Posts tagged ‘johngreen’

December 16th, 2010

Wishlist! Ya' Gotta Have One!

by Madeleine Rex

Alright, so I’m kind of hoping and kind of not hoping that my family will see this. I’m the sort of frustrating person that doesn’t want to tell people what they want for Christmas for fear it will ruin the surprise. My poor parents are left to their own imaginations.

However, I couldn’t resist this! There are a few books that I am just dying for (despite the fact that my bookshelves are full. Again.)…

  1. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
  2. Let it Snow by John Green (and others)
  3. The 3 A.M. Epiphany by Brian Kiteley
  4. Glamour: Women, History, Feminism by Carol Dyhouse
  5. The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan
  6. Pretty Monsters by Kelly Link
  7. Skin Hunger by Kathleen Duey

Yes, it is an odd list, isn’t it? You’ve got France, writing instruction, nonfiction, zombies, randomness, and books about magic with really creepy titles. Yep, those are my interests.

What books are you… craving?

August 31st, 2010

Everybody Makes Mistakes!

by Madeleine Rex

(Trust me. There’s a reason for the picture you’re looking at.)

Yes, that’s Hannah Montana.

Or is that Miley Cyrus? Sorry, I forgot which one was real.

Yep.

Every time I watch a Nickelodeon or Disney TV show and people are doing something totally ridiculous or embarrassing, I tell my brother: It’s going to take ten years for them to shed the Nick/Disney image. Why would they do that to themselves?

And, really – why? Why not do some commercials and show up on a few episodes of CSI? Obviously, sometimes it works out, and sometimes those shows can be cute, but what Disney/Nick star has been able to shed that image and branch out without people snickering and saying, “Oh, there’s [insert character name from past Disney/Nick show here]. In a real movie. Pfft”?

Look at Zac Efron, who still hasn’t been able to really move on from High School Musical, even though, in my opinion, he’s actually a pretty good actor. And Hilary Duff. Every time I look at her, I think “Lizzie Maguire.” And then there’s Miley Cyrus. The list of Disney and Nickelodeon stars that have yet to move on from their kiddy pasts is long.Their first moves into stardom branded them for years, and possibly for life.

What if your first published work is the same way?

When will Stephenie Meyer ever really be able to move on, past Twilight?

My message to you today: Make sure you’re willing to be branded by your first book.

Clearly, we all love our babies… I mean, books. We’re very probably going to be proud of our first published work – as we should be! It was your Golden Ticket! You’re in! You’re officially a VIP, all thanks to [insert beloved book title here].

However, keep in mind that you will never be able to erase that book from your “permanent record.” Obviously, our writing will always be improving. Every book we write (hopefully) is better than our last. That’s a given.

But I shudder to think that I might regret jumping the publishing gun.

Make sure you are ready, and make sure your darling book is. Don’t be blinded by your seemingly undying love for [insert beloved book title here]. Think objectively.

Not only will your first book brand you, but the genre it’s in. I’ve heard time and time again, things like “Pfft. Zac Efron could never be in a really emotional movie.” Even I tease, “Is he an all-star high school basketball player this time around?”

Attention comes with judgment. That’s how it is. Do you want to be judged by [insert beloved book title here]?

The ideal answer: yes.

Luckily for us writers, people are more open-minded. I’d be willing to read a fantasy novel by John Green. (Okay, okay, I’d be willing to read almost anything by John Green. But you get the idea.)

John Green, lucky him, struck gold with his debut, Looking for Alaska.

You want a brand like that. One that you can show with a sense of pride forever, one a majority of people will respect. Brands tend to be permanent. The hair won’t grow back over the scar.

Be objective. Be a little logical (oh my!). Try to look at yourself thirty years from now from the eyes of other people.

But don’t let objectivity cloud your love. Go ahead and be in love with that blissfully wonderful book of yours.

There’s always a happy medium. Love and logic can coexist. Even if there’s some bickering.

Psst! Paranormalcy came out TODAY! Must. Read.

Also, please, please, please give me suggestions for my blogiversary giveaway! – Help Me Help You

June 11th, 2010

The Chirps of Other Wordbirds

by Madeleine Rex

I’ve been gone so long that all my readers must:

  1. Really miss me
  2. Really hate me
  3. Have forgotten me

No matter how you feel or what you’ve forgotten, I am back, if temporarily, with The Chirps of Other Wordbirds, my weekly collection of the fabulous posts I’ve read recently. Most, if not all, are writing/publishing related, and I can assure you that every one is a gem!

First off: I’m sorry. Next week is my last week of Middle School (this is the best sentence ever), and I’ve been busier than usual lately. I haven’t neglected my blog for this long since last year, at which time I shouldn’t have been deemed a blogger. I’m hoping this upcoming week is more prosperous, but, if not, I’ll be back after the 18th!

The Greatness this Week:

The Post: Nathan Bransford, aka Mr. Literary Agent Celebrity, posted about his psychic agent-powers that have told him The Rejection Letter of the Future Will Be Silence. I find this idea incredibly interesting, and Nathan’s thoughts on the incredible nature of publishing in the digital era are well-put.

The Quote:

No one sits around thinking, “You know what the problem with the Internet is? Too many web pages.” Would you even notice if suddenly there were a million more sites on the Internet? How would you even know? We all benefit from the seemingly infinite scope of the Internet and we’ve devised a means of navigating the greatest concentration of information and knowledge the world has ever seen.

So what’s the big deal if a few hundred thousand more books hit the digital stores every year? We will find a way to find the books we want to read, just as surely as we’re able to find the restaurants we eat at and the movies we want to see and the shoes we want to buy out of the many, many available options.

The Post: One of the most discussed topics of the year is the digital publishing revolution. Eric at Pimp My Novel has an interesting take on not just e-books, but on the death of particular publishing formats, particularly audio books and large print.

The Quote:

As we progress further into the Most Glorious Digital Age, mes auteurs, I can’t help but feel that some book formats and practices are going to be made obsolete. Now, before anyone gets started with “Kindle-this” and “iPad-that,” I’m not suggesting that 1.) these changes will render print books in general obsolete, or 2.) these changes will be specific to any one e-reader, company, or file format.

They are as follows: large print and audio books (as they currently exist) are goners.

The Post: Titles catch my eye. Book covers catch my eye. These are the things that make books pretty and shiny and appealing. As a writer, I love titles. Occasionally, I come up with titles before even a fragment of an idea presents itself. Eric (again) posted about the crucial nature of titles and why it’s important to get them right in A Rose by Any Other Name. (Plus, he gives tips!)

The Quote:

Sad but true, author-amigos: sometimes the title you pick for your book is terrible.

Sometimes an author selects a title that simply doesn’t work for his or her genre (e.g. titling a romance Guns and Bros and Explosions). Occasionally an author unwittingly (or worse, wittingly) gives his or her book a title that’s uncomfortably similar to the title of a very different, much more widely known work (e.g. naming a memoir about directing a summer camp for disabled youth in Germany Mein Kamp).

The Post: Kathleen at GotYA posted “I am not Margo… Or John Green,” a post in which she ogles over Paper Towns (review forthcoming here at Wordbird… hopefully) and talks about how, as readers and writers, we’re destined to find authors we want to kill but hug before we do so. They’re too good to be true. Worse yet, their general awesomeness is about ten times what you imagine you could ever achieve. (And I actually said something to that effect to Miranda the other day, and, coincidentally, I was talking about John Green, too.)

The Quote:

It’s not that I don’t love John Green. If anything, I love him too much. You see, John Green is the author who makes me want to fall to my knees and cry, “I’m not worthy! I’m not worthy!”

I have this theory that everyone has an author like that—even if they haven’t come across them yet.

You know that line in “Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen” where the narrators says, “The race is long; in the end, it’s only against yourself.” I believe that line. I really do. Almost all of the time. I suspect there are a few published writers that I’m better than and lots of published writers who leave me in the dust. That doesn’t bother me. But when I read John Green, there are moments when I stop and think that I’m just not worthy to practice the same craft.

The Post: Take Advantage of the Morning, folks! Sarah Enni published a very true post on how important it is to wake up in the morning, free of the troubles of life, and squeeze out a few words. I’ve been writing 500 words in the morning for months, and believe me, those words are precious.

The Quote:

It doesn’t matter what you write down: dreams; conversations from real life or imagined ones; events of the day before — anything at all. “Your primary purpose now is not to bring forth deathless words, but to write any words at all which are not pure nonsense,” Brande writes. Anything your brain comes up with before it is exposed to the daily deluge of external influence.

Have a great weekend!