Tag Archives: Nathan Bransford

Website Wonders

1 Apr

Welcome to April! Before I share those websites for writers, readers, and dreamers that I have collected in the last two months, I have two wonderful bits of new to share with you all.

Tranquil Dreams reviewed Minutes Before Sunset, but they also reviewed The City of Worms by Roy Huff, so you can check out two novels at once. “This novel sets the stage for the battle of Light and Dark and honestly, for the first time in my life, I’m behind the Dark.  I look forward to reading the next one a lot.” Find out why Tranquil Dreams said, “I totally recommend this one!” by clicking here

After checking that out, swing by my latest interview by clicking here. Mental Cheesecake asked me if I would prefer the powers of the Light or the Dark, what inspired the covers of The Timely Death Trilogy, and if I like Jace or Simon more in The Mortal Instruments.

Now – the website wonders: 

I wasn’t able to do this in February, so I’m including both February’s and March’s here. Below, the websites are organized by categories, including Great Reads, Business Help for Writers, Art Related to Books, Book-to-Movie Trailers, and Inspiration. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

Great Reads:

14 year-old’s clever poem knocks Twitter backwards: I love this. Not only is it a great poem, but it’s relevant to today’s culture. It also shows off the great abilities of this young poet.

This Comic About Love Will Touch Your Heart: I thought this comic was a cute read. It sparked some debate among readers due to the subject matter of a breakup and a new relationship, but I think – if read for simple entertainment (which is what I think it was designed for) – it’s cute, sweet, and fun.

40 Freaking Creepy Ass Two Sentence Stories: I love horror. (American Horror Story is practically the only show I watch.) And these short stories gave me chills! You’ve been warned.

Business Help for Writers:

Amazon’s history should teach us to beware ‘friendly’ internet giants: As much as I love Amazon, I am afraid of any company gaining from a monopolized market. This article deals with the warnings of how this might be a future possibility and how we can prevent it.

8 Ways to be a Better Facebook Page Admin: This is great advice for anyone struggling with their business Facebook page. I used it, and my Facebook Page has been my number two referrer to my website (after search engines) for two months in a row.

A Facebook Change Authors Need to Know About: Again, this article is amazing. It will help enhance your views on your Facebook page.

Inside Amtrak’s (Absolutely Awesome) Plan to Give Free Rides to Writers: Amtrak called for writers to submit to this program, and I turned in my application a few days ago! It would be an unbelievable dream come true for them to pick me, but I hope the writers they pick enjoy it for all of us! I can’t wait to read what others write, even if I’m not chosen to travel in their program.

 Nine Writers And Publicists Tell All About Readings And Book Tours: I loved this because it shows the realities of what goes on behind the scenes, even for the most popular writers. A few years ago, I think it would be taboo for authors to share their true emotions about their dream profession, but it’s nice to see the acceptability of speaking truthfully about an author’s life.

Wait. A first person narrative isn’t serious???: By Nathan Bransford, I actually wrote a response to this article on my blog called It’s All About Perspective…Or Is It?. I loved what Bransford had to say about this narrative style because he proves how serious it can be, and I think it ultimately shows how much the industry is changing.

Art Related to Books:

Design Stack: Paper Jewelry: I thought these were beautiful, and they also made me wonder what my novel would be carved into. I would like to believe a tree necklace or a yin-yang symbol.

23 Epic Literary Love Tattoos: One of my favorite poems is in this collection of literary tattoos. I don’t have any tattoos, but I like looking at them. I find them to be quite inspirational.

Mind-Blowing LEGO Recreation of LOTR’s Helm’s Deep Battle: I grew up with LEGOS. I was crazy about LEGOS. My brother was worse than me. It wasn’t rare for one of my parents to step on our array of LEGOS. (We even had a LEGO camera) So I loved this LEGO town designed around Lord of the Rings.

Book-to-Movie Trailers:

The Giver Trailer: Meryl Streep Vs. Taylor Swift: I was so looking forward to The Giver movie adaptation (which I mentioned in my blog post 2014 Books to Movies, but this doesn’t even look close. Not even a little bit. Flying space ships? Oh, the nervous feelings I have. My heart might break for one of my favorite novels this August.

The Maze Runner (Official Trailer): Unlike The Giver, I am looking forward to this adaptation now that I’ve seen the trailer. It looks awesome.

Inspiration:

25 Romantic Words That Don’t Exist in English But Should: I find untranslatable words to be beautifully mysterious – like the gorgeous stranger you wish you had talked to that one night. (There’s probably a word in this list for that.)

24 Most Terrifying and Haunted Places You’d Never Want To Be In: Like I said, I’m a horror fan. This sort of stuff gets my heart going, and my heart gets my inspiration going.

Mugshots of Poets: I found this to be inspirational because it shows – again – the realities of some of the most famous writers of all time. Jack Kerouac is definitely in this list. (He’s one of my favorite authors of all time.)

Children Read To Shelter Cats To Soothe Them: I love cats. I love reading. This was amazing.

Again, I hope you enjoyed these as much as I did! I apologize for not sharing them in February, too, but I will share more. I always share these on my author Facebook page, so join me there. I can’t wait until my next blog post! I have exciting news coming. April is going to be an adventure.

~SAT

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Why I Love My Facebook Author Page

4 Feb

First, I would like to thank Heather B. Costa at Trials of a wanna-be-published writer for stating, Minutes Before Sunset is a fun and well-paced read, full of witty dialogue and thrilling action that keeps you entertained the whole way through, especially the final twist which took this reader by surprise.” Read her entire review here. Her website is a fantastic place for aspiring writers and avid readers.

 Now, onto today’s topic:

Like most people, I am on Facebook. In fact, I have three different Facebook pages – Shannon A. Thompson, The Timely Death Trilogy, and November Snow – but Shannon A. Thompson is the page I spend the most time on, and I wanted to talk about why I love having a Facebook page as an author. I will also add some tips to increase your traffic.

Join me on Facebook while we talk about it :D

Join me on Facebook while we talk about it 😀

Why I Love It:

It’s popular, it’s fun, it’s fast, and it has lots of different kinds of media – including statuses, events, offers, pictures, and link options. You can also schedule posts, which allows you to be present, even when you can’t be. But my favorite part is how you can link it to your other social media places – like Twitter, blogs, and more. You can also use Facebook as your Facebook fan page, so I can visit other authors pages as “Shannon A. Thompson” without using my personal profile. This allows other users to come to my page, see who I am, and/or why I was on the other pages at all. Hopefully, we’ll be able to connect.

Because I have to acknowledge it:

Facebook has made a lot of changes, attempting to stop people on their own Facebook Fan Pages to stop connecting with followers. One of these changes was when Facebook stopped allowing pages to invite their own followers to events by the page (meaning, you must be personal friends with them to invite them anywhere.) Seems ridiculous – just like many of the changes – but I still think it’s worth it to have a Facebook presence. I look at it like this: Just because it’s hard, doesn’t mean we should give up. It means we should try harder. We just have to help each other know the best ways to connect, so here are three tips I’ve put below for you:

Here are a few tips:

A Facebook Change Authors Need to Know About! – Writer, Lisa Goldman posted this, and I am so glad she did. Facebook is an ever-changing place. We are constantly adjusting to their changes, and this post helps you optimize your post with a little trick known as “link-shares.”

The Power of Facebook for Authors: I think this article summarizes some great information. My favorite part that they discuss is the content one should be posting, which is anything that “helps you amuse, entertain, educate, engage.” On my page, I try to post types of information like this, and I attempt to switch it up. One day, I might share an informative article, the next day might showcase what I’m up to in my future writing plans.

Because I love Nathan Bransford, I have to include a post of his: Facebook Pages vs. Facebook Profiles – this is for those of you who aren’t sure which type they should have. I understand pros on both cases, but I chose to have a Facebook page rather than a profile simply because I know too many readers who don’t feel comfortable enough to add authors on their profiles, fearing that they are too personal. That being said, I’m open-minded to it, but I’m also researching more information on how FB is planning to change in the future, and so far, I think the FB pages will have more ways to appeal to fans soon. (I will share information as I come across it, especially on my Facebook page.)

I hope these tips help! If you have any, feel free to share below. (In fact, please share!) And discuss away about Facebook land. 

~SAT

Donate to ShannonAThompson.com

Donate to ShannonAThompson.com

It’s All About Perspective … Or Is It?

29 Jan

Announcement one: I did an interview with The Modest Verge. Not only was it exciting, it was also fun and informative. You can find out if I kill bugs or set them free, what I would be if I weren’t human, and – of course – I’ve dropped yet another hint about what Seconds Before Sunrise (book 2 of The Timely Death Trilogy) will entail. So check it out here, and follow them on Twitter @themodestverge.

Second: if you follow My Facebook Author Page (I’m only 6 away from 2,000 – please “like” me without judging me on how desperate that just sounded. haha) then you’ve already seen this article by the fantastic Nathan Bransford: Wait. A first person narrative isn’t serious???

That’s what I want to elaborate on today.

I recommend you read what he had to say first (as well as the commentary) but I’ll pretend the link doesn’t work by quoting the line that summed up his rant, “Apparently there are literary agents and professors and all kinds of ostensibly rational people out there who think first person narratives are somehow unserious.” After that, he shares a list of fantastic novels – some of which are on my top 10 favorites list (like The Stranger and Never Let Me Go.) – proving how first-person narrative can, in fact, be serious writing. (On a side note, I don’t like the term “serious writing,” which you can read about here.) But I think that was also Nathan Bransford’s point. Who gets to judge what constitutes serious writing? Isn’t that up to the reader? But I wanted to talk about a few things you should consider when choosing a perspective:

I thought this was a good picture for “perspective.” Bogart likes art as much as me, but his kitty perspective is probably different than mine.

I thought this was a good picture for “perspective.” Bogart likes art as much as me, but his kitty perspective is probably different than mine.

1. Your Story – of course.

This is obvious, right? But I still want talk to about it. Depending on how you write a novel, you might know exactly what will happen in your plot the moment you sit down or you might not. This actually might be a problem to consider. If you don’t know where it is going, your perspective can be harder to choose. Analyze your plot and your characters – figure out who would best tell it, and remember: it might not be so obvious. (Think of The Book Thief’s narrator.)

2. Your audience

Although I try to avoid the stereotypical writing tips as the “right way to write” I think considering your audience is always important when starting a new piece. Doing basic research on what they are more likely to accept might help your novel and you out, but I am by no means encouraging you to change your novel based on what others say is “right.” If your research says you MUST do third-person, but you still feel like you should do first-person, I would say go with first-person. I’m a huge believer on following your gut and challenging the norm, but taking the time to consider your research seriously is always helpful and shouldn’t be completely disregarded. For instance, if you choose first in the situation above, be ready to explain to a publisher why your first-person perspective is worth it, special, and why readers will like it.

3. Your voice vs. your characters

For me, one of the hardest decisions I had to make was in a recent novel I wrote. The character demanded to tell the story in first-person, not to mention that she was the only one who wanted to tell the story. (Most of my stories are told in dual first-person perspectives, so it was unusual for my male protagonist to stay quiet.) Plus, there were events that happened when she wasn’t around, so I would lose them in the narrative (and I was really excited about writing them!) So I tried begging the male protagonist to also talk, but he refused. Then, I tried third-person, and she basically rolled her eyes at me and asked me why I was making her talk so funny. Ultimately, I knew I had to listen to her, and it worked out! So perspective can be chosen by someone other than you, too.

All in all, your perspective isn’t all up to you. (You are a huge part, of course) But your story, characters, and readers – in my opinion – can affect what the ultimate decision will be. Consider your perspective carefully, and if youre not sure, I would suggest writing the first three chapters in first and then doing the same in third. Ask yourself which one felt more comfortable, which one seemed right for the story, and hopefully the answers won’t contradict one another. If they do, try again by writing a few scenes in the middle of story. 

In the end, I don’t think your perspective is going to make or break your novel. Instead, I would concentrate on your writing – that will make or break it (hopefully, make it – because we’re positive over here.) As long as your writing to the best of your abilities, willing to grow, and moving forward, a perspective shouldn’t define you, and it shouldn’t stop you. It should guide you.

But that’s just my perspective on things.

~SAT

Donate to ShannonAThompson.com

Donate to ShannonAThompson.com

Writing Tips: Join Contests

7 Feb

So the Undergraduate Reading Series went FANTASTIC–but I will post about that next time (That way, I have time to organize my words & thoughts before I share them with you all.)

Today I wanted to talk about getting out there and exposing yourself to the publishing world (which is FULL of opportunities just waiting to be taken advantage of.)

Many fellow writers ask me how to get published. What can they do? Who can they talk to? How do they know they’re ready, let alone their piece of work?

Well, first and foremost, I’d say follow professionals’ blogs, Twitters, Facebooks, etc. This will help you tremendously. They know the industry, and they are willing to help you. Trust me, they were in your position at one point in time, and they understand your dream.

I follow a lot of articles, but Nathan Bransford, author and formal literary agent, is one of my favorites: Check him out here.

Another reason I mention him is because of CONTESTS.

That’s right: Contests.

Join them. Nathan Bransford, himself, recently held The 5th-Sort-of-Annual Stupendously Ultimate First Paragraph Challenge, and the final prize includes the opportunity to have a partial manuscript reviewed by agent, Catherine Drayton, along with a query review, AND a free copy of Bransford recent publication. 

The best part? ANYONE can join, and EVERYONE gets reviewed as a potential finalist by Bransford himself.

In fact, I joined myself (I’m the middle entry):

Screen Shot 2013-02-05 at 2.52.43 PM

So look out for contests, because, not only could you possibly win, you can expose your writing and meet other writers. Contests very much can bring you contacts (like attending a writing convention can) and they’re tons of fun!

Try it out & good luck!

~SAT

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