• Ramblings
  • What I Learned After Three Drafts of the Same Novel

    For the past five and a half years—lord, has it really been that long?—I’ve been working on a story called The Diary of a Suicide (TDoaS). At first, it was a side project I posted periodically on Wattpad, solely for the purpose of gauging my skill level. Somewhere along the lines, I fell in love with the characters, and I decided they deserved much better than the disjointed mess I’d been making for them. So, in September of 2014, I officially started outlining a rewrite of TDoaS, and in November, I officially started drafting it.

    That was three years and three drafts ago now, and it’s weird looking back on where the story started. A lot’s changed, but also a lot hasn’t. Like I said, it’s weird. And I kind of want to talk about it…

  • Ramblings
  • Welcome Back!

    I know, I know: I’ve been MIA all summer. Turns out, I actually kind of suck at multi-tasking, so while I was pouring all of my energy into writing the best damn book I can⸺and plotting and designing a comic book I’m still learning how to make⸺I was neglecting my duties as a blogger. If only sleep wasn’t a basic human need, I’d have all the time in the world…

  • Lists
  • Ayli’s Cheat Sheet of One-Liner Writing Tips

    It feels like it’s been forever since I’ve written a post for you guys here. Sorry I’ve been MIA, I’m hoping to get back into the groove of things over the next few months. (I’m not used to actually keeping busy, so I’ve gotta learn to juggle.)

    To make up for my neglect, I’ve compiled this handy-dandy list of little things to keep in mind when writing, something for you to revisit every once in a while when you feel the need to refresh yourself.

    You ready? Then without further ado, here they are:

    25 one-liner writing tips!

  • Ramblings
  • My Progress in the Month of December

    I know, I know: I missed last month. Since it is way too much work to type out all of November’s progress along with December’s, let me just summarize it for you:

    I wrote a total of 9,621 words in November, with a total of ten days where I didn’t write anything solid for The Diary of a Suicide. During three of those empty days I worked on reviewing the outline and furthering the plot of TDoaS, I just didn’t have a number I could put down. The rest of those days were pretty much me taking a small break for two reasons: the excuse I usually gave out and the actual reason. The excuse was that my mother’s birthday is the second of December and I needed to put all my effort into getting her birthday drawing done on time (not because I procrastinated, but because I scrapped pretty much every other idea I had for it until I literally didn’t have time to anymore and had to follow through with at least one of them). The actual reason was because I was finding myself utterly disenchanted with my own story, to the point where writing felt like a chore. Ever since I started documenting my progress, I’ve been pushing myself more and more to meet a certain quota, feeling like a slacker if I fell short on some days and always feeling like the little bit I could manage – just a little over 500 words a day – wasn’t good enough. This all kind of fell apart in November, when – as you can see – I ended up missing a whole lot of time because I was either second-guessing myself or feeling absolutely drained.

  • Ramblings
  • The Complex Truth of the “Strong” Female Character: What Are We Doing Wrong?

    I’ve thought a lot about how to write this post. I’ve tried three times now to write this out as an essay of sorts – the subject matter seems like an essay sort of deal – but once everything I want to say is put where it needs to be, it just sounds kind of sloppy to me, no matter how I spin it. So I’m gonna change it up a bit and split this post into two parts. The first: the essay, where I will discuss the topic of “strong female characters” (to be known as SFCs from this point forward) and how I feel we’re misguided in what that means; and the second: a list of things I personally feel we could or should change in our approach to writing women.

    Everybody on the same page? Awesome! Then let’s begin…

  • Lists
  • 5 Awesome Apps For Writers

    As a writer whose brain is constantly in motion, I consider mobile apps one of the greatest conveniences of our time. And even beyond that, I just love finding new tools to mess around with. It can make the most mundane parts of the plotting process seem interesting again!

    (If I’m being honest, I came across two particular apps recently that I found super useful, and I really wanted to tell someone about them. Two didn’t feel like enough of a reason to write a blog post, though, so I may have actually done a bit of digging to find the other three. But they’re still really neat!)

    It’s important to note that I’m excluding all actual writing and note taking apps – like Microsoft Word and WPS Office – from this list. Obviously any app that allows you to write is going to be super useful for a writer. The point of this was to introduce you to apps you may not know of, that may help you brainstorm, plot, and plan.

    So without further ado, here are five awesome apps for writers!

  • Ramblings
  • Some Helpful Tips to Improve Your Writing Skill

    Hoo boy, here we go! The ultimate question every writer gets: how do you get so good at writing, and how can I improve? In truth, the answer to this is very complex and a lot more than some random post on an amateur blog is truly capable of tackling. It’s also a lot more subjective than many seem to think. We don’t all learn and grow the same because if we did, we’d all write the same. However, there are some very general things every writer can agree helps to improve your craft. That’s why I’m here today; not to tell you, “This is how you get good,” but to say, “Try this, it might help!”

    And from there, I present to you my simplest tips to explore and improve your own writing ability.

  • Ramblings
  • My Progress in the Month of August

    (I completely forgot this is a thing I’m supposed to be doing. Whoops.)

    Just a heads up: my numbers for this month are going to be super different from the past couple months; I changed up my work habits a bit! Previously, I decided I would write at least 500 words a day, so I would write until I passed that and then stop. Recently, however, I started setting a timer for an hour each day, and working against the clock has helped me stay focused and write more. (This actually started because of a really cool app I discovered, which I’ll make a post about soon as a bonus for missing last month’s post.)

    Alrighty, now that that’s out of the way: the stats!

  • Ramblings
  • My Progress in the Month of July

    Usually, my post previews consist of the first couple paragraphs from the text, but literally the only thing in this post that shows up before I start listing my daily word count is the line:

    “As promised, here are the deets about my progress this past month.”

    So I’m literally just adding the rest of this text as padding because I’m stubborn and like my previews to look a certain way. Click “read more” if you want to… well, read more.