Sunday, October 23, 2016

#ladylike with H&M

It should be no secret to anyone who's followed me for some time that I love fall.

I love the cool weather, the rich colors, the dramatic makeup, the fashion.

So it was only appropriate that I jumped all over the opportunity to write a bonus chapter for The Mischievous Mrs. Maxfield in collaboration with H&M that not only featured Charlotte being the embodiment of ladylike's modern definition but also some creative ideas on how to dress her for her first day in college.

So some of you may ask, what does it mean to be #ladylike nowadays?

My take on it is simple.

Being ladylike celebrates what every woman should be—smart and independent with a voice she knows how to use and with the confidence to embrace all her curves and edges.

This campaign wasn't around yet when I wrote Charlotte but I love how it defined her perfectly. Whether she's in pearls and pastels or jeans and sneaker, she's a woman who knows her worth.

My bonus chapter is in The Mischievous Mrs. Maxfield book as well but you can find it in H&M's campaign below.


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Writing Online Fiction with Wattpaders


The fact that there's so much we can learn through online classes and tutorials now makes me so happy.

When I was first started writing stories, I went with gut instinct and what I was familiar with from books I've read and loved. That was a lot of trial and error over the years and while I would say that it still works, there are some much easier ways nowadays.

So many people in the Wattpad community are always reaching out to me asking for advice and coaching on their writing and while I wish I could dedicate time to help out specific people, that's not always realistic so I was thrilled when Wattpad partnered with Skillshare to create some free online writing classes with some of the writers on the site.

The three ladies I'm with on the list are all extremely talented so I'm pretty proud to be in their company.

Click here to check out the classes from our group and see if it can help spark your writing!



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Thursday, September 1, 2016

A Summer Storm



Just like any writer, I love a good story—whether it's in books or film... or both.

That's the case with The Light Between Oceans.

It started with M.L. Stedman's international bestseller which is now coming to the big screen with Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander who are two of my current favorite actors.

I'm always drawn to the idea that love holds immense power over us. A power so strong it can lead us to make life-altering choices that will steer our fates.

In a collaborative project with Wattpad and The Light Between Oceans production, I wrote a story that explored that idea of love and the kind of choices it compels us to make sometimes.

A Summer Storm is a short, bittersweet romance—one that could've tuned the way the cliche typically would after you've read the first part. But I'm incredibly proud that despite the difficult and painful choices my characters make, they eventually choose the light.

The story is in the profile page of The Light Between Oceans in Wattpad.





The movie is coming out in theatres September 2, 2016.

I think I'm ready to be put through an emotional roller coaster just like my readers are when they read or watch something like this story...




Images from wattpad and imdb respectively


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Sunday, July 10, 2016

Influencing at the Banff World Media Festival 2016


It's been almost a month since I had the amazing opportunity to sit on the panel for Wattpad at the Banff World Media Festival 2016. 

I was there with LD Crichton, a fellow Wattpad Star, and the head of Wattpad Studios, Aron Levitz. We were joined by Justin Williams from Turner Broadcasting and Damon Berger from Fullscreen. 

The morning of our panel, Wattpad made the headlines by partnering with Turner for a collaboration on the anticipated M. Night Shyamalan's Tales From The Crypt. It was a blazing sign of just how much influencers have penetrated the traditional entertainment models and this concept was reinforced over and over again through other panels in the festival.

The message is clear and simple: Influencers know their audience and that knowledge and rapport can open so many other doors that traditional media wouldn't normally have access to. 

There were a lot of great conversations during the festival with different industry people. It really opened my eyes to the inner workings of something so simple as your favorite primetime TV show or your mindless YouTube channel surfing. In the big picture, the audience is the pinnacle which we all aspire to reach and with the continuing shift in entertainment habits and growing accessibility to content whenever and wherever, the battlefield is starting to look different. The rules of the game are changing and strategy has to follow.

Overall, it was a lot of fun to be there both as an influencer and a spectator myself.  I look forward to what the new ideas and fresh perspectives will bring to the market. 

Building new bridges between industry giants and influencers

 Influencer content is largely due to audience feedback and it's as intimate a feedback as you can get which makes it solid gold.

Banff is just so lovely.

If there weren't panels, there were parties.

 Despite the hectic schedule, we managed to pose and snap pics. Brought my Macbook with me because there's no rest for the writer. 




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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Writing Workshop Session #1: A Writer's Voice




Just because it's in words doesn't mean it has no voice.

In a medium where the artistry is reflected in a vast collection of mostly plain words creatively strung together, it can be a challenge to make what you write stand out and seize a reader's attention.

This is where your Writing Voice can make or break your story.



Why is it important?

Your voice is your brand. Whether you're writing for yourself or for clients, it distinguishes your style and delivers consistent content to your readers.

Your style is often an indicator of what you're passionate about. Passion intensifies the quality of your output, brings a little bit of literary magic and gives you the stamina to not only start a story but also finish it.

Nothing sticks better than a consistent message or style. It's also what builds your readership. There should be something unique about your writing that they like, that they look for and somewhat expect in your story. Build a brand they can rely on to deliver a consistent quality of work.



What is my Writing Voice?

There is no exact answer to this because it's often a combination of many elements, most of them coming from reader feedback. As a creative, it's tough to listen to criticism but to see your work through a different set of eyes can really give you perspective you may not normally have. So ask for feedback whenever you can.

Below are some guide questions you can ask yourself to get to know your brand of writing:

  • What stories do you enjoy reading about? 
  • What are the top three things you get positive reader feedback on technique and style-wise?
  • What are your stories known for, whether it's good or bad?



What now?

Just like in any good relationship, the process continues even after getting to know each other. It's the same with writing. You may already have a very solid idea about your style of writing or not have written enough to come to a conclusion. Either way, here are some quick tips to build the momentum from here on.

  • Allow yourself to start a new story without too many parameters. Start with whatever creative trigger you have—a character name, a story title, a scene, an idea or a dialogue line. Something must've been compelling enough about it to make you want to seek out a pen and paper. You can take that trigger and map out a Creative Brief to whichever direction your inspiration points you to next. 
  • Write it down now and save it for later. Stories don't always come to us in a neatly-wrapped package. Sometimes, you don't have enough to take the idea and turn it into a full-fledged story. You don't always have to. Write it out with as much detail as your super-charged inspiration allows you to in that moment of pure creative rush. Use the Creative Brief to package the idea into something a little easier to use later on. Check your stack of ideas every now and then in case an old idea grabs on to you and gives you more to work with this time around.
  • Build the characters piece by piece. If you have trouble figuring out their personalities or character type, write them lines you imagine them saying or actions you imagine them doing. Sometimes, these can reveal more about your character than a simple laundry list of attributes.
Writing is a very personal thing but I hope the tips above help. 

Watch my free Skillshare class for a more in-depth discussion on Writing Voice. It's a powerful tool for a writer if you know how to use it well.

Till the next session!


Images other than the first one are property of their respective owners

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Writing Workshop Sessions Start Now




I've withheld formal writing advice for so long thinking I wasn't an authority on it because I had no published book or writing awards to my name. But after writing on Wattpad for a few years now, I've learned a thing or two about writing in an even more challenging platform where your art is at the immediate mercy of millions of readers from all around the world. It's easy to get lost in its vast sea of writers and stories simply due to the sheer size of the community's population. Managing to steadily grow my readership and finding golden opportunities to partner up with brands despite all those challenges convinced me that I was doing something right and that I probably should share it with others.

I don't claim to be an expert by any means. This is one aspiring writer's advice to another.

It's free and hopefully, helpful.

So take what you can out of these Writing Workshop Sessions I'll be doing with a grain of salt and start telling your stories.


Image from Pinterest
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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

My Free Skillshare Class is now live!


Hello everyone!

Today's a big day because my free class with Skillshare launched.

It's a short, fun class on your creative voice and how to use structure in organizing your story.

I really hope you check it out and learn something from it because whatever stage your writing may be, these tips apply.

I'll start posting some writing tips on my blog here soon for those who are always reaching out to me for writing advice. There will be more of that coming.

For now, enjoy this class! Find it here: http://skl.sh/ninya



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