Showing posts from July, 2010

Living with SNIS

SNIS or Shiny New Idea Syndrome
A disease that only infects writers causing them to periodically come up with new ideas, particularly at the most inconvenient moments for the writer.

Being a writerA tendency to come up with new ideasThe urge to carry around a notebook and pencil "just in case"
An itch to work on a new idea despite the fact that you're neck-deep in revisions for another novel
There is no cure for SNIS, however there are several ways to manage this crisis. Always keep something around in which to write down ideas as they occur to you. I find writing down an idea when it comes to me decreases the urgent feeling to start plotting out/writing said idea. It makes me feel like I can always come back to it later. Tell yourself "I do not need another WIP, I do not need another WIP" until the desire to add another WIP to your list disappears. Go back to working on your current work in progress and remind yourself that you wi…

Clockwork Angel Review

ARC Review
Release date: August 31st

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother in Victorian England, something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld. Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, who are members of a secret organization called the Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she has the power to transform at will into another person. The Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own. Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons. She soon finds herself fascinated by -- and torn between -- two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and Will, whose volatile moods keep everyone at arm's length. As their search draws them deep into a plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new frien…

Week in Short

I had a fantastic week this week. I started a new WiP on Monday, my birthday was on Wednesday, and I watched both A Very Potter Musical and A Very Potter Sequel. Freaking AMAZING, I don't know why I didn't watch them before. I'm also taking this weekend off writing to spend time with family. I'm sure this will last five minutes. (There will definitely be a notebook and pencil in my bag.)

Song addiction of the week: You Give Love a Bad Name by Bon Jovi

Must Read:
How to revise and resubmit
The importance of having an alpha
One question you should NOT ask while reading

Emilia has awesome news!!!!! CONGRATS!

Soothing query and submission angst (and a query soundtrack!)

Rachelle Gardner:
What is voice?
Publishing myths

Suzie Townsend:

Keep it simple

My writing's going kind of slow lately. I've been busy with youth group stuff and the obligations for a girl going into high school as a senior in a little over a month.

ARML -- 3.7k. Going s…

Top Five Villains

Hope everyone had an awesome weekend! Mine was pretty good. I started ARML's rewrites, watched Devil May Care and Rachel Alexandra demolish their respective fields (YAY!), spent a lot of time relaxing (read: procrastinating), and got a new SNI that really needs to shut up inside that trunk I stuffed it in.

We spend a lot of time and blog posts on our favorite characters, but what about our favorite villains? Those people we love to hate. The ones we want to personally push off a cliff. So here are my top five villains in a particular order:

#5: Duke Rodger of Conte
Lioness Quartet by Tamora PierceI still get chills thinking about his return. Very incredible and evil villain. He put up such a perfect facade that everyone loved him.

#4 Murtagh
Inheritance Cycle
Sorry I couldn't not include who is probably one of my favorite (still living) characters in the Inheritance Cycle. One minute you want to smack him across the face and the next you just want to hug him. Or it might just be t…

Your Thoughts?

I'm home! I had an awesome time, but it's nice to be home. I didn't get any writing done while I was gone, though I did get several SNIs, none of which warranted the effort it took to remember them until we got back to camp to write them down. There were a lot of places up there that I just wanted to sit and write though.

Now I'd like to hear from you. What would you like to see more of here at Writers' Chasm? What would you like me to talk about? Week in Shorts will be continuing into the foreseeable future (meaning until I go back to school and then we'll see). Would you like to see more new releases? Less reviews? More interviews? Any questions about writing or publishing or me that you want me to answer?

New Releases: I Am Number Four, Halo, Dangerous Neighbors

I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
Nine of us came here. We look like you. We talk like you. We live among you. But we are not you. We can do things you dream of doing. We have powers you dream of having. We are stronger and faster than anything you have ever seen. We are the superheroes you worship in movies and comic books—but we are real.
Our plan was to grow, and train, and become strong, and become one, and fight them. But they found us and started hunting us first. Now all of us are running. Spending our lives in shadows, in places where no one would look, blending in. we have lived among you without you knowing. But they know. They caught Number One in Malaysia.
Number Two in England.
And Number Three in Kenya.
They killed them all. I am Number Four. I am next. Halo by Alexandra Adornetta
[Every time I see this cover I just want to steal it away. So beautiful...]
Three angels are sent down to bring good to the world: Gabriel, the warrior; Ivy, the healer; and Bethan…

Finding Your Manuscript's Birthday

I can't do YA Highway this week because I didn't know the topic on Saturday when I wrote this post. :(

A year ago, I wanted to know when Destiny's birthday was so I could celebrate it. I remembered starting Destiny in November, but I didn't know exactly when. So I figured out a way to find out the exact date and time Destiny began.

Note: I have no clue when the idea of Destiny was born. Unfortunately I'm not psychic so I can't help you there. I can only tell you how to find out when you wrote those first words.

Note Take 2: This only works on Windows as far as I know. I've tried it with my mom's XP and my Vista and it works on both.

Step 1: Find the very first draft of the WIP. The one you wrote those first few words on.
Step 2: Right click on the icon.
Step 3: Click 'Properties.'
Step 4: Look down. It should say 'Created: (date and time).' This is the date you first created that file. If you don't see this, make sure the '…

Hand Writing

A few months ago, if you'd asked me if I would ever consider hand writing something more than flash fiction, I would've answered with "Heck no!"

Guess what I did?

Hand wrote half a novel. Thanks/no thanks to creative writing class where I'm required to hand write everything, I hand wrote 65 pages to Fire.

Like everything, hand writing works for some people and doesn't work for others. But here are some advantages and disadvantages of hand writing.

You can hand write anywhere with a pencil and some notebook paper. You just can't carry a laptop everywhere you go and jot down a few words every few minutes. I wrote some in every class, including lunch. I couldn't have done that if it had been on my laptop.
Much easier to share a notebook with someone that a laptop. You don't lose the entire draft if your computer crashes and you've failed to back it up. You can doodle in the margins when writers' …

Character Crushes

If you're reading this on Monday, at this moment I am either hanging out in a tent, tramping through the woods, or swimming in the ice-cold river. I thought this would be a fun post.

Team Edward. Team Gale. Team Peeta. Team Jace. Team George. Team Jonathan. Team Jacob.

We all pick teams of our favorite male MCs. We wait and hope that they end up with the guy we want them to because he's so clearly perfect for her. Today's question is: "Who is your character crush?"

I have a lot of them, but here are my main three.
Jace (Mortal Instruments trilogy) -- I'm a sucker for his sarcasm. Being hot doesn't hurt.
George (Tamora Pierce's Alana quartet) -- I don't think he really requires any explanation.
Cabel (Wake series) -- He's such a sweetheart even after everything that he's been through. The mysterious bad-boy thing helps. Gale and Peeta aren't on this list because I haven't picked what team I'm on yet. They're both so awesome. This …

Week in Short

I'm going camping starting Sunday. Five days with no showers, no bathrooms, no internet, and most importantly, no writing. Though of course I'll be taking along a notebook and pencil. I'll schedule posts tomorrow before I leave but there will be no teaser or Week in Short.

Song of the week: I'll Make a Man Out of You from the movie Mulan. I'm addicted to it right now. I blame Mae for sharing an epic Doctor Who video set to the song. I swear the chorus could actually have been written for the Doctor.

Must read:
Distancing yourself from a manuscript
You might be a writer/agent/publisher if...
20 tips for attending SCBWI conferences

If literary agent, Natalie Fischer, gets 1,000 Twitter followers she'll start accepting email queries! Though, I don't know why you aren't following her already.

Eclipse in 15 minutes! Enough said.

Jessica Faust is closing to queries until September (also shares her query recap)

Updated writers guide to Twitter

Blood-Red Pencil:

RTW -- Favorite Reading Memory

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 Topic:
What's your favorite reading memory?
The first time I read Harry Potter. I was still living in the apartment with my mom at the time and it was probably third or fourth grade. My cousin -- who was a bit of reader himself at the time but unfortunately lost that when he came to high school -- wanted us to read this book. My mom promised to read it first and then, if she deemed it "appropriate" (I'm not really sure what possibly could happen in that book to make it inappropriate), then I would be allowed to read it.

So, I waited. She read it. She thought it was okay, but she didn't become the Harry Potter addict that I was to be. She told me I could read it.

That day it w…

Never Give Up

Sorry, no teaser this week or next week. This week I'm working on ARML's rewrites and next week I'm on vacation. I don't really want to tease something I'm not even working on so I'm going to wait and hopefully be back with new ARML teasers. =D

(I hope this makes sense. It was written at two this morning while I had Someone's Watching Over Me stuck in my head.)

So instead I'm going to blog about never giving up. In this business, perseverance is probably the most important trait after patience. You can write the greatest book in the world but no one's going to know unless you break through that last case of writers' block, polish that manuscript one last time, rewrite that query one more time, send out one more query.

It's not an easy road, this road to publication. It's more like the road to a certain nearby town that's filled with potholes and those weird continuous bumps that make you stop to check to make sure you don't have a …

Forest of Hands and Teeth Review

Spain won the World Cup for the first time EVER! It was an extremely long, but great game. I'm still celebrating. Also, Gio Ponti broke a five-race losing streak when he won the same race for the second year in a row. Good weekend in sports for me. =D

Also, I watched Miss Congeniality and Confessions of a Shopaholic over the weekend. Both awesome movies if you haven't seen them.

Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
In Mary's world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village. The fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth.

But slowly, Mary's truths are failing her. She's learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power. And, when the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, about the Unconsecrated and their relentless…

Week in Short

It's Friday? Already? O.o Did someone speed up time on me again?

Song of the Week: Into the Night by Nickelback (which actually should have been the song two weeks ago, but I'm listening to Pandora so I don't really have a song of the week right now)

Must read:
Good guys or bad guys? How about neither? + Angelfire giveaway!
The process of a book: 16 steps to publication [I want to have this post made into a giant poster and put it on my wall. Seriously.]
The magic of setting
Q&A with Tina Wexler covering quitting querying, mentioning other works, magic realism, and much more

Rachelle Gardner is closed to queries for the month of July

MSFV July Secret Agent contest! Genres for this one are young adult and contemporary women's fiction. Begins July 12th.

Christina Baker Kline:
Five questions to ask yourself BEFORE querying

Pimp My Novel:
Book covers

Rachelle Gardner:
Style sheet

Scott Tracey:
Keep a stiff upper lip

Story Flip:


ARML -- Draft four is …

New Releases: Legacies, Siren, Blindsided, and X Isle

I'm addicted to Pandora radio. I tried it a couple years ago and didn't really like it. Came back yesterday because AOL radio annoys the crap out of me and haven't left since.

I realized this morning that I haven't done one of these in awhile so here are four new YA releases. (Usually I only do three but I couldn't narrow it down so I just decided to feature all four).

Legacies by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill
First Book in the Shadow Grail series In the wake of the accident that killed her family, Spirit White is spirited away to Oakhurst Academy, a combination school and orphanage in the middle of Montana. There she learns she is a legacy—not only to the school, which her parents also attended, but to magic.
All the students at Oakhurst have magical powers, and although Spirit’s hasn’t manifested itself yet, the administrators insist she has one. Spirit isn’t sure she cares. Devastated by the loss of her family, she finds comfort with a group of frien…

"Canned" E-mails

Note: this trick only works for Firefox users. Apologies to Internet Explorer and Safari users. There is a Chrome extension for WiseStamp as well. There are tricks that you can use with certain email providers to do the same thing, I just don't know what they are.

I send a lot of emails and a lot of them are queries which are basically just the same, slightly-tailored letter over and over again. I keep them pasted in a Word document for easy access. Now I have an even easier way.

Firefox has an add-on called WiseStamp. It allows you to create multiple signatures and easily insert them to a wide variety of email programs including Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, and more. It also allows you to create signatures for other things such as Facebook, Twitter, and AIM.

Just download the add-on and a little icon will appear in the bottom right corner of your browser. Click on this and click "Edit signature." Put what you want your canned email to be in the box on the page.

Now to insert the …

RTW -- My Ideal Writing Desk

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 topic:
What would your ideal writing desk look like? Right down to the perfect pen or laptop.
For the record, I don't even have a writing desk. I write on my bed with the laptop most of the time. But if I did have one, this would be my ideal one.

Desk:Because it is cool and awesome and it has drawers. With notebook paper, pens, ink cartridges, computer paper, gum, candy, and bookmarks. From Overstock


From Best Buy

Index Cards!
Because no revision session is complete without them. From Staples

This poster shall go above my desk. Also, if there is some way someone could invent a giant version of that electronic picture album that would be epic. Then it could be Tenth Doctor, Elevent…


I love reading the acknowledgments in published books, but I wasn't always that way. Before I became a writer, the acknowledgments was just a sheet of paper between me and the end of the book. Just a long list of people that I'd never heard of before and probably never would. So I skipped over them.

Then I started writing and now I love reading the acknowledgments. I always make a point to at least skim through them before or after the book is done. Why the change? Because, now I know what goes into a book. I know how many people are involved to get this book into my hands. Reading it is like watching the "behind the scenes" clips for a movie. It's fascinating to hear who was involved with the making of the book. So many people coming together to make one dream a reality and put the result of that dream in our hands.


Today is a day of food, family, fun, and fireworks. It's also a day to remember the great country we live in and why it's like this today. It's a day to remember the men and women who stood up and won against all odds. It's a day to remember the freedoms we were given so many years ago and a day to resolve to protect them. Have a great day everyone.

Week in Short

I got my Christmas in July today. I got to talk to two online friends I hadn't seen in awhile, I got an invitation for a reunion with family I wasn't even aware I had (still not going), and my information for one of my top-choice colleges arrived in the mail. My mom bought bacon and apple juice at the store. Oh, and I got new headphones. =D Great ending to a great week.

Must read:
"Other" project one-line pitches in the same query WHAT?! Mandy Hubbard explains.
Beta reading tips for both sides I've been trying to figure out a nice way to say this for two weeks, but she says it so much better.
Writing contests -- always read the fine print

OMG OMG OMG NEW DEATHLY HALLOWS TRAILER! If you haven't seen it, go watch it. Now. No, really. I watched it five times the day it came out and I still get goosebumps. SO...EPIC... Can someone say Best. Movie. EVER?

The Last Airbender came out in theaters today!!!!! If you're not familiar with this movie…

This Crazy Town Called Publication

One of my favorite country songs (for now) is Crazy Town by Jason Aldean. I love this song for two reasons.

1. Because it's awesome.

2. Because it reminds me of the journey that writers go on to become published. Let me show you what I mean. (Italicized bits are the actual lyrics of the song. I do not own these lyrics in any way, shape or form.)

Roll into town - step off the bus.
Shake off that where you came from dust.
Grab your guitar - walk down the street.
Signs say Nashville, Tennessee.
But I have found...

It's a crazy town - full of neon dreams.
Everybody plays - everybody sings.
Hollywood with a touch of twang - to be a star you gotta bang-bang-bang.
Bend those strings till the Hank comes out.
Make all the drunk girls scream and shout.
We love it - we hate it - we're all just trying to make it.
In this crazy town.

You pay your dues - and you play for free.
And you pray for a honkytonk destiny.
You cut your teeth in the smoky bars.
And live off the tips from a pick…