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Words Launch Q&A + Giveaway Results!

Hey sparkles! Today is kick-off day for the Words blog tour! As the perfect tribute to you guys and everyone who’s helped me along the way, I asked all of you for questions that I could answer here. I got a ton of questions (78 to be exact!) and I figured an online spinner wouldn’t like me so I printed them off and my mom somewhat reluctantly cut them out while I folded them. We put them in a pot. My mom jokingly called them “word noodles” and she drew 15 and read them aloud while I write them in.

Surprisingly aesthetic for a pot with slips of paper…

Anyway, enough random jibberish about how many amazing questions we got and the choosing process! Let’s get answering!

1. How do you form a habit of writing regularly?

For me, writing regularly is extremely hard. So what I’ve done to make myself write is give myself a goal (a fairly easy goal that shouldn’t be discouraging) and a way to keep track that I can look at often. Currently, that’s in my bullet journal but it’s been in a Canva calendar that I always have open to bug me before. For me, the best way to make myself do anything is to just. Plain. Do it. But that doesn’t have to mean you write forty different stats about your writing every day or force yourself to write a thousand words. Gradually make your goal bigger until it’s what you want it to be and doable and you’ll be happy, encouraged, and consistent.

2. What are your thoughts on teenagers writing for a younger audience, same age audience, or an older audience?

Such a great question! I feel that anyone, at any given place in life, knows the group they’re in the best. They’re your friends, your teammates, your siblings. They’re all around you. So I believe that teens should definitely write for teens. But I also believe that teens know kids, sometimes better than adults do because we were just there. Remember when you were in awe of big trucks and castles? I’m sure you remember it better than adults! But when it comes to teens writing for adults, it depends on the purpose of writing. If your goal is to show them that teens are capable of something or show them something about teenage life that they don’t experience, then it could work, but you have never been an adult before so you can’t say you know your audience. That’s a tough place.

3. Do prefer [writing] novels or short stories?

Overall, I’d say novels because I get to dive deeper into a character’s mind and share more of who they are and their journey. In a short story, you can hardly represent them to the fullest. But short stories are really fun too!

4. What was your first writing project?

Ah yes, the dreaded question…. I could avoid it by mentioning how I’ve told stories to myself longer than I could fully express them, but if I’m being honest, the first project I remember writing was pretty much my own rewriting (with the same plot, mind you) of Clifford Picks Apples. Complete with horrible illustrations. That was in 1st grade….

5. What is the most important tip you think every teenage writer should know when starting a novel?

*rubs hands together happily* A novel isn’t just an adventure thrown on a character. A best-selling book is a character setting out on a journey for a reason that is deeply impacted by their past and who they are. A character shouldn’t start existing in the prologue or chapter one. They should start existing years before the story, with reasons and experiences that back their actions. That’s when a character really becomes a person.

6. Do you get writer’s block? If so, how do you get over it?

So many of you asked this that I knew I’d have to answer. Yes, I do get writer’s block, but not very much. How do I get past it? *thinks about telling you to wait for my writer’s guide to get published in a year or two* *is nicer than that* I remind myself that it’s really either a lack of a plan, the fact that I don’t know what comes next and can’t figure it out, or the lack of connection to the scene. Most often I can just push through writer’s block and write words anyway. Sometimes this actually produces decent trash, but most often it’s just trash I deal with later, when I’ve backed away a little bit. But if that isn’t happening, I have to rethink about my character and what they would really do in this moment, what they would really want. That’s what gets me out of the rut. (And there’s more in the guide. So maybe I’m not so nice.)

7. What gives you the inspiration to write? Anything specific?

Anything, everything, and nothing. Sometimes I just have a what-if moment or see something from a new angle. Weirdly enough, a large number of ideas also come from school and my dreams. You’d be amazed at the ideas from world history. But really, a story is an idea and a passion. It’s plot, character, and theme. So if I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about, say, bullying, it might surface in my writing.

8. What do you do if you get stuck when you’re plotting a story?

If you’re stuck plotting, work on the character. Because a story isn’t just assigned to Joe Shmo as he hangs out in his mom’s basement. He doesn’t just get booted up there and tugged around like a puppet. A story starts with the person in it. Your memories all start with you and the people around you and how you act because of who you are.

9. How do you decide who to show your writing to and when?

Always show somebody in your audience who also spends time in books of your genre first. I have several friends who read a lot of the books I do and also fall into my audience. They’ve spent time in the work of other authors who were good enough to make it to the library or bookstore. Now they can assess your writing with a standard, even if they take into consideration where you’re at. As for when, I’d say you should finish the story before you hand it to others. Normally you don’t send half a sketch to your friend, so why should you send half a book?

10. What do you think is the most important thing writers have to consider when it comes to motivation?

I think that we need to realize that writing isn’t only a job but an art, and not only an art but a job. Sometimes people who want to get published say that they just aren’t inspired and so they don’t write. They’ll never meet deadlines that way. But there are also authors who cram words onto a page until they’re burnt out beyond belief and then their words aren’t even the best they could be because they lack inspiration. You need to find a balance that keeps your precious art as your fulfilling job and your fulfilling job as making precious art.

11. What do you love the most about writing and what do you love the least?

This is hard. But I think I have an answer. What I love most about writing is when the words flow like emotions onto a page, like passionate drops of water down a cascading waterfall into a pool of joy. I love when readers laugh or cry or tell me my words are powerful. I love making people feel things, making people think. But I also hate when my words aren’t expressing me. Sometimes I don’t even have writers’ block, I’m just not happy with how I sound. It’s like I’ve breathed writing helium and my words sound too high pitched, too young. That is the most annoying thing to me.

12. How long does it take for you to draft a novel?

It depends on the novel and where I’m at in my journey. I’ve reached a place where I can write a full draft in three months but I’ve also had stories and times in the past where it took me a year per draft. You just need to find your process and motivation.

13. What is your favorite genre?

Realistic fiction/contemporary, because I really get to focus on the characters and have less work to do on the world and other things. If you can’t tell, I love my characters.

14. What is your process for planning/writing a story?

This is a big question…. But in short, I normally begin with a small idea. I decide who my characters are, write a basic plot, character build, world build if it’s fantasy, create an outline, write the first draft, give myself a break, edit and revise, either redraft, re-edit, or rerevise, or send to alpha readers, go through their edits, send to beta readers, and then I go from there, depending on what the purpose of writing it was and what the story still needs. It’s a long process but it allows me to make sure every part is solid as a rock/

15. What are some of the most powerful adjectives you know of?

*smiles* For me, an adjective that gives life or personality to anything is powerful. An adjective that makes readers stop and think is also extremely powerful. These are words like steadfast, faithful, strong, powerful, gentle, caring, loving, and passionate. I love these kinds of words so much and you’ll find me using them as often as possible.

And now for the part you scrolled through all of that for…

Giveaway Winners

Winning HONORABLE MENTION we have three people. First is ANNA, second is OLIVIA, and third is MAGGIE! Congratulations! Reach out to me through the contact page so we can plan your posts!

In THIRD PLACE is… EMMA ROSE! You will get a mentorship in either blogging or writing for a month! If you don’t want this, reach out to me and you’ll get a collab post with me AND a blog review written by me where I promote one of your blogs on one of my blogs. Either way, contact me to claim your prize!

In SECOND PLACE is…LORELEI! You win my writing guide! Reach out through the contact page so I can send it to you shortly! If you don’t want this, I will give you the third prize as well and select another second place winner. We also have a SECOND SECOND PLACE, Evin, who would have gotten first except for where she lives. So sorry, Evin, but also congratulations!

IN FIRST PLACE

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Should I keep you waiting any longer? Yes, yes I shall.

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THE WINNER IS VIVIANNE!!!! CONGRATULATIONS!! Reach out to me through my contact page so I can send you all your prizes!!

For all of you who didn’t win… I may do another giveaway when Words reaches 100 followers. You can make that happen by following and sharing! Thank you all so much for entering!

Now, as the last part of the post, I have the official tour schedule!

Tomorrow’s post will be on I Have 12% of a Plan. I’m so excited!

Did you learn anything from my question answers? Are you excited about the results of this giveaway? Which blog tour post sounds most exciting? Let me know in the comments!

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Published by Kaley Kriesel

Hello, friend! I'm Kaley, a teen girl pursuing Jesus and working toward sharing powerfully authentic stories for Young Adults who want clean, life-changing books. I play three instruments and have a passion for music as well as a love for reading. I believe words can change the world. If you want to find out how, check out my blog, Words!

7 thoughts on “Words Launch Q&A + Giveaway Results!

  1. Sorry for just now commenting…this post got buried in my emails.

    I love these answers! They’re very helpful. I liked knowing about your process. also congrats to the winners!

    Liked by 1 person

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