Monthly Archives: July 2016

Author Platform: Tweet As Your Character! by Web Design Relief

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Author Platform: Tweet As Your Character! by Web Design Relief

This article has been reprinted with the permission of Web Design Relief.  Whether you’re just starting out or a best-selling author, Web Design Relief will improve your existing website or build you an affordable, custom author website to support your author platform, boost your online presence, and act as a hub for your social media outreach. Web Design Relief is a division of Writer’s Relief, a highly recommended author’s submission service. Sign up for their free e-publication for writers, Submit Write Now! Visit the site today to learn more.

characterWhen you’re looking for a cutting edge way to build your brand on social media, sometimes the answer is found by stepping outside yourself—and into the persona of your book’s main character!

Why, you ask? Just like trying to get an excerpt of your novel published in a literary journal, setting up a Twitter account with a good-sized following can show agents and publishers that your story has mass appeal. Each new follower your character accumulates can grow into a potential reader, so you can build up a fan base before your masterpiece even hits the shelves!

Here’s What You Need To Know About How To Tweet As Your Character:

All the same rules apply. Even though your character may be fictional, the Twitterverse operates under real life “laws.” Tweet regularly with original well-thought-out content. Follow accounts with similar interests/themes. Respond to others and try for retweets. Check out our article for Twitter Tips: 11 Ways To Gain More Followers.

Come prepared. If you want to create a successful account, you need to have a REALLY good sense of your character’s background and voice before you start tweeting as him/her. While you may find that your character will develop and evolve with time during this endeavor, you’ll run out of material after a while if you don’t master the subtle nuances of their personality from the beginning. (For more on this, read  Character Development In Stories and Novels and 5 Ways To Make Your Characters More Three-Dimensional.)

Get in his/her head. People will identify with what they feel is a believable persona, even if they know it’s just a character. Try your best to remove yourself from the experience for the purest level of expression. Have him or her talk about what’s going on that day in regular, day-to-day situations.

Don’t feel limited by the story. Just because your book is set in another time or an unusual place doesn’t mean that your character isn’t right for Twitter. Your character can tweet from another planet or a medieval courtyard. In fact, exotic settings may drum up intrigue. On a related note, don’t feel as though you have to confine what he/she is saying to the parameters of the book itself—it can take place before or after your story, or be completely removed from it altogether.

Respond to trends. Because Twitter is the most fast-paced of the social media sites, you have the opportunity for constant “tweet-spiration.” For example, if you’ve written a romance novel, have your young female protagonist live tweet during episodes of Girls. If your protagonist is a CEO, comment on the latest business news. If you’ve got at YA book, you’re especially lucky because you can chime in on a lot of the teen culture trending topics. The possibilities are endless.

Don’t get in trouble. Twitter does, in fact, have its own policy in reference to “Parody, Comedy, and Fan Accounts,” so be sure to get familiar with these guidelines if what you’re going to be tweeting could be controversial.

With the popularity of parody accounts like Lord Voldemort and Fake AP Stylebook, you can hop onto this trend while simultaneously building interest in your book. Granted, while those big names attract a lot of attention because they’re well known, that doesn’t mean your main character can’t rise up in the ranks among them. Ultimately, what sets the best tweeters apart from the hundreds of millions of active users is how compelling and original your contributions are.

QUESTION: What would your main character’s Twitter persona be like?

Video of the Week #57: Opa!

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Video of the Week #57: Opa!

Beautifully performed Greek dance.

ICAD Day 57: Golden

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ICAD Day 57: Golden

My husband is a tropical fish hobbyist. In fact, when I first met him 44 years ago, he invited me to his place to see his…aquarium.

A few years ago, he raised oscars, carnivorous fish who particularly enjoy eating goldfish.

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Photo of oscar by Jon Helgi Jonsson

 

Pet stores sell “feeder” goldfish for exactly this purpose, and they are usually less desirable specimens, inbred, with wonky fins and droopy eyes. Every week Greg bought a bunch of feeders for his oscars.

And then, one day, a goldfish emerged from the rocks landscaping the tank. He had apparently hidden within the caves formed by the rocks until he was too large for predators to eat. He was not your typical feeder goldfish. In fact, his fins were magnificent.

He thrived in the tank for several years, growing to about six inches in length.

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I am participating in the Index-Card-a-Day Challenge and World Watercolor Month. For the rest of July, I intend to paint a little watercolor every day, just big enough to fit on an index card. Search for the hashtags #icad2016 and #WorldWatercolorMonth on social media if you would like so see what other participants are doing.

Wordless Wednesday: Century Plant

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Wordless Wednesday: Century Plant

The century plant is so nicknamed because supposedly, after a hundred years, it grows an incredibly tall flower spike (with a spectacularly ugly bloom), and then it dies.

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It looks like a poor imitation of broccoli.

Its real name is agave americana, and it actually only lives ten to thirty years.

Oops, I broke the first rule of Wordless Wednesday by writing way too many words.

I’m not deleting them.

Reading List Roundup

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Reading List Roundup

Years ago, when I subscribed to O, Oprah Winfrey’s magazine, my favorite feature was a monthly peek at a different celebrity’s bookshelf (or was it nightstand?). Winfrey is a powerful advocate of reading; when she likes a book, it becomes a best seller.

I love finding out what other people are reading, don’t you? When I find someone who likes the same types of books as me (and I’m eclectic), I hang on to his/her recommendations and refer back to them.

So, for your enjoyment, here are links to some of the reading lists I’ve saved during the last year or two:Sitting on pile of books

  1. From Ernest Hemingway
  2. From James Radcliff 
  3. From Ken Follett
  4. From Book Bub
  5. From President Obama, President George W. Bush, and President Bill Clinton 
  6. For YA fans
  7. From Emma Watson
  8. From Suzanne Collins (mostly classics)
  9. From Strand Book Store
  10. For Christians

Have you ever picked a book off your shelf that you don’t remember reading, and after a few pages, realize is familiar? This happens to me over and over again. I don’t know if it is because some books are simply unmemorable (yet pleasant enough to read) or if I really am losing my mind as I grow older. To combat this, I try to keep a list of books I’ve read, with a brief summary. Some years I’ve been more successful than others. Occasionally I give up in frustration. When I worked for the Department of the Interior and used a Franklin Planner, I kept my list there. For a while, I kept a list on Facebook, but that meant I had to log on to Facebook to update it—too easy to get distracted. This year I started keeping track on ARHtisticLicense, on the Books Read page.

Have you ever thought of keeping a reading journal? If you are a writer, making notes on what you read can help you hone your skills.

What books have you read during the last year that you would recommend to others? Please share in the comments below.

ICAD Day 55: Self-Approximation

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ICAD Day 55: Self-Approximation

The World Watercolor Month prompt for today is self-portrait. Pretty close.

I am participating in the Index-Card-a-Day Challenge and World Watercolor Month. For the rest of July, I intend to paint a little watercolor every day, just big enough to fit on an index card. Search for the hashtags #icad2016 and #WorldWatercolorMonth on social media if you would like so see what other participants are doing.

Monday Morning Wisdom #60

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Monday Morning Wisdom #60

Found on Twitter:Le Guin

Photo of Ursula Le Guin by Hajor