Tag Archives: website

Website Wonders

25 Nov

This week has been pretty crazy–I’ve been preparing for the cover reveal on Dec. 1. and there will be an exciting event that happens during it, so be sure to check it out.

Since I’ve been busy, I haven’t had time to write up a “Writing Tips” blog post or something else along those lines, so I apologize, but today I’m just sharing the interesting, exciting, and helpful websites I’ve come across lately. If you’re on my Facebook Author Page, you’ve probably seen most of these. But I hope you find more that you might like. Check them out:

Writing Tips:

3 Steps to Writing a Novel with Unforgettable Characters: I particularly loved when the blogger wrote about traits that contrast predominant traits.

A Textual Analysis of The Hunger Games: I put this under Writing Tips because it discusses famous authors and how they write in detail, like what was their most used adverbs and phrases.

Bogart says, “Hi--meow.”

Bogart says, “Hi–meow.”

Reading:

Go On A Blind Date…With A Book: I think I must try this.

New Carved Book Landscapes: So not exactly reading books but a definitely beautiful way at looking at them.

8 Books for a  Higher Existence: a list of books that “give us glimpses of experience and knowledge from a different world.”

Articles to Spark the Imagination:

Top 10 More Mysterious Phenomena: Maybe you’ll be inspired by the nightcrawlers or the Mapimi Silent Zone.

6 Baffling Discoveries That Science Can’t Explain: The Baigong Pipes. I cannot get over them.

5 greatest unsolved enigmas of humanity: I found this article after I watched an episode of Ancient Aliens and they talked about the Nazca Lines.

He Was Arrested 20 Times for This. But I Think It’s TOTALLY Worth It: Abandoned places always inspire my writer’s heart. They always leave me wondering what happened there, what could happen there, and other realms of possibilities. This article has amazing examples of it.

Inspiration and Encouragement:

TED under 20: 13 TED talks from speakers under the age of 20.

And I leave with a quote: “All know that the drop merges into the ocean, but few know that the ocean merges into the drop.” – Kabir

~SAT

P.S. Tanya Taimanglo will be posting on Nov. 27th ! It’s a fantastic post, so I cannot wait to share.

Website Wonders: For Readers & Writers

20 Jun

Website Update: 2.40 p.m. The host of Goodreads has clarified the poll is working and no one is cheating. She’s excited when new members join and vote, so I’m still in, and I feel much better about the situation. Thank you to everyone who’s supported me, voted, and even returned to explain who you are, so your identity was verified. I really appreciate this. I couldn’t have better people helping me 😀 (If you didn’t see my last post, some authors accused others of cheating to get votes last night.)

If you all recall, Minutes Before Sunset needed nominations for “Book of the Month” on Goodreads, and you all succeeded! But I need votes. PLEASE VOTE BY CLICKING THE LINK. We’re in first place thanks to your votes, but I need all of the support I can get to stay in this position.

Thank you for voting: Gregory S. LambChristina ChannelleAmber ForbesBob WilliamsMarie BaileyLaura B., Raymond, Silver WolfChristieKristy Feltenberger GillespieDale SpillerDan PawlowskiPeter JohnTuan HoRaul DiazNada FarisChrisJessicaMerilyn DignumAndreeCharles E. YallowitzVickie KayukKerriSarahKy Grabowski,David ThompsonChris the Story Reading Ape, Hereswhatsgoingon, Daryl Stewart, Emma, Heather, Abbie, James, Kendal, and Camrin!

So I used to do posts under the topic “Website Wonders.” Basically, I’d share a website that I thought was good for writers and/or readers to use in order to enhance their artistic lives. However, my “last” one was back in January, because I really stopped labeling them as such. (Mainly because they’d be a part of something else, like a Writing Tips post.) But today I bring it back.

On December 8, 2012, I wrote Website Wonders: Twitter: ShanAshleeT23, which directed followers to my Twitter while also giving tips on how to promote yourself via Twitter. I did this for an important reason. I often share websites I come across on my Twitter, and I do this on a regular basis. So today’s post will be the top sites I’ve found and shared on my Twitter in the past month or so:

Writing & Publishing:

 

 

Click the pic to join me on Twitter!

Click the pic to join me on Twitter!

Reading

I also share funny things on my Twitter about my every day life: This is a giant cinnamon roll I ate! It came with a steak knife. How awesome is that?

I also share funny things on my Twitter about my every day life: This is a giant cinnamon roll I ate! It came with a steak knife. How awesome is that?

Cinnamon Roll

If you all find any websites you like as a reader or a writer, comment below to share it 😀 Also, I hope you voted. It really helps me out. I’m simply flattered you support me here! And I’m excited, because so many more people are supporting Minutes Before Sunset now that the paperback has been released through all major retailers. Check it out if you haven’t already:

Click the picture of Minutes Before Sunset! Available as paperback and ebook on AmazonBarnes & NobleSmashwordsKoboDieselSony, and Apple

Click the pic and go to Amazon!

Click the pic and go to Amazon!

~SAT

June 23: It’s My Birthday :]

Writing Tips: Make Maps (Interior)

2 Apr

Website Update: April 3rd: I switched some posts around; sorry for the inconvenience if you were waiting for the publishing tips on April 4th. It will now be on April 6th.

So this is my 100th post, and there’s 29 days until the Minutes Before Sunset release. (Obviously, numbers excite me.) And I’m celebrating by posting two writing tips in a row :] Hope you enjoy!

Click here to join my Facebook Author Page! Your support brightens my day every day.

Click here to join my Facebook Author Page! Your support brightens my day every day.

The believability of your novel is going to reside on many factors: characters, plot, language, etc. But these are the obvious reasons, and many writers forget that the smallest details can also make or break your credibility. I’ve talked about this before in Writing Tips: Keeping Track of Time on March 11th. I described the importance of tracking every minute, day, month, and even moon cycles of your novel, and now I wanted to discuss the physical world you also need to track.

When I write a story, I always draw maps–both of the exterior and interior of places within the story. I even draw a much larger map, showing how the story moves. But that’s for another post. Today, I’m strictly clarifying the importance of a floor plan. Where’s the living room, kitchen, and bedroom? How are these places laid out? Where do your characters stand? What would they be near? These questions are important, because you can easily contradict yourself from scene to scene.

For example: In chapter one, you may describe Person A walking through the living room to get to the kitchen. THEN–ten chapters later–you write about Person A (or someone completely different) coming out of the kitchen into a hallway that leads to the front door next to the living room.

These little mistakes, even if the reader isn’t consciously aware of it, can upset the flow and take them out of the story. In other words, they may feel as if something isn’t quite right.

We can avoid this with detailed maps. (Even if you base your places on real-life, because you’re bound to change something.)

I really recommend drawing the map before you write a significant amount of your story. In my opinion, you can wait until that room appears in the book, describe it naturally, but then take note on EVERYTHING you said. That way, when you come back to the scene, everything is in place.

Another way to record it, however, is to physical draw or use realtor websites that allow you to create a room digitally.

I really like RoomSketcher, because you can morph the walls, stack floors, and even add furniture. I wasn’t able to use this while making November Snow in 2007, but I did make two with this website for an example:

NFlock

Northern Flock Home

The first drawing is of the first floor of the Northern Flock’s home. If you’ve read November Snow, you know many of the scenes take place here, so making sure my characters’ movements were flawless was very important. On the left, you’ll even see the lamp by the stairs, because it (and I don’t want to spoil anything) becomes very important at some point in the novel. This is just another reason to guarantee that I knew where it was. Other furniture that I used was a couch, desk, T.V., dining room table, and everything in the kitchen–the fridge, oven, and sink. The doorways are also very important, because it shows how the characters could leave and enter while also reminding me what would be in front, behind, to the right, and left of them as they did so.

As a comparison, I also created Calhoun’s house.

Calhoun's house

Calhoun’s house

I did this to show how RoomSketcher can allow you to create your own floor with walls, carpet, windows, and stairways. It’s very easy to use, and there’s even different kinds of furniture you can choose from. (Notice Daniel’s room–the blue one–has a different colored bed than Calhoun’s.)

I’ve had these maps drawn since I began writing, and it allowed me to be confident that my book could correlate with such pictures. I have no doubts that, if you read November Snow today, you could follow my maps along with the characters.

I have to admit that some rooms, homes, or even streets are very clear to me, and I very rarely have to go back to my notes. However, when writing the smaller scenes, the ones that I probably do struggle with, I often go back during revisions and use a pencil to trace the movements. This may seem tedious, but I feel as if it is necessary, and I have found mistakes before.

Plus, it’s fun to take a break from writing and editing to create something else. And you can share it as an extra with your readers & fans! I know I’ll keep spending more time on this website. I love how easy it is to manipulate the walls, the furniture, and recreate something without losing what I’ve already made. (I’m a pen addict, so that’s really hard to do when I draw on paper.)

I suggest you guys try it out too! And if you don’t like RoomSketcher, I remain loyal to the dedication of drawing a physical map. In the future, I will expand on how to draw an exterior map and/or trace the movements of characters in specific scenes along with overtime in general.

Good luck & have fun! (I also have Interior Maps for “Minutes Before Sunset” coming April 4.

~SAT

UPDATED: April 4: Movie Mention: The Host

April 6: Publishing Tips: Introduce Extras.  

Shannon Summary: Six Months In

25 Mar

Website Update: March 26: I’ve created an event on Goodreads for Minutes Before Sunset’s release. Join here

On September 25th, My Primary Post was created, and this website was established. Six months later, here I am: all over the world.

World Stats

World Stats

When I first created this website, with the direction of Robin Hoffman, I didn’t know what to expect. I had all kinds of questions: How do I connect? What do I post about? Who will read it? Who will I want to read? Will this go anywhere?

I didn’t know any of the answers, yet, today, I have over 5,000 followers, and I couldn’t be happier with all of the lovely supporters (readers, writers, and dreamers) that I have talked to through this blog. Today–this six month mark–is a mark of celebration! And this celebration is all about you all 😀

My Facebook Author Page is almost to 150 followers too :]

My Facebook Author Page is almost to 150 followers too :]

Below this, I’m posting my top five posts and top five commenters. I’m doing this, because I want you all to see what has driven my blog the most. Maybe this will help you with yours. At the same time, I want you all to think about what you’d like to see on ShannonAThompson.com in the future! I really encourage you to comment with questions or comments in regards to what you’d like to see, and I will surely post about it! (I’ll even link to your page :D) And you can do this on any post, not just today’s, because this blog is truly dedicated to you guys, my readers. For instance, I’ve noticed many of you really enjoy writing tips, but is there a particular piece about writing you have questions about? I’d love to help with those.

My top five posts (not including pages) are:

1. Writing Tips: Being an Author: Pros & Cons

2. Inspirational Meet: Kristine Andersen: this means a lot to me by the way. Kristine’s death has been very difficult, but knowing you all have taken the time to read about her memory brings me a comfort that I cannot explain.

3. Publishing News: Barnes & Noble: Paperback: I just sent off the final bit of paperwork, so I’ll keep you updated as it continues to process.

4. Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting: I think it’s very important to analyze such tragedies in order to make as much understanding as we possibly can. If you haven’t read this post, I have two novels that, I think, can help question and understand school shootings.

5. Writing Tips: How I Form Dialogue into Writing

My top five recent commenters are: (And they deserve great praise, although all of you are getting a thanks!)

1. Slepsnor, Legends of Windemere.

2. Ahamin, Ahamin: Author’s official Blog–AKA my thoughts

3. The Animation Commendation: The Animation Commendation: A Tribute to Disney and Animation

4. P.C. Zick: Living Lightly

5. PO3TIC: Stranger Than Fiction: Photography, Poetry, & Prose.

I’d also like to thank Sam Dawson for featuring me on Hot Tea and Dark Chocolate March 21st, along with many others for being especially dedicated to their craft and support: Jhobell Kristyl, Ky Grabowski,  & Tuan Ho along with so many others.

So thank you again for journeying with me to this milestone. I will continue! And I am looking forward to what the next six months will bring. A lot of that will be up to you guys!

So this photo is from the summer, but it's a perfect representation of how my life goes. This is my friends, Brendan and Scott, as we worked, side-by-side, at a local hookah house.

So this photo is from the summer, but it’s a perfect representation of how my life goes. This is my friends, Brendan and Scott, as we worked, side-by-side, at a local hookah house.

~SAT

March 27: Publishing News: Cover Reveal

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