10:17 PM

CPCS

A great post from Teens Writing For Teens about Chronic Passive Character Syndrome!

CPCS

5:43 PM

Taking a break?

Last night a friend told me I should take a step away from my unfinished MS and do something else. Not because I'm necessarily slowing down or stuck, but because I pushed so much during NaNo that I should give myself a break before finishing it.  I can see where this could be helpful, but I'm also concerned if I leave it, even for a week, that I will become disconnected and struggle to pick it back up.

So I pose the following questions to other authors out there. Do you think, after a big push (I did do 57k words in the month of November), it's a good idea to step away for a week or two before going back to writing?  Have you tried it? How did it affect your writing?

Any advice, ideas or general snark would be welcomed!

6:33 PM

Snark of days past

Skimming through the Miss Snark archives, I came along this lovely piece of advice which I will have to remember during my editing process:

One of Miss Snark's most common complaints: double verbing.
Any time you see "was" "had" "were" with another verb you can probably remove it and spiff up your writing 100%.

5:23 PM

Dialog, When is it too much?

Reading back over what I've written the past few days, I've noticed it's mostly dialog. While it certainly helps the reader to understand the character's personality and of course what's going on, is it ever too much? My characters are spunky with a lot of attitude. The dialog proves this, but I worry that I am not describing the surroundings enough and am relying too much on the "he said she said" to tell the whole story. I'm guessing these are things that can be remedied during editing and rewriting. For now I suppose I'll keep going as I have been and get to the finish line before worrying about it too much.

2:48 PM

Caldecott Awards

As a long time reader and lover of graphic novels (manga, manhwa, etc.) and comic books (oh Marvel X- series I did so love you) I could not agree more with the linked article that it's time to consider graphic novels as Caldecott Award winners.

Anyone who says that they are fluff and not good reading has either not been reading the right ones or not picking them up at all. While I am more familiar with graphic novels from Asia, I have read a handful of American brand books.  The plots are intricate and involved.  There are real stories there. Morals, lessons to learn and all.  It's not just fluff with the occasional T&A thrown in (although there is some of that out there...). Added to these interesting and often exciting stories is amazing artwork that helps the reader picture the world, the character's mannerisms and personality and atmosphere.

I also think comics and graphic novels are a great way to turn a non-reader on to the wonderful world of the written word.  Is that not a great thing?

I hope that the members of the ALSC will really stop down and take a look at what's out there in the world of graphic novels.  I think many will be surprised and delighted with the complexity they find.


It's Caldecott Time

11:37 AM

Amazon contest

Could you be Amazon's Breakthrough Novel Award winner?  You won't know unless you enter! With two novels in the works that need finished stories and one that needs a re-write/editing, I definitely cannot go for this, but I am sure there are some of you out there who are ready and just awaiting your chance! Enter and best of luck to you!

Amazon's Breakthrough Novel Contest

1:08 AM

Jealousy

Ooh you lovely green eyed monster. You're so fun to write about. You cause people to punch things, lie, turn on their friends and all sorts of other great reactions that can lead to greatly expanding one's word count. Our son of a scientist, Ryan is sooooo not a fan of Cat Boy and when he hears that the damned Felinian has run off with his object of desire,  he is definitely not a happy camper.  Thanks emotional characters for acting predictably tonight and allowing me to get a decent word count in!

Tomorrow we get back to our MC and her Cat Boy, whom I hope will be talking again. Books need dialog, you know?

6:52 PM

Time's Top 10 of '09

Again, I haven't read any of these, but I will certainly try to get to some of them...Although after recently reading about how graphic some of the sex scenes in Jonathan Littell's The Kindly Ones are, I may opt to skip out on that one...then again, I guess it's pretty creative of him to compare the vagina to an unblinking Cyclops..

Top 10 Fiction Books

  1. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
  2. The Financial Lives of the Poets by Jess Walter
  3. Swimming by Nicola Keegan
  4. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  5. Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned by Wells Tower
  6. Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi by Geoff Dyer
  7. In Other Rooms, Other Wonders by Daniyal Mueenuddin
  8. Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell
  9. The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
  10. The Kindly Ones by Jonathan Littell

12:58 PM

NPR's picks for the best YA fiction of '09

I haven't read any of these, but a couple of them appeal to me, maybe to you as well. Please let me know if you've read any on the list and what you thought of them!

NPR's best YA fiction '09

11:21 AM

They won't move!

I seem to be having this problem where my characters are content to sit around and drag out my story rather than moving forward and getting to the more interesting stuff.  While it is helping to character build (I suppose) I have a feeling that much of what I've written in the last couple of days will get cut during the editing process (Should I ever get to that. Ha!).  Maybe it's because I don't have my plot all lined out? I have vague ideas and I know the direction it should be going, but I've never been one to outline or note card the entire plot.  I like to let my characters lead me where they may. It often yields some great and interesting scenes, but this time, those damn characters seem kind of lazy. Maybe I shouldn't have made my MC fall from that cliff. She's healing fast, but not fast enough and the pain is slowing her down.  Then to have our love interest/Cat Boy get bitten by a poisonous animal? These two need to live in a bubble for their own protection! 

I did get them back on their way last night and now I have to flash over to our other group of travelers who are coming to meet them, so hopefully by the time I get back to MC & Cat Boy they will have gotten their shit together and will be fowing as they should.

Pesky misbehaving characters. What can you do about them?

8:34 PM

NaNo '09

So for the 3rd year, I participated in November's National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). The goal is to write 50k words in the month of November. I was successful with my Young Adult Sci-Fi attempt in hitting just over 57k words. I found it to be a real struggle at times, but I'm falling more in love with the story and the characters as I'm trying to finish it.

I hadn't been planning on participating since I was still working on a NaNo Fantasy novel from two years ago, but I was struck with an idea while in the shower one day (where I get some of my best ideas for some reason...) and figured I'd give it a try. I'm definitely glad I gave it a go. Now I just need to keep up the momentum and get the story completed!

Please, kind readers, feel free to leave comments kicking my ass and yelling at me to get writing.

1:40 PM

In the beginning...and beyond

Once upon a time, there was a young girl of 8 or 9 and her IBM computer with the green screened monitor. With the help of that technology, she plunked out short stories about a rambunctious (although she certainly didn't know that word at that age...) girl who innocently enough kept getting into troubles.

As the young author grew, so did her stories. They ranged from stories about silly little girls, to a group of young kids living in a post apocalyptic world, to teens with a death god as a friend, to a girl who shot fire and currently, to a teen anxious to prove herself and save those she loves.

There were several years in the middle where no writing happened, short of school papers and notes passed to friends. A life changing event occurred three years ago that brought the author back to the world of prose. She needed an escape from life and found it in writing about the lives of others. Others she could control (or so she thought until she found that characters tend to have a mind of their own).

In addition to creating worlds and playing with imaginary lives, the author decided to document her process and other random ideas and information she came across so that perhaps it might help or inspire other writers out there.

Will it work? Time will tell, but while we're all waiting with bated breath, let's get on with it, shall we?