• Lots More Learning!

     

    I just figured out how to add all my posts from my blog. Who knew I could do that? Neat. 🙂

    So, now my website is very full, but may also seem a bit weird that I have some of the posts that sign off as my old Inkblade Writer name and others with my new author name of JT Harris. My author name will be the one I will be sticking to in the future. Sorry, if there is any confusion. The only thing that didn’t transfer was the pictures that I had to highlight my posts. I may try to add a few to add a dash of color to my site. I like color. It adds life.

    Tomorrow will be another day of learning and hopefully writing and editing. For now, I must rest. (I hear that’s good for you or something like that.)

    Until next time, keep creating.

    J.T. Harris.

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  • To All You Lovely People…

     

     

    Hello, to all you lovely people.

    I now have a newsletter you can subscribe to. (Check out my side bar.) The newsletter will be containing writing updates, publication updates, previews, and (the best part) links to free stuff!

    Updates will also be posted here, but those on my newsletter will be the first to know all the fun and exciting new stuff. Don’t miss out, sign up. (Does peer pressure work?) Just kidding. I wouldn’t do that. Or would I?

    Sign up and keep creating!

    Thank you.

    JT Harris.

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  • Welcome!

    Hello everyone. I am slowly learning this whole website thing. Slowly, I will be updating and changing this site and its pages and other content. I am looking forward to spending time here and letting you all know what I will be bringing to share with you.

    Thank you for spending some of your time with me.

    JT Harris.

  • Changes Are Coming

    Over this next month many things are changing. I am starting up a newsletter about my writing, publishing ups and downs, and free writing samples from my debut novel. I am getting excited and feeling a bit frustrated due to things not running as smoothly as I would have liked. Don’t worry. I am not discouraged. 

    I think I may have signed up for a bit too many sites that are supposed to help me achieve all my marketing dreams. I am unsure if some of these are leading me down the right path for me or not, but it’s worth a try. If I go the wrong way at least I have learned which road not to travel. 

    Getting started to become an author is a bumpy one and I am learning lots, but I got to say that I am really looking forward to when my first book is published so it can pave the way to more. Please tell me it gets easier. 🙂

    Good luck to you all and keep creating.

    Inkblade Writer.
  • Goals for the Near Future



    Just a quick post this week!


    I am not a New Year’s resolution kind of person, but I do believe in goals. Goals can spark us to move forward to accomplish many great things. Telling a few people our goals can give us the fine kick in the bottom that we need because we don’t want to fail. (Having to tell our friends that we didn’t meet our goals is something most of us don’t want to do – besides, our friends can be great cheerleaders, right?)

    There are some goals that I would like to work on these next few months and am not sure if I am doing these goals in the right order or if I should be concentrating on others instead, but I will tweak accordingly if and when it suits my publishing needs.

    One of the goals I am hoping to do this month is to find a few more “alpha” readers to read and give me constructive criticism for the early draft of my manuscript. Even though I have many things I’d like to change in my story I’d like to have other peoples’ opinions and take on the story – to see if my opinions are the same as other’s opinions. I hope that makes sense. 🙂 

    The next goal of mine is to start a newsletter for you all and any new “followers”. Fans? You lovely people who are interested in my progress! Yes. That sounds good.

    Right now, I am writing out character profiles for each of my support and background characters. I have compiled  a list of questions and stats for each of my named characters. Let’s just say, it has been a very interesting learning time for me and for my story. Everyone is coming alive and layered and I want to hug them all. I knew my characters before, but now I am digging deeper and learning quite a bit more about everyone and everything. Every crack. Every corner. Fun times. Truly. I highly recommend trying this for your background characters. (I know it can be tedious, but in the end, it will be so worth it.) I suppose my goal for writing out each profile would be to finish all the profiles by the end of next week. (Kids are full of adventure and keep me quite busy, which is why it will take me another week.)

    Making goals for myself is one of the ways I keep myself on track. Procrastination is a deep, deep, well of doing nothing that I frequent. A lot. Everyone has their own process, and goals work for me. 

    The summer will be here soon and I am determined to be published by then. Yay!
    What are some of your goals?

    Have a great winter, happy goal keeping, and keep creating.

    Inkblade Writer.

    PS. Okay, my post was much longer than intended. Apparently I had more to say than I thought. Thank you for spending some of your time with me. 

  • Bookish Pet Peeves and Cliches Found In YA Novels

    Photo via Visual hunt
    Well, this week I did a bunch of research on bookish pet peeves and cliches/ tropes in YA fiction that one finds annoying or overdone on certain aspects of the published book itself or written in the book. This is the compiled list of what I discovered: 
     

    Bookish Pet Peeves:

    1) Never ruin a book lovers’ book. (Never dog ear pages, never crease spines, never fold covers back, or there will be fire and brimstone and you will be tossed in without a second glance.)
     
    2) Weird character names or unpronounceable character names.
     
    3) Too many “holding their breath without realizing it” moments.
     
    4) Looking in the mirror to describe what the character looks like.
     

    Annoying things that publishers (sometimes) do:

     
    1) Not keeping book cover design consistent throughout a series. (Sudden cover changes was very high on this list as being the most irksome thing.)
     
    2) Book height (Please, for the love of bookshelves, keep the height of a series the same.)
     
    3) Not clearly marking the order of books in a series.
     
    4) Stickers on books, especially the ones that are printed right into the front cover itself. 
     

    5) Bad covers (Lots of readers disliked seeing character’s faces, leaving nothing to the imagination) 

    6) Trilogies that suddenly have a fourth book, or a prequel – just because.

     

    YA cliches and tropes:

    1) Love Triangles. (This one topped many charts)

    2) Insta-love/ Insta-romance.

    3) Lack of parents or adults.

    4) Vampires.

    5) A character who is amazing in all ways (good looking, very strong, or suddenly really good at something – gets very little training then, poof, an amazing fighter.)

    6) Stereotype characters (broody bad boy; beautiful, but doesn’t know it; nerd in glasses; everyone is beautiful and without physical flaws, etc… – can you hear my eyes rolling?)

    7) Abusive yet sexy characters. (The abuse is somehow excused because of terrible past/upbringing and the love interest will throw themselves at this abuser because they are hot.)

    8) Vapid characters (Give me layers, like onions or pie!)

    9) Dependent / Insecure main characters (Super sensitive, weak, or obsessive over the love of another were other things that annoyed readers too.)
     
    10) The “I’m not like other girls” character. (How? Are you, like, a monster or something?)
     
    11) The lack of normal everyday things (Do characters ever go to the bathroom? Shower! If they are injured, do they have a bruise days later, limp when trying to get around, or take the time to heal? Show the hurt!)
     
    12) “The Chosen One” character. (Really?)
     
    These lists are not all that I found that irked people; there were plenty more that bothered people but didn’t come up as often so they didn’t make the lists. 
     
    Now, should we avoid all the cliches and tropes? I say, not really. Everything has been done before and will continue to be done time and time again. Our job as writers and authors is to do them with a new angle or new perspective. Change up the tropes. Put a twist in them. We readers like to see certain things in YA novels when we pick up a YA book. That’s why we keep going back.
     
    Will I have a few cliches and YA tropes in my story? Perhaps. But I hope to put my own spin on it. I definitely like to read certain things in YA novels and I absolutely love to write certain things. So I will. But! I will always go with the flow of what my story needs and try my best to shake things up a bit.
     
    This post is a bit longer than some of my other posts, regardless, I had fun doing this research and learned a few things along the way. Time well spent. 
     
    What are some bookish pet peeves, cliches, tropes that you like or dislike?
     
    Until next time, keep creating.
    JT Harris. 
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
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  • Setting Goals.

    Photo via <a href=”https://pixabay.com/en/users/MannyvonKannen-699079/”>MannyvonKannen</a> via <a href=”https://visualhunt.com/photos/christmas/”>VisualHunt.com</a>
    As many of my friends and family know, I have won this year’s NaNoWriMo! And, I couldn’t be happier about it. 

    I have been so busy with my writing and Christmastime that I have put a slight halt to my blogging. I love you all for your patience. Thank you!

    Christmas is almost upon us, again, and there’s so much to prepare, lists to check off, people to see, and, of course, writing to be finished. I have given myself a bit of time to chew over what I wrote in the month of November and am doing a bit more world building for my fantasy before I jump into editing and begin to mold and whip my story into shape. My editing cap is almost ready to be worn. 😉

    I have decided to give myself a deadline/ end goal for my manuscript to be finished. My reason for my goal is because I am a procrastinator and if I have a goal I will procrastinate less. The more I focus on my goal the more I will do. I may even wait until the bitter end before I throw myself into action, but I am determined to get the manuscript finished. So, my end goal is to have the book ready by the summer of 2017! 

    Wish me luck. This is so new to me. And scary. And fun. And challenging. I will be updating my progress at most every step that I take. If you’d like to check my progress you can keep checking here on my blog or check out my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/inkbladewriter/

    Thank you so much for joining me today! 
    Until next time.
    Keep creating and Merry December,  Happy Winter Solstice, and have a joyous Christmas.

    Inkblade Writer.




  • I joined NaNoWriMo!



    Well, I have just signed up for my first NaNoWriMo! Dear Lord, what have I done? 


    I am not writing a novel from scratch in the month of November, but rather pushing through the final chunk of my story. I have, so far, written my fantasy in a single point of view and I feel it needs a secondary point of view. Joining NaNoWriMo, I hope, will keep me grounded at my computer to get through to the end, and perhaps, I’ll meet fellow NaNo friends to encourage each other to persevere and to finish what we have started. 

    Here’s to early mornings and late nights of writing! And tea. Lots of tea. But before NaNoWriMo it’s still October and so I will take this time to keep on planning, researching, stockpiling my ideas, and working on outlining my chapters and scenes, with the hope that when November rolls around it will be easier to sit down and write. If I don’t take the time to prepare now I won’t be able to just sit and write. I have a very short attention span when it comes to story writing (or just being on my computer with all the distractions of the internet). My mind won’t turn off. Many ideas come to me all at once and I find it very hard to just sit still and just work on one scene without it flitting off to another scene or idea, or even different ways I could write the same scene over and over again. 

    In the past, I have tried writing by the seat of my pants (pantser) and even though at times it has worked well for me there has been many times it has held me back. My personality needs a bit of guidance with the freedom to change paths. That is what has worked for me and until it stops working for me I will continue to plot. 

    Keep creating.
    Inkblade Writer
  • Don’t Forget To Take Time For Yourself

    Hello again! These next few blog posts will be short and sweet. October will soon be upon us and it’s always a busy time of year for me. I make costumes quite often so naturally, October becomes costume making month as I like to make my kids, husband, and myself costumes for Halloween. I will soon be up to my elbows in fabric, boxes, paint, and tape. There will be princesses and creepers of plenty… 🙂

    As important as it is to write all the time it’s just as important to take time for yourself and for your family and friends. So, peel your way from your laptop or notebook. Go outside. Bake something. Drink tea (always drink tea) and say hello to your friends and family. They’ll love you for it.
    Also, read! Reading is very important to writing. Words are magic. Mmm… magical words. Oh goodness, I love October. I could go on forever chatting about magic. So, in the spirit of magic and October what are your favorite books to read that include the element of magic?

    Hopefully you can share some great magical stories with your friends and family.

    Happy costume and magic month!
    Keep creating.
    Inkblade.

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