I have some news. I also have a lot of words in my head. Consider this your warning. 🙂
Let’s dive in:
Online writing aids
Most people have heard of Grammarly. I have dabbled in this app a few times with some of my writing, but find it a little bit too elementary. I think it’s quite good for students who want to run their school work through an app to improve their writing style. But I wasn’t really a fan…
I searched around, checked some social media recommendations, and found another app called ProWritingAid. I really liked it. I used the free version extensively in March and I may consider their upgraded version for future projects.
Writing styles, grammar, spelling and WordPress mishaps
In general, I think my writing style is relatively good. I received a few encouraging comments on another blog about my fiction writing style which increased my confidence by leaps and bounds.
I do know however that sometimes errors appear in my blog posts which I thought for sure I had addressed while still in draft mode.
If you’re using WordPress, has this happened to you?
I often re-read my post in reader after I publish it. Just yesterday, I notice a word missing in a sentence I thought for sure was there before I hit publish.
I went back into my revisions and double checked. And lo, there it was, the missing word, in all the previous revisions. So why would it disappear as soon as I hit publish?
It must be one of those unexplained WordPress glitched. Either that, or the hair bleach I used yesterday fried some of my brain cells. 😄
Reviews, feedback, comments
I have mentioned previously I write stories on a pseudonym* blog (scroll down for an expansion on this). Over the past months, I took one of my multi-chapter stories which earned me consistent positive feedback in both the comments and via email and turned it into my first ebook.
Releasing, or publishing a book is a huge undertaking, as many of you know. Especially the first one!
To get to the point of publishing, well, lets just say I took my time. I used the ProWritingAid app to make it as perfect as possible without paying for a professional editing service (because I simply can’t afford it at the moment). I managed to publish the book just two weeks ago and have received some really reassuring feedback (I’m up to 6 books sold, which just boggles my mind). 😃
In the interest of encouraging you, fellow blogger/writer/published-author-to-be, I want to share some advice, and some of the feedback.
My advice to you is to keep writing. Let people tell you what they think. Use their comments to improve your style. This doesn’t mean you have to take every word to heart; people who are critical in a negative, discouraging way do not deserve your energy (which is easier said than done, I know).
Note: there is a way to point out weaknesses, grammatical style errors, and plot or character development issues without being discouraging, mean or a jerk. Just sayin’.
Let me show you what I mean about the positive feedback. I’ll paraphrase a comment from a blog story as well as a portion of a review from my ebook for you:
Commenter on blog: “You don’t just tell us what happened, you create an atmosphere. You delve into the emotions of the protagonist and bring your readers into her mind as she experiences these things. … You get the feelings right so I can vicariously experience them.”
Reviewer from ebook: “The author brings her character to life with her detailed descriptions of the protagonist’s feelings, introspection, fears, desires and needs, thus developing a character to whom the reader can actually relate and toward which the reader can have sincere empathy. / …The character development of the protagonist is thorough, constant, convincing and true to life. Only an author who poured her own heart and soul (and perhaps experience, if only in fantasy) into a story can write with such genuineness. The result is that a connection is formed between author and reader.”
There were other comments, tweets, emails and/or texts from people who encouraged me and inevitably celebrated my book release. (Thank you, I ❤ you)
I have not (yet) received a negative comment or review to date, although one person who bought my book alerted me before he began reading that he was a self-proclaimed ‘notoriously critical reviewer’. This caution left me unsettled and quite nervous, but ultimately he wrote a glowing review (portion paraphrased above).
So, there you have it. Now you know what’s been preoccupying me. 😉
*My book is an erotic journey that includes some kink and light BDSM. If you have read the books Fifty Shades of Grey, my book will likely ‘shock’ you much less, if in fact the Fifty Shades book did shock you. (It didn’t shock me, and I was clueless about BDSM or related topics at the time.) I have read the first Fifty Shades book with a passive interest, barely got through the second one, and lost interest before reaching the end of the third. Having said that, I admire the author for having pushed her boundaries and not letting anyone stand in her way as she allowed her creativity free reign. It took me some time to develop my style in this genre, but based on some of the feedback I’ve received so far, I feel encouraged to continue.
Curious? I invite you to check it out here. To load to Kindle, choose the .mobi format.
Thank you for reading. See you in the comments.