (just because writing a story with pictures takes soooooo looooong). Tons of webcomics stretch out like epics, spanning for hundreds and hundreds of pages (SSSS applies here, too). And tons of them are more gag-a-day that form into several story arches, like Calvin and Hobbes or the webcomic Postcards in Braille.

 

My favorite example of pacing in a comic would have to be Jupiter. The author, Zimeta, manages to contrast quiet scenes with action scenes very well, but I think her main talent is keeping the readers invested. She brings up tons of tiny mini-mysteries in the comic, and resolves them a chapter or two later. For every answer she gives she also brings up two more mysteries, so the reader is constantly being rewarded for reading (by receiving emotional payoff by finding the answer to a question) and constantly asking new questions.

 

The best pacing (and plotting) advice I have is to keep your ideas organized and in a place where you can easily find them. Even if you do the minimum amount of brainstorming before beginning your comic (as I did with Pirate comic), it also helps to have a few ideas about the cast and premise before hand. I kept Pirate Comic notes on my iPod touch notes. I plot most of my stories on this great website called Hiveword. Peter has a memo notepad that he keeps notes in. Keep even the small stuff, because there will be days when you can’t remember if the “kuh” sound in “Panchenko” is a “c” or a “k”, and it will be helpful for you to have a note on that. 

 

 Character design is a big part of what you’ll be doing. Since I’m telling you how I write my mediocre comic, I’ll just go ahead and say that I don’t ever do concept art when I’m working on Pirate Comic. That’s why every time a new character is introduced they look awful for about three pages until I can get my act together and figure out what I want them to look like. This is a very bad idea. HORRIBLE, in fact. I would actually say I may deserve to be shot over this. It is never ok. Here are my tips for avoiding my sins.

 

  
 

 

1. Design characters you won’t mind drawing one thousand times. I’ve drawn Matt and Khan of Pirate Comic well over a hundred times each. If you change a character design to make it more culturally appealing or something, I think that’s fine… unless it makes them more difficult and unpleasant to draw, in which case I just want to point out that you will literally draw them hundreds!! of! times!!

2. Even if your comic is mediocre, do yourself a favor and make your characters look a little different. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just make sure they all have different haircuts and fashion senses. Vary their heights a little. Make some smile a lot and some not at all. It’ll help you out, I swear it on Ginger’s Daughter’s Mother’s Grave.

3. Please, just design characters you don’t hate. Make people you will like and get along with.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dialogue is last but certainly not least. I wouldn’t want to decrease the value of the other points by saying dialogue is the most important part of making a comic, but it is. 99% of all people I’ve spoken to say they’ll read and love a comic with terrible art as long as the writing is good. Guess what? Most of the writing that goes into a comic is DIALOGUE! Fun, huh?

 

My biggest two dialogue tips: make every character have their own unique speech style, and show that style right up front. In Pirate Comic I tried really hard to make each character’s speech style different right up front.

 

The guy in page 10 is super excitable and kinda dramatic. The redhead in page 29 has some kind of horrible mauled accent and a cold shoulder. The dishwasher mechanic in page 48 is really polite. Are these great examples? Absolutely not! They’re mediocre (or worse)! But they’re still helpful, I hope.

 

  
 

The second tip is to read all your dialogue out loud before you set it in stone (or, y’know, in ink). Best rule of dialogue ever! Actually, regardless of what you’re writing, this should be a law. Not only is it super helpful (reading aloud helps you figure out what sounds natural or unnatural) it can be super hilarious. Especially if you get your friends to read it in funny voices.

 

(What’s more, if your friends are reading it aloud in funny voices, you all laugh a lot and to make the laughing continue you feel compelled to continue writing your comic. (Funny voice ideas: bad Russian/French/Japanese/Southern American accent, Elvis impersonation, falsetto)

 

A great side-effect of this dialogue thing is that the more mediocre your comic is, the more hilarious it is when you read it.)

 

 

 

There you go! That’s my advice! It’s all fairly straightforward… but the basics are important. I’ll end with the final (sobering?) reminder that you are not going to gain much from this comic. It won’t make you popular or rich, and the art and writing will probably not even be good enough to get published. You’re probably looking at years of work– real, honest to goodness hard work– of working on a comic. And you need to accept that the only thing you are going to get out of it is a comic that you, and maybe only you, will love.

 

Don’t worry, though. It’s so worth it. I love my comic more than anything else I have ever created. No piece of meticulously polished artwork, no glorious watercolor, not even that fantastic Minotaur poster I painted a few years back can be compared to my comic. Pirate Comic is ugly. It is unpolished and quite frankly it is rather terribly drawn. And I love it so, so much. I’m a little bit ashamed (but not too ashamed) to admit that I’ve read my comic cover-to-cover at least a dozen times. I’ve got most of the script memorized, and I quote it on what is probably a daily basis. 

 

 

 

 

  
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nerdy. I know. And I don’t care. And you shouldn’t, either.

 

Okay! The end! You have the tools! Go out, friends, and make mediocre comics! And send them to me, so I can fangirl over them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  
 

Chloe Cunningham should be writing a bio for herself to put in this space, but she isn’t. She’s too busy drawing. Oops. Oh well, she has a comic that you can read on Tapastic which is a rambling and episodic tale about a group of smugglers living along the post apocalyptic Florida coast. She can also be found @wishjacked on Twitter. She’s pretty ok, so like, be friends with her. Or something.

“Who hurt you so much that you started to hate yourself?”
-Midnight thoughts (what made you so sad)
It was Thursday and I was beginning to regret my ferocious ride the other day or at least, the lack of practice beforehand. My legs hurt from the exercise and my back and abdomen were stiff from the ride.
  “Why are you walking so funny?” Sky had whispered that morning but I had merely given her a tightened grin. Good for her, she had some meat on her bones that cushioned the fall every time Pillsbury and Ebony or Night Rider or Soot or whatever she settled on after the flurry of bad puns- had trotted perhaps a little too fast over the bumpy stretches. I was fairly certain my butt had turned black from the bruises.
  “Ladylike stroll,” I murmured, turning abruptly away from the scraggly crowd to take a walk on my own. I vaguely recalled that the rule handbook had said something about being alone, but I was fairly certain that no one here really cared all that much. Archery was later and it was all I needed to be sore on the upper half of my body as well. It had been awhile since I last worked out, a fact obvious only to me because apparently being skinny in this place meant that you didn’t eat enough. Italians and their food, I had to grin at. Aunty had invited me to dinner that night, but I was hardly in the mood to have food shoved down my throat at each passing. My extended family had come under the impression that I never ate or Angelo made it worse by saying that I worked out all the time. The horrified look on their faces was enough to set my teeth on edge. Working out once a day or even a few times a week was nothing to cry over. It was healthy.
 “I seemed to recall something about the etiquette for women is never to be alone in a public place,” Angelo’s chiding voice should have brought a smile, but my temper had fouled. Now I longed to shoot something with my arrows and get away from everyone. The pang of having a best friend who automatically knew when to give me space-something Mary would have known- was tugging at me, but I could still see Bret’s face hovering in front of hers and that wide eyed expression that she had given me when she caught sight of me.
 “I seem to recall the etiquette of women including not talking to a man late into the night as well but yet, here we are,” I replied briskly.
  “Are you mad with Adelaide for speaking to me?”
  I turned my head, leaning against the railing that lead down into rest of the garden.
 “I heard your voices floating up to my balcony. You’re laugh is quite loud, if you recall.”
“But are you mad?”
  I couldn’t place why his concern sounded so genuine. Why would he care about my opinion? We weren’t even that close, not really. His brows met together over that scruffy facial hair and I was instantly reminded of that knight who kept pestering me. I actually wouldn’t mind seeing him instead of Angelo. I had to answer to Angelo a lot more than I had to for the knight.
  “No, just don’t get Skye kicked out and don’t lose your job over this. Abide by the rules.”
  “You’re one to talk,” he replied, those sparkling brown eyes teasing me. I wasn’t in the mood.
  “What’s that supposed to mean?”
 “Don’t go on runs by yourself. Klause told me. He’s concerned about you.”
  There was no underlining meaning to that statement, but I couldn’t help feel a slight lift at hearing his name. Finally, I had gotten some answer out of someone.
  “I don’t think it’s any of your business when I decide to venture out on my own. My job security doesn’t rest on abiding by the rules and honestly, I don’t mind if I am forced to leave early.”
  “That’s not good enough.”
  Angelo’s sharp rebuke slapped me across the face, leaving my insides churning and alarmed. Every nerve tensed up at his brief rebuttal.
  “Excuse me?”
  My tone surprised me at how cold it had become, the expression read on Angelo’s face betraying the same emotion of surprise and hurt.
  “I said that’s not good enough, Berkley,” he replied softer, trying for the gentle approach but I was tired of his one sided concern. Why did everyone think that I was a fragile human who couldn’t live without any of them? I was doing just fine without any of them, thank you.
  “I don’t need you deciding for me what is good for me and what isn’t. I answer to none of you people, least of all you.”
  “You are making an enormous mistake and it could cost you, Berk. I can’t stand to leave you alone and unprotected when no one can find out if you are okay. If you think of nothing else, think of mother.”
  “Auntie Lopie? Cute, but I think I’ll pass. Tell her that I’m not coming tonight. I have some other things to do here before I go crazy and kill the princess for being such a brat and then get kicked out.”
  I walked away before he could say anything else but he yelled at my back as I was leaving.
  “What am I supposed to tell her? Not to set you a place at the table?”
  “Keep it,” I barked back. “Maybe you can bring your new girlfriend to your house to meet your parents. She’s probably not even able to find food for herself otherwise since women are such delicate and fragile creatures!”
  I kept walking quickly away, ignoring my pain in my legs until I reached the archery grounds next to the range. I had donned on the equipment and grabbed a bow before most of the girls had begun. Jerking the string back, I let the arrow fly, embedding deeply within the  board and missing the middle target completely. I had taken archery once before but I hardly could remember any of the tips.
  “Wait for the instructor, Lady Caterina!” Princess Mary chided from the side, her voice annoyingly soft and musical.
  Maybe I would wait to embed her with the arrow instead, I thought savagely, turning my scowling face at her. Her eyebrows met sharply together, that doe face morphing into something quite dramatic and terrifying. A true princess.
 But I wasn’t about to back down.
  But it wasn’t just one instructor. No, there were three. Angelo avoided my gaze and so did Klause, my stalking knight that just kept on appearing. I guess that’s what stalkers did. Prince Luca hedged around all of us, taking particular interest in Skye, but that was more frustrating than anything else. All of the instructors stayed away from me the entire archery lesson, leaving me to fester in my annoyance and keep practicing on my own. Eventually I got it, but I wasn’t sure what I was more annoyed with. Myself for being angry, the fight with Angelo or just being here amongst these people. Skye tried to catch my eye several times but I wasn’t in the mood to link arms and stroll through the castle halls afterward. I just wanted to escape. I would hit the town tonight and do some penny boarding around. It would feel good in this heat to be out of the long dresses and do some sight seeing. I might even take my camera along and some paint brushes and my sketchbook. I just wanted to be alone.
from my collaboration with my friend R.L. Trace for an email chain link story we did for fun about a Renaissance reenactment much like our fanfic about Austenland that we worked on with another friend just for fun. This idea was just a fun splurge for this summer to keep us writing some every now and then even when we had no ideas for our own books. So far, it’s been a pretty fun summer working on this story and plotting the inevitable. Keep checking my Wattpad for any updates on this story after I finish posting Winchester Abbey from our last venture into this fun release of writing.
 https://www.wattpad.com/user/wattsyourstory
IMG_3085-0
from our last coffee shop run, me and R.L. Trace drank Italian sodas in honor of our story together.
xoxo,
 Ella

Hey, y’all! Blog post for the first time since I wrote either a In the Works or an interview. I still plan on posting a few more interviews every now and then but nothing like the theme that we just went through.

My newest projects, school, basketball, ballet and social life have kept me extremely busy-too busy to even come up with something entirely decent for this blog and all of you amazing followers.

I’ve been improving drastically ( I think and hope :P) my writing with a new school curriculum One Year Adventure Novel and have been learning all sorts of necessary plotline and goals and such that I’ve needed to map out for my books for years. I know this sucks to hear but for some of you writers who are actually pleased with your writing, you probably still have a great deal more to learn. There is never anything that you can possibly know everything to, and writing is a difficult path to take. There are just so many ways that one can improve and become a better author that it can get discouraging sometimes that you (and I) are still in the beginning stages of writing.

But don’t give up!

What I wanted to talk about today was something that I know I struggle with.

During my school curriculum, it speaks about not using anything other than “he/she said” because it can distract the reader’s attention if you continue to embellish absolutely every sentence with different verbs for describing how one said something.

While I admit that it is distracting and absolutely unnecessary to flower the words “he/she said” into “he/she annunciated” or something more elaborate, I do think that one needs to break the repetition of always using the exact same phrase after each sentence spoken.

“He/she replied,” “he/she asked,” “he/she remarked,” “he/she yelled,” can add a layer of explanation and bring life to how the character said it if the sentence itself is lacking the meaning that you wish to portray. This can be fixed with a simple verb change and/or rewriting the dialogue to further express their meaning.

That being said, I was reading an English writing book about the basic rules of correct English, and I came across a passage.

“11. Do not explain too much.

It is seldom advisable to tell all. Be sparing, for instance, in the use of adverbs after “he said,” “she replied,” and the like: “he said consolingly”; “she replied grumblingly.”  Let the conversation itself disclose the speaker’s manner or condition. Dialogue heavily weighted with adverbs after the attributive verb is cluttery and annoying. Inexperienced writers not only overwork their adverbs but load their attributives with explanatory verbs: “he consoled,” “she congratulated.” They do this, apparently, in the belief that the word said is always in need of support, or because they have been told to do it by experts in the art of bad writing.”

(The Elements of Style: Fourth Edition. Strunk, Willaim. White, E.B. 2000, 1979, Allyn & Bacon, A Pearson Education Company. 75 pg.)

All of these opinions stated, it may even be better to leave off the entire “he/she said” every sentence if the dialogue is understood as to who is speaking. For example, in my newest project, the two bantering back and forth are my main character and her best friend. It is obvious how each indented paragraph enclosed within their own set of parentheses and the words and thought patterns shown who is speaking to whom. Thus, I left off the obvious who is speaking and continued the dialogue uninterrupted by these minor details.

“You’ve got the worst timing in the world.” I replied, still not able to keep an amused smile from creeping over my face.

“If a boy liking you just makes you happy instead of going after him too, Dani, you’ve got an issue that needs more action than a-“

Here I cut her off of one of her bizarre comparisons that never made much sense except to her.

“Jasmine Goulding, if you so much as breathe a word of this to anyone outside of this little circle of trust we have going on here-“

I held up a finger.

Jaz gave me a wicked smile.

“Oh, well if you don’t want me to say anything after this, then I won’t but I cannot promise that I haven’t already said something of the sort to another.”

“Who? Hollis?”

I rolled my eyes. I swear that the walk to my locker was becoming longer by the minute of Jaz’s torture.

“Well, duh, I tell him almost everything. I’m not talking about him though.”

“Then who?” I groaned, unable to keep my curiosity at bay.

“Well, I might have spoken a little to that new kid who may or may not have broken up with said girlfriend of another high school last week and is totally available.”

I glared at her for a full minute.

None of which seemed to kill her ridiculous grin that she got whenever she got something that she wanted.

“You didn’t.”

If Josiah had wandered out aimlessly of whatever stupid class he was taking, I would have fully smacked him in the face despite my anger being more directed toward Jaz.

“I did.”

“So about this mall trip-“

I had just unlocked my locker and was gearing up to haul around my next heavy load of textbooks when she spoke.

I whirled around and dropped my book bag. The contents were scattered from one side of the hallway to the other.

“No, you didn’t!”

Jaz beamed at me.

I was going to murder her.”

xoxo,

Ella

p.S. If you agree or don’t agree, please tell me why down below in the comments!

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

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