Arcs and Hashtags


I have kind of a lot to share today, mostly because I actually prepared for this one. A little. For starters, I wanted to revisit the topics of hashtags and Twitter (scroll down past the video for an explanation). I also wanted to give another update on the editing process. This really is some tedious bullshit, let me tell you, but it’s important. Like, REALLY important. I don’t want to waste an agent’s time with something that isn’t my absolute best. I owe it to myself and to my novel. There’s still a lot of work to do.

Also, my social platforms have experienced some tweaking, including our wordpress.

The rest of this video is basically me being high on caffeine and looking cute. I’m really good at those two things.

As a general disclaimer, about me: you should know that I swear a lot, I have opinions, and my videos are unscripted and unedited. Nothing I ever say is meant to offend or spark a debate or anything. It’s just me, blabbing about doing something that I love and whatever other inane shit flies through my skull at the time. In most of the public ‘sphere,’ I censor that about myself. However, if you ever read my books, all of this is going to come out anyway, so I might as well be up front about it. I value honesty and personal freedoms. I am free to make these videos and blather on about whatever. You’re free to ignore me.

Thank you, though, for currently choosing to follow. 🙂 The outpouring of support since Frankie and I started this is astonishing and encouraging. We honestly thought we’d most be talking to ourselves. ❤


As I said in the video, M. Talmage Moorehead sent us a link to some hashtags that might be useful for writers. That link is this:

To summarize, these tags are covered on that page in more detail (I didn’t want to copy/paste, since it’s not my material):

#SciFiChat: Sci Fi Chat tag

#KidLitChat: Children’s literature chat tag

#ACFW: American Christian Fiction Writers

#getpublished, #publishing, #askeditor, #promotip

#writingprompt, #storystarter, #1k1h or #1k1hr

#MyWANA, #amwriting

And now, I’d like to add:

#amediting, #amrevising, #amwriting, #amreading: They mean exactly what they say. I use them to tag my posts with what I am working on, since nowadays I am almost always working on something. You can find a lot of people also toiling away under these tags if you need someone to share your pain.

#WNDB: stands for “We Need Diverse Books,” a currently popular tag that will put you in touch with other people writing diversity (gender, sexual orientation, race, etc.). HINT: Agents follow these, too. SPOILER ALERT: My senpai is really into this tag. I knows this.

Genre tags: There are a lot of these to list, but you’ll want to research them for the ones that are relevant to you. #A, #NA, #YA, #MG, for example, are all age-bracket tags. When you’re fishing for attention, you’ll want to make sure you’re attracting the right kind!

Twitter Tips:
You can put your hashtag anywhere, which if used correctly helps you compose a good tweet. For example:

gets in the way of . *headdesk* Why do I write so many fucking words?!?!

See how I put the hashtags mid sentence instead of the end?

If you need to learn how to use Twitter, there are a lot of good resources out there. I believe in you.

Thanks for following us, beautiful people! I have work to do, so I must away!


Did senpai notice me today?

Answer: No, but senpai did notice me a couple of days ago!


About oneofthedragons

Samantha K. Balk and F. R. Donaldson met on An Archive of Our Own, one of the many fanfiction sites online, when Sam asked Frankie to illustrate the fanfiction that would one day lead to Sam's first novel. They've been friends ever since! This blog was created as a way to share the oftentimes difficult journey any new author experiences on the uncomfortable quest of an introvert for attention to his or her most personal work. It is meant to remind you that authors don't just appear fully fledged like a George R. R. Martin, that all of us start out unsure and feeling inadequate. Feel free to ask us anything. Sam: Frankie:

Posted on December 18, 2014, in Information, Sam Updates and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I just wanted to let you know that I’ve only just subscribed to your blog, and you’re totally inspiring. I’m a new writer (not published…yet) and have done the whole submitting to agents thing. I’m also very hard on myself so I figured when I got back the rejections from the agents, I’d be bummed. But it’s the exact opposite. I want to succeed so much at this, and it seems you do, too. I’m right there with you. Good luck!


    • Sam says:

      Oh goodness, thank you!!! Us writer people are the hardest on ourselves. I think it’s true of every writer. Frankie and I do it to ourselves all the time… that’s why when we found each other, we teamed up. Her writing is excellent, and sometimes I think mine is, too. But each of us has crippling self doubt from time to time, so we keep each other going. If it weren’t for her, I’d probably be back to the ease of writing fan fiction already.

      Do let us know if you get published! If you want to submit a guest vlog to highlight your excitement, I think something can be arranged! The whole point of this blog is to kind of chronicle the ups and downs of trying to make it, and I think all of the good and bad times ought to make it onto the blog. That’s what the life of a writer is: wonderful, inspired moments broken up by days on end of nothing but a struggle.

      Thanks so much for your comment, and for following us!


      • I will definitely let you guys know if get lucky, although I realized shortly after sending it in to a few agents that it’s way too long for a first novel for an unpublished writer. It’s recommended a first novel be around 75000 pages. That novel was 100000. But I can’t get myself to chop it up so I strated on a new novel.

        I would love to do a guest vlog if I ever get published! That would be great!


  2. Sam says:
    Yeah… it depends on your genre, really. I think it also depends on the publisher and the quality of your work. Mine is over 150K, so you’re probably in better shape than me. That said, I’ve already hacked off about 15K. I’m making it as slim as possible, but there’s a lot of story here and I wouldn’t call it unexciting, so I’m just going to have to accept it for who it as a story and hope someone else believes in it as much as I do.

    There are some things that you should be unwilling to sacrifice.

    That’s my opinion, of course.

    P.S, the estimated length of a fantasy novel is 80K-120K. But my favorites are always over 200K. *shrug* Whatevs.


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