Since I've been letting my novel sit for nearly a month now, I've been getting all kinds of different ideas for stories and blog posts. One of these ideas that I'm excited to tell you all about is a series of short stories that I'm going to be releasing. I can't tell you much about it now, but I can tell you that I'll be releasing it in the Kindle store as an e-book that I'll probably be selling for $0.99. I'm excited for you all to read some of my fiction while I'm in the publishing progress with my big fiction piece, and I think that this will be a good way for you all to get a taste of my work. I don't know when I'll be releasing it, but I'll let you all know when there's a release date. Keep being supah wicked awesome!
This post is exactly what it sounds like. Today I'm talking about how people love fear and scary things. Fear is one of the reasons that Stephen King and Suzanne Collins sell millions of books. Though the two authors are in very different genres, they both have one thing in common: conflict that brings you to your toes through fear, and it's not just the zombie-is-eating-my-face-off fear. It's the, what's going to happen next? fear. Humans like being on the edge of their seats. They like realizing that they've been holding their breath only after the credits are rolling. We like these things because it's like an out of body experience. We can experience these terrible, horrible, scary things without being in the mix. It's adrenaline and Hollywood mixed together like a deadly cocktail. Hollywood and publishers like this poison, because a lot of people can't get enough of it.
So how do you use this in your writing? You don't have to be a horror writer or suspense writer to infuse fear--at least the kind that people love--into your words. Let me give you a quick breakdown of using fear in your story with a typical kind of setting:
Your main character (Let's call her Callie) lives in a small town, in a small apartment, with a typical life. She spends her weekends at the local bar where she plays pool and smiles at the boys that drink beer and keep their elbows on the tables.
What's Callie's problem, then? Callie hates her life, but she doesn't know how to get out of it. She doesn't like the typical routine. She doesn't like falling asleep alone at night. She wants to fix this. This is her problem.
Where can you input fear into this typical story? Don't just let her fall in love and blah, blah, blah, happy ending. Callie will meet a boy at the bar. She'll fall in love with said boy because he's cute, drives a motorcycle, and is everything that's bad and good at the same time. Callie will close her eyes per se, and won't realize things have gone sour until she finds herself locked in the cellar of an auto parts store. No one can hear her screams. No one can save her. Small town girl's going to miss her next shift, but that's not the biggest deal. The biggest deal, is that the bad boy left the propane on in the basement, and there's a furnace running that she can't quite seem to find the off-switch for. Oh, but bad boy couldn't have meant to do this, could he have?
See how you can infuse fear into an everyday story outline? The story above isn't horror. It may be a a little of suspense, but it's still a typical setting. By offering little images of scary things, and things that maybe every person has in the back of their mind--those ticking, itchy, crawling feelings that we ignore and write off as twitchy conscience thoughts--you can hook your reader. Make your nightmare situations come to life, and your readers will be on the edge of their seats reading the outcome. Don't be afraid to be scary. Touch into your fears, bring them to life.
Criminal Minds is a good example of a "fear" show that viewers love, and it's not horror. It's one of my favorite shows. People love it, because it preys on your psyche. It makes you think that could be me, so you can't stop watching, because you want to know if the person you're watching makes it out. If, if you were in the same situation, you would make different decisions. Would you make it out?
Since I didn't write an ending to the little story above, I would love to hear from you all and find out what happens to Callie. Email me at Elysiaregina@gmail.com, and I'll read all of your stories. I'll even feature some of your stories on a post if you send them my way, and I may write an ending of my own!
You guys are AWESOME. Keep reading, writing, dreaming, entrepreneur-ing, and being supah wicked awesome. As always, thank you for reading!
I've always dreamed big, and I've always believed that you can accomplish anything that you put your mind to. Hence my creation of Inspire Thread Company! I try to keep my dreams close to me--pictures of things that I want to one day achieve on my walls, inspiring quotes, etc--because I believe that if you look, or listen to something that you want, you're much more likely to achieve it. I didn't come up with this. It's largely impart to videos like The Law of Attraction. One thing that's a great way to keep your dreams close, is to write out what you want. So, if you want to humor me, here's one of my dreams about my writing office.
I dream of a house by the water with windows all around it. I think the house will be yellow. It will have a huge office on the second floor with a big, curved white desk. There will be bookcases all around the room with hundreds of books. Prints will cover the walls with my favorite quotes on them, and the floors with look like flooring from an Anthropologie store. There will be a fireplace for when it's cold, and I'll open up the big windows all around the room when it's hot. The breeze off of the water will float in through the windows. I'll spend my time here writing, reading, and being creative.
I'll post a photo when I have my dream office :)
Exactly eleven days until I can read my book. I am literally counting down the hours. If there are any of you that aren't sure what I"m talking about, let me enlighten you. I finished the first draft of my novel on November 1st, and I am letting it rest a month before picking it back up. When December 1st hits, I am taking the day to read my entire novel, and am making a list of plot edits. It will be a long day, but I'm looking forward to it.
Twitter is all about the relationships. My Twitter Tip for today is how to build a dedicated following by building relationships with people. In regards to social media, Twitter in particular, when you talk to other people, encourage them, and interact with them, you're more likely to build a dedicated following. Like I said in my previous Twitter Tip, a lot of celebrities manage their own Twitter pages, however very few of them actually interact with their audience. What about the ones that do interact with their audience? Their fans LOVE them. When a celebrity or public figure interacts with a fan, it shows that they are human. The interaction makes the fan feel special. I can pretty much guarantee you that the fan will be spreading the word about the celebrity that interacted with them. What if you're not famous? Well, most people on Twitter aren't famous. However, whenever you build a conversation with another person on Twitter, your conversation will show up in all of their followers's feeds, which builds your brand and exposure.
So how exactly do you interact with your audience? Talk to your followers. If someone follows you, they obviously respect you enough to have done so. Give them credit and shoot them a "Thanks for the follow" tweet every once in a while. You'll be amazed at how much less often you'll lose followers if you interact with them. Someone responds to your tweet? Tweet back. By creating engaging conversations and interactions with your audience, people won't just pass by your Twitter handle, they'll remember you, and they probably won't unfollow you. Trust me, there's nothing worse than gaining a few hundred followers in a day, and then losing fifty the next week because you didn't interact with any of them.
Some people that are great examples of public figures that interact with their audience, and that I've been able to interact with, are Eric Hutchinson, Raviv Ullman, and Gary Vaynerchuk. Give them all a follow, because they post great content.
In summary, don't just float in Twitter cyberspace with a profile that just sits and does nothing. Take advantage of the great social media tool that Twitter is, interact with people, get to know them, and in turn, you and your brand will benefit from it. Plus, it's pretty neat to know people all over the world through 140 characters. Have a good night, and have fun tweeting!
In the writing world that we're currently in, a lot of writers think that they need to tailor their novel to whatever is popular right now. I'm here to tell you that you shouldn't do this. You're probably thinking, but Elysia, if something is popular, shouldn't I write about it?! Well, I hate to break it to you, but just writing about something popular and hoping that it gets published probably won't work. In the traditional publishing world, it can take years for something to hit the shelves of your local bookstore. If you start out writing a novel just to appease an audience, you will probably end up uninspired and discouraged before you've even finished. Instead of writing for the world, write for yourself. You will want to keep your reader in mind, but don't just write something because you think that it will be popular. All things popular will go out of style in time (do you remember leisure suits...?), so don't write something just crossing your fingers that it'll be as popular as the things that are trending. A trend is a trend, and most trends will disappear. Write what's on your mind, and what you have a passion for, and that's where you'll find your niche, and what you love.
To writers like myself, the idea that publishing is dying is terrifying. The fact that so called "experts" are saying that something I've been working my whole life at is becoming obsolete is painful. They say that Kindles, Amazon.com, and ebooks in general are destroying the paper library. When I get nervous about publishing dying, I have to remind myself that there are still people like myself--people that love the feel of a real book. There are still people that look forward to going to a bookstore and picking out a book in person. I disagree with the "experts". I think that these people think that books, like movie stores, are dying, because people love the internet too much. However, regarding the movie argument, movie stores started in the 1970s, whereas books have been around for thousands of years. So, "experts", I think that you should reconsider your thoughts of books dying. There are too many print lovers, and book nerds to let books disappear. Check out this chart that shows the finance end of publishing.
If you can look at those margins, and then tell me that publishing houses will stop printing, I think that you may be crazy.
The photo above shows the revenues between the year 2000, and the year 2012. Book sales are growing. This is in large part from help of ebook sales, but not from printing dying. Ebooks are offering more revenue for publishing houses, who continue to print books. You may see less bookstores, or the uprise of Indie bookstores, but I don't believe that bookstores will ever become obsolete. We love books too much for that.
This may seem like the incessant complaining of a writer who believes too much in her craft, which you can believe if you'd like to, but it's also the pointing out of big business from someone that appreciates business. Think what you want, but don't lose faith in the printed book.
Thanks to HughHowey.com for the photos!
If there are any of you that don't already know, I'm a huge fan of Twitter. It's my favorite social media platform, and I use it more than any other social media site that I'm on. I have about 12,000 followers on Twitter, and am working steadily at growing that following. The thing I love about this platform, is the accessibility that anyone has to most anyone on the planet. Celebrities have Twitter profiles, a lot of whom manage these profiles themselves, as well as up and coming artists, musicians, business people, etc. With a strong base, you can contact CEOs of companies, people you're a fan of, and much more. To me, Twitter is like opening the door to networking. With the right tools and ways of use, you can build your Twitter following to several thousand as I've done. This is the first of a series of articles I'll be releasing explaining what I do to be successful on Twitter, and how you can do the same.
My first tip in the series is something that I learned from Gary Vaynerchuk, a lead social networker and businessman, and someone that I admire. His article was titled, The Number One Mistake Everybody Makes on Twitter. This little tip helped me out substantially in my Twitter career. Here's the tip. When you're addressing someone on Twitter and use the @ symbol, you're talking directly to them. Right? Right. They get a notification that you tagged them in a post. Now, what if you're writing to someone, but you want the whole world to see? If you simply post something like this:
@Garyvee, I love your work.
Only people who follow @Garyvee, and yourself, will see that post. What if you want the whole world to see the post? Put a measly little (.) in front of your post.
.@Garyvee, I love your work.
Now, not only will @Garyvee and anyone that follows the both of you see your tweet, but everyone who follows you will see it in their feed. Magic! Now you'll come up in your entire followings feed, not just the people's feeds who are both connected with you and Garyvee.
Read Gary Vaynerchuk's original article HERE, and check HIM, and I, out on Twitter.
Thanks everyone, see you next time!
Hello! My name is Elysia. I've written since I was six years old, and I wrote my first novel when I was twelve. I'm from Maine, and now live in Charleston, South Carolina. As far as random happy things, I've ridden a Clydesdale on the beach in California, zip-lined and swum in caves in Mexico with bats and stalactites, and spoken to an audience of 1,500. I own an old typewriter and one of Pete Wentz from FOB's guitar picks. I love to travel, and have visited nearly every US state, Canada, Bermuda, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, the US and the British Virgin Islands, Mexico, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Curaçao, Bonaire, Aruba, Switzerland, and Barcelona. I also dream of one day watching the ball drop in New York City. I love to type (I know, I'm a weirdo), and can type approximately 140 WPM, nowhere close to Barbara Blackburn's 212 WPM record, ugh, the overachiever.