Monday, December 28, 2009

The Why

So I'm a reading another manuscript for this agent and so far I like it. I'm about 24k in and really I have no complaints, except one thing. The writer does a great job at setting up the premise, keeping the reader interested, and getting straight into the action. The problem is the writer throws their characters into the scene as if it is their job to beat the bad guys. Thing is...I want to know why they should even care? Why are they in this position? Sometimes writers are so concerned with writing a compelling and intriguing plot and starting right where the action is that they may forget a loose end or two, like the why.

Characters need a reason for doing what they do. It's that simple.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Classics Turned Into Comics?

I was reading a Publishers Weekly article about Classic books like Pride and Prejudice, Macbeth, and Beowulf being turned into comics in order to "promote literacy". I wonder, is this helpful to those reluctant readers? In all honesty I have yet to read any of these novels. Although, next semester I will be reading Beowulf in English Lit class, but I'll admit I'm curious and the thought of reading a classic in comic form sounds appealing. I'll also admit that I've never considered classics as leisure reading...probably a bad thing since I'm a writer. Any one have an opinion on the subject?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Writer's Block-Talk to Your Characters

So I was talking with an author friend, Nazarea Andrews, and she gave me a great idea for getting to know my characters. I'm in a bit of a writer's block rut at the moment.

So I sat down with one of my characters and took her to lunch. She was soooo mad at me. She knew what I had planned for her and she wasn't happy about it. She tried to dodge every question and plea for help with the story until finally I got pissed at her and told her what I had planned was for the better. After she struggled I promised she would mature, unfortunately she took it as an insult. And her love interest well...let's just say he now thinks he's a killer. Great right? Well at least now I've got some ideas.

May be something fun to try :]

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Avatar-My New Favorite Movie

Avatar was amazing! I promise go watch it. It's unlike the normal sci-fi movie, instead it incorporates fantastical elements, a great message/theme and a sweet love. Truly it was magical and the creatures and animals will shock and amaze you. As will the realistic animation. This $500 million movie was directed by the same man responsible for Alien, Terminator 2, and the oh so memorable Titanic. This movie put a unique spin on the usual sci-fi story and it worked out immensely. Trust me, I'm not much of a sci-fi fan. Fans of fantasy will definitely love it. This is an example of great writing. :]

I urge you all to watch it!

Friday, December 18, 2009

What Young Adult's Want

This is a must read post by the 8th grade daughter of author Allison Brennan. This is the kind of post that you should bookmark and save whenever you are about to start a new YA project or just want to see how your current project compares to what your audience really wants.

If you really want to know how your target audience feels then click here.

Awesome job Kelly Brennan!

Monday, December 14, 2009

You Can't Read Em' All

I was emailing with an agent the other day. I'm reading manuscripts to gain some experience in the field. I feel that if I don't finish a manuscript I'm not doing the author or the manuscript justice, but sometimes a work just doesn't grab your attention or its just not quite ready and you can see it without finishing it. Whether its because it drags in the middle or the beginning is just riddled with backstory. I understand how tough the decision can be for an agent. Basically, you know saying "no" could crush a writers dream (Have any of you noticed how nice some are when they reject you? It's as if you can't be mad because they were so nice.)

My advice: Work your ass off until that manuscript is more than ready. Let it be immaculate and don't forget to revise, revise, revise, and then revise again. Make sure your plot is going somewhere because you can be a good or decent writer, but that won't matter to an agent if your plot falls flat or is going no where. If an agent can see such blatant flaws, I'm sure that the writer can as well. They just don't want to admit it. If you want to be published then create a story worthwhile then revise the crap out of it. Seriously-revise!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Harlequin and the Self-Publishing Endeavor

I'm sure everyone has heard of the whole deal about Harlequin creating a self-publishing branch. There is an article on Jackie Kessler's blog you HAVE to read. It's great and explains it all in an easy way. Don't be fooled just because of the name-empty promises is what you'll get.

Click here to read it.

Friday, December 11, 2009

7 Figure Deal-The Next Stephenie Meyer?

Ally Condie's trilogy was sold to Dutton's Children's Books for a 7 figure deal, topping Stephenie Meyer. The auction took place between ten publishing houses-yikes! Apparently, she is represented my Jodi Reamer, Meyer's agent. This is actually her first novel, yup her debut novel, Matched, but I must say the blurb sounded interesting so I will be reading it when it comes out. If you'd like to check out the full article then click here.

Jodi Reamer actually said that reading Matched, reminded her of the first time she read Twilight.
I still can't believe publishing houses go so insane over a debut author...I really wonder if she will be the next Stephenie Meyer? What do you all think? Maybe there is hope for the rest of us trying to break into the business!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Kid Lit Revision-O-Rama

In case you like my little workshop and are interested in more revision kind of blog posts, agent Mary Kole over at is hosting Revision-O-Rama for the month of December. So far she has tackled characters, fixing your beginning, and plot.

It is definitely worth a look. Click here to see her blog.

School Building

Hey guys,

I posted this workshop a while back at Key Publications Network. I'm head of the (YAWR) Young Adult Writers Rock group. Group heads were coming up with workshops and since I have finals and haven't been able to post very interesting things lately I figured that this workshop on "school building" could prove beneficial and perhaps even fun :]

School Building Workshop

Let’s face it. Every young adult is going through a learning stage. Whether it’s in middle school, high school, wizarding school, or just learning from the elder in a tribe.

The beauty of YA books is that they can be in any genre so there are many variations in how schooling can be portrayed. If it is just a YA may be drama filled at a high school. If it’s a YA fantasy then a school may not exist in that time period. A young adult may be under the instruction of just one person for one particular subject.

Think about the world J.K. Rowling created with Harry Potter. She came up with O.W.L.s and N.E.W.T.s to be like finals and the SAT’s. We have all these different genres why not create a genre-specific school. Take horror for example: A school for serial killers, masochists, and cannibals? How crazy freaky would that be? What would be the rules? Does it create these people or does it try to help them and turn them back into regular citizens?

For Sci-fi: What about a school for guys who need to learn how to impress girl robots because they are the only kinds of females on the planet left. (Oh! I may try that one!)

When writing a novel a common phrase to hear is “World Building” well, instead of world building, this week we will be “School Building”. Write in whatever genre you choose and create a school to fit that time. Remember, try something new; Like a school for werewolves or pixies? Just give it a shot :]

Happy Writing

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

ViNoWriMo- Vinyl Rhino

For those of you who didn't get to participate in NaNoWriMo fear not, you have another shot at crafting a novel in a month. Vicious Writers is hosting Vicious Novel Writing Month (ViNoWriMo) on their writers' site Key Publications Network.

Though this challenge is a bit more difficult than NaNoWrimo. For one thing you will have no idea what you will be writing about until New Year's Eve when the topic is announced. You have from January 1st to the 31st to complete your 50,000 word manuscript which must use the topic as a main theme. At the end of the month you submit your manuscript to be judged.

The first place winner receives $500 dollars and the opportunity to publish with Key Publications Network. They will be opening their doors in January with the release of Faith's Friendship by Nazarea Andrews. She was the winner of 2009's ViNoWriMo. If you are interested in checking out her blog I have a link to her blog under my links page.

**Now if you'd like to learn more about ViNoWriMo please click on the title of this blog post to visit

Also, you must become a member of Key Publications Network to participate. A link to that is located beneath my links column as well.

Best of luck to you all!

Monday, December 7, 2009

New Site!

Hey guys,

Sorry I haven't been posting much, but it is Finals week here in college so I'm a bit overwhelmed and my brain is a bit fried. I promise by next week I should be posting more regularly.

But I wanted to announce the creation of my very own WEBSITE! The actual url is but to see it just click on the title of this post :]

I have a bunch of helpful links listed which I will be adding to, some artwork, a poem or two, and a blurb of my novel. Check it out. :]

Happy Writing!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Harry Potter Seven Release Dates

Harry Potter 7 Part 1 comes out November 2010 and Part 2 July 2011

I'm sorry, but the link to the trailer was deleted literally 2 min before I originally published this post.

December-The Writing Back Burner

An interesting post by Nazarea Andrews--her debut novel, Faith's Friendship, is due out in January--sparked my interest. Click on the title of the of this post if you'd like to see her post.

Anyway, she's so busy that writing has kind of been put on the back burner. Though, it's understandable, putting a book out, getting the author website going, editing, etc all that takes time, and not only that, but we are in the midst of the holiday season. The holidays are busy, for parents it's going to be taking off to watch the kids once winter break arrives, for students like me it's the dreaded finals, for teachers it's finally time to get their christmas shopping done. Dinner parties become the norm, as do shattering decorations for those with youngsters or just the clumsy folk. Now where in that time frame do we find time to write?

I'm a bit saddened by it, but I'll admit I haven't written anything in more than a week and refuse to because I need precious time to study for finals, and read a couple manuscripts. Well, at least I haven't put this blog on the back burner. Though, it's not just us! Check out Agent Mary Kole's blog (sadly, I can't remember the exact post). According to her, even agents and editors are taking a break from submitting projects. Most use this time of the year to catch up on their large manuscript pile, queries, etc and hold off on submitting projects until after the new year.

Hmm, I wonder what it is about December?

Anyway, Happy Writing!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Meyer Accused of Plagiarism

Wow, I was reading an article on Publishers Weekly, which stated that Stephenie Meyer had been sued by the author of The Nocturne, Jordan Scott, for similarities between her novel and Breaking Dawn. In the end the judge ruled in favor of Meyer.

Click on the title of this blog post to read the full article.

I'm sure similarities can be found in many novels. In case none of you have ever read this, but most plots have all been done. What makes them original is the twist and spin you give them. Anyone notice the Twilight Saga's similarity to Romeo and Juliet? Star crossed lovers type theme? All book and movies have similarities to one another. If you really nitpick I'm sure you can find plenty. Any one have any thoughts on the matter?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Kids Movies

I don't care what anyone says, I'm still a bit of a kid at heart and do enjoy those heartfelt kids movies. And I consider them "research" for my writing. Have you taken a look at any Disney movies lately? Take the Lion King II for example. Kiara and Kovu (I think that's how you spell it) fall in love pretty fast in like one scene and then the plot quickly turned into saving the pride etc.

Well, that is what happens in a lot of MG novels I've noticed. At least for younger readers.They are naturally shorter novels (20-40k) more if its historical, fantasy, or paranormal, but that's beside the point. Because they are shorter a lot of character relationship building tends to happen a bit faster to move the story along. That is just something I've noticed. If you still don't know what I'm saying, then watch the movie and then you'll probably understand.

Also! I can't wait for the new Princess and the Frog movie! I was starting to miss the old drawn cartoons ya know? Everything is all 3-D like Monsters Inc.

If you don't know about it then click the title of this post to check out the trailer.

Happy writing!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Advice to Writers

As writers sometimes we lock ourselves up in a dark room, chain our legs to the chair, or superglue our butts, (whichever option is readily available) and write. During this time you begin to forget to shower, forget to clean, take out the dog, or don't realize 5 hours have passed until your wondering why your stomach won't stop its incessant growling.

Fellow writers it's okay to reside within our own worlds when the muse is calling us, but don't forget to take a look at the real world. When you finish that manuscript you have a whole other world to deal with, and that is the world of publishing.

We can't just be those secluded writers that hardly interact with our fellow writers. No, we must learn as much as we can, see what similar books are being released in our manuscript's genre, join a critique group, attend a conference, and dump the shyness that some tend to hide behind.

This is a new world you will be entering, now make the most of it. I bet you your manuscript needs work. For most of us this is true; we won't have a sellable manuscript right out of the gate. We need one another to tell us what's working and what's not, but remember it is your work and your opinion that matters the most.

If you are interested in networking with other writers, check out the Writers Digest Community and Key Publications Network. I have the links up on the right side of this blog.

Good luck :]