Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Figment vs Critique Circle

So a couple of days ago, Colleen Lindsay tweeted about a relatively new site for YA and MG writing, reviews.. and the like. It's http://www.figment.com/

So I jumped on to see what the fuss was about and it's a little odd, but really if you want to do some research on how MG and YA act, talk, think, feel - that is your website. You can post your works, chapter by chapter and then you petition people to read your stuff by promising to read theirs. There isn't much 'editing' going on, but a big picture review - did they like it - did it grab them... It's more of a one-stop comment shop.

Now on the other hand, Critique Circle (CC) if absolutely fantastic for editing, rewording, plot, characterization, but the review - the how did you like my book - well, I guess it's okay for that too. But for me, writing YA and MG - I want to know how my target audience feels about my work.

So - the two of them together is a GREAT mix for me. I'm grammar craptastic, so CC picks me up there and helps me make my writing into something legible and figment is a great place to go for reviews and ideas - to hang out and pick up on the pulse of the age group.

**You'd be amazed at how talented and advanced these folks are in their late teens, early twenties. Check it out...

Monday, May 9, 2011

One at a time -

So I've had 2-3 new book idea's hit me over the last day or so and I want to dive into all of them, but I read something last night that reminded me that taking one project at a time might actually help me to come out with a better product in the end. Mind you, I have 2 books written and need to edit the heck out of them before moving on to something else, but I need a break from them - They feel like wayward children some days.

So what's your method? One at a time all the way through? Or lots of irons in the fire at one time?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Purposeful Passion

So my buddy Moody had a post yesterday (or a few days ago) on his blog asking why we write - my response is below.

I write because of the story that's screaming to get out of my head - aching to climb out of my imagination and maybe give someone else (the potential reader) the chance, if only for a moment, to do something they never dreamed possible - to live in someone else's fantastical world.

Good stories should linger on your palate and allow you to ponder the what if's long after you've finished them. I write in hopes of being that flavor - that lingering thought in someone's mind someday.

I write to live in a world where people aren't mean, where passion in your marriage never goes stale, where an ordinary girl can catch the eye of someone extraordinary, where monsters aren't inherently evil and make incredible lovers.

I write because I can. Because I love it. Because it gives me a hope that maybe tomorrow I'll wake up and have the opportunity to dream bigger and better and more - unfolding the intricacies of a world that beckons me call in sick and pulls me from sleep late at night.

I write because fiction is my lover and I have become its slave.

A little dramatic, yes, but in allowing myself a few moments to think about why I spend my time, when there is so very little of it, writing or reading, and then letting that flow onto paper - or better yet Mood's blog - I started to feel the yearning of a new story seeping through my veins and am going to start this morning writing - setting up a schedule and writing everyday. (Thanks Mood for your inspiration - love it!)

I encourage you to think about the "why" and really feel it - and maybe like me yesterday, you passion will birth another creation.

So why do you write and what are your methods of getting it done?

** I figure before too long I will look like a patchwork quilt - taking all of your thoughts and methods and creating my own out of yours - no point in recreating the wheel!!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The road we travel

So tell me some of the places you find yourself haunting on the Internet - placing you are using the build up your social platform - places you are sharing your writing with other authors - where are you - what are you doing with your electronic time??

I'm on CC, a beta-reader for Book Country and just joined something called Figment. I have FB, this blog and a twitter account and I am trying to get back in the swing of things -

So school me - where are you spending your time?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Editing List

So I've seen a lot of blog posts on editing - almost like people have sync'd up on their edit timing. (Oh as a side note - did you know that today is National Star Wars Day? May the 4th be with you - sorry - had to.)

I created my own editing list a few months back and have posted it below - coming up with a list of things to look for - seek out - makes the editing process a little easier, I think. It difficult to edit your own manuscript because you are too close to the story - it's like putting a puzzle together and you can't fit the last few peices, so you get up after hours and hours of slaving over it only to have some less-than-brilliant person step up and finish it in mere seconds - its easier to put highlights on a painting than create the picture on the canvas - SO... here is my list. Hopefully it helps a little.

1. I am the contraction queen, so I did a search on the following words to see if I needed to adjust for contractions (this doesn't get 'em all, but it's a start!!)
**** have, I am, would, will, had, it is, you are

2. A lot of the comments I got reminded me to show, not tell, so I searched for the following sensory words and moved them from the telling that these words do to actual descriptions:
***** feel, felt, heard

3. I forget punctuation on my dialog A LOT, and I know we don't always use 'said' in dialog, but I did a search for the words I used most and made sure to punctuate my dialog with a comma instead of a period:
****** said, whispered, yelled

4. I tried to remove fruity words that just took up too much space... I have a few - add to my list, if you like!!
****** almost, seem, seemed, so, that
(SERIOUSLY - I am amazed at how many times I use 'that' in my chapters.. UNREAL)

5. I did a search for And and But as I've heard those are no-no's on starting sentences with. I just looked in my doc for any place that I had an And or But that was capitalized.. worked out pretty well.

6. Lastly - I scanned my chapter for large blocks of words without dialog and looked for ways to break them up, spreading the information I wanted to tell the reader through the chapter (subtle of course) or tearing them apart and moving it into a dialog between my characters.

And the list continues to expand! ;-)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Coming up for AIR!

Wow - I cannot believe the spring is already over and shortly we will be headed into Summer. I have been so busy with my family and my church, not to mention my full-time job, that I have been swimming in the shallow end of the pool - just trying to survive! I am finally through the busy time of the year at work and I am coming up for air - then - diving off the deep end!

I am jumping back into my critiquing, because I honestly LOVE to read more than anything, so this is a great way to read, help someone else and get better, myself, at honing in on one of my favorite crafts. Then - I am going to start working on a new novel and picking at the editing on one of my two completed novels.

Life is great - the world is available to anyone who's willing to take a risk and grab it - Today, that just happens to be me!