Friday, March 29, 2013
Today, I celebrate one small thing.
I am happy I have a warm, dry house.
Which, if you think about it, it's not a small thing. So, I love my home and my family and I am thankful for that.
What about you?
Thanks Vikki for hosting:)
Thursday, March 28, 2013
#3: Trying for theme is important, but you won’t see what the story is actually about til you’re at the end of it. Now rewrite.
Theme. Do you always start a story with a theme? I must admit my goal has always been: What message do I want to portray in my story?
Now, I'll admit the hard hitting truth. My theme usually changes, evolves or CHANGES as I write. Why? Because when I first start on a story, I don't know my characters very well. As I write, I learn more about why they do the things they do and as I grow closer to them, I learn secret things about them.
These things often change my theme because when I thought "he" was a forgiving person, my theme was forgiveness. I soon discovered "he" held grudges and found it impossible to forgive, so my theme changed from forgiveness to redemption.
My point? I agree 100% with point #3 because by the time you finish a story, everything changes, from plot, to characters, to theme. Now that you know what your story is about, it's time to revise and fix that theme!
Don't forget to visit:
It's a short post today, beautiful guys and dolls, but it's been one of them days...
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
I have signed up to blog along with a few other bloggers (their links are at the bottom of this post. PLEASE visit them if you get chance!) and I thought it would be a wonderful addition and help for writing advice. There are 22 sketches, so it will take several days to get through them all. I hope you enjoy!
The original list can be found here: Story Shots
I missed yesterday's Day #1, which was admiring a character because he tried more than because he was successful. I will try and make that one up later. IF not, Well, then I guess I missed #1. Oops!
So today, day #2, the point is: Keep in mind that what's interesting to you as a writer may not be as interesting to the audience.
This may be a hard one to grasp, initially. What? You mean everyone may not think my idea is fantastic? They won't all flock to buy my book by the hundreds, no thousands? Really?
It's true. Grin and bear it, dear writer. While your writing may be sensational and your plot line out of this world, but it may not be everyone's cup of tea. Let's face it. Not everyone is interested in reading paranormal, or fantasy, or historical. Not everyone is into romance novels. Tastes and preferences are so individual, just like writing talents.
So what does this mean? Does this mean if you don't follow trends and the Top Ten Bestsellers that you'll never be a successful author? Does it mean you are doomed to failure because you can't write vampire stories?
It means there is an intended audience out there for YOU and it's important that you know who that audience is. When you write for a specific niche, readers will love what you write because they love that genre and category.
To be success as a writer, an auhthor, it's important to know who your intended audience is and what they have come to expct in your genre. This strengthens your craft and your creativity.
You wouldn't pitch a horror story to the kindergarten teacher, would you?
Know your audience and watch your writing bloom into awesomeness!
Happy WIP'ed Ink, you beautiful guys and dolls!
Be sure and visit the others who are participating! They have amazing things to say...!!
Friday, March 22, 2013
1. I've gotten a partial request from an agent as a result of WriteOnCon!
You can see my entry here...
2. I received an R&R from another agent.
3. Tonight is movie night, so that means I get to relax with hubby and enjoy some family time. I can't wait!
4. My son made a A+ on one of his phonics tests. The first one ever!!!!
5. I've joined the A to Z Challenge, inspired by Alex J Cavanaugh (that is, I was inspired by Alex to join) and Blog Blitz. DL Hammons (of Write Club fabulousness) I think it's going to be a fantastic way of making some new friends! My Big Welcome posts for each of these next week!
What about you? What brought a smile to your face this week?
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
PROPHECY GIRL, by Cecily White
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Friday, March 15, 2013
Today, I have so much to mention, let's just get started!
1. I'm thankful for Vikki, who started this whole thing anyway.
2. I'm thankful to everyone who takes time out of their busy life to visit Ink in the Book!
3. Guess what? I am now a Writer's Assistant for the awesome Kate Brauning! You can read all about her introductions here. She made me blush:)
4. Aaannnddd.... I'd like to announce my new job as Editorial Intern for Entranced Publishing! For which I am completely excited to be part of Entranced!!
Last, but certainly not least, today is the day for those involved in the SHOW OFF workshop to post their new, edited show off piece of writing.
Rules: it must be the same piece you posted earlier in the week, only I want to see you show off your improved writing where you removed the telling and added the showing.
I have pasted a piece of my writing that I re-wrote after submitting to Carrie Pestrito of the Prospect Agency and her feedback. Let me say, this is not endorsed by Carrie and I have not resubmitted to Carrie, but after taking her advice, I have revised my entire book. This is what I've learned:
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Now, about fanfiction and this week's workshop... as my writing skills are always a work in progress.
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Carrie Pestritto of Prospect Agency.
The point of the workshop is for you to take a piece of your writing - up to 250 words - and after the workshop, take what you have learned and and apply to it your writing. On Friday, post your revised version and the the biggest SHOW OFF wins!!
For today, here's what we've got:
We are talking about emotions:)
When writing, it's so easy to describe your character's emotions with words that YOU as the author may be feeling. Or you may want to express feelings and write in a way that YOU want the reader to grasp or feel. But showing feelings is just like showing details. Let me explain. Your character may have been traumatized, and you write, using words that express the feelings you want to portray. You may use words, like hurt, angry, withdrawn, paranoid, terrified, ashamed, and so on. Now, all those emotions may apply to your character, but one of the easiest ways to draw your readwr into your MC's world is to let THEM decide what to feel. Let's do some exercises like yesterday to show you what I mean.
I'll never forget how I felt when my mom died. I was devastated.
In those sentences, all I did was tell you what my MC felt after she experienced a death in her family. By writing it this way, I didn't give my reader any opportunity to feel anything. So, I'll add some details and try again.
Even if I live a thousand lives, I'll never forget how completely alone I felt after my mother died. Days turned to weeks and weeks turned to months and still, it seemed every time I turned around, something reminded me of her. I don't think I'll ever be able to move on.
With these details, all I've done was add to the telling. I haven't given the reader a reason to love the MC or her mother, nor I have given the reader a way to suffer with the MC.
Whenever work distracted me during my visits with mom, her soft hand patted my arm and she smiled at me. She always forgave me. As her sight faded, the smell of fresh flowers on the table helped mom relax, even though she couldn't go outside anymore. At the sound of my voice, she clapped her hands and weakly patted the edge of her edge of her, inviting me to sit a spell. This morning, I filled her coffee cup to the brim, the way she liked it- before I remembered.
In this version, because I didn't come right out and tell you my MC loved her mother and still can't believe she's gone, I gave my reader the chance to make that connection on their own. This means, the reader must engage with my details and as a result, the reader has an opportunity to be emotionally connected and engaged with my MC.
So, what about you? Do you have something you need to work on and SHOW OFF?
Monday, March 11, 2013
I'll be honest. At first, I just didn't want to listen. After all, writing a story was TELLING a story and how do you tell a story if you don't "tell" huh? Even after I studied article after article and book after book about what showing is, I still don't have it completely down, but I'm working on it.
After receiving FIVE different critiques, with two of them from agents, and all of them saying "You have too much telling in your writing" I decided it was time to learn what that meant:)
So, I'm hosting a SHOW OFF workshop and guess what, guys? The lovely and talented
Carrie Pestritto of the Prospect Agency
will be giving a one page critique to the writer who is the biggest show off! That's right! It's time to pull out a 250 word selection from your manuscript and post it in the comments today and tomorrow. On Friday, I'll ask you to post your new, revised selection that best shows the places you have removed telling and replaced it with showing.
Carries has graciously agreed to critique the most improved!!
So, lets' get started, shall we?
First class: Show off your details
What does that mean? Let she show by example:
The little boy was sleepy.
That sentence is telling. It simply says a boring detail that doesn't excite me or give any details. At all. So, let me add some detail and see what happens.
The blue-eyed toddler boy wore a helmet of silver and traces of sticky candy circled his mouth. His dress up army outfit fell off his shoulders and the pants leg wrinkled under his feet and he looked so tired. He was strong-willed and I knew he would rather play army man then take a nap. It would be a struggle.
This version has some details, but how are they relevant to the story? They are nice, but they don't add to the story. They're random and out of place. Plus, there's still some telling going on. Let's try again...
His tired eyes squinted into red-rimmed cracks. He pushed his army helmet down over his brows, his eyes barely showing from the over-sized hat. One hand clinched a half eaten candy bar, the other waved a plastic pistol. "You mean enemy! I'll never surrender to a nap!"
Now, what does this selection show you? There's a tired little boy who doesn't want to sleep, but he is stubborn! But writing this, this way, I leave a few options for you, the reader. You may have a completely different thought. You may think, " Man, that boy needs a spanking!" or maybe "He's so creative, I hope he never loses his great imagination!"
By showing off, I left some things open for the reader to decide. I built on the details in an engaging way, and I kept it interesting rather than boring!
Now, beautiful guys and dolls, if you want to participate in the workshop, feel free to comment and leave your sample. At the end of the week, you'll be given the chance to show off you improvements and win a critique from Carrie!
Friday, March 8, 2013
Remember last weekend when I said my son and his fiancé were in staying with me, planning their wedding? Well this weekend, my OTHER son and his fiancé are staying with us, planning their wedding!!
Busy year for me! Two weddings and a new grand baby! WooHoo!!
Have a great weekend beautiful guys and dolls. I promise to visit everyone's blog later. As soon as I have stable Internet:)
Thursday, March 7, 2013
I know. I missed yesterday. So sorry, guys! We had a fantastic "How I Got My Agent" blog post. Plus, I forgot it was the first Wednesday of the the month, which means ISWG day! I didn't want to post too much stuff at one time.
Thank goodness you guys are so understanding and patient:)
I'm so excited to announce the Show Off Workshop!
Showing vs. Telling. I thought I had this all figured out, but after a couple of critiques from agents and they all saying the same thing, I decided it was time to learn to be a show off instead of everyone telling on me:)
So, here's the details: There will be 5 mini classes. Each class will discuss a separate aspect for showing off. Here's the list!
1. Show off Your Details
2. Get All Emotional
3. Helping Your Reader Be a Show off
4. Understanding a Show off
5. Show off Specifically Good
This workshop is running all next week, Monday thru Friday. And everyone who participates will have a chance to show off their improvements with an agent contest! That's right! Thee will ba an agent judged contest for the most improved show off!
Who's ready to show off! I won't tell on you. I promise!!
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Good morning from the Investigator, aka Naomi Hughes! Last week I was honored to join Team Fury, headed by the amazing Louise Fury of the L. Perkins Agency. Here's how it happened.
I’ve always been a lover of stories, especially young adult books “with a twist.” Something about them is addictive: the humor, the unexpected poignancy, the impossible romances. They’ve been my staple for over a decade now, even when I felt guilty for reading about werewolves and angels while my college friends were reading *insert stuffy voice* “important literature.”
I’ve always loved making my own stories, too. Writing is my passion, but after a while I kind of stopped dreaming. It was too hard, and I wasn’t good enough—or so the little voice in my head kept saying. I wrote a few for-fun books in junior high and high school, but things dried up in the cynicism of college and, later, during my attempts to find a “real” job. I tried journalism, photography, secretarial work, and librarianship, and all of it was okay, but none of it was fulfilling.
Then one random day last September, I had a daydream about this really cool scene and started writing what turned out to be a book. When I finished (three weeks later), I sent out about forty query letters to agents, and was very depressed when most of them were rejected. Then I got determined. Writing was my DREAM. Was I really just going to give it a half-hearted shot for a month and then give up?
So I started writing another manuscript called “The Shadowed Flame,” about a goofy, brave, cocky-but-vulnerable Unicorn Rider named Jackson. This time, I tracked down beta readers (and a few hapless family members, including my wonderful husband) to tell me what was wrong with it before I started querying. Being able to swallow critique graciously and use it to make your work better is without question the hardest part of being a mature author. But darn it, I LOVED writing, I was going to be GOOD, I was going to get PUBLISHED, and for that I had to improve. So I did.
I read every post on craft I could find. I read books on outlining, on hooking readers, on the parts of a story. I spent about six hours a day writing, revising, re-reading and re-revising. I got better, and I loved every second of it.
Then in December, I found out about an online contest called Pitch Wars (God bless you, Brenda Drake). I was chosen as an alternate, and my awesome mentor Danielle Ellison was kind enough to read my manuscript and tell me the truth: it was a good concept, but it wasn’t ready. The first and second half felt completely different, there were several unnecessary characters, and the pacing was off.
I was discouraged. I would have to start from scratch if I wanted to go on. After a lot of angst, I decided that I loved Jackson too much to let him go. When the agent round of the contest rolled around, I was a few chapters into my brand-new rewrite. One of the agent judges, the incomparable Louise Fury, loved my pitch and first page and wanted my full manuscript. After I explained the situation, she was gracious enough to agree to wait a few weeks for me to finish the new version.
I kicked it into high gear: I woke up before dawn, wrote for two hours before going to work, came home early in the afternoon and wrote until dark. And it was good. I could feel the difference in the story, in the voice. This one might have a shot, I thought.
When I finished, I sent the manuscript to Louise. The next day, she emailed me to tell me that she was only a quarter of the way through so far, but she wanted to know if I had it out with any other agents (I did, about twenty). The following morning, I got an email saying she’d finished it and wanted to call to offer me representation. She adored my book. She loved my writing. I was sure I must be dreaming.
She was AMAZING. She laid everything out—edits it needed, why she loved it (I may have squealed a little to myself at that point), where she thought it might find a home. Everything she said was exactly on track with my vision for the book, and I was even especially excited about the edits, because they made SO MUCH SENSE and would make the book so much better. We set a deadline and I got to work nudging the agents I felt could compete with her (it was a very short list) and respectfully withdrawing the rest of my queries.
I got about a 50% interest rate from the agents I nudged, but all five of them ended up stepping aside with congratulations and praise for my quirky manuscript, which they all liked but just didn't fall in love with. Honestly, I’m glad none of them offered, because it would’ve been a gut-wrenching decision and Louise SO would’ve won anyway! I accepted her offer the day before our deadline. She’s an enthusiastic, amazing, efficient juggernaut of an agent (with a cool accent to boot), and I’m absolutely thrilled to be the newest member of Team Fury. I can’t wait to see what the next few months will hold.
What did I learn from all of this? Do what you love. Do whatever it takes to be the best you can at it. If you ever hear that little voice that says “It’s too hard, you’re not good enough,” don’t listen. And never stop dreaming.
This month has been a roller coaster of emotions for me as a writer. I joined and few contest and won. In one contest, I advanced to the 2nd round, but did not win the agent round. In another, I won up to the agent round, but didn't get an agent comment.
So, I feel in between the lines. Yay, for advancing some. Boo for not making it to the top. And by top, I mean at least getting an agent request.
But I am really not depressed about this. The reason is I learned something very, VERY valuable that has improved my writing immensely! Yes, I still need to improve. I am a firm believer that you never stop learning.
As for insecurities this month, I honestly don't know what to say. I want to stay positive. Smile. Nod with that reassuring peace that it will happen one day.
And it will. I know it will. The process may take a while and the road may be lond and hard, but the end of the journey will be so worth it.
What's there to complain about????
I'm taking al the sunshine I can get right now, Next month, it may be a whole different story I share!
So, what about you? Are you smiling and laughing this month, or do you need a shoulder to cry on? I'm here for whichever you need. Let me know:)
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Hey everyone, Write Eye here. I hope everyone's week is going well! I'm here to announce the winners of our Ink Party Giveaways! I won't babble on for long, so don't worry. I know you all want to know who won :)
Monday, March 4, 2013
I'm so excited about the new writing group Bound By Ink! There's a nice variety of genres represented by each writer and we all have our own individual talents and strengths. I have great dreams for my new team!!
Today, we'll be featuring an awesomely wonderful post on HOW I GOT MY AGENT. Not me, guys. I'm still in the query trenches! But THE CURATOR will be telling us all the juicy details about how she got her great agent. You don't want to miss it! She's posting early this afternoon. I'm so excited!
Since mixed ink posts are about a variety of subjects, today, I thought I'd share a few links about agents since Chelsea will be posting agent stuff. Enjoy these interviews and links!
Adventures in YA Writing
The Writers Lens
Saturday, March 2, 2013
a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway
For my give away, I'm donating a PDF sample full of Inspiration and creativity I wrote for my Agent Ink Workshop. To enter, just fill out this Rafflecopter form:
Friday, March 1, 2013
I'm sorry I forgot last week to post. By the time I remembered it was Friday, it was too late to post. Oh, the joys of getting old...hehe!
What am I celebrating today?
1. My son's fiance came down for the weekend and we are talking weddings stuff all weekend!
2. I had a fabulous birthday on Tuesday!
3. Today, I am celebrating the the blog launch of Writers Unite, Bound By Ink! There are 6 of us who are members and we will each be posting THREE times every week, sometimes more when there are special occasions of extra things, such as interviews, reviews, and such!
The big kick off is tomorrow, but I wanted to let everyone know today, kinda celebrate with a party! So, here's some party supplies:
It's party time, you beautiful guys and dolls! I hope you stop by and say hello, grab some cake and come back for a gift and meet Bound By Ink Writers Group!
Go ahead and get signed up below to get the party started!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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