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3 Ways To Crush A Writer’s Block

Currently, I’m working on the second book of my trilogy. And as I’m trying my best to tie up book one and prepare for book three in this middle book, I find myself struggling to keep the story exciting. In fact, closing one adventure while prepping for another has never been this difficult. Of course, I knew writing a trilogy wasn’t going to be easy. A trilogy is a huge commitment and requires more layering than stand-alone novels. However, I didn’t expect to hit a block barely midway into the series. It’s frustrating. I’m tired. But I need to get it done! So to get past this stage, I’ve been practicing 3 things. Hopefully, these 3 things would help you too… should you be in a similar predicament. After all, stuck is the worst place any writer can be in.

#1 Vocalise Ideas

Personally, I find that voicing my ideas help me generate more ideas. The more I say them out loud, the easier it is to fix and improve them. Yes, I know how talking to myself makes me look. No, I’m not crazy. In fact, I voice my daily thoughts more frequently than I should. But off late, I’ve been internalizing my ideas. I’ve been keeping them boxed, that they’ve gone stale. Realising this, I decided to give them some fresh air – bouncing them off my room wall, behind closed doors. And lo and behold, a plot twist recently hit. So, if you’re not already monologuing, I suggest you give it a go. You never know what crazy idea would come your way, simply by acting a little mad.

#2 Dive Into Similar Works

Disclaimer: I’m not promoting plagiarism. You should never copy someone’s work. But, there’s nothing wrong with drawing inspiration from others.

As my trilogy is about a young king, set in a medieval world of magic, I’ve been diving into similar works of its genre. I’ve been watching countless historical dramas, to grasp palace politics while exposing myself to old world architecture. Because I cannot travel back in time and work as a palace maid, it’s impossible for me to write a story based on my experience. Hence, the only way for me to gain perspective is to embrace the works of others’.

I seek to be inspired by parallel worlds – to see it play out before my eyes, and to live vicariously through works of fiction. And not only do these stories oil the gears of my own, I’m left thoroughly entertained too.

#3 Run Head First

I’ve probably mentioned this before. Wait, I believe I’ve mentioned it before. But, I’ll say it again: to get a story moving is to write it. A story cannot write itself and it needs us to finish it. So despite the herculean block, shadowing us from the finish line, we have to charge forward. We have to crush that block by writing the most horrendous chapters. Yes, you’ll need to rewrite them. And yes, you’ll want to weep at the horror of your own words. Trust me, I know. But thankfully, those words have been written – you can go back and fix them, because they’ve been written. So run head first. Charge at the wall. It’ll hurt, but the pain is worth the finish line.

As I strive to complete my book this year, I hope you endeavour to finish your own projects too. We’re all on the same boat, navigating the rough waves. But no matter what comes our way, we’re the authors of our stories and we have the power to bring them to an end. No block is too big for an author to overcome. And knowing this, there’s no stopping us.

 
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Posted by on June 29, 2017 in Writing Journey

 

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100 Words, 6 Years Later

I wasn’t a good writer. I’m not a good writer now, either. But when I look back at my older works and cringe, I know I’ve come a long way. So if you feel like your writing isn’t great, I want you to know that you’ll get better. If you keep writing, you’ll improve. And it’s OK to admit that you suck. One cannot progress by already being the best.

To prove my point, let me show you the opening of my first novel and the opening of my most recent novel. Right off the bat, one seems more interesting than the other.

The Dreamer, 2011

Another day indoors. Tad sighed as he stared blankly at the book in front of him. He wanted very much to be out in the field playing ball with his brothers instead of reading a 500-page manual on “How to un-root an Energy Canister”, as though removing an Energy Canister was the job only for a highly professional engineer, if that was the case the world would have plenty of them. 

Tad shut the book forcefully and peered out the window. He could see his brothers being interrupted by his father in the middle of their game. He knew automatically that they were being ordered to get back to work. 

Trails of the Wind, 2017

Father is alive.

Those three words echoed in the depths of his cloudless mind. Standing before the wide glass window, he watched as day ended its shift. While night clocked in, the clear amber sky gracefully gave way to the moon. And in the peaceful arrival of darkness, the kingdom below lit with cheerful, vibrant lanterns – a reflection of the starry canvas above.

As the crackling logs in the fireplace warmed the bedchamber, Robb made up his mind. His heart was certain. And there were no more questions.

Father is alive.

Perhaps to you, I did a pretty decent job with The Dreamer. But if I handed you the entire book, I’m sure you’d change your mind. The Dreamer was self-published in 2011. It was my first ever novel, and I’m unashamed of it. I had to start somewhere, right? So I’ve left it in the world to be judged. Because at the end of the day, it’s the book that signifies the start of my adventure.

As for Trails of the Wind, I wrote it in 2015 but only finished editing in January. Currently, it’s being pitched to publishers. It’s part of a trilogy and I’m hoping someone would give it a shot. I know I would one day write better books than this. But for now, it’s the best I’ve written. Perhaps another six years down the road, I’d cringe again.

The great thing about writing is this: no one starts great. Sure, there are those who make headlines upon their debut. But what we don’t see are the years those authors spent on improving their skill. They could’ve been writing without a single soul knowing. Unfortunately, when they make their first appearance, many assume they’re literary geniuses. Many choose to compare themselves to a best-seller, without reading the backstory. And by doing so, many feel inadequate despite their potential.

Now, I’m not saying literary geniuses don’t exist – I think there are geniuses out there. But I doubt any success can come without constant devotion to one’s craft. Even geniuses have to put in work or their talent goes to waste. So stop comparing yourselves to others, and start comparing yourself to yourself.

The best gauge of improvement is through your own works. Acknowledging that some aren’t great isn’t a confession of incompetence, but a proof of determination. And determination is all you need to reach the finish line. You can be a great writer one day, dear reader. Today might not be that day, but that day would surely come if you don’t give up.

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2017 in Writing Journey

 

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Changing Things Up

chnagingthingsup4,800, yes, 4,800 subscribers! Woo hoo! Just so you know, I’ve never shouted ‘woo hoo’ out loud before… and I probably won’t because it’s a bit strange to do so in front of the computer. So here am I, internally and silently celebrating this new achievement. Come, celebrate with me too 🙂 After all, the number is rather insignificant if not for the the people behind it. Thank you for making that number worth something to me.

I’ve said this many times (saying ‘I’ve said this many times’ have also been said many times), but I’m really thankful for all of you. Your subscription, readership, and support matters a lot to me. I know my words may seem watered down, because I’m posting these ‘thank you’ posts too regularly, but the sincerity is still thick as glue. I really am grateful for your presence. Thank you, thank you, thank you 🙂

Moving on, I have something important to tell you guys.

There is going to be a change to the way I release the rest of the books in The Battle For Oz trilogy. Previously, TBFO was a novelette trilogy that I partnered with an artist. However, due to differing goals between me and the artist, he has decided to pursue other projects instead. BUT that does not mean The Battle For Oz is gone. No way! I promised you guys 3 books and I will now give you 1; The Battle For Oz novel!

The Battle For Oz: Exitium will still be up for download, but it will now be a free teaser for you to taste the story before considering buying the novel. You can download it free here! As for The Battle For Oz novel, even though there will not be an abundance of artwork like in Exitium, I will be converting it into e-pub and mobi formats as well. So now everyone with e-readers can read it too 🙂

Honestly, this is not the change I intended to make, but sometimes you got to work with it. Zaquard is very talented (check out his devianart) but the way we see our trade with The Battle For Oz does not gel. Unfortunately, it has come down to this, but I’m still very excited! I’m hoping to release the full novel May next year, so be sure to keep an eye out for it!

Anyway, for all those that downloaded Exitium, thank you so much and I hope you enjoyed it! I also hope you would be game to read the rest of the novel when it comes out. The plot gets ‘twistier’ than the yellow brick road, I promise 🙂

Well, that is all I have to say for this post. Thank you once again for your subscription and have a great week!

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2014 in Others

 

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31st May Is Here

tbfoexitiumThe day has arrived!

Have you been eagerly waiting for the release of The Battle For Oz: Exitium? If yes, you’re awesome but if no, just nod your head and pretend alright 🙂

Exitium CoverThe Battle For Oz is a project that I partnered with Zaquard, the artist who worked along side me artistically, which I completed writing last year. Since it’s completion, Zaquard has drawn up a visually beautiful storm while I worked on improving the content. So today, we are both very excited to release the first book to you!

To not delay any longer, here’s the secret to getting your e-book copy of TBFO: Exitium completely free! Just click… on the… book cover in this post. Wow, what a secret! To download, just fill in your email address and you should be able to get the book immediately. Simple, eh?

All links to The Battle For Oz: Exitium on this blog will lead you to a free download, but if you find a link that is not free, just type ‘free’ into the offer code section. You should get your 100% discount 🙂

Now on to the IMPORTANT PART, which I underlined, capitalized and bolded because it is very important!

Since Exitium is the first book of The Battle For Oz novelette trilogy, the response that we (Zaquard and I) get from this book will determine how we release the other two books and possibly a concept art novel as a fourth book. So it is very, very, very important for us to hear from you.

There are a few ways you can leave us a feedback after you’ve devoured the book.

#1 Goodreads – If you have a Goodreads account, we would appreciate if you leave a rating and a review.

#2 Email – If you don’t have Goodreads and you prefer to take the more personal route, you can send me an email at jeynagrace[at]gmail.com. If you wish to contact Zaquard separately, you can find his information at the back of the e-book.

#3 Facebook – If you don’t have Goodreads and you’re not a fan of emails, you can visit The Battle For Oz fan page and leave us a message or write on our wall.

#4 Comment – Lastly, if you’re not comfortable with any of the above, you can visit the teaser post for Exitium on this blog and leave a comment there.

We really hope to hear from you guys and we will definitely appreciate all the feedback we receive. We also hope you will enjoy the story and look forward to the second book!

Lastly, I just wanna say thank you in advance to everyone who intends to download and read the book. If you love it, do tell your family, friends, neighbours, and even your pets! I bet your pets will love it, after all, there’s a dog in the story… unless… unless you pet is a cat. Then we’re in trouble.

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2014 in Others

 

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The Battle For Oz: Exitium

tbfo banner

The court erupted with angry shouts of agreement. They were urging an immediate action to have her banished to the wastelands and they were not backing down. There was nothing she could say or do to convince them otherwise as even her husband did not squeak in her defence. She was done for.

Before the sun could set that day, she was escorted out of the kingdom. A crowd gathered in the streets to bid her farewell, and she had a feeling they would be celebrating once she was gone. That made her even more furious, but she knew her orders for their banishments would only fall on deaf ears.

As she left the happy kingdom behind, most of her feather-skinned guards continued on with her. She told them they could stay and celebrate, but it was more of a threat than a kind offer. Nevertheless, she enjoyed their nervous and silent company.

By the time they reached the black, flat, foul smelling wastelands, her guards found her a large rabbit hole that led to a giant burrow. She wanted to strike them on the head for finding such an unfitting place for her status, but she held her hand back when she found a motherless litter of muttbits curled up among each other.

Muttbits were like dogs, except for their rabbit ears, long whiskers and two sharp front teeth. They were a banished species for their wild and aggressive behaviour. Honestly, she once thought of them revolting but after being able to identify with them, she thought they would make good pets.

She also had an idea… a crazy idea she was not going to let go.

The muttbits were strangely welcoming towards her as she invaded their home, and it was probably because of the raw meat she was feeding them. So while she bonded with her newfound friends, her guards began to make the stinking place liveable. Torches were placed around the dome like burrow and a pile of pillows were stacked up at a corner for her sleepy head. They even sprayed some perfume in the air, hoping to rid the nose scrunching smell.

The burrow itself had a rather high ceiling and plenty of space. It was a suitable place for a home in the wastelands, but she knew she was not staying. How could a royal live in such a God forsaken place? She may be insane as what the court had called her earlier that day, but she was not stupid. This burrow was merely a temporary home until she found a new one; a new palace to be precise.

As she held back her mad urges of reclaiming her throne, she took her time in raising and breeding her muttbits. Two weeks in and she had doubled the number, with half as big as full-grown bears. Her guards were terrified of the muttbits because they would snap violently every time her guards approached them. But when it came to her, they were angels. She was convinced they saw her as their mother, and she soon started calling them her babies.

Once she had raised an army of muttbits, she knew the right time had arrived. She was going to claim the throne and be called queen again. Her muttbits would fight for her and she would regain her power. But she wouldn’t be fighting for the throne of this land, as most people would have expected her to. Instead, she found another land filled with powerful magic she coveted. That land was Oz.

She first learned about Oz from a book in the royal library. It was a place with magical creatures, picturesque mountains, lush forests, and a city built with green glass. Green was not her favourite colour, but jewels were definitely her favourite accessories.

On top of that, there was powerful magic; magic that she could later use to seek revenge on everyone that agreed to have her banished. Oh, wouldn’t that be glorious? she silently asked herself with a smile plastered on her fair face.

With her imaginations floating around her head, she became even more excited. When she could not contain it any longer, she ordered her guards to bring her a small velvet pouch. Of course, no one knew what was in that pouch except her, for if they did she would have been banished much earlier.

The contents of this little pouch were actually stolen from the royal archives, where artefacts of different realms were displayed in glass casings. Weeks before her trial, she snuck into the archives and stole the tail of a winged monkey that was supposedly from Oz. She then had it burnt and mixed with black fairy dust. From the words of different magic books, the powdery substance should take her to Oz, and she was so sure of it.

Rounding up her guards and her muttbits, she placed the small pouch in the centre of the burrow. Everyone was waiting for a special spell of some sort, but instead she ordered, “Burn it!”

The guards who were unfortunate enough to be standing near the torches, pulled the torches out of their holders and walked up to the pouch. As the guards lowered the flames, the pouch immediately caught on fire but nothing expected happened. After a few minutes of nothing, she thought the magic had failed and her chest began to bubble in anger. But when her disappointment was about to burst into fury, a deafening pop startled her angry heart.

The velvet pouch had exploded into a large cloud of dust and the dust began swirling. The air in the burrow was so still that all eyes were locked on the dust in fascination. Unfortunately for the guards in the centre, they only had a brief moment of awe before they were pulled into a rapidly growing tornado. There were screaming and growling, and also a hysterical laughter that was escaping her lips. The magic was working and she couldn’t be happier.

 As the tornado burst through the top of the burrow, it swept everyone off their feet. A few seconds after the outburst of the tornado, it died down quickly and the wastelands returned to its usual silence. The only difference was the big hole in the ground that no one would have ever noticed.

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This is chapter one; a teaser to The Battle For Oz: Exitium.

Exitium is book 1 in my latest novelette trilogy and it would be released at the end of May. It will also be free to download! To get you excited, I have a slideshow below that will introduce you to some of the characters and the contents of the book. Check it out!

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As you can see, the book is filled with awesome illustrations that I myself cannot get enough of 🙂 I hope that you guys would feel the same way too! To know more you can visit the Facebook page, but for now this should be enough to ‘tease’ you with.

***UPDATE: The Battle For Oz trilogy will be combined into a novel. A crowd-funding project was done to make it possible. Visit HERE to find out more!

The Battle For Oz © 2014 – 2015 Jeyna Grace

 
33 Comments

Posted by on April 24, 2014 in Book Teasers

 

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30 Hundred

Three. Thousand. Subscribers.

It’s going to be hard to wipe this smile off my face. This year itself, I’ve garnered 2,000 new subs and I’m just so thankful for all of you. I cannot say it enough!

Well, if you’ve been around for a while you would know that every time I gain one thousand new subscribers, I would shoot a little video. This time, I shot it on my family vacation in China 🙂 You can watch my 3k vlog for my blog below!

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On a side note, my latest work-in-progress is at its final writing stage. I’m currently working on Book 3 and the artworks are slowly coming along! Here is one them 🙂

Also, me and my project partner developed a special product based on the trilogy! So, if you want to know more about this trilogy visit our Facebook fanpage, check out the artworks, and hit ‘like’.

Thanks again guys! I’m still smiling 😀

(*Current blog post schedule: A post every Thursday alternating between an original short story and a Harry Potter fan fic novel.)

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2013 in Others

 

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Two Eight & An Update

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Well, what do you know, another thank you post!

This could only mean one thing… that Gandalf from Panem has decided to give me Aslan’s Deathly Hallows. The Lannisters aren’t very happy about it. They want to start a war but they know the force is strong in me. Even the prophecy said I would live long and prosper. But of course, these would not be true if not for you.

Thanks to 2,800 of you, I am inspired to continue living out adventures with my pen and paper. Nothing beats the support and encouragement you all have given 😀 So let’s keep going with this tea party, alright?

Now for some random updates:

#1 I’ll be away one of the coming weeks so I won’t be able to publish a story on that particular Thursday. My apologies in advance.

#2 I’ve started a fan page for my latest trilogy. The books and artworks are still a work in progress, and the fan page was made to log the journey with everyone. There will be more artwork snippets and updates on the books as time goes by, so be sure to check it out and hit ‘like’.

#3 Because 3 is a nice number, I’ll put the blog post update here; I publish a post every Thursday, alternating between an original short story and a Harry Potter fan fiction. (Btw, what do you guys think if I start publishing some of my poems?)

Well, that is all for this post. Thanks once again for your support! I really, really appreciate it 🙂

(If you’re wondering why my ‘thank you’ posts don’t tally with my sub count on my side bar, I’ve publicized my blog, hence all my Twitter and Facebook followers have been added. So nope, I’m not late with my thank you posts. I’m always on time for you guys… unless there’s a video :D)

Have a question you want to ask, do so at ask.fm/JeynaGrace!

 
15 Comments

Posted by on October 23, 2013 in Others

 

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