Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Here are some of your comments:
Old Kitty says: "I'm in full flow and loving the first draft because I don't have to worry too much about grammar and such"
Joanne at Whole Latte Life says: "I prefer revising. To me, that's when the story really gets layered, the revision process giving me an opportunity to add depth to the more rough first draft."
Jai Joshi says: "Nothing ever compares to the magic of the first draft to me, although there is a certain satisfaction in revising and polishing the manuscript to a high shine."
Julie Musil says: "It's not that I don't like the first draft, but I love it once I have something to mold."
Vicki Rochco says: "You've got the magic of the story unfolding with the first draft...but the revisions REALLY pull it together and make it sparkle."
Lisa at Leaving Nadir says: "I like the rawness of the first draft. It can go anywhere your characters want it to go. Revision is also fun in its own way as you can eliminate that which doesn't move the story along."
Myrna Foster says: "I love and hate both first drafting and revising, but revising is probably my favorite because you still get to write shiny new bits to replace those not so shiny parts."
Jennifer Shirk says: "I revise as I write. So I may write a chapter one week then spend another week revising it before moving on. It takes me awhile to write that way but at the end my book is pretty clean and ready for a beta read."
And, as DL Hammons so eloquently puts it: "Rough drafts are way more fun!! WAY!!!!"
For me, I think of first drafting and revising as two completely different processes, and I love them both. I used to prefer first drafts, but lately it seems so difficult to pull those words out of thin air, to create something out of nothing. As Julie Musil said, I really love having something to mold.
On the other hand, it's nice to write without worrying about how it sounds, knowing that I probably won't keep those exact words anyway. When I write a first draft, I give myself permission to write anything down, no matter how awful it may be. I figure I can always go back and edit it out later. The funny thing is, when I go back, I usually find it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it was and I end up keeping a lot of it (though I throw a lot of it out, as well!)
Thanks to all my commenters for weighing in on this subject. If you haven't already told me, do you prefer first drafts or revisions, and why? And, even more pressing, have you finished your Christmas shopping???
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
From the book flap:
There is war in Marbury. It is a desolate and murderous place where Jack is responsible for the survival of two younger boys. Conner is there, too. But he’s trying to kill them.
Meanwhile, Jack is falling in love with an English girl, and afraid he’s losing his mind.
Conner tells Jack it’s going to be okay.
But it’s not.
Andrew Smith has written his most beautiful and personal novel yet, as he explores the nightmarish outer limits of what trauma can do to our bodies and our minds.
Warning: This book is YA, but it has more adult themes than other YA I've read.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Q - Susan R. Mills asks: How many novels have you written and how long does it take you to knock one out?
A - I'm currently working on my third novel. The first was a mid-grade ghost story which I did submit to agents, but it was my first novel and now I can see that it needs a lot of work I'm not willing to put into it at this point. The second was a YA epic fantasy, In the Seventeenth Year, which I still love. I submitted it to a publisher who kept it for a year before rejecting it (though they did provide a detailed critique which was muuccchh appreciated!) But by the time they rejected it, I was all involved with my current wip, so Seventeenth Year is sitting on the shelf, waiting to be polished up and sent out again. My third novel, a time travel romance called Killing Kessler, is finally nearing the query stage! I'm hoping to have it ready to go shortly after the new year.
I typically spend a month outlining, maybe six months or so on the rough draft, and a good year revising. I'm hoping to tighten that up as I grow as a writer and hopefully my manuscripts won't require so much revision. :)
Q - Myrna Foster asks: What are you writing or revising right now?
A - I'm revising my time travel romance, Killing Kessler. I hope to have it ready to query shortly after the new year. I guess I'll have to wait and see what my lovely CPs have to say before I know how much more work it's going to need.
Q - Robyn Campbell asks: How long do you typically spend on revisions? Which do you like more? First drafts or revisions?
A - I first sent Killing Kessler out to CPs last Christmas, then again at the beginning of the summer, and I'm hoping to send it out one final time this Christmas. So that's about a year of revision. I love both processes, but I definitely prefer revising to writing a first draft.
How about you? Do you prefer rough drafts or revising? How long does it take you to write a novel? How long do you spend on revisions? What are you writing or revising right now?
That's it for me, folks! I think I've answered them all, so if I missed your question please let me know in the comments and I'll answer it in a future post.
Happy Tuesday, Everyone!
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
No Kindle? Download a free app at Amazon for Mac, iPhone, PC, Android and more. Coming soon in paperback. Keep up with the latest at www.talliroland.com.
About THE HATING GAME:
When man-eater Mattie Johns agrees to star on a dating game show to save her ailing recruitment business, she's confident she'll sail through to the end without letting down the perma-guard she's perfected from years of her love 'em and leave 'em dating strategy. After all, what can go wrong with dating a few losers and hanging out long enough to pick up a juicy £200,000 prize? Plenty, Mattie discovers, when it's revealed that the contestants are four of her very unhappy exes. Can Mattie confront her past to get the prize money she so desperately needs, or will her exes finally wreak their long-awaited revenge? And what about the ambitious TV producer whose career depends on stopping her from making it to the end?
Good luck, Talli!
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Q - Brian asks: If you could get personal writing advice from any author (living or dead), who would that be...and why?
A - This may not be very original, but I'd have to go with Suzanne Collins. The Hunger Games books are my all-time favorites, and she's an amazing author. How I would love someday to create a character as memorable as Katniss!
Q - Candyland asks: If you had to choose, would you rather have a fantastic book no one sees or crap that has been published?
A - I dream of getting published, but not if it's something I can't hold my head up and be proud about. So I'd have to go with the fantastic - if unread - book.
Q - Jennifer Shirk asks: How long have you been writing? Are you agented? If not, who is your dream agent?
A - I've been writing longer than I'd like to admit. Off and on since about the second grade, though I got serious about getting a book published maybe five years ago. I'm not agented, and I don't have a dream agent, though I have been known to look longingly at the Writer's House website from time to time. :)
Q - Lotusgirl asks: Are you a naturally good speller or do you rely on spell check?
A - I don't use spell check at all. I guess I'm a pretty good speller naturally, though when I run into a question about spelling, I'll check it on dictionary.com. And I've certainly been known to let the occasional typo slip by.
How about you? Which author would you most like to get personal writing advice from? Do you have a dream agent? Do you use spell check?
Tomorrow is a big day - Talli Roland's Blogsplash! In honor of the occasion, I'll be posting on Wednesday instead of Thursday. Then next Tuesday I'll wrap up my Q&A series with some more questions on writing.
Happy Tuesday, everyone!
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
A - I had to really think about this one. My favorite food is shrimp, but I do think I'd get sick of it eventually. Finally I decided to go with vanilla pudding - especially the cook-n-serve variety while it's still warm - yum!
Q - Lynda Young asks: "milk chocolate, white chocolate, or dark chocolate? ;) "
A - All of the above! If I had pick just one, though, I'd go with dark chocolate.
Q - Lydia Kang asks: "What is your favorite season and why?"
A - Fall, because of the beautiful colors, cooler temperatures, start of the holiday season, apple picking, etc. There are so many reasons to love fall! The only bad thing about it is that it means winter's coming - brrr!
Q - Lisa Maliga asks: What country would you like to live in for 1 year?
A - I think I'd go with Australia. Not only is it beautiful and English-speaking, but you gotta love those accents!
Q - Emy Shin asks: "If you have to live in one place for the rest of your life, where would you choose?"
A - Hawaii, please!
Q - Terry Lynn Johnson asks: "If you could wake up tomorrow with a new skill or talent, what would you like it to be?"
A - I'd like to have a beautiful singing voice. I love to sing, I just feel sorry for the people who sit next to me in church!
What about you? Where would you like to live for 1 year? For the rest of your life? What's your favorite season? And is there a new skill or talent you'd most like to have?
Friday, November 19, 2010
Q - Jeanette Levellie asks: "What is your favorite coffee?"
A - Black, the darker roast the better. My favorite brand is Starbucks, but I'll drink about anything as long as it's good and strong.
Q - Alex J. Cavanaugh asks: "Explain the significance of the smiley face coffee mug."
A - That's one of my favorite coffee mugs (I have many coffee mugs!) because it was given to me by a group of fifth graders that belonged to a Destination Imagination team I managed several years ago. Plus, it's just really happy. :)
Q - Les Edgerton asks: "(1) If someone didn't 'step away from your coffee cup' did you take them down? and (2) If you took them down, did you draw blood?"
A -My blog's first post (363 days ago!) dealt with this very subject. My husband does actually steal a cup of coffee on weekend mornings. I guess I'm an old softie, because I let him get away with it. And I don't even draw blood. :)
Q - Old Kitty asks: "Erm...coffee!! Cappuccino? Latte? Half caff...? Chai...??"
A - Since I drink so much coffee (I make 5 cups every morning, some days I drink it all, some days I don't), I drink half caff. Otherwise I'd be too hyper to write anything, let alone take my nap. :)
How about you? Are you a coffee drinker? If so, what's your favorite type of coffee? If not, do you have some other favorite treat that gets you into writing mode?
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Q - Jai Joshi asks: "I'd like to know what got you into blogging in the first place. We all have a story about it. What's yours?"
A - A couple of years ago, I attended the Highlights Writer's Workshop at Chautauqua, NY. There I met a wonderful group of friends, aka The Wad. You may know a few of them: Tess Hilmo, Amy Allgeyer Cook, and Sharon Mayhew all write their own amazing blogs. While the workshop itself was wonderful, I really think it was meeting these fantastic women that brought me infinitely closer to my goal of becoming a published author. One of the ways they did this was by encouraging me to start my blog.
Q - Velva asks: "What was the point in which you said, I am seriously going to do a blog?"
A - It took many months after I got back from Chautauqua before I was ready for such a huge step. The Wad started a group blog, but we rarely updated it and it fell by the wayside. Then Tess, Amy, and Sharon started their blogs. I spent time reading their blogs and learning the ropes before I was ready to start my own. Then when I did, only a handful of good friends (or extremely supportive friends of friends - like you, Velva!) visited my blog. Not until Jackee at Winded Words happened onto my blog one day and became a follower did I begin to branch out and meet new people through blogging. And what a fantastic experience it's been!
Q - Theresa Milstein asks: "What have you gained from blogging that you didn't have before?"
A - A sense of community, of not being alone in this writing thing. Writing is so solitary, but blogging gives me an invaluable connection to others who really "get it."
Q - L. Diane Wolfe asks: "How often do you update your blogroll?"
A - Not nearly often enough. It's due for an update right now, as I've got some new blogs I've been meaning to add. If I had to guess, I'd say about once a month.
Q - Clarissa Draper asks: "Do you follow a blogging schedule and memes?"
I've never done much with memes, but I do follow a Monday, Wednesday, Friday blogging schedule. However, as nothing is set in stone on my blog (as those of you who are paying attention to my color schemes can attest), I was thinking just today of switching to a Tuesday, Thursday schedule to try to free up a little more writing time and maybe finally fight my way through this latest round of revisions. At the moment, my plan is to finish out this week with a Friday post, and then switch to Tuesday, Thursday next week.
How about you guys? What have you gained from blogging? How did you get started? Do you follow a schedule?
Monday, November 15, 2010
Q - Sheri Larsen asks: "Favorite character crush?"
A - Roiben from Holly Black's books, Tithe and Ironside. Sure he's a fairy, but he's a really good looking, powerful, angsty fairy, and I love the way he talks. Case in point: "I have had a surfeit of killing, Kaye." Love that line!
Q - Bish Denham asks: "What was the first novel you can remember reading? How old were you?"
Q - Kelly Polark asks: "Of course I want to know what your favorite song or band is!"
A - I remember absolutely loving The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder. I read everything I could find by her after that, like The Changeling and Black and Blue Magic. Thus began my love of fantasy.
Q - Clara asks: "If you had to choose between a baby monkey in diapers or a cute puppy dog, which would you take home?"
Q - Stephen Tremp asks: "What is the flight of a swallow?"
A - Nice try, Sharon! :)
How about you guys: What was your favorite book as a kid? What's your favorite band/song? Puppy or Monkey? Care to weigh in on the swallow question?
Have a great Monday!
Friday, November 12, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Barnes & Noble - book of writers quotation
What book (fiction or non-fiction) is at the top of your TBR pile?
Have an wonderful Wednesday, Everyone!
Monday, November 8, 2010
Jeanette Levellie at Audience of One
L. Diane Wolfe at Spunk on a Stick
I'll be emailing you to see which prize you would like. Choose from my five fave non-fiction writing books (click on the titles to see my reviews):
1. Manuscript Makeover by Elizabeth Lyon
2. Hooked by Les Edgerton
3. The Baby Name Survey Book by Bruce Lansky
4. The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman
5. How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy by Orson Scott Card
6. A $15 Amazon.com gift card.
Thanks to everyone who entered! It was so nice to see so many familiar faces and to meet some new ones, too!
Have a great Monday, Everyone!
Friday, November 5, 2010
Today's post is about two books that didn't make my top five list, but which are still awesome and deserve a mention.
#1 - Flip Dictionary by Barbara Ann Kipfer
Amazon.com price: $18.00
The Flip Dictionary is a thesaurus, but better. It doesn't just give synonyms, it also gives related words. For example, if you look up "minerals," you'll find synonyms listed for "mineral deposit," "to search for mineral deposit," "divination to find mineral ores," "mineral spring," "mineral water," "nonmetallic mineral," soft mineral," "to place minerals in a mine to deceive," as well as a list of 225 minerals.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Monday, November 1, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
A weak opening hook
Overuse of adjectives and adverbs
Melodramatic, commonplace or confusing dialogue
This book isn't just for novices. Even experienced authors can benefit from Lukeman's advice on staying out of the rejection pile. I don't know about you, but staying out of the rejection pile sounds pretty good to me. :)
Don't forget to enter my Back from Hiatus Contest by commenting on this original post.
Happy Wednesday, Everyone!
Sunday, October 24, 2010
How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy.
Amazon.com price: $10.19
My favorite section:
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Start Date: Today - Friday, October 22
End Date: midnight, Sunday November 7
Prizes: Your choice of one of my favorite non-fiction books on writing that I'll be highlighting over my next five posts. You'll just have to wait and see which books they are, but I promise you - they're all awesome! For any non-writers, you can choose a $15 Amazon gift card instead of a book.
Who's Eligible: Any of my Fantastic Friends (new or existing followers), inside the U.S. or out
How to Earn Points: (1 point each)
Be a follower of my blog - new or existing (required)
Leave a comment on THIS post telling me how many points you have and your email address (required)
Be my Facebook friend - new or existing - see sidebar for my Facebook link
Be my Networked Blogs follower - new or existing - see sidebar for my Networked Blogs link
Mention my contest in a blog post
Mention my contest on your sidebar
Facebook post about my contest
Tweet about my contest
That's it - easy as pie! Everything's worth one point, so just count up how many you've done and put it in your comment. On November 8, I'll announce the three winners, email asking which book they prefer, and order the books from Amazon to be delivered directly to the winners.
I really did miss you guys while I was away - thanks for being such a wonderful community of bloggers!
What's your favorite non-fiction writing book?
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Happy Wednesday Everyone!
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Here's what I've been up to:
First of all, I loved Mockingjay! I know this is old news, so I won't say too much, but I had high expectations and was not disappointed.
I won a Big Box of Paranormal on Medeia Sharif's blog and received this awesome box of books. Thanks so much, Medeia!
My family and I spent a week in Destin, Florida. We had a week of perfect weather and fun in the sun. Here's the view from our window:
My good friend Amy Allgeyer Cook's novel The Iron Bodkin was released! It's a wonderful novel and I'm so excited to see it in print. Here's my review from Amazon.com:
When eleven-year-old Lux St. Clare accidentally turns his little sister invisible, his problems are only just beginning. As he works to reverse the spell, he learns the truth of his father’s disappearance, deals with problems at school, challenges government Inquisitors, and uncovers family secrets, perhaps even his own destiny. Told with the perfect balance of humor and suspense, The Iron Bodkin features an irresistible cast of characters, edge-of-your-seat adventure, and a whole lot of fun.
You can visit Amy and learn more about The Iron Bodkin on her blog, The Iron Bodkin. I hope you'll stop by and say "hi'!
Happy Monday, Everyone!
Monday, August 23, 2010
Friday, August 20, 2010
As far as his personality, he's definitely got anger issues. He's had a hard life with his abusive adoptive father, and he blames his mother and, by extension, the rest of the people accompanying him on his journey. He gradually befriends Brady, the other character in this scene, and eventually even falls for a certain young, beautiful, and dangerous elf (also mentioned in this snippet.)
Wow, you guys! Many of your answers were right on target. It was really hard to decide, but I'd have to give first place to Lenny, who said:
The first thing I saw in my head was a guy dressed like in the days of Robin Hood. I think he's kind of scruffy cause of fighting. He's got scruffy whiskers cause of not being where he could shave. He's got long blond hair that's messy and hazel color eyes. He's maybe 18 or in his 20s and a sorta rebel.
Excellent description, Lenny! And thanks so much to everyone for playing and to Jen for hosting! Have a great weekend, everyone!
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Here's how it works: today I'll post a snippet of one of my characters, Keenan, with no physical description. You try to guess what he looks like, based solely on voice, action, and personality. Tomorrow I'll post a picture of him with a short description, and you can see how close your guess was. I'll also post whose description I thought was closest to correct. Sounds like fun, doesn't it? This snippet is from my epic fantasy, In the Seventeenth Year.
Keenan stormed away from the battlefield, heading north. He didn’t know where he was going, just that he had to get away…away from Nolan, from the elf, from all of them. He followed the river to Lake Dooley and kept going until the trees grew thick enough to offer privacy. He took off his wretched worn-out boot and soaked his bloody foot in the cool water. How can Nolan be so blind? he thought. He thinks because she is young and beautiful she can’t be dangerous. And why are we following him like blind sheep anyway? I didn't sign up for a dictatorship. I could turn around right now and go home. Not to the farm, but I could find work in Clifton…
Keenan looked up. Brady stood over him, bow in hand. "What of it?" Keenan asked.
"Nothing. Just an observation."
"Brilliant," Keenan said. "Now you've made your observation and you can be on your way."
Brady held out Keenan's bow. "My father wants us to hunt."
Keenan gave a humorless chuckle as he accepted the bow. "Is he hoping I'll finish you off this time?"
Brady's eyes became solemn. "Perhaps."
"Do you do everything your father tells you?" Keenan asked.
"And you do not?"
"What is that supposed to mean?"
Brady shrugged. "You're still here, aren't you?"
"Maybe I won't be much longer."
* * *
And a sidenote: For those of you that read my last post, hubby did end up reading my blog. I got in trouble, but he passed the test! :)
Monday, August 16, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
Here are a few examples from some of my favorite authors:
From Tithe, by Holly Black:
"Waves tossed themselves against the shore, dragging grit and sand between their nails as they were slowly pulled back out to sea."
Also from Tithe:
"She laughed at that, silvery cold laughter that rose up out of her throat like crows going to wing."
From Wicked Lovely, by Melissa Marr:
"The Summer Girls were like plants needing the nutrients of the sun to thrive; they couldn't be away from the Summer King for long, or they'd fade."
From Fablehaven, by Brandon Mull:
"The demon sprang forward with a roar like a thousand cannons firing together. A black wall of shadow flowed from Bahumat like a wave of tar."
Can't you just see that wave of tar or hear the silvery cold laughter rising up like crows going to wing?
Do you try to include imagery in your own writing? Do you have any favorite authors whose imagery you admire?
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
I'm working on the synopsis for Killing Kessler (thanks to everyone who contributed synopsis advice - it's very much appreciated!) and starting to plot out three new ideas to see which one I'm most in love with. Hopefully once I get Kessler ready to query, I can start a new first draft!
I'm sure you've all heard about WriteOnCon by now. Click here for the schedule.
Theresa Milstein at Substitute Teacher's Saga is hosting a platform contest - a contest for a cause. Check it out here.
Carolina Valdez Miller has extended the deadline on her 7 ARC contest to August 15. If you've already entered, you can earn additional entries. Click here for details.
Medeia Sharif is giving away a Big Box of Paranormal. Deadline is August 27.
Today I'd like to give away the Bloom of an Idea Award to Jen at unedited. Jen is so creative, she's always come up with new and fun things to do on her blog. If you haven't signed up for her Guess That Character Blogfest on August 19 and 20, I suggest you get over there and sign up right away!
If you could meet one fictional character come to life, who would it be?
Sunday, August 8, 2010
I've been looking through my writing books for synopsis tips. Here are a few of the tips I found most valuable:
Always follow the publisher's or agent's guidelines on synopsis length, but generally synopses should be one single-spaced page, or up to five double-spaced pages. Shorter is better, though some novels, like thrillers or mysteries, might require more.
Establish a hook at the beginning. Think of your synopsis as a sales pitch.
Introduce your most important character first.
Main characters should be well developed. What are their goals, motivations, obstacles? The reader needs to care about them.
Don't leave the editor/agent in suspense; tie everything up and reveal the ending.
P.S. I thought I remembered seeing something about this on Elana Johnson's blog before, and I just took a look and found it. If you're writing your own synopsis, check out her advice here.
P.P.S. Also, Catherine Winn has posted a great idea on writing synopses that I'll definitely try. Click here to read her post.
I think I remember seeing someone mention on their blog that they had taken an online seminar on writing a synopsis. Does anyone know of any good seminars, courses, books, etc. that you would recommend?
What's your best synopsis advice?
Friday, August 6, 2010
Here's Sharon's daughter (the beautiful smiling girl) and my daughter (the head ducked behind the Balderdash box). On Sharon's last night in St. Louis, we all played Balderdash together and laughed harder than I can remember laughing in a long time. My daughter's answer about it being against the law in North Carolina to make a pinata of a striped elephant because they revere elephants has us laughing for a good five minutes.
Here's Sharon showing all the world how much she loves Balderdash. Sharon's answer about a movie with English children drinking fizzy soda and floating to the moon was also a highlight of the evening.
And this is my youngest daughter and the (delicious!) cake she baked for my birthday.
Thanks so much for all the wonderful birthday wishes, Everyone! Seriously, they kept me smiling all day long.
What plans do you have for the weekend? Have a great one!
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Star, a messenger for the Elite Riders of Evenspark, races through the misted countryside delivering correspondence to the bordering Fortress of Ravencliff. The route is haunted by the mysterious beasts that lurk in the moors. Star risks her life for the hope of relocating her parents, for the glory of her illustrious career, and for an unrequited love.
On one such mission, Star discovers she carries plans for the assassination of Prince Valen of Ravencliff—the man who has captured her heart. Weighing love against livelihood, she must decide what’s more important…the safety of her country or her love for the Prince, who is betrothed to Princess Vespa of Evenspark.
With the mist rising, enabling the Elyndra to gather and threaten the borders of both kingdoms, Star must unravel the mystery of their existence and forestall a war.
I immediately liked Star, the resourceful young woman who dreams of buying her parents a home in a part of town where they'll be safe from the Elyndra, flying beasts who terrorize the countryside but have not yet crossed the boundaries into Star's homeland, Evenspark, or the neighboring land of Ravencliff. The setting is an integral part of the plot, and Aubrie describes it beautifully, bringing it to life with skillful description and vivid imagery.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Ready for the answers? Don't peek unless you're ready!
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
I'm chugging right along on the wip, trying to maintain my 1 chapter/day revision pace, though some chapters need a lot more work than others. Thanks for all the encouraging words last week about the seemingly never-ending revision process!
I'm reading Messenger in the Mist by Aubrie over at Flutey Words and loving it! I'm hoping to post my review on Monday, but since I've never written a review before, that may be overly optmistic, so stay tuned.
These are repeats from last week, but I added them to that post late, so I'm putting them in again in case any of you missed them.
Carolina Valdez Miller at Carol's Prints and Sara McClung at Babbling Flow are both giving away ARCs.
Ann at Inkpots n' Quills is giving away signed copies of The Lacuna and The Poisonwood Bible.
I just signed up for the Guess That Character Blogfest hosted by Jen at unedited. This one looks like a lot of fun, and I don't have to write anything new for it (that's key!) It runs August 19 and 20. Why two days, you ask? I can't explain it all here, you'll just have to stop by Jen's and check it out.
DL Hammons at Cruising Altitude hosts the High Drama Blogfest/Giveaway on Saturday, August 7.
Lilah Pierce at Thoughts by Lilah Pierce hosts The Funniest Blogfest Ever on Wednesday, September 1.
And a Question Just for Fun:
Sunday, July 25, 2010
In my current wip, my mc lives with her brother, sister, and a friend who's like part of their family. Creating these relationships was one of my favorite parts of writing the book. They tease, they fight, they get angry, they love and protect each other. Being from a family of five siblings, I know what it's like to be arguing one minute, laughing the next.
Her name's Prim, she's just twelve, and I love her more than anything.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Yesterday the wonderful Aubrie at Flutey Words sent me the pdf of her new Ebook (just released on July 19): Messenger in the Mist. When Aubrie asked for reviewers, I couldn't wait to volunteer. Messenger in the Mist is a Fantasy Romance. My two favorite things! I can't wait to read it and yes, when I'm done I promised to review it. Eek!
I also won an ARC of Hero by Mike Lupica from Michelle Hodkin's blog a while back. This was about the time I was starting to read The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, and once I got started on those, I couldn't even fathom reading anything else. But after I finish Messenger in the Mist and review it, I'm looking forward to reading Hero and reviewing it as well.
Writing a book review seems very foreign to me, though I've read plenty of them on other blogs and always enjoy them. Have you ever written a book review? Do you have any advice on writing one? What do you like or not like to see in a book review?
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
I'm still knee deep in revisions for Killing Kessler. This seems like a never-ending process. How can something that seemed so perfect two months ago now seem to need so much more revising? Will it ever be ready? I truly don't know.
Carolina Valdez Miller at Carol's Prints and Sara McClung at Babbling Flow are both giving away ARCs!
Ann at Inkpots n' Quills is giving away signed copies of The Lacuna and The Poisonwood Bible!
Since I just found out about these today, and this post is already a day old, I'll be sure to mention these contests again next week.
DL Hammons at Cruising Altitude hosts the High Drama Blogfest/Giveaway on Saturday, August 7.
Lilah Pierce at Thoughts by Lilah Pierce hosts The Funniest Blogfest Ever on Wednesday, September 1.
And an Award:
Today I'll be bestowing the Blogger BFF Award which was given to me by Lynn at Place to Create and Jen at unedited. Thanks, Lynn and Jen! I'd like to pass this award to Old Kitty at Ten Lives and Second Chances and Anne at Piedmont Writer.
Anne is a talented writer who shares her work generously on her blog. I always look forward to Anne's Something-Something posts for my chance to catch up with Genna and Tony.
That's it for me. Happy Wednesday, All!
Sunday, July 18, 2010
My sister tells about how, when she was much younger, she actually searched for doorways into Narnia. She wanted to go there with Edmund, Lucy, Peter, and Susan, to be part of their adventures. Now her son cries when he finishes each Maximum Ride book because he so wants to be part of the flock and fly away with Max and her family of mutant bird kids. I know how he feels. I feel the same way about Katniss and Peeta and Gale. Okay, so I didn't actually cry when I finished Catching Fire, but I have been thinking about it ever since.
I know I've already asked about favorite characters, but do any come to mind that felt like old friends, that it actually hurt to say goodbye to? What is your favorite quality in a character?
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
I heard about this website over at Christi Goddard's Torch in the Tempest blog today, and I've been playing with it ever since. You paste in a sample of your writing, and it analyzes the sample and tells you which famous author you write like. Christi suggested plugging in just one chapter at a time (to avoid crashing the internet), so I analyzed the first thirty chapters of Killing Kessler, my YA paranormal romance, and the first thirty chapters of In the Seventeenth Year, my epic fantasy.
I expected the results to be vastly different, since the two are written in completely different styles. I was surprised to find that James Joyce came up most frequently in both books: 6 out of 30 chapters in Killing Kessler and 15 out of 30 chapters in In the Seventeenth Year. Okay, this knowledge probably isn't going to make or break my career, but it was fun to play around with.
So who do you write like? Find out here, and I'd love to hear your results!
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
KarenG from Coming Down the Mountain will buy, read, and review one lucky winner's book. This contest is open to authors with at least one book for sale. Karen will be offering more giveaways in her Let-tuce Be Writers Contest Countdown.
How cool that she created her own award to support those in the fantasy/sci fi genre! Thanks, Aubrie!
That's it for me. Have a great Wednesday Everyone!
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Even when I was on break, I had some great news over these three weeks - I received prizes from three blog contests!
First, Marcia Hoehne critiqued the first one thousand words of Killing Kessler. Her suggestions were right on and her encouraging words came at a time when I really needed to hear them. Thanks so much, Marcia! And don't forget to enter her next contest. Marcia gives away two critiques every month.
I won an earring and bracelet set made by the talented Jo Schaffer from Shoveling in a Jo Storm. I told Jo I'd like blue and brown beads with silver, and she took it from there. Isn't it gorgeous? Thanks so much, Jo!
I also won an ARC of Hero on Michelle Hodkin's blog. I am completely wrapped up in Catching Fire from The Hunger Games trilogy right now (love it! love it! love it!), but I can't wait to dive into Hero as soon as I'm finished! Thank you, Michelle!
One thing I've really missed while on break is reading everyone else's blogs. I'll be stopping by to visit in the next few days. Happy Monday Everyone!
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Agent Sara Megibow has posted a letter on Natalie Bahm's blog to romance writers. If you write romance, you'll want to get over there ASAP.
DL Hammons over at Cruising Altitude is on a quest to find blogging buddies across the globe. He's still got a ways to go, so let's help him out! In the U.S., he still needs buddies in Hawaii, Maryland, Mississippi, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, and West Virginia. If you know of any bloggers in these states, please help spread the word!
Karsten Knight has posted an awesome instructional dance video for men to celebrate 100 followers. You DO NOT want to miss this, unless you've got something against laughing. Seriously, you need to check this out.
I shouldn't even be telling you this (because I want to win!), but Marcia Hoehne is giving away critiques of the first 1000 words of your manuscript. She's an author and a writing instructor. The deadline is June 22 at 6am. LATE BREAKING NEWS: I won this critique! Thanks so much, Marcia, and don't worry guys, she's giving away two more critiques next month!
I'll miss you guys, but I'll check in when I can (and hopefully be a little more disciplined about actually staying on break!)
Thursday, June 17, 2010
I gave it some thought. When I have a question about my writing, I challenge myself to come up with ten answers. I allow crazy, dumb, out-there answers, as long as I get ten. That way I get past the obvious surface answers, and hopefully find something more creative.
Here goes. What's striking about my mc? He's
1 - a prince
2- an eldest son
3- the heir to the throne of his country
4 - a brother (this is a story about three brothers)
5 - a murderer
6 - lives as a peasant (unaware of his true ancestry)
7 - an abuse victim
8 - a loner
9 - a hero
10 - a survivor
What traits does he have? He's
1 - reluctant
2 - forgotten (by his parents - not really, but he feels that way)
3 - noble
4 - heroic
5 - defiant
6 - brave
7 - royal/aristocrat/blueblood/regal
8 - isolated
9 - abandoned
10 - independent
Keep in mind, the purpose of this post is not to find the perfect title for my book (though that would be nice...), but rather to elaborate on Margo's suggestion of digging deeper, finding a more evocative title.
So here are some variations on The Reluctant Prince:
The Forgotten Prince
The Abandoned Heir
The Peasant Hero
The Reluctant Son
The Peasant Prince
I'm actually not sure how good of a job I did of finding a more evocative title - this was hard! But it was a good exercise and I definitely have some more options here. The important thing is, I went a little further, past the obvious traits that first jumped to my mind, and found some titles with a little more depth.
I mentioned before that I have a lot of family obligations coming up this summer. With that in mind, I'll be taking a blogging break for the next three weeks. Honestly, I don't know if I'll last, I may have to sneak in a post here or there, and I'll definitely try to visit some blogs whenever I can. I'll see you in July!