Have you tried Canva for book covers?

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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!

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Check out some of the Wattpad specific covers:

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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!

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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! 

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Coryn Aesthetic!

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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:

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Coryn Aesthetic!

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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

Do you make image quotes from your stories?

Pinterest got me starting to make quote images from my books and stories. I also make some for Instagram from time to time. I use quotes I really liked and I think they’ve generated some interest. What about you? Have you made image quotes for your stories? Feel free to share your Pinterest links with them or Instagram account with them. Here’s some of mine from my latest WIP (available on Wattpad), a New Adult urban fantasy, Coryn of Bellsferry: Blood Thieves:

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Happy discussing!

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“Bump in the Night” – Chapter 4 of my NA WIP, Blood Thieves, is here!

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Eek! Stuff is going bump in the night in the town of Bellsferry. Check it out!

Chapter 4 vibes:

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Let me know if you’ve been reading and what your thoughts are so far? I’m really enjoying it. I hope you are, too!

Happy reading!

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“Hunter” Chapter 3 of “Blood Thieves” is Here!

I’m really excited for where this new adult urban fantasy story is going AND for the introduction of this special character.

Story vibes in gifs:

Chapter 1:

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Chapter 2:

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Chapter 3:

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Check the story out on Wattpad!

“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 totally gross and demented and have really started taking over 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?

Check out Chapter 1 of Coryn of Bellsferry: Blood Thieves (Book 1)

#WIPjoy!!!

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Are you on Wattpad? I got a new story for ya! Had this dream, and I woke up and this poured out of me:

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

In a world where American law has been outlawed, and wanna-be supernatural, self-made vampires exist–who by the way, are totally gross and demented and have really started taking over 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 outlaw 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?

Feel free to check out the first chapter and second chapter and follow the story on Wattpad. I’ll be posting new chapters weekly, or every few days, depending of course. You know how two toddler BOYS and being eight weeks away from giving birth to a third wee one can have you like…

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Please don’t be shy. Share those thoughts! Let me know what you think of the story so far. I love hearing from you guys. Happy reading!

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What is it about a book’s first page that keeps you reading?

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I’m curious:

What is it about a book’s first page that keeps you flipping?

Are you able to share an example of a book whose first page just grabbed you and held on until the last page? I want to know what book did that for you and why. Then I can go Amazon-“Look inside”-stalk and see if I agree with you or not. 😉 Happy discussing!

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Make Your Protagonist Problematic Tip 1: Fear

Your protagonist has to have at least one fear that needs to be squashed throughout her journey. Whether it’s the fear of failing, or the fear of losing a loved one (like Katniss from Hunger Games), the fear needs to be real, relatable, and a reminder to her and your audience at crucial moments.

The fear shouldn’t be an easy one to overcome. And don’t be afraid to let it be a setback, even a major one; that can cause her (and your audience) to hate it and want to conquer it all the more, and can cause interesting conflict between other characters.

When her fear costs someone’s life, it won’t only create conflict among those impacted by the loss, but add more internal conflict; guilt, insecurity, self-loathing, maybe even denial.

Conflict is the engine of your story. If it’s too simple or minimal, you’ve got a weak story. The more complex the problems, the more gripping your story will be and the more satisfying the resolution.

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We are amazed at how conflicts resolve. When someone had a very difficult situation, but it works out, aren’t we quick to ask: how did that happen? What changed? And when the story is said and done, we stand in awe.

Make your protagonist’s journey one that wows us. I’ll have more tips on how to accomplish this next Monday.

What do you think? Comments are welcome here 🙂

Happy helping!

Making Your Readers HATE Your Villain For the RIGHT Reasons

Divergent’s villainness was not detestable–at least the movie’s version wasn’t. I definitely didn’t care to read the book after watching the first movie, and the villain was just one of many reasons why.

You want your audience to hate your villain, and not because he’s a boring stereotype, but because what he does is purely evil.

Don’t get me wrong, killing innocent bystanders is evil, but the villains that hit us where it hurts the most are the ones who attack our loved ones.

Villains who get real personal are the ones who make us cringe and seethe.

President Snow was such an intimate villain. His attacks against Katniss were oh so personal; (SPOILER ALERT FOR THE 2 OF YOU WHO DIDN’T READ THE BOOKS OR WATCH THE MOVIES) brainwashing her love against her; destroying her district, killing her good friend/stylist, and because of the Games, another sweet little companion died who reminded Katniss of her own baby sister. Ouch. Readers couldn’t wait to see him get his. Can the same be said of your villain?

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I know sometimes we dread making it too personal. We don’t want our beloved heroine to suffer too much, but ya gotta do it. You gotta hurt her, badly.

Your villain’s goal shouldn’t be merely to stop your protagonist from winning, but to cause your protag to give up before the war is over. The only way to accomplish this is to assault the heart, to hit home.

And isn’t that life? Jesus said in this world we would suffer tribulation. But the hope is that no matter how powerful a blow–or multiple blows– your hero doesn’t throw in the towel. He presses on until his dying breath and he inspires your audience to do the same in their own lives.

Yes, hurting him will hurt you and your readers, but when that villain gets served a hearty plate of justice, it’ll all be worth it.

Which villains did you find detestable and why? Share your thoughts in a comment, and be sure to warn of spoilers. 

Happy helping!

Writing Craft Wednesday: How to Keep Your Readers Turning Pages

There are worse things than death, trust me, I would know.

Ooh, how would you know such a thing? What are you talking about? What have you seen?

Raise questions and leave your audience hanging on by a string. As the story progresses, answer one question at a time, while continuing to raise more.

Bryan Davis (Raising Dragons series, Reapers Trilogy) is a master at this. Because raising questions is an art in itself, people. There is a way to go about it so you’re not annoying like James Dashner’s Maze Runner books. He raises a billion questions and chooses to answer none of them and the end result is immense confusion and frustration. That kind of answerless-question-raising leaves us thinking you have no idea what you’re getting at. Annoying!

Be balanced. Don’t raise TOO many questions. Raise a few from the start and answer one of them in the third chapter or so, and continue a similar pattern. Smaller questions should be answered first, while bigger ones should take longer to reveal.

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It’s okay to drop hints. And it’s even better to sprinkle in misleading hints so your auidence thinks they know what’s coming, but then are pleasantly surprised to discover otherwise.

Stories with little to no questions can be too light of a read, too basic, too easy. Questions create a more complex story and a more gripping one. That’s one of the biggies that had me flipping the pages of Reapers into the wee hours of the night even though I was a very tired new mom: I had to know the answers to big questions. Could Sing be trusted? Which girl is Phoenix going to end up with? What is really going on behind the scenes of the Gateway? How is the Gatekeeper extending his life and receiving supernatural powers?

How delightful it was to ask and guess and then discover all in the right time. This is something you must do if you want to make your story greater.

Happy helping!

What story have you read that raised questions you just needed to know the answers to? Feel free to share your thoughts in a comment.