Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Nova *head desk*

Yes that is right, I am considering following through with the head desk if it stops the pounding in my head--not the voices, I like the voices.  Today I went to the eye doctor, which I haven't visited in @*&%@$ yrs, and I realize now why I hated going so much. Every freakin' time I get out of there, I have the worst headache any human can get.  See Migraines run in my family--thanks mom--and they didn't skip over me either.  My lovely torturer, err I mean Eye Doctor, shoved all these pretty vibrant lights into my eyes, stuck a tiny blue light so close to my eye that when I blinked my eye lids closed over it, he proved just how insanely blind I am, and dunked my eyeballs into yellow goop and blinded me with more lights.  But like the usual visits they smooth everything over with picking out your new glasses. I have a certain style that I love and the new glasses are within the same realm of the ones I currently have.  I also bought sunglasses which I haven't had the pleasure of owning since I got my first pair of glasses in the 5th grade.  I can't WAIT to give them a test run!  

To end on a slightly non-dramatic way I think I'm going to paste in some of my favorite website/blogs!  (I use this soooooo much and play it low under my music)   (I love her blog and I must say she has one great name don't ya think?)   (I can't express how much I have learned from her blog)  (cool program to check out)  (The Awesome)   (I will be signing up for this) ideas

Some are more on the fun side than crazy informational.  What are some of your favorite sites to visit?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday is only here for a quick laugh

It is late on Monday, and I am straddling some strange mix of exhaustion and productivity. I don't have anything particularly wise or salient to add this week, so I shall instead share a video with you.

If you haven't seen already, Rachel Hawkins shared this song a few days ago and single-handedly helped propel it to viral status, at least within the YA community. It's fun and cheesy and a little dumb, but I enjoy it. Perhaps a bit too much, since I listened to this song approximately four hundred million zillion times last week.

So. Now I inflict it all on you.

You're welcome.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Writing Tips for Writers from Writers

       So this week I found this whole blog post on writing tips which I thought I’d share. I love this part of the writing community because I can always find something to make me better from those who have “made it.” 
Stephen King:
“If you want to be a writer,” says Stephen King, “you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”
John Grisham:
“Before you can be a writer you have to experience some things, see some of the world, go through things–love, heartbreak, and so on–, because you need to have something to say.”
Ernest Hemingway:
Interviewer: How much rewriting do you do? 
Hemingway: It depends, I re-wrote the ending to “Farewell to Arms”, the last page of it, thirty-nine times before I was satisfied. 
Interviewer: Was there some technical problem there? What was it that had stumped you?
Hemingway: Getting the words right. 
Kurt Vonnegut:
“Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.”
“Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.”
James Patterson:
“I’m always pretending that I’m sitting across from somebody. I’m telling them a story, and I don’t want them to get up until it’s finished.”
Margaret Atwood:
“If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word.”
One aspect of writing that I noticed is that if I don’t want to read my own writing then no one else will as well. It’s such simple advice, to write what you know, to write what you love, but its so often overlooked. Sometimes I feel that when people ask how to be a writer they look past all of these simple pieces of advice and look for something grand. As writers we need to remember, its about writing and perseverance. You have those two, and you can be a writer. 
Ya, I couldn't help it
Go forth and Write!!

Much love, 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Nova on Being One

I've recently been reading alot of blogs and watching vlogs on writing, which of course has been taking me away from my own writing, but in the long run I have learned some interesting things.  I was trying to find the exact link to this particular post to share with you all, but I can't seem to locate it.  That'll teach me to start bookmarking valuable websites.  Anyway, this post talked about Method Writers.  How some writers have to put themselves into a certain mind set of their characters in order to experience everything the character does. Now, of course not all writers do this or Stephen King would be one crazy person to watch out for, but there are writers out there who follow the same path as Method Actors.

There are actors out there who have to get into their characters shoes by living parts of that characters life.  This includes maybe visiting/living in a place their character is from, doing certain skills or activities of that character, putting themselves in certain situations to see how their characters would react, etc.  Some writers have to do this as well and some need it in order to "Be One" with certain characters.  Lately I've been having trouble getting into my lead characters head.  There is just something about her that I seem to be missing and it is making the writing more difficult and feeling pushed.  I'm not so sure why I am not connecting and that is a huge deal because if I'm not connecting, then my readers won't connect.  This thought alone is making me slightly worried.

In the book No Plot? No Problem!  for NaNo, it talks about using certain items to trigger your mind that it is writing time, including wearing a certain hat your character, putting on a piece of jewelry, or maybe just sitting something on your desk that ties your character to you.  I believe that this is something similar to method writing.  Currently there are items on my desk that remind me of my characters but since I don't seem to write much at my desk, they have just become decorations.  Which leads me to putting myself into my characters shoes aka becoming one with HER.  I have been to the setting of my book which does help vastly but I need to find HER voice.  I have heard of writers looking into the mirror before they begin a writing session and tell themselves to become the character.  Looking into the mirror and saying such things kinda weirds me out, but I can see where they are going with it.  Maybe to find HER I need to BECOME HER.  I'm going to give it a try at least, I mean it couldn't hurt right?

Do any of you try this Tactic? I'm just curious if it has worked for any of you before.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Importance of Doing Your Homework

This post is not about like, actual homework homework. Although it could be, since I'm several weeks behind in the reading for a class I'm taking and man, is it a pain. Also, you may not shoo me away because I read like a zillion pages today in my efforts to get back on track, so neener neener.

The 'homework' I'm talking about right now is your writing homework. Otherwise known as research.

I hear complaints from various friends about inaccuracies, largely in TV shows, of the CSI and Law & Order types. The fabulous Elizabeth May has schooled me on the myriad forensic inaccuracies in Bones, and every once in a while I'll squint at something I watch or read and silently wonder about its veracity.

Truth is, though, it's not usually something I, as a reader or watcher, pick up on all that much. But tonight? Oh, tonight I did.

While catching up on last week's episode of The Vampire Diaries (which - no new episodes for a month? really, CW?) one of the characters who is like, mad old, narrates what the field around them used to look like a thousand years ago. "Wild horses used to graze in that field," he says at one point.

Cue record-scratching.

Hold up. Did you say horses?

I went back and checked again. Yes, yes he did. See, Vampire Diaries is set in Virginia. Horses in North America went extinct somewhere between 10,000 and 7,500 years ago. They didn't reemerge until they were introduced to the Americas by the Europeans in, oh, the sixteenth century.

Now granted, this is possibly not what I would call common knowledge? And also, I am an enormous nerd. But this is why it's so important to get your facts straight, or at least know how to embellish or misdirect when you're stretching the truth.

Because if you get it wrong, you're going to throw somebody out of your story. Suspension of disbelief is the cornerstone of fiction, and if you pull the carpet out from your own work, you do no favors for anyone.

Have you ever gone back to your writing and realized you got the facts really, really wrong? Or, barring that, what's the most egregious example of Didn't Do The Research that you've seen? (Warning: Link goes to TV Tropes. Click it and lose hours of your life at your own discretion.)

Friday, February 17, 2012

On Writing a Book & a Question

Hello lovelies,

So, today I'm sharing a video with you that I find particularly helpful. Jackson Pearce is probably one of my favorite authors when it comes to writing advice. So for all of you who have the desire to write a book, this one is for you.

Now for the question:

What kind of a cover always catches your eye? 

Much love, 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Nova on Brain Storming

I'm not sure exactly how many of you are writers that follow this blog but for the writers out there, you know that brainstorming is very important and each person handles it differently.  Within the last few days I found a massive--like I'm talking Grand Canyon sized--plot hole that riveted my entire book series plot arch unusable.  Yes, imagine my frustration!

I may have look just like this...

When one thing goes wrong, it seems like everything else falls apart along with it.  I believe these are the moments when you really find out if your novel will do or die.  You can either pick up the pieces and salvage it or the idea falls by the wayside and you shelf your most cherished scenes for future use.  In my case, I was bound to fix it.  

I didn't realize I had such a problem until these last few days while writing.  I knew I was missing something for later books and it nagged at me but I kind of put it off, thinking that it would work itself out the more time went by--boy was I wrong and well sorta right.  My original idea didn't pan out and shattered everything.  If that main thing didn't happen then it would change so many other things that happened.  It's like when you have a broken seam on your sweater and you pull it, thinking it is loose somewhere in there but you only find out you unravel half the shirt in the process.  So tonight, I stressed over it with some amazing writer friends.  I had my core idea and explained to them as much as I could, hoping that just talking about it would spark something inside of the hunk of junk I call my brain.  This is how I usually brainstorm.  I grab the closest person, usually a friend and not a stranger in line with me buying coffee, and toss out ideas.  I think of stories like puzzles.  Once you have your main idea, only certain mini ideas will fit and sometimes it isn't the easiest of puzzle pieces to connect to--you know what ones I'm talking about.  

Ya like these crazy freakin interlocking puzzles! UGH! 

My friends let me rant and weed out ideas that didn't work, which alot of them didn't.  In one instance, one of my good friends brought up something very interesting but not the whole idea would work in my case, so I took part of it and added my own flavor to it.  It actually ended up working and will be sticking for now.  Then it came for the big disaster I had to fix.  Now having a new idea presented, I had to find a piece that locked into it, completing the whole thing.  After many hours of spinning over it in my head and blabbing about it on skype--which I'm sure they could do without hearing me ramble for the next few months--an outcome appeared.  It was like uncovering a fossil.  Once I dusted off part of the idea, more seemed to follow, ending in an even better story than I could have had with the first one. It is funny how things work like that sometimes.  

Are there certain ways you like to brainstorm?  Do you use note cards?  Take walks? Use voice recorders? I would love to hear!!! 

PS sorry for last week.  My parents are in the stone age and only have dial up but I love home more than anywhere else--even though I am happy to get back to civilization haha

Monday, February 13, 2012

Words to Live (and Write) By

There have been a number of posts lately that I've stumbled on - related to writing and the publishing industry, natch - that have just made me sit up, take notice, and say Yes. That. That so hard.

Some of these posts are not particularly recent, but that's the great thing about the internet: The advice sticks around. It's not going anywhere. And sometimes, it's just what I need to hear.

So in case any of you may find these posts as informative or encouraging or just downright timely as I have, I'd like to link to a few of them here:

Firstly, an article last month from Salon about The Death of the Celebrity Memoir.

An oldie that's made the rounds by now, but is always worth linking, is Rachel Stark's incredibly detailed and thoughtful analysis on Cover Trends in YA Fiction.

Adrienne Kress has a fantastic post about querying and seeking publication: It's Not About The Odds.

Just this month, rockstar agent Jenny Bent (of The Bent Agency) weighed in on some of the changes she's seen in her 20 years in the publishing industry: My How Things Have Changed.

And I just recently stumbled across an old post of Natalie Whipple's that I've had bookmarked for ages, called What I Really Want to Say to New Writers. Every word of it is gold.

So, friends! Have you ready anything lately that's particularly stuck with you? If there's anything around the blogosphere that you've enjoyed and think I've missed, please share in the comments!

Friday, February 10, 2012

On Coloring Outside the Lines

  If you know me for any period time you’ll discover that I love quotes. When I was in high school and college my planners were filled with random stuff like: 
“Last night I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky and I thought to myself, where the heck is the ceiling.” 
“The only reason people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory.” 
While I still love the funny randomness, my quote collection has expended to things such as:
“The difference between the right word and almost the right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.” - Mark Twain 
“When he killed a calf he would do it in a high style, and make a speech. (About Shakespeare)” - John Aubrey 
“The best time to plan a book is while you're doing the dishes.” (or while you’re in the shower, really anytime you can’t actually write anything down) - Agatha Christie 
Being a writer means you’re always growing. I have realized that once again when I started my new project. You see, this story is written in present tense, and that’s new for me. And I mean terrifying, crazy, my-head-is-going-to-explode kind of new. It's like coloring outside the lines. Sure, I’ve written stories in present tense before but never a full blown novel. Yet, since I’ve taken this step in the new direction I realized that I have grown as a writer. I know, shocker right? But I think sometimes we forget to see our own journey because we focus so much more on the end result. Also, I have a tendency to feel like this:
Yep, totally me as I started this project!
But you know what? I have to be honest, I’m loving writing in present tense. I know its going to be a tough journey because I keep reverting back to the way I’m “used to” writing, but I will keep pushing myself. This is my goal. In the end, its going to be beautiful and amazing, because that's what writing is all about. Its about coloring outside the lines. 

What are some of your writing goals? Do you have a preference in tense types? 
And don’t worry, the rest of the Warehouse crew is alive and well, they’re just hiding from the internet at the moment (not of their own making). I’m holding down the fort, but seriously hoping they return soon. Because, come on people, we all know they’re the entertaining ones. :-)
Much love, 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Question and a Video

Hello lovelies,
So today, I'm cheating a little bit. I had no time to sit down for anything today, and now I'm off to work, but I simply couldn't leave you hanging. So the question is:

What are your thoughts on blog tours?

And video:

Much love, 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Thursday has a question

What do you do when you have something due and you have zero plot ideas?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Nova is looking for Recommendations

My novel aka #classifiednovel is on the fantasy/paranormal side of things but I am aiming for some strong characters.  I feel like currently, I am on the right track but they can be taken to the next level still.  Some of my favorite books are very character based even while being inside fantasy worlds.  The Giver, Fahrenheit 451, Katniss in The Hunger Games being a few of them. So this is where you come in!  I need some strong character books as sort of research for my book.  I don't read much contemporary but I am trying to branch out into them.  I want to know what are some of your beloved characters and some of the best emotional books in YA are.  They can be current YA or anything back in time so bring on the recommendations!

PS...Book Club went amazing tonight while we discussed Wither by Lauren Destefano.  I loved this book even though it gave me creepy shivers being in this world.  I will be reading Fever when it hits the shelves to see where the story goes next.  And yet again, I learned sooooo much just talking with a group of people about what they liked and didn't like with the book.  This let alone, has helped me become a better writer.  I can't wait to see what more it has to offer.