I believe it’s time to change things up

I’ve been thinking quite a lot lately about doing some substantial changes to my platform. The whole marketing thing is a trial-and-error practice, and I’ve recently come to the realisation that I’m not following my original vision in the way I do things. This would of course not be an issue if I was happy about the route I was taking, but as it is now, I’m not. Not entirely.

People are (usually) not interested in just one thing. I would say that I have a couple of interests that make up the majority of my time and headspace, and that is 1) writing/reading, 2) history and 3) gaming. History used to be my number one as that was my major at University, and when I was still a student there was no time for leisure writing/reading. Now that I’m working on my manuscript, that takes the number one spot whereas history and gaming are leisure activities. But that is everyone’s life: people have more than one interest and they split their time between different things that they enjoy and that they identify with.

So why am I talking about this now? Well, the content I make for Youtube and my blog have been pretty straight-forward – it’s about writing. There is something special about making writing vlogs as I work on my manuscript. I still enjoy it, don’t get me wrong, but I’m thinking long-term about how I can grow as a content creator. At some point, I’m going to finish my novel and go into full-on marketing mode. I don’t want this to cause a drastic change in my content, or worst case scenario, run my channel into a dead-end. On top of that, I also feel like I want more of me in my videos, and by me and mean that I want to define my personal brand. Therefore, I have decided that I need a little bit more versatility in my content.

I won’t be going into too much detail here. But I’m planning on making a vlog this week where I discuss my plans for my channel/platform. I do hope it all goes well.

Have a lovely Tuesday people ❤

Worldbuilding: Character Names

Goodness me, I struggled so much with naming my characters. The first thing that got me was the decision between 1) making something up and 2) using existing names. So for my first draft, I went with names I had made up myself – and they were absolutely terrible.

That’s one advantage with taking your time to finish your book. Something that you thought was great at the start might actually be quite bad, but you can’t see it until you get a bit of distance from it. So back to square one for me – and back to the initial decision. This time, I decided to go with existing names, but tweaking them a little so that they fit the culture of my world. This process was a lot of fun, and I explain it all here in this week’s video.

Feel free to give it a watch. Enjoy!

Time to write some character descriptions

I’m on my third draft, and I’m worrying about this now. Truthfully, I was terrified of writing character descriptions for quite some time. Every time I tried I just felt awkward. I couldn’t care less about a characters hair colour, eye colour or body type – but then again, how else could I describe them? I looked up different descriptions from various types of books and compiled them to get a better overview. Physical attributes, personality traits, metaphors. There are so many ways to describing a character. So, I did a bit of research, and I present my result in this video.

Also, Niles is making an appearance, being his usual, spoiled self.

Enjoy!

When you lose sleep, you lose something more than just sleep

I have this thing where, if I drink anything after 8 o’clock in the evening, I will have to get up during the night to go to the bathroom. I call it my curse. Well, okay, one of my curses (we’re all a little mad here okay).

I’m also very sensitive to sleep deprivation, but I guess everyone is to some extent. So anyway. It’s really the simplest thing in the world; I had some chocolate yesterday evening, and I don’t like eating chocolate unless I have some water with it (I literally do not have a good reason for this). And so naturally, I woke up at around 4 o’clock at night because I needed to go to the bathroom. This is always quite an adventure – because, in our flat, the bathroom and the bedroom are on opposite sides of the flat. So I did a bit of googling and found out that our 96 square meters is 1033 square feet. That’s the walk I have to take in order to get to the bathroom, and I usually don’t turn on the lights, but it depends on how dark it is outside. I do have to watch my step, though, because Niles likes to place his toys/balls very strategically in the hallway so that we accidentally kick them when we walk there (because that means play time!!!) – and there’s quite a big risk of slipping and falling on them.

You see now why this is a bit of an adventure? Wow, this turned out longer than I expected. Anyway, so last night I had one of these nightly walks, and no, nothing bad happened, I didn’t slip on Niles’ toys or anything (why would anyone think that?), but I simply couldn’t fall back asleep when I got back. So there I was, and I spent a few hours with my own anxious thoughts just trying to fall asleep, until eventually I had to get up and get started with the laundry.

Why am I telling you all this? Well, I’m a complete wreck today. It’s funny how, when you lose sleep, you’re not just tired, you’re not really yourself. Kind of like being drunk. It doesn’t matter if you try to be productive, you just can’t. Today is also Tuesday, which is normally the day when I write and prepare scripts for my weekly videos. I have therefore decided that this week’s video will be a TAG video. I found one that seems really fun for both the one doing it as well as the people watching, so I hope it will turn out well. So this was a strange blog post, I have to admit. But then again, I’m not really myself today.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope everyone else is having a great day and are feeling rested!

On writing believable relationships

We all love complex characters. Even more so when they meet other complex characters and start interacting with them – there are so many possible ways for this to go! What do they really think of each other? Is there instant like, dislike, jealousy, admiration, attraction? Will there be drama, trust, betrayal, romance? Just like with our real-life relationships, we don’t necessarily think the same of all our friends, colleagues or loved ones/family members. Just as every real person is unique, so should our fictional characters be, thus making their relationships feel real as well.

This is no easy feat. There are only so many questionnaires you can fill about your characters middle name or favourite colour before you start feeling like your brain is just one big pile of superfluous information. But truthfully, this is another matter. My point is that it takes a lot of trial and error to get the relationships right, and I’ve been working on this lately as a way to further improve my story.

The method is simple, but requires having a draft to be able to use. I don’t know if this is common knowledge, I simply sat down and tried some things until I found something that worked for me. So I decided to put it in a video and share it with the world! Feel free to give it a watch and let me know if you have any thoughts, I always appreciate that. 🙂


Day trip to Copenhagen

While I can’t deny that I’m still feeling the repercussions of a very pleasant New Years Eve, today is going to be a rather active day. Oskar has taken this week off from work so we have decided to take a day trip to Copenhagen. Despite it being only 40mins away by train we only go there about once a year, which is a shame, but at the same time, it makes it all the more special. Being a history nerd, I just love to walk around the beautiful city centre and visit museums, and we’ve decided on the National Museum for this trip. Never actually been there before, as I tend to prefer visiting castles (again, history nerd). Afterwards, we will probably walk around some more, maybe even have a pint somewhere. For tonight we have a table booked at a restaurant which seems quite nice. In other words, it’s going to be a long but lovely day! The highly distinguished Niles von Fluffenstein will therefore be retreating to my grandparents’ house, where he will be spoiled with long walks and lots of cuddles until tomorrow.

A small trip like this feels like the perfect way to start the new year, as it will surely fill me up with inspiration. Although I can’t wait to tackle some of the things I have planned, I suppose we all need a little break from time to time.

End-of-year Reflections

I hadn’t really planned on taking a break over Christmas, but here we are. There’s no video ready for Youtube either, which makes me feel a little bad, but I suppose it was somewhat unrealistic to be able to stick to my normal schedule during those busy Christmas days.

But now it’s over, and we’re getting closer and closer to New Years Eve. I have mixed feelings about this to be honest. Whilst I’m super excited to start 2019 with a bang, I’m also a little apprehensive about my expectations and whether or not I will be able to meet my goals. I guess this is completely normal though.

What are my expectations? What are my goals? A few months ago, I played around with the idea of being able to publish my first novel in 2019. I haven’t quite given up on this yet – but I think the more realistic approach would be to aim for the end of that. It has come to my attention how much… well, preparation that needs to be done after the book is actually ready to publish. What I mean is, if I want to do things properly, I need to have the finished book printed and ready in my hand months before I can actually release it.

It’s a little bonkers, but it also makes sense.

As writers, we want to focus on writing, being creative, weaving together stories with interesting characters. But the marketing side of things is just as important as the writing side because we want people to read and enjoy our books, and if they don’t know it exists, well, then they won’t read it. With this in mind, I’ve come to realise that publishing a book – even self-publishing – isn’t as straightforward as I initially thought. But that’s okay.

To sum this up, next year will probably be quite a busy one, and I’m looking forward to it. I just have to try and calm down in my expectations, because ultimately, it doesn’t matter if I don’t finish in time to publish next year. The most important thing is that I keep going, that I work hard and never give up. As long as I do that, I can be proud of myself.

AuthorTube Newbie Video

Greetings people! I uploaded a new video today, called AuthorTube Newbie Tag. The point of this tag is to answer 13 questions about you as a writer and authortuber. I know – I’ve been doing Authortube for several months, but I still feel like a newbie most of the time. (insert awkward smile here)

If you want to get to know me as a writer a little better, hear about the misfortune of my first ever novel writing attempt, or just want to stare at Niles’ fluff for 10 minutes, then be my guest and take a look.

Cheers 🙂


How can I come up with a conclusion when all I can think about is prosecco?

I know it’s not technically the end of the week yet, but I decided to end the experiment here. So – I wanted to focus on my writing this week and keep social media and blogging to a bare minimum. I did ok, only one Instagram post and one blog post. (Couldn’t resist IG, shame on me.)

The result was interesting. I’ve done almost two chapters in terms of editing. During a normal week where I try to fit in blogging and social media as well, I get one chapter done at a maximum. Like I’ve said before, the mindset is important when writing and editing, and if you’re too distracted by other things it can be damaging to your productivity. Especially when doing something creative that requires a lot of focus.

In the end, I really want to get this book finished. Sure, I’m aware that these things can’t be rushed and that it will take the time it takes, but the things I actually can control are my priorities.

I think I will try to get my expectations down a little bit when it comes to blogging/social media, at least for a few weeks. After all, what’s the point of engaging with the online writing community if I’m not actually writing? I know that sounds a bit harsh, but there’s no denying that once you can see your goal, you start feeling (very) eager to reach it.

Oh, I don’t know. Maybe I’ll try specific days for social media or something. I can’t make up my mind about it at the moment though since I’m quite hungry and it is Friday evening after all and I’m looking forward to a nice dinner with Oskar and our mutual friend Prosecco.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Lost in Nanowrimo Land

Don’t get me wrong – I love the online writing community. I don’t think I’d be where I am today in my manuscript without it. It’s been a tremendous help, both in support and advice, and I’ve connected with some really lovely people.

But…

There’s something in the culture of the community that tends to get really obsessive sometimes. Especially now – it’s November, meaning Nanowrimo, short for National Novel Writing Month. The goal for anyone that participates is to write 50k words in the month of November, usually as a first draft for a novel. It’s a challenge, so to speak.

I’m generally on board with this premise. I’m not participating, but I can understand the appeal and why people would want to give it a try. What I find a little frustrating though is the insane hype about this all around social media. No matter where you look – on Instagram, Twitter, Youtube or even Facebook of all places, nothing else is discussed but Nanowrimo.

With the added hype of October, called Preptober (well isn’t that clever), that means two whole months where the online writing community is at a full stop on all things not related to Nano. I usually try to be a positive person, but I can’t help but being a little disappointed at this. The new thing is also about not making the writing process a solitary experience, now it’s all about live streaming writing sprints (?) and being part of a team to help “win” Nanowrimo. Not participating in this has become synonymous with being an outsider in a community supposedly full of introverts. It’s madness, truthfully.

I mean sure, if you’re into that then good for you. I just find it really strange, but that’s just my opinion. I’m going to continue working on editing my manuscript and hope that the obsessiveness goes down a bit in a couple of weeks.