Wattpad and Substack

I am deciding on a writing platform that will accomplish two things: build an audience and create interaction with other writers.

I will be recording here my path in the hopes that it may benefit others who are both beginning their craft and/or want successful marketing of the finished project.

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Characters & Target Audiences

“Writing is a little bit like prostitution. First you do it for love. Then you do it for a few friends. Then you do it for money.”


All those pure souls who insist they exclusively write for self-expression and art’s sake, please leave this post now. It isn’t going to get any prettier. I started with a quote comparing writers to whores, so don’t act so surprised.

Those who have stayed aren’t expecting writing fiction to make them overnight millionaires. Instead, they yearn for the day readers pay a fair price to receive a piece of fiction the reader already wants to read. Charging for your product and your service doesn’t cheapen it. 

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Creating Character Voice with AI

Creating a believable and distinct character voice is one of the most critical elements of writing. It helps to give readers an insight into the character’s personalities and emotions and provides a unique perspective on their story. AI can help with that.

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AI in Writing

Hear me out. As much as AI has quickly become portrayed as an enemy to writing, AI can be helpful when used in specific and exact tasks like fleshing out a character.

Characters are the building blocks of any story, and creating them can be challenging for writers. Writing believable, engaging characters and having depth is essential for a good story. With the help of AI tools, writers can create characters more quickly and accurately. Such devices can suggest how to develop characters based on their traits, goals, and motivations. They can also help writers generate character descriptions that are detailed and interesting.

Everyone we engage with IRL has their own uniqueness, shown in their expressions and actions as much as their speaking voice.

Creating a character voice requires skill and creativity but can be done quickly with good techniques. By understanding how to craft dialogue, build a backstory, and use descriptive language, writers can create realistic and engaging characters. Anyone can create compelling characters that draw readers in and leave them wanting more.

Tips for Development

One thing that has proven helpful for me is reading the piece aloud or having text-to-voice read it. Hearing your work spoken eliminates all the tunnel vision we writers have when it comes to loving the sound of our inner voice a little too much.

Weak writing is often saturated with more words than necessary for compelling storytelling. We learn so much more about our characters by their actions and reactions — how they handle certain situations.

It is easy to fall into the trap of using dialogue to have your character tell the audience who they are. When a character tells the audience what is happening, who is where, why things are happening, and what could happen if those things keep happening, the reader can get bored quickly.

Show me, don’t tell me, and let me, the reader, expand the story with my own imagination.

Online Writing Groups

Find Your Tribe

Writing can be a solitary journey. Still, authors looking to publish their work eventually must face good and bad critiques. Generous, polished authors who recall what it was like when starting out may be happy to give constructive feedback. Writers will also encounter internet trolls, anyone who, although they have never written a single line themselves, wants to tell you precisely what is wrong with your work.

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Antagonist and Character Traits

An antagonist is a character in a story who opposes the protagonist. They often have traits that directly differ from the protagonists and can be used to create tension and conflict in a story.

In tackling character development, the process is similar in all characters, positive or negative.


Antagonists can be human or non-human, such as animals, forces of nature, or even ideas. They are often portrayed as being selfish, power-hungry, or otherwise villainous. Writers need to create well-rounded antagonists with motivations and goals that readers can understand and relate to, as this helps make stories more interesting and engaging. The antagonist can start out seeming harmless, then revert to a truer nature, as can the protagonist. Take some risks, and mix it up. Readers like to be kept on their toes.

Some great questions for developing your protagonist/antagonist are:

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Protagonists are usually the most crucial character in a book or movie, and their actions can impact the story’s outcome. A good writer should create an exciting protagonist that readers can relate to and root for.

By understanding the protagonist’s motivations, desires, and fears, authors can craft compelling stories that draw readers in and keep them engaged. Protagonists can also be used to explore topics such as morality, justice, and even philosophy.

I suggest outlining the characters you create, giving them personalities, appearances, habits, and main motivations in their actions.

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Outlining a Story

Writing a book can be intimidating, but you succeed with the right approach and tools. 

Once the general idea, the “what if,” has been decided, an outline can be one of the most important tools a writer can utilize to stay on track. It helps to control ideas and plot points and ensure that all the pieces fit together in a way that makes sense. In the horror genre, the following can be one type of basic outline:

1. Choose a fear factor:

  • Supernatural
  • Cryptid
  • Alien
  •  Human

2. Follow the key elements of horror

  • Fear
  • Mystery
  • Suspense
  • Surprise

3. Set tone and predictive phrasing

4. Insert a plot twist

5. Twists and turns

  • Survive-let the protagonist suffer
  • Search- Truth? Identity?
  • Scare-kill your darlings

6. Save the secrets for the proper placement in story-to move it along, create a change, and conclude.

 An outline also allows the writer to track how much they have written and how much work they still need to do to complete the book. With an overview, writers can easily stay on track with their writing goals.

Outlining helps writers make changes to the story as they go along and keep track of ideas and plot points, making it easier for the writer to stay organized. With this tool, a writer can create compelling stories that readers will enjoy while helping them stay on track and avoid getting overwhelmed by writing a larger piece of fiction.

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Writing Personal Essays

Writing a personal essay can be a daunting task for many people. It requires you to express your thoughts and feelings creatively and meaningfully. But with the right approach, it can be a great experience, creating insight into your motivation to write in the first place.

Whether you’re writing for a client or yourself, it’s important to remember that you can make your essay as funny, creative, or personal as you want. Try not to limit your creativity out of fear of revealing too much about yourself to the reader. The very point of writing is communication, and exhibiting vulnerability can draw a reader in.

Photo by Kalpit Khatri

A good personal essay should capture readers’ attention and pull them into your story. It should also provide insight into who you are and what makes you unique. As a writer, you should want to stand out from the crowd.

Many sources of inspiration can help you develop ideas for your essay. Whether it’s pro tips from experienced writers, funny anecdotes from friends and family, or creative prompts from online sources, there is no shortage of source material to draw upon in writing. Anything, no matter how mundane, can be the starting point of a good story. With the right resources, you’ll be able to craft a piece that speaks directly to your account.

Knowing the correct word count for your essay is essential to effectively convey your thoughts and feelings. The length of a personal essay largely depends on its theme or purpose. For example, if you are writing a short story, the average length is between 1,000 to 10,000 words. A blog is usually effective at coming in at around 300 words. Similarly, if you are writing about a particular event or experience, you may need to adjust the word count accordingly.

In the end, the article or story should either wrap up nicely at the end or lead the reader into introspection, making them think about the piece long after they have read it.

10 Tips on Blog Writing

I’m at the point where I feel comfortable listing a few tips I have collected from various sources on producing a blog.

Of course, as soon as I began this entry, I saw an error on my website caused by editing on the fly on my phone. That leads me not to another tip but a gentle warning. Don’t beat yourself up over mistakes. Everything is a process, and the best writing is fluid and transformational for both the reader and the writer. Don’t discourage yourself; plenty of naysayers on the web are happy to do that for you.

Now on to some tips I’ve picked up over the last year:

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Avoiding Burnout

When writing is your identity and life, finding the right balance between the professional and the personal can be challenging. Writing can be a demanding profession, and it’s easy to get lost in work and forget about other aspects of life.

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