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Showing posts from July, 2009

Week in Short

*yawns* Staying up until 1 am = not my brightest idea. I have to go to bed early tonight. I have to get up at 6:30 tomorrow on purpose for the first time since I got out of school. Oh, joy.

I'm debating whether I should continue this scheduled format or not... I like TT and WW though and I don't want to cancel WiS so...it would just be Thursday that's getting changed. What do you guys think? Is there anything special you'd like to see more of, or do you like the schedule I have at the moment?

Not a lot to share this week, but here's what's going on in the blogosphere of late (besides the book cover debate that the agents have been discussing lately.)

Must Read: I got it down to one. My friend and fellow twiftie, Kristin, got an agent this week! :D Here's her report on the journey to being agented. Congrats Kristin and I look forward to seeing CoS in stores!

Agent Kristinwent beyond the call of agent duty with a white water rafting trip with one of her clients.

B…

New Release Thursday

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Went to the fair and now I'm so tired I don't even want to move. Not sure if that means I'm going to get any writing done today or not.

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

According to her best friend Frankie, twenty days in Zanzibar Bay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy ever day, there's a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there's something she hasn't told Frankie---she's already had that kind of romance, and it was with Frankie's older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.

The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson

Lauren Gray Hawthorne needs to make things pretty, whether she's helping her mother keep family skeletons in the closet or sewing her acclaimed art quilts. Her estranged sister, Thalia, is her opposite, an impoverished actress who prides herself on exposing the lurid truths lurking behind middle class nice…

Writing Wednesday

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Can't honestly say that was my best birthday. Because it definitely wasn't. I was on a writing roll and then my annoying mother (who seems to have a habit of yanking me away from the computer whenever I'm on a roll) made me go into town with her. So we could buy her a bathing suit for this weekend's to the water park (for my birthday) and tennis shoes. We went to the bookstore where I spent about twenty minutes trying to decide between ordering Handcuffs or buying Graceling, I'd Tell You I Love You, or Wake since I was only allowed to get one book. I ordered Handcuffs since I'm not going to be allowed to read anything else until 1984 is done. Mom and grandpa spent the entire ride home talking about politics (which is a depressing subject in general at the moment.)

We went home and I have an email from my brother and sister-in-law who have a baby girl that's just seven months old. My brother's been laid off and my sister-in-law's coworker has cancer s…

Beta Readers Part Four: Sending the Project / Title Contest Results

It was a long weekend. I had a family reunion and remembered why I hate them so much (reunions, not my family). But I spent a lot of time on the lake in the boat and my cousins even managed to get me to go tubing. Unfortunately that means there wasn't a lot of work getting done...

Okay, enough delay, it's time to announce the winner of the contest! And the winner is...coming up after this commercial break! (Don't you hate it when they do that?) Seriously now, the winner is Madeline-Rose who suggested Destiny! *cue applause* There were a lot of awesome suggestions which is why this post is coming almost an hour late. Because it took me that long to decide. Madeline-Rose email me at the email I posted on the contest page to let me know which prize you'd like. If you want the critique, please mail me your first three pages.

And now that the excitement is over, let's get on to part four of my beta readers series. You've found the beta reader that's perfect for yo…

Week in Short

Okay, in theory, I probably should've done this yesterday before started my contest so that it would be on top all weekend. But for some reason, that particular option didn't cross my mind. So I'm doing this now... I'm still taking entries for the contest and loving the ones I've gotten so far. It's going to be a tough decision.

And let's take a look back on what happened this week.

Must Read: Once again I had a bout of indecision and there are three MR's this week. First up Nathan gives us all a look at the query that caught his attention. It's an awesome query, so make sure you check that out. Next up is, ahem, my post at TWFT this week: an interview with ICM agent, Tina Wexler. I apologize for using my own post for an MR... And finally, Jessica Faust had a brilliant post on novel word count this week. I found it very interesting that a good target count is 80,000 words rather than 50,000 like I'd thought, even if you're writing YA. Which me…

Suggest a Title Contest

As suggested last night, I've decided to hold a contest to choose Andra's new title. Here's how it works. If you have an idea for a title, email it to me at rkhorserider(at)gmail(dot)com. All submissions will be read and considered and multiple submissions are accepted. If you have an idea for an awesome title after you've already sent me one, send me the second one anyway, but try to keep all ideas to one email.

Okay, I wrote this summary by booklight at midnight last night when I was trying to go to sleep so if it doesn't make sense, don't blame me.

Andra Summary:
When Claudia's best friend is arrested soon after revealing that she can talk to plants, Claudia knows that she can't just continue living her "normal" life as if everything's fine. So she sets off after Selma and the journey ends abruptly when Claudia herself is captured. She wakes up in a prison where kids with special abilities like Selma's are tortured for information.

Then…

New Release Thursday

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And it's Thursday once again and I don't have any book reviews to post this week so it'll just be three new releases again. Going to see Half Blood Prince again at four so I thought it best to post this now before I go so I'm not tempted to fangirl/vent depending on how the movie is seeing it the second time around.

Coffeehouse Angel by Suzanne SelforsFrom the author of Saving Juliet comes a romantic comedy that is good to the last drop. When Katrina spots a homeless guy sleeping in the alley behind her grandmother’s coffee shop, she decides to leave him a cup of coffee, a bag of chocolate-covered coffee beans, and some pastries to tide him over. Little does she know that this random act of kindness is about to turn her life upside down. Because this adorable vagrant, Malcolm, is really a guardian angel on a break between missions. And he won’t leave until he can reward Katrina’s selflessness by fulfilling her deepest desire. Now if only she could decide what that migh…

Writing Wednesday

After finishing beta-ing an amazingly awesome full and catching up on blog posts, it's time for WW again...

I've done quite a lot of writing over the past week, mostly on Andra. My best day was Monday with 3,969 words (I seriously thought I might've had a chance to finish Andra that day, but didn't even come close) and my worst days were Wednesday and Thursday of last week with 0 words.

Andra:
Last week's count: Polished at chapter 6 and 45,000 words
This week's count: Polished at chapter 6 and 54,000 words
As you can see, Andra's been growing very well lately. Unfortunately I haven't seen my beta in almost a week so polishing has slowed to a stop. I've polished it myself through chapter 9, but I don't consider it complete until I've had it beta-ed as well. The query that I've been working on somewhat has been declared complete and ready to be sent as soon as I figure out a new title. If anyone has a suggestion, let me know because I'm co…

Beta Readers Part Three: What Kind of Beta Reader Do You Need

It's Monday once again. :) Hope everyone had an awesome weekend as we look forward to what will hopefully be a great week.

Last week we talked about finding a beta reader. Now that you know where to look, let's talk about what kind of beta reader you need. Beta readers vary as much as writers do in terms of style. They're all good, but they might not be right for your story.

One major way that beta readers vary is by what kind of critique they offer. Some betas are best at line-by-line and others are best at general, big picture critiques. Line by lines involve pointing out typos, grammar mistakes, awkward sentences, plot holes, and anything else that occurs to the reader. They're generally stricter and more thorough and are best for third or fourth drafts before the author begins querying. General critiques involve the reader giving their opinion on their general impression of the story: plot, characters, etc. It's more of a "looking at the big picture" cr…

Week in Short

It's Friday again, which it's time for a look at the last week. It's been a short, but great week. :) HBP finally came out and did not disappoint, I did a lot of writing, and a friend got an offer for representation! :D Congrats!

There are four Must Reads this week. Yes, there were so many great posts I couldn't decide on one. The first two are in the same boat: 17 reasons why agents reject manuscripts and Why agents turn down good books. Both are from blogs that I didn't follow before. No more or I won't have time to write... Blood Red Pencil has a must read post on adverbs. And finally, my friends over at OPWFT (Old People Writing for Teens, the blog created by YA writers that are just older than us twifties...) have a great interview with Jay Asher, author of Thirteen Reasons Why.

Rachelle Gardner has some great advice to write another book and an update on ICRS including a look at what publishers and editors are saying.

BookEnds blog has a great post on how pa…

New Release Thursday and Behind the Shadows Review

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I'm doing another new release and review on the same day. I wasn't sure if I was going to review Behind the Shadows (more on that later), but I changed my mind. Trying to catch up on all the work I missed over the last two days. Apparently when I only get four hours of sleep, my brain is like mush. That's how it felt yesterday.

Oh, and I've also started to link the pictures in my "Currently Reading" box to their amazon page if you want to know more about them.

Touch by Francine Prose

What really happened at the back of the bus? Did they, or didn't they? Did she, or didn't she? Something happened to fourteen-year-old Maisie Willard—something involving her three friends, all boys. But their stories don't match, and the rumors spin out of control. Then other people get involved . . . the school, the parents, the lawyers. The incident at the back of the bus becomes the center of Maisie's life and the talk of the school, and, horribly, it becomes n…

Writing Wednesday

This is my 50th post! *cue applause, streamers, and those fun and slightly annoying party noisemaker thingies*

If you get this post at 9 am (my time of course, EST. Which I think is like 6 am PST and 8 am whatever time zone Chicago's in...) that means either my scheduled posting is fixed or I'm on a Monster-induced writing spree and stayed up all night.

My review of Half-Blood Prince will be up later when I wake up enough to write one. There WILL be spoilers and either angry ranting or fangirl screaming. Or, depending on how last night went, some of both.

Okay, on to writing which is today's normal topic...

I've decided to remove my word count goals after a wonderful twiftie pointed out that they're quite pointless if all you're doing is trying to reach word count and not caring what you're actually writing like, ahem, I have been known to do. But I'll talk about that subject later...

I've started setting goals for each day and then keeping track of…

Half-Blood Prince Review

Yep, I was there. At midnight. With everyone else. Now I only had four hours of sleep and I seem to be having trouble thinking so if I get incoherent, I apologize. I warn you, there will be spoilers. Lots and lots of spoilers. Even a few from Deathly Hallows, but if you haven't read that by now I don't know why you're here. GO! READ! NOW! (It's my favorite one of the series.)

General Overview: *screams* IT WAS AWESOME! Hands down, best one yet. Unless you're my mother who didn't particularly like it and only gave it a 5/10. I gave it a 9/10. Which is weird because usually it would be the other way around, but that's beside the point.

Non-Spoiler Comments: They could've followed the book closer is all I'm going to say. I'm glad that I didn't read it prior to seeing the movie because then I probably would've had a lot more to complain about on the way home. They seemed to vaguely follow the book's plot, but as for most of the story it di…

Beta Readers: Part Two - How Do You Find a Beta Reader?

So you've gone through the pros and cons and have decided that you need a beta reader. So how do you go about finding one?

The first place most people look is their family and friends. Maybe you've talked about your idea with someone and they wanted to read it. That's all fine and dandy, but make sure you can trust them to be honest and critique fairly, but strictly. It's like on American Idol with those people that can't sing but are convinced they can because all their family and friends told them they're awesome. Well of course they say that. It's their job as family and friends. So make sure whoever you choose isn't going to just say 'I liked it' and move on. You want them to say 'I like it, but...' and tell you what works and what doesn't. Because that's what a good beta reader does. I actually avoid letting my family and friends read my work for this reason. I don't want to hear that it's good, I want to know what I …

Week in Short

What a LONG week it has been! Here's to hoping that next week will be better. Let's take a look at some of the highlights of the publishing blogosphere... There are a lot of them this week.

This week's Must Read was posted today at Guide to Literary Agents on how to write a synopsis. I'm not sure about the 7-8 page thing since the usual range I hear is actually 2-3 pages, but it's excellent advice nonetheless.

BookEnds has an excellent ice cream metaphor for the meaning of different. By the way, does anyone know if Strawberry Marscapone ice cream with Sugar Cookie Chunks exists yet? Because it sounds delicious...

And Miss Snark's First Victim is throwing another Secret Agent contest over at her blog! Submissions begin Monday so check that out! I can't enter because YA fantasy isn't accepted and I have nothing query ready anyway...

There's a great list of query do's and dont's over at Query Tracker this week.

And one of Nathan Bransford's gues…

New Release and Runaway Book Review

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Just one new release today, but one that I'd really like to get... I'm posting my Runaway review today too because I don't want to interrupt my Beta Readers series and I usually take the weekend off posting.

Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison
My name is Madison Avery, and I'm here to tell you that there's more out there than you can see, hear, or touch. Because I'm there. Seeing it. Touching it. Living it. Madison's prom was killer—literally. For some reason she's been targeted by a dark reaper—yeah, that kind of reaper—intent on getting rid of her, body and soul. But before the reaper could finish the job, Madison was able to snag his strange, glowing amulet and get away. Now she's stuck on Earth—dead but not gone. Somehow the amulet gives her the illusion of a body, allowing her to toe the line between life and death. She still doesn't know why the dark reaper is after her, but she's not about to just sit around and let fate take its cours…

Writing Wednesday

I've got advance tickets to the midnight premiere of Half Blood Prince!!!!! Sorry, had to say it. I'm fangirling right now. :D (That is going to be a word someday.) Oh and Push and Knowing are both out on DVD! Knowing I've been dying to see, Push I want to see but have been avoiding because I'm still working on Andra.

Okay writing...I haven't done a lot of it lately. I'm determined to get some work done this week, but it doesn't seem to be working.

Andra - Wrote 3,500 words on it Friday. I'm currently 800 words into chapter 15. Hoping to get some writing and polishing done since my beta's returned.

Assassin's Wife - No change in word count. I'm still stuck on what the letters in Taryn's cabinet say.

No Kissing - Wrote 300 words on it Saturday night and went to bed after I decided they all sucked. Am trying to figure out Aislinn. She started out as a minor character and she's determined not to stay that way. But she's a complicated ch…

Beta Readers: Part One - Why Do You Need a Beta Reader?

I'm going to start a five part series today on beta readers. The first subject is: Why do you need a beta reader?

The answer is: You don't. It's as simple as that. You don't have to have a beta reader. No one's saying you can't submit something to an agent that's only been read by you. Should you? I don't think so. A beta reader has many advantages and disadvantages.

I've been beta reading for several months now. I enjoy beta reading for others and having others beta read my own work. It's very beneficial for both parties.

Advantages:
A beta reader can see your work objectively. Some writers are too close to their own work to notice something as simple as a misplaced comma or misused word. Or there might be a huge plot hole that you are just too close to see. Good beta readers can pick these mistakes up.
There might be something that you haven't explained properly. For example, in Andra the secret police are known as Bevak. In early drafts I didn…

Week in Short

Yay it's July 3rd! I'm still hoping to get away this weekend. The neighbor's fireworks sound like bombs they're so loud... Of course, I wouldn't mind so much if I could see them through the trees.

Anyway... it's Friday so it's time for news of the publishing blog world.

I had trouble choosing this week's Must Read of the Week because there were so many awesome posts, but...

Must Read of the Week: TWFT interview with Cyn Balog, author of Fairy Tale!

The Querytracker blog had a wonderful article on flash fiction, something I enjoy doing from time to time.

BookEnds blog thoughts on re-pitching agents.

Over at Rachelle Gardner's blog she had a post on querying agents while entering contests.

Back to Query Tracker for a post on something we all deal with: rejection. It's a fact of the publishing world: we'll all get rejected at some point.

And Kristin has a wonderful post on what she requested out of 52 queries. Of course, as she corrected later, the sta…

New Releases Thursday

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It's Thursday again and I have three recent releases that need to be featured. I'm going to need to go through and renew my list for July though... All summaries and pictures are from Amazon.

Prism by Faye KellermanPrism takes us to a slightly alternate universe in which medicine and health care do not exist, and in which sick people are allowed to die without any care. Set in New Mexico and California, the novel features three teens who fall through a cave at Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico while on a field trip. They are plunged into a frightening parallel universe—seven weeks in the past, in which their "normal" worlds of family and high school remain the same…except for the fact that no medicine exists and when people die in the street they are picked up and disposed of.

Sea Change by Aimee Friedman16-year-old Miranda Merchant is great at science...and not so great with boys. After major drama with her boyfriend and (now ex) best friend, she's happy to spend the…

Writing Wednesday

Ahhh it's Wednesday again. And the first of July! Which means only 3 more days until the fourth and 14 more days until Half Blood Prince comes out! I saw a new clip for it on youtube this morning. *fangirl squeals* It rocked!

On to writing...

Andra - Finished rewriting chapter 11 finally! I had a random idea that allowed me to get past my writers' block. This whole section is outlined on little note cards so I don't forget any scenes. Now I just need to get up the passion to write it out. My goal is to polish chapter four today (something that's been on my To Do list for a while) and write at least 1k.

I gave up my attempt to not obsess over word count and brought the word count display back so I can make goals and give updates that way. :)

Assassin's Wife - 12,000/75,000 words - Stuck. I'm a little bit stuck here with this one. I know what needs to happen, I just can't figure out how to write it.

No Kissing - 10,000/50,000 words - Stuck. I got past a major poin…