Tag Archives: The Dark is coming

#SATurday: The Value of Knowing How Fast You Can Read or Write

11 Jul

The Value of Knowing How Fast You Can Read or Write

I don’t have time to read. I don’t have time to write.

We’ve all heard the phrases before…and possibly even said it ourselves. We get it. We do. Every writer and reader has a busy life, because every person has a busy life. Finding time to write or read isn’t easy. You just do it.

Easier said than done, right? Right. Which is why I want to share a small tip that worked for me in the early stages of my writing career. I’ve shared this with fellow writers before, so I know it works for some, but I must warn you that it has also discouraged others, so keep this one important fact in mind: It’s not about how fast you are. It’s not about comparing your speeds to anyone else’s. It’s about being aware of yourself, and using your awareness to manage yourself better.

Kiki helps me keep track.

Kiki helps me keep track.

My tip? Figure out how fast you read and write. (Remember, quality is key. This is not a race.)

What do I mean by that?

When you’re writing, take note of what time you start and your word count. When you’re done, take note of the time and how many words you get down. For reading, it’s very similar. Take note of where you started and when you started; then jot down how far you got and when you stopped. Do this a couple of times to get an average. Also, be aware of your nuances.

As an example, my major nuance is chapters. For both reading and writing, I cannot—for the life of me—stop in the middle of a chapter. So, for writing, I’m more likely to push myself longer just to finish that section, or if I feel myself getting tired, I might stop early to prevent myself from getting in the middle of a chapter. Now that I’m aware of my nuances, I can calculate speed. For two hours, I generally manage to write a chapter of 4,000-5,000 or so words and prep the next chapter, depending on where I’m at in those two hours. For reading, that’s about 200 or so pages, but this one is a little trickier since it is normally affected by the language or topic of the novel. That being said, that is my example.

Now what?

Now, pay attention to yourself. Did you just spend three hours watching television? I know I did that the other day. I couldn’t write due to carpal tunnel syndrome, so my situation was a little different, but I watched Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, an entire episode of John Adams, and the finale of Silicon Valley. I spent over three hours watching TV. Three hours. I could’ve written a chapter, prepped a chapter, and read 100 pages in my current read. This is where knowing your speed helps you manage your time. You stop counting time like one hour and you start counting time in word counts and pages.

Managing your time starts with being aware of your time. I know we all have difficulties—so, trust me, this is not a post slamming anyone who can’t find time to write and read. In fact, I’ve had a difficult time for the past week to find time to write and read since I’ve been moving more furniture from city to city. But there are days—like my three-hour television days—that I think we all have. And those are okay too. We’re allowed to take a break. This is more for those who might be struggling with their free time. This post is designed to suggest a new way to approach their situation. If you pay attention and figuring out another way to count time, you’ll be less likely to say, “I just watched one TV show” and more likely to realize that was an entire chapter in your WIP.

Remember that one important fact though. It’s not about how fast you are. It’s not about comparing your speeds to anyone else’s. It’s about being aware of yourself, and using your awareness to your advantage. And be aware of everything else too.

What do I mean by “everything else”? I wrote this blog post while cooking lunch—because I’ve been behind on blog posts and figured my lunch break would be a good time to sneak that in—so I wrote while I cooked. Pasta to be exact. It worked. I finished a blog post in time…but don’t let the water boil over like I did. ;]

~SAT

We’re so close!

As of yesterday, all three novels (YES, even Death Before Daylight) became available for pre-order

Minutes Before Sunset, Seconds Before Sunrise, Death Before Daylight

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Pre-order today!

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June’s Ketchup

29 Jun

June’s Ketchup

Eek! June is coming to a sunny end, and July is approaching as fast as a bottle rocket. (Fourth of July references are fun.) We are SO close to the release of Minutes Before Sunset. In fact, we’re officially less than a month away. (Eek again!) I’m undeniably excited, and I cannot thank you all enough for the continued cheers of encouragement as we inch closer to the release date—where you can win even MORE prizes and goodies. But I’ll talk more about that in this month’s Ketchup post.

For those of you just now checking in this month, Ketchup actually means “catch up”. At the end of every month, I write these posts describing what goes on behind the scenes at ShannonAThompson.com. Some of the topics I cover include my big moments, top blog posts, my top referrer, #1 SEO term, YouTube videos, Members of the Week, and more in order to show insights that will hopefully help fellow bloggers see what was popular. I also hope it entertains the readers who want “extras” for this website.

Thank you for being a part of my life this June!

Big Moments:

We are less than a month away from the release of Minutes Before Sunset, and excitement has filled every Dark night. (Dark as in the Dark from The Timely Death Trilogy. Not dark as in depressing.) It’s been electric! Clean Teen Publishing even gave away three paperbacks on Goodreads, and since almost 2,000 people signed up, Clean Teen Publishing decided to giveaway a paperback EVERY week up until the release. Join the current giveaway right now by clicking this link, because you definitely deserve to win. You made this happen, after all.

On another note, Seconds Before Sunrise is officially up for pre-order as well! (Eek!) Seconds Before Sunrise releases August 25, so these releases are going to happen fast!

Who else can’t wait?

#TheDarkisComing and the Dark brings prizes and smiles.

Stay Dark,

~SAT

My #1 clicked item was pre-ordering Minutes Before Sunset! Thank you!!!

My #1 clicked item was pre-ordering Minutes Before Sunset! Thank you!!!

Top Three Blog Posts:

  • Judging an Author’s Life: Someone judged my life as an author from the photos I posted, and I wrote a letter in response. Authors are human too. We are not perfect, and we do not sit around all day writing and reading to our heart’s content. But I do share my positive moments more than my negative ones, and I share why in this emotionally driven post.
  • 6 Must-Have Tools/Apps For All Writers and Editors Out There by Ashley Sanford: A great list for all writers out there, provided by a fantastic guest blogger (who has confirmed is planning on returning with another article shortly)! Get excited.
  • Finding Your Style as a Writer: There is no reason to fear your “voice” and “style” discussions. It’s different for everyone, and it always will be. What matters is doing what is right for you and being aware of yourself as you grow into yourself.

Other Blog Posts:

 

#1 SEO Term

#1 SEO Term

YouTube Channel:

The Fifth Wave and Survival Things (06.02.15)

At the end of the month, I also like to take a moment to thank all of the websites who supported me by posting reviews, interviews, and features. I also like to specially thank the Members of the Dark. Every week, I award one member a “Member of Week” badge, and out of those monthly members, one of them will win an eBook of their choosing as well as more prizes. If you would like to be a member or review my novels or interview me, please send me an email at shannonathompson@aol.com. I always love speaking with new bloggers, writers, and readers! And I will share your post on all of my websites.

Dark Members of the Week: The Acid Oasis, Chris Pavesic, and Endless Reading.

Reviewers:

Seconds Before Sunrise: The Book Forums

sun-day-4

#SATurday: The Timely Death Trilogy Prequel and Contest

13 Jun

The Timely Death Trilogy Prequel and Contest

There’s so much I want to do as an author. I want to talk to readers more and travel more. (Something I talked about last Saturday.) But I also want to give YOU more. For instance, Take Me Tomorrow was the first book in The Tomo Trilogy, and now that series has been quite frozen . . . Literally. It isn’t for sale, and it probably won’t come back for a while. And I apologize deeply for that. If I had known that my publisher at the time was going to close down, I would’ve released the last book of The Timely Death Trilogy instead. That way, you all didn’t get a glimpse into the world of tomo without being able to continue with Sophia Gray’s journey through it. That being said, this is often out of the author’s control. One day though, I promise to return to that trilogy. While it is written, I don’t feel confident enough to release it on my own. I also don’t have the time to dedicate what I would need in order to release it on my own. For those of you wondering why I don’t have it up for sale, I have decided to take it down solely on the fact that the other two books will not be available any time soon. I do not want a reader to waste their time by investing in a story that cannot continue yet. There was also a lot of confusion on it being a standalone, so it will be waiting for the day it can return. Only tomo users know for sure. ::wink::

Because of what happened, I’ve also learned a lot from what I did by publishing two different series at the same time, so for a while, I’ll focus on one series at a time. Right now, that is The Timely Death Trilogy. That being said, a few months back, I admitted that I have a prequel for The Timely Death Trilogy.

trilogy

Yes. A prequel. I’m sure that’s why most of you clicked on this article, so that’s what I want to talk about. The prequel mainly covers Jim Welborn and Kim Smith (Eric’s parents) as they meet and grow up. I would love to share this with you all, and I’m seriously considering releasing it for free via Wattpad. This would mean that it would be completely free, but it wouldn’t be professionally edited. I can’t guarantee that it would be posted on a regular basis (ex. One chapter every Wednesday), but I can guarantee that I will try my hardest to post a chapter every so often. That being said, I am rewriting November Snow right now, so I need to focus on that first and foremost, but I can make time to release the prequel on Wattpad if you want it. This is up to you, really, truly. (Basically, if you want this, let me know by commenting, emailing, or flashing a cat sign against the clouds via spotlight.)

A full disclosure of the prequel’s content would include the fact that the prequel would be VERY different than The Timely Death Trilogy. Keep in mind that the shelter does not exist, the prophecy is not happening yet, and, at least in the beginning, many of the favorite older characters do not exist in the past (Luthicer being the main one.) Also, there might be a few spoilers to The Timely Death Trilogy in the prequel, so I will be putting a warning with the material. Here is the synopsis:

Welcome to the world of the Dark.

When eighteen-year-old James Welborn drops out of college, he’s both relieved and frustrated. While his parents want him to concentrate on what’s important—being human—James Welborn would rather focus on his paranormal side, the Dark side. He’s one of the best warriors in history, according to his tutor, but according to his parents, the Dark is just an easy way to get killed. And that’s it. They want nothing to do with it, and James wants everything to do with it.

The powers have only returned within the past generation, and while some see it as a promise for the descendants to be born, James sees it as an opportunity to succeed. When an elder calls him into the library, Welborn is expecting to be reprimanded for failing his human studies. But then the girl is called out. She’s fourteen. Her Dark name is Evaline. Her human name is Kimberly Smith. And when James is asked to protect her, both of his worlds—human and Dark—are closer than he thought. And a lot more dangerous.

Please comment and let me know!

I could use your input and help. (Even if there is something you would like to see in the prequel, let me know!)

Have a great weekend,

~SAT

P.S. As we approach the release of Minutes Before Sunset you can expect an array of prizes! This signed bookmark is for this week! To be entered once, tweet to me @ShanAshleeT23 with the hashtag #TheDarkisComing. You’ll be entered to win twice if you tell me what you think about the prequel in the comments below too, and you’ll be entered three times if you tell me on my Facebook post about this article too. ;] This is open internationally! (Also, don’t forget that there is a Goodreads Giveaway for three paperbacks going on until June 23.)

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