Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Recent writing tidbits

Here's a few things that I've been collecting on the writing front, while revising my novel yet again based on feedback from agents, and working up the courage to send out queries again.

Every writer needs someone like this to cheer their book on: 

Tadashi, from Big Hero Six

This was posted by Leatrice McKinney. I'm reposting it so I can re-read it again and again when I'm feeling doubtful about another rejection:
I am grateful for my rejections.
I'm sure that's a strange thing to read, it certainly is a strange thing to say, but it's true. And I didn't really realize it until today.
I'm looking over the current version of my manuscript, comparing it to the version I queried in the beginning. My story is so much better, richer, fuller, enticing. It's been through I don't know how many bits of agent feedback, from rejection letters. It's now been through some editor feedback as I get those rejections. Without all of the no's and the reasons why, my story wouldn't be half what it is right now.
With each rejection Alice's tale gets better and better. When she finally hits the shelves, she'll be so much more than what she was. I want to put the best book possible out there, and it's taken me all this time to realize that without those rejections my story wouldn't be near half what it is now.

This was just posted by Martina Boone (author of Compulsion), on the connection between setting and memory (I think this will be my writing exercise this week):
Based on who they are and their individual experiences, each character is going to see the setting in different ways, and the objects and aspects within the setting will raise memories from their lives. Giving thought to those connections and varying perspectives within a setting will, in turn, help you create the fine details that bring the setting to life. 
  • Sounds, smells, objects within the setting that trigger particular memories
  • Attitudes toward the setting and objects within It that tell us about that character
  • Ways of describing the setting and the objects in it that reveal how the character’s are changing as the story develops

This is what I'm reading right now, The Girl At Midnight, and it's doing that wonderful magic of whisking me away to another imaginative world, and firing up my own imagination at the same time, making my fingers itch to keep writing and to keep making my writing better.
The Girl at Midnight (The Girl at Midnight, #1)

Here's the premise: Echo lives in a secret room inside of the New York City Public Library...  until she's sent on a quest to find the Firebird, the only hope of bringing peace between two warring magical races, the bird-like Avicen and the dragon-like Drakharin. A new twist on the Firebird mythology, bird and dragon. 

I've already highlighted a tons of wonderful quotes from this book, mostly delicious characterizations and great snippets of dialogue, and some scary-good world-building. Echo is an interesting mix of youthful bravado, well-read brilliance, and orphaned/not-fitting-in-anywhere sadness.

"she had the unflappable compsure of those who have lived too long in too short a span of time" 
"Kalverliefde, Echo thought [she collects odd words that describe powerful moments] The euphoria you experience when you fall in love for the first time. For a word that contained only four letters, love felt like a monumental leap" 
"Echo did not giggle. She chuckled. She cackled. Occasionally, she even chortled. But giggling? Heavens, no." 
"If her hormones had a face, she would slap it" 
"Greatness is not always good." "Yeah, yeah, one ring to trule them all, I get it" 
"The young always think they are invincible. Right up to the moment they learn otherwise. Usually, the hard way" 

Sorry for the fangirling episode!

May this day be a day of great writing and outrageous dreaming up of ideas, and happy reading for all.


  1. Thank you for your kind wishes, trying to keep up with blogging despite housework, looking after an invalid husband and a sequel to my children's book that is shouting at me to finish it! :0)

    1. Housework? I forgot I was supposed to do something like that. My idea of housework is teaching my kids to do it for me :) (In exchange, I read them bits of my novels) (grin)

  2. I always love to read what you're reading... It's part of the reason I stalk your goodreads shelves. And I love the inspiration you pull out of the books you enjoy!

    I haven't been blogging recently... or writing... been in a serious slump. But there's 23 days left of Camp NaNo, so maybe I can pull it together soon. I'm revising something, too!

    1. It's so neat to know someone is stalking my Goodreads shelves! I need to stalk yours more often (I know I have a couple times) because we seem to love similar books but you have some books listed I'd never conisdered, but maybe should.

      I hope Camp NaNo has picked up for you!

  3. I completely sympathize with the need to gird the loins before sending out more queries. Yesterday was a three-rejection trifecta kind of day for me. I've been ducking my e-mail all day today, worried about a repeat. I agree, though, if you're lucky enough to get some decent feedback from an agent, it can help make the manuscript better for the next round of queries.

    Good luck out there!

    1. Oh man three rejections in one day!!! That could drive me to drown my sorrows in addition to ducking email for a while. I haven't had that hit me yet because I really haven't sent out that many queries. I only send out about 3 at time, i've heard 10 is better number, but I get so nervous!



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