Have you tried Canva for book covers?

ember of the children (2)

I made this for free with Canva.com. They have a really cool section with ALL book cover templates, even ones specified to Wattpad and it’s great quality text and whatnot for FREE! Look at that, 50,000 templates!

Screen Shot 2018-08-15 at 11.04.44 AM

Check out some of the Wattpad specific covers:

Screen Shot 2018-08-15 at 11.10.59 AM

Seriously, how cool is this? Have you used this tool. If you have, feel free to let me know and share a link with your cover. Happy cover making!

ricardo-cruz-31577


Read my ongoing, NA urban fantasy story for free on Wattpad: CORYN OF BELLSFERRY: BLOOD THIEVES.

“With long snaking roads enshrouded by dense woodland and only smatters of clarity along the rolling hills, the beautiful countryside of Bellsferry was the perfect place for predators to stalk.”

Coryn knows fate when she’s pricked by it–she thinks.

In a world where American law has been overthrown, and wanna-be supernatural, self-made vampires exist–who by the way, are really creepy and demented and have started preying on the small town of Bellsferry–there also exists Coryn, a twenty-three-year-old single mother who’s just trying to survive through life–and give her daughter a somewhat decent one. But when Coryn is taken under her gunslinging neighbors’ wings and something…otherworldly happens, forget decent; she and her daughter’s lives are now even more dangerous than before. Sigh. That’s what happens when you accidentally become the only real nemesis to the deranged psychopaths who have iron-gripped your hometown.

Since before the demolition of law, Coryn grew up surviving through life, but now she has to protect not only herself and her seven-year-old daughter, but their entire town–doesn’t she?

 

Coryn of Bellsferry: Blood Thieves -Chapter 5: Unexpected Guests

Hunter aesthetic! 

Brown Plain Collages Facebook Post

Coryn Aesthetic!

Brown Plain Collages Facebook Post (2)

Chapter 5 of Coryn of Bellsferry: Blood Thieves is here! Check it out on Wattpad!

“I shivered, despite the summer heat. What if something happened to me? What if the Blood Thieves got to me? What would that do to my daughter, losing the person closest to her? She barely knew Gunner and Dixie. She’d be devastated and scared, and the security and joy of her childhood bubble would burst and she’d be thrown into the dark, confusing maze of this dangerous world. Death was banging on all of our doors, especially mine and Krista’s, and who knew when it’d break through and seize its loot. It could happen tonight…”-from chapter 5

Chapter vibes:

giphy-10

giphy-7

giphy-6

Coryn Aesthetic!

Brown Plain Collages Facebook Post (2)

SYNOPSIS TIME!

“With long snaking roads enshrouded by dense woodland and only smatters of clarity along the rolling hills, the beautiful countryside of Bellsferry was the perfect place for predators to stalk.” Coryn knows fate when she’s pricked by it–she thinks.

In a world where American law has been overthrown, and wanna-be supernatural, self-made vampires exist–who by the way, are really creepy and demented and have started preying on the small town of Bellsferry–there also exists Coryn, a twenty-three-year-old single mother who’s just trying to survive through life–and give her daughter a somewhat decent one. But when Coryn is taken under her gunslinging neighbors’ wings and something…otherworldly happens, forget decent; she and her daughter’s lives are now even more dangerous than before. Sigh. That’s what happens when you accidentally become the only real nemesis to the deranged psychopaths who have iron-gripped your hometown.

Since before the demolition of law, Coryn grew up surviving through life, but now she has to protect not only herself and her seven-year-old daughter, but their entire town–doesn’t she?

 

Have you been following along? If so, what are your thoughts so far? Got a WIP you’re working on? Are you on Wattpad? Let me know! Happy reading! -Natasha

I’m a YouTuber: Videos of Funny YA Readings & Relationship Advice for Christian Women

Check out my YouTube channels and feel free to subscribe! Are you a YouTuber? Feel free to share your link in a comment.

Funny bookish channel:

Relationship advice for christian women:

Killing Your Characters

So killing off characters in your story: is it fun for you, or torture?

I’ve been on both sides of this fence, and I can say that now, it’s leaning toward more fun. For me, there’s something about the shock of it, the later oh-so-hoped for justice, the real-ness it adds to the danger and the story in general, and of course, the emotions it stirs. But what say you? I wanna know your reasons as to why you enjoy killing characters in your story, or why you hate it. Let the discussion begin!

Writing Craft Wednesday: Good character-building scenes that keep your plot rollin’

789fd27303f4e92df6340dfc15306638--the-lord-lord-of-the-rings

Ever read a book that felt like slogging through twelve inches of snow? It dragged on and you were like, “Give me some action already.”

Chances are, not every scene moved the story forward. Either a lot of stuff was there for the sake of giving you important info, or the author took her sweet time for the sake of character building.

Whatever the case may be, if a scene doesn’t actually progress the plot, it’s a drag. You may think it’s a great scene for strengthening friendship or building intimacy between characters, but the fact is that a) that scene is unnecessary and b) you can do those things in scenes that actually move your plot along.

For example, see the above photo of that wonderful Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers scene. As another example, in Prodigy Prince, Sophana and Ave share a good moment of friendship/romance-building dialogue while trekking through a snowy land on a mission to retrieve something central to the plot and the advancement of it.

You can do the same. Take those character building moments and place them in a forward-moving scene. Traveling somewhere is probably the easiest choice. I think of Bryan Davis’ Reapers book. The main characters needed to take a train to their ghost-drop-off “depot.” Naturally, moments happened: romantic, question-raising, and sympathy-inducing exchanges between the characters that felt natural. If you’re traveling in a car, plane, boat, whatever with another person you know, you’re likely going to converse on the way. It isn’t forced and it won’t slow down your story. So instead of summarizing those transports, use them to familiarize your audience with the characters and to deepen their arcs.

You can also have such moments in few, but necessary times of rest; when your characters take a break during a voyage, like mine did in Prodigy Prince, settling in a forest for a nap after a long journey. As they rested and prepared to sleep, a conversation happened that gave us more insight into each of their backstories.

Have any tips or ideas on where to place character-enhancing or insightful moments in progressive scenes? Please share them in a comment.

Happy helping!

For more helpful writing tips, encouragement, freebies and more, be sure to subscribe

ciprian-boiciuc-193062 copy

 

Make Your Audience Feel

If you want your audience to feel for your protagonist, to empathize with her, you must express feelings rather than tell feelings. Here’s what I mean; 

This is telling how your character is feeling:

Jenna dreaded her boyfriend’s reaction to her new cancer-riddled appearance. 

And this is expressing how your character is feeling:

Jenna’s clammy hands trembled as she raised them to her head. They met smooth, cold skin, like freshly shaved legs. She swallowed, her mouth drier than a desert. 

I expressed dread by Jenna’s actions and by showing what was happening to her body. But, to really have your audience emotionally connect, you want to add in a short, intimate interior monologue or thought:

Jenna’s clammy hands trembled as she raised them to her head. They met smooth, cold skin, like freshly shaved legs. She swallowed, her mouth drier than a desert. Chris would finally meet the new Jenna. The dying Jenna. 

Telling is writing at your worst. It robs your story and your audience of emotion and imagination. We cannot picture the word “dread,” but we can see trembling hands. 

Telling your readers a story is like having them stand outside the gate of your world, only hearing what’s going on inside of it. But showing your readers a story is like inviting them into your world to experience it. 

You want your audience to see your story like a movie in their minds. With the ability to imagine the scenes, they will be blessed with a greater emotional connection to your characters and story. 

Don’t just seek to captivate minds, but to capture hearts. If you’re able to do both, you’ll always have loyal readers.

What story have you read that had you feeling for the protagonist? Has a novel ever made you cry? Share your question or thoughts in a comment. Happy helping!