Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I'm Late For The Hunger Games

Ok, so I FINALLY got around to getting "The Hunger Games." I've finished it and am ready to take on the 2nd in the series. I'll give my personal review here soon, but I will say this, it would be an understatement to call it good.

I have to confess though, it's only because my mother-in-law hooked me up with her Nook after getting a new tablet. The Nook has allowed me to read on the go, since it is much easier to carry around an e-reader than a book. Now I catch myself reading at times that I normally wouldn't.

Yay for technology, no matter how late I stumble upon it.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Four Ways to Make Your Own Luck Using Social Media

The lovely and talented Alexis Grant guest blogged today on Rachelle Gardner's literary agent blog. The post is not only extremely relevant, but insightful to those writers who spend more time in their manuscripts than in the digital world.

Go take a moment and read. It'll be well worth it.

Four Ways to Make Your Own Luck Using Social Media

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Best Typo

I was doing a little more editing on a novel of mine and came across a typo. I'm sure I was frantic in thought and just typing too quick to notice, but when I read through it I couldn't help but wonder how in the world I missed that.

The line was supposed to read: "...as she held up two flamboyant Hawaiian-print shirts."

What I wrote: "...as she held up two flamboyant Hawaiian-print shits."

I got a good laugh out of that one.

How about you? Do you have any funny typos you'd like to share?

Monday, February 27, 2012

When Red Apples Turn Sour

How long into a book do you allow yourself to go before you realize your idea or novel concept just isn't working?

1,000 words?


I'm at a stopping point in one of my novels and I just feel like it's not coming together... it's around 10k, but I hate to stop. I really enjoy the concept.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I Said What?

I spent a little time yesterday working on one of my novels, tweaking up the intro a bit and as I made my way through the first few paragraphs I found a word that I used that shocked me.


Now, I know it isn't the rarest word out there, but it certainly isn't used in every day speech. At least I've never ever heard a soul actually use that word. I've only ever read it. So I got to thinking that maybe I should force myself to use that word today. At some point, I'm going to use it when talking to someone and see if they say anything or even notice. I'm not sure if they'll give half a rats-butt or if they'll just think I'm being stupid. Either way, I think it could be a fun experiment and would challenge you to do the same thing.

Find a word that you've written in your novel, but that you rarely ever hear, and try to use it today. Let me know what happens.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

If I see 1 More Vampire-Based Query Letter...

As writers, most of us are overflowing with ideas. Hell, I have a list of nearly 10 novels that I'd love to be working on right now. Unfortunately, there's no way I'd be able to spread myself that thin and produce anything of value. Oh and let's not forget that putting all our stock in one story violates the "egg in the basket" principle leaving us vulnerable to failure.

The book market is like anything else. It is not static. It shifts and shapes according to the latest trends, news or market ting schemes. Take Twilight for instance. Prior to Twilight, vampires were always popular, but never dominated the market like it does today. YA paranormal is so saturated now that one can hardly imagine how we used to live without our "Team Edward" bumper stickers and "Bite Me" T-shirts.

This brings up my point. Before Twilight, I was in the middle of a WIP that was based on...wait for it...Vampires. Now I realize that every author thinks their story is original, so I'll spare you from saying mine is, BUT mine contains a very strange take on vamipric origins that would be a key selling point in my query to any agent. That being said, do I stand a chance of getting published now? Nope. Will it be a few years before I can even begin to submit? Yep (at least). Does that tick me off? Absolutely.

See, up until then, I'd been spending all my time and effort on that one story. Sadly, when the market shifted in favor of that genre I wasn't finished with my novel. I couldn't jump on the wagon, but instead got a full mouth of dust.

So, what's the moral of the story?

If you have desires to get published for the first time, don't burn yourself by only working on 1 novel. By the time your novel is finished, you may find that the market has shifted against your favor and your masterpiece will be nothing but a paperweight on the shelf.

Does this mean you should be simultaneously writing 3 or 4 books... No. Just means that if you have other ideas, don't squelch them just because they pop up in the middle of your WIP.

Question: How many novels are on your "to write list" and how many are you currently working on?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Let's Have Some Fun

It's chapter 7 of your novel. You have one task. Connect the dots.

Your protagonist is trapped in an elevator, with a stranger, after the building just got hit by an earthquake (Point C). You know that the next major plot point in the story will be when they are broken out by a mysterious hero (Point D), but you can't simply jump right to that point. You need at least a few more pages between.

Assuming this is where you are in your story, what would you prefer to use to "fill the space" between Point C and Point D?

A. Action: Something suddenly happens, and then the characters are forced to...
B. Dialogue: Little chit chat or back and forth while the characters wait to be rescued...
C. Description: An elevator is such a unique place and you will share with us why...

IF you could only stick to one of the above (no mixing and matching) what would you choose and why?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Let's Talk About Sex

We've all heard the classic advice for writers, "Show don't tell." When describing a scene, character or situation it can be challenging, but well worth the effort to truly show the reader. When it comes to sex though, there's a fine line between suggestive literature and just plain old smut.

Where does one draw the line? If so, how much can be shared with the reader before it crosses that line?" These are some of the difficult questions that authors must battle through as they deal with (or avoid) the biggest issue to face your typical red-blooded human being... SEX.

I don't pretend to have the answer for when it is, or is not, appropriate for an author to include a sex scene (romance novels and erotica aside). I know in my own reading adventures, I've discovered a lot can be implied with little said and that sometimes the best place to take the readers is into the darker recesses of their own minds via the "..."

In a good book (Romance and Erotica aside) do you prefer a sex scene or two? How much it too much?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Tell Me a Story

So my 3 year old step daughter and I have begun something of a nightly routine. Upon telling the kiddos that it's time for bed, she promptly runs up to me and begs "Daddy!? You read me a story?"

What daddy could say no to a request like that? Honestly though what she really means is, "will you tell me a story."

So, I take her to her bed and make up something cheesy along the lines of a "once upon a time...something about a princess...gets married to her prince after... and lives happily ever after."

The wonderful part is, no matter how terrible those "..." details are, she always loves the story. Unfortunately our writing critiques don't hold that same mentality when they read our manuscripts. For us, the details are what it's all about. Anyone can make up a character and a scene (yes, some are more dimensional than others) but it takes a lot of skill and effort to pull those characters together and fluidly detail a believable, if not lovable, story.

Question: Does your plot command the details, or do the details determine your plot?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Scrambling the Pot

Today I'd like to propose a little creative writing exercise for you writers out there. It's no secret that with so much of our effort and energy poured into our WIPs that we can sometimes drive straight into a roadblock of ideas. At the very least, we can become so immersed into our current WIP that we develop a sort of tunnel vision that stifles our creativity. With this in mind, I present to you my creative writing exercise, which I'll call:

"Scrambling the Pot"

First of all, in order to participate in this exercise, you need to have at least 2 WIPs (even if one of them is on hold)

The object of this exercise is to write a short story using protagonists from your WIPs. You may only use Protagonists in this short story and may use as many as you like from any work in progress you currently have. This short story should be general style of beginning, middle and end, as well as contain some kind of conflict/solution scenario.

The idea behind this is to help you see how dimensional your MC's are. It will help you to understand their similarities as well as contrasts, giving you room to expand on their development.