Writing Tips

Writing Tip: Just STOP

“Stop writing?!”

“But Kayla,” you may ask me, “how can you tell me to stop writing? Shouldn’t we keep writing? After all, we are writers! How can we be writers if we are not writing? How does stopping our writing actually help our writing? Isn’t that contradictory?”

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Now before you turn away from me and shake your head in disgust, hear me out.

I’m not saying that we should stop all writing. I am saying that you should stop working on the project you’re currently working on once you have finished it. For writers there is this huge urge that once we finally finish a project we automatically want to go back through, edit, and send it to a publisher. It’s just not realistic guys. In order for a work to be good you need to utilize the power of distance.

Now some of you may be wondering what the power of distances and others of you might have already heard of it. For those of you who are unfamiliar or need the refresher: The power of distance is, as it sounds, distancing yourself from your work after you have finished it.

Once you have finished a project you set it aside. If it’s on your computer, exit out of the file for a while (I know it’s scary but don’t worry it’ll still be there when you get back to it). If you’re writing in a notebook (hey kudos to you not a lot of people do that anymore),  close the notebook, put in a drawer and leave it alone. Give your work at least a couple of days if not weeks to rest and work on other projects in the meantime. Heck, go outside and see the sun once in a while (you know us writers are vitamin D deficient).

After a few days or a few weeks, whatever you can manage, take your work back out. The distance that you have given yourself and your writing will now do several things for you:

  • You will no longer be wrapped in the euphoria of finishing your project. As such, you will be able to remove your rose-colored glasses and look at your work for what it is: beautiful, but in serious need of some editing.
  • Due to the above, you will also be more willing to do what needs to be done, even if this means cutting out whole sections or chapters of your work.
  • You will gain a new and fresh perspective. I’m sure many of you college students out there know the feeling of turning in a paper, believing it to be 100% free of errors only to have it returned to you with red marks and think to yourself, “How did I miss that?” Do you know that when we read the same thing over and over, our brain will automatically fill in the gaps because it knows where we are going? That is why students often miss entire words in their essays, because their brain automatically assumes the words are there. By placing distance between your work and yourself, you give your brain a chance to restart and give your eyes a fresh chance to look at your material (making it easier to spot mistakes).

Try for yourself guys and let me know how it goes! Once you do finish a project and utilize the power of distance I encourage you to NOT EDIT, but rather, to Rewrite Instead.

Happy Writing Everyone!

©KaylaAnnAuthor2020

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2020. 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.

Book Reviews

Book Review Lottery – Drop Your Books HERE

This Book Lottery is Now Closed; thank you!

What’s the hardest part about being an author? Is it the planning, the outlining, the drafting, the editing? Is it the revising, the publishing, the promoting? Being an author is HARD, but sometimes the hardest part in simply getting people to choose your book out of the millions of books released every year! Even harder than that is getting someone who has read your book to REVIEW your book!

I see this every day; authors working so hard and yet it seems impossible for them to garner more reviews. This is where I have decided to help support my writing community as much as possible.

#SupportanAuthor #WriteaReview

Whenever I have the time/money, I will post what I call the “Book Review Lottery.” During the next 24 hours, the comment section will be opened to authors who want to submit their books for review.

Let me explain how it all works:

  • Authors will submit their book titles, genre, links, AND a compelling blurb advertising their book!
    • If you are missing any of these components, your book will most likely not be chosen.
    • Please no horror, gore, or erotica (Thank you!)

  • I will choose one of the books to read and review. I will let you know personally if I have chosen your book.
  • Time allowing, I will read and post a review to your book within a month.
  • The reviews will be posted on Amazon, WordPress, Twitter, Instagram (story), Facebook, and Goodreads.
    • I will only post a review if I feel comfortable giving it 3 stars or more. If I feel that the book deserves less than 3 stars, I will send my review directly to the author and ask if they still want me to post it on Amazon (only).

 

That’s it! So Drop those Titles, Genres, Links, and Book Blurbs in the Comments!

Book Reviews

Book Reviews Matter

Whether I am speaking to novice writers or veteran authors, I cannot say this enough: Reviews Matter.

Perhaps as an author, you are okay with simply self-publishing your book and putting it online, but realistically, you want people to read it. You want people to love it! You want them to tell their friends all about it!

One way that you can get more people to read your work, is if the people who have already read your work review it.

On Amazon we’ve all seen those sections underneath books that say, “Customers who viewed this item also viewed. . .” or “Sponsored products related to this item.”

Do you know that the only way to get your book to pop up on those suggested reading links is if your book gets at least 50 reviews. Here’s the cool thing though, it does not have to be 50 good reviews; it can be a mix of good, neutral, and even bad! Yes, of course, we all want the five star review, but even a one star review is helpful in gaining visibility.

Reviews = Visibility

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That is why, starting Wednesday, I will begin hosting “Book Review Lotteries” as regularly as I can. During these posts, authors can post their books for consideration. I will choose one book each lottery to read, review, and post on each of my social media sites! Make sure to stop by on Wednesday!

If you have the time and money to do this, I encourage you to host your own Book Lotteries to support your writing community!

Support an Author

©KaylaAnnAuthor2020

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2020. 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.

80,000 Word Challenge

80,000 Word Count Challenge (FINISHED!!)

As some of you may have seen on my Instagram or Twitter accounts, I finally finished the rough draft of my WIP last Thursday!

The Runic Saga: Book One

When I originally started this summer challenge, I had hoped to reach 80,000 words in 10 weeks.

Instead I reached 99,641 words in 11 weeks and I am thrilled! I know that The Runic Saga has a TON of revision in it’s future, but I am so happy with how this draft turned out! Update 6

I have sent out my copy to two Beta-Readers who I trust entirely to give me feedback on general story and plot elements. After I receive their feedback, then the real battle begins with editing, revisions, query letters, and hopefully publishing! I’ll be sure to keep you updated along the journey.

Interested in The Runic Saga? Read a blurb here!

Happy Writing Everyone!

Blogs / Life

First Year of Teaching: Inspiring the Next Generation of Writers

When I was in high school, I was always asked the cliche question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

The answer was immediate, “An author! But I’ll probably teach too.”

It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy the idea of teaching, but it always came secondary to my desire to write. I started teaching college classes in the Spring of 2018, after I received my Master’s degree in English Literature, and realized that I not only enjoyed teaching, I loved it. There was nothing better than helping college students realize that they did not have to hate English even if they had hated it their entire high school experience. In fact, they could even, Heaven forbid, LIKE it!

Then, in the Fall of 2019, I got my wish. I was hired as a full-time Middle School English teacher at a private Christian School where I could help students become better readers and better writers while sharing my love of Christ. This past year, as crazy as it was, taught me that teaching no longer comes second to my desire to write.

I learned that my dreams of becoming a well-established author and my focus on inspiring the next generation to love writing and reading could work together hand-in-hand.

In my English class this year, I shared with my students the process of writing Agency in the Hunger Games, the revision process, the publishing process, and I even got to bring a copy of my book to show my class. I taught them about perserverance and endurance. I told them that at their age, I had sat in that very same classroom, in those VERY same desks, writing in one of my dozens of notebooks while people around me told me that I was wasting my time. I would never be published. The field was too hard to break through. I told them that I had not listened to those voices, but that I had followed my dream and I had worked hard for it. I told them that the dreams they had now did not have to be impossiblilities.

I never realized how much my words meant to them until about a month ago.

A month after online learning ended, one of my students emailed me to let me know that my personal story had inspired him. He had always wanted to write, but never felt good enough being so young and so inexperienced. This summer, he was challenging himself to write his first full-length novel and it was all because I had encouraged him to do so. He told me that he was writing his book in honor of me. It was a simple email, only a few lines long, but it meant the world to me.

I realized then that as an author and as a teacher, it is my duty to inspire the next generation of writers and educators.

What good is experience if we are not willing to share it with others? What good is failure if we can not use it to better ourselves? What use is success if we do not share that success with others to inspire them to follow after their dreams as well?

As both an author and a teacher, I have a new dream of what to be when I grow up. I hope to be the inspiration that the next generation needs.

100,000 Word Count Challenge, My Writings

The Runic Saga #WIP #Pitch #ContemporaryFantasy

The Runic Saga

(working title)

It’s been five centuries since the collapse of the world as it was once known, ravaged by war, disease, and natural disasters. Larissa Daldóttir lives in the leftovers of a forgotten world, a small nation known as Evrópa which resides under the iron reign of the Diamante Empress. Larissa’s only desire is to live unnoticed, especally when it comes to Halla, her second-born sister who is technically illegal under the one-child policy.

When Halla oversteps her bounds, she triggers a series of events that unlock secrets from the past, secrets that the Empress is wiling to silence at any cost. Larissa must abandon everything she knows to protect Halla, but to do so, she must be willing to face the truth of her own history before it is too late. 

Runic Saga

©KaylaAnnAuthor2020

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2020. 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.

80,000 Word Challenge

80,000 Word Count Challenge (Update #5)

Update #5

Ten weeks ago, I came up with the biggest writing challenge I have ever attempted. (If you did not read that post, you can read it here!) For my summer project, I would write 80,000 words in only 10 weeks. That meant that I was writing approximately 1,142 words a day for 70 days straight.

Most days I hit that mark if not beyond. Some days, I struggled with only a couple hundred words. Some days I missed all together. I have learned that keeping a consistent schedule and writing first thing in the morning does wonders for my writing capabilities. I also learned that being held accountable, in person and online, is a huge motivating factor for myself.

So, finally, after ten weeks of writing nearly every day, my goal word count was 80,000 words. As of today, I have a grand total of . . .

88,298 Words

Update 5

To be more precise, I am in the middle of Chapter 22, on page 295, at 88,298 words.

With that in mind, I have NOT finished my book yet! It will probably require 1-2 more chapters to provide adequate resolution and still leave my readers on a cliffhanger. I’ll be sure to post up my FINAL UPDATE next week (hopefully!) A few of you have asked me for more details about my book, and I am happy to finally share more with you!

Working Title: The Runic Saga

This will be a three-to-five book series of YA contemporary fantasy with Nordic influences. On Monday, I will be posting my book blurb/pitch! I would absolutely LOVE your feedback on what works, what doesn’t, and any advice you might have for writing a blurb that catches the reader’s attention.

I look forward to hearing your feedback on Monday!

Happy Writing Everyone

Thank you to everyone who commented on these posts with encouragement. You are so appreciated!

©KaylaAnnAuthor2020

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2020. 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

WINNER of the GIVEAWAY and more . . .

Over the past month, I have had the wonderful opportunity to meet many new awesome bloggers, tweeters, instagrammers, facebookers, and authors. I want to start off by saying: THANK YOU.

Thank you to every single person who reads my posts, who reblogged the GIVEAWAY, and interact with me regularly through our social media sites. In just a moment, I am going to announce the winner of my Giveaway, but I have a second announcement that I hope you will stick around for…

Without further ado, the winner of Agency in the Hunger Games GIVEAWAY is:

Annette Rochelle Aben

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Congratulations, Annette Rochelle Aben! Please go to my CONTACT page and send me an email including your mailing address so that I can ship this book to you as soon as possible!

For my second announcement, I want to thank the blogger who shared and reblogged my GIVEAWAY the most on various social media sites:

Eugi’s Causerie I

As a HUGE thank you, I would like to send you a copy of my book as well! Please send me an email and I will be sure to send out my book!

That’s all folks, thank you to everyone else who participated and reblogged!

*Also, in the near future, I am considering opening up “BOOK REVIEW LOTTERIES” where I will post a blog for twenty-four hours accepting submissions of books that people are wanting reviewed. At the end of that twenty-four hours, I will select one of the submitted books which I will later review and post on my blog.

Would you be interested in particpating? Let me know in the comments!

The Agency Games

LAST Chance to Enter GIVEAWAY

You have 48 hours left to enter the Agency in the Hunger Games FREE Giveaway! In the next 48 hours, every repost, reblog, etc., counts for DOUBLE the amount of entries!

Do you love the Hunger Games? Do you know someone who does? Do you simply love receiving new books in the mail?

Make sure to reblog the original GiveAway (click here!)

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Rememeber, you can earn DOUBLE entries by sharing my Giveaway on WordPress, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Just hastag #AgencyintheHungerGames

Already shared? That’s okay! You can reshare for more entries!

Every time that you share, I will award you a new entry (that means you can literally have countless entries by sharing and re-sharing!)

Thank you to everyone who have already shared; you guys are amazing!

See all the rules by clicking the link:

*Almost 3,000 WordPress Followers GIVEAWAY “Agency in the Hunger Games”

Poetry

Uncertainty

Opinions blasting

Swirling

Into a hurricane

Sources that claim

Truth

Disproved the next day

Insults flying

Flung

With abandon

Who can you trust

Who can you believe

Uncertain times

Call

For uncertain replies

This is only

ONE

that I can trust

 

©KaylaAnnAuthor2020

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2020. 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.