Showing posts from June, 2011

Birthday Blues

 Normally I'm a good sport about birthdays, really I am, but today I'm just feeling .... meh.  I think it's because it's the big two-five.  I'm officially a quarter of a century.  There I've said it.  Not that I think it's old or anything, I just wanted to have more accomplished by now. 

Since my birthday is pretty much exactly the halfway point of the year I like to make birthday resolutions.  This year the ones related to writing are:

1. Get published

2.  Finally put Smolder to rest (at some point you just have to let your baby go), finalize edits of romance novella, and complete two new first drafts.

3. Try out self-publishing with Witchy Winter novella

4. Compete in the Amazon Breakthrough Novelist Competition again.  (I did this two years ago and advanced to the semi-finals with Smolder)

5. Finish up degree (I'm so close, but the kids kind of make it impossible for me to take classes)

Bye bye for now friends, I'm going camping in the Rockie…

Book Review: Sweep (volume 2) by Cate Tiernan

Summary from Goodreads:Morgan Rowlands is a blood witch, the last of a long line of ancient and powerful witches and the holder of an unfathomable power. With the help of her love, her soul mate, Cal, she has realized her true self - but at at price. For Morgan and Cal share a terrible, dark secret, one that binds them together even as they are rent apart. Yet there is something about Cal's hunger for magick that frightens Morgan.... And now there is another one who can bring Morgan clarity, truth... love. Morgan must decide who is her true love, and who is out to destroy her forever....

My Rating 4.5 / 5 Stars

This volume contains books 4-6 of the Sweep series.  A great follow up to volume one, I think I enjoyed this one even more.

The Characters: I love the characters in these books Morgan, Bree, Hunter, Cal, Skye and all the other minor characters as well.  They're intriguing, their actions have depth and motivation--something I always appreciate.  They have complete and well …

Establishing Character with a BANG

One of the things I've noticed in my first drafts is that I do information dumps on the reader when I first introduce a character.  Sometimes its physical description, other times its too much history.  This of course has to be taken out in the second draft. 
So how do you weave in characterization without obtrusive info dumps?  Through action, dialogue, and character responses to situations.  I think my favorite way of working in characterization is through an action scene.  The way a character responds tells so much about their personality.
Instead of telling about a character through narration, show a character's personality through a scene.  A couple weeks ago I posted on narritive summary vs. active scenes and this links right to it.  To keep a reader engaged and interested in your book you need to let them draw their own conclusions . . . but don't be too ambiguous, then you run the risk of your reader not connecting to your character. 

In Self-Editing for Fictio…

Book Review: Nightshade by Andra Cremer

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary from Goodreads:

Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers.
But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything— including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?

This book was amazing. Andrea Cremer's method of storytelling is enchanting, I was so wrapped up in Calla's world I didn't want to come up for air. In Cremer's bio it says she has a degree in early modern history and that it shows her longtime love of witchcraft and warfare. This love is so evident in Nightshade. The supernatural world she created is richly detailed…

Writing the First Kiss

Okay so I've finally gotten to the first kiss chapter of my manuscript, other than a few snags here and there this draft has gone smoothly... until now.  My book isn't romance but there is a love interest and a  romantic subplot (think along the lines of Katniss and Peeta in The Hunger Games) and for some reason this is the hardest section for me. 

So I got to the big kissing scene and realized it feels overly dramatic and cringe worthy (at least it does to me, my beta readers said they thought it worked fine).  I sat down this morning determined to find what part just wasn't working for me and how I can fix it.  I thought I'd share my process and discoveries with my awesome followers :)

I wanted to focus my efforts into three areas of the scene that weren't working for me:
1. Tone
2.  Character
3.  Cliche Sentences


The first thing I wanted to work on was the tone of my scene.  Romantic scenes can be sweet, awkward, combustible hot, and several degrees …

Book Review: The Search by Nora Roberts

The Search by Nora Roberts

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

To most people, Fiona Bristow seems to have an idyllic life — a quaint house on an island off Seattle’s coast, a thriving dog-training school, and a challenging volunteer job performing canine search and rescue. Not to mention her three intensely loyal Labs. But Fiona got to this point by surviving a nightmare.

Several years ago, she was the only survivor of a serial killer — a madman who stalked and abducted young women, strangled them, and left them buried with a red scarf on their bodies. As authorities were closing in on the Red Scarf Killer, he shot and killed Fiona’s cop fiancĂ© and his K-9 partner.

On Orcas Island, Fiona has found the peace and solitude she needed to rebuild her life. Yet all that changes on the day Simon Doyle barrels up her drive, desperate for her help. He’s the reluctant owner of an out-of-control puppy, foisted upon him by his mother. Jaws has eaten through Simon’s house, and he’s at his wit’s end.

To Fiona, Ja…

Writing is like...

The delightful Ashley Nixon has tagged me in a meme this week!  I'm to think of a metaphor for what writing is like :)  So without further ado...

Writing is like ...

... blowing off dandelion fluff. 

You close your eyes, make a wish, and send your thoughts out into the world.

That how writing is for me.  I have hundreds--thousands--of little seeds of ideas.  They slowly start coming together, making a cohesive whole.  And then--when I'm ready--I send my thoughts out into the world, hoping that one day, maybe, the seeds will take root and inspire someone else.

My main goal of writing YA and MG is to inspire children/teens to pick up a book, to discover a world beyond video games, MTV, and the internet . . . and maybe to write themselves.  As a child books saved me, they provided an escape and inspired me to use my imagination.  I'd like to do that for someone else.

This was fun, thanks for tagging me Ashley!

Now its my turn to tag someone!


Have fu…

Book Review: Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Evie’s always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals’ glamours.

But Evie’s about to realize that she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

So much for normal.

Paranormalcy rocked by socks! Loved it. Loved Evie's voice. Loved the romance. Loved the plot. Loved the interesting take on the paranormal.

The plot was fast paced and interesting. The short-ish chapters kept me flipping through the pages. This is not one of the typical overdone takes on the paranormal. White's interpretation is refreshing and unusual.

Evie is what really makes the book. She has a hilarious voice and I couldn't wait to see what she'd say next. She's funny without trying. Sh…

Update on my WIPs (ROW80 check-in)

So I haven't posted an update in awhile and it's about time that I do so!  My life's been crazy and the last few weeks haven't gone as smoothly as I would've liked.  But I'm still making progress.  Slowly.  ROW80 ends on June 23rd so I seriously need to get my tushy in gear. 

The Goals:
1) Finish past tense to present tense rewrite of Knight's Children and start on beta reader edits.
2) Write 50,000 words in The Curse of the Mallory Girls.
3) Outline and begin first draft of Christmas Story.

What I've actually done:
1) I've gotten several chapters of Smolder: A Knight's Children Novel under my belt.  Still not finished with converting it to present tense.  I think I'll make it by the deadline though, I only have four chapters left.  This is really where most of my writing time and engergy go.  It's the project that I most believe in.  After this round of editing I'm going to start sending out queries!  :D

2) I got hung up on names wi…