It’s Tuesday vlog time! Being a writer isn’t easy, but here are five ways to help you improve your skills.
- THE FIRE IN FICTION by Donald Maass (review)
- PLOT & STRUCTURE by James Scott Bell
- REVISION & SELF-EDITING by James Scott Bell
AWESOME INDUSTRY BLOGS:
- YA Highway (general YA writing tips/industry info)
- Nathan Bransford’s blog (former literary agent with amazing archived posts)
- Agent Sarah Negovetich’s blog (lots of great info here for writers)
- Writers Helping Writers (many useful posts for writers)
- The Write Practice (more super useful writerly goodness)
shadowcon asked: Have you seen Buffy the Vampire Slayer? What do you think of it?
I haven’t seen Buffy, actually. So…yep… *eyes Netflix and Hulu queue*
The thing that sucks about mental illness is that if you aren’t depressed enough, suicidal enough, bad enough, nobody cares. Nobody cares until you reach their standard, and that standard is when your problem is bad enough to effect them
The amount of people who can relate to this makes me equally incredibly sad and immensely angry
I went on a bit of a twitter rant yesterday after reading one too many trade reviews in which a book’s diverse cast was dismissed as implausible. Charles Tan was kind enough to storify the whole thing here.
Beautiful! Why aren’t writers of all-white all-straight dude-centric stories criticised for their agendas and lack of realism? (I mean, just kidding, we all know why.)
“The story of one boy and his journey to find himself.
When it happened, Miguel was sent to Juvi. The judge gave him a year in a group home—said he had to write in a journal so some counselor could try to figure out how he thinks. The judge had no idea that he actually did Miguel a favor. Ever since it happened, his mom can’t even look at him in the face. Any home besides his would be a better place to live.
But Miguel didn’t bet on meeting Rondell or Mong or on any of what happened after they broke out. He only thought about Mexico and getting to the border to where he could start over. Forget his mom. Forget his brother. Forget himself.
Life usually doesn’t work out how you think it will, though. And most of the time, running away is the quickest path right back to what you’re running from.”
“You know how when you’re a kid and you get a new bad-ass rubber football for Christmas, and the morning it takes a few minutes to remember why you’re so excited? It’s like that for me, only the opposite. When I wake up, everything’s normal for a while. I’m just plain Miguel. And then suddenly it hits me what I did. It punches me right in the ribs. It screams in my ears how everything isn’t normal anymore, it’s fucked.” —pg. 125.
I mean, wow, right?
We Were Here is written in a journal-like format, but Miguel makes a point of saying he’s not going to talk about feelings, he’s going to write exactly what happens to him. And so we learn about Mong and Rondell (who, I have to say, are extraordinarily memorable and interesting side characters), and how he ends up on the run, and the events that unfold as he and the guys are trying to get to Mexico, and the pacing is so on point—I was totally hooked from the beginning. Which is pretty great, because I don’t usually like diary/journal entry-type formats.
I could ramble about the many things I enjoyed about this book, but instead I’m going to recommend you guys check out this fabulous YA read for an example of incredible, raw voice alone (though that’s not the only thing to praise). I really enjoyed it, and I’m rating it a five out of five.
It always really annoys me when I see masterlists and all the links are just linked to other masterlists of links and it takes fifteen tabs to get to an actual article about whatever the question was, so all of these (unless stated otherwise on the link) lead to actual discussion of the topic, not just links.
A chart for figuring out how different MBTI personalities work together
Writing a Novel: Characters (Mine)
Inspiration for Characters:
Boys I Want to See in YA (Mine)
My Writing Inspiration Tag (Mine)
I will possibly add more as I go
auhoraatra asked: Hi, I just need a little of guidance. I’m working on a fantasy novel that I hope to turn into a series one day. Problem - or should I say problems? - is that I have a good half of the world figured and a magic system, but as far as knowing the true main plot that all the other books will have is where I’m stuck. I dream of being published and I will never, ever give up on the story but I’m a sixteen year old girl and I’m wondering if I should finish writing this book and withhold publishing or?
The thought of being published is thrilling and wonderful, but you have plenty of time for that later. Right now you should focus on completing the novel and then figure out where the rest of the series is going. Does it even need to be a series? Or are you making it one just for the sake of writing a series? Unless you have a series arc and final destination in mind, you might consider whether it would be better off as a stand alone novel. Here are some good resources to help with the plotting if you decide to go ahead and do it as a series:
Here’s a good general article about plotting a series.
How to Write and Plan a Book Series
Whether you stick with a series or decide to make it a stand alone novel, you have a lot of work ahead of you before you put too much more thought into getting published. Getting published is hard, and the only way to make it happen is to put a lot of hard work into your novel. That means that once you finish your book, you need to read through it and revise it. And then read through it and revise it again. Then you need to find some test readers who you trust and who can be honest with you about what they liked and what they didn’t. Then you have to revise it again, and then you need to give it a final polish, where you go through line-by-line to look for errors and to make sure everything is just right. It’s a lot of work, and it can take years. But if you don’t do it, your odds of getting published are very, very slim.
The good news, though, is that with each draft your writing will get better and better, so no matter how much time it takes, you’re working on your craft and growing as a writer.
Here’s a great article about all the steps it takes to create a novel, from the first spark of an idea all the way to querying.
If you need further help or just need some encouragement, you know where to find me! :)
Also, here are some great tumblrs you should be following:
Writing in the Blue (aggregate/re-blogs)
So proud of my mother for doing her own research after I sent her that meme. A sign she hung in her car window.
Is this true?
Not only is it true, it gets worse. The Susan G Komen For The Cure Foundation has actually successfully sued “competing” charities, because (paraphrasing) their “message or branding was infringing.”
You read that correctly: they took money that people had donated to cure cancer, and hired attorneys with it, to sue ANOTHER group of people trying to find a cure for cancer, who, in turn, had to us their donated money to hire their own legal counsel to defend themselves.
Yeah signal boost because not enough people know about this and seriously FUCK SUSAN G. KOMEN THEY ARE THE ACTUAL WORST
(reblogged in honor of my mother, who died of breast cancer, 11/13/97)