Friday, May 3, 2019


It's been fun, y'all. The giveaway, the contest, the blogging.
But honestly? Inside Out Designs is no longer a priority. Even switching to bi-weekly posting has been a hassle with the rest of life becoming crazy.

So what's this mean? Well, for now, it simply means no more blog posts for Inside Out Designs. The blog will still be here, but no more posts until further notice. It's been pushed the the back burner so many times that I believe my lack of interest is starting to show in the posts.

So . . . farewell, readers. It's been fun. But something has to be done to make my life less stressful, and this blog is one of them. Like I said, the blog will still be here for you to look at if you want. But will I be present? Probably not.

That said, the business is still open! For now, anyway. I still love designing covers. So therefore the contact form still works. ;)

Will I be back? No one knows, really. I'll pray about it, but I don't see myself coming back to blog anywhere in the near future.

Thanks for reading my posts, y'all. And your comments. Even if I never replied, I read each and every one of them.

Goodbye, folks! *disappears in a puff of smoke*

Friday, April 19, 2019

The Struggles Only Writers Understand

Sometimes, there's just those days when being a writer is tough or discouraging. Don't worry; we all have those. Sometimes we don't all have the same struggles, but they're struggles nonetheless. Some might seem silly, while others might be truly serious. Whatever the case, don't let such a thing as a little strain cause you to give it up.

Like I said, you're not alone.

1. Thinking of an amazing plot but not having any way to write it down at the moment.

2. Being torn between wanting to be social and wanting to write.

3. Not being able to think of that word that's on the tip of your tongue, and the thesaurus isn't any help either.

4. Thinking up a golden line of dialogue, but then reading that exact line in another book and you're just like "YOU STOLE THAT FROM ME!"

5. Writer's block.

6. A character makes a stupid decision, and you have no one to wail about it with because it's not technically a real person.

7. That annoyed feeling when a fellow writer publishes a book with pretty much the exact same plot as your WIP.

8. You mind hundreds of amazing prompts on Pinterest, but none of them inspire you.

9. Opening your WIP, staring at it for about 5 minutes, becoming intimidated, and closing it back up.

10. When you missed a day in your writing schedule and you feel like you abandoned and betrayed your characters.

11. The greatest writers that you aspire to be like lived centuries ago.

12. A negative comment about your writing affects you for days.

13. Putting your writing out there for the world to see freaks you out.

14. With limited free time, choosing between reading and writing is like a mother choosing to abandon her child.

If you're participating in Camp NaNo (or even if you're not), how is your project coming? Don't let a little discouragement keep you from following what God's equipped you to do!

Friday, April 5, 2019

Some Mid-NaNo Encouragement

If you're anything like me, you tend to get burned out on your stories long before you actually finish them.

Well, I'm here today with a super short post (because, I mean, Camp NaNo is here and that kinda takes precedence over pretty much everything else) to encourage you to finish that book!

Someone, somewhere, needs to read that story inside you. God can use your stories to touch hearts like you can never imagine. So write what He's laid on your heart, and let Him do the rest. Because when you're doing what He wants, nothing else you've ever done for yourself will matter more. Run with endurance the race that's been set before you, and let God take care of the rest.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Preparing for Camp NaNo

It's that time again—time for the year's first Camp NaNoWriMo! Now, I know some of you are veterans and at this, but this is actually my first time participating in any of the NaNo's. So while I watch everyone scramble around, getting ready for NaNo, I've been . . . well . . . trying to prepare. But as someone who tends to do little pre-work, actually getting ready for Camp is a bit of a struggle. So, as you can imagine, plotting has been a bit of an adventure. But there's some observations and things I've learned about Camp NaNo preparation that I thought I might share with y'all.

First of all, plotting. Yeah, I know I just talked about it, but this is a subject deserving of extra attention. I believe that at least having a starting point and an ending point is crucial to NaNo success. (I know, this is coming from a future newbie, but I'm only making observations . . . ) Know how you want your story to begin, and how you want it to end. What happens in the middle is anyone's guess—and your job with plotting is to make it your guess. But how exactly does one plot a book?

First try asking yourself some questions. Like in the synopsis writing post from last year, let's start with the five W's: who, what, when, where, and why.

Who is the book about? Well duh, the main character(s). But more importantly, what are the characters like? When do they arc perfectly? Where are they comfortable? Why do they act the way they do?

What is the book about? Who is the main character going to come across? When will the climax occur? Where will the protagonist finally find him/herself? Why are the circumstances the way they are? I think having some backstory in your head beforehand will be helpful to understanding what it currently happening in the book.

When is the story set? If you're writing a historical or contemporary, Who is a famous icon from the time? What is a restaurant, toy, or makeup brand that others will relate to? Where will the protagonist finally realize that humankind can only do so much? Why does everyone think that the future will be brighter/darker?

Where is the story set? Who will kidnap the protagonist and take them to their hideout? What are the landmarks that he/she will encounter? When will the protagonist escape from wherever they are? Why are the elements constantly working against their favor?

Why does the plot follow the path that it does? Who tries to constantly change the protagonists' plot? What will happen to the antagonist? When will the protagonist fall offtrack? Where is the perfect turnaround time that good triumphs over evil?

If that doesn't get you to thinking about what your book is really about . . . well, sorry, I'm no help. Any other newbies out there like me? *raises hand*

Friday, March 8, 2019

Cover Love {Indie Edition}

Sometimes self-published authors get a bad rap because of a few that don't care about how their book looks, as long as it's published. But then you have those that show that they really do put time, effort, and expenses into their works. So I'll be featuring a few of these lovely covers here today! I wasn't asked to advertise, and I don't necessarily recommend them, as I haven't read them all—I'm simply admiring their book covers.

Martin Hospitality—Abigayle Claire

Watercolor covers are hugely popular right now, with this one being no different! The fonts complement the picture so well. (Yes, you'll probably hear me talk about fonts a lot. Because, I mean, fonts are epic and I love them.)

 Seek—Angela Watts

When thinking of a way to describe this cover, the first phrase that came to mind was "kick-butt." Seriously, that's what every single element in this cover screams. And I'm kind of a fan of those boots.

Quest for Leviathan—Amanda Tero

Okay, I'm gonna talk about the fonts again. Sure, I love the picture, and the water is perfect, but those fonts! I love the color that really pops out, as well as the shadow that really adds dimension that you don't really even realize is there until you look for it.

Gift from the Storm—Rebekah Morris

Okay, yeah, another font instance. But those colors are spot-on. the pinkish tint on the gray background is amazing and ties everything together with perfection.

Live Without You—Sarah Grace Grzy

Yeah, this is one of those covers that makes you say, "awww!" I don't know what it is about the night sky, but I love the colors all blended in. And the white lettering stands out in such an epic way.

The Old River Road—Ivy Rose

This cover really looks pretty simple until you take a gander at that title and the design surrounding it. Wow. It really looks like something you'd see on a banner during the 1800s, which would be when the book is set.

Widow's Heart—Willowy Whisper

Yep, the colors. The colors are everything in this cover. The pictures seriously blend together in a way that just makes you sigh in contentment. I mean, the fonts too, of course. The fonts, the photos, everything . . . this is a talented designer.

Beyond Her Calling—Kellyn Roth

Yes, just so much yes about this cover! Once again, all the photos blend together so smoothly, complementing each other in an irresistible cover. Plus, I'm a huge fan of music, so of course that kinda clinches the deal.

 Have you read any of these? Are they as good on the inside as they are on the outside? Which was your favorite?

Friday, February 22, 2019

Writers' Minds vs. Normal Minds

Writers are a unique breed all their own, and no matter how hard we try, sometimes we just can't fit in with everyone else. Our minds are different, they work in ways that only fellow writers can understand. Only writers can understand the anguish they experience as they inflict torture on their own characters. Only writers can relate to wailing about their story and receiving only strange glances in return.

Just how different are we from others, from 'normal' people? Let's take a look, shall we?

What it means to most people: A small device for listening to music.
What it means to writers: that one month where you write as much as is humanly possible.

What it means to most people: armed conflict between two or more parties.
What it means to writers: a mad writing dash to see who can get the most words written in a certain amount of time.

Social media
What it means for most people: a great way to connect with people and find out what's going on in their lives.
What it means for writers: a great way to stalk people in the name of research.

What it means to most people: sturdy, cubed objects used for playing and building.
What it means to writers: the state of not being able to write. At all.

What it means to most people: good books.
What it means to writers: social media for bookworms.

What it means for most people: fiction. Imagination.
What it means for writers: the genre in which you make up your own world, and anything goes.

What it means for most people: books of lined paper that litter Walmart and you only buy when necessary.
What it means for writers: the incredible books that you buy in bulk, even though you actually write on the computer.

What it means for most people: your personality, your quirks & habits.
What it means for writers: the people that make up the story in your book (And yes, they're totally real people).

What it means for most people: a wanna-be version of a famous song.
What it means for writers: the amazing front of the paperback that will forever represent your book.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Honing Your Descriptive Skills

Description. It's that one thing that almost all of us as writers struggle with. How much is too much? And how much is not enough? There's a fine line between lack of description and sensory overload. I suppose it all depends on your personal preference. Are you a person who likes simple prose, or do you like the classics with the pages and pages of description?

While there's no right or wrong opinion, there are, however, instances such as lack and overkill.

Description is key to keeping your readers hooked, yet it can also drive them away. Some people tend to go overboard with the description, at times even to the point where readers skip parts or even put the book down. Obviously, avoid this at all costs. If you have too much description, yet you're too proud of all your hard work to just toss it out, you can always add it in later. 

The worst times to add too much description is during crucial parts in the plot. Well, I guess to much description is worst anywhere. But if you're working on a part that you really want to grip attention, use less description about the surroundings, and more about the objects. Sure, you want the readers to use their imagination and feel like they're inside the book. Sure, description is good—even necessary. But while your protagonists are fighting off dragons, don't be describing the scenery.  Don't describe the beautiful countryside; describe the intense duel to which the peaceful valley lay oblivious. Describe the dragon's fiery eyes, its slimy scales that remind your protagonist of their dead pet fish, its claws that flashed in the moonlight and reflected off your protagonist's sword. Mention the smooth or rough stones underfoot, but don't describe them in such detail that it takes away from the main plot. The story is about moving, living things, not a stationary bunch of rocks. 

Your job as a writer is to set the location in the reader's mind before the crucial scene. While your protagonist makes his/her way to the dragon's lair, describe the salty breeze in their face that blew in from the turbulent sea that lay beyond the lush green valley. The valley surrounded by a breathtaking view of mountains that belied the treachery beyond. The valley that nestled a small, quaint village in which small children played with peals of laughter that echoed off the valley walls. Don't confuse your reader with so much description that they forget what's happening in the plot, and for heaven's sake don't put so much that they skip to find juicy tidbits. It's like tightrope walking. Only different.

Always reread to find places to add description. Even if it's just an adjective or two here and there, finding little places to make more descriptive brings the scene to life. "She climbed the wall with a rope" could be changed to "She quickly climbed the rough, crumbling wall, grasping the rope in a vicelike grip." Or even, "She slowly climbed the brick wall, gloved fingers gripping the rope as if her life depended on it." It's up to you to create the vision you want in the minds of everyone who read it.

As you probably already know, repetition is a big no-no. Work on your vocabulary. Read the dictionary through if it suits your fancy. Keep a thesaurus next to you. Work on those synonyms.

Analogies make spot-on description. It gives the readers something to compare the object to, something tangible and relatable to use as a reference point. Stop calling the trees 'green'. Some are green, some are emerald, and some, in strong winds, resemble the sea on a stormy day. Snow isn't just pure white; it covers the landscape in a blanket that sparkles like diamonds glittering in the sunlight.

How well are your descriptive skills? Do you tend to go overboard, or are you one of those people that struggle with having enough?

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