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Showing posts from March, 2011

Writerly Wednesday: Memories

I just reread Hunger Games and noticed the most amazing thing: it is loaded with Katniss's memories. You can hardly read a page or two without Katniss remembering something, and in those memories we (the readers) grow more and more attached to her. For not killing Prim's cat Buttercup. For saving her family with edible dandelions. There are a million memories scattered through Hunger Games and each gives us insight into Katniss, as a person--well character. :) I sometimes forget.

Upon realizing this, I picked up a few of my favorite books--the ones that come up again and again in my mind. Almost all of them are laced with memories in the way HG is. Now, there are lots of books that accomplish characterization without memories. It can be done. But I’ve learned from this realization that truly deep, round, fleshed out characters remember their past when experiencing their present. I decided to test this with a few of my scenes in my WIP and bam! Suddenly the scene has a new dept…

Crits for Water

My awesome crit partner Laura, aka Lo, posted about an opportunity so generous it needs rementioning. As we have different followers, I'm stealing her post for today to spread the word.
Kat Brauer, YA writer and big-time blogger, is offering the following:

For every $1 you donate, I will crit 250 words of your MS. This includes line editing, if you’d like. So if your first chapter is 3000 words, donate US $12 to the mycharitywater campaign page [url to be added when the campaign opens]. I’ll contact you for the file. Kat-Crits can be requested AT ANY TIME during the campaign’s duration (March 31-June 30).
Unless this gets super awesome and busy, I promise to finish all crits within one week.
Once a week (possibly more), we will have special guest crits from other authors, agents, and editors! Here is the (ever incomplete) schedule of events and guest crits. These special guest crits follow a DIFFERENT DONATING AND CRITTING STRUCTURE from #1 and #2.
There will also be special, SUPE…

Thesaurus Talk: STEP

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STEP
Definition: to go on foot . Usage: I stepped across the street for a quick lunch at the new diner.
. Synonyms: ambulate, foot (it), hoof (it), leg (it), pad, step, traipse, tread .
Related Words: parade, promenade; march, pace, step out, stride, troop; power walk; hike, peregrinate, trek; amble, mosey, perambulate, ramble, saunter, stroll, wander; clump, stomp, stump, tramp, trample, tromp; footslog, plod, trudge; gimp, hobble, limp; mince, prance, pussyfoot, tiptoe; bounce, sashay, stalk, strut, swagger; falter, lumber, lurch, pound, scuff, shamble, shuffle, stagger, stumble, toddle, waddle; nip, tap, trip, trot
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POD vs. Offset -- what's the deal?

FIRST, MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT! THERE IS A CRAZY CONTEST GOING ON AT YATOPIA FEATURING AMMI-JOAN PAQUETTE OF ERIN MURPHY! GO, GO, GO! IT IS ALMOST FULL!!
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Lately I’ve read a few forum posts surrounding small presses and the issue of POD printing—or print-on-demand. As I work in both, I thought I would explain some of the differences, addressing the concerns mentioned in these posts.

First, it is important to note that a typical POD press is not a tiny machine (aka laser printer) spitting out poor quality images. Most color machines can span the size of a room. See photo below:Second, technology on digital presses has advanced tremendously making black and white printing (the actual pages of your book) virtually identical to offset printing. We publish many books offset and digitally, utilizing whatever method will keep costs down for our customers. To the naked eye, there is no difference between the two, assuming the same paper st…

Dictionary Day!

Happy Friday all! We're continuing alphabetically with Dictionary Days. Today's letter is "B."

__________________________________ BEATIFIC TYPE: Adjective DEFINITION: Having a blissful appearance. USAGE: Gretchen flashes a beatific smile. __________________________________ . I'll for sure use this one as my characters tend to smile A LOT! What about you? Do you have overly-smiley characters or frowners? I'll try to find a "C" word that means grimace or frown or something for next week so you have words readily available. . Have a fantastic weekend! . M.B.

Wednesday Writing Topic: Aliens

So my post on Monday hinted at my WIP involving aliens and being a few raised their eyebrows I thought it would be interesting to discuss just that: aliens.

There are loads of theories on aliens ranging from creepy to friendly, but one such newer theory has brought on a lot of interest lately by experts. First let me say, this is not the theory my WIP surrounds, which for reasons of not divulging too much I'll keep that a secret. But I will say the theme comes from a combination of potential fact and fiction--which is what I try to bring to all my stories.

Now on to today's theory: Aliens in the moon.

What?! You scream. Yes, I know, but there are some interesting elements of our history that suggest the possibility. First, the last moon landing was on December 17, 1972. Why? Why when technology advances continue to soar did we stop landing on the moon? Some researchers believe it is because we were told to not come back. Hmm...I'm not sure. But a few astronauts have publicly …

Alien beings around us?

(Warning – this post sounds more interesting than I intend it.)

See, yesterday I read THIRTEEN REASONS WHY for the first time. It is a thought-provoking, amazing read. Definitely read it if you haven’t. The story is very much about a misunderstood girl and how these sorts of misunderstandings can shape our lives, sending us in all kinds of directions. While the book conjured lots of different emotions and thoughts, one hung with me and became the motivation for today’s post.

I had a conversation with someone (to be kept anonymous) regarding humanity and how we determine other’s worth—for our time, our thoughts, and sometimes even their worth as humans—based upon how similarly they are to us. This is a hard statement, I know. I’m sure you’re sitting in front of your laptop shaking your head. “Nah-ah, not me.” Maybe you’re right. Maybe you’re open-minded enough to never go through your day, week, and year discounting others. But probably not.

Most of us never mean to do this. But how often…

Thesaurus Talk

Today I decided to do a word cloud for the first 100 pages of my WIP and choose the most overused word -- aka biggest word in the cloud -- for today's Thesaurus Talk. Please note that I am using thesaurus.com for these posts. That site rocks so definitely check it out if you are struggling to find word options. You can also enter phrases into the search option and it will return single words that mean the same. Hello tightening!
Prayers and thoughts to all our friends in Japan.

M.B.

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WORD:
KNOW
PART OF SPEECH: verb
DEFINITION: understand information
SYNONYMS: apperceive, appreciate, apprehend, be acquainted, be cognizant, be conversant in, be informed, be learned, be master of, be read, be schooled, be versed, cognize, comprehend, differentiate, discern, discriminate, distinguish, experience, fathom, feel certain, get the idea, grasp, have, have down pat, have information, have knowledge of, keep up on, ken, learn, notice, on top of, perceive, prize,…

THE END

So yesterday I typed this out, saved it, and forgot to actually post. Oops! Here's yesterday's post, pretend it's still Wednesday for me. :)_____________________________________________________________

The. End.

Aren't those the most magical words a writer can type? The moment I type in those two small words, a giant smile spreads across my face. For me the joy is in the completion. I have now competed two full length novels. The first one produced all those gooey, "I rock" feelings, but this one is so much more. Writing is hard. And frankly, I wasn't sure I had the bandwidth to sustain the writing thing.

Novel two proved to me that I do.

Now of course there are revisions, and I'm a perfectionist so the revisions will not be easy. But for now, I will enjoy the fact that I have completed my second novel.

What have I learned about myself as a writer?

It takes me 3 months to produce a first draft. I write romance scenes better than action scenes. With my first…

Reporting in and need your opinion

So last Monday I proclaimed that I would have my WIP complete by today. Well, unfortunately that didn't happen, but I am VERY close--only 2-3 chapters left. Which is why I chose this photo for today. I can see the finish line, but I'm not there yet. Hopefully my Wednesday post will declare completion.

And then revisions begin. I realized halfway through that I wanted to go a different direction in a pretty important subplot. I made notes throughout the first half and so now I have to correct those issues. Once those are complete that draft will be draft 2 (though technically draft 4 as I've revised a bit already).

But I need opinions on something. I plan to revise wide and zoom in, likely ending with 6 drafts before I would consider the WIP polished. I will probably send the full to my CPs and betas once the draft 2 mentioned above is complete. Okay, now on to the question. I'm considering having a freelance editor read the final version prior to submission.

Is that wi…

New Friday Topic(s)!

I thought it might be fun to make Fridays dictionary and thesaurus days. So each Friday going foward I will alternate between fun new words and thesaurus responses for commonly overused words. It will look something like this:
Dictionary Day
New wordDefinition of new wordThesaurus TalkOverused wordList of replacementsSound like fun? Let's get started today.
_____________________________________DICTIONARY DAYNEW WORD: AppropinquityDEFINITION(S): Nearness, proximity_____________________________________
Fun, huh? So I'll start with A and going through Z for the fun words. We'll see how I do!! M.B.

Favorites that teach the fundamentals

I realized yesterday that I have certain books I rush to when I need a refresher on one of four things: worldbuilding, pacing, characterization, or voice.

Here's the list:
WORLDBUILDING Any HARRY POTTER, but especially 1STARCROSSEDTHE HOBBITPACINGHUNGER GAMESDA VINCI CODE - I know, I know. (Grisham's great at pacing, too. :P)WAKECHARACTERIZATIONAny of the abovePRIDE & PREJUDICEA GREAT AND TERRIBLE BEAUTYVOICESAVVYCATCHERTHE NOTEBOOK What about you? What books do you run to, again and again, to teach (or inspire) the fundamentals of writing? M.B.