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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Amazon's Kindle World- paying for fanfiction?

Has Amazon gone too far? I think their self-publishing platform is great, but now they are delving into the world of fan fiction. I understand that Fifty Shades of Grey has garnered a lot of attention but, honestly, if that's the material that Kindle Worlds will be churning out, my trust in them will plummet. What ever happened to people wanting to produce quality products?

Right now it seems that the copyright licensing is in the hands of the original authors and any companies they sell it to. So, ultimately the original authors still have the right to say whether or not Amazon may create a 'Kindle World' around their fan fiction. I've never been comfortable about the idea of someone taking my work and making fan-fiction out of it. I've read too many fan stories that totally pervert the characters so that the writers can fulfill their personal fantasies with them, but if the other authors are okay with it then there's no problem.

The only problems I do see with this is the amount of low quality works that will be turned into products, unless they implement some sort of gate keeping. Also, this deal seems to fall more in Amazon and the copyright holder's favor than the fan fiction authors. I would read the contract very carefully before jumping on board.

Fan fiction is built upon sharing work with fellow fans, but I could see how many of them would leap at the chance of being paid. I hope that more writers will put their creative energies into developing their own characters and worlds. Don't get me wrong, some fan writers are have insane talent and have entertained me, and I would understand how this would help them start a name for themselves, but honestly, this seems to be a money hungry scheme.

What are your opinions?

Monday, May 20, 2013

I'M BACK! 5 ways to increase your word count.

This post is really just for myself, seeing as how I don't have any followers. However, I have come to announce good news. For those slow pokes like me, who take years to write a single novel, there is a way to increase your word count and become a pro at spitting out 5,000 -7,000 words a day. Here's what I've learned.

1. If you have a mind that's easily distracted by facebook, twitter, or your email, you need to learn how to concentrate. Turn off those other things that take your attention away from writing. If you turn them off only to turn them back on 5 minutes later, you can download StayFocus or LeechBlock. StayFocus is a program only for Google Chrome that allows you to designate how much time you allow yourself for other websites.

2. Write a small summary of what you plan on writing. I made the mistake of making up things as I went along with only an extremely rough draft of what the end conclusion would be. However, I realized that taking 5 minutes to plan out a scene before going at it without a road map has improved my writing speed as well as decreased the frequent moments of writer's block. Now, I take 2-3 days charting my entire story. This outline is usually 10 pages long if I become extremely descriptive.

3. Start with a scene that you find exciting. This also works well with the outline. If you do a full story outline, take note at which scenes do you get excited about. If your outline is detailed enough, start your day with that scene. When you get to the scenes that inspired your story in the first place, your words will flow like water. It's also a good idea to pump yourself up for each section of writing. This will be especially difficult with those boring but necessary scenes, but try to find something interesting within them.

4. Time yourself and set up mini goals. Say your goal is 6,000 words a day. Set 3 times out of the day when you'll be available to write. I set 1.5 hours in the morning, 1.5 hours in the afternoon, and 1.5 hours at night to write. Each time I set a goal of 2000. I'm racing with myself and by night, I have finished my word count and can do a quick review of some of my writing, expounding upon certain scenes or descriptions and cleaning up my typos. If your usual output is 2,000-2,500 a day, try adding only 500 words on your first day. If you meet that easily, try increasing it by 1,000. Test yourself by constantly increasing your goals until you find something your comfortable with doing daily.

5. Sign up for This is an awesome website dedicated to rewarding you for your consistency. It helps develop the diligence to go into Nanowrimo and other writing goals. Every level you get rewarded badges. Everyone starts off as an egg, then you move into a Turkey after three days of consistent writing. After five days you evolve into a Penguin and after ten, an Albatross. There are more badges to earn and a helpful community of writers.

Good Luck Writing

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Kickstarter- ROUND 2!

It's been so long since I've posted anything here. After Ramadan, I've started back into college and my novel has been sitting on my laptop practically untouched. I've decided to try Kickstarter once again. This time I've lowered my goal to the bare minimum of $2,500. This price will include a professional edit of my novel, artwork, and Kickstarter's fee. As for the rewards, I realized for my initial project, they were very mediocre and impersonal. Now, I will have handmade rewards that I've poured my sweat and blood into. I only hope I can keep up with this during college.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Addicted to books


My name is Salt and I'm a book addict.
I never recognized by addiction to books, maybe I was in denial for all those years. It started with A Wrinkle In Time. I was nine years old at the time, a dark and stormy night with nothing to do. I decided to try something new. I decided to read a book.

It comes and goes. The urge to find someplace else to fall into, to slip away into a world of my own.

I didn't know how bad it was until a few days ago. I haven't been able to find a job in over 15 months. I missed my car insurance payment and my sister had to boot the entire bill. During this depressing time the reading urge hit me in the middle of the night.

I flipped over every sofa cushion, cleaned out every drawer and dug through my pockets to scrape up a measly $4.20. With that money, I flew to the nearest second hand bookstore.

Books are my comfort food. I can't help it. The knowledge within them, or just the promise of a entertaining read is too much for me to resist.

I guess you know you're an addict when you spend your last few dollars on books.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Using Profanity in Writing Fiction For Young Adults/Children

Profanity. One of the biggest obstacles in my writing. For the sake of realism, I say. I want my characters' voices to ring true, yet at the same time I don't want parents or a school board banning it, or feeling as though I have forced it on myself. Nor do I want to use it unnecessarily and upset my readers.

Sometimes, I think it doesn't matter. With all the sex, drugs, and cursing that we're exposed to in everyday life, a scene or two in a book isn't going to kill them. But then I remember that the reason so many people read in the first place is to escape from all that. 

So what should you do? Stephen King's On Writing and numerous other How-To-Write books will tell you that staying true to your character is essential. If the character is raised in a household that taught no manners, you can't have him speaking with 3rd grade insults. Unless he is in 3rd grade. Some characters brought it in conservative households will say things that would make a nun blush. No matter what, stay true to your character.

However, one way to get around it is saying it without saying it.
In the Newberry Honor Book Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder, there's a scene where one of the characters curses but the letters are dashed out. F----! You know exactly what she says but you haven't read it. This is a great way to say it without saying it. The downside, however, is that it breaks the fourth wall which will pull the readers from the story and back to the person writing it. Perhaps, if the story is narrated by a younger person, who finds cursing bad, it'll pass. If you're writing for a certain group, say a religious one, this also will probably be more acceptable.

You can also have a character whisper an insult that makes a teacher turn scarlet red and with a stutter send them to the Principal's office. The reaction to an unspoken insult can also do the job quite nicely. This way, the readers imagination fills in the blank with their own profanity.

Lastly, you can use another language or create your own slang. This way when a reader comes across it, it won't make them cringe as much as if they read the current slang equivalent. However, this also means that it won't have the same effect when one character says it to another.

As always, read a wide range of literature and try to target some of the books that have been banned because of the language. Also, think about how you felt when books held questionable scenes. Were you so put off that you set the book down, or was it easily dismissed? While I agree on keeping true to your character, you should also be true to yourself. Never put out something that you'd later regret.

Good Luck Writing.