Writing Every Which Way

Novels, poems, and writing tips


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Why being a teenage author sucks

Don’t get me wrong, being a teenager and writing books is great! The look of astonishment and concern when you tell someone you’re 17 and have two published novels is gratifying. Having so much free time to write is amazing. Having 700 people in a high school to beg to read your book is a gift. Alas, like any coin, there are always too sides.

Seeing as I’m a teenager in the middle class who has no job because high school is a (excuse my language) bitch, I don’t necessary have the greatest following and here’s why.

1. Teenagers are stingy.

Teenagers usually either don’t have a job at all, or don’t have much money coming in from their job. It’s not that they don’t want to fork over $0.99 it’s just that they don’t see a point in giving their money to some student author who’s book could be crap for all they know.

2. I don’t have a job.

A day in the life of Madison Uram is generally busy. I’m not saying I go home to three kids, have to make dinner, give the dog a bath, and pack everyone’s lunches. I’m saying that I have to finish up my after school activities (directing a One-Act play), I have to consume dinner, finish homework, and try to keep my life situated in the meantime. Once all that is done, there’s no time for a job and who would hire a 17 year-old girl with no experience? Not you.

Why do I need a job? First off, publishers expect drafts to be submitted by an agent and without an agent self-publishing is basically your only choice. Then, if you want to run ads you have to pay money which I have minimal of because I’m trying to pay for prom. And lastly, to even put your novel on iTunes you need to pay for a memebership… AKA why I’m not on iTunes. Sorry.

3. Literally no one cares.

I can scream from the rooftop until my voice is gone about my novels, but I promise you that I will be extremely lucky if even one person buys my novel. This isn’t a pity party, it’s just how people are.

Has someone every advised a TV series to watch for you and despite the fact that it sounds perfect for you, you’re just too darn stubborn to watch it?

That’s how everyone feels about novels.

No matter how blown away they are that you wrote a novel, they don’t have the time or care to read it. And I can’t even blame them. I’ve read the short stories and poems my friends have written and if I heard one of them had written a novel, I wouldn’t pay money for it either.

Long story short, I love writing and I love when people read my book, I just wish more people would! If you feel the same, leave a comment below telling me of your plight. If you pity me, here’s the link to buy The Little Paragons and here’s the link to buy The Little Villains vvvvvvvv

The Little Paragons

The Little Villains

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How to promote your book while annoying everyone you know…

The struggle self-published authors are very familiar with, is the task of getting people to actually read their book. I mean, no doubt there are hundreds of Best Sellers out there that aren’t Best Sellers yet because it’s impossible to get an audience cheaply. You either have to pay a bajillion dollars for ads or annoy everyone you know with shameless self-promotions.

Seeing as I’m a 17 year old trying to survive high school, I’m in the portion of the self-published author population that drives everyone crazy.

Now, it’s probably become prominent at this point that as of this morning, my novel The Little Villains is available on Amazon.com. I’m thrilled that the year and a half of work has paid off, but now I’m faced with a problem: how do I convince people to buy it?

Here’s what I did:

  1. Made an extremely annoying post on every social media platform I own. Yes, that includes everything from Snapchat and Facebook to Instagram and my blog. Annoying? yes. Necessary? No doubt.
  2. Became a walking billboard. Thanks to my brother and his skills with an iron, I was able to acquire some t-shirts featuring the covers of my two novels. I consequently begged one of my friends to wear one and it got a good bit of attention.
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    Disregard me being an idiot.

  3. Put myself out there in front of my high school. My school has a morning announcements class devoted to creating funny videos and filming a news broadcast that includes the daily announcements. Due to my love for the film industry, I am in said class and decided to anchor for the day wearing aforementioned billboard shirt.
  4. I didn’t shut up. The shirt was a good conversation starter and once people saw that they usually asked how I managed to write a book and what it was about. From there I would persuade them to buy my book! Screaming “Buy my book!” also helps.

In total, I see nothing wrong with being extremely annoying when it comes to promoting a self-published novel. Self-published authors put just as much (and sometimes more) effort into creating our masterpieces, and we’re overlooked because we can’t afford fancy advertisements or simply just don’t want to take that route. Who can blame us for accidentally driving all our friends and family insane for one day?

 


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“The Little Villains” is available for purchase!

As of last midnight (and early this morning due to me noticing one last typo that made my OCD go crazy), The Little Villains is available for purchase from Amazon.com!

Feel free to let me know what you think by leaving a comment on Amazon. And remember, any publicity is good publicity when it comes to novels.

Also, thank you so much to everyone who has supported me while writing this novel. It has sure been one eventful year and a half with this project. So thank you everyone! I hope you love it as much as I do.

Love you all,

Madi Uram

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The Little Villains available now!


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Almost done!

Coming out this Friday will be my second novel: The Little Villains. This book is the sequel to my first novel: The Little Paragons and will be available for purchase on Amazon.com!

If you want to learn more about either of my books click here.

If you want to purchase The Little Paragons click here.

Stay tuned for more information 🙂

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The Little Villains. Coming out this Friday.


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Face-lifts and new beginnings

Today is a big day in the world of The Little Paragons! Not only did The Little Paragons get a face-lift, but The Little Villains now has a face!

My talented brother, Mr. Austin Uram, spent hours putting together two new covers for my first two novels and I couldn’t have been happier. So, without further ado I present to you the new covers of The Little Paragons and The Little Villains.

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I survived!

So here are my final thoughts on rereading Twilight nearly five years later:

  1. It’s not nearly as bad as my snobby 12 year-old-self liked to think. It was around that time that I started trying to write my own things. Back then someone expressed their opinion that the novels were bad and I listened to them. Excuse me for being young and impressionable.
  2. I’m not very patient. Knowing the plot, I found myself wanting to skip to my favorite parts. I even wanted to skip the ending entirely because I remembered it frustrating me…
  3. I became a little depressed. I don’t remember feeling quite so depressed when I read it the first time. Probably because I didn’t know what was to come and I didn’t know I was going to be made very sad and frustrated when I did get to those parts.
  4. It actually inspired me to write and work on my own novel. I didn’t expect this because usually when I start a book I don’t put it down until I finish. In this case though I was satisfied with reading a couple chapters and then editing for a couple hours before returning. In general, I didn’t feel as rushed to finish it and knew I could return to editing at any time.

Oh, and I know these posts aren’t really supposed to be “book reviews” but I just want to remark on one thing: The endings of these books suck. The first one does at least. I mean the whole novel is happy go lucky until this stupid baseball game. Then, suddenly the villain is introduced and it’s a mad chase. I mean, she could have at least introduced the villain sooner…

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the novel for the sixth time. But I wouldn’t use it to base my own novel on (as many new writers do). If simple things were changed these books could be rocking! They’re fun to read, but they could be so much more.

I’m interested to read some of Meyers newer stuff now, though. I’m sure just like all writers, that with each novel she writes, she’s better. It’s on my to do list to read more from her.

Anywho, now that Twilight is done I’m going to start on the other three books. I’ve got 13 days left for my editing deadline, though, so that comes first.

Posts about the next three books won’t be nearly as frequent as they were for Twilight. I don’t want to bore anyone to death with love triangle drama, so perhaps I’ll work on some poems to stay active.

Until then,

Happy Thursday!


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Writing Relationships: Children and Teenagers

(The picture I chose for this is of my older brothers and I last Christmas. My mom told us to look like we loved each other so this was the picture she got. Although I don’t like showing much of my own life on here, I thought this image was fitting.)

To continue my ‘series’ on writing relations, I’ve decided to do a post on the interactions between children and teenagers.

Now, to put this into perspective, I’ll split this post into two parts: Children your characters are related to, and children your characters aren’t related to.

Obviously, I imagine anyone reading this could have wrote the exact same post. The reason I’m putting the effort in, though, is because I feel we are blindsided with our story ideas so much so that we forget how to be realistic to our characters. The point of this post is simply to remind writers (especially those pesky YA writers) of how teenagers actually act.

Now, to the point. I’ll start with the relationships your teenage characters can have with their younger family members.

The Blood Relatives

From having two older brothers of my own, I’ve discovered that there are a few different ways older siblings can treat their younger ones. Firstly, older kids sometimes act like parents for their younger siblings. This is most common when children’s parents are divorced. The older sibling will want to take responsibility over the younger child due to a belief that the parents are incapable of doing so.

Secondly, older siblings sometimes believe that their younger siblings are just extremely annoying.

Some older siblings just can’t stand their younger siblings. Occasionally,this hatred is due to the older sibling being spoiled. Other times this is a result of the younger sibling being spoiled. Either way, one of the siblings is a brat and this results in hatred.

Hatred like this can be expressed in forms such as: Fighting, yelling, vocal violence, disrespect to other’s belonging, tattling, and so on.

Maybe the siblings in your novel get along well, though. Sometimes siblings can become like best friends. Like all human relationships, they’ll fight every so often over stupid things, but sooner of later they’ll get over it. Siblings that get along often have each other back. The dig each other out of trouble or at the very least provide transport when needed. No matter the age really, siblings that get along, find it easier to confide in each other. A younger sibling may look up to the older and find it easier to tell them things that they can’t tell their parents.

Often times, younger siblings strive to be their older siblings. Occasionally, this really frustrates the older, but it can also give them a great deal of pride.

Sometimes teenagers just straight up don’t talk to their younger siblings. The teenager is possibly to absorbed in their own life that they don’t care to talk to their younger siblings. It’s as simple as that.

If there are any other relationships or instances I didn’t think to add, feel free to write in the comments what you think so others can see, too. Also, a great deal of these apply to instances, not just with siblings and relatives, but with any children that your teenagers know well (Cousins, neighbors, a friends sibling)

Strange Little Stranger children

Teenagers react to stranger children much differently than children they know. Teenagers will often be much nicer and try much harder to get on a child’s good side. For some reason, people thrive under the approval of children. If a child likes you, then you feel like you’re on top of the world.

Teenagers want to be liked by children. They also want to show them how cool they are because they’re older. Usually teenagers aren’t mean about it, but they just want to prove to themselves, and the child, that they’ve done something interesting with the time they’ve been alive.

On the other hand, teenagers sometimes straight up hate children. They’re gross, annoying, bratty, stuck up, not brought up correctly, and just completely in the way at all times. Teenagers don’t necessarily express there hatred but there are some things to notice when they don’t have much favor of the younger generation: Belittling them, trying to hurry them off to someone else, refusing to play along with childish games, ignoring them, etc.

I trust that at one point in your life you had a “I hate children” phase. We all do.

So, before you write, decide what kind of relationship your teenagers are going to have with your younger characters. Don’t just make it up as you go. Pick one of my examples above if you can’t think of one yourself and just go for gold!

Happy writing!


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Frick, What’s The First Sentence Going to Say?

The only important thing I’ve ever learned from writing essays in high school is that an ‘attention getter’ is crucial. If your first sentence isn’t worth reading then neither is the rest of your writing.

You have to strike your readers with something enthralling!

In my own novels, I tend to choose a funnier approach that will enlighten my readers on the type of writer I am.

If you take a look at the first-ten-page-sample of my novel, The Little Paragons, you can see what I mean. The first sentence of my prologue is, “Prologues suck”. Then, the first sentence of Chapter One is, “I can’t play video games for the rest of my life”.

Both instances confuse the reader and draw them in. Honestly, what isn’t interesting about a novel that has a prologue, but then calls prologues stupid? Not to toot my own prideful horn, but seriously, I’m a genius…NOT.

A friend of mine once began a piece he was writing with the phrase, “Oh shit”. As soon as I saw that, I thought, “Uh… ‘oh shit’, what? What’s happening?!”

Even the sequel I’m writing to The Little Paragons begins with an odd phrase: “I once had a genie that would grant me any wish”.

There are many different ways you can get people’s attention, as you probably remember from high school, so you can experiment. Plus, with freelance writing you have a lot more power to go for gold with your attention getter.

I usually like letting the first sentence be a big moment for the story. In my first book it shows the reader what kind of writer I am. In the second book it connects the reader to the first book.

You can choose your own methods of getting a readers attention, but just be bold about it. Don’t slink into the woodwork and begin your novel like an amateur YA novel.

For example, the first sentence doesn’t always have to begin by telling the reader how old or beautiful your character is. If you want to say the main character’s name first off, go for it, but honestly you could do better.

If you go read some free YA ebooks, I’m sure you’ll get the jist of what a bad first sentence is. Of course, I’m NOT saying that all free YA books are terrible. I’m just reminding you that not all of them deserve to make it big in the world.

Meanwhile, happy writing, reading, and Thursday.


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Inspirational Movement of Furniture

Isn’t there some Chinese or Japanese belief that by moving your furniture you can find a better spiritual mood for your room? I feel like that’s very true in all forms.

One of my brothers recently went off to college so now our whole family is a little confused on how to deal with his absence. My mom mainly is just trying to keep herself busy so she doesn’t cry. My oldest brother keeps himself informed by texting the betrayer. Dad is existing. And I’m not entirely sure how I feel.

I do know, though, that the rearrangement of my furniture greatly improved my mood.

My oldest brother was inspired to rearrange his room (I presume it’s a result of our sibling going to college) and he suddenly felt the need to get rid of his futon.

Now, we live in a double wide trailer that we built a basement for. Our house is pretty decent size, but our rooms aren’t massive.

Nonetheless, when this futon was offered to me I saw many possibilities of how this futon could help my existence.

My mother then came on down the hall to discover my oldest brother’s room torn apart and the two of us standing in my room appraising how this rather large futon would squeeze in. She immediately told us she was staying out of this process and left us to struggle with our task.

After my lack of strength failed my poor oldest brother multiple times, we managed to get the object of interest into my room (my mom’s motherly ways eventually forced her to assist us). And now my room is a little tight and my closet now has an overflowing bookshelf in it, but I feel better.

I don’t like things being the same for too long. I have to rearrange my room every couple months or else I’ll go crazy.

My brother’s leaving, though, I think affected me in an alternate way. He left, so obviously my subconscious felt nothing could remain the same. Our family had to get along better and bond. My room had to change. The eldest brother’s room had to change. The living room had to change.

Maybe we all had to make sure that when he returned, things wouldn’t be exactly as he left them. We must prove to him that we were able to move on from his abandonment and he shouldn’t feel bad.

We’re just fine.

Yeah… the Uram’s will make it through the years ahead.

Back to rearranging furniture, though.

Even as a kid I loved when I got to change my room up. Suddenly the place was a million times more fascinating and I could spend hours sitting on my floor without boring.

Nothing has changed.

Now that my room is different I’m suddenly inspired to write more. My former living state had grown stale and so had my writing. This change has brightened my mind and given me a reason to sit in my room and write for hours.

My word of advice for today, then, is that if things start to get dull in your life, change them. You don’t have to just rearrange your furniture either. Start meditating. Try yoga. Create a new writing routine. Freshen up your life and you’ll work more efficiently.


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How Ya Make De Teenage Dialogue

Hopefully the title doesn’t scare anyone off. I’m sure we all know that teenagers don’t talk like dat. . . Or do they? Mwhaha!

No, I’m kidding.

Anywho, YA novels are ALWAYS trending. If you’re going to write YA, you’re going to need to know how to write like a teenager.

Yes, I know that you’ve all been teenagers at some point (some more recently than others). I bet you want to argue that you know perfectly well how a teenager asks, so you don’t need to read this.

As an actual teenager, though, I’m going to tell you to put a sock in it, and just listen to me for a minute.

I’m serious when I say that the majority of the YA books I read, aren’t very true to teenage nature. They never completely capture the confusion a teenager has and the stress they go through. The older you get, the more you realize that your high school stresses were silly, so you down play them in your novels. You’re forgetting, though, that those stresses you down played are very terrifying when you’re ACTUALLY a teenager. Don’t down play them!

That’s only the beginning of what I want to say, though. I’ll start again.

Slang

I’m telling you, man, teens use slang.

They don’t all go around talking like gangsters, but they do have different ways of speaking than adults do. They have certain phrases that are ‘cool’ and they become autocorrect for speaking.

I mentioned before that I’m 16, hence, a teenager. I certainly know that I use some funky terms. Recently the big phrase everyone’s addicted to is ‘same.’ I don’t really understand it, but everyone I know gets stuck in the ‘same’ trap.

IT’S ADDICTING!

Nicknames

Also, teenagers create nicknames for each other. There’s the usual ‘man’, ‘dude’, and ‘girl’, but you can also come up with more unique ones. For example, my friends and I call each other ‘chica.’ I have no idea who started it, but the phrase seems to have no intension of dying out.

Not Everything Needs to Make Sense

Have you ever talked to a teenager and they try to say something but it just doesn’t make sense?

Just remember that teens aren’t adults. They don’t think about everything they’re about to say before they speak. Often they use words they don’t understand and talk too quickly for words to be comprehensible.

Yet, also don’t forget that teenagers have a weird way of understanding each other without many words being used. If your one character is blabbing on about nonsense another character should probably be able to translate it to the reader. It’s fun to play around with all the friendships your characters can have and create.

Acting

Oddly enough, teenagers are great actors. They act differently with everyone they know, so they’ve mastered the art of make believe.

Say your character is all sweet and shy around one person. Then they walk up to their best friend and they’re crazy, loud, and obnoxious. Even adults are this way so why has every author failed to write this into their stories?

Teenagers are liars (sometimes) and never let their true feelings show. Don’t let your teen character be too easy to understand or you’ll regret it later.

Jokes

You were a teenager once, surely you STILL have jokes from high school you use.

Most teens are very light hearted. They’re stressed out, but they still have time for jokes with their friends. If your characters don’t joke around with their best friends, then I can’t imagine they are that close. . .

Swearing

Once you hit seventh grade, you’re suddenly exposed to a brand new language: swearing. Once again, teens like to act older than they are so they swear, a lot.

I understand that sometimes the rating of your book doesn’t permit using the actual words, but go for the Rick Riordan method (author of the Percy Jackson series and many others). His publishing company is Disney so he has to be very careful of his content. To get around his character’s swearing, he just says, ‘cursing’. Sometimes they swear in Greek, but otherwise the actual words they use never appear in writing.

If you are capable of going for gold with the swears then just be aware that some of your characters may have potty mouths. Not all of them should be this way obviously, but the majority, especially ‘tough’ men, will be fluent in ‘swears’.

Talking Dirty

Teenagers are suddenly very exposed to hormones. They’re all over the place sexually and they like to express this. They ‘talk dirty’ (to put it nicely) when they’re attracted to someone. They’ll even do it jokingly to their friends.

Don’t lie and say you haven’t ever pretended to act like your in love with your friends as a joke. Teenagers are weird, but you already know that.

No, not all your characters need to be telling girls that they have a good ‘rack’ or anything, but your ‘bad boy’ characters may do so.

It’s all up to you!

Dramatic

What goes best with acting? Drama.

Teenagers are super dramatic! They get a cut, and they think they’re dying. Their boyfriend breaks up with them, and they’re suddenly creating schemes for revenge.

Teenagers are just one big hyperbole.

I don’t even know how else to describe this topic. Teenagers are a mess and they like to believe exactly that. They’re melodramatic to put it nicely.

Of course, these tips shouldn’t apply to all your characters. Some teenagers are nothing like the majority of their breed.

Just make sure your teenagers stay realistic to their nature.