About Me

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I spend the majority of my time on campus, either in class or busy with other things going on. In my spare time, I like to write short stories and novels. I'm majoring in Communications at the University of Delaware.

Publishers/ Authors

I would be pleased to review any books, whether they be advance copies or old ones. If you would like me to review a book, feel free to email me at ashley2055@gmail.com or leave a comment on any of my posts.

I will also do giveaways on merchandise if you would be interested in giving away copies of books or other items.

Thank you for your time and interest!


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December 26, 2010

What Can I Do to Keep my Story Interesting?

Today, we have a question from a fellow writer, as always.
What can you do to move your story along when it gets to a slow point?

We all face the problem where your story or book starts to feel like it's dragging on, even when we're nowhere near the end. Some writers ignore it, and their books suffer. Whenever I feel that the story is getting boring, or the characters seem bland, I throw in a twist. Think of your book as if you're the reader. What would be a shock that spiced things up, but kept it realistic for your storyline?
Things like adding a new character into the mix or even killing one add a punch to your book. I know most books can't just have people dying left and right though. So, maybe a dramatic accident where someone is injured. Maybe your main character flips in science class? It's up to the writer how to add the punch in. Whichever way you choose, it should be a wake-up call to readers that your book does have twists and turns. Don't let things get too out of hand though. If you want to see an example of plot twists, take a look at my book, Flashbacks of Juliet. There are a lot in there.
I hope that helped with your dilemma. Just remember, think of yourself as the reader. What would make you go, "Oh my God, I can not put this book down!"?

December 23, 2010

How Do I End My Novel?

Have you ever had trouble ending your novel, or even a short story? You're not the only one.
I don't know why, but I just cant seem to write an ending I am happy with. Every time I try to write the last chapters, it comes out stiff and I end up deleting it.

I've only written one full novel, but I do have the ending for another one planned. If it's a stand-alone book, my advice is to tie up all loose ends. Make sure all the questions (or most of them) have been answered. You don't want the ending to just be random fluff. Make it meaningful. If you feel that you can't get to the actual end without doing some explaining of other things first, then make two-three chapters, ending all of that. Don't spend too much time on one topic unless it was a big part in the novel. If you think that most of your topics could be explained and ended within a paragraph, it may be a good idea to have an epilogue. That's what I did for my one novel, Behind These Amber Eyes. (It's fully posted on inkpop if you want to take a look at the last chapter) Remember to add emotion. Like, if you're explaining how the main character was no longer close with an old friend, put something like, "Even though I knew we had our differences and just couldn't pretend anymore, I still missed all the parties and times we had. It was like a pinch in my heart when I saw how far apart we had drifted."

If you have a series going on, then you could always end it with a cliffhanger. It doesn't even have to be something like, "I screamed as a hand pulled me down. Then it went black." Just something like, "The past was for certain, but the future was unsure. So much could happen in the blink of an eye. Closing my eyes and feeling the warm air around me, I reminded myself to live in the present because you never know what tomorrow may bring." That gives a sense of suspense and mystery, but still ends things.

In closing, you want to make things short, but make sure to explain them. Leave a tiny bit of mystery if you can, just to let the reader imagine things on their own. If it's a series, then it's all right to let some questions unanswered. It'll bring the readers back for sure.

Where Do I Start?

Here's the question this time around:
so I know what my story will be about, who my characters are, what my characters do with their lives, what one of them wears right down to the designer, and what happens to them. I just dont know how to start it all off! any help?
It's always hard to start a novel. I know from experience. Whenever I'm having troubles, I write out an important scene from the story. If you're lucky, you'll realize it's a great place to start. Other times, it's too far in to be the beginning. So, think about what causes that great scene to happen. Can you start the book with one of those?
Here's an example.
Great scene:
I loved how his lips felt on mine, and how we could stay there forever. It didn't matter that the morning would come and tear us apart. He'd return to his family. I'd run off to work, blushing like a schoolgirl. For tonight, we had each other, and that was enough.
Beginning:
It's impossible to love someone when they're not meant to be loved. Romeo and Juliet were cursed from the start. Rose and Jack were on a sinking ship. And Drew Lansen was known for spending his free time with his brothers at their lake house. He was one of those family first guys, the guys who just didn't have time for love.
And yet, I still loved him. I loved the boy who was impossible to love.

It's not my best, but it still shows my point. Try to view your book as a whole, a movie of sorts. Fast-forward to the middle, pause it and think, 'What happened to get me here?' And no, your answer is not, 'I pressed fast forward!' Write the beginning so one day it will lead you to the middle.

What Inspired You to Start Writing?

This post actually includes three questions, all from the same asker. I won't be saying names or anything, but here is question #1.

What inspired you to start writing?
Well, when I was little - second grade - I moved to a new school. One thing that was different was that they had Writer's Workshop. We got almost an hour daily to write and come up with ideas. I started writing short stories. I even made a series out of them. It was mandatory to write during those daily hours, but I started to love writing because of it.

#2: How do you develop your characters?
When I start thinking of a story, I find myself imagining the characters to go with the storyline. To help my characters grow and become realistic, I find questionnaires online and fill them out. Here's an example of one: http://www.writingclasses.com/InformationPages/index.php/PageID/106 I usually fill out two or three per character, but I make sure the questionnaires are different. It also helps to print them out and save them so if you ever forget the character's parents' names or anything, you can just look it up real quick.

#3: What's your advice for me, the girl writing a vampire love story?
Like you, I'm writing a vampire novel. A lot depends on what "type" of vampire you have. You want to make your story original. You don't want to be a Dracula replica or a Twilight minion. Add traits or characteristics to set your vampire apart. Make people go, "I know that vamp!" when they hear about your book in a year or two. :D Here's a wiki page with a good questionnaire for vampire authors: http://new.spork.com/players/index.php/Vampire:Character_Creation Depending on your vampire, you may need to skip questions or even add your own in. Either way, it's a good idea to fill out what you can and help yourself become closer to your vamp.

How Do I Publish a Book?

A lot of young (and old!) writers want to know how to get their novels published. It's not an easy path, but we all like to dream about that day when we walk into Barnes and Noble, and say, "That's my book! Right there!"
Here's the step by step process. It may not work. It may seem like a waste of time, but don't give up!

1. Write your book. Sounds easy, right? Try again. Write out your rough draft. Just write what you feel and what seems good to you. Then step back and admire your work.

2. After you admire your work, you're probably freaking out. How did you switch tenses halfway through? Why did so-and-so's little sister disappear? Calm down. We all slip up. Go through and edit your draft with a big, red pen. A bowl of Hershey kisses might help.

3. Once your draft is all shiny and perfect, let your friends and family overlook it. They'll help you realize it's not all that perfect, and that's okay. Revise and edit until you find satisfaction.
4. The next step is finding an agent. Agents can help you a lot with getting published. You have to query agents, wait for their response and most likely send them another email/letter before the deal is sealed. To see a list of agents, go to: http://agentquery.com/

5. If you find an agent, it will hopefully become easier. They can help you get your manuscript out to publishers and publish your writing. I haven't made it to this step yet. I'm still in the process of querying, but I can tell you one thing. Agents and publishers might turn you down. Your job is to get back up and get your book out there.

So, there you have it. It won't be a skip in the daisy field, but it'll be rewarding. It also won't be free, but costs differ on agents, publishers and more. Just remember that you can't give up.

No, I'm Not a Creeper

Hey! So, my name is Ashley C. Nicole. That's actually my pen-name, but it'll work here. This is my writer's blog. I'll be answering questions about writing, and other things too. So, if you want to know how to end that short story or how to tell your crush you like him, come here and ask! I'll try and respond as soon as possible. Also, remember I'm not Buddha. I won't have all of the answers, but I'll try!
If you want to learn about my books and other things, you can go to www.caseyscovers.weebly.com
It's my other website. To ask me a question, leave a comment, message me on inkpop (if you have one! my username is casey261) or you can even email me at ashley2055@gmail.com
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