Writing Tips

Writing Tip: The 3-Drafts Rule

Today, I’m going to offer you some advice about how many drafts you should have before you consider sending out your full manuscript to a publishing company.

I consider the magic number to be 3: Three full-length drafts and let me tell you why.

Draft One: Getting it Down

Your very first draft should really be focused on just getting your writing out of your head and down on paper. In this draft, I encourage you to just write. Do not focus on getting it perfect, or saying everything you need to say. Create the bones of your manuscript. Or, in other words, consider it the road map for the rest of your drafts. This first draft is all about getting your words on paper and it will be messy, it will be disorganized, it will not be perfect. And guess what, it shouldn’t be.

Draft Two: Buffing it Out

After “completing” your first draft (meaning that the bones of your manuscript are present and arranged), it is time to start adding the “meat” (the muscles, sinews, and veins, etc.). Draft Two can be accomplished on your own or with a friend or writing colleague. I personally believe that it is beneficial to have outside opinion for this draft. What I do, is I send my Draft One to friends and receive BETA reader comments. What needs flushing out? What drags? What doesn’t make sense, etc.? Once I have their comments, I comb back through my first draft and begin addressing both their comments and add in my own. After this, you should have a completed, flushed out draft, but you’re not done yet.

Draft Three: Cleaning it Up

Once you have completed crafting your narrative (it has bones, and muscle, and skin), it’s time to make it pretty! If hardcore editing is not your thing, ask for outside help whether that means the family member who is an English major or paying for grammar edits. Trust me, nothing lowers the quality of a good book faster than bad grammar. This is your one chance to impress a publishing company, so spend some time (and maybe some money) improving your manuscript until it shines.

 

Well, there you have it: my three-draft rule!

What do you think? Is three drafts too many or too little? Be sure to comment below!

***Extra Tip: It is okay to have some time take place between Draft One and Draft Two, distance can be a good thing for your own writing! It can give you perspective.

 

Happy Writing Everyone!

***If you enjoyed today’s tip be sure to check out my Writing Tips section under the main menu for more great tips and tricks on how to improve your writing!

 

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Blogs / Life, Contests

1,000+ Followers & GIVEAWAY Winner!

You guys rock!

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I now officially have over 1,000 followers (including email subscribers) and it is all thanks to YOU!

You have encouraged me, supported me, and engaged with me on this wonderful journey of writing and blogging!

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Today, I am feeling beyond grateful to everyone who has made this a possibility. Particularly after the weekend I had, I am more grateful than ever to my fellow bloggers who offered their support and encouragement on my behalf!

Anyway, I really don’t want to come off like I’m giving a speech at the Oscars so I’ll wrap this up quick! But I really do want to say thank you to a list of bloggers who are constantly visiting my page, and overall, just being awesome and spectacular bloggers:

WaltPage, MissMWriter, TShaw, Eugenia, Ivor20, Chocotales, Raynotbradbury, NovusLectio, QuippishQuill, InAMessyWorld, BrendaDavisHarsham, Diana, Mia, Carly (MessageinStanza), E.MichaelHelms, HimanshiShukla, TheMuddledLass, SarahAl-Haddad, B.Aphorisms, A.E.Jorgensen, 364Life, DreamFilledLaughter, J.M. Galindo, Joseph Emerson, Castorblog, HistorianRuby, Sims, MatthewWinters, AshaSeth, LibbySommer, Anjalisk96, NOpiniontatedHead, BenWeaver, VeronicaLeigh, YesMoreBlogs, Yassy,  ThePrettyPoems, RobbieInspiration, DarnellCureton, Dale.Beck, DorindaDuclos Short-Prose-Fiction, JoytotheWorld, ByLuis, and more!

These are just a FEW of the awesome people I am surrounded by on WordPress but I really appreciate the way they continuously encourage me, repeatedly like my posts, and comment on my blogs! I highly encourage you to check out their blogs, just type in their names and be prepared for quality blogging!

A VERY HUGE THANK YOU!

Now, getting to the part you might be more interested in. Who won The Hunger Games Book-set Giveaway?

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Please give a Big Congratulations to:

Walt’s Writings!

I could not think of anyone more deserving of this prize then you Walt! You are constantly supporting my blog and extending your friendship! Your wisdom, kindness, love, and humor shine through all your poems! It’s a blessing to know you!

blogging tips, Writing Tips

How to Conduct an Interview

We are writers, not reporters, and yet, the time may come when it is necessary for us to conduct an interview. Perhaps we need to speak to a war veteran about the reality of war, or perhaps we need to talk to a high school barista. By interviewing real-people with real-life experiences, we can add a level of authenticity to our narratives instead of filling pages with guess-work and speculations. Whatever your reason may be, if you have to conduct an interview, here are some suggestions.

Plan & Prepare for the Interview

  • While people may encourage you “to wing it” because it will be a more “natural” conversation, I highly suggest that you plan ahead. If you decided to just “wing it,” the conversation is more likely to be filled by awkward silences and might even lead to your interviewee thinking that they are wasting their time. So here are some ways to prepare:

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  • Ask them ahead of time, don’t just spring it on them.
  • After deciding who you are interviewing, decided why. What is your primary reason for interviewing them, what is the thing you want to learn most about them.
    • Having considered your objections, make a list of questions. You do not have to use every question. If you ask one question and that leads into the next question not on your list but it’s where you want to go, then follow that line of questioning, but it’s good to have those questions there in case you hit a dead end.
    • Try to avoid questions that force a specific “yes” or “no,” “this” or “that” answer. Use open-ended question such as “why” and “how”

Interviewing your Guest

  • While you are obviously going to be asking questions, try not to dominate the conversation. Be a good listener. You are there to prompt the conversation, not to add in your own experiences or thoughts.
  • Be considerate. If you told your interviewee that you will be there for an hour, don’t go over, even if you have more questions without asking them if they are available. Most people have busy lives.

Not done yet…

  • Thank your subject both in person and either: a call, an email, or a hand-written note. They took time to help you with your questions so be kind.
  • Immediately after, go over your notes and spend some time reflecting on the interview. Expand on your notes and answers while the event is fresh in your memory.

So, get out there and get writing! Don’t know enough about your subject? Start Interviewing!

Happy Writing Everyone!

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The Agency Games

Wanna Play a Game?

In my upcoming book, The Agency Games (working title), I am analyzing human agency within The Hunger Games trilogy. However, in one of my chapters I am pulling in some outside material from other young adult dystopian stories such as The Maze Runner and Divergent. In particular, I will be incorporating some dialogue from and analysis of Ender’s Game.

While Ender’s Game is technically well-known as a science-fiction, it also fits within the genre of young adult dystopia with its six-year old main protagonist, Ender.

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Have you ever wondered why parents and adult figures are so lacking within young adult dystopia literature? Is there a point to their absence beyond shining light on the protagonist? And why is this absence so prevalent in today’s stories?

I will be addressing these questions and more in my book so be sure to keep following for updates if you want to be made aware of release parties and early access to the book in 2019!

Happy Writing Everyone!

What is your favorite book out of the series/books I listed above?

Contests

Flash Fiction Contest Ends on Friday

The Flash Fiction Contest hosted through my blog will be closing on Friday at midnight PST.

Remember, flash fiction should be under 100 words, you can either leave your submission in the comment section or link back to your post.

If you want extra points, quickly reblog (“Press This”) the contest or link back to it!

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The clock is counting down, the time is running out, so don’t be late, get those submissions in!

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The Agency Games

Cinna: Friend or Foe?

Sweet Cinna, beloved by so many…

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“I’m sorry that this happened to you but I’m here to help you in any way that I can.”

But are you really sorry, Cinna? Do you really want to help Katniss? Or are you simply using her to form a figurehead for the rebellion?

Did you know that several scholars claim that Cinna manipulates Katniss for the rebellion just as much as other stylist manipulate their tributes for the Capitol?

After all, he constantly pushes the Mockingjay aspect of her wardrobe, he creates the rebel image.

And yet . . .

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He seems so supportive of Katniss! And Katniss truly loves him and sees him as one of her only true friends. He protects her and strengthens her with his design choices.

In my book, The Agency Games (working title), I will explore the relationship between Cinna and Katniss and decide once and for all if Cinna is friend or foe!

What do you think about Cinna? Was he helping Katniss or was he simply using her as the face of the rebellion? Leave your comments below!

Poetry, Uncategorized

Trapped

Hostage Hands

Immobile Legs

A body without a response

Phantom limbs

Craving movement

I see them strain

but feel them lying still

A dream

I know, but please,

wake me up.

 

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Agency Games

The Agency Games: An Update (2)

Hey Everyone, here is my monthly update on my book: (working title) The Agency Games!

The Agency Games is a nonfiction book which analyzes human agency within the popular Hunger Games trilogy. I will be doing in-depth character analyses of individuals such as: Katniss Everdeen, Peeta Mellark, Gale Hawthorne, Haymitch Abernathy, Cinna, Primrose Everdeen, and more in trying to understand how human agency is discovered, maintained, tested, lost, and regained in a dystopian society and how that relates to us as readers.

On January 22nd, 2018, I posted by first update. I was at a total of 22,000 words and 88 pages.

The goal was to write approximately 500 words per day so that I can meet my goal of 75,000 words by May 31st to send to the publishers. As you might remember, I had a slight bump in the road when I had to completely re-do my Cinna and Haymitch chapter.

There were 31 days in between January 22nd and February 22nd, meaning that at 500 words per day, I should have written approximately 15,500 words with a grand total of 37,500 words. So, let’s see how I did. . .

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As of February 22nd, 2018, I have a grand total. . .

41,000 Words!

I knew I was on track, but it turns out I was actually doing more than I thought. Between January 22nd and February 22nd, I wrote 19,000 words!

February Chart
The red shows my word count for January The blue shows my word count as of February The Green shows my Goal for May 31st

I am over halfway to my goal! And it feels a lot like this:

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As great as this feels, I cannot slack off now! I still need 34,000 words and that requires the same level of dedication and accountability as before. I would love to finish all the rough drafts early so that I have more time to go over it as a whole before sending it to the editors, but we shall see!

Thank you to everyone who has encouraged me, supported me, and reminded me to write.

**A Special Shout-out to TShaw who has been my writing buddy for months and  E. Michael Helms who continuously reminds me to stay on track with my writing goals!

Writing Tips

Writing Tip: Scrap Your Work . . .

Yup, this one kind of sucks.

But before you just start dumping all of your work in the trash can or incinerator, read what I have to say.

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“Scrap Your Work When Necessary.

As you all know, I am typing away furiously each and every day in the attempt to finish my 75,000 word manuscript for The Agency Games by May 31st. That means that every word counts. Just this week however I had to scrap entire chapter… over 4,000 words…

Yea…

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Let’s just say, that was not easy, but after giving it to a trusted Beta-reader, I had no choice. The chapter was attempting to discuss both Haymitch and Cinna at the same time and my Beta-reader just ended up more confused than enlightened. Not the response I was looking for. So, it had to go.

And guess what. I’m re-writing those characters into two separate chapters and I’ve already received some positive feedback from the same Beta-reader.

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Writing is hard and scrapping your own work can really suck, but it can also be necessary. So don’t be afraid to toss those sentences, paragraphs, pages, and yes, even chapters!

Happy Writing Everyone!

 

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Contests

Contest Time Once Again: Flash Fiction

That’s right, you heard me! I am hosting a third contest through my blog!

In October 2017, I hosted a Poetry Contest that was not only a success but also a ton of fun! I got to meet amazing poets from around the globe and enjoy their work. In December 2017, I held a Blogmas Contest that really encouraged bloggers to interact with one another.

Now, I am hoping to connect with some writers (poets or no; new or old followers) who are ready to write some Flash Fiction!

What is flash fiction? It is a story told in 100 words or less. Some of the most poignant stories can also be the shortest. One of the most famous works attributed to Hemingway is a six-word short story:

“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

Doesn’t that just send chills up your spine?

Here is a sample of my flash fiction.

“Unexpected phone calls carry the brevity of life.”

Your story does not have to be that short (although it can be), but it does need to be under 100 words. Anything over 100 words is automatically disqualified.

RULES:

  • To be eligible for this competition you must be subscribed to my blog (i.e. following and receiving emails.) Not subscribed yet? No worries! Go to my home screen and click FOLLOW (I’ll receive a notification when you do :D)
  • Leave your flash fiction submission in the comment section.
  • I will be using a point system to chose the winner (this one is similar to the poetry contest system but it is a bit different):
    • You will receive 5 points automatically for subscribing (everyone must subscribe to be eligible)
    • You will receive another 2 points for sharing the contest on your your own blog and linking back (apparently WordPress removed the reblog button and replaced it with “Press This”)
    • Your flash fiction will be rated on a 1-10 scale based on creativity, structure, content, theme, and overall awesomeness.
    • Technically someone can still win without sharing my contest, but sharing would provide additional points for any submissions that are tied.
    • You can only submit one flash fiction per blogger.
  • Last date for submissions is March 16th!

Prizes:

  • The WINNER of this Flash Fiction contest will receive:
    • Their flash fiction and their blog/bio will be featured on my site. This will be a great chance for you to get some publicity on another blogger’s site.
    • It will also include a short author interview!

I can only hope that this contest will be as successful as the last. I am anxiously awaiting your amazing submissions. Good luck!

Happy Writing Everyone!