3 Qualities of a Great #English #Teacher

As a writer, I am always looking for great mentors who will inspire me to work smarter and harder.  Having a natural way with words, of course, the number one quality I look for in a writing mentor, but there are other traits that I find just as important.

Engaging Personality

Not all extroverts are great writers, but the ability to engage an audience while weaving a story is mind-blowing.  A person’s innate talent to know their audience is astounding to watch.

Knowledge of Subject Matter

A great teacher is an expert in their subject matter.  They have mastered the topic and fought against its boundaries.

Passion

Lastly, a hunger for more knowledge, to share what they know, to read more, to write more.  It’s not just a subject, but a way of life.

 

This post has relevance as an author, but I have touched on the topic once before. My latest book series, (after)life lessons is about a girl who goes to a school where the teachers are famous and deceased. I played a fun game that brings back the most brilliant minds through out history and let’s them teach high school as a spirit.

If you had the ability to see spirits, who would you choose as your English teacher?

English teacherVote for The Light of Supremazia on Kindle Scout!

What qualities do you look for in a #writing #mentor ? Join author @alanasiegel and her discussion (click to tweet)

Would you want #JaneAusten or #Tolkien as a #teacher ? Tell writer @alanasiegel what you think (click to tweet)

#BookMarketing for my #KindleScout Campaign

Marketing and engaging readers is a lot of work!

For months, I have been planning to post my book on Kindle Scout and run a campaign, in the hopes that Amazon would publish the book. Two weeks ago, I posted my book.

I haven’t sat around with my fingers crossed, hoping that people would vote for me. I emailed everyone I knew. I posted the link on all my social media sites, and I came up with a blog marketing campaign.  Here’s a sneak peak:

MarketingPlan

The plan was twofold.

First, to give readers what they want – a glimpse into the world of another writer and self-publisher. I wrote tidbits about my experience.

Second, to invite readers into my next novel, The Light of Supremazia.

Have I been successful?

Yes and no. My Kindle Scout campaign had 6 days trending as “hot,” and I received feedback on my blog. However, I have more content to post and more readers to reach.

Hopefully, the following blurbs from my novel invite you in:

Hall Photo

Vote for the Kindle Scout Campaign of The Light of Supremazia!

How do you market your #book ? Join author @alanasiegel ‘s discussion (Click to tweet)

Technology in Literature

To make a contemporary novel timeless, an author needs to balance the use of outdated technology and the most recent fads and trends.

As a reader, you never noticed the lack of computers in Harry Potter, no matter when you read it.

However, the book series and TV show Pretty Little Liars would never have succeeded without the inclusion of cell phones.

Technology is constantly improving and here to stay.  I think it is best to include as long as the technology isn’t a short-term craze.

PhantomFollow

Since my latest book is a young-adult fantasy novel, I recognized my core audience uses technology all the time, so I decided to invent an app.

The Light of Supremazia is about a girl who can see spirits. PhantomFollow is an app that tracks spirits, and its gone viral at Vita Post Mortem Academy. The more famous or rare the spirit, the more points the player gets. See the app in the app store above. 🙂

Vote for The Light of Supremazia on Kindle Scout.

How do you deal with current #technology in your #writing ? Join author @alanasiegel in the discussion (Click to tweet)

#Harry Potter had no new #tech – timeless? Share with writer @alanasiegel (Click to tweet)

 

Write in Your Own Voice

Authenticity is important. I believe you should learn the mechanics of writing, soak up the knowledge, practice the method, and then make it your own.

When you are learning how to paint, they teach you realism, abstract, and cubism. However, your masterpiece will never be recognized if it is a copy of someone else’s work.

It is hard.  It is confusing.  It is scary, but it will be genuine if you write in your own voice.

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“Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.” — Marilyn Monroe

In my latest novel, The Light of Supremazia, about a girl who can see spirits and attends a school run by deceased celebrities, Marilyn Monroe is one of the teachers.  I chose her because she has flair and a knack for drama, but also because she was not afraid to be herself.

Vote for the The Light of Supremazia Kindle Scout campaign!

Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are – Agree with @alanasiegel and #MarilynMonroe ? (Click to tweet)

Perfect the technique of #writing and then make it your own – Join the writer @alanasiegel and the discussion (Click to tweet)

What Influences Your #Setting Descriptions?

Real locations are my favorite to write about.  For my first book series, Olivia Hart and the Gifted Program, Pandora High School had many similarities to the high school I attended.  Write what you know, right?

Sometimes, I scour Pinterest for inspiration. Check out the page for my next series (after)life lessons.

Every once in awhile, I type a chapter, read it back, and realize I’ve taken another book’s setting! My editor pointed this out when she read the chapter about Vita Post Mortem Academy’s cafeteria called The Dreadfort.  It had an eerie similarity to Hogwart’s Great Hall.

To avoid accidental plagiarizing, I made the tables round instead of long, removed all candles from the chandeliers and replaced them with electricity, set up a high-tech video screen, and made large windows in the back for viewing the cemetery. Ok, still sounds similar, but you can’t mess with perfection!

The Dreadfort

Vote for The Light of Supremazia Kindle Scout campaign!

What influences your #setting descriptions? Share with #author @alanasiegel here (Click to tweet)

Do you use Pinterest or other other sites to research #book #settings ? Let @alanasiegel know (Click to tweet)

#BookTrailer #BookMarketing and #KindleScout

Book trailers can be great marketing tools, particularly because people are less likely to forward to the end.

Check out the book trailer for The Light of Supremazia, my next book!

https://youtu.be/ZfKnXA8oJBE

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Vote for my Kindle Scout campaign!

Do you have a #booktrailer for your book? Join author @alanasiegel ‘s discussion (Click to tweet)

How do you market your #book? Share with writer @alanasiegel #fantasy #novel (Click to tweet)

#MondayBlog – Mapping Out Your Novel’s #Fantasy #World

When reading fantasy novels, the world created needs to make sense.  The reader needs to be able to picture where the action takes place.  Here are examples from my favorite books.

Hogwarts – J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series

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Camp Half-Blood – Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series

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A Game of Thrones – George R.R. Martin’s series

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Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien’s series

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Vita Post Mortem Academy – my (after)life lessons series

Map of Vita Post Mortem Academy

To vote for Vita Post Mortem Academy to be published by Amazon, click on The Light of Supremazia Kindle Scout page book #1 in the (after)life lessons series.

How do you map out your novel’s #fantasy world? See what author @alanasiegel thinks (Click to tweet)

Maps from your favorite #fantasy #books – check out @alanasiegel ‘s post (Click to tweet)

Who would you want as your #art #teacher?

Character Traits

Picking traits for the characters in your novel can be difficult.  Is the person argumentative and always causing a scene? Is your character reserved and likes to hide in the back of a pack?  Is the person loud and dramatic?  Are they optimistic and happy?

Back Story

As an author, you need to consider why the character acts the way they do.  Are they competitive?  Have they lived in the shadow of an older, more impressive brother?  Are they happy because they work at the job of their dreams?  Are they lonely in a new town?

Teachers at Vita Post Mortem Academy

While I was writing my latest novel, The Light of Supremazia, I had to pick famous deceased people to teach at Vita Post Mortem Academy as spirits.  The characters had to stand out on their own, but also make sense as part of the school’s faculty.

Who would you pick as an art teacher?

Art Teacher

Please vote for The Light of Supremazia on Kindle Scout!

Twitter-Size Bites

Who would you want as your art teacher? Author @alanasiegel has a view on #character traits in #fiction (Click to tweet)

How do you decide on #character traits? Writer @alanasiegel tells you her method (Click to tweet)

Made Up Words, the #Language of a #Fiction #Novel

Creative Terms for Fiction

How great are the inventive words used to describe a new thing, event, or action in fiction? There are tons of examples.  Here are a few of my favorites:

  • An animagus is a person who can morph into an animal – from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.
  • Similarly, a warg is a person who can enter the minds of animals – from George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones series.
  • The reaping is an event when a boy and a girl are chosen from each district to participate in the Hunger Games – from Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games series.
  • Buggers are insect-like aliens – from Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game series
  • A mudblood is a magical person born to non-magical parents – from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.
  • A half-blood is a person born from one parent who is a mythological god and one who is not – from Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series.
  • Quidditch is a professional sport in the wizarding world – from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.

How do you invent a new term?

For my new series, (after)life lessons, I tried to be thoughtful about new terms. You can’t rename everything or your reader will get lost.  However, it is fun to imagine your new term catching on and being used in casual conversation!

My series is based on the premise that spirits exist in our world and certain people have the ability to see them.  Simply put, some people are spirit-seers and called visumaries, while others who can not see spirits are ableptic.

Visumary and Ableptic Definitions

Why do you choose the terms?

Sometimes authors choose the word because of the phonetic appeal – it sounds similar to another word that conveys a certain meaning. Other authors perform deep research on Latin roots or Greek mythology.

I felt the word visumary sounded similar to visionary, like they have the ability to see things others can’t.

Ableptic has a harsher sound – “bleh.” It is less musical, similar to J.K. Rowling’s choice of squib for a person born into a magical family, but has no magical abilities. Also, in English, “ablepsia” means lack of sight or blindness.

Kindle Scout Campaign Update

The Light of Supremazia Kindle Scout campaign has been trending *HOT* for 41 hours and has 692 page views!

Vote Here: The Light of Supremazia Kindle Scout Page

Twitter-Sized Bites

How do you invent new terms for a #fiction #novel ? Author @alanasiegel has some thoughts (Click to tweet)

What are your favorite #fictional terms – #quidditch #halfblood #warg ? Writer @alanasiegel has a few (Click to tweet)