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A WRITERS JOURNEY ǀ What’s in a Name?

by Samantha House ǀ  @samanthahouse A lot of people know the quote from Shakespeare’s Juliet, ‘What’s in a name? that which we call a rose. By any other name would smell so sweet.’ Or a variation of it, even if they don’t know that they are actually quoting Shakespeare. But really, what does a name matter I got to thinking about this after a lady in a private Facebook group, asked about cheesy names in a book. Apart from the obvious aspect of making sure your characters names fit the location and era your story is set in, a lot more can go into the naming of a character, as well as a town or city. For example, the much loved and read Harry Potter series. Harry Potter is a pretty common English name and immediately sets the scene that Harry is just an ordinary boy like the reader, or at…

A WRITERS JOURNEY ǀ Knowing Your Genre

by Samantha House ǀ  @samanthahouse This is a pretty straight forward thing to understand, but it gets tricky when sub genres are brought into play. This was highlighted for me when I read the blog post Is Your Mystery Novel Having an Identity Crisis? by Alyssa Mackay. In it she emphasises how important it is know to know what type of mystery you are writing so that you can pitch it properly to publishers. This is an excellent point regardless of what genre you are writing and one I thought I had followed. I decided, after reading the post, to do some more thorough research on my chosen genre, fantasy. What a freaking eye opener that was. I thought because I read it all the time I knew what I was talking about, but I quickly found out that was not entirely accurate. So the following is a list of what…

A WRITERS JOURNEY ǀ Getting Things Done in 2018

by Samantha House ǀ  @samanthahouse Hi!! I’m so happy to back here 🙂 Don’t get me wrong, I needed the time away to spend with family and friends over the festive season, but I missed writing. How was your holidays? Hope it was a great one, but now, what’s happening in 2018? Well… Nothing, unless I get off my arse and actually do things instead of thinking about it. You see, this little break made me realise that I’m fantastic at imagining great things, not so good at the putting it into action phase. So this post is about how I plan to cut that habit out. 1. Schedule my day. And stick to it! There are 24 hours in a day or 1,440 minutes. That’s a lot of time and if I plan it out, I’ll actually get everything I want to do done. I have a diary to do…

A WRITERS JOURNEY ǀ Networking: A Different Approach

by Samantha House ǀ  @samanthahouse In person, unless I know you, I can be on the shy side. Therefore I find it incredibly difficult to ‘network’ or interact face to face. I’m more than happy to help any one else out if I can, but find it pretty difficult to ask for help myself. Case in point, I was having trouble with a blog post and asked my brother for help. His reply, “Why don’t you ask someone who actually reads? Like that group you belong to on Facebook.” It wasn’t like I hadn’t thought about doing this, but I didn’t want to impose. Instead I chose to ask someone who, although supportive of me, really couldn’t have helped. So I plucked up the courage and did. I posted the link to my blog post and asked for feedback, the good and the bad so that I could improve. And the…

A WRITERS JOURNEY ǀ What is an Alpha Reader?

by Samantha House ǀ  @samanthahouse Most people have heard of beta readers, but not as many have heard of alpha readers. I myself had not heard of an alpha reader until recently and it turned out I actually had one without realising it. Therefore I think it is important to clarify what an alpha reader is. For starters, an alpha reader is the person you trust to read your manuscript first. Hence the title, alpha reader, alpha being the first letter in the Greek alphabet and in more general terms meaning at the top (alpha male/female etc.). After writing on your own to the best of your ability, the alpha reader comes along and works with you to pick up any grammar and punctuation mistakes as well as any loose plot threads and character development issues. They point out what they loved and what didn’t really work for them as a…

A WRITERS JOURNEY ǀ OMG…You’re a Writer?!

by Samantha House ǀ  @samanthahouse I write because that is who I am. I write so that I can better understand the world around me and my place in it. One of the biggest issues (apart from procrastination) that I have had to deal with is my reaction when people find out that I write. People have been very supportive when they initially found out and have asked lots of questions. The first question is usually, what do you write about? That stumped me for a bit as I found it very hard to tell people about things I had only put down in words. Eventually, after having talked to a few people I managed to refine my answer to this: It’s a story based on balance and how one thing out of whack throws another thing out and eventually everything falls apart, but that sometimes that is how a new…

A WRITERS JOURNEY ǀ An Introduction

by Samantha House ǀ  @samanthahouse Hi fellow word lovers! My name is Samantha and I’m from Mandurah, Western Australia. I’ve recently joined the Her Heart team as a features contributor. Here is a brief run down on what you can expect from me. My articles will focus on the writing journey, from the decision to be a writer to the ultimate goal of being published or whatever goal you have for your writing. I’m here to encourage you in your writing endeavours and I’ll share the little tips and tricks that I’ve picked up from fellow writers, as well as the mental and sometimes physical impact writing can have on you. Some examples of the topics I’ll write about are how to deal with telling other people you’re a writer (something that took me a long time to get confident about), networking with other writers if you have a quieter personality…

#poetsagainstplagiarism

Poets on Instagram are taking a stand for creativity and the protection of intellectual property. Led by the Writers Universe, poets and writers from all over the globe are making it known that plagiarism is not acceptable. Why is it happening? Plagiarism is not a new phenomenon, and given the ease of access to new material, and the ease of reposting it, it is no surprise that it is happening on Instagram too. What is surprising however is how often plagiarism is occurring. After discussing plagiarism with members of the community it became clear that many see the issue as a high priority for feature page owners. One community member described plagiarism as being “rampant” and shared that they had been affected by it on more than one occasion. It is so pervasive that our magazine even had a submission on Instagram that had been plagiarised from one of our…

Keeping Your Account Safe from Hacking

It was a cool morning in November, 2016, Aishanee woke and checked her Instagram account as she normally did. She had been using her account, nicknamed the Ink Alcove, to post her poetry for almost a year and had over 500 followers. Later that day she received an automated message from Instagram telling her that she had successfully changed her password. Alarmed, she quickly clicked on the Instagram app to find that she could no longer access her account and that all of the poetry she had created and the connections she had made, had been stolen. Like thousands of others, Aishanee lost her Instagram account to hackers. The knowledge that her account had been hacked left her feeling “bad and sad.” A sentiment that has been experienced by many who have been victims of hacking. Unfortunately, hacking is not a new problem on Instagram. There are many ways that…

Stories to Sip ǀ Something of Value

by Guest Blogger, Clementine Marie ǀ @cindybluwho I’m slightly obsessed with this quote by Alan Watts: “It’s as though someone has taken a bottle of ink and smashed it, creating many patterns, the pattern is very dense in the middle but gets more intricate the further out we move. We are those complicated little bits at the end but still apart of the whole.” I love this quote so much because it shows that there is literally no difference between me and you. When you try and pinpoint any of those exact differences, you are pointing to either physical traits or the ego. This is where the importance of writing comes in, specifically within the Instagram poetry community. Poets are special people. I always like to think of them as being born with an extra sense. This sense is the ability to express that we – TOGETHER – are the entire bottle of…