Monday, October 27, 2014

Three Reasons Why You Shouldn't Stop Reading

While in the writing process, I find it hard to finish--or even pick up--a book. (I have this fear of accidentally imitating someone else's work.)

That's the last thing I want to do. No one deserves to be plagiarized.

But at the same time, one of the best ways to improve your writing skill is to read.

Note the difference: Reading is observing, and you gain so much knowledge in the process.

My goal for today's post is to give you THREE reasons why you shouldn't stop reading while you're working on your manuscript.

1.  INSIGHT: If you're into writing YA novels like I am, the first noticeable difference is the voice of the  main character. Unlike other genres, young adults are on two extreme scales: completely mainstream or not mainstream at all (i.e hipsters, trendsetters, ect.) And if you've grown past your young adult years, there's a slight chance that you've already forgotten what that "version" of yourself sounds like. Even I, in my early, early, twenties, forget what I sound like. This is where the reading process comes in. Honestly, reading anything that's been published in the last six years is still quiet relevant to that YA group today. It's important to take note on today's slang and phrases because there are some words that aren't used anymore. Like: "All that and a bag of chips" and "Talk to the hand" are overused phases that were relevant in the 20th century, not so much in the 21st.

2. VISION: Where do you get your story ideas? I get mine from songs, dreams, reality, and books! I noticed that certain scenes in books have the power to spark an entire manuscript. Getting insight from many different books helps with the story-flowing process. Sometimes it's a never-ending stream of words, and sometimes it's just a simple idea. Eiter way, it's something. So pick up an intriguing book that really gets the juices flowing.

3. ACTION: I've noticed that whenever I pick up a good book, I get so motivated to finish my own book that I never get a chance to finish the page I'm on. Truth: reading a bestseller sparks motivation! I'm living proof of that, and so are the many books scattered across my desk with dog ears in them. Even self-help books get me excited to finish my own. I always get that sense of urgency: Who knows, I could be writing that next top-charter?!?! 
I'm telling you, reading books guarentee's a bestseller . . . . . ha, totally kidding.

But don't knock the reading process. Without it, you may gain less insight, lack a clear vision, and become unmotivated.

Books are the trendsetters, so challenge yourself to be just that.

Till Next Time Blog World!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Purple Cow, Say What?

You're probably asking:"What is this purple cow you speak of? Britney, are you alright? Have you lost your marbles...?"
And I'd probably respond like so: "No. At least not completely."

Guys, purple cow is an actual thing!!!

It's a marketing concept by Seth Godin that states, "companies must build things worth noticing right into their products or services. "

He says that a product that isn't somehow remarkable--like a purple cow--is unlikely to sell, regardless of how awesome it is, or how much advertising it has.

Seriously, who wants a regular cow when you can have a PURPLE one?

Think: IKEA, Starbucks, Smart Cars.... these are the purple cows of the industry. When you think IKEA, you think beautifully-crafted, cheap, DIY furniture; when you think Starbucks, you think of a comfortable hangout place with coffee; when you think Smart Cars, you think of how such a product is selling. It's so small...

How is this useful for writers?

For one, as an author, each and every one of us is going to have to market our own product, in this case, books. Even the very best publishing agency doesn't market an author's book as best as an author him/herself.
Secondly, if we're wanting to sell anything or catch the eye's of an agent, we need to be purple cows! We gotta give them a good reason to gawk at our writing like it's gold.

No one wants something that's been over done. The market wants clean, fresh ideas that will last. They want something that set the trends, they want something that people are going to copy--and trust me, if people enjoy it, they're going to want to reproduce it.

So when you sit in front of your manuscript today, I challenge you to color outside the box of norms. Be different. Be creative. Make that first sentence, first paragraph, and entire book count. Be that extrordinary part of yourself.
Make people want to copy you!
Because if they must be doing something right.

Phew...sure glad that marketing class paid off....

Till Next Time Blog World,

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