Waiting for You: A Playlist (And the Wonders of Music)

I don’t know of any indie authors who haven’t made a playlist for their novels — you all have, haven’t you? — or at least picked out actors who would play their characters if their novel was ever adapted for the big screen (which, by the way, I have an Evernote file of nearly all my characters and their respective actors…).

Music is such a phenomenal concept. I’ve been playing violin for 20 years and have had such wonderful opportunities to perform up and down the East Coast, including places like Epcot and Magic Kingdom at Disney World. In my private lessons, we studied via the Suzuki Method (which Adam makes a crack about in Chapter Two of Waiting for You. I couldn’t resist.) In high school, I also was a part of my church’s youth choir, which was associated with the Royal Academy of Music. In order to advance a level (and thereby getting to wear the next color adornment over your cassock and surplus), you had to take tests in music theory.

There are even studies on the effects of music therapy in psychiatric patients. Seriously, music is such an amazing thing. The right song can make us cry when we’re sad, cheer when we’re happy, and make us belt out a tune at the top of our lungs in rush hour traffic.

This is why I think it’s a great idea to create playlists for our novels. There’s something about the perfect songs that can help convey the heart and soul, bloodmusicspeaks, sweat and tears that we’ve poured into our novels. They can be the perfect accompaniment to, dare I say it, harmonize with our work.

So, without further ado, here is my playlist for Waiting for You!

  1. All This Time ~ OneRepublic (Main theme song)
  2. One Sweet Day ~ Maria Carey & Boyz II Men (Sarah’s song)
  3. Left Behind ~ Spring Awakening (Elliott’s song)
  4. Come Home ~ OneRepublic
  5. Nightingale ~ Demi Lovato
  6. Remedy ~ Adele

    (Sorry! Couldn’t find a video to embed of this song.)

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Review Opportunity – Xpresso Book Tours

Review opportunity! (In other words, you get a free book. Who doesn’t love free books?)

First, I want to thank Brittney Sahin for recommending Expresso Book Tours! If you’re looking to do the whole shebang of a big tour, a review query, or just a cover reveal, I highly recommend xpressobooktours.com.

My contemporary romance novel, Waiting for You, is available for review:

http://xpressobooktours.com/2015/12/01/review-opportunity-waiting-for-you-by-allison-williford/

You can receive a free copy (file types available are mobi, epub, and PDF) in exchange for a review.

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Waiting for You is now available!

My newest novel, Waiting for You, is now available!

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You can buy the Kindle version on Amazon

or!

You can order a paperback copy from CreateSpace

I’m super excited about my new book, guys. I have loved watching my characters grow. They’re like my babies — I love them!

Also, if you’d like to write a review for me, I will send a free PDF copy. Email me at allisonwilliford@icloud.com if you’re interested!

Book Release!

I’m excited to announce that on 9/19, I will be releasing Waiting for You for ebook and paperback.

What’s even more exciting?

From 9/19-10/19, I will be donating 50% of my profits to the Susan G Komen Foundation for breast cancer!

You can also like me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/allisonwilliford1 and follow me on Twitter: @AlliW_writes

Review: Sinners and Saints by Chelsea Ballinger

You can check out Sinners and Saints by Chelsea Ballinger here. Here is the review I posted on Amazon:

Note: I received a PDF copy in exchange for a review.

To begin, I felt the story itself was good. I enjoyed the dark side to it. It had some good twists. The characters were engaging, and Hugo had a very nice development by the end. I was intrigued from the beginning by Gabriel’s suicide, and was not disappointed by the end. It had me asking questions from the very beginning. The story works well in first person POV — the voices are strong enough in first person, although I did feel each character who had a POV sounded a little too similar. I did feel that there were a few too many different POV characters; some of them could have been cut from the story. Jordana, Poppy, Kelly, Cody, Rebecca, Patrick, Margaret, Chad, Noel — they all had POV scenes that didn’t really seem to add to the story, or could have been told from Hugo’s, Juliet’s, or Scarlett’s POV. There also seemed to be a lot of unnecessary plot points that didn’t add a whole lot to the plot itself or move the story forward. I felt there were some scenes that could have been cut, and the story could have been a bit more concise and not quite so lengthy.

I don’t know if it was just the file I received, but there were quite a few grammatical and punctuation errors that were a bit distracting while I was reading. Some of the formatting was also off. It was a bit jarring at times. It gave me the feeling that this could have been edited better — some sentences had two spaces after a period, missing quotation marks from dialogue, missing commas between clauses, just to name a few. On dialogue, also — at times, it was a tad confusing who was speaking. More dialogue tags could have been used to clarify which character was speaking at times. There were also a few inconsistencies here and there; for example, most of the time, Juliet is described as having blue eyes, yet in one passage it says she has green eyes?

Overall, I enjoyed the story as a whole. Scarlett was such a bitch — I loved hating her. A few of the minor characters felt a bit flat, like Ms. Eleanor and Poppy; they seemed more like caricatures than well-rounded people. Again, I’m not sure if it’s just the PDF file I received, but it could use another round of editing for grammar and punctuation, and to clean up the formatting.

I’m all for supporting indie authors. Have a newly published book and need reviews? Hit me up!

Writing Groups: Yea or Nay?

How many of you belong to a writing group? If so, do you like it?

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I’ve always wanted to join one. There’s not much in the way of writing groups or book clubs where I live right now. But! There are groups in the city I’m moving to (hopefully in the near future). I’m pretty stoked about it. There are also plenty of coffee shops and book stores. There’s just more to do, overall. I do have the beach here, though…

If you belong to a writing group, what do you find the most beneficial about it? The least beneficial? Are there aspects about it that you dislike? Whenever I finally get to join one, I’d like to make the most of it. I think having that face-to-face connection with other writers is what appeals the most to me.

9 Resources for Showing, Not Telling

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Show, don’t tell. How many times have you heard that? How often do we scour our work for signs of telling to eagerly correct the problem?

What exactly does it mean? Well, it’s the difference between:

Delilah felt excited.

and

Delilah’s eyes widened as she bounced on her toes. Her pounding heart thudded hard against her ribs and her pulse was deafening in her ears as a grin spread across her lips.

I’ve gathered some resources to help you show instead of tell! Some of these are absolute favorites of mine and I use them frequently as reference. Some also have links to purchase on Amazon.

1. The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi
I love, love, love this. It’s my go-to guide when I need help conveying a character’s emotion. It includes 75 different emotions your characters might feel. The beauty of it is that humans are complex beings. We might be feeling a whole slew of different emotions at once. Each listed emotion includes what that feeling might escalate to, or what cues might show that your character is trying to suppress that feeling.

2. Emotion Amplifiers by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi
This is a freebie for Kindle. It goes along with The Emotion Thesaurus and is exactly as the title suggests. It lists certain conditions that might amplify what your character is feeling, such as pain, exhaustion, dehydration.

3. Writers Helping Writers
This is Angela and Becca’s website. They also have other helpful books for fleshing out your characters, The Positive Trait Thesaurus and The Negative Trait Thesaurus. They have a lot of great resources on their site. Definitely check them out!

4. Resources on using strong verbs (The Writer’s Resource)
Strong verbs can really help your writing when trying to show instead of tell. For example, if you find yourself writing “She felt [insert noun/adjective here telling what the feeling is]”, look for stronger ways to show us how she felt. This goes along with using too many adverbs. Instead of “He wearily climbed the stairs”, try “He trudged up three flights of steps.” Strong verbs give the reader a better idea of how your character is feeling.

5. Grammar Girl : Show, Don’t Tell
This one is a quick read and will give you a better idea of telling vs. showing.

6. Scribendi: Ten Tips to Help You Avoid Telling Writing
Another good article on avoiding telling in your writing.

7. Writing Forward on Show, Don’t Tell

8. The Beginning Writer

9. Lynette Noni : Show, Don’t Tell
Some great cheat sheets on conveying body language.

What are your favorite tips for showing instead of telling? I’d love to hear them in the comments!