Posts tagged ‘sarahenni’

May 28th, 2010

The Chirps of Other Wordbirds

by Madeleine Rex

Last week, I attempted my very first COOW (pronounced coo) post, in which I gathered my favorite posts of the week and their teasers. This week has been equally eventful and epic (is it possible to be equally epic?), and the following posts really struck me!

The Post: In What Flo Taught Me About Chemistry, Sarah Enni talks about how “Flo and the Motorcycle Dude” are a great example of fabulous chemistry between characters. And, honestly, who can not love a blog post that expertly combines writing and Flo?

The Quote:

Real-life couples have odd chemistry. So do our favorite fictional couples: The so-opposite-they’re-great Bridget Jones and Mark Darcy; the bizarre quirks that make Harry perfect for Sally; the passion that connects Claire Beauchamp and James Frasier through time.

The Post: Steph Bowe is arguably the driving force (online, at least) in the world of YA YA literature, as in young adults in the business of writing YA novels (such as myself). This week, she posted some uplifting and enlightening (two admirable qualities) tips for kids like me.

The Quote:

1. Don’t listen to a negative word anyone says. (With the exception of constructive criticism, obviously, you’ll figure out how to differentiate that from people being just plain nasty.) People will tell you that because you are young you can’t write because a) you have no life experience (as far as I’m concerned, you can have the busiest, most exotic life in the world and it doesn’t necessarily make you a good writer), b) because they couldn’t write as teenagers and c) because you should be studying to get into a good university/job or, if you’re a girl and have particularly old-fashioned acquaintaces, because you should be prettying yourself up to try and wrangle a husband. Because obviously that’s on the mind of all 16-year-olds. These people who say negative things? They aren’t going to stop when you get a book deal. If you get published as a teenager, it’ll probably get worse. Which is why you need to decide right now that what they say doesn’t matter – you know that anyone at any age can become a great writer, and they’re just jealous of your motivation.

The Post: I am simply blown away by Kiersten White. I cannot wait to read her debut novel, Paranormalcy. Luckily, I get a taste of her writing (though only a nibble) every day from her blog. This week, I loved her post, Reality. If editing’s got you blue, read this post. Remember why you’re wasting away in front of a computer screen in your pajamas. The reality in this post is the dream so many of us are working toward.

The Quote:

I know I’m living a dream (mine, and probably many of yours) and it’s incredible. It’s a buttload of work (and I never use the phrase buttload lightly), it’s exhausting, it can be very stressful, but when you get right down to the heart of it, it’s the best possible reality I could imagine.
And that’s saying a lot.
The Post: Carrie Ryan, author of The Forest of Hands and Teeth and The Dead-Tossed Waves, posted a brief overview of the book writing/publishing process. From step one, when the author works on his or her own, to step ten, when the books are printed, shipped, and (hopefully) sold to the like mad.
The Quote:

Step seven: typesetting.  The manuscript is sent to be type set which is the point at which it starts to look like a book.  Sometime before this point all the aspects of the typesetting have already been chosen and designed (what font, the layout of the pages, any chapter headers or symbols between sections).  One thing I never realized is that new errors can be introduced at this stage so if you find a typo in a book, sometimes this is where it happens.

I am aware that many of the blogs mentioned here were mentioned last week.

Do you get the picture this time?

Those. Blogs. Rock.

Let us hope that next week will be another great one in the blogosphere, but, in the meantime, I have book reviews to write.

This is Madeleine, signing off.

(P.S. Have a fantastic Memorial Day weekend.)

May 21st, 2010

The Chirps of Other Wordbirds

by Madeleine Rex

Because I had an absolutely thrilling time the other day while compiling a list of blogs you either are following or should be, and I’ve read a remarkable amount of fantastic posts this week, I resolved to compile yet another list. This time, of said fantastic posts.

Without further ado, the most beautiful and in-tune chirps of other Wordbirds this week:

(Not all of these posts were posted this week, I simply read them this week.)

The post(s): Kiersten White has been on a rampage concerning romance in YA novels. She’s touched on love triangles, the bad boy rage, sterotypes in YA lit, and love. Her stream of posts has been incredibly insightful, and, honestly, I’ve agreed with everything she’s said. So, yes, please read.

The Quote:

Here’s my opinion. You can’t tell me that you love and care about someone and then tell me you’re also considering another person as an option and can’t deny your attraction to them. Of COURSE you can. Attraction may be instantaneous, but lust is always a choice. Progression is always a choice. So these heroines who are actively dating/stringing along more than one guy? Sorry, girls: you aren’t confused or torn. You’re a player. (Or playa, if you want to be hip. Which, if you are dating two guys, you probably already think you are.)

The Post: Sarah Enni discusses the importance of three dementional characters in Make Like Avatar and Get 3D. She gives some great examples. This should be, in my opinion, a writer’s key focus.

The Quote:

It’s important for characters to have primary features or qualities that make them real, whole people.

Strong-willed, jealous, honest, manipulative, naive. Every character in your work should have a defining quality.

But, they should also confront situations in your book in which they show the opposite of that quality.

The Post: Carrie Ryan wrote an astronomically brilliant post concerning love triangles. She asserts that…

The Quote:

To me, a love triangle done right isn’t about a female character’s affections bouncing back and forth between two men, it’s about her internal struggle within herself as she figures out who she wants to be and what’s important to her.

More on the Post: I love the above take and adamantly believe that writers should approach the love triangle arrangement with this in mind.

The Post: Author Mike Duran guest posts for Rachelle Gardner and virtually dumps a bucket of ice water on top of you. Don’t think that the book contract is the end of the yellow brick road. There’s always another mountain to scramble over.

The Quote:

Authors expend so much energy and angst on landing an agent and getting the first book contract that by the time we arrive it’s unclear whether we have reached the summit or just base camp.

The Post: Nathan Bransford gives some instruction on one-sentence pitches. I appreciate the way he broke the sentence down into sections and gave an example. In my opinion, the one-sentence pitch is the most daunting.

The Quote:

the one sentence pitch as the core of all the summarizing you’re going to do in the future. It’s the heart of your book, whittled down to one sentence. It’s what you build around when crafting longer pitches.

The Post: Elana Johnson convinces all to stop being shlumpy underachievers. Not only is this important, but she makes it funny.

The Quote:

Some pointers:

1. Take showers. This will eliminate your physical shlumpiness, thus giving the persona of non-shlumpy. Hey, at least pretend, right?

2. Recognize that you have the Force. This will allow you to become Neo (“I am the One.”) or Luke (“Use the Force, Luke!”) but in your own special way. You might need to pen a motto for yourself. Mine? “Hey, at least I didn’t kill anyone.”

3. Share your awesome. This will help you realize that there are a lot of other people out there trying to be less shlumpy too

More on the Quote: Okay, that was about all you need to see, but the rest of the post is funny and encouraging as well.

And, there you are, the greatness that was this week in the blog-o-verse. I highly recommend reading the above posts. All of them were informative, but more importantly, all of them were fascinating.

What posts have you read this week that inspired, informed, or were simply fascinating?

Meanwhile, I’m about to start editing. Who’s got the Tylenol? I see a headache in my future…

P.S. If you liked the layout and link-theme of this post, let me know. I’m willing to make this a weekly deal! (And I might just do so anyway, even if no one cares, because this is my blog and I am ruler. Kidding. Partly.)