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,

 » Read more about: Plotting and Healing  »

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”

 » Read more about: Writing the Hidden Story  »

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.

 » Read more about: Can We Talk?  »

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.

 » Read more about: 3 Ways to Coax Secrets out of Your Characters  »

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.

 » Read more about: In a Writing Rut? Steal from Another Author (but not really.)  »

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.

 » Read more about: Six Annoying Statements Adults Make to Teen Writers  »

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,

 » Read more about: A Wizard, a Rock Star and an Alchemist Walk Into a Parallel Universe  »

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,

 » Read more about: 5 Rights Teen Writers Deserve  »

What I Learned by "Winning" NaNoWriMo Through Cheating and Trickery

What I Learned by "Winning" NaNoWriMo Through Cheating and Trickery

…and yes, I am going to buy the tee-shirt.

 

 

The task? Write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. Usually, Iuse NationalNovel Writing Month to get as much word count aspossible on my work-in-progress. This is already cheating—but since I’ve nevercome close to winning, I haven’t felt guilty about it.

 

But three days before the start of this year’s NaNo, myeditor says, “Katherine, we need to start thinking about 2013.”  » Read more about: What I Learned by "Winning" NaNoWriMo Through Cheating and Trickery  »