24th May 2013
Post reblogged from The Office of Letters and Light Blog with 36 notes
Critically-acclaimed author Ally Kennen is no stranger to a challenge. She used NaNoWriMo to help her publish nine books, all while raising her three children. She tells us about her revision process, and shares just how to make room for writing in a bustling life:
When did you first attempt NaNoWriMo? What did it offer to you as a writer?
I first attempted, and failed, NaNoWriMo in 2004, before I had any books published. NaNoWriMo felt delicious. Here was a community of like-minded dreamers, all passionate about writing. I loved the lighthearted approach and humor, but there was also a real determination to get those words done.
I’ve participated many times since. Sometimes I have failed miserably. Other times I have failed quite brilliantly, and a few times I have even achieved the magic 50,000 words. I adapt NaNoWriMo to suit me. It is never a waste of time. What I love about it is how it is so positive: this massive international wave of good intention and creative endeavor.
I have since had nine books published, all for children and young adults.
Could you tell us more about your revision process?
22nd May 2013
Photo reblogged from Reborn-Gp Art or kinda with 22,899 notes
Answer all these questions and you should have a fully-developed character for your audience to connect with.
A strong character can carry a weak plot; but a strong plot can’t carry weak characters
21st May 2013
Quote reblogged from Booklover with 914 notes
Writing a poem is like having an affair, a one-night stand; a short story is a romance, a relationship; a novel is a marriage—one has to be cunning, devise compromises, and make sacrifices.
19th May 2013
Post reblogged from Failure is Always an Option with 30,070 notes
I can almost guarantee that Google thinks I’m a psychopath. My last three searches were “Is it possible to slit your own throat?” “Does ripping skin make a sound?” and “How long would it take for someone to bleed out through their forearm?”.
But I’m not insane, I promise.
I’m a writer.
The last sentence negates the previous one.
18th May 2013
Photo reblogged from An elegant solution for keeping track of reality with 4,911 notes
3.) Name one scar your character has, and tell us where it came from. If they don’t have any, is there a reason?
Liadan. He doesn’t start his story with any major scars actually but part way through the bottom of his feet take a major beating and are since permanently scarred.
Tovi. Tovi has no scarring. A fact which is a matter of pride for his people as scars are just proof that you can be hit.
Deadboy. He gains a scar on his cheek in the shape of a stick figure.
11th April 2013
Photoset reblogged from Failure is Always an Option with 112,751 notes
Body Language Cheat Sheet for Writers
As described by Selnick’s article:
Author and doctor of clinical psychology Carolyn Kaufman has released a one-page body language cheat sheet of psychological “tells” (PDF link) fiction writers can use to dress their characters.
This is something I have always encouraged people to consider when writing. If you can afford it, and you have one in your area - TAKE A BODY LANGUAGE CLASS. It will open your eyes to a whole new world of subtleties you never knew existed. SO worth it as a “Real Life” skill and for all those times when you’re writing and you need your character to react nonverbally.
There is also, in addition to these others, the writer resource book: The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi
18th March 2013
Quote reblogged from My Own Little Corner with 11,273 notes
And there are millions of teens who read because they are sad and lonely and enraged. They read because they live in an often-terrible world. They read because they believe, despite the callow protestations of certain adults, that books-especially the dark and dangerous ones-will save them.
As a child, I read because books–violent and not, blasphemous and not, terrifying and not–were the most loving and trustworthy things in my life. I read widely, and loved plenty of the classics so, yes, I recognized the domestic terrors faced by Louisa May Alcott’s March sisters. But I became the kid chased by werewolves, vampires, and evil clowns in Stephen King’s books. I read books about monsters and monstrous things, often written with monstrous language, because they taught me how to battle the real monsters in my life.
And now I write books for teenagers because I vividly remember what it felt like to be a teen facing everyday and epic dangers. I don’t write to protect them. It’s far too late for that. I write to give them weapons–in the form of words and ideas-that will help them fight their monsters. I write in blood because I remember what it felt like to bleed.
15th March 2013
Photo reblogged from is that your judging face? with 76,986 notes
Want to collaborate on a Google Doc with Nietzsche, Shakespeare, Dostoyevsky, Dickinson, Dickens and Poe?
Click here. Start typing. Enjoy the hilarity.
Ninja Update: Wanna see something fun? Mention Shakespeare in a sentence and see what happens.
Poe kept writing distinctly into my sentences so I wrote ”Edgar, you’re not funny” aND HE BLATANTLY DELETED THE NOT I AM SO DONE WITH THIS ASDFKJL
OH GOD IF YOU TYPE “EDGAR ALLAN POE” POE ADDS A :( AFTER HIS NAME PRECIOUS BABY
THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER
omfg so I pasted the first chapter of My Immortal onto the doc and Poe deleted half of it and just put ‘THE END’ and now everyone else is re-making it help
I mentioned Shakespeare and he added “dashing and witty” in front of it but then Poe deleted it and wrote “dreary and lonely”
Shakespeare & Poe are the only helpful ones.
7th March 2013
Link reblogged from is that your judging face? with 41,507 notes
Benjamin Dreyer is the VP Executive Managing Editor & Copy Chief of Random House Publishing Group. Below is his list of the common stumbling blocks for authors, from A to X.
- One buys antiques in an antiques store from an antiques dealer; an antique store is a very old store.
- He stayed awhile; he stayed for a while.
- Besides is other than; beside is next to.
- The singular of biceps is biceps; the singular of triceps is triceps. There’s no such thing as a bicep; there’s no such thing as a tricep.
- A blond man, a blond woman; he’s a blond, she’s a blonde.
- A capital is a city (or a letter, or part of a column); a capitol is a building.
- Something centres on something else, not around it.
- If you’re talking about a thrilling plot point, the word is climactic; if you’re discussing the weather, the word is climatic.
- A cornet is an instrument; a coronet is a crown.
- One emigrates from a place; one immigrates to a place.
- The word is enmity, not emnity.
- One goes to work every day, or nearly, but eating lunch is an everyday occurrence.
- A flair is a talent; a flare is an emergency signal.
- A flier is someone who flies planes; a flyer is a piece of paper.
- Flower bed, not flowerbed.
- Free rein, not free reign.
- To garner is to accumulate, as a waiter garners tips; to garnish (in the non-parsley meaning) is to take away, as the government garnishes one’s wages; a garnishee is a person served with a garnishment; to garnishee is also to serve with a garnishment (that is, it’s a synonym for “to garnish”).
- A gel is a jelly; it’s also a transparent sheet used in stage lighting. When Jell-O sets, or when one’s master plan takes final form, it either jells or gels (though I think the former is preferable).
- Bears are grizzly; crimes are grisly. Cheap meat, of course, is gristly.
- Coats go on hangers; planes go in hangars.
- One’s sweetheart is “hon,” not “hun,” unless one’s sweetheart is Attila (not, by the way, Atilla) or perhaps Winnie-the-Pooh (note hyphens).
- One insures cars; one ensures success; one assures people.
- Lawn mower, not lawnmower.
- The past tense of lead is led, not lead.
- One loathes someone else but is loath to admit one’s distaste.
- If you’re leeching, you’re either bleeding a patient with a leech or otherwise sucking someone’s or something’s lifeblood. If you’re leaching, you’re removing one substance from another by means of a percolating liquid (I have virtually no idea what that means; I trust that you do).
- You wear a mantle; your fireplace has a mantel.
- Masseurs are men; masseuses are women. Many otherwise extremely well educated people don’t seem to know this; I have no idea why. (These days they’re all called massage therapists anyway.)
- The short version of microphone is still, so far as RH is concerned, mike. Not, ick, “mic.” [2009 update: I seem to be losing this battle. Badly. 2010 update: I’ve lost. Follow the author’s lead.]
- There’s no such word as moreso.
- Mucus is a noun; mucous is an adjective.
- Nerve-racking, not -wracking; racked with guilt, not wracked with guilt.
- One buys a newspaper at a newsstand, not a newstand.
- An ordinance is a law; ordnance is ammo.
- Palette has to do with colour; palate has to do with taste; a pallet is, among other things, something you sleep on. Eugene Pallette was a character actor; he’s particularly good in the 1943 film Heaven Can Wait.
- Noun wise, a premier is a diplomat; a premiere is something one attends. “Premier” is also, of course, an adjective denoting quality.
- That which the English call paraffin (as in “paraffin stove”), we Americans call kerosene. Copy editors should keep an eye open for this in mss. by British authors and query it. The term paraffin should generally be reserved for the waxy, oily stuff we associate with candles.
- Prophecy is a noun; prophesy is a verb.
- Per Web 11, it’s restroom.
- The Sibyl is a seeress; Sybil is Basil Fawlty’s wife.
- Please don’t mix somewhat and something into one murky modifier. A thing is somewhat rare, or it’s something of a rarity.
- A tick bites; a tic is a twitch.
- Tortuous is twisty, circuitous, or tricky; torturous is painful, or painfully slow.
- Transsexual, not transexual.
- Troops are military; troupes are theatrical.
- A vice is depraved; a vise squeezes.
- Vocal cords; strikes a chord.
- A smart aleck is a wise guy; a mobster is a wiseguy.
- X ray is a noun; X-ray is a verb or adjective.
I usually never reblog these bc I’m way too awesome to make mistakes, but omgosh there’s some I didn’t know here!!!
WHERE ARE LOSE AND LOOSE
NOTHING MAKES ME MORE INSANE THAN LOSE SPELLED LOOSE