Tag Archives: Authors

My First True Love(s)

25 Sep

From the time I was little I was in love with stories. Movies, plays, books anything that wasn’t kindergarten napping and hopscotch I was into. I desperately wanted something exciting to happen to me, something that happened to characters in books. I wanted to sprout wings, or find out I was a missing princess like Anastasia.

Naturally then, I had my favorite stories, and my favorite characters. I had particularly bad little girl crushes on Peter Pan and Dickon from The Secret Garden.

To This day I’m not sure what the appeal of these two were as compared to the princes of Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. Maybe it was the fact that Peter Pan was utterly wild and incredulous, while the Princes of Disney had little else but their title.

Oh Golly! If you don’t find this adorable you’re on crack!

Peter Pan always held a special place in my heart. He was unruly and lets not forget musical (pan pipes). Not to mention an excellent leader (he could rally 12 boys under the age of 13 and that’s a tough job for anyone). Besides that he was an extraordinary fighter (beating up a  pirate 3 times his age and half his wit). And boy was he witty. Even at 7 years old I  couldn’t help but falling in love with people’s wit and Peter Pan’s was no exception.

Then there was the fact that he was utterly magically, and could freakin’ fly! If that wasn’t reason enough to want to marry him then i don’t know what is. So there is my explanation for being in love with Peter Pan. Makes sense.

Then there was Dickon. Oh Dickon, sweet, adorable, animal charmer Dickon! That should be enough to make any girl swoon right there. Let’s not even MENTION the fact that he has an accent (an adorable little scots-irishaccent)! Plus he’s all in love with animals and the wind in his hair and stuff like that and as a little suburbs

It’s like The Notebook for 10 year olds! 😀 *I’m squealing on the inside*

girl I wanted so badly to run out on the ‘Moore’ with him. Plus, he could tame a WILD PONY. Every little girl wants a pony and if a boy could tame a wild pony and give it to me I’m pretty dang sure I would marry him to this day. Nuff said.

Oh and on top of that he would Push Mary on the swing in the garden and that was just too cute! He was a perfect little gentleman, which is the complete opposite of Peter. Who in retrospect was a total player who flirted with Mermaids, and probably joked around with Wendy way too much. He will just never grow up. So immature (haha)!

What do my fictious love interests have to do with writing.

Well, just recently I realized that right there (those two characters) are excellent examples of how to make love interests interesting. They (even as children) had the makings of great men. And so I will now got pat myself on the back for discovering that I have great taste in fictitious boys. Their characters would be excellent models to form an MC or a secondary character with! Now, don’t you feel like you learned something?

Did anyone else have kiddie crushes?

Sorry this post is late… Microsoft is lame and windows live didn’t post it for me! UGH! Technology 😦

Quotes for Writers

21 Sep

Just got back from a homecoming dance and it’s 11:52  that means I must do a post quickly… so enjoy these lovely quotes about writing and writers! 🙂

I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.

– Douglas Adams
It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn’t give it up because by that time I was too famous.
– Robert Benchley
Being a poet is one of the unhealthier jobs–no regular hours, so many temptations!
– Elizabeth Bishop

 

A best seller was a book which somehow sold well simply because it was selling well.
– S. Boorstein
Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.
– Orson Scott Card
I firmly believe every book was meant to be written.
– Marchette Chute
A word is dead
When it is said,
Some say.
I say it just begins
to live that day.
– Emily Dickinson
If you start with a bang, you won’t end with a whimper.

– T.S. Eliot
At one time I thought the most important thing was talent. I think now that the young man or the young woman must possess or teach himself, training himself, in infinite patience, which is to try and to try until it comes right. He must train himself in ruthless intolerance–that is to throw away anything that is false no matter how much he might love that page or that paragraph. The most important thing is insight, that is to be–curiosity–to wonder, to mull, and to muse why it is that man does what he does, and if you have that, then I don’t think the talent makes much difference, whether you’ve got it or not.

– William Faulkner
Don’t be dismayed by the opinions of editors, or critics. They are only the traffic cops of the arts.
– Gene Fowler
I try to create sympathy for my characters, then turn the monsters loose.
– Stephen King

 

Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.
– Barbara Kingsolver
What are your favorite writing quotes?

{THINGS I DIDN’T SAY} Thoughts on Life and Swedish Fish

18 Sep

Hey all, I got super busy today, but will have a proper post for you all tomorrow I promise. In the meantime I dug up this old thing. A draft that for some reason I never posted. I guess I  was feeling philosophical on the 13th of June 2012 because this post is rather wishy washy hipster-esque. Still, it isn’t dreadful and I find it interesting to see what I was thinking while working on old manuscripts.If  you would like to see the post that began just before this take a click on over HERE. Otherwise enjoy!

I am sitting in my room with a bag of Swedish fish and a bottle of SoBe. I was writing, and should be writing now. But for a second, between bites of candy and sips of orange flavored water ,I stopped. I feel like this isn’t where I’m suppose to be.

And no I am not getting down on myself. Especially not after yesterdays post.I was just thinking that I’m in some kind of suspended animation, or full of so much energy that I can’t sit still… ha, then again maybe that’s the sugar! I just think that I have potential.(but not in the way your thinking)

I feel like what I’m doing now is just building up to something crazy good. I just kept writing, but it’s in someone else’s voice. I don’t know how to say it exactly. It’s like I’m about to jump out of an airplane,or rush down a hill on a roller coaster, but until then I’m just at the top waiting.

There’s a story in the back of my mind right now, and it feels insanely close to me. It’s a really personal story, and I don’t feel like I can write it. Right now I can’t or else I’ll ruin it, because the moment I tip over the hill there is no stopping it and there is no knowing where this coaster would take me.

And I’m just kind of here on the precipice of everything. waiting… so I suppose it’s a good thing I have candy.

They were the Hipsters before Hipsters.

15 Sep

Friend: “… and thats what a hipster is.”

Me:, “I’m sorry but you just described every writer I’ve ever known.”

The soap box is coming out folks because this whole ‘hipster’ business, it’s ridiculous. These people were totally are  just copying writers! They just made up a new name for writer and decided to be ‘deep’ out from behind a desk. Think about it.

People say hipsters are (for one) apathetic/lazy. That’s every stereotypical writers ever mentioned! All writers do is complain and laze about until they absolutely force themselves to write something down. They work in their pajamas for heaven sakes! It doesn’t get much worse than that.

Second of all hipsters read and then apply what they read to sound ‘deep’ and ‘philosophical’. W.R. I.T.E.R. Writer. All writers do is read and then pretend they have any clue at all about what they are read. Then they write it down slap a stamp on it and send it out to other people to absorb their genius!  Actually I can’t think of a group more apt to sit down with a stack of books, meditate on it, and then philosophically or ironically (another characteristic of hipsters) discuss them than writers.

Then you have the denial aspect of ‘hipster culture’. Anyone who is a hipster supposedly denies their hipsterness. HELLO!!! Writers have been doing that for eons before the word hipster swung around the block. You ask someone if they are a writer they will usually say “no, not really, I write but I’m definitely not a writer.” I rest my case.

Of course hipsters hang out in cafes and drink herbal tea and no one does that right? Uh no, not except writers! Writers have been lining Starbucks and every other teashop and coffee house in the nations pockets since cafes existed! In fact writers will sit there for hours and work in mysterious silence sipping their drinks till they go cold. Or even better letting them go cold next to them because they are just being so philosophical that they can’t pull themselves away from their screens. Top that hipsters!

And so, my dear readers let us give a round of applause to those who were hipsters before hipsters:

Lois Lowry (The Giver) Not only is she sporting an edgy non-mainstream hair cut ,but she’s also wearing over-sized glasses, a turtle neck, and she has a shelter dog with her. She is so much better than any hipster that It’s just unspeakable!

Nathaniel Hawthorne (The Scarlet Letter) Flaunting his mustache. Wait people had facial hair before hipsters!? No way. O.o

Jane Austen… Sporting a vintage hat. That’s right hipsters she wore a hat before you!

I hope I have brought to everyone’s attention that hipsters a totally just copying writers! Any Hipster want to take that up with me? Or am I too philosophical for you?

 

*I really hope everyone took this as a joke about hipsters haha

 

GoodReads is a Paradox

12 Sep

Post: 2/17

There are few things in life that consistently shock me over and over again. That incredibly short list has a large star next to finding out someone hates a book I love. It baffles me. How anyone could hate a book that I love t is just bizarre. You have to wonder what goes through their head as compared to yours. Is it even possible that someone could disdain a  piece of literature as much as you love it? It’s likely the most dysfunctional paradox ever.

The reason I bring this up is because my dearest bookish friend just finished FIRE by Kristin Cashore the other day. And oh my goodness I am absolutely in LOVE with that book. I love everything about it; the characters, the plot, the moral, the world building. It’s all simply genius and I was so excited to have my friend read it. It’s a beautiful piece of writing and I couldn’t wait to rave and rant about it with her when she was finished.

So, I decided to GoodReads creep today.

And what I found was astonishing. She’d finished the book… and she’d given it TWO STARS. TWO STARS! Was that even legal? I was sure she’d miss-clicked, but no, her review said she’d given it as much. When I asked her about it she just kind of waved it off, “It was alright” she said. And this is where I’m dumbfounded.

I just think it’s funny how one book, the SAME book can get such opposite reactions from two seemingly similar people. My bookish friend is indeed quit similar to myself. In fact we are often told that we are “the same person” (jokingly of course) it doesn’t help that we say things in unison at times or finish each others sentences. And it’s like that all across the board. People all have a varied reaction to every novel. Matched by Allie Condie for instance. FAILURE. JUST FAILURE if you ask me, but there were plenty of people who gave her a five-star review!

Why?

Because readers bring something to a novel that the author can never expect. An X factor that changes with each one. A readers past experiences, values, and knowledge, all effect how the book is read and in turn experienced and received. The reason people hate books you love or love books you hate is because they see something you don’t or don’t see something you do in the text. When people say it’s all about how you look at things they are right as rain.

This my friends, is why GoodReads is a Paradox.

So go ahead and tell me about books your friends hate and you love or vice versa!

Bridgeing the Gap: YA to Adult Literature

17 Aug

YA has become an enormous market for readers. More of one than I think anyone ever expected. But none the less we now have a whole generation of teens who are hooked on YA literature. Not only hooked, but in many ways boxed in by it. Bridgeing the gap between picking up a Young Adult novel and “adult” novel can seem tremendous to some people.

It’s foreign territory, and up until a year ago I was one of those people treading water between YA and Adult trying to figure out where I stood… or ummm…. swam. Anyway I think that this is a big issue with today’s young readers and so I thought I’d help bridge the gap a little.

As I said before I myself was having trouble crossing over. After-all when you read as much YA as I do you get comfortable. You get used to certain types of cover designs, writing styles, and basic plots. You know how to choose books that you’ll like and you know what ones to toss. But, when it comes to Adult literature I was lost. The covers were very… plain with tons of super imposed names and lengthy blurbs. The books were thicker, and the characters older. How was I going to relate? Where was I supposed to start? How would I be able to choose a book when I didn’t recognize any of the authors or see any covers that caught my eye?

So I hesitated, and waited, and procrastinated; until… I YouTubed. Oh my, how I worship book tubers! And that is one way to break into the Adult genre! I myself  started began reading Jasper Fforde’s novel Shades of Grey ( NO NOT FIFTY SHADES OF GREY this is a different book entirely) after hearing a lovely review by one of my favorite book-tubers “The Readables” .  She posted a rave review of it, and I couldn’t help but be curious. Since The Readables does a lot of YA reviews as well I felt comfortable trusting her opinion. So, one way to break into the Adult genre is to join YouTube and follower book-tubers!  Hearing a review by someone who really loved a book can be a lot more motivating than staring at a zillion covers or reading long blurbs. I highly recommend you check out The Readables and other book tubers liker her! (This applies to book blogs too!)

Another way to get into adult literature is to check out more ‘adult YA’ I know I’m contradicting myself a bit here, but what I mean is that you should try getting into YA that deals with heavier topics and has deeper meaning than just a story if you are scared to take the plunge headfirst. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater for instance reads much more closely to an ‘adult’ novel than much of YA. It has an excellent vocabulary and leaves out many of the cliche teeny-bopper frills that a lot of YA has.  Books like Birth Marked  by Caragh O’Brien, In The Path of Falling Objects by Andrew Smith, and Fire by Kiresten Cashore are all excellent crossover literature to check out as well.

Finally if all else fails why not read a bestseller books like The Help, The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo, and Memories of a Geisha, that become popular motion pictures or international sensations are a good place to start. If nothing else you know that it must be an okay book, or it couldn’t be that popular right? Read a few reviews and then choose the NYT bestseller that you think best fits your taste. if nothing else you’ll have bragging rights and be able to converse intelligently about the books that are buzzing in adult circles!

I hope those of you who haven’t tested the waters in adult literature do so soon, because there are a lot of wonderful books out there in this genre! And for those of you who do read adult literature any recommendations for new comers?

Make Me Sway: Emotion on Rails

9 Aug

I think we’ve all heard it. That one piece of music, something about just gets you. A line, a melody, the ache in a singers voice. At some point or another you will find yourself swayed by the power of a song. Your body will automatically initiate a reaction. Swaying, tapping your foot, smiling, and on occasion crying.

Just like music books should sway a readers emotion. SOMETHING about the book needs to be powerful enough to intiate a physical reaction. Who hasn’t found themself laughing, sighing, kicking your feet impatiently, or crying on account of a book? Today I’d like to talk about a scene that caught me off guard and why it’s the perfect example of how to infuse emotion into a scene so deeply that your readers find themselves swaying to your current.

I’m going to be looking at the first chapter of Beth Revis’ novel Across the universe. So no spoilers! Though I do reccommend that you read the first chapter for free HERE to get the most out of his post.

Anyway if you read that or have read the book you know that the first chapter consists of Amy (the MC) getting ready to be chronologically frozen and put onto GODSPEED the spaceship with her parents. And I’m not going to lie to you I started having a minor panic attack during the FIRST CHAPTER! I actually cried a little bit, and this deeply disturbed and stunned me at once. I couldn’t understand why I had been so moved and upset without any back story. After-all, how could I possibly care enough to be crying when I’d only met Amy something like 10 pages ago?

It didn’t make sense. So I read it again. And again… and one for time just to make sure I knew what I was talking about.

And that’s when the light bulb went on.

All my writing life I’ve been told that creating emotional investment in a novel is entirely dependent upon characters. you must make characters we care about, they say. You must make them relate-able, that’s the key!

But reading this scene I realized that characters are just the train on the tracks of making emotional connection. Sure thats the part everyone pays attention to but what about the tracks themselves? The stop lights and stations?

And Beth Revis puts the tracks to the test in this first chapter.

Let me explain.The ‘tracks’ are our basic human fears and feelings. This whole chapter is so full of them that I could just

The rails are deeply grounded in all of us

choke and vomit and they all wouldn’t be able to come up at once! (sorry gross) Anyway, this chapter confronts several fears, some smaller ones being the fear of needles, cold, and small spaces. All of which Amy has  to watch her mother go through as she is put into a tiny freezing box of cryo-liquid, her blood painfully pumped out, KNOWING she will have to do this in a few moments. This anticipatory fear is also a factor in the sheer genius that Revis presents. (As anticipation of pain is often worse than the pain itself, remember shots when you were little? Kicking and screaming for a pinch!)

Basic human fear. Something we can relate to.

Amy also faces the fear on loneliness another ‘track that great emotional characters run on”. Many people are afraid to be alone.  Humans are naturally social creatures (yes even writers we are not a separate species despite some outsiders opinions! haha). Amy is forced with a decision (a stop light) of staying on earth or leaving with her parents her dad telling her before he is frozen that :

“I’m going next. Your mother wouldn’t agree to that—she thoughtyou’d still back down, decide not to come with us. Well, I’m giving youthat option. I’m going next. Then, if you’d like to walk away, not be frozen,that’s okay. I’ve told your aunt and uncle. They’re waiting outside; they’llbe there until I’ve. After they freeze me, you can just walk away. Mom andI won’t know, not for centuries, not till we wake up, and if you do decideto live instead of being frozen, then we’ll be okay.” (Revis, 6)

Not only is there a HUGE decision, but it is riding on the rails of loneliness. Amy must decided if she can live a life without her parents knowing she will die long before the realize she has left them (and live her whole life knowing this) or go with them and leave all her other family and friends behind. leave the safety and comforter of everything she is familiar with behind. She can not avoid an empty loneliness no matter which way she turns. Even if she chooses her parents she is forced to choose the icy slumber of centuries, perhaps a loneliness even worse than a life without her parents. It makes your heart sink doesn’t it?

Applying basic human fears, is the key to making emotionally strong characters.

Because we are all afraid of something and loneliness, Pain, and responsibility are all basic fears that Amy faces in just chapter one of the novel.

Learning how to use the rails of writing great characters is one of the most important tools a writer can have. What do you think? Do you know of a scene that shares rails with this one? What’s your most emotionally moving scene?