Plotting and Healing

Extract of Plot Elixir BottleExtract of Plot Elixir Bottle Plot Elixir Bottle Blue
Six weeks ago I made the wildly improbable promise to give twenty hours a week to my verse-novel.  Between writing classes, French classes, and subbing grades K-12, my life is already packed to the rafters. But I decided that if Varian Johnson could write at 4:00 in the morning and finish multiple books while working fulltime as an engineer (my agent tipped me off), so could I (well, except for the engineering bit.)

I’m missing a lot of Facebook posts,

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Writing the Hidden Story

SpyI love those “aha!” moments when a character sneaks up on me–and I suddenly realize I’m not writing the book I thought I was writing. It might mean big changes, but it invariably makes a deeper and more authentic story than the one I started with. This is just as true for memoir as it is for fiction

As I prepare for my fall writing classes, “Writing the Hidden Story”

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Can We Talk?

I have not shared any of my work-in-progress here because it has felt too close to the bone. It’s a YA. It’s about art. And it’s about time-travel. It’s about a girl who feels responsible for keeping someone else alive, and how she goes back in time and thinks she wants to stay there. It’s a verse-novel, so it’s made up entirely of poems.

But it’s time for some mutual sharing. I’m looking for a small group of young people (high school/college) and some art.

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3 Ways to Coax Secrets out of Your Characters

 

Marvin Whickpucket refuses to behave. When you want him to defeat the evil Onchnu, he won’t. Instead, he sits on the couch, surfs cable and eats potato skins.

Sad Marvin (147x200)

“This is boring!” you tell him. “Why are you acting this way?”

“I miss Ilandra,” he says. “We had a fight. She said we were through.”

“Why didn’t you TELL me?” you say, incredulous.

Marvin shrugs.

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In a Writing Rut? Steal from Another Author (but not really.)

I don’t know about you, but after years of writing, I notice that I get into a stylistic rut. As I have mentioned before on this blog, the solution is theft. Today I’m going to steal from author Janet Lee Carey, creator of Dragon’s Keep, The Beast of Noor, Dragonswood and many other books. This particular bit of larceny is from The Beast of Noor.

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Six Annoying Statements Adults Make to Teen Writers

Samantha Face Palm (640x533) (2)

I list these to educate and enlighten: Don’t be that guy.

1) “You should find something else to supplement that–like math!”–Submitted by Sydney

2) “Oh, I would like to read that!” *never does*–Submitted by Emily

3) “Oh! That sounds just like (insert famous story/movie by other author)!”–Submitted by Robbie

4) “Empire State Building should be capitalized.

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A Wizard, a Rock Star and an Alchemist Walk Into a Parallel Universe

Addison Alchemist

And here’s what to do if you find yourself in such a situation:

A) If you are the wizard

  1.  Realize that this is probably your fault.
  2.  However, if you are a somewhat unstable wizard, seek similarly unstable companion-wizards. A consortium of this kind tends to wake up sleeping orcs, which will alleviate boredom.
  3.  Once you’ve got a suitable wizarding cadre with the requisite number of wicked creatures in pursuit,

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5 Rights Teen Writers Deserve

…and teen non-writers deserve them, too.

hayden

Teens have taught me a bunch about writing over the last couple of decades–both the teens who have already written five novels and the ones who would rather scrub under the refrigerator than pick up a pen. For a lot of teens, writing was ruined for them by third grade. For others, dutifully writing their five-paragraph essays, their love affair with writing is made up of clandestine moments,

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One Year to Launch—Calling on the Well-Traveled for Advice

One Year to Launch—Calling on the Well-Traveled for Advice

launching viking boats
My debut YA novel is scheduled for release in May, 2012, so this morning I was thinking about the word “launch.” I think I came to my previous book releases a little bewildered, overwhelmed by the options (101 Ways to Promote Your Book), and a bit timid about getting my feet wet. Now, I realize that while I can’t do it all, I can have a focused plan.  So I asked myself, if I were sailing around the world,  » Read more about: One Year to Launch—Calling on the Well-Traveled for Advice  »

Spring Teen Write April 9-10 — A few spots left!

Spring Teen Write April 9-10 — A few spots left!

Nikaia sitting on ground
Next week is our Spring Teen Write, from April 9-10th. I have kept this event somewhat “under the radar” and didn’t send the dates to the general list, because it filled up quite quickly with current Teen Writers. It does look like I may have a few spots after all, so I wanted to make you aware of it. This is a very popular event, and participants come back again and again. Newcomers are always warmly welcomed – this is a great group of teens!

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