Tag Archives | Laura Pauling

World building and believability. (Another look at POSSESSION.)

I hear it all the time. World building. Details. But not just any details. Ones that are important to the story and reveal the world and play an important role in the story.

In any world, not just fantasy or dystopian, we want to make it believable.

Elana Johnson in her novel, POSSESSION, added some cool gadgets to Vi’s world that reflected the futuristic society and played an important role in the story.

Ecomms, robots, implanted tags that track people, hovercopters, tech-cuffs that leave your wrists red and inflamed, cell phones that do everything even taser people from across the room, cubes that make meals appear, healing lotion, sticker rings, walls that can listen and talk…the list goes on.

I loved these gadgets in POSSESSION. And they made Vi’s world extremely believable.

What details can you add to your character’s world, even if it’s contemporary fiction, that reflect your character and tie in with her external and internal conflict?

Tall order, I know.

What books have you read with great world building? Examples?

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Friday 5 – Tough questions about “brand” for you to answer.

I’ve seen lots of posts on branding. Everything from it’s a must to just be yourself. I’ve seen many different ways to go about it, the strict brands of paranormal romance, horror, classic middle grade, dystopian; to it being more about great writing.

Here are five questions swirling around in the gray matter of my brain. Pick one and answer in the comments.

1. Do you believe a writer can create a true brand before they even have a book or two out? Do you think about brand before you start a story?

2. Do you think brand equals genre you write in?

3. How many of you find the idea of a brand a bit constricting? Or do you not worry about it at all?

4. Have you ever been upset with an author that wrote a different story from what you were expecting? And did you get over it?

5. Do you think creating a brand is a make or break thing for a writer? Do you think an author can brand their career to a certain death when the trends change?

Share your thoughts. Curious minds want to know.

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What if you took your secret crush back in time with you?

CLOCKWISE  by Elle Strauss

“A teen time traveler accidentally takes her secret crush back in time. Awkward.”

CLOCKWISE is launching electronically this week and it’s only 2.99 on Amazon , £2.17 on Amazon.co.uk! To celebrate, Elle Strauss is giving away five debut books by authors that you can meet on her blog tour which is happening now.

LOSING FAITH by Denise Jaden

THE CLEARING by Anne Riley


PERILOUS by Tamara Hart Heiner

THE HATING GAME by Talli Roland

How to win? Sign up for Elle’s newsletter to enter. For extra entries just comment on any blog in the tour. The more blogs you visit and comment on the more chances you have to win.

Five books, five days, five winners!

I love it when books surprise me. When I think I have the plot all figured out. Because I’m smart like that. #notreally I didn’t see the plot twist in CLOCKWISE coming. At all!

My Review of CLOCKWISE.

Casey has a problem. A big problem. She time travels and she can’t control it. She deals with it the best anyone can, traveling back to the 1800s, until the day she brings back her crush, Nate. #agirl’sworstnightmare  #ordreamcometrue

And I’m not going to tell you what happens after that. You’ll have to read it.

I will say that I loved the development of Casey’s relationship with Nate. Traveling through time has a way of changing a person and adding perspective. They both grow as people. A secondary character, Samuel, enters the story, and I absolutely love how the author tied the subplots together.

Not going to say anything else about that either. #sorry #i’mmeanlikethat

I will say that by the end I was in tears in a moving, sentimental ending.

If you like time travel, suspense, a sweet romance – you’ll enjoy CLOCKWISE.

Plus, the cover is all sorts of awesome.

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Can you trust your gut?

I’ve seen that phrase thrown around lately, and I’m truly wondering – can we trust our gut when making decisions?

With some decisions, I trust my gut all the time. And it’s rarely wrong. For example, when the kids are tucked into their beds all cozy and asleep and a platter of homemade chocolate chip cookies lay on the counter…

Or when a book comes out with an awesome cover and a blurb to die for…

Or when a squirrel is running away with my wicker furniture filling in its mouth and I’m holding a BB gun… (What? Okay, scratch that. I’d never injure a cute little rodent.) (I’d get my husband.) (Okay, this has never happened because red squirrels are way too smart and know to steal when no one is looking.)

You get the point. What about when deciding which agents to query? What about deciding which agent to sign with – if you have options? What about when choosing your publishing path?

It’s so easy to read an agent’s information on Literary Rambles and then see his/her smiling face on the Twitter avatar and just know he/she is the one for you. For some writers this works out and maybe it was their gut. Or not.

Let’s take a closer look at guts. Is the gall bladder, intestinal tracts, and liver somehow connected to the decision making part of your brain?

Or do we convince ourselves of things because of a first impression?

Or is it just a feeling based on something we can’t quite define?

Just opening the floor up. How often do you base decisions on your gut feelings? Do you trust what your body is telling you?

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Self publishing could kill your career.

Or not.

“Watch what you tweet because beginners to the industry could get very confused.”

Okay, that’s not what the tweet said exactly but it was something like that. Lydia Sharp tweeted it. I’m pretty sure she was responding to different bloggers who end up contradicting each other.

How are newbies supposed to deal with that? Never mind the rest of us. Well, I’ve just learned to ignore the extreme statements and decide on who makes more sense.

For example, many, many in-the-know people toot the importance of developing your brand early on – before the book deal.

Other prominent people say there is no such thing as brand.

Let’s explore some other contradictions.

  • You should write fast…you shouldn’t write fast.
  • The publishing industry is crumbling…the industry isn’t going anywhere.
  • You need an agent… you don’t need an agent.
  • Self publishing could kill your career…self publishing is the new query.
  • Writers must have a blog ASAP…blogs aren’t important until after a book deal.
  • Follow your heart when writing…keep in mind the market when writing.
  • Agents can be publishers…agents shouldn’t be publishers.

If I was a new writer jumping on social media and saw all the conflicting opinions my head would spin. Seriously.

Thankfully, I usually know the angle different industry people are coming from. I mean, of course, agents and editors are going to say the big publishing companies are doing great and books are selling.

Of course, successful self-publishers are going to vehemently state that writers don’t need agents and the publishing industry will crumble.

Of course.

Of course.

Of course.

What I love is when I find a blogger who cuts straight to the heart of the issue. No anger. No slamming the opposite opinion. No saying he/she is right and no one else is. Someone who isn’t trying to justify his/her position.

Let’s take the blanket statement that self publishing could kill your career if your book flops. Fear strikes your heart and immediate plans to self publish fade. If you’ve done your research, you’ll realize that just about anything could kill your career. If you get a traditional book deal and you don’t sell through your advance –guess what?


I suggest reading all the articles. Both sides. Think about the perspective of the blogger, and decide on what makes sense to you. Maybe your opinion will change over time. But don’t let all the conflicting opinions paralyze you into doing nothing.

Have you found any other conflicting opinions?

And over at Jill’s I’m answering 5 easy questions. Come say hello!

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