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Showing posts from May, 2010

My Absence

Sorry about the lack of posts! During the storm Memorial Day my internet went out quickly followed by the power. The power came back on a few hours later, but my internet is still out. We're not sure what it is or when it will be back on, so there might not be any blogs this week. I'll be back as soon as I can! =( Hopefully they'll figure out what's wrong with it tomorrow and that will be that.

Week in Short

Week in Short is going to be on Saturday from now on, at least until school's over in two weeks. Sorry, Doctor Who has kind of taken over whatever free time I have left outside if school, homework, and writing. Though that should end soon. I've only got four episodes of series four left to go. I watched DW for nine hours straight yesterday afternoon. I had no idea until I glanced down at the clock at midnight and did the math. This was supposed to be up this morning, but I slept in until eleven and then got invited over to my great-aunt's house to go swimming in the lake all afternoon. Really threw a wrench in my plans to be productive. Once I got home I (of course) had to watch the new episode of DW. Which was somewhat epic, although I had those "OMG someone please hit her over the head with something extremely hard" moments. I seriously need the next episode.

Song of the week: Go Your Own Way by Fleetwood Mac

Must Read:
Three T's of Writerhood: Tenacious, Talk…

Young Writers/Authors

Over the weekend, I was at Borders. And at Borders there was a local author signing books. She was fifteen when the first book was published and is now seventeen with two in print and a third on the way. While I was wandering around the YA section, I overheard her dad talking to a couple people about her. With all the people he talked to, there were two things they had in common.

1. Surprise. Why are people always so surprised to hear teens have been published?? Just because we're not old enough to drink doesn't mean we can't write. Teens can be very good writers. There can be bad adult writers and bad teen writers. Age is not really a factor.

2. "Is she still in school?" Being published does not grant you the ability to drop out of school. It'd be awesome if it did, but alas, it doesn't. For most people it doesn't even get you out of having a regular job to pay the bills.

I know most of you already know this, but I wanted to say it anyway.

And don't …

My Sister's Keeper Review

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My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate -- a life and a role that she has never challenged...until now. Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister -- so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable, a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves.

This book caught me from the beginning as a very powerful story, which of course it was. It deals with a very controversial issue from a variety of lights.

I didn't like the changes in PoV at first. It was hard for me to keep up with who was talking, …

Interview with Courtney Moulton

This week we have young adult author and equestrian, Courtney Moulton, at the blog with us! She has her own blog here. Her debut novel, ANGELFIRE, comes out in summer 2011. Thanks for joining us Courtney!

Can you tell us something about yourself and Angelfire?

I’m a twenty-three-year old photographer, artist, and equestrian.
Angelfire was my 2008 NaNoWriMo novel. It’s about a seventeen-year-old
girl named Ellie who is the reincarnation of an ageless warrior and the
only one able to wield swords of angelfire. She protects human souls
against the reapers, monstrous creatures who devour souls and send them to
Hell in order to rebuild Lucifer’s army of the damned for a second war
against Heaven. She doesn’t remember her past lives or understand exactly
what she is, but her soul remembers one thing: her Guardian and sworn
protector, Will. As she uncovers the terrifying secrets of her origins and
of Will’s mysterious past, a powerful reaper has discovered a weapon that
may be able to destroy Ellie’s im…

Week in Short

Sorry about the lateness of this post! I promised myself I'd get it up on Friday. Then I got home at six, took a shower because I got soaked out in the pouring rain (long story), laid down to take a "nap" at eight. I woke up at 7:30 this morning trying to remember when I'd gone to bed. Then I went shopping. City of Glass, Rules of Attraction, The Red Pyramid, and When It Happens have now joined by to be read pile. I can't wait to read them!!

Song of last week: Get Up by Superchick (Which I think is a really awesome song for authors and writers in general)
Song of this week: Undo It by Carrie Underwood

Must Read:
We have a winner at Queryshark!
Five tips on giving critiques at Querytracker

Contests:
Querytracker contest for one-line pitch and first chapter judged by Kathleen Ortiz!!!!! Starts June 1st so start getting those pitches ready!

News:
Pimp My Novel is now on Facebook and Twitter!

Blood-Red Pencil:
Brainstorming through writers' block
Editing after the first d…

Horses in Novels/Movies/Etc

Today we're going to talk about my two favorite subjects: horses and writing, at the same time. :D I'm going to talk about the parts horses can play in novels, and then some common mistakes writers make when using horses.

Horses can play minor and major parts in novels. There are entire novels and entire series devoted entirely to this beautiful animal. Black Beauty, Thoroughbreds, Pony Pals, Phantom Stallion, and the Black Stallion are just a few.

Horses can be a form of transportation. A horse can carry a person across a long distance in a fraction of the time it would take that person to walk the same distance if there aren't any cars or trains. In Tamora Pierce's Wild Magic, Daine and her friends must ride anywhere they wish to go.

Horses can be used in war. This is particularly in older, more medieval type novels when cavalry was still common. Think of the movie, Prince Caspian. They use horses for transport: when Caspian has to flee the city and when L…

RTW - Tattoo Homage

Road Trip Wednesday is a "Blog Carnival," where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on our own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

This week's question is:
What tattoo would you get to pay homage to a favorite book or celebrate the success of your own?

This week's question was a really tough one for me. I don't have any tattoos. On don't plan on getting any tattoos in the near future. I have nothing against them. I like tattoos. But on other people. I'll write on my hands and arms as much as the next person, but at the end of the day all that washes off. I'm not so sure about painfully dying my skin cells so that I can have a picture that lasts my entire life. So everything that follows is hypothetical and probably will never happen.

The only tattoo I've ever actually considered getting is of a little gray horse with a…

The Host Review

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The Host by Stephenie Meyer
Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. Our world has been invaded by an unseen enemy that takes over the minds of human hosts. Most of humanity has succumbed. When Melanie -- one of the last remaining humans -- is captured, she is certain it is her end.

Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, probes her thoughts to discover the whereabouts of the remaining human resistance. Instead, Melanie fills Wanderer's mind with visions of Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body's desires, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she is tasked with exposing. When outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off on a dangerous search for the man they both love.

Yes, I lost my mind and picked up Host. I've been waiting for it since I first read Twilight (I was a huge fan back then, still have Edward's poster on my wall) and when I saw it in the library I figured…

Revision Week: How Hannah Tackles Them

Last, but not least, for Revision Week is Hannah Moskowitz, author of Break (Simon Pulse) and Invincible Summer (Simon Pulse, April 2011). *cue applause and firecrackers* Thanks Hannah!


When I first started writing, I did at least five or six drafts of each manuscript before anyone saw it but me. Then it went out to betas, and then out on submission, and by the time any agent saw it, it was probably seven or eight drafts removed from the original thing. That was what I needed to do then to make the manuscript okay.

Now that I've had more more practice, I generally only do a draft or two before I send my manuscript to my agent and my beta readers, and then there's usually only another draft or two after that before it goes to editors. The process is a lot faster now. There are two main things that allow me to do this. One: My first-drafting skills are way better. I write tight, clean first drafts now, which makes the editing process a lot easier.

Two: I figured out how t…

Revision Week: How Rachel Tackles Them

Today's guest blogger is one of my best twiftie friends, Rachel Mercaldo. Thanks Race!!

Revising with an agent – A newly represented writer’s perspective Revisions. Revise it. Rev it. Rev it up. Pedal to the metal, keyboard, it is time to make this baby sing.The above is the attitude you should have when revising. You need to be positive, motivated, with a road ahead of you to take and a car to get you there. But if you have any experience in the publishing world, you know that the above attitude can sometimes be hard to reach. Of course, like with most other emotions, we all feel them differently and at different times, but I think I can say for the rest of us writers that we sometimes feel a little lost. We don’t know what to do with our great works or how it should be done – we just know something has to be done to get the book to selling quality.I’d felt lost like this hundreds of times before my novel The Virginity Thief was discovered by Natalie Fischer of the Sandra Dijkstra …

Revision Week: How Leasie Tackles Them

Our first guest blogger for the week is our very own twiftie, Leasie! *cue applause*

Revising The Baby

If you’re like me with your novel, especially the first and second ones, then your novel is more than a bunch of words put together on a page. Your novel is your baby, and maybe you're the type of parent that sees straight away that this novel needs to be ripped to shreds to make it stronger or maybe you’re like me who’s heart is so invested in the novel that you just want to tuck it away in a little corner so that nobody can hurt it.

The problem with this frame of thought is that if you’re protecting it, then it’s not going to be as strong as it can be. Just like exposing kids to germs in the playground, if it is to grow up and become a big strong novel it must be exposed to these revisions.

So with that in mind I’ve recently embarked on revising in a way that would be considered as some of those writers with nerves of steel as a waste of time. Never the less it has …

Revision Week: How I Tackle Them

Doctor Who was awesome this weekend. I can't wait for the next one!! It looks like it's going to be EPIC.

Revisions. Some people love them. And some people hate them. But anyone that wants to be published and even some that don't have to go through them. Everyone has their own way of dealing with revisions. This week is Revision Week. I'm going to talk about how I deal with revisions, and then two of my fabulous guest bloggers will share their methods. =D So let's go!

I like to tackle things in clearly defined steps and revisions are no exception.

Step One: Read through the entire story and make a list of revision suggestions. These could be anything from a character's eye color changing to an overused phrase to a scene that needs to be expanded to an entire character that needs to be removed. Take note of everything. I like to organize mine by category. For example: changes that are chapter specific, and scenes that need to be expanded. (For someone who's roo…

Week in Short

Sorry about this being a day late...again. It's been a pretty busy week for me. Okay, I spent most of it watching series five and part of series one of Doctor Who. New episode on tonight, YES!!!! Also, just a warning, the Preakness is now a week away. I won't be quite as obsessed with horse racing as I was the week before the Derby because I'm not a complete fan of this year's Triple Crown hopeful. Though I'm still getting over the fact that Eskendereya retired this week. GAH. In other news, I finished The Host yesterday. I'll tell you what I think about it later.

Song addiction of the week: Swing by Trace Adkins [This is actually a pretty old song, but I recently got reattached to it while adding to my favorites.]

Must Read:
Beautiful People by Kristin [Doesn't really have anything to do with writing, but READ IT. Now. Seriously.]
Day in the Life of the Rejectionist
Interview with editor, Kate Sullivan at YA Highway

Contests:
Winners of 25-word pitch contest wit…

New Releases: The Red Pyramid, Karma Club, Frozen Fire

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The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan To stop Egyptian god Set from going after their father, siblings Carter and Sadie embark on a dangerous journey across the globe--a quest which brings them ever closer to the truth about their family, and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.

[*drools* It's finally here! *bounces*]

The Karma Club by Jessica Brody Madison Kasparkova always thought she understood how Karma works. Do good things and you'll be rewarded, do something bad and Karma will make sure you get what you deserve. But when Maddy’s boyfriend cheats on her, nothing bad comes his way. That’s why Maddy starts the Karma Club, to clean up the messes that the universe has left behind. Sometimes, though, it isn’t wise to meddle with the universe. It turns out Karma often has plans of its own.

Frozen Fire by Tim Bowler Dusty's life has fallen apart. Her mother left after Dusty's brother mysteriously disappeared, and her father is d…

Compromising

No Road Trip Wednesday for me today. The question of the week is what photos inspire your books. I don't actually have any photos that inspire my books so I can't really do it... Make sure you go to YA Highway and check out everyone else's book-inspiring pictures though!

So today I'm going to blog about compromising and rewards. Or maybe I was just trying to figure out how to incorporate my new obsession into a blog post without just fangirling about it. *shrugs*

My new obsession is Doctor Who, a British sci-fi television show that's been on TV for I don't know how long now.

And it is AWESOME.

What does that have to do with compromising? Well, if I want to watch Doctor Who all the time, I'm not writing. So today I came up with a compromise.

Every time my video of Doctor Who freezes, I have to pause it and write 100 words. It's a win-win situation. I have something to do while I wait for the video to catch up, and I still get writing done. So far, it's wo…

10 Suggestions for Building Characters

In case anyone's curious, Super Saver won the Derby. The best placing from my four picks was sixth. No more random horse racing talk until May 15th. =D Maybe.

Also, today is Wizarding Independence Day, or the speculated date that *SPOILER WARNING* Harry killed Voldemort in Deathly Hallows. *CLOSE SPOILER WARNING* On Facebook, this event is commemorated by Harry Potter Status Day. =D

Today I wanted to talk about developing characters. Now, there's definitely more than one way to create 3-D characters. These are just a small sampling, some that I've used and some that I haven't. Everyone has their own method. You might use one of these, or mix and match a few. If you have a suggestion, feel free to share it in the comments. =)

1. Pop into my head. This is the one I use the most. Most of the time, the characters and their personalities just pop fully formed into my head. Sometimes I'll even have a character before I have a plot. If I try to force a character to do someth…