Hey everyone! I’ve got a special guest post to share today celebrating the release of Tialla Rising’s new novel, Where Shadows Lie! But, before we get to the guest post, here’s a bit about this intriguing book.
Genre: Christian New Adult Suspense
Release Date: June 14th 2015
Synopsis via Goodreads:
His dark past haunts him. His new life taunts him.
After twenty years in the gangs and a hefty prison sentence, an early release gives Shawn the opportunity to turn his life around.
But that isn’t so easy when gangs are involved.
Only a year into his fresh start, the gang catches on and makes Shawn’s life miserable. After all, once a gang member, always a gang member. His very blood belongs to them.
Threats become promises. Whispers become actions. Words become bullets. He must fight – not only for his life, but to save his honor, prove his integrity, and protect the woman he loves.
An ember of hope glows in the darkness, strengthening his resolve. Will her support and his determination be enough to dispel the shadows of his past?
A story of discovery and faith, love and perseverance.
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10 Things Aspiring Writers Shouldn’t Stress Over
by Tialla Rising
Hello everyone! Before I jump into this post, I just want to say that I am very honored to be posting here today. Thank you, Jaye, for letting me ramble a bit!
My topic is all about debunking the silly things that aspiring writers usually stress over. When you’re new to writing and you really have no idea what you’re doing, it’s easy to get caught up in the little details. (Okay, let’s face it—even when you’ve published more than one book, it’s still easy to get caught up in the little details!) However, some beginning writers might not realize these little things don’t matter while you’re writing the first draft. They are just distractions keeping you from getting that full story written.
Please note that while these don’t matter when writing your first draft, once you get into editing and revisions, those details do need to be taken into consideration. Without further ado, here are ten things aspiring writers shouldn’t stress over in their first draft.
1. A messy first draft. Your first draft is going to be messy. It’s going to be ridiculous. Some of it will even make you blush to think you ever thought that was acceptable to write. You’re going to cut extras and fill in plot holes. You’ll wonder how you ever missed something that was so important (and how you could write certain scenes that don’t make any sense). This is normal. Don’t try to make your first draft perfect, and don’t stress over it being messy. No author in history has had a perfect first draft. Stephen King? Nope. J.K. Rowling? Nada. Every author has to edit and revise. That’s the beauty of the first draft—you can be messy and it doesn’t matter, because the point is to just get the story on the paper.
2. Editing while writing. Don’t do it. Editing what you’ve already written before you’ve finished writing the first draft is not recommended for a couple of reasons. First, you interrupt the flow of your writing. Second, you slow yourself down. Third, if you keep editing while writing, there’s a good chance that you won’t finish the manuscript. Fourth, once the book is done, you’ll have to go back and edit it anyway. You’ll more than likely change what you’re trying to perfect right now. Don’t worry about it.
3. The title. If you don’t have a title while you’re writing the first draft, it’s not a big deal. A lot of writers don’t come up with their titles until after they finish their manuscripts. It’ll come to you. It’s not something to stress over.
4. Whether readers will like it. That is way down the road. Don’t worry about whether they’ll like it or if it will sell well and you’ll be the next Suzanne Collins with Hunger Games. While that would be nice, don’t let it influence how you’re writing your story now. Write the story how you want it written. Marketing comes later. And let me just say: if you’re in this for the money, you’re in the wrong business.
5. Developing your writing style. I’ve heard of amateur writers who find themselves unable to finish their first draft because they are so concerned about finding their style, or a style that works well. I’ve even known some to try copying best-selling authors, because “Hey, if it worked for them….” Don’t stress over your style and definitely don’t try to copy someone else. Write with a style that feels comfortable for you and works for you. And even if it’s still hard and stiff, write anyway. Part of editing includes smoothing out sentence flow and softening stiff writing.
6. Dialogue tags. Even though creating/cutting dialogue tags are definitely an important part of editing, this is not something you should stress over while writing the first draft. Just write whatever comes to your mind first, whether it is a tag like “she whispered” or “she said.” Don’t let the choice of tags distract you with stress when you should be focusing on just getting the story down. You will edit and refine this later.
7. Adverbs. There is a constant debate in the writing world over adverbs. Whether you decide you are for or against them (or somewhere in-between), don’t worry about it while writing your first draft. That’s what editing is for. The adverb battle is just one more thing that can distract you from writing.
8. Passive voice. If you’ve been around the writing-o-sphere for any amount of time, you’ve probably heard it preached to use active voice, not passive (with the exception of certain circumstances). You may suddenly become much slower as you write paragraphs, picking apart your language to make sure you aren’t using passive voice. My word of advice? Don’t. Just write, and clean up the passive voice in the editing if it bothers you.
9. Waiting for inspiration/writer’s block. Oh, the bane of writer’s block! …Right? Not quite. While it can be frustrating, there are numerous ways of getting past writer’s block. If you keep waiting for inspiration, it may or may not come. Often, you just have to sit down and write anyway, even when you don’t feel like it, or the story seems stuck. As Stephen King says, “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” Don’t wait for the right moment or feeling. Here’s another quote, this time from William Faulkner: “I write when I’m inspired, and I see to it that I’m inspired at nine o’clock every morning.”
10. Incorporating a theme. Don’t stress over having to incorporate a specific theme or message into your story. Just write the story as it needs to be told and the theme will unfold naturally. If you force a theme into the story, the plot and characters will suffer. So don’t worry about it. ;) Just write the story.
Bottom line? Just write. Everything else comes later in editing.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Tialla Rising is a Christian young woman living with her family in the mountains of Arizona. She loves to write and will passionately spend hours long into the night developing her stories. Like most writers, Tialla fills her spare time with reading from her favorite fantasy and mystery genres. A good book, a stormy day, and an iced coffee comprise her favorite moments.
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And don’t forget to check out the other stops on the tour!