Blog

NaNoWrimo21

NaNoWrimo tallies

So, good first day of NaNoWriMo.

So, apparently (to no one’s surprise at all), I fall heavily on the procrastinating side of planning things. Thus, I find myself here on November first having little to no idea when I woke up of where I was going with NaNo. Thankfully, in my whimsically capricious way, I was able to sort out my (tentative) goals for the month.

My plans for this NaNo is that Mon-Fri., each day I’ll write a new chapter for one of my fanfictions, a new chapter for one of my Vella stories, and then at least 500 words on the fourth novel in my Seeker Files series: In Search of Pack.

If I’m having a really good week, you might get bonus content on the weekend, but have no serious plans to do anything on the weekends.At the end of each day, I’ll come here and make a new post my numbers, links to what I’ve posted, as well as stories about how the writing went that day.

This post I’m going to leave pinned to the top of my blog and I’ll update total numbers for the entire month here.

Looking forward to sharing November with you 🙂

Stay safe and warm everyone!

Totals:

Fanfiction: 2,473

Vella: 1,945

Novel: 576

Total Words Written: 4,994

NaNoWrimo21

NaNo: Day 1

Day 1 of Nano:

Fanfiction: 2,473 words

Today I wrote a chapter for my fanfiction “To Mend a Heart”. After several heavier chapters, Bella decided that it was time to have a few lighter chapters, so today I got to help her play dress up. (I also got to spend some time looking at images of some gorgeous clothes and jewelry. I love my job).

Also, a shout out to Trish for helping me get the awesome new graphic made that I’m going to use for it. I absolutely love it and I’m tech challenged at the best of times, lol.

https://archiveofourown.org/works/23082550/

Vella: 1,945 words

So Monday is the day that I update my story “Fight or Flight: A Cinderella Tale of Court Intrigue”.

It was Alyssa and Rowan’s first meeting now that they’ve had time to really realize that they found their mate. It did not go exactly as I expected, they are both strong willed people, but I did get to peek into what both of them were thinking, which is always fun.

I also got to spend some time researching flowers and flower meanings. Have I told you how much I love my job?

https://www.amazon.com/Fight-Flight-Cinderella-Court-Intrigue/dp/B09GFCQX7Q/

Novel: 576 words

So, it’s been much too long since I’ve looked at this story. Honestly, life got busy and this project got moved to the back burner while I dealt with other, more pressing matters. However, I found that I slipped back into the mood of the story easily.

I’m going to have to go through and reread what I’ve already written so that I can refresh my memory, but overall I think that this is going to be a very good month for this story.

So, that was my writing day today.

Oh, and it also snowed today! The flakes were so tiny and pretty, I was so excited to see it.

Welcome to November and I hope that you all had a great Monday!

Blog Hop, Kindle Vella

October Kindle Vella Blog Hop

Wow, the year is just flying by! I can’t believe that we’re at the end of October already.

So, because we made it through yet another month, treat yourself to one (or more) of these neat Vella stories.

Genre : Romantic Fantasy

Elven Heartbound by Elizabeth Ash

Born of elven magic. Bound to an elven prince.

All her life, Arisanna has been destined to wed the son of the elf king, and now the elves have come to collect. Nothing, however, goes as expected when the elves arrive to claim her. Despite their misunderstandings, Arisanna agrees to wed the aloof elf prince with whom she’s been heartbound since before her birth.

Is the prince as hard as he seems? Or is there more to him than meets the eye?

I live in the middle of the woods of the Pacific Northwest, where I keep a wary eye out for sasquatch. So far, he hasn’t revealed himself, but the trees around me are the inspiration for many of the forest scenes in my stories. https://www.facebook.com/ElizabethAshBooks/

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Slow Burn Romance

A fast pace, Urban Fantasy tale with slow burn romance. Suggested age for reading is 18-up.

I never thought I’d be running the family business alone, but a freak hunting accident left Fenris, my Direwolf companion and me half-dead. Luckily, we pulled through, but my dad he didn’t make it. Now I am searching for the people responsible for his death while digging up the pieces of secrets he kept.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B097DBXGWF

About the author: Adalynd Grayves  is  the name  and writing darker fiction is my game. When writing my stories, I like to take a pinch of monster, a dash of myth, and add a sprinkle of fairytales into the mix. I’ve been in anthologies in the past, but I’m currently working on publishing my first novel releasing  in 2022 ( official date TBA) and I  have my Kindle Vella serial out and ready to read now.  You can find all my links here:
https://linktr.ee/AdalyndGrayves

Genre: Non-Fiction

Building Your Readership by LaShaunda Hoffman

The hardest part about promoting a book is finding your readers.  Inside this book I share 10 ways to start building your readership.  Each episode gives you tips and action steps you can implement after each episode.

https://amzn.to/2Xg1JsK

Hello I’m LaShaunda Hoffman. I’ve promoted books for 20+ years. I started an online magazine – Shades Of Romance and it taught me how to build a readership.  I’m currently working on my first women’s fiction book.  I’ve been enjoying this journey on Kindle Vella.    

You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, Clubhouse and TikTok.

http://lashaundahoffman.com

Genre: Dystopian/Steampunk/Sci-Fi

Beneath Gehenna

After an alert goes out to the paying members of the disaster bunker known as New Eden, residents find themselves trapped between two vastly different worlds: one that preys on trauma and one that creates it. Now, a newly wealthy yet troubled man and his new friends must find a way to live with the Hell they bought or return to the Hell which remains.

https://www.amazon.com/kindle-vella/product/B09CZK57GP

Benjamin ran with scissors when he was five. He now writes, paints, uses sharp woodworking tools and plays with glue. Sometimes he does these things at the same time. You can read more at https://www.bxwretlind.com/ where he writes blog articles focused (mostly) on writing.

Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Forsaken Beauty and the Etherbeast by Kelsey Josephson

A bookish strongwoman longs for freedom.

A beast searches for a cure.

Together, they’ll break man-made curses.

After her own father sells her to the unscrupulous Ringmaster, Belle thinks she’ll spend the rest of her days performing cheap stunts while the Nuzaran masses gawk at her ether-poisoned body. A chance encounter with a beast by her solitary campfire changes everything. Can they find liberation or will the past consume them both?

I have a deep love for Universal Monster movies, all things related to Nikola Tesla, and iced coffee. The first two things fuel my creativity and the latter keeps me motivated! You can check my other works on my website: https://simplykelseyjo.com/

Genre: Fantasy

Fight or Flight: A Cinderella Tale of Court Intrigue

Who doesn’t love a Cinderella story?

However, the stories never tell of what happens after the Prince finds his Bride and Cinderella finds her ‘Happily Ever After’. What should be a happily ever after for Alyssa quickly becomes a game of survival as she tries to navigate a hostile court and those who are eyeing her position next to the prince.

Will she manage to win the game or will the strike of midnight only declare the beginning of her doom?

In addition to writing Urban Fantasy, one of the things I love to do is write fanfiction. You can check it all out here on my blog in addition to my original works.

Genre: YA Dystopian

Death Date

People tell you to live life to the fullest. Take your time. Don’t make rash decisions. I should have listened. Maybe it would have made a difference. Tomorrow is my eighteenth birthday. A day that’s supposed to be special. Eighteen years old means adulthood. Life is just starting. That’s how it used to be, years ago. Before our new society formed. Instead, I face uncertainty. My past sways the outcome. On this birthday, I will receive the most important gift. The gift of the date I will die. 

Death Date | Kindle Vella (amazon.com)

In addition to writing YA Dystopian, I also write YA Fantasy. You can check out more about my projects on Facebook-  https://www.facebook.com/authorbysimpson/ and on Instagram

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Not Your Angel

Two worlds, two wings, and one big problem ex…

With the return of her childhood ex-boyfriend, Silana and her family must stop pretending to play normal and embrace who they really are in order to save the world from a disastrous past love eager for new worshippers. The only problem is that Earth already believes in angels.

About The Authors: Some friendships never die. This co-written story is by two life-long friends! Follow one of the authors on instagram @RoseOverChaos for more bookish friends. https://www.instagram.com/roseoverchaos

Genre: Coming of Age, Family and High School Drama, Romance

An Operator’s Daughter

When jettisoned into dysfunctional family and new high school, 17-year-old Ashton must overcome severe anxiety and fight back against sexual harassment, while attempting to rebuild a relationship with her grieving Navy SEAL Veteran father. She questions whether or not history should repeat itself while seeking her own happiness when her own budding relationship with a Special Warfare Operator begins to parallel her parents’ love-at-first-sight story as told within the pages her mother’s journals.

Laurie Anne Brandon writes based upon her experiences as a military academic counselor, high school teacher, years of working television production and as an alpine ski instructor. She lives with her husband, three cats and golden retriever in suburban Western Washington.

Find her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/laurie.brandon.12

Genre: Mystery/Suspense/YA

The 7th Whistleblower

Claire, a journalism student at Brunston University has stumbled onto quite a few secrets about B.U.s alumnae. Outing the culprits might not only destroy the guilty, but take down the innocent as well. Travel with Claire Richardson as she navigates a sticky trail of clues that will ultimately force her to choose between what is good and what is evil.

The 7th Whistleblower | Kindle Vella (amazon.com)

Every since I was a young girl I absolutely loved watching Mystery and Suspense movies with my mother. The art of a story unfolding to reveal the larger picture inspires me to create characters whose curiosity pushes them to find the truth. 

Visit my Link Tree for more info on current works @ https://linktr.ee/MHandy1

I hope that you find one of these amazing stories to your taste 🙂

Happy Saturday!

Monday Misc.

Genre: Urban Fantasy

What is Urban Fantasy?

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

: a genre of imaginative fiction featuring supernatural characters or elements in an urban setting … a sub-genre that has become increasingly popular—urban fantasy. A number of authors have recently told stories of elves and other fairy folk coming to our mundane world, usually setting up shop not in the wooded groves of the past but in crowded modern cities.— William Marden, The Orlando (Florida) Sentinel, 26 Nov. 2000

http://www.m-w.com

Also:

: a work of urban fantasy It’s an elaborate urban fantasy about sisters Makeda and Abby—the offspring of a human mother and benevolent demigod. — Mindy Farabee, The Los Angeles Times, 24 Mar. 2013

http://www.m-w.com

According to Wikipedia:

Urban fantasy is a subgenre of fantasy in which the narrative uses supernatural elements in a 19th-century to 21st-century (or equivalent) urban society.[1][2][3]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_fantasy

(The Wikipedia article contains much more info, I recommend checking it out if you’re interested in learning more about the genre, sources at the bottom of the article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_fantasy)

Basically, the way that I understand it, Urban Fantasy is a world where magic and technology co-exist. Where there are all the modern conveniences like cars and cell phones, but there is also magic in the world. For example, in an urban fantasy story, your cab driver could have the ability to teleport to your destination. Or maybe instead of going to college for a business degree, college is mandatory so that people can master their magic gifts before going out and getting hired into the workforce. Or there is some sort of incursion of magical creatures and now the world has to embrace their magical gifts in order to survive and save humanity.

Seriously, the possibilities are endless.

Another popular aspect of Urban Fantasy is alternate historical timelines. For example, what if the Titanic didn’t sink because a magician who could wield fire was on board and melted the iceberg? Or what if the reason that Marco Polo traveled so much was because he was looking for a magical artifact? What if the Mount St. Helens eruption was really the rebirth of a phoenix?

It’s a popular way to take what if questions and look at the world through a different lens, one imbued in magic.

When it comes to Urban Fantasy, the only limit is your imagination, so let it run wild, you never know what amazing thing you will discover around a familiar corner.

Kindle Vella

What is Kindle Vella?

What is Kindle Vella?

We all know what Kindle is now, an easy place for authors to publish their books and an easy place for readers to find a wide variety of  ebooks in all subjects and price ranges. Kindle has been around since 2007 and it’s something that almost everyone is familiar with at least in passing. So what is Kindle Vella and how is it different from Kindle?

Kindle Vella, to put it simply, is the snack food of the reading world.

Now, I know that some of you are looking at me with a horrified expression right now, but let me explain. I am not saying that Kindle Vella is bad for you like junk food or that it’s mindless fluff that disappears as soon as you bite into it, like cotton candy or cheese puffs. (Besides, eating cheese puffs while reading always runs a high chance of leaving orange fingerprints on the paper, do not recommend). No, what I’m saying is that Kindle Vella is a quick opportunity to refuel your imagination and release your stress.

Let’s face it, the world that we live in today is a fast paced one. We’re always busy, busy, busy. It doesn’t matter what phase of life you are in, student, worker, parent, etc., it is nearly impossible anymore to find the time to sit down and actually read a book all the way through. Unless you are waiting in the doctor’s office or on hold to talk to someone about an issue, I guarantee that you don’t have a large enough chunk of time, lol.

This is where Kindle Vella comes in. It offers you bite size chapters that you can easily read while waiting in line at the grocery store, on a lunch break, walking in-between classes, or during a toddler’s veeeery short nap. It’s quick and it’s convenient. So lets take a quick look into it.

How it works:

For Readers:

All Kindle Vella stories offer the first three episodes for free. Once you’re three chapters in, you should have a pretty good feel for whether or not you enjoy the story and/or the author. The site is divided by genre such as fantasy or action and then further divided by tags so that it is easier to find stories that you enjoy.

After the first 3 episodes, the chapters can be unlocked by tokens. By joining Vella, you automatically get 200 free tokens right now. Not only that, but the tokens are fairly reasonably priced, with the reader being able to purchase 200 tokens for only $1.99. That’s less than a cup of coffee and will open multiple chapters. There are also other bundles that readers can purchase.

Now, the cost to unlock each chapter will vary, because the formula breaks it down to 1 token per 100 words. So a chapter that’s 2,056 words will cost 20 tokens to unlock, whereas one that is 1789 will only cost 17 tokens. Chapters are capped at 5k words, so you will never have to pay more than 50 tokens for a chapter and most are significantly less.

You can follow stories, like a single chapter or all the chapters in a story, or even fave a story, giving the story a crown. It also has the option for you to leave a review on the story.

For Writers:

For many writers, the process of creating a book is a long one. First you have to write out the first draft, revise, edit, revise again. Curl up with your cat while wailing that your story will never be again. Binge snacks and a tv series while the story simmers in the back of your mind. Reluctantly drag yourself back to the computer and find that the story is much better than how you thought it was, you’ve got this! Finish editing and then either format and self publish or start the hunt for a publisher.

Either way, it’s a looooooot of work.

Sometimes you just want to share your awesome character and story with others on the off chance that they find it as cool as you do. Nothing makes my day better than when someone tells me that my story made them smile or made them forget about their worries for a while. Best feeling in the world!

This is where Kindle Vella comes in.

Vella gives you the opportunity to publish your story in chapters as it develops. The recommended length for a chapter is 2,500-3,000 words, but it can easily be longer or shorter. Also, just like how it is hard to sit down and read an entire book, it’s also hard to sit down and write for long, uninterrupted periods of time (uninterrupted is the key word there). However, say that you plan to update your story  once a week, say Friday evenings so that people can have something new to read on the weekend. If you write 500 words a day, Monday thru Friday, then you’ll have a 2,500 word chapter by Friday night. 500 words a day sounds much easier, right?

So you have your story idea, your first chapter(s) all polished and ready to go, and are ready to get started. This must be the hard part. Actually, no, no it’s not. You can have it all set up in 5 minutes. Upload a picture, create a small blurb, indicate what genre your story is and add a couple of tags to make it easier to find. Then all you have to do is either upload your document or copy and paste the chapter into the space that they provide. It’s that simple. After that, when you click submit, it goes to review and they tell you that it can take up to 72 hours to go live. However, I have never had it take more than a few hours, twelve at the absolute outside.

Not only that, but at the end of each chapter, there is the option for you to add an Author’s Note, an additional opportunity to interact with your readers. In this spot, you can share something extra about your characters and story, maybe when you plan to release your next chapter. You could even do a tiny sneak peek if that’s your style.

And that’s it. Your story is now live, congrats!

Now, Kindle Vella has only been up for a few months now, so just to be fair, I’m also going to cover some of the cons that I’ve discovered about Kindle Vella during my time using it.

For Readers:

It seems like the same several stories get regularly featured, so if you want something else, you’re going to have to dig through the stories a little bit more. Searching tags do help, but the categories seem to be more broadly defined at this point it time. It could be where it is such a new platform, there simply aren’t as many writers on it yet. However, it’s my belief that there are dozens of gems on Vella just waiting to be discovered.

For Writers:

Kindle Vella does not seem to have been widely promoted yet, the opening having been done just within the U.S. Because of this, all of the work of promoting your story will fall squarely onto your shoulders. If you have a social media presence for your writing set up, you’ll fare better. If you don’t, I recommend that you do right away, especially Instagram. There are several groups out there to help support Vella authors, but you will have to search them out for yourselves.

Another issue that I’m having is that I cannot seem to figure out how the ranking system for stories work. Some of the top stories have lots of likes while others only have a few. The algorithm is different and many authors are struggling to understand how it works so that they can best promote their work.

In order to fix the issue mentioned above, I currently have a suggestion in to create a recently updated section for readers. As I’m sure many of you know, I write fanfiction. On the site I use, Archive of Our Own, they have a section where every time a story is updated, it’s moved to the top of the list and then they are slowly moved down as other stories update.. It helps stories that update regularly but might otherwise be buried get found. I’ve found some of my very favorite stories this way. I really hope that they seriously consider this and if you want to send them an email or comment on the community post on amazon that I have up, that would be great.

So is Kindle Vella the groundbreaking new meeting ground for readers and writers? I don’t know.

But…..

It definitely has the potential to become something great if it’s managed right.

Hope this brief overview helped.

Have a marvelous weekend!

Uncategorized

Kindle Vella Blog Hop

Hi Everyone!

We’ve made it through the month of September (and three-quarters of the way through 2021) and because of this, I think we all deserve a treat 🙂

Because of this, I’ve gathered together some great Kindle Vella authors for you guys to check out and enjoy.

Hope you’re having a wonderful day!

Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Forsaken Beauty and the Etherbeast

Kelsey Josephson

A bookish strongwoman longs for freedom.

A beast searches for a cure.

Together, they’ll break man-made curses.

After her own father sells her to the unscrupulous Ringmaster, Belle thinks she’ll spend the rest of her days performing cheap stunts while the Nuzaran masses gawk at her ether-poisoned body. A chance encounter with a beast by her solitary campfire changes everything. Can they find liberation or will the past consume them both?

I have a deep love for Universal Monster movies, all things related to Nikola Tesla, and iced coffee. The first two things fuel my creativity and the latter keeps me motivated! You can check my other works on my website: https://simplykelseyjo.com/

* . * . *

Genre: Dystopian Steampunk SciFi 


Beneath Gehenna

After an alert goes out to the paying members of the disaster bunker known as New Eden, residents find themselves trapped between two vastly different worlds: one that preys on trauma and one that creates it. Now, a newly wealthy yet troubled man and his new friends must find a way to live with the Hell they bought or return to the Hell which remains.

https://www.amazon.com/kindle-vella/product/B09CZK57GP/

Benjamin ran with scissors when he was five. He now writes, paints, uses sharp woodworking tools and plays with glue. Sometimes he does these things at the same time. You can read more at https://www.bxwretlind.com/ where, in addition to books and art, he writes blog articles focused (mostly) on writing.

* . * . *

Genre: YA Dystopian

Death Date

People tell you to live life to the fullest. Take your time. Don’t make rash decisions. I should have listened. Maybe it would have made a difference. Tomorrow is my eighteenth birthday. A day that’s supposed to be special. Eighteen years old means adulthood. Life is just starting. That’s how it used to be, years ago. Before our new society formed. Instead, I face uncertainty. My past sways the outcome. On this birthday, I will receive the most important gift. The gift of the date I will die. 

Death Date | Kindle Vella (amazon.com)

In addition to writing YA Dystopian, I also write YA Fantasy. You can check out more about my projects on Facebook-  https://www.facebook.com/authorbysimpson/

* . * . *

Genre: YA Fantasy

A Forest of Stolen Memories, by Callie Thomas

Celebration turns to disaster when a mysterious curse goes awry. A reminder that the Sorcerer’s prophecy still plagued the royal family. Roselyn’s memory is suddenly erased, leaving her panicked at the altar. Confused, she flees to the place the prince fears most–the enchanted Mistbrooke Forest. Danger lingers closer than she can imagine, forcing her to seek help from a dark stranger who may be the key to recovering her lost memories. Can she break the curse without breaking her heart?

A lot of inspiration for the forest descriptions in my story comes from the tropical island where I’m stationed: Okinawa, Japan.

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCallieThomas/

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/authorcalliethomas/

* . * . *

Genre: Science Fiction

We Own These Streets 

Victor and Iris aim to change a dangerous race to first place, that’s if they can survive the literal fast-paced profit motive. 

When Victor broke into Iris’ repair shop, she expected a profit raid, not an unknown racer fit for the pro-circuit. But their chance encounter provides a chance to get what they both want. A way out. When adrenaline remains the most addictive commodity in this corporate sponsored world, can they resist the attention it brings? 

The race is on… but can they ever stop?

Rose Sinclair was a community leader who started with a blog in 2013, and now writes science fiction, fantasy, and romance novels and organizes pen pal projects. https://artoverchaos.tumblr.com/

* . * . *

Genre: Fantasy

Fight or Flight: A Cinderella Tale of Court Intrigue

Who doesn’t love a Cinderella story?

However, the stories never tell of what happens after the Prince finds his Bride and Cinderella finds her ‘Happily Ever After’. What should be a happily ever after for Alyssa quickly becomes a game of survival as she tries to navigate a hostile court and those who are eyeing her position next to the prince.

Will she manage to win the game or will the strike of midnight only declare the beginning of her doom?

In addition to writing Urban Fantasy, one of the things I love to do is write fanfiction. You can check it all out here on my blog in addition to my original works.

* . * . *

Genre: Thriller/Romance

Tate and Claire are leaving Las Vegas. He wants to escape a crippled MC after their beloved leader is murdered. She wants to flee a dead-end job and “Mommy Dearest” mother–who suspiciously took her father’s place as the club’s new president. When she hastily agrees to a meeting with a man her mother hates, Claire’s thrown into a night of terror that derails Tate’s plans. Lies unravel…and sins are revealed. But will those secrets be bigger than the one they buried in the desert years ago?

I live in Cincinnati and write the Darcy Walker mysteries and the Rivera and Gutierrez Novellas. www.instagram.com/ajlapebooks

* . * . *

Genre: Coming of Age Romance, Family/High School Drama

An Operator’s Daughter

Severe anxiety and sexual harassment, 17-year-old Ashton has to deal with both when jettisoned into a dysfunctional family and chaotic high school. Her father, a retired SEAL, is struggling with the death of his soulmate and loss of self-purpose, and refuses to provide a home for the two of them to share.

Drawing strength from her deceased mother’s journals, Ashton begins to overcome the chaos of her present situation. But when her own budding relationship with an Operator begins to parallel her parents’ love-at-first-sight story, she must put aside logic to secure her own happy beginning.

New episodes for An Operator’s Daughter are released on Tuesdays and Fridays, with part II schedule for release in December 2021.

Laurie Anne Brandon writes fiction based on her experiences living in suburban Western Washington state and careers in sports television production, alpine ski instruction, secondary education, and military educational counseling. An Operator’s Daughter is her first work of serial fiction.

https://www.facebook.com/laurie.brandon.12

* . * . *

Genre: Mystery/Suspense/YA

The 7th Whistleblower

Claire, a journalism student at Brunston University has stumbled onto quite a few secrets about B.U.s alumnae. Outing the culprits might not only destroy the guilty, but take down the innocent as well. Travel with Claire Richardson as she navigates a sticky trail of clues that will ultimately force her to choose between what is good and what is evil.

The 7th Whistleblower | Kindle Vella (amazon.com)

Every since I was a young girl I absolutely loved watching Mystery and Suspense movies with my mother. The art of a story unfolding to reveal the larger picture inspires me to create characters whose curiosity pushes them to find the truth.

Visit my Link Tree for more info on current works @

https://linktr.ee/MHandy1

Kindle Vella

The Great Kindle Vella Experiment…

Is, well, not going so great.

When I first learned about Kindle Vella, I was very excited. A whole new way to engage with readers, sign me up! What Kindle Vella promoted was stories, but told in installments. Now, I know that I’m dating myself slightly here, but one of my favorite things growing up was getting to read the next installment of the story in our local newspaper. They were little mysteries, would probably be considered quite easy by today’s standards. But the anticipation of waiting for the next week’s paper to find out what actually happened, that anticipation was so, so sweet.

I think that is one reason that I’ve been drawn to fanfiction as well. Instead of readers having to wait until the entire book has been written, rewritten, edited, proofread, sent to the printers, and finally released, now they can discover the story along with the writer. This especially works well for my writing style, considering that I’m a Discovery Gardener when it comes to writing. (If you’re curious what that is, check out my post on that: https://theseekerfiles.wordpress.com/2020/06/03/how-i-write/ )

So when I learned that there was a platform where I could share my original works in installments, I was instantly intrigued. After a little bit of research, I discovered that Kindle Vella offers the first three chapters free to Vella readers before they have to pay tokens to read further chapters. Even better, because who wants to spend money on a story that they don’t like. This way, readers can get a feel for the writer and the story before deciding whether or not they want to go any further. Very nice!

Excited to get started, I carefully looked over my current WIPs, picked my most developed one, Elianora, and got to work. Vella was very easy to use and to set up and I quickly had four chapter uploaded. I had a few readers stop by, two even decided that they liked my story enough to keep following it and four thumbs up. Sweet, it’s not much, but it’s a start, right?

Well, then life happened, I had a relative get very sick and family ended up taking priority over writing for a while. Still, writing is the core of my being and I love sharing stories with other people. So now that life has settled back down, I picked myself up, sharpened my pencils, and settled back at my desk to write.

On September 15th, I decided that I was going to write and share 5 stories. 3 would update Monday, Wednesday, and Friday while the other 2 would update on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Because I’d made a timed commitment, life decided to get crazy on me, so I didn’t manage to update the story every day that I intended, but I still managed to get four out of five up and updates happening at least 2-3 times a week. It wasn’t perfect, but it was a start and I was very proud of it.

And you know what happened?

It’s been twelve days now and I have not had a single view. Not a single person has read any of the stories that I’ve published. It’s kinda funny, actually, because if anything, this has only made me more determined to succeed.

I don’t know where I’m going wrong, but I’m going to share my process here so other writers trying to use Vella can maybe learn from my experience/mistakes. And hey, maybe a reader will trip over this post and decide to give my stories a chance, so you never know.

First, Content:

I am not a great writer, certainly not an epic writer on the level of Tolkien or Rowling, but my fanfiction readers and those who have read my books tell me that I create a good story that helps entertain them. They also give me feedback, which I love because I believe that it makes me a better writer.

What I love to write is Fantasy, with my books being heavily Urban fantasy. These four stories that I currently have up definitely lean more into just the fantasy category. I decided to go with a broad range, so I have one playing with the myth of Atlantis, a Cinderella type tale, a magical war, and a humorous one dealing with a character being Isekai’d.

Second, Appearance:

I have the feeling that this is where I’m falling short. I’ve put on pretty shiny cover pictures, carefully summarized, and then tagged with seven tags in what I think best describes the stories. Maybe they’re not being picked up because I’m not marketing them right.

I should probably do deeper research into exactly what my target audience is and what tags they search to find stories like mine. (Scribbles quick note and puts it where I can easily see it again).

Third, Marketing:

I put these stories up thinking that Kindle Vella readers would be willing to check out new content simple because where it’s a new platform, there is limited content. However, I’m beginning to realize that a lot of people are simply not even aware of Kindle Vella. It’s not something that you see on tv or hear about on the radio. Even in reading groups, I see very few mentions of it, if any.

Not only that, but stories available on Kindle Vella are growing by leaps and bounds, mine might be getting just lost in the shuffle. So I need to make people who already like my writing and writing style aware that I’m using this platform and what this platform actually is.

So, In Conclusion:

I still have a long way to go before I figure out Kindle Vella and its algorithm.

I need to do a lot of market research (I got excited about sharing my stories and jumped in with both feet, so now I need to do a bit of backtracking, lol)

I’ll need to further examine the variables, like posting times (will I get more views if I post in the morning or the evening) and how many times a week is the optimum amount.

Still, I think it will be worth it in the end and I’m not giving up here. I’ll keep posting about my journey and my process 🙂

Hope you’re having an amazing Monday!

~ A slightly discouraged yet very stubborn discovery gardener

P.S.

If you wanna check out my stories, I’ve included the links below.

Daughter of the Sea: https://www.amazon.com/Daughter-of-the-Sea/dp/B09GS1D4D1/

Elianora: https://www.amazon.com/Elianora/dp/B09BDJTCYZ/

Fight or Flight: https://www.amazon.com/Fight-Flight-Cinderella-Court-Intrigue/dp/B09GFCQX7Q/

I was Isekai’d: https://www.amazon.com/I-was-Isekaid-now-what/dp/B09GK3L297/

Book News, Monday Misc.

Book Update!

So, exciting news!

I can’t remember if I told you all here, but I’ve been struggling for several months to make any progress at all on Book 4: In Search of Pack. It’s been a total slog, painful to get more than a sentence or two on the page before I abandon it again to try again the next day.

However, since I’ve discovered my true writing style (Discovery Gardener, woot woot!), I’ve been making forward progress again. It’s been a little bit slow, as I’m having to deal with the slow/stilted parts, but I’m finally moving forward with the story and I’m truly curious to discover what Aletta and Lirim have gotten themselves into this time.

If things continue going this well, there might very well be a summertime release in my future. Fingers crossed!

Happy Monday Everyone!

We are strong together!

writing

How I Write

How do I write?

Earlier this week, I shared about how I had found out that I was a discovery writer, about how freeing that was for me. So I thought that I would share a little about how the process looks like and works for me, especially now that I know what my strengths are.

So, before I found out what my writing style, this is what it would look like, especially the past month.

I would sit down, turn on my computer, and pull up my main novel and the fanfiction story that I was working on. I would then also pull up the outline that I had created for both. I’d skim over my outline, maybe changing a couple of words here and there, add a sentence to flesh out something that I’d thought of as I thought over while thinking of the story. And then I’d skim the last, oh, thousand words or so in order to spark the memory of where I’d left the scene. Once I was satisfied that I knew where I was and where I was going, I’d start a new paragraph. But this was a struggle. I’d write a sentence, maybe half a sentence, before going over and fiddling with my music, or checking my email, or facebook. Basically, anything to ignore the flashing cursor that appeared to be mocking me.

Meanwhile, I was inwardly very frustrated, even as I sought to distract myself. I knew where the story was going, what the characters were supposed to be doing, so why weren’t the words coming. I would return to the page and just stare at it, begging for my brain to produce something, anything. But the words simply wouldn’t come. So I would go and journal a little bit or work on a story that was ‘just for me’ and thus I didn’t care about it being perfect or well thought out. I would write anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand words on it and then move on for the day. I’d return to my novel, and still, absolutely nothing. Promising myself that I would get my goal finished tomorrow and make up for today as well. Then I would go and do my daily chores, wishing that I could’ve gotten more done. My frustration and self loathing grew. I am a writer, I have been writing all my life, people enjoy my writing, so why was storytelling so hard and unrewarding for me of late?

Then I learned my writing style. I’m a Discovery Gardener. This means that I have to discover the story alongside my characters. My world and self image of myself as a writer tipped on their side, but I was so tired of being frustrated that I was willing to give it a try. And to be honest, it just felt right.

So here’s how my writing looks like now.

First, I threw away all of my outlines. Every single one. I might’ve heard my characters cheering, but that might’ve just been me, lol. I gave myself 24 hours without writing to allow my brain to clear out and remove all the expectations and must haves. I didn’t HAVE to do anything but go along for the ride.

The next morning, I sat down nervously at the computer. Would this work? Or would it not? Still, I wouldn’t be any worse off than I was before and I would just need to keep looking to find what works for me. I pulled up my novel, the one that I’ve been stonewalled on for the past several months, that would be the best test after all. Having thrown all plans out of the window, I had no idea where it was going. So, taking a depth breath, I quickly skimmed the last paragraph (It wouldn’t do any good to start in a completely random place, lol). And then, I put my hands on the keyboard and started to write. And the words came! It wasn’t the painful task of trying to pull a story from someone. Instead, it was like sitting down for a cup of coffee with a friend and listening to what was going on with their life. It was almost like my character was relieved, like she was saying, ‘Finally! Now that you’re actually listening to me, here’s what happened.’

But not only was I writing again, I was happy. There was no stress, no hiding and avoiding, there were simply words telling the story. Finally, the story reached a natural pause, so I called it good for the day. I was satisfied with the progress that I had made. There were no grand revelations, no great progress, but my characters got to eat a very nice omelet and have an overdue discussion. Not what I expected, but it did move the story forward and gave me a bit more depth of my characters to work with. And it fit, it didn’t have to be forced into the story, it was just naturally part of it. And that’s when I knew, I had found my style and it worked for me.

So here’s what my writing routine looks like now. I sit down eager at my computer and pull up my writing site. I might have a story in mind for the day or I might be following wherever the wind takes me. Then I pull up my top 3-4 stories (Oh, who am I kidding, it’s more like 10-12, those plot bunnies can be vicious) and I skim through them until I find one that sparks my imagination. Then I write on that until I either hit the end of the chapter or reach the point where the story runs out for the moment. Then I’ll repeat the process, until I’ve easily written between 3-5k words on average. Are they all good words? No. Will they all be kept? Again, no. But they are there on the page and I always get to find out something new about my stories and characters.

There’s still a hint of frustration here and there, sometimes I really want to work on one story but another will hijack my attention entirely. And I’m sure that I will run into more roadblocks and obstacles that I currently have no idea exist. But I am happy once again and my stories are moving forward.

So find out what works for you and don’t let anyone tell you that there is a “right” or “wrong” way of doing things. Just do it “YOUR” way.

I would love to hear about your writing styles and routines, what frustrates you or brings you joy.

Happy Writing and Happy Wednesday!

We are strong together!