A Quiet Place

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Recently, I had the opportunity to work with Wattpad and Paramount Pictures on a campaign loosely inspired by the movie A Quiet Place (you can view the trailer HERE), in theaters April 6th, 2018.

The horror film follows a young family who must fight for survival — in complete and utter silence — after a seemingly horrific event involving unknown creatures who hunt by sound. Early reviews are calling the thriller “eerily silent”, “sinister”, and “tense”. It was co-written and directed by John Krasinski, who also stars in the movie alongside real-life wife, Emily Blunt.

With the prompt I was given, I created a 500-word story with a paranormal twist called The Hunted. You can read the project HERE. The five stories involved in the campaign can be read in the Stay Silent: A Horror Anthology, available on Wattpad’s Fright profile.

“If they hear you, they hunt you.”
A Quiet Place
In theaters April 6th, 2018.

Tap by Wattpad: A New Way to Share and Create Stories

Wattpad’s at it again, revolutionizing the way we read stories! Introducing Tap by Wattpad.

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Tap is a stepping away from the traditional storytelling-style format to experiment with chat story-style writing. The short tales are meant to feel as if you’re peeking in on someone else’s text messages, which seems to be the current trend in digital publishing today.

Tap is free to download on both iTunes and Google Play, but if you like what you see you’ll have to subscribe for full access to the site: $2.99/week, $7.99/month or $39.99/year. This is comparable to the prices of similar apps offering the same type of service.

When Tap first launched in February, only hand-selected authors were inviting to provide content, but the new Create feature now allows anyone to create interactive stories using a combination of text, images, and emojis.

If you’re familiar with Tap, or other apps like it, I’d love to know what you think! Will readers pay for access to this unique, new way to tell stories? And if you’re currently enjoying the app, don’t forget to leave a review!

The text message story I wrote is currently being featured. It’s a Young Adult Suspense called Bad Behavior. You can start reading it HERE.

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It’s My Book Birthday!!!

I can’t believe it’s finally here! As of today, I am officially a published author. EEP!!!

But I had lots of help getting here. First, I’d like to thank Kensington Publishing and Wattpad for providing this amazing opportunity. Without them, I can honestly say publishing would have never happened. I’d also like to thank the countless authors I’ve met and wonderful friends I’ve made along the way. Their consistent kindness and support encouraged me to pursue my dream. And finally, my deepest gratitude, respect and love goes out to every person who has read my book, including my oldest and dearest friends and family. If it weren’t for you, Strawberry Wine would still be a story stuck in my head. THANK YOU all from the bottom of my heart!

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How do you know if a first love is made to last?

Addison Monroe was eighteen when she fell for Jake Grady, a college student working on her family’s farm for the summer. With his sapphire eyes and killer smile, Jake could have had any girl in Lakeside, Georgia. But he wanted Addy, and for those brief, wonderful months—before circumstances drove them irrevocably apart—they belonged to each other.

Ten years later, Addy is engaged to a doctor and working in Atlanta as a physician’s assistant. Life feels full and satisfying. Yet memories of that long-ago summer and wine-flavored kisses are hard to shake. On a return visit to Lakeside, Addy crosses paths with Jake again, and soon finds herself at an unexpected crossroads. So much has changed, and Addy has chosen another route. And the magic of first love can never be rekindled…can it?

Available now and please feel free to share with your romance-loving friends! 🙂

Kensington   Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Books-A-Million   iTunes   Google Play   Kobo

What Do You Mean I Have To Revise?!

writing-the-revision-processRevise. It feels like a four letter word. Especially when you’re riding the high of finishing a first draft. Now I know some authors love to revise, and some even look forward to it. Only for me it can be extremely difficult. I understand it’s all part of the writing process, and I adore how revisions can transform a story, but ugh. In order to fix a manuscript you have to break it first. That stings. A lot.

So how do you destroy your baby and the characters you’ve most likely fallen in love with? Where in the world do you start?

First, you need a plan. But not every plan works for every author, therefore I’ll share what works best for me.

  • After completing a first draft, I like to take a step back. Some authors only need a day, but I need much longer. Weeks, if not a couple of months of separation. It’s good to have that time away so I can come back with fresh eyes.
  • Next I do a read through. As I’m doing this, I’m taking notes on any discrepancies I find, scenes I’d like to change, pacing problems and details I plan to add. I’m also paying attention to the Three Act structure. Do events fall near where they should? Do I even want them to? I’ve been told it’s a good thing to learn the writing “rules” but it’s also okay to break them.
  • I’m on alert for info dumping. Am I including too much back story? Is it possible to weave it in any better? And most importantly – do I even need it at all? Do the details I’ve included pertain to the present story I’m telling? Remember: readers want a book to move forward, not backward. It’s best to cut when you can.
  • Are all of my subplots resolved? Does everything tie together the way it should? Are there holes that need filled? Often times, beta readers can help point out these issues. Authors, I think, tend to be too close to their stories to see things as clearly as someone who is reading it for the first time.
  • If I didn’t make an outline in the beginning now is a good time to create one. Just so I have a quick overview of the entire tale. It’s hard to keep 80,000 words straight in my head. Most days I feel lucky I can remember my own name!
  • Finally, it’s time to dive in chapter by chapter. Using my notes and outline, I fix what needs to be fixed. I work on sentence structure and replace boring words and generic descriptions to give them more oomph.

Revision can be a long and sometimes challenging road, but in the end, I’m always happy I did it. So this is my process, but what works best for you?

See You In 2017!

 

Fresh starts and positive changes come to mind as we bring in the new year, and I know many are thrilled to say goodbye to 2016. Instead of focusing on what went wrong this year, I’ve been trying to remember all of the things that went right. In addition to making some wonderful new friends, I feel I’ve grown – not only as a person but as a writer. So as we celebrate 2017 and all it has to offer, I’ll be counting my blessings and wishing you more. May the new year bring you much happiness and good fortune!

Love Always,

Darly

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STRAWBERRY WINE Book Giveaway!

Anyone interested in a free copy of STRAWBERRY WINE?

Log onto Goodreads now through December 14th, 2016 and sign up for your chance to win one of 25 copies! Thank you, and best of luck!

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Strawberry Wine

by Darly Jamison

How do you know if a first love is made to last?
Addison Monroe was eighteen when she fell for Jake Grady, a college student working on her family’s farm for the summer. With his sapphire eyes and killer smile, Jake could have had any girl in Lakeside, Georgia. But he wanted Addy, and for those brief, wonderful months—before circumstances drove them irrevocably apart—they belonged to each other.

Ten years later, Addy is engaged to a doctor and working in Atlanta as a physician’s assistant. Life feels full and satisfying. Yet memories of that long-ago summer and wine-flavored kisses are hard to shake. On a return visit to Lakeside, Addy crosses paths with Jake again, and soon finds herself at an unexpected crossroads. So much has changed, and Addy has chosen another route. And the magic of first love can never be rekindled…can it?

STRAWBERRY WINE Cover Reveal!

After months of waiting, I am thrilled to share with you the new cover of STRAWBERRY WINE! Thank you Kensington Publishing, it’s absolutely beautiful!

Available for preorder now! In bookstores January 31, 2017!

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About the Book:

How do you know if a first love is made to last?

Addison Monroe was eighteen when she fell for Jake Grady, a college student working on her family’s farm for the summer. With his sapphire eyes and killer smile, Jake could have had any girl in Lakeside, Georgia. But he wanted Addy, and for those brief, wonderful months—before circumstances drove them irrevocably apart—they belonged to each other.

Ten years later, Addy is engaged to a doctor and working in Atlanta as a physician’s assistant. Life feels full and satisfying. Yet memories of that long-ago summer and wine-flavored kisses are hard to shake. On a return visit to Lakeside, Addy crosses paths with Jake again, and soon finds herself at an unexpected crossroads. So much has changed, and Addy has chosen another route. And the magic of first love can never be rekindled…can it?

Where to Preorder:

Kensington Publishing     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Books-A-Million 

Google Play      Kobo     iTunes

Where to Review:

GoodReads     Amazon (beginning January 31, 2017)

How To Get Your Story Featured On Wattpad

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So you’ve written a story and you’ve posted it in full to Wattpad but you’re just not getting the reads you expected. You’ve done everything within your power to generate interest: you’ve written a story you’re proud of, you’ve mingled in the clubs, you’ve read and commented consistently on other authors’ stories, you’ve joined a gazillion book discussions and still … nothing! What’s a writer got to do to find some readers?!

I’m going to tell you. You can put in a request to have your story added to the Featured List.

What’s the Featured List, you might be asking yourself? According to Wattpad, every story that is featured is carefully hand-picked by Wattpad’s own Community Engagement team to be placed in a special, more visible spot that makes it easier for readers to find (because sifting through millions upon millions of stories to find what you’re looking for can be very overwhelming!).

That being said, not every submission is going to be granted. Serious thought goes into selecting each story. Why? Because being on the Featured List is both a privilege AND a responsibility. The Featured List will potentially put you and your story in front of millions of eager readers ready to vote and comment on each one of your chapters and expect you to comment back. Wattpad is an extremely interactive experience, one that encourages communication between an author and a reader. So if you’re not up for the challenge, don’t even think about submitting that story. Wattpad is more than just a reading and writing website. It’s a positive and supportive community all coming together to engage in something they love.

Still interested? Then let’s move on to the rules. Yes … the rules!

What Wattpad is looking for:

  • Stories that have good grammar, spelling, plot development, characterization, a distinct tone of voice, etc. So give that story one more edit before you apply!
  • Stories that are full-length and complete (or nearing completion).
  • Stories with a clear and compelling cover (sized 512×800), story description, and relevant tags.
  • Stories that will appeal to the diverse readership of the Wattpad community.
  • Stories that are distinctive and unique in plot and style.

What they’re not looking for:

  • Excerpts, teasers, sample chapters, or works intending to remain incomplete. Sorry, but it’s gotta be completed or near completion.
  • Stories that cannot standalone (i.e., sequels).
  • Emailing us PDFs, ePubs, or Word documents containing your story. Stories must be posted on Wattpad.
  • Unedited works. First drafts are absolutely fine, but stories should have a level of polish to them.

Who Wattpad is looking for:

  • Wattpadders like you! (Don’t have an account? Don’t worry, it’s easy to get started. Just sign up HERE for FREE and get posting!)
  • Engaged Wattpadders (This means writers who are also readers, commenters and voters. Writers who support other writers are the best writers, because they help each other succeed. Writers who want to be an active part of the community. No one likes a writer who posts a story and then never comes back to thank their readers.)
  • Kind and considerate Wattpadders (Trolls may stay under the bridge where they belong.)

What to expect if your story is featured:

If you’ve been selected for featuring, Wattpad will contact you to let you know the official day your story will be added to the List. Your story will then be placed at the top of the list for around one week or so, and afterward will be mixed in at random among the other stories to give everyone an equal chance at getting the limelight. You can expect an increase in reads, votes and comments, although Wattpad makes no guarantees about the number of reads your story will get.

After your week at the top of the list, your story will begin to randomize among the other stories in your genre and will change position daily. You could go from the top to the bottom and then back to the top again!

Wattpad receives several feature requests, so submissions could take up to four weeks or more to be reviewed. Just be patient, they’ll get to you!

So are you ready to take the next step in your writing career? Then apply to be featured today! Click HERE to fill out a request, and best of luck to you all!

Time for Wattys 2016!

Wattys

I know you’ve been waiting for it, haven’t you? It’s okay to admit, you’re among friends.

Welcome to Wattpad’s annual Watty Awards — the world’s largest online writing contest! Are you ready for another round of celebrating reader favorites, up-and-coming writers and loads of new categories? I know I am!

It’s free to enter the Wattys, all you have to do is add the #Wattys2016 tag to your story, and the best part is you can enter as many stories as you’d like!

Here’s a list of awards for 2016:

Visual Storytelling:

A picture is worth a thousand words and this award recognizes stories told using in-line media, such as a graphic novel, magazine, recipe book, look book or any other type of story with in-line media. Nominate your story by tagging it #VisualStory and #Wattys2016!

Trailblazers:

Is your story something completely different? Are you pushing the limits or breaking new ground? If so, tag your story #Trailblazers and #Wattys2016!

Writer’s Debut:

Are you brand new to Wattpad and ready to be discovered? To be eligible to win the Writer’s Debut Award, you must have written your first story in 2016. All you have to do is tag your story #Wattys2016!

Hidden Gems:

Have you written a great story but think it lacks the reads and votes to be noticed? Think again! Wattpad readers love hidden gems, and if that describes you then make sure to tag your story #Wattys2016!

Voracious Reads:

This award celebrates those stories readers simply could’t put down! Have you written something that’s gone viral? Just tag it #Wattys2016 and Wattpad will let you know!

Talk of the Town:

Have you written a story that’s gotten readers talking? Don’t forget to tag it #Wattys2016!

Collector’s Edition:

Wattpadders love to add favorite stories to their libraries so they can go back and read them again and again. This category rewards the most added stories of the year. Do you have one of those? Tag it #Wattys2016!

New Voices:

The Wattys are all about finding new talent and promoting undiscovered writers. All new writers are welcome to enter! Tag your story #Wattys2016!

HQ Love:

The HQ Love award recognizes the stories that are most liked by Wattpad staff. Did your story grab their attention? Add the tag #Wattys2016 to find out!

People’s Choice:

This goes to the stories that have collected the most Wattpadder tweets, votes and hearts. If you’ve always wanted to have a say in which story claims a Watty, this is your chance to make that happen! Vote for your favorite story on Twitter on August 1. Sample tweet: I nominate “Story Title” #MyWattysChoice!

International Wattys:

This year, Wattpad is introducing awards for the best stories written in different languages. Head on over to the international profile for your country to learn how to enter.

Rules and Regulations: 

  • The Wattys are open to stories of all categories and ratings, even mature.
  • Your story must be fully available on Wattpad (excerpts are not allowed).
  • Your submitted story must be your own intellectual property.
  • You can enter from anywhere in the world.
  • Your story must have been written in 2016, or updated with a minimum of three chapters in 2016.
  • Deadline to enter is August 31st, 2016.

Timelines:

  • Submissions Start: Mid-June 2016
  • Deadline to enter: August 31st, 2016
  • Winners Announced: Fall 2016

Prizes:

Winning stories will be promoted on the Wattys profile, and other official channels, which may be and are not limited to Wattpad’s official social media pages, newsletters, and other communications.

Have more questions? Wattpad has the answers, just click HERE to learn more!

Haven’t written a story yet? It’s not too late! All you have to have is three chapters posted this year. So what are you waiting for? Get writing!

The only question I have left is: What are YOU going to submit? Head on over to Wattpad NOW to enter!

*Wattpad users must be thirteen years of age to open an account.

 

200 Word Descriptive Hair List

I need to reblog these descriptions so I never lose this list! Hope you find it helpful!

Writing and Illustrating

Last year I put together a list of descriptive words for food. This year I thought a descriptive list for hair might help you when starting to describe your characters. I included colors, and words of items that adorn the hair. There must be more words, so let’s work together on this.  Please leave new words to add in the comment’s section.  Thanks!

Afro
Angled
Ash
Asymetrical
Auburn
Balding
Bandore
Bangs
Bevel
Bias
Bleached
Blended
Blunt
Bouncy
Brindle
Brown
Bump
Barrett
Barrett’s
Bed head
Beehive
Big hair
Black
Bleached
Blonde
Blow dry
Blow dryer
Bob
Bobby pins
Bonnet
Bouffant
Bouncy
Bowl cut
Braids
Bright
Brunette
Brushed
Bun
Busby
Bushy
Buzz-cut
Cap
Carmel
Carrot top
Chestnut
Chignon
Chocolate
Choppy
Clasps
Clipper-cut
Clips
Coarse
Coiffure
Colored
Combs
Comb over
Conditioner
Copper
Corkscrews
Cornrows
Coronet
Cowlick
Cream rinse
Crew cut
Crimped
Crimper
Cropped
Crown
Curlers
Curling iron
Curly
Damaged
Dandruff
Dark
Devilock
Diffuser
Dimension
Dingy
Dish-water blonde

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