Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I Hate It When My Parents Are Right.

I woke up late Monday morning to the sound of my dad marching into my room, playing We Are Young by Fun. waaay too loud on the iPad.

It didn't help that I actually like that song.  I wanted to sleep.  And when I'm trying to sleep, any song that loud is like an alarm clock, and just about as annoying.

He shook me around, trying to wake me up, but that was sorta the last thing on my agenda.

Then of course, my mom came bounding in.

"Jessica, you have to get up!" she cried, excitedly.  "There's something really cool that we're going to do, but you have to get up now if you want to find out!"

I moaned and buried my face in my pillow in reply.  What did they want to do now?

"Jess, come on!  If you don't hurry we're going to miss out!" she repeated.  "It's going to be really fun!"

There was no way I was getting back to sleep.  I knew they wouldn't leave me alone unless I said I didn't want to go wherever we were going.  But of course, that would mean I'd have to know where we were actually headed.

"What is it?" I sighed in defeat.

"Mom," my dad cut in, before she could reply.  "Don't tell her!  You have to let it be a surprise."

"Dad, just tell me what it is or I won't want to go," I sorta lied, becoming secretly curious.

He smiled, but didn't reply.

"Come on, Jessica," my mom pleaded again.

"What could possibly be so exciting?" I asked.  "Am I even going to like it?"


My dad raised an eyebrow and in a tone of voice I know was meant to make me doubt, he said, "Well... maybe she won't.  We'll have to see."

I just wanted to collapse back down onto my pillow and close my eyes.  Maybe once they left I could pick my computer up and edit my next chapter.  Still, my mom was extremely excited.  But she got excited when we went to the park the last time.  Which might be a good place to be drafting a story, especially if you're writing on paper.  But on a sunny day, staring at a computer screen while trying to edit is extremely hard.

My mind tried to come up with every single way I could go about this.  How could I weigh this secret event that might turn out to be not worth the trouble when I got home and still had over a hundred pages to edit?  I had to get my editing done.  I'd been waiting all weekend for a day where I could sit and edit until I got sick of it.  (Which is a very long time for me).

Reluctantly, I got up.  It was the last thing I wanted to do, but what choice did I have?  The burning need to know was consuming me, despite my worries that they were just trying to get me excited then take me to the local athletic club.

I got in the car along with my brother and sister.  During the drive, I wondered what mood I should project.  If I act excited, and it turned out to be boring, then they'd have gotten the better of me.  But then, if I acted annoyed and skeptical (which was how I felt), and it turned out to be really awesome... well, they'd have gotten the better of me, too.

So, I tried to remain neutral.

We pulled into the movie theater and I couldn't help but smile.

We hadn't seen the movie The Avengers yet.

It was awesome.

Funny, action-packed, sorta sci-fi, futuristic, a hint of fantasy maybe... really, it's one of my favorites now.  If you haven't seen it yet, I suggest you do.

When the movie was over, my dad smiled.

"Don't you just hate it when I'm right?" he asked, slyly.  "You have to write a blog post about this."

I laughed.  "Maybe I will."


Did you enjoy my little tale of what happened on Monday?  I tried to tell it as it happened, but of course things are different from different POV's.

My dad would want me to 'admit' that the moral of the story is: parents are always right.  But of course, both he and I know they're not.  Sorry dad.  But thanks for taking us to the movie :)

Do you guys like to surprise your kids?  Did your parents surprise you with fun things when you were kids?  Tell me about it!


At least my dad was wrong about working out last night... he said that would be fun and make us feel better....

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Knights of MicroFiction Announcement

Okay, I know things have been a little confusing for our MicroFiction buddies, with the A-Z Challenge in April and all, but just so you know, we've decided to keep it going.  The only thing is... we have new details.

For example, instead of holding it on the last Monday of every month (because that started to confuse us!) we decided it would be on the 15th of every month.  And, we're not going to have a linky list, so if you want to join in the fun, post your link in the comments and visit a few others who have posted.

Kathy and I are still figuring out some things, but I promise that as soon as we're clear on everything, we'll let you know.

Sorry for the confusion!

If you posted for it on Monday, thank you for your support!  Unfortunately, we um... sorta... kinda... forgot that it was the last Monday and didn't think to warn people.

Anyway, I'd just like to thank McKenzie for posting on Monday, so please go check out her post and say hi.

(For more info, check out the Knights of MicroFiction page.)

So, once again, my apologies and I hope you decide to join in on THE 15TH of June :)


Monday, May 28, 2012

Exciting Things!!!!

So far, I've had an awesome weekend.

And, I'm feeling really excited and optimistic right now!  For the first time in a few weeks, I've actually gotten enough sleep (hence the lateness in posting this), I've gotten a lot of editing done, and I've done a ton of other things!

Not many days I can brag about that!

First of all, on Friday, I entered THIS contest in which I could win a full request from Curiosity Quills Press.  That was an opportunity I simply couldn't pass up.  I'm not sure if/when I'll hear back, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.  (Final submissions to the contest are being held today, so it might not be for a little while).

Then, my dad randomly wanted to have a party.  So we stayed up late, drank Vernors and A&W Root Beer and played pool.  Actually, I didn't play pool.  I was writing with my mom while my brother, my sister and my dad played.

On Saturday we had to wake up waaay too early for a Saturday and go skating.  I felt pretty good about everything, and I even landed some axels which I haven't been able to do for a while!  We also went to go see some hot air balloons launch into the sky.  We got to sit outside for a while  and enjoy the fresh air.

On Sunday,  my dad ran in the Blossom Time Run and me, my sister and my mom got to pass out water to the runners with our skating club.  We got soaking wet because the runners didn't really stop when they were grabbing the water.  They sorta just snatched it from our hands and it spilled everywhere.  Either way, it was a TON of fun.

Then, I got to write for a while, and my dad took three naps when he got home. Lol.

Finally, I got to see my best friend who I haven't seen in at least four months.  It's sad, because we're both always so busy.  What's even sadder.... we live one street away from each other.  I could walk to her house in three minutes.

But anyway, I'm excited because she recently started a blog and I've become sorta obsessed with helping her get followers.  I'm not kidding... it's so much fun!

Anyway, yeah, that's pretty much my weekend!  And then, we're doing something mysterious today... not sure what, but my mom and dad say I'll love it and that it's super exciting... If it's really awesome, maybe I'll tell you about it on Wednesday.

Happy Memorial Day!


Friday, May 25, 2012

Cool Contest Post!

Hey guys, I found out about this really cool contest where you could post your query letter and the first 500 words to see if you could win a critique from Sharon Bayliss's editor!  Check out the details HERE.

By the way, I totally get it if you guys don't want to read my query letter and first 500 words, so you can just move down to the previous post if you want :)

Anyway, here's my entry:


Rise: From the Ashes is the first book in a series of three.  It is a New Adult Sci-Fi novel set in a futuristic version of our galaxy and is approximately 118K words.

Sixteen-year-old Jaina Indera has been training for this moment her entire life.  Ever since the Imperial Alliance genetically selected her to attend a gifted school, she has done her best to be worthy of competing in the Trials.

Being chosen is just the beginning.  Her school will send a team of eight students to compete in a battle of both physical and mental challenges against other Gifted Schools around the galaxy.  If they win, they will enjoy the privileged life of a Superior in the Crystal City, the stronghold of the Imperials.

With the coincidental, sudden appearance of a boy called 'Dragon' and her unsettling dreams two months before the Trials, she begins to question everything she has been taught to believe.

Will she ever find balance between honor, love and the truth behind it all?

First 500 Words:

HIS WHISPERED Cry of agony echoed through the night.  Jaina’s eyes opened with a start and she peered through the barrier of darkness between them. Altair remained motionless in his bed, but Jaina couldn’t bring herself to look away.  The dim lights outside cast ominous shadows into the room and shrouded him in an overwhelming sea of black.  She’d always been afraid of the dark; that’s why Altair let her sleep by the window where the light shined through.
Jaina swallowed her fear and took a deep, shaky breath.  She wanted to close her eyes, but still she watched him.  She had to make sure he was okay.
He rolled over violently and moaned in pain.
“Jaina!” he hissed.  “Jaina! Please!”
She sat up in alarm, and the blanket she was wrapped in fell softly to her waist.   The air felt cold and sharp to her lungs as dread coursed through her veins.  The dark silhouettes grew seemingly darker around Altair.
“Jaina, please! No!”  he cried out again.
She forced herself into the darkness and ran to his side.  Her hands touched his shoulders and she shook him frantically, hoping the cameras hadn’t noticed him yet.
No one stirred from their sleep, but Jaina knew it was only a matter of time before someone heard.  Someone was bound to hear him.
She shook him again.  “Altair, please wake up.  You’re going to wake our classmates,” she whispered to him.
His eyes shot open with an unnatural energy, and she wasn’t sure if she was imagining the red glare in his pupils or if it was really there.  Frightened, Jaina jumped back and her entire body began to quiver.
Instead of his usual calm expression, she saw nothing but darkness.  Her breath was choked and it became hard to breathe.
His clear eyes were clouded with agony, and trained on her.  As if she was the source of his pain.  She would never hurt him; they both knew that.  He was like a brother to her.  He was everything.
Jaina backed away, doing all she could to keep herself from screaming.  His vacant stare was cold and harsh.  She’d never been scared of him before, but this time it was different.  It was like he’d become a different person.
Altair blinked, and it faded.  All of it.  As if it was never there.  Confusion crossed his face as he stared into her eyes.  “Jaina?”
She moved away from him, afraid of what he might do.
He approached her cautiously.  “Jaina, it’s alright.”
She wanted to believe him.  But he had lied.  He’d told her his dreams no longer bothered him.  She felt betrayed.
Her shoulders brushed the back wall.  She wasn’t sure if she should run from him or ask if he was alright.  His usual serenity had been shattered with panic.
“Jaina, I’m okay now.”  His eyes began to look more normal, and she let him take a step closer.


Hope you enjoyed! Good luck to everyone in the contest and have a great weekend!


Cheesiness, Nerves and Violins

Deep breath.

Double check strings.

Still in tune.

Another deep breath.

Stay calm.

I press my fingers into the wood, reviewing the notes, waiting for the moment.  The moment the piano will cue me in.

It starts before I'm ready, but then, it always does.  My bow falls lightly to the string.

A soft, milky sound echoes through the cavernous living room, reverberating off the glass chandelier.  Gentle whispers of previous notes fill the pauses.  Like ghosts.

Ahem.  Er, let's just skip the cheesy details and get on with this, shall we?

Anyway, I had an informal violin concert last Friday night at my grandparents house!  I haven't played at a concert for a year or two now, so it really did me good.

I won't deny it.  I was nervous.

Unlike in skating, getting nervous while playing violin has bad effects on me.  Like, my hands shake a little. And a little would normally be okay, but, seeing that my hands need to be precisely on the right note to play it right... well... it doesn't sound as good.

Anyway, enough talk.  My mom videoed the concert and I decided to share it with you.  I play it a little too fast, and I hit some wrong notes, but overall, I think I did pretty well under the circumstances.

(Excuse my grandma for saying "let's do a retake" at the end please...) So here's me playing:

And, I think you guys have the right to hear it the way it's supposed to be played, so in case you have enough time, here's Sarah Chang playing it:

Have a great weekend :)


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Something Inspiring

I saw something really awesome a few days ago.

I should have taken a picture of it.

But of course, I didn't.  I mean, I just don't think of those sorts of things while I'm experiencing it.

I was in the library, and all of a sudden, I stumble across the book Across the Universe by Beth Revis.    Yeah, yeah, I know.  It's a pretty big hit (I  LOVE    LOVE    LOVE    THAT BOOK!), so I shouldn't be surprised to find it in the library.

The cool thing about it was that I follow her blog!  Okay, a lot of us probably do (those of you that don't, I suggest you do it).  But, it's just inspiring, seeing another blogger with their book in a library!  The thought that someone like us has books in local libraries... it's just totally cool.

And to think that all of us could will one day have our books in libraries... that's even cooler.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!


If you haven't read Across the Universe, you should.  I didn't write a review for it, but I have to say it's one of my favorites!

Monday, May 21, 2012

King Arthur Book Review

Title:  King Arthur
Author:  Frank Thompson
Genre:  Fantasy/Historical Fiction

Summary:  King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table - and the chivalry, romance, heroism, and betrayal at the heart of the legendary tale - have gripped the imagination of the world for centuries.  In KING ARTHUR, young Arthur is given a seemingly impossible mission - to defeat a bloodthirsty Saxon conqueror and his army, a dozen times the size of Arthur's own.  Haunted by Merlin and tormented by the fact that his small band of knights has only a slim chance at survival, Arthur is determined to fulfill his duty to the Roman Empire, his family, and Great Britain.  In the midst of their mission, when Arthur and Lancelot, his greatest knight, rescue the exquisite Guinevere from captivity, the enchanting tale of the royal lovers begins.  KING ARTHUR is a story of catastrophic defeat, devastating victory and magical romance. -- (Goodreads)

Review:  I'll admit, at first I was confused.  When I think of King Arthur, I imagine a young, handsome boy pulling a sword from a stone.  I imagine battles with dragons and mythical creatures.  I imagine a hundred brave knights at a round table, dutifully serving Arthur, their righteous king.

Yet in the beginning, Arthur isn't a king.  He's merely a Roman knight who was taken from his family when he was a boy.  Taken to pay tribute to Rome, the conqueror of their country, Sarmatia.  While he's a commander, he fights many battles and becomes a legendary warrior.

During this time, he chooses one hundred knights to serve under his command.  And these knights join him at the round table.

At the time the story takes place, only seven knights remain of the original hundred and their fifteen-year terms of service for the Roman Empire have nearly come to an end.  But before they are released, they are sent on their final, dangerous mission.  A mission that will, when completed, either lead them to freedom or death.

Yes, I was confused, because this book differed from the actual story.

A few chapters in, I was finally clear with what was going on.  I realized that the tales of King Arthur we know were only 'tales' in this story as well.  I realized that this story was meant to be the real tale of the glorious king.

Don't let this minor confusion let you change your mind about this story, though.  This book is amazing.  No, it was much more than amazing.  Words cannot describe how much I loved this book.  It had me nodding, laughing, and on the verge of tears.  (I'm sure I would have cried, had my brother, sister and mom been somewhere else.  I don't cry in front of people.)

The story was so beautifully and wonderfully written.  There was a perfect balance between action, romance and comedy in the book.

You know those books that change you?  Those books that stick with you weeks, months, or even years after you've read them?  One of those books that you not only remember, but you want to own?  One you need to have in print and on your bookshelf to fully appreciate it?

Well then, you know how I feel about this book.  It's left me scarred for life, for better and for worse.

As soon as I get an Amazon Gift Card, I'm buying this book.

My Rating:  Five Stars.  If there wasn't a limit, I'd rate it an entire galaxy of stars.  This book is a must read.

Add it on:  Goodreads
Buy it on:  Amazon
Buy the:  Movie

Have a wonderful day!


Friday, May 18, 2012

Things About Me and Awards

On Wednesday I kindly received the Kreativ Blogger award from my mom, Kathy, over at Imagine Today!  Well, actually she sorta just said whoever comments gets the award, so I commented lol.

Anyway, the rules are:

  1. Link back to the person who awarded you
  2. Answer the questions below
  3. Share ten random facts about yourself
  4. Nominate seven worthy blogs for the award
Okay, let's get moving!

What's your favorite song?
I really only have favorite artists.  My favorite songs change all the time, but this week, I guess my favorite is Forever by Red

What is your favorite dessert?
Key lime pie!

What ticks you off?
Unloading the dishwasher.... (sorry, mom.)

When you're upset, what do you do?
Put in my headphones and listen to my music BLASTING LOUD.

Which is/was your favorite pet?
Padme, our turtle.  Rest in peace, Padme.

Which to you prefer to wear, white or black?
Depends.  I like both.

What is your biggest fear?
Hmm... this is a hard one.  I guess I'm afraid of not doing much in life.  Living my whole life without really accomplishing much.  Hopefully I'm on the right path :)

What is your attitude mostly?
Don't worry.  Things will work themselves if you put in the effort.

What is perfection?
Perfection is a state of mind.  The only way to achieve it is to accept that it's not achievable.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Playing video games.  To be more specific?  Any Star Wars video game, Little Big Planet, but mostly it goes to the Assassin's Creed.  That game is awesome.  Oh, and watching the TV series LOST and The Clone Wars.

Ten other random things:
  1. I'm a writeaholic. Duh.
  2. I love singing, but no one else loves my voice.  But I sing anyway :)
  3. I love drawing and painting people, but I can only draw girls with accuracy
  4. I'm awkward around people I don't know unless it's over email/blog/IM
  5. When people ask me what my story's about, I freeze up and have no idea what to say
  6. I have a secret crush on Anakin Skywalker (okay, guess it's not that secret anymore... just keep it between the 324 of you...)
  7. I listen to/read pretty much every genre of music/literature including opera/non-fiction.  What would make me not like it or like it would depend on how well it's written.
  8. I want to write in as many genres as I possibly can.
  9. My favorite mythical creature is a dragon :)
  10. My favorite colors are blue and silver
Okay!  Now that that's over with, I'll get on to my nominees.  Since I'm lazy, I'm only going to award three lucky bloggers.  And they are:
  1. Kate~ Because she's awesome and creative!  We know each other outside the blogosphere and have been friends since... four years ago?  She's a great writer and I have no idea where From the Ashes would be without her help.  Thanks Kate!
  2. Matt~ Because his posts have been so useful to me lately, and he's got such a creative way of analyzing fantasy!  Even though I don't write fantasy (yet) it's giving me a TON of ideas.
  3. T.Z. Wallace~ Because her posts never fail to make me laugh/smile/nod-my-head-in-agreement/reflect on whatever she's posting about!
All three of these bloggers are more than worthy of the Kreativ Blogger Award.  So go congratulate them and follow them!  They will not let you guys down!

Have a wonderful weekend!


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

And then......

Sometimes, I feel like I'm constantly telling.

There might be times when telling is better than
showing... **

We're always taught to show, not tell.  And, having been a self-proclaimed writer for approximately one year now, as well as loving the art my entire life... I should probably have learned my lesson by now.

But of course, I haven't.

Otherwise, I wouldn't be telling you about it.

One way to figure out if I'm starting to tell more than show, is to look for simple verbs that are alone.  Verbs like 'smiled' or 'scowled'.  True, these words show to a certain degree, but they could be expanded upon.  There are many different types of smiles.

How did he/she smile?  Was his face stern at first, yet as the moment sunk in did his lips gently curl into a grin?  Or did her weary eyes meet yours as she shook her head, a pleading smile lifting the corners of her mouth?

See, these are the things I have so much trouble with.

And when you've used 'smiled' alone, exactly 156 times throughout your MS (yeah, that would be me)... it really becomes a telling word.

Another word that usually means you're telling is when you see 'and then'.  Luckily, 'and then' is a phrase I can usually avoid, but I thought I'd bring it up since it's the title of the post.

Do you guys find yourself telling a lot?  Or, at least, do you think you tell a lot?

**Times when telling is better than showing: EXAMPLE:  If you've got a giant cut on your arm, and you're bleeding more than just a little bit, I'd much rather you call and tell me about it from the hospital instead of showing me.  (I get queasy around blood.)

Have a wonderful day!


Monday, May 14, 2012

First Loves Blogfest!

I didn't think I was going to sign up for this, but I couldn't figure out what I should post today.  So I thought I might as well!

Today is Alex J. Cavanaugh's First Loves blogfest!

It's where you post your first ever:  Movie you loved, Music you loved, Book you loved, and Person you loved.

So here I go!!


Yep, you totally guessed it.  This movie made me want to be a writer.  The entire Star Wars world opened my eyes to the world of Sci-Fi and has definitely had a HUGE effect on my writing.  To this day, it's still my favorite movie :)


I honestly don't know which came first.  Evanescence, or Within Temptation.  The first time I ever heard Within Temptation was when I was in 4th or 5th grade, but since I'd only heard their song Angels on Youtube, I never actually knew what the band was called or who was singing.  Currently, WT is my favorite.

Evanescence on the other hand, I found them when I was in 6th grade and listened to them throughout both 6th and 7th.

Either way, Within Temptation and Evanescence have both inspired me, and are both worthy of being granted title: first love for music.


Yes, don't tell me.  I know that's the movie cover.  BUT.  War of the Worlds was probably the first book I ever loved.  It was the Classics For Young Readers Edition, so I read it when I was around six years old.  It was the first real book I read besides Dr. Seuss stories and another I Can Read book about Dolphins.  But the story set my imagination on fire!


Okay.  Now, this is a hard one.  Sure, I've had my share of crushes.  But... none of them really count.  I'd like to say my parents, but that would probably be considered cheating.

So... first love?

I'll go with the main character of my most favorite story.

<3 <3 <3

Anakin Skywalker :)

So tragic, but so completely awesome.

Don't forget to go back to Alex's site to check out other entries!  You can still sign up to participate, too!  The linky list closes at 11:59 pm Easter Standard Time.  And by the way, my best best friend of all time just got a blog, so go HERE to check it out!  She's another writer working on her first novel, so it would mean a lot if you just stopped by and followed her or said 'hi' to show some support.  Thanks!

Have a LOVE-ly day!


Friday, May 11, 2012

Look, Turn, Walk and Descriptive Language

First, I have to tell you something.  There are three words that are killing me right now.

  1. Look
  2. Turn
  3. Walk
As if finding so many of them in this draft of FTA (From the Ashes) wasn't annoying enough, there aren't many synonyms for each word.  Now that I've cut out a lot of 'look's, I realize I've written 'gaze' too much instead!

Yet sometimes, there are actions that seem to be lacking in words to describe them.  Or sometimes, there are too many.

For example:

Glare is a word that describes a facial expression (or the way light reflects off a surface... but that's not the one we're worrying about.)  A glare is fairly easy for me to describe without actually saying the word:

He grits his teeth in frustration while his eyes hold my gaze with such a burning, angry intensity that...

And then the story would continue from there.  The way he is looking at 'me' is (hopefully) described so that the reader can picture his expression without being bored by an entire paragraph of descriptive language.  Or so that the reader isn't cheated by having to simply read:  He glares at me.

But what if I want to describe the way someone looks when they're concerned?  Or afraid?  Or annoyed?

It seems that I'm using the same words over and over again to describe these looks.  And it sounds something like this:

A look of fear flickers across her face...


Describing looks too much or too little is probably one of my fatal flaws.

Do you guys have trouble with descriptive language?  What looks/actions/objects do you have trouble describing?

Have a great weekend!



Really though, what does someone look like when they're afraid?  This is really bugging me, now.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A-Z Reflections

First of all, wow.  It's already May 9th.

Didn't this year just start?

It's almost half over!!!


Okay, anyway.  That was off topic.

So, I just wanna say... The A to Z Challenge was awesome.  It was my first year participating, and I'll definitely sign up again next year!

I loved so many things about it.  Even though it did take up a lot of my time, it forced me to post every day, even if it was just something short.  And after the challenge, it definitely left me relieved that I only had to post Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the rest of the year!

What did you guys think of the A to Z Challenge (if you participated)?  Will you join in next year?

Have a great day!


Monday, May 7, 2012

Things I Fear

I have the weirdest irrational fears.

Well, I guess they're not all irrational.  But I feel like they are.

For instance: I'm scared of being completely alone.

Like last week, my mom and two siblings all went to the store together and I decided to stay home so I could write.  But the kitchen started making really weird noises and the dishwasher creeped me out.  I had to turn on my music at top volume to drown out my fears.

Another example:  Grammar Tests.

I should mention (you'd know if you've beta read for me) I don't have very good grammar.  Actually, that might not be entirely true.  I can tell when a sentence is written wrong.  Like, I'd never say "Were going into the Trials today.  Its going to be difficult.  They is going to win."

Grammar that bad just makes me shiver.  Yuck.

Not to mention, those are probably just about the three most boring sentences I've ever written.

But sometimes, here and there throughout my book, as my fingers type in perfect rhythm with my train of thought, sometimes I forget an apostrophe.  Or add an extra comma.  Or add in a poorly constructed sentence so I can hurry it up and move on to the next one.

The thing in grammar that scares me the most is all those words.

Yeah.  I'm a writer.  Words should be the LEAST of my fears.

But when I come across something like this:  "Name the direct object that's modified by the first adjective that comes before the predicate nominative and the antecedent."

 I have no clue what the heck that means.

That sentence probably doesn't actually mean anything.  That's just what all the questions sound like to me.

(Yes, this is my actual grammar textbook I've been using this year.)

What are you guys afraid of?  Do you have an irrational fear of grammar?


For this entire post, I kept spelling 'grammar' as 'grammer'.  Yes, with an 'e'.  Maybe I should add that I have the irrational fear of spelling too?

Friday, May 4, 2012

Cutting Characters

Page by page, I cut out their names.

I erased them, scene by scene.  I didn't even have the decency to give them an honorable death in battle.  Instead, I simply erased them.  Denying them the adventure, and pretending they never existed.

For those of you that have beta read for me, you probably understand why I needed to do it.  The two of them just didn't add to the story.  I realized I was writing lines for them just so I could say they actually contributed to the story.

You guys never got to know them very well, but to me, they were still people.

And even though they didn't really do anything, they helped make the story what it is today.

Thanks Taryah and Hondo.  Sorry I had to delete you.

Do you guys have trouble deleting characters?

On a happier note, have an awesome weekend!


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

IWSG: Critiquing

First of all, wow.

I can't believe it's already May.  I'm not sure if I should be wishing for more time, or be jumping up and down because summer break is just around the corner.  No, seriously, I made a countdown right


There:  {------------------------------------->

(The arrow only makes sense if this is the top post on my blog.  So for people looking at this in the future... be aware.)

Okay, it took waay longer than it should have to figure out exactly where to point that arrow.  And when summer starts, I will have SOOO much more time to write and get my work done.  I'm extremely excited about that :)

Now, for my IWSG Post.

I'm insecure about critiquing.

Or critique partnering.

Or beta reading.

They're all very similar, but yes, I'm insecure about it.  Don't get me wrong: I'm not insecure about getting feedback or anything like that.  I love getting helpful feedback and having more than just my mom's and my best friend's terribly biased opinion on my work.

I'm insecure about critiquing for other people.

Sure, I've beta read before.  I'm beta reading a book right now, and critiquing two more.  (When did I ever say I wasn't busy?)

Sometimes the story I'm reading is just too darn good!  I mean, there are problems with every book.  No book is perfect.  But there are times when I have a really hard time finding something to fix.

I can't say I've ever gotten insufficient feedback, but there have been a few where I'd liked to have known more about what I could do to fix my story.  And when I give feedback, I want people to to walk away with a bunch of good suggestions and ways to improve their story.  I want to make it easy for them to fix things.

So, when I can't find much to fix, it scares me out of my mind!

What about you guys?  Are you insecure about critiquing/beta reading?

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