Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2014 New Years Resolution

I hope everyone had a great Holiday season. With 2014 just hours away I'm going to do my New Years Resolution.


1. Try querying agents again.

2. Finish my New Adult book series for publication.

3. Get at least one of my books published. Even if I don't get an agent I just want to be able to call myself a published author.

4. Learn how to self edit my work better

5. Try getting into the academic program I need for my career.


Monday, December 30, 2013

13 Things for Writers from Kami Garcia

Got this from Kami Garcia the co-author of the Castor Chronicles, and I wanted to put some of my thoughts into her main points.

http://www.kamigarcia.com/13-5-things-that-will-change-your-writing/#more-4411


1. Writing is not a gift from the gods. It’s hard work.

2. Write whenever you can.

3. Don’t chase trends.
4. Know what you’re going to write about.

5. Read as much as you can.

6. Finish the first draft—no matter how bad it is.

7. Create a dump folder & file.

8. Carry a notebook.

9. Read everything you write out loud.

10. Find a critique partner.

11. Don’t compare your draft to the books in bookstores and libraries

12. Learn how to take criticism.

13. Do not “save” things for your next book.

13.5. Don’t get hung up on what you can’t do (don’t have time for, etc.). Start thinking about what you can do


My Input to her statements.

1. Writing is hard work. If you are willing to put forth the effort into writing you can have a successful career.

2. I hear this a lot from writers saying how they don't have the time to write, but to be a writer you have to make the time to write. One writer I know turned her hallway closet into a writing room so she could have time to write. I am a full time college student and I manage to participate in NaNoWriMo every year and still write about two books a year. You do need to write as much as you can. If you can set yourself a daily goal, it can be by the word count or something as simple as finishing a chapter.

3. Well this is a tricky subject. When some writers refer to trends they speak of traditional publishing, but an author has many options in this new era to publish their works. Every writer has their reason for choosing a path for publication, which I support no matter which method they choose to publish.

4. Yes. This is a big thing. Know what the story is you want to put on paper. The story I wanted to read that I queried out to many many agents got rejected, I don't know what to do with the story, but anyway you have to write the story that you want to tell.

5. You have to read a lot to become a writer. Every book has something to teach you. Use the amount of time reading to study the craft of other writers and how their writing style; dual POV, first person, third limited etc. Reading as much as you can will tell you about the types of stories that are out there and what people are looking for in a book.

6. Yes you have to continue working hard at finishing that story. It may be hard at first but you need to push yourself. Even if you think the story is horrible just finish it you can always go back and edit the heck out of it later.

7. This is a very useful tool. When I am writing the first draft I have a document open and type in the scenes I wanted to add into the story. I finish the draft first then as I am revising through the document I can see where the scenes will fit in.

8. You want to carry the notebook to write down ideas and inspiration. You never know when an interesting idea is going to hit you.

9. When you are in the middle of revisions read the story out loud. Everything sounds different when you are reading it out loud. This is part of the reason most English teachers tell you to do this the words will sound weird and it will make you fix it until it sounds perfect.

10. Find someone who will give you an honest opinion about your stories. I normally print mine out and show them to my English professors, or show them to a friend who gives me the opinion of a reader. You want someone who's honest, and reads with a critical eye.

11. Don't focus on all of of the other books out there, or comparing your work to them. Write what you want to write.

12. If someone tells you something doesn't feel right about a certain part in the story take it as a complement to improve.

13. Please don't copy and paste things from your other stories. I have seen this with other self published works, and it never works out. Just write a whole brand new story.

13.5 Don't get filled with so much self doubt. Fill yourself with positive thoughts and the will to write will come. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Best Version of the Nutcracker

Merry Christmas Everyone!

One of my favorite things about the holidays is watching the Nutcracker on stage, I used to be a dancer. My favorite version of the Nutcracker will always be the one of Gelsey Kirland and Mikhail Baryshikov





Monday, December 23, 2013

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays everyone! Wishing everyone and their families a safe holiday season.


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories. But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love. 

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.




It was written in dual POV and I like multiple POV, but the voices sounded to similar. It does make sense why the author wrote the book this way. It also contains some Christian aspects to the book dealing with sacrifice and forgiveness. What I liked about this one was getting to read about things from Tobias point. The whole series was mostly about Tris but I would have liked if all of the books were dual POV. I would love to read Divergent from Tobias' point. I felt really bad for Tobias in this book though he was a little weak. I think out of the whole trilogy I think Insurgent was the best. In this book the plot dropped a lot. 

I stayed up half of Saturday night and started reading this book from the crack of dawn until Sunday afternoon. I was too anxious to see what was going to happen in the end. My reaction to the ending was this: NOOOOOOOOOO! I remember shortly after the book was released the readers and fans were getting crazy, and now I see why, but they didn't have the right to attack the author all over twitter. I didn't like the ending of this book. I'm not going to write about the ending for people who haven't read the book, but I won't express my feelings. Hopefully those of you who really liked the series enjoy it.



Saturday, December 21, 2013

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Now that the whole series has been published I finally got the chance to read the books. My cousin had already bought the complete trilogy box set from Target and after he finished the series he was going to just toss the books in the garbage. I, mind you, freaked out when he told me this and I told him to give the books to me, (seriously what was wrong with him for wanting to toss out books). Now that I finally have them I wanted to read the whole series straight through. 

First off let me just say that every time I would go into the Barnes and Noble there would be at least two tables filled with the books (snubbing all the new authors) without this book getting the royalty treatment. People on social media have been talking about it forever, movie rights, etc so I wanted to see what the fuss was about that people were constantly talking about the book.



In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself. During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.




In Beatrice's dystopian Chicago everyone is divided into five factions based on their virtues: Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). Tris was born into Abnegation, so she's expected to pledge Abnegation... but deep down she has always had an affinity for the Dauntless and so must make a choice between family loyalty and personal identity.


The author wrote the book when she was in college, and judging by the publication date of 2011 I'm guessing she wrote the book just after reading The Hunger Games. It felt pretty similar to Harry Potter with the dividing of houses based on personality, and The Hunger Games with the dividing of the districts. I liked the idea, but the book being over 500 pages was a bit too much. Some parts tended to be pretty bland. I liked how Tris was fearless very much like Katniss.The Hunger Games and Delirium will always be my favorite dystopian books. 

If you're a hardcore dystopian fan you'll enjoy this book, but personally I think the story is really good but not worth all the hype. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

I really enjoy being on Christmas break and that's because it gives me the chance to catch up on some reading. As I'm working through my story preparing it to send to agents in January I decided to take a break from editing and do some reading this weekend. I had bought the whole series a long time ago and finally took the time to read it.



Every girl who had taken the test has died. Now it's Kate's turn.
It's always been just Kate and her mom - and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear that her mother won't live past the fall. Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld - and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.
Kate is sure he's crazy - until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride and a goddess.
If she fails..




I've been a big fan of the Greek mythology trend. I really liked the one by Josephine Angelini. I had bought all the books when the last one in the series was released and now that I am on break from school I finally had time to read it. Kate's mother was diagnosed with cancer and her final request was for her and Kate to return to the town where she grew up. When she has to save her enemy from drowning she makes a deal with Henry who's agreed to spare her friend in exchange for Kate spending six months out of the year with him. Kate agrees. In order for Kate to be with Henry and help him rule the Underworld she has to pass tests.

From most of the young adult books dealing with Greek mythology I thought this one was a fresh take from most of them. I really liked Henry who was actually Hades, I thought he was really hot sounding with his silver grey eyes. I really enjoyed this book, and even though I read the last two books in the series I thought the series just took a downfall. The first book in the series was the best.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Blog Tour: Holding Onto Forever by Cecilia Robert









Liese is finally moving on with Frey by her side. But sometimes letting go is the hardest part, and trusting is a risk one has to take. In between her practicum and spending time with Frey whenever he is town, she fights her insecurities, and wins. Then something happens and Frey's priorities momentarily shift, making her second guess their relationship. Suddenly, going back to their former best friends status has never looked so appealing.

 Frey's life has never shined so bright now that Liese is his. But there is a part of him that is shrouded by memories he'd rather have them buried where no one can touch them.  Not even him. But even buried memories and people can't stay hidden for forever. What Liese doesn't know is that Frey isn't about to let go so easily, and he will throw in everything he's got to stop her from leaving him. He has waited an eternity for her. Giving her up is not an option.


No buy links yet…

Link to book one:

About the Author
Cecilia Robert  writes YA, NA and Adult. Her motto: Passion rules. She enjoys writing stories about people finding love in the most unexpected of places, and also about people finding their true purpose in life coupled with adventurous journeys, whether it's urban, fantasy, sci-fi, contemporary or paranormal romance. There's always a happy ever after, no matter how long it takes for the characters to get there. When she's not working in her full time job, she dons her supermom cape, or in most cases find herself trapped between the pages of a book in search for a hero who'll make her swoon with just a look or a word. Her favourite form of therapy is knitting. Best. Therapy. Ever.

Author Links:







Sneak Peek:

“What, Liese?”

“You’ve been on my case about seeing the therapist. Telling me that life goes on. And I listened to you, Frey. I listened.” 

God, her eyes! Why wasn’t he immune to them? She blinked the lush lashes fringing her chocolate browns and he felt the ribbon of anger he was holding on to loosen. 

“You gave me hope. You were there for me. Remember what you said to me?”

He’d said a lot of things to her, some of them very inappropriate for this conversation. He sighed and shook his head.

“When life hands you lemons, don’t squeeze them into your eyes. Make lemonade. Add sugar, honey. And better yet if you manage to make orangeade. Make life sweeter. Worth living.”

He turned away from her. Was she really throwing his own words back to him? God, this hurt so damn much. Her slender, warm fingers left his and touched his cheek, and he had no choice but to lean in. He shifted around to look at her. 

“I think it’s time, Frey. You’ve been avoiding this far too long.” 

He hadn’t been avoiding it. He just didn’t want to relive this in front of a stupid therapist, or anyone, for that matter. Funny how pretentious he felt, when he’d all but hauled Liese to the therapist’s office. But he could handle his own loss. He’d done well so far.

“I can’t talk about Kris. Please. Don’t make me do this.” 

“Frey…just because you don’t want to talk about your brother doesn’t mean those memories will just vanish. They will consume you, and eventually destroy you. Trust me. I know.” 

Desperate to keep himself from curling into a heap on the floor, he grabbed her by the waist and crushed her into him, seeking her warmth against his suddenly chilled body. Immediately she returned his hug with an equally strong one. Her heart beat fast where their chests touched, skin on skin. How had this gone from the best morning ever to the worst moment, so fast?
***GIVEAWAY*** 3 ebook copies of Holding On Forever (INT) a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Catching Fire



To celebrate being finished with finals I went to go see Catching Fire. I normally end to avoid seeing movies on opening weekend. 

I am really happy that the filmmakers kept the movie as close to the book as possible. I hate it when they make so many changes that the film shows no relation to the book whatsoever. I was hoping to see the scene where Katniss and Peeta are watching the previous tributes of the games and watch Haymitch become a victor. Maybe when the DVD is released it'll be one of the deleted scenes.







Another Semester Down

I finally finished this semester. Some of my classes were really hard so I glad this semester is over.

I submitted to PitchWars, and sadly I didn't get in. But one of the mentors gave me some really helpful feedback on my first five pages. So I will be taking that feedback I got from my mentor and working with my beta on getting the first three chapters into shape before I send off to agents in January.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Small Blog Absence

So with finals approaching, I won't be able to blog until I finish all of my exams.

So in the meantime I will look like this.




Friday, November 29, 2013

What H*** is the Matter with Bookstores - Black Friday Blues

I told myself I wouldn't write this post, I told myself I wasn't gong to but screw it.

After getting tons of coupons for Barnes and Noble in the mail, and in my email for Black Friday, I decided to go to my favorite place in the whole world.

I started browsing around and I was looking for books from small publishers I know and like, guess what they weren't there. So then I tried to find newly released books from other Big 5 publishers, guess what, they weren't on display either. I will tell you what I did find, a whole small rolling cart filled with the Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth (I haven’t read this trilogy yet, it’s next on my list I just waited until the whole series was out), 5 book shelves filled with Cassandra Clare’s novels, and 4 shelves filled with the horrible Twilight Saga. Then when I asked the sales person for some of the books, said they didn't have them in stock, but she could order them for me.

I was angry and depressed. All the books I wanted to read and they didn't even have them. Then for the sales woman to tell me she could order them for me, I can order them myself but I still like to go to brick and mortar in support of them.

An author friend of mine Jessica Spotswood of Born Wicked and Star Cursed was discussing with other authors how it’s hard for their books to sell when they don’t even have a big selection of newly released books. After what I witnessed today she’s right, there really was no selection for me to pick from. The only books I saw were either

A). the ones I had already read
 or
B). They were the books that are already hyped up by franchises.

The bookstores would have had more books to display new authors and releases if Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series wasn't taking up four shelves, 5 shelves of Cassandra Clare books, and a whole table of Veronica Roth’s books. The bookstores can make room they just put in the books that are hyped up because they think it will bring them business. I say it’s high time for them to down the ones that have been sitting there for years and let new authors work shine.

*Big sigh* Now I have to go to Amazon and Barnes & Noble to go order all the books I wasn't able to get.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

To everyone out there, Happy Thanksgiving!




For a little blogging fun, here is some music that sort of relates to Thanksgiving.



Monday, November 25, 2013

Double Cover Reveal for Rebekah L. Purdy

Today Rebekah Purdy and Entangled Teen are revealing the covers for LEGEND OF ME, releasing in early 2014. And THE WINTER PEOPLE, releasing July 1, 2014! Check out the gorgeous covers, exclusive excerpts, and enter to win an eARC of each!




On to the reveals!
About the Book
LEGEND OF ME
Author: Rebekah Purdy
Release Date: Early 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen

Sixteen-year-old Brielle has grown up hearing tales of a beast that kills humans, leaving behind only a scattering of bones and limbs. Or so the village elders say. She thinks it’s just their way of keeping children in line, though it doesn’t explain her grisly premonitions of blood, claws, and severed heads.

When Lord Kenrick, Knight of the Crowhurst Order, shows up asking questions about the legendary monster and Brielle finds a mangled body in the woods, she begins to wonder if the grim stories are true. Her attraction to the handsome knight grows as she spends time with him searching for clues to the creature’s existence, and she becomes even more determined to help him discover the beast’s location.

But as her seventeenth birthday approaches, her nightmares worsen. If Brielle doesn’t figure out the connection between Kenrick, the monster, and visions of a ghostly woman in the woods soon, more people could die. Including those closest to her…

Exclusive Excerpt!
Brambles scratched my legs, snagging my skirt. Gnarled trees bent in gruesome forms, while thick shadows splayed out beneath them. A heavy gloom settled over the woodland as wisps of fog slithered like snakes against the ground. I shivered.
Don’t think. I picked an animal trail to follow, stepping over dead branches and forest debris. Blood pounded in my ears and the hair on the back of my neck prickled. I twisted around to glance behind me.
Nothing there. Only the trees. Urgency gripped hold of me and I picked up my pace once more. As I scrambled through the thicket, an overwhelming scent of rotten meat made me gag. I covered my mouth with my hand and stopped running when a bright red piece of fabric caught my eye. With hesitant steps, I moved toward it.
“Oh God.” I stumbled. There, sticking out from beneath a barberry bush was a severed arm, its finger pointed at me in accusation. My breath came in gasps as I scanned the rest of the clearing.
My foot nudged against something and I looked down in horror to find the head of Liam Gatekeeper staring up at me.
I screamed, backing away as fast as I could. All around me were pieces of his body scattered like breadcrumbs. I shielded my eyes with my hands, until I bumped into something else.
With another scream, I whipped around only to find myself faced with an oak tree covered in dried blood and deep claw marks. My vision darkened and I prayed I wouldn’t faint, that I wouldn’t be stuck in the woods. Because somewhere out here, a monster lurked. If I didn’t believe it before, I did now. The beast was real.



About the Book
THE WINTER PEOPLE
Author: Rebekah Purdy
Release Date: July 1, 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Pages: 320
ISBN: 978-1622663682

An engrossing, complex, romantic fantasy perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore or Maggie Stiefvater, set in a wholly unique world.

Salome Montgomery fears winter—the cold, the snow, the ice, but most of all, the frozen pond she fell through as a child. Haunted by the voices and images of the strange beings that pulled her to safety, she hasn’t forgotten their warning to "stay away." For eleven years, she has avoided the winter woods, the pond, and the darkness that lurks nearby. But when failing health takes her grandparents to Arizona, she is left in charge of maintaining their estate. This includes the "special gifts" that must be left at the back of the property.

Salome discovers she’s a key player in a world she’s tried for years to avoid. At the center of this world is the strange and beautiful Nevin, who she finds trespassing on her family’s property. Cursed with dark secrets and knowledge of the creatures in the woods, his interactions with Salome take her life in a new direction. A direction where she’ll have to decide between her longtime crush Colton, who could cure her fear of winter. Or Nevin who, along with an appointed bodyguard, Gareth, protects her from the darkness that swirls in the snowy backdrop. An evil that, given the chance, will kill her.

Exclusive Excerpt!
The sky darkened with ominous storm clouds. Giant flakes fell onto my face, sticking to my eyelashes and cheeks. Snow blew unhindered across the yard into what looked like small tornadoes.
Oh God. It’s happening again. The frigid air. The creaking of the treetops beneath the wind. Even the way the snow blew across the yard.
I only had one more feeder. Just needed to toss the seeds in then I could leave. Be safe.
The pond water rippled, while the trees bent beneath the strong gusts. Soon, everything became so white I couldn’t see the house. In the distance a strange tinkling sounded, like dozens of wind chimes.
What had the shrink told me to do?
Ten, nine, eight. Breathe. Seven, six, five. Shit!
 Panic stole my thoughts. I backed away from the pond as the flurries swirled toward me. Chasing me.
Then, I bumped into something—something that felt quite human. A firm chest, arms, hands. Not something, someone. A shriek tumbled from my lips and I spun around to face my captor.
“It’s okay. I won’t hurt you,” a soft masculine voice said, pale hands clinging to my arms as he kept me from falling.
My gaze followed those long fingers, up black leather sleeves, to the most gorgeous face I’d ever seen. My breath caught in my throat. I’m gawking. But I couldn’t help it. His raven hair shot with strands of blue, his face pale and perfect, like an ice sculptor had chiseled it into existence. His eyes—oh God, his eyes. They were the palest blue I’d ever seen. Glacial. He had to be over six feet tall, muscles evident through the tight shirt he wore beneath an unzipped jacket.
His mouth turned up at the corners as if enjoying my scrutiny. A cocky grin that made my cheeks warm.
“You’re trespassing.” I tried to keep the tremble from my voice. “This is private property, or can’t you read the signs?” Bravo, that’s right, scare him off with your bitchiness.
He chuckled. And it sounded like the low song of the chimes. “Doris doesn’t mind me coming around. In fact, I’ve met you before, Salome.”
My name on his lips made my knees go buttery. I groaned inwardly.
“You know my grandma?” I fidgeted with the bucket still in hand.
He gave a nod. “Yeah, I’ve known her for years. But I haven’t seen you since you were a child.”
Warning bells went off in my mind, but I pushed them aside. If he knew my grandma, then he must be okay. “Funny, I don’t remember you at all.”
“Don’t you, Salome?” Strands of my hair blew about my face. He reached a hand out as if to touch them then stopped, dropping his arms back to his side.
“No. Grandma’s never mentioned you.”
He gave me another cocky grin. “Well then, maybe we should be reacquainted.”
“Or maybe not.” I snorted. “I’m not sure how you got on the property, Grandma keeps all the gates locked.”
He produced an antique-looking skeleton key. “She gave me this. Like I said, Doris has known me for a long time.”
“I’m sorry. I’m not trying to be a jerk or anything, it’s just my grandma never mentioned I’d have visitors.” In fact, I wondered why she didn’t ask this guy to watch her house instead of me.
The arrogance left his face and he stared at me. “Perhaps, we can try this again.” He held his hand out to me. “I’m Nevin.”




About Rebekah

Rebekah was born and raised in Michigan (just look for the mitten-shaped state on the map). She’s lived there most of her life other than the few years she spent in the U.S. Army.  At which time she got a chance to experience MO, KS, SC, and CA.

She works full time for the court system and in her free time she writes YA stories. Pretty much any genre within the YA realm is game for her, but her favorites are fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, thrillers, light sci-fi, and some time travel.

She also has a big family–she like to considers them the modern day Brady Bunch. When her hubby and her met and got married, he had 3 children from a previous marriage, she had 2 and  have 1 together. It’s a lot of fun though.

And she can’t forget her other family members–yep, they’ve got some pets: 4 dogs, 3 cats,  and 1 turtle. Everyone in the family has one…she won’t bore you all with their names (unless you really want to know). Okay, you talked her into it! Jack, Pearl, Grr…(yes that’s her dog’s name), Callie, Shadow, Mooshoo, Grouchy, and Sorbert. Other than writing some of her other hobbies include: reading (mostly YA of course), singing, swimming, football, soccer, running, camping, sledding, church, hanging with her kids, and traveling.
She belong to a fabulous writing group called YA Fiction Fantatics (YAFF) and you guessed it they all write YA!
REPPED by Jennifer Mishler and Frances Black of Literary Counsel.
And that’s her in a big ‘ol nutshell.





a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, November 24, 2013

FINISHED! Another Successful Year

I FINISHED MY NANOWRIMO STORY! I really did not expect the word count to go higher than sixty thousand words but I finished, and I couldn't be happier. It's well over ninety thousand words, but when I finally go back and edit I will most likely throw out a lot of things I added in for the sake of word count.




I guess I can either inquire with editors for the stories I want to self publish, or I cna go and start working on book two in my New Adult series, and it won't follow the same heroine, each book is a different character's story.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Reign Chosen

New Reign! The series is just getting darker!



NaNoWriMo Pep Talk from Marie Lu

So during the month of NaNoWriMo we get emails from published authors. This one that I am posting is one of my favorite pep talks from NaNoWriMo from New York Times best selling author Marie Lu the author of a dystopian series Legend, the books are Legend, Prodigy, and Champion.



Hey Wrimos,
You’re past the halfway mark. Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and you can see the faintest glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. But you can barely breathe. Your brain feels sore. Things might be getting a little rough, right?
I’m not going to give you inspirational words. I’m not going to tell you how hard it is to be a writer or how courageous you are to be doing this (which you are, by the way, didn’t you know that already?). You don’t have time for all that—you’re trying to finish a novel! Today, I’m going to give you some practical tips on how to make it through the third week. The dark swamp. The mines of writer’s block.
Pull your favorite, tattered, dog-eared book off the shelves. Find a chapter that leaves you breathless. Start typing it out in a new document, word for word. Don’t just type blindly; think about what you’re writing. For me, something about this exercise helps me see the genius in the other writer’s storytelling, and will stimulate my own writing and thoughts. Be careful, of course, that you don’t end up plagiarizing it right into your novel… but there’s something to be said for drawing inspiration from another.
Write a long list of all your characters. Then, start drawing random lines connecting random characters to each other. Don’t think—just connect. Afterward, look down at your page. Try to figure out a connection between each of the two random characters you just linked—something scandalous, maybe, or something sweet. Something three-dimensional and unexpected. Some explosive scene that throws the two together.
Turn to a different creative venture. This is the point in NaNoWriMo when you start feeling exhausted, which makes you lazy, which makes your storytelling lazy. Words might not be inspiring you anymore. So turn to writing’s creative cousins. Art. Music. Games. And so on. I personally will draw my characters. You can do the same, even if you don’t usually draw or you don’t want to draw your characters. Take 10 minutes and make a map of your world, even if you’re writing contemporary. Where’s the post office? What’s the layout of this house? What places do your characters love to visit? Draw a random box in the corner. Make that a secret/forbidden/abandoned place. A love hotel. A bar with a hidden basement.
Turn to music: make a playlist of music that matches the mood of your story. Don’t just play it back, either—plug in some good headphones, close your eyes, sit back, crank the volume, and get lost. Play the scenes of your story out in your head. Imagine the lyrics matching your story. Listen to the story arc inherent in the song. Go to where your characters are. Somewhere in the darkness, you might see the spark of a scene.
Of course, none of this can trump the ultimate, time-worn advice:
Just Keep Going.
Write an entire monologue with your main character if you have to. Spend a chapter just exploring the life story of an antagonist. Write a scene with nothing but dialogue between your hero and your villain. Write a steamy love scene between your favorite couple. They don’t have to be scenes in chronological order. They don’t even have to end up in your book. But they will help you to keep going.
So keep going. You’re almost there. Just a little more. You are stubborn. You are exhausted. You are determined. You are a Writer.
Marie

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Update

So not including the scenes I typed up in a separate document for me to add into my story later during the revision process, I have so fat typed up approximately 30,000 words. Which is really not bad considering how busy I've been with the amount of work my statistics and anatomy class have been pilling up on my.


While I have been working on that I am also in the process of self publishing two of my trilogies next year. I'm hoping I can maybe get the first book of both of them out by February. I queried both of them to agents and publisher, both with flat out rejections. I even mentioned how on one of the trilogies all the manuscripts were complete because I know how now publishers are looking for authors who can get them more than one book a year. Sadly, all gave me the same responses.

The second trilogy I wrote I completed book one, and got half of book two completed. I worked too hard on these stories to just leave them sitting on my flashdrive for another ten years until the trends died down. It was mostly the elements that got the agents down, but the stories were really unique and like nothing ever seen before. I showed the first five chapters to several of my professors and they really like them. So I'm looking to self publish them. If I do self publish them, I'll keep you posted.

Friday, November 15, 2013

NaNoWriMo Pep Talk from Holly Black

A NaNoWriMo pep talk from one of my favorite authors Holly Black.



Greetings fellow writers,
Here are some things I wish someone had told me when I was writing my first book. I want to say them to you in the hopes they will help and encourage you. Even if you’ve heard them before, it doesn’t hurt to be reminded.
1) No one can tell if the writing was fun or if it was hard. Trust me. I know it seems like writing that pours out of your brain in a passionate flood should be better than writing that comes slowly and miserably, but the only person who will ever know the difference is you. So no excuses—get the word count done.
2) You don’t have to believe you can; you just have to do it. I remember everyone telling me I had to think positive when I was writing my first book. If I believed I could do it, then I could! If I pictured myself published, then it was going to happen! Which sounded great, except…could I do it? If I didn’t think I could, was I doomed to fail? What if I was almost totally sure I would fail? I am here to tell you—what matters is sticking with it. Even if you don’t know if you can make it through NaNoWriMo, just get through today. Then get through tomorrow. Don’t worry about the day after that, until it’s today. Then you know what to do.
3) There aren’t good books and bad books. There are finished books and books that still need more work. Please don’t let wondering if there’s a market for your book or wondering if the book you’re writing is genius or evidence that you should be heavily medicated get in the way of the writing. Remember, right now you are not writing a good book, you are writing a good draft. Later, you will have lots of time to kill your darlings, make the suspense more suspenseful, to add foreshadowing and subplots. Later you will have time to change the beginning or change the ending or change the middle. Later, you will have time to cut and polish and engooden. For now, trust the process and write (that said, if you suddenly wake up in the middle of the night and realize what’s wrong with Chapter 7, then by all means, jot that down for later).
4) Figure out what happens next. Some people swear by outlines; other writers are like to find the story along the way. Whether you’re a plotter or a pantser, before you quit for the day, write a little bit of the next scene or a couple of lines on what you think will happen next. That way, you are never looking at a blank page.
5) Write for your reader self, not your writer self. You are the best audience for your own work. If you would absolutely love a character like the one you are writing about, if you adore books like the one you are working on, then you are going to know how to make the book appealing—write it like you were the person who was going to read it. Remember the fun bits, the juicy bits, the stuff you linger over in other books—the good stuff.
6) Talk it through. When you get stuck, sometimes it helps to talk through the book out loud—even if only your cat is listening. Sometimes hearing the plot is enough to engage a different part of your brain in solving the problem.
7) Give yourself regular rewards. A fresh cup of coffee (even if it is your 353rd) when you get to the end of a scene, an episode of your favorite show, a snack, a couple of minutes rearranging your My Book is Awesome mix—if you give yourself regular motivational rewards, you will have small goals to work toward.
Over the course of this November, you are going to feel frustrated, despairing, elated and exhausted. You will walk around in a foggy haze at your job or the bank or the supermarket. People will talk to you for twenty minutes and you won’t have heard a word they said because you just thought of a fantastic new subplot. You will look up things on the internet that make you look like a serial killer. But it’s good practice—just think, once you become a professional writer, that’s how you’ll behave all the time!
Holly Black