Sunday, October 19, 2014

Make You Characters Ugly

So, while I am incredibly busy, I have still found some time to indulge in the wonderful thing that is Pinterest.  There is no shortage of writers on Pinterest. As I've been exploring writing boards on Pinterest, one thing I see all the time is character boards. Those are super fun! And I understand the temptation to find real life people that help you to envision your characters. However, this temptation, I think, can be dangerous.

Here's the thing. Actors, or for the most part, any people photos on Pinterest are beautiful.  You know. They're models who've had experts do their makeup, take their photos, and then retouch theirs photos before releasing them to the general public. These photographs are not real life. They are not even approximations of real life where no one ever has bad hair days or acne.

When you cast actors as your characters, you describe your characters the way that actors present themselves. So you write characters that are beautiful. Not just normally beautiful, like the way you and your closest friends are beautiful because you know them so well. No, Instead you write characters that are all, one after the other, the cookie cutter version of beautiful, the version manufactured by Hollywood.

Please don't hear this next part as Hollywood bashing. I like movies. I like TV, and on-screen characters. However, there's a reason books continue to sell, and that is because they offer things different from television.  So then, as writers, shouldn't we strive to offer a completely different experience than Hollywood?

So, I suppose I'm not asking you to make your characters ugly, per se, I'm asking you to make them human. I'm asking you to remember that most people have frizzy hair, or a mole on their face, or stubby fingers that they hate. You can use that. Use it to strengthen your characters. Use it to make them more realistic. When you cast some beautiful young actor as your next  love interest, make them a little more human, a little shy of physical perfection.

Thanks for reading. Also, let this article serve as official notice that I'm not dead.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Real Life Catching Up

Hi!

As I may have mentioned, I'm a senior in high school. This means that I am writing college essays, filling out scholarship applications, and trying to get some real world experience now that I've decided what I want to do with my life.

I want to be a writer. There is no doubt in my mind when it comes to that fact.  I also want to be a lawyer, a soccer mom, a senator's wife, (admittedly, that one's a little hard to control) a great friend and consistent mentor.

Sadly, I'm having a hard time finding a balance between all these things in my life. Right now I'm volunteering on a congressional campaign and at my local courthouse while also participating in choir, speech, and debate. I co-lead a Bible study for young woman ages 8-13, I read books on famous people and political movements, I try to keep caught up on the NYT YA bestsellers (Heir of Fire was amazing by the way. Read it. (I'm looking at you, Cait @TheNotebookSisters.))  I'm also deeply in love with the show Scandal, having watched almost all 3 seasons in the last 5 weeks. Did I mention that I'm a newly licensed foster sister with some adorable but time-demanding foster kids?

I guess I could delete that paragraph and just write "Life is busy." So since the semester started, I've written pretty close to 0 words. I roughly outlined and worldbuilt a seven book series that I'm currently itching to start writing, but aside from that I haven't worked on any of my writing projects. I've been sadly lax in getting back to my writing accountability partner, Lily J and my critique partner Elizabeth. Like, I've written Lily one email and haven't even read a word of Elizabeth's novel since school started.

And the worse part? I don't even feel guilty. (Alright, I feel guilty about Elizabeth and Lily, but not about my own work.)  Right now, there is so little downtime in my life, that when I do have it, I'd rather watch Scandal than write 500 words.  And that seems awful to me.

You always see those quotations, "I write, because if I don't write, my soul will shrivel up and die." Or something along those lines.  That's not true for me. I write because writing makes me happy. I write because characters burn inside my imagination. And while it's fun to have them there, it's so much harder to share them with others when they only live inside my head.

So with all that being said, I'm taking a break from writing.  Before you gasp and throw rotten tomatoes at my head (here in my state everyone has lots of rotten tomatoes on their counters and in their gardens) know that I'm not quitting. In fact, I'm participating in a 100 for 100 contest. For those of you who don't know, that's when you pledge to write 100 words a day for 100 days in a row. But aside from those 10,000 words written for the 100 for 100 contest, I'm not putting any pressure on myself to write this semester. I do want to finish critiquing Elizabeth's novel. I do want to win the 100 for 100 contest. I do want to do NaNoWriMo, but from where life looks right now that's not going to happen. I do want to start writing the first draft of the first novel in that seven book series, but that's not going to happen either.

And I'm okay with all that.  I've poured a lot of my time in high school into learning how to write books. And this semester, I want to pour that time into other areas of my life, such as volunteering on campaigns, and spending some final months with fellow classmates who will be moving away next summer.  And I guess I just wanted to tell you that.

If you have something to say, feel free to leave a comment. Thanks for reading!


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Inspiration Thursday: Pinterest Board of the Week

Hey guys! I hope you're having a fantastic week.
I know I missed Inspiration Thursday, but I'm back this week and ready for business. This week, instead of a photo, piece of music, or video, I have a Pinterest Board I want to introduce to you.


Click photo or here to visit board.

What do you think of the board? Inspiring?  I hope so! What's inspiring you lately?  What have you written in the past few weeks that you think was particularly 'inspired?'  Leave a comment and let me know, or better yet write up and Inspiration Thursday post of your own.

Have a great week, and thanks for reading!


Monday, September 8, 2014

How to Fix a Broken Pin in 9 Steps



As a writer head over heals in love with Pinterest, I frequently find Pins that seem interesting to me, only to click them and find no source. Sometimes I want to know who a particular act is or what movie a character inspiration pin is from. Whatever the read, I used to always get annoyed and flustered when clicking a pin didn't lead me anywhere. Then, a few weeks ago I figured out the easiest way to find the source for a Pin on Pinterest, so here it is. Enjoy!







Step 1. Copy the Pin's image URL



Step 2: Go to Google Images and click Search by Image.


Step 3: Paste the URL into the empty field. Click Search by Image


Step 4: Read the website description and discover which one is the website you'd like your pin to link to.


Step 5: Copy the website URL.


Step 6: Return to your broken pin and click Edit.


Step 7: Find the Source field and erase previous source.


Step 8: Paste new URL into Source field.


Step 9: Click Save Changes and you're done!

Hope this post helped you. If you have any questions to confusion or helpful Pinterest tips,leave a comment and let me know!
Happy Pinning.




Sunday, September 7, 2014

Bloglovin'

 Just a quick update to let you know I'm trying to make Inklined more Bloglovin' accessible. If you'd prefer to follow Inklined on Bloglovin' you can do so now!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Thanks!

Monday, September 1, 2014

5 Things that Don't Happen Novels

I'm the past two months, I've talked with 7 different people named Sarah, and it got me thinking. They say novels are just life without the boring parts, and while you don't want books to be boring, the little things in life are what make it up.  So here are 5 Things that happen in real life that don't happen in novels.

1. People with the same name.  Like I said, I've had conversations with 7 Sarahs in the last few weeks.  I also know a large number of Emilys, Elizabeths, Rebeccas, and about a million Austens.  But in novels, each of these names is conveniently assigned to only one person.

2. Sneezes and Hiccups.  Unless it is to further a plot, when was the last time a character randomly sneezed?  Yet I sneeze all the time.  I'm likely yo sneeze once or twice a day for no apparent reason.

3. Owning pets.  I actually didn't think of this one, Emily Rachelle of Emily Rachelle Write actually thought of it and pointed it out.  Pets are normally only in a novel if they are important to the plot.  But in reality, almost everyone I know owns a pet in some way.

4. Normal Religious People. It seems like in non-religious novels, all the characters are either completely okay and in agreement with each others atheism, or they all enjoy making fun of that one cooky religious person who acts like an idiot living in the middle of nowhere.  In real life, there are more than a few people I know who believe in God, pray before meals, and talk about it, even with their non-Christian friends. Yet in novels no one seems to be casually religious. (Please forgive the term.)

5. Daily Chores. In real life, I have chores like feeding the dog and cat every day. I also mow the lawn, babysit my siblings, cook food, do dishes, and a plethora (bonus points for use of that word!) of other things.  Characters in contemporary novels seem to have a lot more time in their schedule than your typical 16 yo.  Contrary to popular belief, high schoolers are filling out scholarships, college and job applications. We're also thinking about internships, college majors, community service, on top of the family chores we are required to do each day.

What do you think of my list? What other items would you like to add?  Leave a comment and let me know, or better yet, write up a post of your own!

Thanks for reading and have a great week.


Monday, August 25, 2014

The Pin It Challenge || Pinterest Take Over

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a writer in possession of a good imagination must be in love with Pinterest.  My own realization of this truth led me to thinking, "What if writers tried to take over Pinterest for a night?"
This led to the birth of an idea: The Pin It Challenge

Pin It Challenge!

The Challenge:

Pin 50 writing related pins on Pinterest in 30 minutes. That's a pin every 36 seconds, if you were wondering.

The Goal: 

To inspire writers, promote their websites, and take over Pinterest!

Challenge Accepted
The Rules:

Starting at 7:00 PM ET on Saturday August 30th, pick your own personal writing board to increase by 50 pins in as short a time as possible.  Record the number of pins already pinned and then start pinning.  Don’t stop pinning until you’ve added 50 pins to your board.
Pins may come from anywhere, other boards, outside websites, or your own hard drive.
Pins that count toward the challenge may be any type of content you find relevant to writing, including but not limited to these: quotes on writing, writing how-to articles, writing inspiration, book covers, setting and character inspiration, ect.
If you pin 50 new pins in 30 minutes or less, you complete the Pin It Challenge!

At 6:59 PM ET, pin the Pin It Challenge Accepted image onto your challenge board.  Once you’ve reached the 50th pin, add the Pinned it Image to your board and/or tweet about your success using the hashtag #PinItChallenge.
If you’re joining the challenge be sure to add your writing related Pinterest board to the link up below!

Pin It Challenge Info
Help Spread the Pin It Challenge:

All of these are totally option, the only things required to participate is a Pinterest account and an internet connection.
Pin the Pin-It-Challenge Images on one or more of your writing boards
Tweet about the Challenge using the hashtag #PinItChallenge
Write your own blog post spreading the word about this challenge


I so hope you get to join the challenge!  If you write a blog post about it, I'd love if it you'd leave the link to your post in the comments!  Don't forget to add your Pinterest board to the link up!


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Inspiration Thursday: Good Character

Happy Inspiration Thursday.  I thought I would take a break from the music videos and go with a quote.  Sometimes I think about what makes a good character.  And I don't mean that in the interesting character sort of way. I mean a character that is truly working for the side of light.  Here's the quote that's inspiring me today:




{Via Pinterest. No Copyright infringement intended.}

What did you think of the quote? What is your character? What about the 'character' of your characters? Do you find it inspiring? What's inspiring you right now? Leave a comment and let me know. Also, I'd love to see some of the things at inspire you. Tweet me a link to your post, leave the link in the comments, or get my attention in some other way! And be sure to use the Inspiration Thursday picture in your post!

Monday, August 18, 2014

What is a Street Team?

A little over a year ago I signed up for something, and then completely forgot about it until a few weeks later, then an author emailed me with an offer that would ensure me more than a few free e-books.  Maybe you know what I'm talking about, but I sure didn't until a year ago!


A street team is a group of people you recruit to help you spread the word about your novel. Ideally your team would be bloggers or vloggers, and also active on Twitter and Goodreads.

So here's how it works.

1. You recruit people.
2. You give them free books.
3. They help you promote your book by writing reviews, blogging about your book, and tweeting about you and any giveaways you're hosting.

Street teams are a great resource to have, especially if you're self-publishing or using an independent publisher with limited promotion opportunities.

Here are some things I would stress when looking for street teams or thinking about applying to a street team.
  • Pick your members wisely [Apply to a street team wisely]
When picking street team members, browse their Goodreads shelves, see what they say about books similar to you on their blog.
When applying to a street team, take the time to read about the author and make sure you will love the book you are offering to promote.
Remember, quality over quantity. It's better to be a devoted member on two street teams, than an inefficient member on seven. Just like it would be better to have four great street teem members than twelve mediocre ones.
  • Communicate the Time Commitment [Make sure you understand the time commitment]
Are you looking for street team members who will promote you as an author, your stand alone book, or a five-book series?  Communicating the time commitment will really help members understand what they're getting into.
  • Communicate the Work Commitment [Understand the work commitment]
Tell your street team members what you expect from them. Do you want them to mention you in a Tweet once a week?  Write reviews for all of the books you send them?  If you communicate what you expect from them before they apply, you'll have happier, better equipped street team members.
  • Ask Your Street Team if it Want to Consider
Sometimes, we readers get sick and tired of reading YA romance disguised as dystopian.  We may have joined your street team when we loved your genre, and now we're ready to move on. Every so often, (I would recommend 4-6 months) ask your street team if they'd like to continue receiving novels from you.  You may lose members, but you'll keep the best ones.

That's all I have for today! Thanks for reading. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments!


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Inspiration Thursday: Kings and Queens

Every little girl loves princess and princes, right?  Well, I like to think I've grown up a little since then. My current obsessions are Kings and Queens.

 {Song: Kings and Queens by Audio Adrenaline}

What did you think of the song? Do you find it inspiring?  What's inspiring you right now? Leave a comment and let me know. Also, I'd love to see some of the things at inspire you. Tweet me a link to  your post, leave the link in the comments, or get my attention in some other way!  And be sure to use the Inspiration Thursday picture in your post!

P.S. I'm sad because my senior year of high-school started yesterday. It seems like there is still so much of high-school left, but at the same time, so little.

Have a great week and see you Monday!


Monday, August 11, 2014

7 Reasons You Should Be on Twitter

A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog post as a letter to past me. If you want to read it, click here. Spoiler: One of the things I said in the post was that I wished I'd joined Twitter sooner. (Let's pretend for a minute that my hoards of adoring commenters all asked for me to expound on that statement. This did not actually happen, but it makes me sound cooler.) Because of the hoards of adoreing commenters asking for a follow up post to that statement, here are 7 Reasons Bloggers and Writers Should be on Twitter.

1.  Twitter is a great place to connect with readers!
On the rare occasion that one of you deem my blog post good enough to tweet about, it makes my day!  It makes me want to flip back-flips (but unfortunately I spent my childhood reading, not on the tumbling mat.) If you join twitter and start tweeting about your blog, you'll be surprised how many pageviews you get from those two or three tweets. In the past month, I've gotten at about 30 hits from Twitter, or about one a day. That may not sound like much, but you never know the difference one reader can make.

2. Everyone is semi-equal on Twitter.
While yes, Twitter accounts like JK Rowling's probably get more hits on a daily basis than I do, if I send a tweet to Rowling, it shows up on her account the same way it would it she sent a tweet to me. We don't have to be friends. We don't have to know each other at all outside of Twitter. It's wonderful.

3. Twitter can be a good marketing tool if and when you publish that book.
If you read this blog, chances are you plan on becoming a published author at some point in the future.  Twitter, in my opinion, is one of the best ways you can advertise your book!  And if you get to understand confusing things like hashtags and Retweets now, when it's time to start promoting your book on Twitter, you'll be all the more ready.

4. Twitter is a good place to met and engage with bloggers you look up to.
Two bloggers I really look up to are Cait from The Notebook Sisters and Stephanie Morrill from Go Teen Writers. Bother of these writers probably knew of my before Twitter, but I really feel like connecting with them on Twitter helped strengthen my relationship with them.

5. Twitter is a great platform to show your support for authors and start getting to know them.
Say you have an authors that you look up to.  Maybe you even think they'd be the type of author to read your first book and write that glowing comment publishers seem to love smattering over the back cover of books nowadays. If you start promoting and interacting with that author now, they might have a more friendly idea of who you are. They might even tweet about you one day!

6. Twitter is not as time consuming as many other social media sites.
I don't know about you, but between Pinterest, YouTube, and Facebook, I can spend a lot of time on social media.  But while I love Twitter, I find it harder to get sucked in.  Maybe it's the unique interaction of 140 characters, combined with Favorites, Retweets, and Hashtages, but Twitter seems like it was built for people in a time crunch!  You can easily spend on 10 minutes a day on Twitter and still have a lot of interaction and fun!

7. Twitter is Fantastic!
And that leads me to my last point, that Twitter is just plain fun!  Even if you only spend 10 minutes a day on Twitter, you can learn the lingo, get to know and connect with some of your favorite authors, and give shout outs to bloggers you admire.  Twitter is fantastic, and all around, I see no reason not to join!


Do you have a Twitter account?  Are you going to get one now?  Either way I'd love to see the link to your twitter in the comments. It would be my honor to follow you.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Inspiration Thursday

Hey guys!  So my favorite writing blog, Go Teen Writers, has recently started in increase in their number of posts they've done this by writing little, small posts with inspirational writing quotes.  This has inspired me to do something of my own.

I've been thinking about posting about things that inspire me for a while now.  Today you get a song.  Who knows what you'll get next week.


What did you think of the song? Inspiring?  What's inspiring you right now? What do you think of this style blog post? Leave a comment and let me know. Also, I'd love to see some of the things at inspire you. Tweet me a link to  your post, leave the link in the comments, or get my attention in some other way!  And be sure to use the Inspiration Thursday picture in your post!

Thanks for reading!


Monday, July 28, 2014

Dear New Blogger Me

I've been meaning to write this post ever since my blog broke 100 followers, but I hadn't gotten around to it until today.  Here's a letter from current blogger Sarah to the Sarah of January 25, 2012.



Dear Past Sarah,
Guess what!  Two things. First, this blog reaches 100 followers within 30 months of being launched. So many bloggers don't make it that far, so way to go!
Second, you do finish that first draft of that first novel. And then you finish two other novels and almost finish the fourth.  You're writing has gotten a lot better, but it still has a lot of room for improvement.
Here are somethings I've learned in the last few years I feel it important to share with you.

1) Inklined gets a major make-over.  I've pretty happy with my blog right now, but looking back on what it used to be makes me toes curls. (If you'd like to see Inklined's old look, click here.)  Brighten up Inklined as soon as you can. Make it look less like something an 11 put together using Paint.

2) Pinterest is not just a website for DIY fanatics. Join it and join it as soon as you hear about it.

3) You follow a lot of blogs, but that doesn't mean you read a lot of them. If you find yourself skipping a blogs posts, unfollow it. You'll thank me later when you start to make real connections with cool teen bloggers you wouldn't have found otherwise.

4) Twitter is not just for celebrities and their fans. It's a fantastic website with lots of wonderful opportunities. If you can join and understand it now, you'll be so much better at it when you want to start using it for important things like breaking ice with awesome writers, bloggers, and agents.

5) If someone takes the time to comment, comment back. And don't just comment back, but also take the time to read a blog post or two of theirs.

6) Find 5-10 bloggers that you really love. At least skim every post they write, and comment on at least half of them. Give them shout outs on your blog. E-mail them and tell them you appreciate their blog. Connect with them on Twitter if possible. Be consistent and polite.

7) Start a blog as soon as possible.  The sooner you can claim the domain name you want, the better.  Plus, you can't improve a blank web page.

Also, keep blogging, keep writing, and keep following God. Be diligent in these things.

Sincerely,
Sarah Faulkner
July 2014

If you do write your own post,
I'd love for you to be this
picture somewhere in it.
What would you say to yourself as a beginning blogger?  I'd love to see what you have to say in the comments, or better yet write up you own post. I'd love to read it if you leave the link in the comments!  Or, if you're a beginning blogger, what do you think of this advice? Have you heard it before?  Are you doing any of it already? Let me know what you think in the comments!


Monday, July 21, 2014

You Know That Book . . . A Story of Parallels

So . . . you know that series?  The one that's an international bestseller?  The one with a main character who is predestined to be the only one to defeat the Dark Lord?

The one who's family has to go into hiding to protect him?
The one who's family sometimes rejects him?

This character develops supernatural powers at a young age.

When he leaves his home, he immediately begins to draw people to him.



He faces and overcomes many trials presented to him by the Dark Lord.



He must not let pride get the best of him,
although many people worship the ground he walks on.

This series is really long.  It takes people a long time to read the whole thing.


In this series, the main character is often rejected and ridiculed.

Near the end, his closest friend abandons him.

But comes back in time for the climax.

He is betrayed by someone close to him. 

He ultimately faces death to keep others 
(some of whom he doesn't even know)
from dying.

But because he is pure, his death only kills the evil part of him.

He comes back to life, and saves the world from the Dark Lord.

But, of course, not everyone is saved.
Those who allied themselves with the Dark Lord are punished.

Do you think I'm talking about these books?

Nope. You'd be wrong.
And now you might be thinking:

Maybe it is.


But the book I'm talking about is this one.



I'd love to here your thoughts on this.  If you have any questions about what I said, feel free to ask.  In fact, I'd love to here what you say about this post!  Do you see the parallels between the story of Christ and the story of Harry Potter? Obviously I did.

Have a great week!