Posted in Behind the Scenes, Miscelaneous Musings, The Writing Life

The Young Writer’s Life According to RWBY: Beta-Reading Edition

Mild content warning: post features pictures of a somewhat skimpily-dressed anime character.

I ran a poll on my Twitter page a few weeks ago for the theme of my next “Young Writer’s Life According To…” post.  It was a 50/50 tie between Tangled (which has a surprising variety of gifs) and my favorite anime, RWBY.  So, why not both?

This gifset in particular puts particular attention on beta-reading, an immense readerly kindness I’ve come to appreciate in my latest writerly project.  That said, I’d like to dedicate this post to Aerin and Lauren, the best beta-readers a young writer like me could ask for.

And now, if you are among the 50% who voted for a RWBY-themed post, this’ll be the day you’ve waited for!


Continue reading “The Young Writer’s Life According to RWBY: Beta-Reading Edition”

Posted in Miscelaneous Musings, The Writing Life

Clean Fiction for All?

A/N: I’d like to apologize in advance if this post offends any of my religious friends in the clean indie writing world with this post.  Additionally, I’d love to hear feedback and other perspectives on the issue I’ve raised.  Please feel free to leave a comment below!

When I browse the web for “clean” fiction, I usually find books that are both clean and faith-based, specifically in the Christian faith.  I don’t see much differentiation between faith-based clean fiction and … regular clean fiction.  I get that there’s a huge demand among certain religious Christian circles for books with minimal “offensive” content and an abundance of positive messages.  But I think I’m living proof that the desire for such books and for positive messages isn’t limited to Christian religious people, or religious people in general. Continue reading “Clean Fiction for All?”

Posted in Miscelaneous Musings, The Writing Life

Oh look, Al’s writing ANOTHER story

If you’ve been reading my Twitter page since around the 26th of January, you’ve probably seen me mention these five names with increasing frequency: Xander, Lyra, Ryan, Jen, and Morgan Freeman.  All those people (except of course Morgan Freeman) are fictional characters in a new project that I’m quite stoked to work on!

I played around with different titles for a bit, with a working title of “Xander,” then Thrilling Tales in the spirit of those weird old pulp fiction magazines, until I finally settled on Cliche.

Cliche started out as a snarky satire of my (admittedly limited) perception of romance novels.  Then, it expanded to include poking fun at chauvinist pulp fiction writers of the olden days.  And then, it developed deep, philosophical undertones, like whether the fictional characters have free will even in their own worlds.  At this point, I’m not even sure what it is anymore, but what I do know is that I enjoy writing it.

Why have I managed to keep at this story for this long without running out of steam?  There are two main reasons: Continue reading “Oh look, Al’s writing ANOTHER story”

Posted in Miscelaneous Musings, The Writing Life

Upcoming Blogging Schedule

Hi everyone! I just want to let you know, my posting schedule for this blog in the coming months will be more sporadic.  I’ll continue to write when inspiration hits, and support the indie writing community where I can, but I don’t have a lot of time to post to the blog as rigorously as I have been.

If you follow my Twitter, you’ll probably still hear the occasional peep out of me, whether it’s about reading, writing, cosplaying, or real-world issues that particularly get to me. 😛



Posted in Miscelaneous Musings, The Writing Life

Writing as/about Someone I’m Not

It’s always good to know what you’re writing about.  One way is to base the stuff you’re writing, to some extent, on personal experiences.  That isn’t to say writing should be devoid of imaginative conjecture, but when other people are involved, people who exist in the real world who’d be affected in some way by what you’ve written, it is definitely good to learn about them first. Continue reading “Writing as/about Someone I’m Not”

Posted in Miscelaneous Musings, Novels, The Writing Life, Uncategorized

Another Excerpt from ‘Elite Falcons: The Hunted’ feat. Tatiana

Late last year, I dug Elite Falcons out from the bottom of the “Unfinished WIPs” pile.  To borrow a NaNoWriMo term of art, I “pantsed” my way through the planning process, didn’t take any notes, and thus have long since forgotten how the plot was supposed to go.  Judging by what I’ve written so far, most of the young leads get kidnapped except Max and another kid named Elliot.  How they were to get from this point to being recruited into a top-secret spy agency for teenagers remains a mystery I hope to crack this year.

Other themes I was trying to cover, judging by what past-Allison had written, included racism, anti-bullying, and dispelling ethnic stereotypes.  I don’t think I was too effective and I need to rethink how I’d written some things so my past self’s good intentions carry through.

At the moment, I’m writing a scene which picks up where Max left off.  Some time has passed since he got into that car with the awkward social worker lady (although nowhere near as much time has passed in the real world).  But it’s not done.  In the meantime, here’s a decent (albeit melodramatic) scene I’d written two years ago about another character, Tatiana.

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 From her bedroom, twelve year old Tatiana Dean watched the people stop underneath the brightly-striped awning just below, peer through the front window expectantly, and ultimately walk away looking dismayed.  She, too, wondered why the bakery her parents ran so attentively was still closed at ten o’clock on a Saturday morning.

They’re probably sleeping in, Tatiana reasoned, stepping out of her room and eyeing the closed door across the hall.  It happens to the best of us. Continue reading “Another Excerpt from ‘Elite Falcons: The Hunted’ feat. Tatiana”

Posted in Miscelaneous Musings, The Writing Life, Uncategorized

Authors & Fans

Disclaimer: I’m just a young adult who published a novelette in her mid-teens, so I’m by no means an expert in any of this. Much of this post is based on observation and speculation. 

Today, authors (and artists in general) of all levels of fame are becoming far more accessible to their fans.  They share updates across social media platforms, offering small tidbits of their personal and writing lives to fans – in the case of famous authors, sure, they’re famous authors, but this kind of interaction helps us know for sure that they’re really people too, just like us.  (They just happen to have more success and they’re good at writing novel-length works….  Totally not jealous here. 😛 )  As nice as that can be, this increased level of interaction between authors and their fans isn’t all sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows.

Snubbed by the Author?

An acquaintance – we’ll call her Melody – posts a lot about a favorite book series on some social media platforms, and analyzes (both fanon and canon) dynamics between certain characters.  She has interesting things to say, and she’s not afraid to be critical and harshly so if something about the series or the author’s actions bothers her.  She did once go as far as to say the hated this author (in jest, it seems), because she worried about the direction the author was taking their latest book series.

Melody recently posted about how she received some unfriendly treatment from this author, who likely falls under the famous author category.  The author must have been doing a Q&A session on her blog; Melody asked a polite, non-confrontational question on the author’s website.  The author’s (private) reply was non-responsive, simply a link to the “hate” post Melody had made before.  I think this was effectively a snub.

I can understand how awful it must feel to be treated this way by a professional author.  Melody and I agree that the way the author went about it could’ve been worse, but it certainly surprised me to see a well-known, professional author retaliating in such a manner!

But I also get that authors, like the rest of us, are only human beings; human beings have flaws and feelings. As an artist and author myself, who has received plenty of criticism ranging from bluntly constructive to downright gratuitously nasty, I can understand the desire to react vindictively towards a reader who isn’t afraid to frankly speak her mind about perceived flaws in my art.

Maybe Melody went too far in her criticism.  Maybe the author is overreacting.  Perhaps they’re both justified in their feelings and actions.  Either way, multiple peoples’ feelings must have been hurt.

The Overly Attached Fan

This part is about the other side of the AuthorxFans relationship, and it’s kind of an extreme case.

My friend – we’ll call her Abby – is a young author who wrote a children’s book.  She has to deal with fans who are probably young enough that they should have adult supervision when browsing the Web.  Abby’s happy to receive fan mail and messages – it makes her really happy to know that readers of all ages enjoy her book.  She even replies when she can.

Abby has a particular(ly) young fan who’s convinced they’re “totes besties” because she replied to their fan messages once or twice, and uses their limited Web browsing resources to send her “fan mail” constantly.  And when she doesn’t respond, this fan keeps pushing; she sometimes gets the same message several times in a 24 hour period.  Also, all their messages are signed off with “Your friend, [Name].”

This fan is a little kid who simply doesn’t get it.  They won’t take a hint, and their constant overtures are now bordering on harassment.  But it’s still really hard to fault a little kid, especially one who’s too young to understand the consequences of their actions!

Professionalism, Professional Barriers

Vic Mignogna is a voice actor whose work I admire.  In this video, he’s talking about stalkers and whether he has any, but he also describes some interesting things that happen about interacting with his fans in general.

The part about getting 200+ fan-emails a day, including chatty messages from fans who just don’t understand that he’s a busy professional, not their best friend, resonated with me because of my friend’s situation.

[I was lucky enough to get not one, but two replies from this person when I sent him a fan letter thanking him for inspiring me to pursue voice acting.  But I’m not going to bug him any further.  I know he’s busy. 🙂 ]

The main takeaway I have from this video is that you can have fans who love you, and you can love them back, but that doesn’t make you friends.  Professionalism, here, is the key.  The relationship between artists and fans is different from that of peers – there are barriers of professionalism that need to be there for the artist’s and fans’ respective safety (and mental health)!

Although we artists, authors, actors, etc. are also regular people with feelings and flaws, just as we cannot become BFFs with our audience, I feel like we also can’t be pettily vindictive towards them either, the way we might be with peers from school or work.

Even when it comes to dealing with harsh critics and haters among the fanbase, as hurtful as it is to read their comments, I feel like producers (e.g. authors), especially professionals, need to maintain a level of professional decorum from their side, even if consumers (e.g. fans, critics, haters) on the other side won’t.

I’d come up with a stunning concluding paragraph, but I’m all “written out” right about now, so … yeah, those are my two cents on these issues.  Peace out! ^_^