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Showing posts from 2009

Year in Short

And what a year it's been! The decade's coming to a close and there have been changes, not just in the publishing world, but in the entire world.

This was a big year for a lot of people. Congratulations to Hannah whose book, Break, was released this year and another big congratulations to Kody whose book will be released sometime next year! Also congrats to all the twifties and everyone who made the next step in the journey to publication this year and got an agent!

The publishing world was hit hard this year and it's plain to see everywhere. In the last week I have visited two bookstores that were having their store closing sales. E-books are making a rise everywhere, forcing publishers to consider their method of publishing as they rush to take control of the changing market.

But while the market is also struggling, we had some awesome books this year. Catching Fire for one. Yes, that will always be ranked number one on my list of favorite books released this year. There we…

New Releases - To Be Mona, Need, and Burn

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Sorry about the lack of post on Monday and teaser on Tuesday! Monday I was away from home all day and I just couldn't figure out a teaser for Tuesday. There really isn't anything more I can share until I get a new project.

Anyway, I hope everyone had an awesome Christmas! If you need an idea on what to spend that Borders gift card on, here are three awesome new releases.

To Be Mona by Kelly Easton
Sage Priestly is seventeen, and she longs to reinvent herself -- to strip away the fat, the past, the crazy mom, the unpaid bills. She longs to be her own version of the gorgeous and popular Mona Simms. Sage starts dieting and exercising. She gets blond highlights and throws away all of her black clothes. Bit by bit she transforms herself. This is deeply troubling to her best friend, Vern, who is secretly in love with Sage just the way she is. But the boyfriend Sage wants -- the popular jock Roger -- suddenly notices her. And when they start dating, Sage thinks her life is turning arou…

Week in Short

HAPPY FRIDAY EVERYONE! You guys do not know how ecstatic I am that today is Friday. To those of you who are already free from school obligations until the new year, I hate you. (Just kidding!) I'm just jealous. I have to drag myself out of bed on Monday and Tuesday for the simple reason that I have two tests on Monday and I can't skip one day only to need it later. So yeah. It sucks, but I'm used to it.

This is how the next couple weeks are going to go. There will be posts on Monday and Tuesday as normal. Then I'm taking Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday off to enjoy my wonderful family Christmas and then I shall return on the following Monday.

Also, I finished City of Bones yesterday at the expense of my homework. I will not be reviewing it for a few reasons. The first and foremost is that I'm still not sure if I want to throw the book out the window or run to the nearest Borders and buy City of Ashes. I'm going to read the next two books and then maybe I'll p…

Graceling Review

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Graceling by Kristin Cashore
This book isn't quite like anything I've ever read before. The plot itself fascinated me and there were a few twists that I didn't see coming at all even though looking back I should've seen it. This is the kind of book that you pick up at three intending to read for a few minutes and look back at the clock two hours later and wonder where the time's gone. Po was by far my favorite character and the twist at the end made me want to scream. Katsa intrigued me through the first half of the book, but become a little annoying towards the second half. She was so strong and then she softened up. Just once I wanted her to say no to her uncle. She had all the power, he was just using it. I loved the whole thing with the ring. I didn't see that twist coming either. Leck's Grace both disturbed and fascinated me. I could just imagine what would happen if someone in the modern world could do something like that.

Overall: 4.5/5

Intertwined Review

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Intertwined by Gena Showalter
Honestly, I'm not quite sure what I think about this book. It's the kind of book that you read because you simply can't put it down and read the sequels to because you just have to know what happens, not because you love the book. The idea is very original and I just loved the concept of having four souls trapped inside your head. My favorite character is probably Riley. He's hot, sweet, and a werewolf. Aden and Mary Ann have a tendency to annoy me from time to time. The ending just plain shocked me. I can say that whatever I was expecting for the end of the book, that wasn't it. And *SMALL SPOILER WARNING* I can honestly say that I realized who Eve was very early in the book and wasn't at all surprised when they finally reveal her true identity. *jumps up and down* The next book doesn't come out for a long. time. I want it...

Overall: 4/5

Week in Short

It's been a long week around here. Lots of snow and ice during the last three days outside. Two inches of snow still on the ground and it's freezing outside. Christmas dance is tomorrow and I had to go shopping tonight to pick up my shoes. I also got Winter's End so expect a review sometime after I finish City of Bones. I also discovered that one of my favorite bookstores is indeed closing.

I'm finally back to doing WiS again!

Quite a bit of news this week, but none of it actually good, unfortunately.

News:

I'm sad to announce that both the Rappaport Agency and Kirkus Reviews are closing. I wish Jenny and all those involved with both companies luck in the new year.

The entire WordServe Literary Agency and Jennifer Jackson are closing to queries until January 15th in order to catch up with their load and enjoy their well-deserved holidays.

GLA has seven things I've learned by Diana Jenkins.

Kody has an interview with Jennifer Hubbard, author The Secret Year, a fellow t…

New Releases - Fallen, Claim to Fame

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Fallen by Lauren Kate

There's something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price's attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He's the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce--and goes out of his way to make that very clear--she can't let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.

Claim to Fame by Margaret Peterson Haddix

It was a talent that came out of nowhere. One day Lindsay Scott was on the top of the world, the star of a hit TV show. The next day her fame had turned into torture. Every time anyone said anything about her, she heard it. And everyone was talking about Lindsay: fans, friends, enemies, enemie…

RTW - Three Questions

I planned to post Graceling review today, but auto-post is refusing to listen to me so I'm going to push that back to next Thursday and join in on YA Highway's blog carnival instead. Because this is more fun. Also I'm procrastinating he large amount of work that I have to do since I skipped school today on account of the snow.

1) What are the three best books you've read this year?

Wow...Um...Well I'd say Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins is definitely in the top three. Also The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan which was by far the best book in the Percy Jackson series. And either Wake by Lisa McMann or Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers or Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen. I've read too many good books this year to even remember them all.

2) If you could meet one author (living or dead), who would it be?

J.K. Rowling. I mean, who wouldn't? I have SO many questions that I'd ask her.

3) What book are you most looking forward to in 2010?

Oh dear. The Duff, o…

Future Movies

In light of the leaked Deathly Hallows trailer that I have now watched at least seven times in the last 48 hours, I've decided to talk about the movies that are coming out over the next couple years. That, and I found out a couple of movies that I've been dying to hear about are actually being made into movies and I just want to fangirl. Sorry.

Next year's much anticipated movies:

1. The Lightning Thief - February 12th (based on the book by Rick Riordan) The third and most recent trailer is AWESOME
2. Eclipse - June 30th - Despite the fact that I have yet to see NM and I know already I'm going to be here with a rant the next day, this one is still on the list.
3. Avatar the Last Airbender - July 2nd - this one needs a better trailer
4. Secretariat - Fall - Sorry, had to be included.
5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 - November 19th - HOLY CRAP I CAN'T WAIT!
6. Voyage of the Dawn Treader - December 10th - Third movie in the Narnia series. I can't wait to s…

Interview with Maria and Dylan

This week I have two of my favorite characters, Maria and Dylan from Shipwrecked...with a Boy, in the studio with me. If you know about my writing, Shipwrecked has been trunked pending a rewrite. If you don't, well, I just told you.

Me: Hello, Dylan and Maria!

Dylan: Hi everyone.

Maria: Hi. *grins*

Me: So, Dylan, you and Maria are the starring characters in Shipwrecked. Can you tell me how all of this began?

Dylan: When the cruise ship wrecked, of course. Maria and I both washed up on the same island.

Me: Interesting. Did you two know each other before meeting on the island?

Maria: We'd met on the cruise ship when our parents had a business meeting, but other than that we didn't talk much. I wasn't quite sure what to think about him when we first met.

Dylan: I liked you right away. *smiles at her*

Maria: Shut up, you did not.

Dylan: Did too.

Maria: You told me you didn't believe in love at first sight.

Me: Okay, you two. I haven't rewritten the book yet.

Maria: So? We can&#…

Great News!

I'm writing this while sitting on my bed with my newly returned laptop in front of me! That's right, my laptop is BACK! Which means I no longer have the share our only computer with my mother. For the next few days I'm going to catch up on things and hopefully next week I can start reading my blog list and doing Week in Shorts again! :D

Btw, you don't know how much I appreciate the laptop right now. If you have one, give it a big hug right now no matter how stupid you think it will look. Now I just need to get my mom off the desktop long enough for me to get my files.

New Releases -- Winter's End, Raven Summer, and Million-Dollar Throw

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Winter's End by Jean-Claude Mourlevat Escape. Milena, Bartolomeo, Helen, and Milos have left their prison-like boarding schools far behind, but their futures remain in peril. Fleeing across icy mountains from a terrifying pack of dog-men sent to hunt them down, they are determined to take up the fight against the despotic government that murdered their parents years before. Only three will make it safely to the secret headquarters of the resistance movement. The fourth is captured and forced to participate in a barbaric game for the amusement of the masses — further proof of the government’s horrible brutality. Will the power of one voice be enough to rouse a people against a generation of cruelty? Translated from the French, this suspenseful story of courage, individualism, and freedom has resonated with young readers across the globe.
Raven Summer by David Almond

Liam and his friend Max are playing in their neighborhood when the call of a bird leads them out into a field beyond th…

Sucks to Be Me Review

Sucks to Be Me by Kimberley Pauley

I loved this book! It's definitely an interesting twist on the idea of vampires. The voice caught me from the beginning and the plot kept me interested. I especially like the last line in the second paragraph on the first page. Read it and you'll know what I mean. I liked the idea of a vampire council and how the "turnings" were done.

The characters were starting to annoy me towards the end. Mina is so blind when it comes to guys. I just want to walk into the story and slap her a few times. The ending however, I really liked. Though it seemed a little sudden.

Interview with Katie

Me: Hope everyone had a great holiday and an awesome weekend! :) This week I have the MC of Aliens Ruined My Life, Katie, with us. Say hello, Katie.

Katie: Hello, Katie.

Me: *rolls eyes* Katie why don't you tell us about yourself?

Katie: Before or after the invasion?

Me: After. That is when your story starts.

Katie: Not really. Maybe you should write another one. A prequel.

Me: Maybe next year for nano. I'm kind of tempted to write Illiandora's story. Don't you think that would be cool?

Katie: Maybe you should explain who Illiandora is.

Me: I'm the interviewer here. Now, why don't you tell us about yourself after the invasion.

Katie: Well, I have brown hair and brown eyes. My hair is kind of wavy at the ends. I don't like to be interrupted when I'm reading and I like to be sarcastic sometimes.

Me: Sometimes?

Katie: Hey, every character has some part of their writer in them. Unlike most people, I don't mind homework as long as it's not a pile of physics wor…

Black Friday

Once again, no formal post today. If you absolutely must go out and brave the throngs of insane people battling over the products for sale, be safe and good luck! I don't want to hear of any deaths like last year. If you're sane and staying home -- like me -- enjoy your day off and get to work on that NaNo project!

Either way, everyone have an awesome weekend!

Chapter Length

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It's something that a lot of new writers obsess over though it doesn't have a lot of bearing on a story. I've read books with everything from one to two page chapters (which got a little annoying after awhile, but it was easy to keep track of how many chapters I was reading and keep myself from losing track of time) to books that only had ten chapters and 384 pages.

Does it really matter what your chapter's length is? No. In fact, it can vary. You can have chapters that are a few pages long and other chapters that are ten or fifteen. Just do whatever works for your book.

Because I'm curious, here's a cute little poll. When reading (or writing) what chapter length do you prefer?


What chapter length do you prefer?



Very short (1-3 pages)



Short (4-7 pages)



Medium (7-10 pages)



Long (10-15 pages)



Very long (15+ pages)



No preference









Web Polls

Cracked Up to Be Review

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Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers
Cracked Up to Be is an amazing book. For the first ten minutes after I finished it, all I could think was wow. The characterization was just amazing. Parker is probably one of the first characters that I wanted to strangle and hug at the same time, without being able to put the book down. She's such a witch to everyone around her -- even those that are just trying to help -- but you just want to keep going to figure out what made her like this. And Jake...I love him! He's such a sweetheart and you just have to love him.

I love the way that Courtney Summers reveals the events of the party that made Parker the way she is by showing it in bits as Parker remembers and thinks about it.

Note: don't read Cracked Up to Be during NaNo. Or when you're supposed to be working on something. It was really hard for me to put it down.

Interview with Claudia and Erik

Okay, I planned to do this...12 days ago on Destiny's actual one-year birthday, but that's when everything hit me so happy belated birthday, Destiny! *cue noise-makers* In celebration of this event, I'm going to interview the two main characters, Claudia and Erik. Hello guys!

Claudia and Erik: Hello!

Claudia: Thanks for having us.

Me: You're welcome. You're always welcome around here. Being my first characters and all.

Erik: I thought that was Fluffy.

Me: Shut up. Stories that I wrote when I was six don't count.

Claudia: Aww, but Fluffy was so cute.

Me: *rolls eyes* All right, let's get started.

Selma: *walks in without knocking* Am I late?

Me: Selma, this is an interview between me, Claudia, and Erik. I was planning on having yours in celebration of the one year anniversary of Destiny's completion.

Selma: Too bad. Besides, you don't even know what day that is.

Me: All right, you can stay. You didn't tell anyone else, did you?

Selma: *looks guilty* No...

Me:…

Printing a Manuscript

Okay. I've got every post planned through December 14th. So hopefully there will be no more missed days (except for the weekends, because I take those off blogging.) The laptop is supposed to be back by the 14th so I figured I'd plan through then and see where I stood.

Yesterday I printed the first chapter of Destiny. It's one of the coolest things in the world to hold your own manuscript in your hands, even if it's just a fraction of it. But besides the coolness-factor, there are other reasons to print out your manuscript.

1. It's a great way to edit. I don't suggest doing this with a first draft unless you can afford to buy a few cartridges of ink (if you have a printer like mine that sucks up ink faster than a jet sucks up fuel) and a package of paper because a first draft is definitely going to have a lot of things that need to be fixed. Better to fix all those errors and do all those rewrites on the computer and save the printing for a later draft.

2. Hard co…

Guess what?

I have returned! And this time I have a little more time on my hands. No, the laptop still isn't back. It'll be two weeks this Saturday. But I AM finished with NaNo!! That's right, Aliens Ruined My Life is complete at 50,300 words!

If you ask me how the heck I did it, the answer is: sugar, a character that wouldn't shut up, and a willingness to put everything else aside and just sit in the house for an entire weekend (probably the last beautiful, slightly warm weekend we're going to get until April) and write.

I've started editing Destiny, Jump, and ARML with the goal to finish all three of them before Christmas break. I'll ship them out to betas and then hopefully start working on my next project over break.

I'm taking tonight off, but tomorrow I'll get my butt in gear and start editing. I've already got the first chapter of Destiny printed out with a list of revision suggestions in front of me. I'm also going to try to be a better blogger and…

Write or Die

I HATE having only one computer. You do not truly appreciate your computer time until your computer disappears and you have to share with your writer mom. Trust me on this. One week survived, two to three to go. And the worst part is, I still don't have my backup files. Which means I can't turn in that AP Lit essay (which means I'm probably failing right now, but I'm too scared to check my grades to see), I don't have my notes for the book reviews I had planned, and I don't have the first 10k of my nano project.

*sighs* Anyway...a few random notes before I begin.

I finished Bloodhound. Review will come eventually. I've started Sucks to be Me. There will definitely be a review on this one. :D

I hit the halfway point on ARML. YAY! Goal is to hit 35k this weekend. Only 16 days left!

Taylor Swift won Entertainer of the Year at the CMAs the other day, a title that is usually given to Kenny Chesney if I remember correctly. I am so happy for her and ecstatic right now…

Lots of News

Before I begin, I'd like to say sorry for being such a horrible blogger in the past week. I realize that it's been...almost two weeks since I last posted. I'm so very sorry! Life decided to get in the way and make blogging nearly impossible. So I've decided to drop in and let you all know what's up.

School and homework has been taking up the majority of my time. We're nearing the end of the trimester which means teachers are now piling even more work on us in an attempt to get through all their lessons before exams. At this point our trig teacher has already told us that we're not going to have any time for review in class before our exams. Which sucks. Whatever time I don't spend working on homework, is spent writing. NaNo is very time consuming, but I'm quite happy with my project so far.

Yesterday my laptop broke and it's now in the shop. I think I have a vague idea how parents feel when they're children go away to summer camp. Everything w…

Naming Characters

It's Wednesday again which means YA Highway has another blog carnival! I really liked this week's question, but before I start, I have an exciting announcement. JUMP IS COMPLETE! Final word count: 45,000 words! Which means it's time to put Jump and Hannah away for a month until I can start revisions after NaNo is over.

Okay now for the question: how do you name your characters?

This is a tough one. I don't have any set system for naming them, but I can't write a story without a name. Sometimes I have a name that just comes to me. Like Katie in ARML. Her name didn't require any thought at all. Hannah was the same way.

Then there are times when I can't for the life of me come up with a name that I like. So I turn to my number one source for names: baby name sites. There are whole listings of names for boys and girls. The best ones even show the origins and meanings of names in case you want to choose one based on that too. If you, like me, struggle with coming u…

Week in Short Two Days Late

I'm so sorry I'm late! I had one busy weekend. I wasn't home at all between noon Saturday and 9 pm Sunday so WiS pretty much fell to the sidelines. It took me quite awhile last night when I remembered to catch up on all the blog posts. So here is Week in Short, two days late.

There are three Must Reads this week. This first one is from YA Highway on the weight of words and sentences. I know this is really late, but here is Nathan's thoughts on first paragraphs and the winners of his contest! And last but not least, Hannah has her thoughts on word count.

Blood Red Pencil talked about ghostwriters last week. Back before Destiny was even started, I thought the only one of my ideas was going to be finished was if I hired a ghostwriter.

BookEnds agent Jessica answers some random questions.

GLA has the essentials of a novel synopsis.

Querytracker discussed the value of text to voice in editing. It really is a great editing tool. And unlike with reading your manuscript out loud, y…

Writing, with School

Ahhh the school year. The time when teenagers spent eight hours a day trapped in the hall of "learning", work hard to keep up with the homework, and enjoy extracurricular activities. But doing all that and keeping up with writing can be difficult. So here are some tips on how to balance writing and school while you count down the days to summer break.

1. Remember, as much as we wish it was otherwise, school should always come first. Do your homework as soon as you get home instead of *ahem* putting it off until a few minutes before it's due. This way you can relax and just write, rather than worrying about that history project or math worksheet.

2. Set aside a period for writing/editing. Maybe you write best after dinner or right before bed. Set aside an hour or two to unplug and just write.

3. If you're like me and you have trouble setting aside a specific amount of time for working, then at least try to write each day. As soon as your homework's done, open up your…

New Releases: Prophecy of the Sisters, Leigh Ann's Civil War, Liar

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Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink Book 1 of Prophecy of the Sisters Trilogy

An ancient prophecy divides two sisters-

One good...

One evil...

Who will prevail?

Twin sisters Lia and Alice Milthorpe have just become orphans. They have also become enemies. As they discover their roles in a prophecy that has turned generations of sisters against each other, the girls find themselves entangled in a mystery that involves a tattoo-like mark, their parents' deaths, a boy, a book, and a lifetime of secrets.

Lia and Alice don't know whom they can trust.

They just know they can't trust each other.

Leigh Ann's Civil War by Ann Rinaldi

Leigh Ann Conners is spunky and determined. Although she often finds herself in trouble, she loves her two older brothers dearly and would do anything to make them proud. When the Yankees arrive in Roswell, Georgia, Leigh Ann places a French flag upon the family’s mill. She hopes the Yankees will then spare the mill from destruction, but her actions …

NaNoWriMo

Ahhh NaNoWriMo. If you have no idea what that is, you're missing out. NaNo is National Novel Writing Month, when writers sacrifice their sanity and personal life for one month in an attempt to write an entire 50,000 word novel. NaNo takes place during November, which means it is 14 days away. :D

If you'd like more information about NaNo visit http://www.nanowrimo.org/eng/node.

My name on there is (unsurprisingly) Horserider.

I have never officially done NaNo. Whether or not I actually did or not last year is debatable. I did start Destiny in November and I did finish it at 100k in December, but I didn't actually know about NaNo at the time. So this will be my first official year of participation!

Some things you can do to prepare:

1. Use a '100 questions for your character sheet.' (I've got one for Katie, my MC for my NaNo project.)

2. Outline.

3. Character bios.

4. Character pictures.

5. Anything you want, as long as you don't start the novel until November 1st! An…

Week in Short

Contest:
Nathan Bransford had his first paragraph contest last week. The finalists were announced Friday and tomorrow we'll know who won.

Kidlit.com is hosting a query contest for YA, MG, and picture books. Deadline is October 31st and the prize is a critique of the first 30 pages of your manuscript.

Kody is also hosting her own query contest.

News:
I recently learned that Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (my favorite movie) is coming out on DVD December 8th! HA! I told my mom it would come out before Christmas. :D

Blood Red Pencil talked about redundancy and wordiness this week.

BookEnds explained why agents auto-delete mass-mailed and 'Dear Agent' queries.

GLA reminds us all about Google alerts.

Rachelle Gardner adds her on to what to do when an agent offers to rep you.

That's all the links for this week! Short, I know. I was surprised too. Now I'm going to talk about what I read and wrote this week.

I finished The Last Olympian, the final book of the Percy Jackson s…

Steampunk

Steampunk. If you're like me, you no idea what that means. You just know that it's some genre of books. So what is steampunk? I went to my resident expert on all that I don't know (Google) to find out.

Steampunk is a sub-genre of fiction set in past centuries -- commonly the Victorian era or the Old West -- but uses modern or sci-fi-type technology. Often steam power technology is also involved.

Some examples of steampunk according to this website:

1. The Difference Engine by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling

2. The Age of Unreason by J. Gregory Keyes (a four-book series)

3. The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers

4. A Nomad of the Time Streams by Michael Moorcock (a trilogy)

5. The Pesawar Lancers by S.M. Stirling

6. Perdido Street Station by China Mieville

7. His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman (personally, I don't see it...)

8. Morlock Night by K.W. Jeter

9. The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson

10. Clockwork Heart by Dru Pagliassotti

There. I hope that cleared that up for some of …

New Releases: Ash, The Georges and the Jewels, Intertwined

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Ash by Malinda Lo In the wake of her father's death, Ash is left at the mercy of her cruel stepmother. Consumed with grief, her only joy comes by the light of the dying hearth fire, rereading the fairy tales her mother once told her. In her dreams, someday the fairies will steal her away, as they are said to do. When she meets the dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean, she believes that her wish may be granted.

The day that Ash meets Kaisa, the King's Huntress, her heart begins to change. Instead of chasing fairies, Ash learns to hunt with Kaisa. Though their friendship is as delicate as a new bloom, it reawakens Ash's capacity for love-and her desire to live. But Sidhean has already claimed Ash for his own, and she must make a choice between fairy tale dreams and true love.

The Georges and the Jewels by Jane SmileyJane Smiley makes her debut for young readers in this stirring novel set on a California horse ranch in the 1960s. Seventh-grader Abby Lovitt has always been more at e…

RTW -- Rough Drafts

As some -- or most -- of you probably know, YA Highway has a new thing they call "Road Trip Wednesday" where each contributor writes a post on their own blog about a certain subject. Then you get to go on a road trip and read their awesome responses.

Well this event is also open to random bloggers. Visit YA Highway for more information and to read the awesome posts.

This week's question was: How rough is your rough draft?

The first thing I want to say is: all rough drafts need work. It's a fact of writing. I don't believe anyone in this world can produce a flawless draft on the first try, or even the second.

As for my rough drafts...well...they suck. A lot. Destiny's been through one full rewrite, one partial rewrite, and is still looking forward to another partial rewrite and revisions. Let's not even talk about the 100k rough draft still saved on my computer that it started out as.

Black Diamond and Shipwrecked are the same way. I refuse to even think ab…

Non-Teaser Tuesday

Sorry guys, no teaser this week! Like I said last week, Jump is too far along for teasers and Shipwrecked isn't ready to be displayed. Hopefully I'll be able to start doing proper teasers when NaNo starts up and I have snippets of that yet-unknown project to share. In the meantime, here is a short story. If there are any words that feel out of place, it's because they're vocab words that we were forced to use. But I think this is pretty good for a five-minute vocab exercise.

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The women of the village were disconsolate as the men prepared for their venture. The men held themselves with confident mien though the majority knew they would not return. Their group was a multifarious mixture of young and old, strong and weak, tall and short. All wore shirts and pants of a lawny texture. As the women shook with sadness, the men doggedly set out into the woods after a denizen of its heart, a creature so vile that few dared to enter its territory alone. That night, as the women…

Edgy YA

Before we begin, I'd like to share the results of last week's poll. Summary won the poll with 50% of the vote, reviews was second with 25%, and author and cover both won 13% each. I admit to voting summary myself. The only way a cover gets me to buy a book is if it has a horse on it, and I still read the summary first.

Onto today's topic: Edgy YA. So last week my mom was talking about her story and how "kinky" it is. (Which pretty much means edgy to her.) But her book is adult and I've never heard of "edgy adult." So we started to get a little bit into the edginess of YA novels these days. Now, me and my mom recently read a book that has sex in it. It's barely mentioned and there's very little detail whatsoever.

And she was shocked.

Apparently my mom hasn't read YA in ten or twenty years, because not only is sex in YA not only allowed, it's pretty widely known. But her reaction is EXACTLY why she's not allowed to read anything I wri…

Week in Short

What a busy week it has been! I can't believe it's the 11th already. Not that I'm complaining. :D

The Must Read this week comes from our very own Kody at YA Highway where she talked about her seven deadly sins of querying.

News:
Some big books are coming to the big screen in the next few years! Check to see if your favorite is on the list. :D Hopefully some of them will wait until 2011. I already have six movies that I need to go see in theaters and I rarely ever go there. The last movie I saw in theaters was...probably G-Force.

BookEnds talked about what publishers do for book publicity.

Editorial Ass added a glossary of all the main posts.

GLA discussed the bio section of a query letter and had a short interview with Nathan Bransford.

Nathan Bransfordtalked about calling books "trash." I must bookmark this...

Writer Unboxed has a post on how real realistic fiction has to be. It's a fascinating post. Now does anyone know if I can get away with medical miracles?

My w…

Weather in Writing

Today I'm going to talk about the weather. Not whether.Weather. And not the fact that the sky looks like it can't decide if it wants to rain or not over here either.

One of the things that the writer can do to make their worlds more realistic is pay attention to what the weather is like. I'm not saying describe the clouds in very specific detail and point out the one that's shaped like a bunny and the one that reminds your character of alphabet soup. (I don't know where that comparison came from either.) But in the real world, it's certainly not sunny all the time. Unless the MC lives in the desert.

Weather fits right in with the setting. Take, for example, Forks, Washington. Yes that's a real town. Who knew? (Please don't hurt me.) Forks apparently is the rainiest city in the U.S. That fit right in with Twilight since vampires can't be seen in sunlight. Forks was the perfect setting for them and yet there were still a few days of sunlight in the stor…

What Made You Buy It?

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Sorry there was no teaser yesterday. I've gotten up to the point in Jump where teasers are no longer possible without requiring some kind of explanation or avoiding a major spoiler, so no more Teaser Tuesday for me for a while. My goal is to finish Jump (which has now hit 30k, yay!) before November so I can put all my time and energy towards NaNo, which I fully intend to do officially this year. But more on that when it gets closer to November.

So I was thinking while I was catching up on blog posts and a thought popped into my head. I know why I buy/check out the books I do, but why do you buy/check out the books you do? Think back to the last time you bought a book. What made you want to buy that book over all the other AWESOME books in that store?

To help me with this little question, I have created this cute little poll. Feel free to explain your answer in the comments. Should be fun to see the answers.

What made you buy it? Cover Title Summary Cover Blurbs Recommendation Author Reviews …

Back With the Last Two Weeks in Short

Sorry I've been gone for the last week! I had a ton of stuff that I needed to do and I just didn't have the time and wasn't in the mood to blog. But I'm back this week, though I don't know if it's going to be much better. My sinuses are all stuffed up so I barely want to move, let alone think about something to blog. :)

Must Reads: Nathan blogged about another of my pet peeves this week: telling vs showing. I was trying to figure out how to do my own post on the subject, but Nathan tells it a lot better than I could.

*bounces up and down* This second one is from GLA. It's the query that landed Lisa McMann her agent for Wake!!! I like the title now better than the title then, but it's fascinating to read and think, This is where it all began.

News: Rick Riordan announced on his blog that his next series (featuring Egyptian mythology this time) has an official release date: May 4, 2010!!!

I know this is a little late...okay, really late, but last week was Ba…