Selfless & Kind

Helpful Thursday.

My advice for today is to, step out into the world with you work and let people honestly tell you what they think.

There’s so many selfless and kind people out there, in this incredible writing community.

But, in my opinion, you have to be selfless and kind yourself, to receive the same. Offer to read peoples work, always offer a helping hand. Help each other in the best way possible.

Selfless.

People have a tendency to tell how horrible and bad people’s work are. You can deliver a honest response and review with gentle words. Imagine, the way you would have delivered the words for your own book. There will always be people who won’t like your book, and that is okay. Not everybody has the same taste and style as you. But, deliver your words humbled and selfless.

Kindness.

Always be kind, not everyone will be kind to you. But, keep kindness toward everybody and their work. If you don’t like what you read, that’s fine, but tell people in a gentle way. Help them to do better.

So, we kind and brave, share some of your ideas and work with people you trust in the writing community, if you are helpful and kind, then people will have a tendency to do the same!!

Happy Thursday.

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Author Interview + New Release!! Jenna Morland.

Today’s interview is with the incredible Jenna Morland, who’s debut novel will be out TODAY!

Jenna

Jenna Morland.

Her debut novel, is this amazing and beautiful book; Empress Unveiled.

New Front

One thing I think is extremely amazing about Jenna, is that she’s a stay-at-home mom, with two children, and still she managed to write a novel, and work on her active Instagram. Jenna does something that inspired me greatly. She’s the Queen of Moodboards. I used this myself a bit, but seeing Jenna’s amazing work, made me wanna expand that. She seems like a girl of many talents, and I am deeply excited to be reading her book in a couple of days.

I have been following Jenna for a while now, through her Instagram and what I could out from that; is that she’s is an amazing person, with a special view of life. She ceases every opportunity she gets to write and to enjoy her life. She’s a beautiful woman, with a crazy personality, colors her hair in crazy colors. She’s an inspiring woman, who does something to the writing community, just by existing. She’s interacting with people and readers, creating an opportunity to get to know her. I wrote her and asked her a few questions, and she answered with her own personality which I think is rare. I have tried to message some other Authors who are doing well for themselves, and either they didn’t response or they gave me an impersonal answer. So, I was actually surprised by her response, and felt excited. For me, she seems like a person who will do almost anything to help, she’s kindhearted and talented, and I praise myself lucky to have her on my list on Instagram, and I enjoy following her journey and her posts. She seems genuine and I am honored that she wanted to give me a chance to interview her, and share apart of her with all of you.

I gave her a bunch of questions, and she answered them with her incredible mind and personality.

If you wanna follow her journey and amazing posting abilities, check her out on;

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/jennamorland
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/jennamorland
Website: http://www.jennamorland.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jennamorlandauthor

Here’s the Q&A’s:

1: What inspired you to start your story/stories?

It was winter, the nights were long and cold. I went to the local bookstore, searched online even, and I just couldn’t find what I was looking for in a book. So, I sat down and wrote the book I wanted to read.

2: What’s your favorite writing place/spot?

I have two young children and a husband who works out of town a lot. I am usually always at home when I write, either on my patio, on my couch or in bed! I did most of my editing at Starbucks though. Editing is a different beast entirely!

3: How did you choose your name for your book/books?

My publisher and I brain stormed possible names for the book and we new Empress needed to be in the title. It has many different meanings and each of these meanings are revealed throughout the book. That’s where Unveiled comes in. This word has special meaning to me which I can’t say the reasoning without spoilers. Aside from that, Empress Unveiled just sounds… pretty!

4: How did you create your Main Character?

Swayzi is a combination of characters that I have loved over the years. I think there is a bit of me in her as well. But mostly, I wanted to create a character that was believable, and one that girls of all ages could relate to.

5: Describe your novel/book with three simple words.

Oh that’s hard… Umm… Heartbreak. Magic. Crown.

6: Who is your favorite kind of character to write?

I love writing Tyler. He is so human. He is complicated, a bit of a screw up, but he loves hard. I also love writing Linda who is Swayzi’s mom, she is the best.

7: Do you feel sad or excited about tormenting your characters?

A bit of both. For instance, I am writing the sequel and I know one of the characters I really care about is going to die. But I know it is right for the story so I go with my gut.

8: Five tips you would give growing writers, about ´Senses’?

I am not a classically trained writer, and the way I go about it might be a little different from most. I see the story in my mind like a movie, and each time I sit down to write I step into the scene. I can look around at what is near me, the temperature of the room, and what it smells like. I think the trick is in the tiny details, but be careful not to over do it.

9: If you had to compare your book/books to a movie or a series, which would it be?

I think there’s a mixture of Fallen, The Mortal Instruments series, The Fault in Our Stars, and Twilight.

10: What does it say on your favorite cup?

A friend of mine got me a mug for Christmas that says #published. She calls it my smug mug.

11: How did you plan on reaching your readers?

As soon as I signed with Oftomes I started building my social media. It’s a fantastic way to reach readers and connect with book bloggers and other authors. I love doing mood boards of the story by bringing it to life with photos. I like sharing bits of my life, what I’m currently reading and the trials of writing a sequel. Social media gives the readers an opportunity to know the author and to learn more about the story and the characters.

12: What do you do in case of Writer’s Block?

I don’t think I have ever truly had writers block. The kind where you can’t put any words on paper. That being said, I have definitely struggled with the sequel, and balancing writing while being a mother of 2 and the addition of the release of Empress Unveiled was certainly difficult. I did a lot of writing sprints, where you set a timer for 25 min and write as many words as you can with no distractions. It helped me get out of my head a bit and stop self-editing as I wrote. I think I am finally hitting my stride with the sequel and it feels pretty good.

13: have you build a Dream Cast, if or when your book becomes a movie? Who’s the cast?

I would LOVE Elle Fanning as Swayzi. Nick Robinson from Love, Simon is totally my Tyler. I like Molly Ringwald for Linda. I haven’t been able to cast Daylan yet… I think he would be the hardest one.

14: Your favorite writing soundtrack song?

Let It Go by James Bay and Wait by M83

15: Signature line.

A small dream takes just as much energy as a big dream, so why not dream big?

16; Bonus Question, she actually answered this by a mistake, but I loved the answer, so I wanted to use it. How did you choose your Main Characters names?

I love Patrick Swayze. I cried when he died, actually. Dirty Dancing is, and probably always will be my favorite film. Naming my main character after him was a no brainer. I needed Tyler’s name to be relatable and very simple. He’s a guys guy. Daylan’s name is more fantastical and intriguing, which pretty much sums him up perfectly.

I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did. I am excited to read her book, and I think you will be too, if you give her a follow and see what incredible work she does.

Thank you so much, Jenna Morland for joining me today!

Creative Writing

So, I decided to make a weekly post, here on WritersLIfesWork. I give to you;

Helpful Thursday.

Creative Writing 1

Today is all about, some of the incredible writing tools, and there’s a certain one I have come to know, is greatly important. So, here’s my ideas and mind of why Creative Writing is so important.

1; Bring People Into The Story, Instead of TELLING Them What’s Going On!

Creative Writing gives your stories a whole new view and other aspects, otherwise you have a written piece; where people can see what is playing out in the story, but you want them to feel the story, smell the surroundings and see a picture clear image of what’s going on. – Impossible, you might say! Well, I did so too in the beginning, how do you accomplish that?

Through, creative writing, senses and the difference between SHOWING and TELLING.

Here’s a little secret from my journey:

First Drafts This is one of the first drafts for The Metanoia Phases, at the time this chapter above was written, the story was called Dragonfly, it had a whole other plot and outline, and in my opinion it was the greatest it could ever be. But, thank god I became wiser.

This page is messy, right? It’s structure is completely mixed. You have the narrative, and can somehow make out from that, what is going on. But, then you have the dialogue, there’s so many way of how I could tell you why this is wrong, but I will minumize that. First, it says who is saying the line, before you even read it, (the only time this makes any sense, is if you’re writing a movie manuscript) and I think I will even go with a different angle to it. Second; we see what the person is say, but we have no way of knowing what there person feels while saying it, or what plays around that. This is a clear example of TELLING!

Back when this was written, my girlfriend told me that, it looked weird and didn’t make any sense, and honestly I got upset, because this was my “biggest” work, and I loved the way it was. But, that was only because I wrote it, and I knew what they person saying the words felt, and what happened around it, but the reader didn’t. Sitting here so many years later, I am happy that she said something, because I learn along the way, that she was right and that was okay, I didn’t suck, I had potential to become even better.

2; Ask For Honesty.

So, I changed a lot of my work, and skipped the dialogue tags, in the way they were above, and I asked a friend to read through it, and I told him to be completely honest, and he was. He read two chapters, and told me that the ideas and characters were great, but there was still something missing. Did, my soul sigh at this point, I think So! But, I wanted my work to be amazing, and affect people, instead of just painting them a picture. He gave me a tool, that changed my writing, my voice and everything about writing for me. I will share this with you, later on.

3; Mix Showing and Telling.

You will come across many people who will advice you to skip TELLING completely, but it will become a heavy load of intense words if you skip out the entire telling, you need the show narrative and make that interact with the story. But, when you are painting a picture, you need to mix SHOW and TELL. It takes a lot of work and practice, but once you conquer that, you have amazing tools for future works, and will stand out as a true professional.

Here’s an example:

The moon was shining, and the rain had just stopped. 

Ask yourself what is wrong with this line. What does it TELL us, it tell us that the moon is shining, so we can merely picture a shining moon, and then it tells us that the rain had stopped. Yeah, that’s all fine, but what is it missing? It doesn’t settle any mood, or clear picture, don’t TELL that the moon is shining, SHOW IT!

The rain had stopped, and the cloudy full moon had appeared, sending a faded light through the window, casting a glow on the blank piano surface.

Now this is a line that shows us something. When I read this, a picture is created in my mind, of a beautiful black blank piano, and I almost feel blinded by the reflecting light on it. I sense the lightness in the air, after rain, and a cozy and serene mood is settling over me, and I believe this is the magic of SHOWING.

4; Senses.

The blank page is your canvas, and your fingers are the brush, and senses are the magic colors to create an amazing story. The senses, are one of the best tools in Creative Writing, to give the reader an idea of what is played out. Before you make a scene, ask yourself these questions;

  • How does it look?
  • How does it smell?
  • How does it feel?
  • How does it taste?
  • What can you hear?

Example;

How does it look; The cloudy full moon had appeared, sending a faded light through the window, casting a glow on the blank piano surface. – You have the picture painted of what you see.

How does it smell; The tea was still standing on the coffee table, not so steaming anymore. – Almost everybody, can tell what tea smells like, the sweet, herbal ish smell, so you get an idea of what it smells like in the scene.

How does it feel; giving me peace of mind and heart. – So, with what is going on, you get the idea of how the person feels like, kind of feeling what they feel.

How does it taste; In any case the tasting is tricky, because it isn’t always the case, that you are actually tasting, if the person was sipping at the tea, that case of course would be different.

What can you hear; Quiet whisper, small child laughter, and piano tunes mixed together in a perfect combination of peace. – You hear the whisper, and the laughter, and then mixed with the incredible play of the piano.

Any reader will of course always make out their interpretation of what it sounds, feels, smells and tastes like, and what they see. But play with these origins of Senses, and you can create written magic;

Quiet whisper, small child laughter, and piano tunes mixed together in a perfect combination of peace, giving me peace of mind and heart. A few hours passed before any of us noticed, that the rain had stopped, and the cloudy full moon had appeared, sending a faded light through the window, casting a glow on the blank piano surface. The tea was still standing on the coffee table, not so steaming anymore.

5; MOTION!

In my opinion the hardest tool of Creative Writing to manage. But, with sounds and what plays out around in the scene, you might be able to bring motion to the story.

I try to use the motion, to bring elements to life; Like rippling, surging and burbling of water, kind of bringing a still object of water into movement by the sounds. Or fire; The crackled and dance of flames, you hear and see how the fire plays out in motion. It’s a hard tool to master, but the only way to create progress, is simply by doing!

 

I hope these Creative tips were helpful. Here’s the thing that changed my life, my writing and the way I see Creative Writing.

ENJOY!

 

Maria

 

 

NANOWRIMO! – How To Prepare In Style or Fail Miserably.

So, I dicided to tend the nanowrimo, (National Novel Writing Month) this july, and I FAILED, big time! I didn’t type one single word in my new novel; TDOW; Thirteen Days of Winter.

So, hopefully I can help you guys out, so you don’t make the same mistakes as I did.

My intentions were good, but my planning were terrible.

I got it into my mind, that I could prepare for nanowrimo, even though I had my fulltime-job, going into a busy time. And like I said, I didn’t get anything down on “the paper”. The first two days going into NaNo, I had tried to plan it all out in my calender, but still everything was messed up. And here’s why;

I only had the idea in my head, and I didn’t even start the outlining in time, so I had to go with that to begin with, and this project was the first in a very long time, where I had to start from scratch! So half-way through NANO, I had to call quits, I knew that I couldn’t possibly finish 50k words in two weeks, with my day job on the side, so I decided to quit, and focus on TMP instead, because I also had that on the side, with deadlines, and a publication date; July 27th.

Now I am claiming my revenge!
This time I will attempt NANOWRIMO and be prapared for battle.

Here’s 10 tips I would use this time around.

1; Plan, Plan and Plan.

Okay, if you look at it like a total geek, that was technically three advice. But, like I said; PLAN! I decided that I would plan out almost everything I could this time. That said, you can’t plan out everything, but if you get the essentiels down, you’re on the right track.

2; The outlining.

I gave myself the task, I had to write 500 words per day, you can make that more or less, depending on how much time you have on your hands. I decided on 500 words, because I was sure, that was something I could deal with, and get the outlining done in time for the beginning of November 1th.

3; Scribbles.
I scribbled down a bunch of helpful words in the horror genre, putting them in my cheat-sheet. And as I scribble down, ideas started popping into my head, and I try my best typing down any idea I might get. And in a few hours, I came up with names of characters, age, profession and place in the story. So, always type down, any idea you might have, because it might be useful, on the long run!

4; What Could Go Wrong?

In case of an emergency, what are you gonna do if your mind goes blank or your ideas stop?! Well, it’s actually pretty simple.

As you are doing the outlining, you have basically your entire story planed out from the Get Go. So, if you get blocked, you just hop onto your outlining, and see what’s next on the program. If you get totally stuck still, you can try to move on and add new ideas to the next part in your story. It is your story, and your idea, you can always go back and change or edit. Remember you are creating a First Draft with Nanowrimo, not the finished product.

5; Research!
When beginning a story, I come up with some of the ideas, and then I research like a crazy person. For TMP, I used a lot of time on researching Greek Mythology, and Ancient Relics, Latin and the list goes on.

Research gives you a more professional approach as a writer, of course as a writer you can always make up stuff, that is kind of the whole idea of being a writer, but if you want to stand out as a Pro and not an Amature, you simply need to do your research.

Checking into everything you use from Mythology to the description of rain falling down, because you want your work to stand out as being as realistic as in real life, so your readers can relate to what is going on.

Example; In my stories I use the character Hades, the ruler of the underworld, and basically anybody in the world knows that Hades is a bad guy, so in my research I searched for things Hades was known for, always making things mentioned about him circle back to something you could find in the actual history. If you use a “Real Life” fact about Hades, you damn sure need to be certain that it’s actually the way it is, or your readers will lose faith in you. If you say that Hades, the ruler of the underworld could shoot rainbows out of his hands, you would have a hard time placing that fact, if you were making a comic book, or being sarcastic it might fall through, but if you make a dead serious scene about who Hades is, and what he stands for, you are gonna have a hard time, convincing your readers about that fact. So, research, and use your common sense!

6; Use a planner or a Bullet Journal.
If you use your journal, to write down your goals for the week, you can easily keep up with everything. What I do, is that I write down 500words under the days in the calender, and then at the of the week, I write the total goal of the words, so then if I get behind, missing a day, or two, or maybe an entire week. I know how many words I have missed out on. So, if I miss one day, I try to keep up with it, the next days. And if I acheived my daily goal, I give myself  a (+) and If I didn’t I will place a (-).

7; Make Sure!

Once You Enter the NANOWRIMO make sure you have your dealine goals in order. Deviding those 50k words into all the days of the month, except from a few days off, and especially Thanksgiving. So, 30 days minus the days you wanna take-off; in my case one day in each weekend, plus thanksgiving, so 25 days divided with 50k. Becomes 2000words a day, which might seem like a lot, and it is. But so is 50.000 that’s kind of the point with NANO, to test yourself, and your ability to type as many words as possible.

8; Not All Good.

Not everything you write needs to be good, or even perfect. The point is to type those words, good or bad, that doesn’t really matter! The goal is to push yourself, and push your boundaries, and believe you me, you are capable of much more then you think! I didn’t really believe that I could finish an entire book; 106.644 words in five months, but I planned my daily wordcount, and stuck with my planning, and finished my deadline on the dime.

And not all words were good, far from that. And that’s why it’s called Draft, and then we rewrite, reshape and edit the hell out of it, until it becomes everything we wanted it to be.

In my opinion we use NANO to create our stories, and evolve the ideas in our minds, drafting the story of your dreams.

9; Ask Yourself?

Going into the writing world, becoming that writer I always wanted to be, I discovered that with writing abilities, comes the sneaking and devastating doubt. But, once you conquer that, and try to believe in your work, going from amature to a pro there’s no stopping you. There isn’t any writer/author in the world who haven’t experienced the great doubt. I bet even J.K. Rowling and L.J. Smith doubted themselves at some point in their lives, and maybe sometimes they still do. Create a quote or find something that if in doubt, can bring you back to the right path. I created a quote of my own:

“I guess you are a writer, when your mind and thoughts are in narrative speech.” – Maria E. L. Thomassen.

Reading this I am brought back to a time were I truly believed in myself, and if that doesn’t help. I read some of the work that surprised me the most, and play encouraging songs. Flooding it all back.

Here’s a little secret; you will probably always love your work, more than anyone else, and the thing is, not everybody will love your book, or ideas… And the biggest win to you, is to say; That’s Okay! You will find people who will love your work. And if you are like me, you will keep doubting yourself, until finally one day, this reader will provide you with a book review so strong and exciting and all your belief will be flooding back to you, and once reviews keep coming, and they are kind of saying the same thing about the story and the characters, you know that you are one the right path, and doing the HELL of a job, So KEEP GOING!

10; Simply Do It!

My best and final advice, is simply to attempt to do the best you can.

If you like me FAILED BIG AND HARD, comfort yourself with the fact, that NANOWRIMO isn’t a one time thing. It will happen again, so you will always have a second chance.

So, just prepare and just do it, and eventually everything will turn out great!

You Can Do It!

 

 

Maria

 

Author In The Making!

Ladies and Gentlemen let me introduce to you!

The Author In The Making; Emily Quinn.

Emily

I came to know Emily through Social Media. In my opinion Emily is a sweet and caring girl, with a great love of Spyro, The Dragon and a deep passion for writing. I haven’t written one bit of her growing story, but I am intrigued by her person and her way of writing amazing Blog Posts. So, I decided to share a little about her and her work in progress.

 

You can follow her journey on her incredible blog, and Twitter & Instagram, Give her a follow and support.

My blog: www.aquintillionwords.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/QuintillionEm

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/aquintillionwords/

 

I asked Emily a few questions, which she answered with style and personality.

 

  1. What inspired you to start your story/stories?

I’ve always thought that being an author was such a cool thing. Having a physical book that you’ve written with your name all over it? What more could you want?! I used to love writing as a kid. My dad told me to try writing my own story one day and ever since then, my love of words continued to grow. I began writing aged around 6 or 7, working on silly stories about animals, friends and all things magical. Moving on quite a few years and here I am. I’ve read more books lately and am so proud to say that my new author friends have given me so much inspiration to get something published, which is why I am working very hard to get there.

 

  1. What’s your favourite writing place/spot?

It’s not always possible, but I do really like being in a big empty space to write. I like being in a place where distractions are minimal and a place where there aren’t any people. In the middle of a field is ideal! Other than that, I think my favourite writing spot has been on a sunbed next to a swimming pool in Tenerife with the sun blazing. Bliss!

 

  1. How did you choose the name for your book(s)?

My current story title, The Kind Stranger, came about after my good friend and colleague told me about an “embarrassing” event that happened on her way to work. She stopped off to get petrol and soon realised that her bank card didn’t work. A man kindly offered to pay for her petrol and left her his details so she could pay him back later. She called him a ‘kind stranger’ which she was very embarrassed about, but if she didn’t, this story wouldn’t be in the making right now!

 

  1. Your favourite writing soundtrack/song?

I love listening to my favourite TV show or video game soundtracks while I write. Something instrumental that I can’t sing along to! At the moment, I have a Spotify playlist containing tracks from Stranger Things, Breaking Bad, Spyro, Uncharted, Crash Bandicoot and Ratchet and Clank.

 

  1. Which genre is your book, and why did you pick that?

I’d say my book has a few different genres complied into one! Eventually, I think it’ll be classed as a kind of ‘murder mystery’ type novel. It’s something I’ve never played around with before and writing out of my comfort zone is something I’ve always wanted to do. I’m really enjoying it so far!

 

  1. What type are you; Scrivener or Word?

I would love to say I was the Scrivener type, but I’m afraid my organisational skills when it comes to writing are not amazing yet! I eventually want to move to Scrivener (or an equivalent) but I’m now actually a Google Docs kinda gal at the moment. I’ve lost too much work over the years using Word and Google Docs always saves my work for me, which is nice 😊

 

  1. How would you promote your novel in the best way?

This is something I really am a beginner in. My novel isn’t finished yet, so this is something I’ve not looked into too much. The new authors I’ve met along my writing journey seem to really do well across social media, carrying out live streams, making their novel available for purchase on sites such as Amazon and slowly getting more and more positive book reviews. We’ll get there!

 

  1. What gave you the idea of the plot of your novel/book?

When I decided on the name for my book, I had a think of all the different possibilities. ‘The Kind Stranger’ didn’t have to be kind. Nor did he have to be a stranger! (No spoilers…) I then had a think about of my favourite stories, the ones I thought I’d never be able to write for myself. Dexter sprang to mind! My head then slowly became filled with ideas and my plot was formed perfectly!

 

  1. Who’s your writing mascot, if you have any?

I would love to say my dog…but I don’t have one! But I have a little Spyro the Dragon clay model which was made for me by my better half. He’s always sat next to me on my table, whispering words of encouragement 😊

 

  1. What are your dreams/wishes for this book?

My short term wish is that I can keep up with writing a small section each day on this novel, no matter how many words I contribute. I want to continue feeling the excitement I feel each time I pick up my laptop. My long term goal is to have my book printed, so I can hold a copy in my hands and say, “I wrote this”. Can I also say I want to see it on the shelves of book stores later down the line? Time will only tell.

 

  1. How did you plan on reaching your readers?

Social media is a powerful thing, so starting there is where I will most likely begin that journey…when I reach it! As I’m not quite at this stage yet, I will probably do my research and contact a few other authors and professionals for advice. Amazon and Goodreads also seem to be the place to grow your following!

 

  1. Traditional or Self-Publish, why?

In an ideal world, I’d love a book publisher to approach me and say, “We’d love to publish your book!” But honestly, I am open to both methods of publishing. There are definitely benefits of each, so when the time comes, I’ll definitely consider both.

 

  1. What does it say on your favourite cup?

I’m not an avid tea or coffee drinker, so you’d probably find me with a big old water bottle with the quote “Start writing, no matter what”. I must start drinking hot drinks…

 

  1. Tell your readers one thing about yourself.

I’ll tell you two!

Funny (but cute) thing: I love animals and I have two pet chickens called Rhubarb and Custard.

Serious thing: When I have my mind set on something, I don’t let it go very easily. I look forward to the future of my story writing and I am so excited to see where it takes me!


I seriously can’t wait to read Emily’s coming books!

She’s an incredible girl, isn’t she? So give her a like and a follow!

Thank You So Much for joining me on WritersLifesWork! Emily Quinn, ladies and gentlemen!