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Showing posts from September, 2010

Before: First Writer's Conference

I wrote a few weeks ago about submitting the synopsis and first chapter of KIN for an upcoming writer's conference. I was able to put it together and send it off on time. I discovered during this time that mixing e-mail, Google Docs, Microsoft Word, and OpenOffice Write really causes formatting issues and that I probably need to just use Word (or Docs). Why did I have to learn about this when I mailing off something this important? We shall see if it came out acceptable this weekend.

Yes, the Writing for Children and Young Adults Conference is this weekend. When I handed in my submission, I couldn't help the nervousness and excitement that crept into me. A list of expectations keeps adding and crossing off in my head. Will I meet other fun writers? Will I get completely lost on the University of North Dakota's campus? Could an editor/author/agent actually read my story and like it? Could I even possibly win the award for most promising work?
I have researched many articles o…

Banned Books Week

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Being an avid reader and an aspiring writer, it is really hard to ignore Banned Books Week. Why are banned books a big deal? The American Library Association explains it simply: "Intellectual freedom—the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular—provides the foundation for Banned Books Week." Also, as Americans, it is against our freedom of speech according to the First Amendment.
There are tons of lists that you can find of books that have been banned. Can you believe books like How to Kill a Mockingbird, The Shining, The Grapes of Wrath, The Canterbury Tales, and Shakespeare's Twelfth Night have all been banned somewhere? How about the Harry Potter series, Bridge to Terabithia, and A Wrinkle in Time? The lists go on and on and affect both children and adult books.
This is an issue that is happening today. Right now Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak is under attack from a man who wants th…

Into the Groove

There is a time when writing just flows. The story just comes out and it all makes sense.
I am in the middle of a rewrite and it feels really amazing. Even when I think my writing is terrible, I have the confidence that the story is better than ever. Or, at least I hope that I am this lucky. I remind myself I can always go back and to just keep moving.
I ended up becoming stumped after finishing the synopsis and first chapter for the upcoming writing conference last week. I am doing my best to sit at the computer no matter what for a certain amount of time. If I write, great. If I don't, I will be back again another time. I also try to sneak in a few words during the day as my brain wills it. It is great to have direction again even if I find myself lost from time to time.
Speaking of lost, check out this article from the Huffington Post and Andrea Cremer's blog about the ridiculous claims that Laurie Halse Anderson's book "Speak" is considered soft core porn. It w…

Deadline and the Synopsis

I have decided that deadlines are a good thing for me. In all the years I was in school, I think I missed less than three deadlines. I sometimes procrastinated until the very end, but I had it in on time.

The reason why I am late this week is for that very reason. Today was a deadline day to hand in the first chapter and synopsis of KIN for a manuscript critique at an upcoming conference. I have stayed up late for days and worked for hours to get this completed on time. I e-mailed my submission a few hours ago and it is an amazing feeling. Tonight I plan on exercising and sleeping, and then onto the rest of the KIN rewrite.
I really enjoyed writing the synopsis. I wrote a long outline and then shortened it two times until it was less than four pages long and almost 1400 words. As with the rewrite, it is hard to make those cuts to what you might see as important. You must reveal the plot and even the ending. If you can write effectively enough, someone will see the potential of the st…

A New Beginning

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"I found power in accepting the truth of who I am. It may not be a truth that others can accept, but I cannot live any other way. How would it be to live a lie every minute of your life?"
Alison Goodman (Eon: Dragoneye Reborn)

The rewrite has begun (again)!

I am learning more and more about writing every day. I know how to write. I can sit down and be dedicated. I think the challenge that I really need to sit down and work on is rewriting. This is where the real work sits because that first draft is for me. You don't want to read it, and boy, I don't want you to read it.
Once I read the first draft, I am learning that I need to crack down on my mistakes even more. Rewriting is necessary, especially since I don't outline. That's right. I don't outline my stories. I write down ideas, and most of the time know where it can go, but writing is a journey where I reveal things as I go. That is why a rewrite is …