Want to win a cover design for your WIP? I definitely do. SophistiKatied is hosting a contest — head over there to enter or to just peruse her awesome graphic design skills.
Monthly Archives: February 2010
You know you’re a writer when you use plot structure tools like Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet to analyze your love life. Is the dark night of the soul over yet?
You know you’re a writer when your friend says something hilarious and you say “WAIT! Can you say that again? I need to write it down so I can stick it in my novel” and they just roll their eyes.
You know you’re a writer when you almost tell your professor, “I don’t need to write this paper; I wrote a novel“, but don’t because you can’t bear to get anything lower than an “A” on a writing assignment.
And you know you’re a writer when you get all shivery and excited when one of the writers you follow HOLDS THEIR BOOK FOR THE FIRST TIME! Alexandra Bracken is hosting a contest to win a copy of her debut novel BRIGHTLY WOVEN on her blog. You should enter. Or buy a copy. Or just be happy for her — because her book’s gonna be on shelves in one month!
“You know you’re a writer when…” is open to submissions. Got something funny or creative, send it over to me at madisonwrites (at) mac (dot) com, and I’ll feature it on the blog!
PS: tomorrow’s interview is going to be AWESOME. One hint about the interview-ee’s identity: starts with QUERY and ends with KING. Be here.
My characters and I live in vastly different worlds.
My biggest problems are tests and papers and boys. I play volleyball at the beach, do homework in coffee shops, laugh with my friends until way too late.
“Wouldn’t that be nice?” my characters say.
They fight bad guys. They have secrets. They argue and push buttons and get in trouble. Although they struggle with the basic issues of humanity, just like I do, it’s on a completely different scale. Sometimes I’m jealous of them, sometimes they’re jealous of me, but mostly we’re just really different.
Sometimes I do feel like our worlds collide.
For example, when I see black trucks like these on the road, I feel like Ian (a main character from TIB) is inside — listening to rap and generally being a hot bad boy. So I love black trucks. They make me swoon.
Pianos, piano music, and concert halls remind me of Luke (also from TIB). Sophie’s little brother, he’s a master piano player who lives, breathes, and thinks music. I love listening to (and playing) piano music because no matter how annoying Luke can be, in all his little-brother-ness, he becomes something much bigger when he plays.
And lastly, if I ran, I would probably feel closer to Sophie (TIB’s main character), but I don’t run.
What kinds of things make you feel closer to your characters — like your world and theirs could collide?
Now that I’ve gotten that song stuck in all your heads…
Doesn’t that picture just make you smile? Check out Creative A’s blog — she reviews books, interviews writers (I’m looking forward to hearing Alexandra Bracken, who’s going to talk about her debut Brightly Woven on March 23rd) – and also writes her own YA fiction.
Here are the award rules:
- Put the logo on your blog or within the post.
- Pass the award onto 12 bloggers.
- Link the nominees within your post.
- Let the nominees know they have received the award by posting on their blogs.
- Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.
Now… I know the rules say 12. But I’m going to change the rules because a) I’m not even sure I consistently read 12 blogs (don’t hate, I am a college student) and b) I would like to award the Sunshine Award to three blogs instead.
Kristin Briana Otts, a fellow college student, brings lots of sunshine to the blogosphere with her hilarious Twilight action-figure photos… and exciting excerpts from her work-in-progress that I REALLY want to read someday, SEVEN.
Kirsten Hubbard, my name-sister, shares adorable baby animal pictures, travel stories, and wise words that always make me smile.
Thank you for bringing sunshine, you three!
It’s lovely and sunny outside, and I have about five million things to do since I didn’t touch a single stack of homework over the holiday weekend. Sounds like a perfect time to ramble through this survey, which the lovely Kristin Otts tagged me to complete. If I don’t get anything done, I blame her 🙂 although I do love surveys so much more than homework. Thanks, Kristin!
1) What’s the last thing you wrote? What’s the first thing you wrote that you still have?
THE INBETWEEN was the last thing I completed, but if you want a more technical answer, the last thing I wrote was about 2,000 words of FELL last night.
The first things I wrote were stories from first and second grade. Those two years, I had two lovely teachers, Ms. Mathis and Ms. Shields, who loved to write and loved to encourage their students to write. I wrote all sorts of stories about my cat Whimsey, and my family’s vacations, and horses (I was obsessed with horses). They’re all laminated and bound and certified by the words “Room 5/6 Publishing”… and in bookcases back home.
2) Write poetry?
Once upon a time, when I was an angsty high school student…
3) Angsty poetry?
Oh yes. Who hasn’t written angsty poetry? (If only for the sole purpose of later laughter…)
4) Favorite genre of writing?
I love mysteries. Love, love, love.
5) Most annoying character you’ve ever created?
Possibly this guy named Tad, who appeared in THE THRILL SEEKERS as a nerdy, annoying (ANNOYING!) and unwanted sidekick for the main characters.
6) Best plot you’ve ever created?
I suppose TIB…
7) Coolest plot twist you’ve ever created?
If I told you, it would no longer be a twist.
8 ) How often do you get writer’s block?
I don’t think I believe in writer’s block — yes, I am one of those people. I don’t know what I believe, because sometimes my stories stop short, but I think that’s because of the internet and/or my own distracting life…
9) Write fan fiction?
10) Do you type or write by hand?
I can’t write fast enough to keep up with my thoughts; plus I’m one of those neat-freak people who has to make everything they hand-write, including lecture notes, look PERFECT. Too much pressure… so I revert to the computer, where all typed letters look perfect without effort.
11) Do you save everything you write?
Yes, even scribbled things on sticky notes. Check out my closet back home — it houses a *neat* stack of papers from as far back as the first novel I wrote.
12) Do you ever go back to an idea after you’ve abandoned it?
I incorporate abandoned ideas into new ideas, but no, I’ve never completely gone back to an abandoned idea.
13) What’s your favorite thing you’ve ever written?
14) What’s everyone else’s favorite story you’ve written?
15) Ever written romance or angsty teen drama?
TIB could classify as both…
16) What’s your favorite setting for your characters?
Morrow, the setting of TIB, is misty and woodsy and beachy — and (I think) quite creepy. It used to be my favorite until FELL came along. Now I love the Seattle of that world … full of traffic, sirens, and rainy nights and streetlights.
17) How many writing projects are you working on right now?
Only one — FELL.
18) Have you ever won an award for your writing?
OH just kidding, I totally did. I won the Creative Writing award my senior year of high school, and I will always remember what my teacher said as she presented the award: that I had “delicate genius”. I’ve never been quite sure what that meant, but I think it sounds cool.
19) What are your five favorite words?
Rain, tumble, green, squish, love.
20) What character have you created that is most like yourself?
I think Chloe, Sophie’s sidekick and sometimes-best-friend from TIB, sounds the most like me, although we don’t share too many personal similarities. I guess I’d have to say Birch from FELL if only because she and I share the whole fire-nightmare connection.
21) Where do you get your ideas for your characters?
People around me.
(Yes, people around me, be afraid — but not too afraid, because you’ll only end up as a minor character with a changed name and changed hair color. Major characters just ARE the way they are.)
22) Do you ever write based on your dreams?
Not usually. Most of the time I write based on reality — TIB has a few little conversations/interactions that my friends see and go, “hey, didn’t that happen to us?”
But FELL will have several of my fire nightmares.
23) Do you favor happy endings?
I’m not sure how to answer this question. I favor them in books I read, but not necessarily books I write. Books I write must end the right way (the way that grows, changes, and challenges its characters), and that is not always the happy way.
24) Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write?
Yes, especially when my mistakes are underlined with red and green squiggles. I can’t stand red and green squiggles.
25) Does music help you write?
Sometimes. I have playlists for TIB and FELL (although FELL’s only has one song so far). But I like quiet, too — the kind in coffee shops, not libraries.
26) Quote something you’ve written. Whatever pops in your head.
I see him again on the northbound 17 express: Rush hour traffic and nowhere to sit, rain spattering the windshield, and that boy standing in the aisle ahead of me, pretending to read Steinbeck like yesterday but never actually flipping the page.
And it scares me. The day before yesterday, he was just another passenger. Yesterday he was cute, and once I stared back when I caught him looking, fluttered my eyelashes and smiled like a fool. Today, he is terrifying. I don’t know why.
~ from FELL
Well, that was fun. Time to write a paper or two. I tag Laurie.