Five Links…4/19/19 Loleta Abi


Five Links…4/19/19

Loleta Abi


1. “Making a lasting impact with a story isn’t exactly easy.

First off, selling your novel and getting it read is hard enough. You’ve got a lot of competition, you have to deal with marketing, and readers are quick to drop a book that doesn’t interest them.

After you’ve managed to achieve that task, then there’s another problem you have to wrestle with.

Let me explain.

How many “okay” novels have you read, but you quickly forgot afterward? How many movies have you seen that you don’t really remember?”

2. “For years, I was an advertising copywriter with a secret desire to write a book. You’re thinking, how hard could that be, writing is writing, right? If only. Penning a novel not only seemed like a daunting task, I believed only highly gifted writers could legitimately do it and be taken seriously. One needed permission or approval like from an English teacher or colleague to tap your shoulder and declare: Wow, you’re really good. You should write a novel!

No such tap happened; still, I waited.

As a newlywed working at my first ad agency, often a story would form in my head along with its cast of characters. Their voices never left me alone. They nudged me when I’d wash the dishes, occupied my thoughts while I drove, and comprised the last utterances I heard before drifting off to sleep.”

3. “While I am not perfect by any means, consistency and practice really do help us to get better. Cliche as it is now, the saying is true. The more book signings and events I do, the better I get at pitching my books. I am a naturally shy person but author events help me to be more open. It is the chance for me to learn how to communicate what my book is about without being scripted (which is easy to do when you’re behind a computer), but that you only have seconds to do in person. For example, I had the chance to sit and think about what I wanted to say here, how to say it and the words that would best sum up this experience. In person, the time is much, much faster. There is no time to sit and think about what to say. There is nothing but your knowledge of your product and why you think it‘s worth the time and money investment. They even asked me to recite a poem on the spot! I am thankful to Yah I was ready.”

4. “I’ve always been a sucker for a trilogy. It started with the countless Star Warsmarathons my brothers and I watched together. From there, I’d pick up N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth series and Pierce Brown’s Red Rising trilogy. Genius compilations like Lilith’s Brood and The Hunger Games and The Lord of the Rings.” I’ve always loved series as well.

5. “Here’s a counterintuitive fact: Writers spend way too much time obsessing about “the writing.” They sweat over the words, the technique, the language, the flow, the use of metaphor, and hey, are there enough sensory details? 

Fact: In and of itself, the writing doesn’t matter.

Here’s another counterintuitive fact: Writers spend way too much time thinking about “the plot.” They lay awake into the wee hours wondering: is it externally dramatic enough? Is it fresh enough? Is something big happening? Do the plot points even add up? 

Fact: In and of itself, the plot doesn’t matter.

This isn’t to say that they don’t matter at all. Of course, they do. But both the writing and the plot are secondary. Heartbreakingly, you can execute both beautifully and still have written a novel that is flat, uninvolving, and thus nothing but a bunch of things that happen. In other words, the fate of most manuscripts. Not because the writer didn’t give it her all, but because she focused on the wrong things.” 

Research & Fun Bits:

1. “Anyone who’s spent time on Facebook has probably seen crow videos that claim these incredible birds are smarter than fifth grade children, but is that even a fair comparison? After all, humans and birds have different needs. We require different skills to survive, thrive, and advance in life.

Can we really create a parallel between our world and theirs? Let’s dig deep and find out.

In case it’s not obvious by now, I am fascinated by crows. In fact, my spirit animal is a crow. Which, if you’re unfamiliar with the term, means this: in certain spiritual traditions or cultures, a spirit animal refers to a spirit which helps guide or protect a person throughout their journey in life and whose characteristics said person shares or embodies.” I’ve often thought the horse was mine.

2. “Since November I have worked on several stories where the main character or characters decide to reinvent themselves.

They have all battled their way through:

– something they wanted to happen, or,

– something that happens to them, that maybe they did not expect.

During my stories all these characters consciously or unconsciously pressed the ‘life reset’ button.

Reinventing themselves has not been easy. In most cases the process has been messy and riddled with setbacks. Okay, so I am a fiction writer and characters are never going to get an easy time but real life is never simple.” I have re-invented myself through most of my life when having to deal with a new situation. The problem is, you forget who you are sometimes. Nowadays, I stick with myself. I’ve come to like this version of myself.


4., amici. Last time, I gave you a rundown of what goes into a series bible. This time, we’re going to discuss the first item that goes in the bible—the series premise. A while ago, I posted six steps to plotting a series. That post is an excellent accompaniment to this one, should you want to review it. You can find it here.”

5. “In the last post I shared the starting point for your eating plan, with your weight established and the amount of weight that you needed to lose and the timescales. Also some more information about the amount of fat in your diet and how cholesterol is broken down into the good the bad and the ugly..”

Some Things More Serious:


2. “Every Thursday evening Sam and I go country dancing.  The majority of the people there are older than us, and they are quite a lively bunch.

Over the past few weeks we’ve been getting to know them, and through chatting I’ve discovered that most of them have some sort of disability.  One lady has bad arthritis and walks with a stick, another chap has Parkinson’s disease, and another is visually impaired with Stargardt’s disease.  There are ladies with osteoporosis, and so on.”

3. post contains some things that may trigger certain people. I am issuing a trigger warning for self-harm and suicidal ideation. Please use caution when reading. If you feel you may be triggered by these things do not read past here. Thank you.”

4. “In this series we look at cooking and your diet from a different perspective. Usually we emphasize the health benefits of food and how they can be incorporated into your diet. But, what happens if you do NOT include them in your diet.”


Teaser Fiction & Poetry:

1. “My chuckaboos, I’ve had 38 weeks of enthuzimuzzy, rerunning this serial with all of you aboard the steampunk train (and submarine).

However, this Wednesday Hidebound Hump Day will reveal the conclusion of Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers. 

Click this link to go to a recap post.

I’ll be looking for you at the steampunk submarine port on Wednesday.”

2. “What do you do when you wake up with a tattoo you didn’t have the night before?

Huh. Well, that’s odd, was the first thing that ran through Lydia’s mind as she looked down at the mark on her forearm.

It looked like any old tattoo. It was small, about the size of a nickel, and done as if in a single pass with black ink from a needle. It was just a single symbol—archaic, strange, and nothing she recognized. After attacking it with rubbing alcohol and bleach, all she succeeded in doing was making her skin red. Slowly and reluctantly, Lydia concluded the ink really was under her skin.”




Book Reveals, Cover Reveals, & Author Interviews:

1. “The magic has returned . . . and so have the monsters.

Devin Eveson is a Soulkeeper, traveling through remote villages as a priest and healer. But when a mysterious black water washes over the world, the veil is torn, flooding the land with ancient magic and forgotten races. And not all the creatures that have reawakened remember humanity fondly.

As the land grows increasingly dangerous and chaotic, Soulkeepers are turning up dead. Devin must set aside his words of peace and accept his new role: slayer of monsters and protector of the human race.

2. “This feel-good book, The Corner Shop In Cockleberry Bay, got me through a weekend away with three hormonal teenage girls and one ten year old girl (two were mine and the other two were my sister’s kids).

Good books get you through stressful times.

3. “Welcome to the first of the Cafe and Bookstore updates this week and the first author with a recent review is Deborah Jay for her latest release The Prince’s Protege – The Five Kingdoms Book Three.”



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