Tag Archives: original writing

Review – The Social Media Guide for Wattpad

Review – The Social Media Guide for Wattpad

The Social Media Guide for Wattpad started off as a means of reviewing what I learned in class at Quinnipiac University. As a student, I wanted to make sure I understood the material. Creating a guide seemed the perfect way of doing just that.

Background

The Social Media Guide to Wattpad - Barking Up the Muse Tree
The Social Media Guide to Wattpad

The Social Media Guide made sense as a project. I wanted to cement my own knowledge, and also to help others. As a result, I started off with talking about exactly what I had learned in school. Namely, this consisted of the POST strategy (people, objectives, strategy, and technology). My main idea was to keep Wattpad posters from simply diving into social media. It made more sense to have a plan before doing so. It always does.

Plot

Of course this one does not truly have a plot. Rather, I divided it into sections. So this was everything from demographics research to determining objectives, to deciding on strategies. For the technology portion, I wrote sections devoted to Facebook and Twitter, and also talked about YouTube, Tumblr, and Pinterest. As I recall, I don’t believe I covered any other social media platforms. Hence there was nothing on Snapchat or Storify, for example.

Story Postings

This work can only be found on Wattpad.

Rating

The book is Rated K.

Upshot

While I imagine it worked out well enough, I am not so sure I would ever really put in the effort to update it. While The Social Media Guide has over 11,000 reads and more than 560 comments (more than for all of the instances of Reversal, combined), the commenting dropped down to nothing once the new content stopped. Furthermore, this is the kind of work which I should be charging money for. While I will not remove the book (hence its free status remains assured), I need to think about personal finance these days.

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Review – Revved Up

Review – Revved Up

Revved Up rocks.

Because I have more or less run out of (completed) Star Trek fan fiction to blog about, I would like to introduce some of my wholly original fiction to this blog. I hope the insights will prove fruitful or at least interesting.

Background

Revved Up - Barking Up the Muse Tree
Revved Up

This story started because I had stayed at my childhood home and noticed something odd in the front yard. And the truth is, it was nearly nothing. However, I sometimes have an overactive imagination, and so I took this idea and I ran with it.

What did I notice? It was only a few ruts near a flower bed. They were nothing, really, and were most likely made by a hoe or a rake. However, in my mind, I decided they would be tire tracks. And then the fun started.

Plot

A holier than thou narrator tells the story to an unnamed police officer. The plot circles around the narrator’s elderly parents’ next-door neighbors. And the narrator refers to them as the POJ Family. That is, the “Pair of Jerks”.

As the story progresses, our narrator gets more and more self-righteous as the POJ Family continues to perform more and more outrageous acts in her parents’ sleepy, leafy Northern New Jersey suburban street (Note: my folks live on Long Island and they don’t even live in the inspiration house any more).

Sharp-eyed readers should be able to follow along at least in part. The narrator keeps a lot of information close to the vest, so it pays, actually, to read the book again. And no, I’m not trying to inflate read counts.

Story Postings

The story’s sole posting is on Wattpad, where it was named a Featured Story a few years ago.

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

This story has had better traction than nearly anything I have ever written. With (as of the time of the writing of this blog post) over 54,000 reads and over 400 comments (many of which referenced that surprise ending), Revved Up remains an unqualified success.  Of course having Featured Story status helped a great deal.

Could I sell it? I have toyed with that idea, but the story is so odd and it’s really too short for a novel. Plus it does not really lend itself to a sequel. While sequels are far from necessary, it helps if that’s an option.

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Untrustworthy Has Been Published!

Untrustworthy Has Been Published!

On the twelfth of December, my original novel, Untrustworthy, was published by Riverdale Avenue Books.

To say that I am excited about this development in my life is one hell of an understatement.

Untrustworthy has been published!
Untrustworthy by JR Gershen-Siegel

The novel is a wholly originally work of fiction, on a planet created by me, with a species developed by me.

This book was written during the 2013 NaNoWriMo event.

Here’s what the publisher had to say about my work:

Winner of the first Annual Riverdale Avenue NaNoWriMo contest, JR Gershen-Siegel’s first published novel Untrustworthy is a ground-breaking science fiction novel of Dystopian politics in an oddly familiar alien culture that pits gender “norm” against  gender-bend in an age-old battle.

Untrustworthy is old-school political dystopia in the vein of Brave New World: brilliant, gripping, frightening. JR Gershen-Siegel tackles gender politics and gender oppression with an unflinching eye. Untrustworthy is panned NaNoWriMo gold.”

Cecilia Tan, Publisher of Circlet Press, award-winning author of The Struck by Lightning series

Tathrelle is the only liberal in the Cabossian government. She represents the will of the people and is responsible for communicating with them about how the war with the Cavirii is going. She has a pregnant wife, and all seems well. The future seems promising, until she meets her new assistant. Something is off with the man.

When Tathrelle wakes up the morning after she first met him, she notices that subtle changes seem to have taken place overnight. She shrugs them off. 

But it happens again and again. Someone, somehow, is changing everything she knows, as Tathrelle begins to wonder if her memories are faulty or if her mind is going. Can she trust the face she sees in the mirror? Is Caboss winning the war or losing it? Why is she suddenly the one who is pregnant?

Only her dreams provide a clue, a small vestige of what came before.

Trust your dreams, not your memory.

Yeah, it’s like that.

I even have an Amazon Author page!

Progress Report – November 2014

Progress Report – November 2014

November 2014, I wrote for NaNoWriMo. Hence this was the second Obolonk book, The Polymer Beat.

Posted Works

So I continued posting Reversal on Wattpad and The Three of Us on Fanfiction.net.Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | Quill | November 2014 And on the G & T Show forums, I posted Across the Universe and began to post Hold Your Dominion. Also, on Ad Astra, I unexpectedly got an idea and added Gratitude, yet another take on Lili killing She Who Almost Didn’t Breed in Time.  Hence I added that story to the In Between Days Collection, along with Bomb(e), Dishing it Out, Flight of the Bluebird, Red, The Decision, and Theorizing.

Milestones

There are over 75 stories with (combined) at least 10 reviews and 1,000 reads. Of those, 17 have at least 20 reviews and 5,000 reads, and three of those have 50 or more combined reviews and 10,000 or more combined reads (Intolerance, Reversal,  and Take Back the Night). So of non-Star Trek stories, three of the six posted (I’m not including Untrustworthy or the Obolonk stories in this group) have over 100 reviews, and two of those have over 6,000 reads (Revved Up and The Social Media Guide).  Revved Up has over 30,000 reads, which makes it the second-most read individual story after Reversal on Ad Astra, and third-most read when you count combined reads (Together beats it with over 31,000 combined reads). So see the Stats page for individual read and review counts.

WIP Corner

I spent the month doing NaNoWriMo! I added over 50,000 words to The Polymer Beat, which is the second book in the Obolonk trilogy, and finished the story. This was also a productive effort for other reasons. Because I could put together many stray loose ends. These became a preliminary outline for the third book, The Badge of Humanity.

Prep Work

I spent some time splitting up Everybody Knows This is Nowhere in preparation for posting it on Fanfiction.net.

This Month’s Productivity Killers

Apart from NaNo (technically not a productivity killer at all, except that it kills non-NaNo productivity), the main issues were schoolwork and looking for work.

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Progress Report – November 2013

Progress Report – November 2013

November 2013 was my first-ever NaNoWriMo!

Posted Works

Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | Quill | November 2013

Because of NaNoWriMo, I mainly did not post. However, I did continue spinning Take Back the Night out on Fanfiction.net.

I was also persuaded to answer the monthly challenge on Ad Astra, which was about remembrance. I wrote and posted In Memory of Kelsey Haber, and I responded to a weekly challenge about headlines with the Rona Moran-centric Gossip gossip.

In order to see if it would be a good place for some more of my less-popular works, I decided to add my two related slash stories, Detached Curiosity & Idle Speculation and The Way to a Man’s Heart to The G and T Show’s Forums.
Progress Report – November 2013

Also, in order to see if it made any difference, I added three wholly original stories to Wattpad, There is a Road, The Dish and Revved Up. As expected, the first one in particular did better than my Star Trek fan fiction stories. That site is, it seems, better-geared to completely original fiction, mainly because their fanfiction section is so overwhelmingly dominated by One Direction fan fictions and the tweens and teens that write it.

Milestones

For individual read counts, the following stories have 20,000 or more on one URL –

For individual read counts, the following stories have 10,000 or more on one URL –

All of these were accomplished on Ad Astra.

In addition, the following stories have between 5,000 and 9,999 reads on one URL –

Combined Read Counts

Apart from the others at over 5,000 reads for just one URL, the following combine to 5,000 – 9,999 reads when you consider all postings’ URLs –

WIP Corner

Progress Report – November 2013

I worked on Untrustworthy, my NaNoWriMo story, and got to 51,000 words on the fourteenth. So I decided to see if I could publish it, so I’ve been keeping it offline for now.

I also worked on a much older wholly original story, The Obolonk Murders, to see if I could finish it and get it into publishing shape at some point.

Prep Work

I created and maintained an Untrustworthy wiki.

This Month’s Productivity Killers

NaNoWriMo! Plus I continued looking for work.