prettyzombiegirl: (english)
The First Four Rules of Writing for Young Adults
From Bonnie Hearn Hill, author of the Star Crossed Series
Rule 1. Character, character, character. Dig into your head for a character who is both proactive and sympathetic/empathetic. No one likes perfect people. Explore engaging flaws.

Rule 2. Ditch the wise parents. You may be a parent, but your reader is a teen, and teens want to read about themselves.

Rule 3. Listen. How do teens talk? In my critique group, we have what we call The Old Words Home. That’s the place at the far end of my backyard where we send outdated words and phrases. Prattle, commenced, in the nick of time, and many other words and phrases are treated well there. They live out their days in comfort, never to return like a bad penny. Oops, there’s another one. Seriously, I am probably the oldest human on the planet who subscribes to Seventeen magazine.Know your market. Listen.

Rule 4. Embrace conflict. If you’re afraid of conflict in real life, you’ll be afraid of it in fiction too. Conflict is only: I want A, and you want B. It’s not: I want A, and you’re the biggest jerk in the world. Conflict is the heart and soul of powerful scenes.

And . . . I have a useful link to a blog written by a literary agent.
(How To Title Your Book)
prettyzombiegirl: (reply3)
Very insightful article that I found to yes, have a few of those totally obvious points, but also some quite deep thoughts that may be useful. Check it:

10 Rules for Writing (Part 1)

10 Rules for Writing (Part 2)
prettyzombiegirl: (nanowrimo)
By: Gretchen Rubin.
One of the challenges of writing is...writing. Here are some tips that I've found most useful for myself, for actually getting words onto the page:

1. Write something every work-day, and preferably, every day; don't wait for inspiration to strike. Staying inside a project keeps you engaged, keeps your mind working, and keeps ideas flowing. Also, perhaps surprisingly, it's often easier to do something almost every day than to do it three times a week. (This may be related to the abstainer/moderator split.)

2. Remember that if you have even just fifteen minutes, you can get something done. Don't mislead yourself, as I did for several years, with thoughts like, "If I don't have three or four hours clear, there's no point in starting."

3. Don't binge on writing. Staying up all night, not leaving your house for days, abandoning all other priorities in your life -- these habits lead to burn-out.

4. If you have trouble re-entering a project, stop working in mid-thought -- even mid-sentence -- so it's easy to dive back in later.

5. Don't get distracted by how much you are or aren't getting done. I put myself in jail.

6.Don't fall into the trap of thinking that creativity descends on you at random. Creative thinking comes most easily when you're writing regularly and frequently, when you're constantly thinking about your project.

7. Remember that lots of good ideas and great writing come during the revision stage. I've found, for myself, that I need to get a beginning, middle, and an end in place, and then the more creative and complex ideas begin to form. So I try not to be discouraged by first drafts.

8. Develop a method of keeping track of thoughts, ideas, articles, or anything that catches your attention. That keeps you from forgetting ideas that might turn out to be important, and also, combing through these materials helps stimulate your creativity. My catch-all document, where I store everything related to happiness that I don't have another place for, is more than five hundred pages long. Some people use inspiration boards; others keep scrapbooks. Whatever works for you.

9. Pay attention to your physical comfort. Do you have a decent desk and chair? Are you cramped? Is the light too dim or too bright? Make a salute--if you feel relief when your hand is shading your eyes, your desk is too brightly lit. Check your body, too: lower your shoulders, make sure your tongue isn't pressed against the top of your mouth, don't sit in a contorted way. Being physically uncomfortable tires you out and makes work seem harder.

10. Try to eliminate interruptions -- by other people, email, your phone, or poking around the Internet -- but don't tell yourself that you can only work with complete peace and quiet.

11. Over his writing desk, Franz Kafka had one word: "Wait." My brilliantly creative friend Tad Low, however, keeps a different word on his desk: "Now." Both pieces of advice are good.

12. If you're stuck, try going for a walk and reading a really good book. Virginia Woolf noted to herself: "The way to rock oneself back into writing is this. First gentle exercise in the air. Second the reading of good literature. It is a mistake to think that literature can be produced from the raw."

13. At least in my experience, the most important tip for getting writing done? Have something to say! This sounds obvious, but it's a lot easier to write when you're trying to tell a story, explain an idea, convey an impression, give a review, or whatever. If you're having trouble writing, forget about the writing and focus on what you want to communicate. For example, I remember flailing desperately as I tried to write my college and law-school application essays. It was horrible -- until in both cases I realized I had something I really wanted to say. Then the writing came easily, and those two essays are among my favorites of things I've ever written.
prettyzombiegirl: (english)
*Sorry I haven't been around lately, but I'll try to post more. ;-)

1. Give your creativity another outlet occasionally. For example take a ceramics, watercolor, or beading class. Learn to be creative in other ways besides writing. You'll be amazed at how much this enriches your writing as well as your life in general.

2. Write something completely different from what you normally do. Are you a novelist? Write something non-fiction like an article or report instead. You might just discover a whole new way to look at your writing. If you normally write non-fiction try your hand at a short story or poem.

3. Take a field trip. Get in your car or ride the bus somewhere you've never been before, maybe a part of town that has little shops, art galleries, or a large park where you can follow a stream or river and just ruminate.

4. Go for a walk, at least 30 minutes long. Take a camera along with you and snap pictures of people, trees, flowers, or anything that catches your eye. You might see something you can use later in your writing.

5. Remember those pictures you took on your walk? Make copies or a second set of prints and use them in freeform collage (see my article Using Freeform Collage to Boost Creativity).

6. Create what I fondly call a "bitch list". During those times when it seems like you just aren't getting the support you need from your significant other, friend, or relative, or maybe even your co-workers sit down and write out a list of all the things they've done, or said which are bugging you. Use this opportunity to throw a mental temper tantrum, let your inner child out and allow him/her to have a good pitch objects, screaming meanie fit. No one needs to see your list. If you are a spiritual person you can even use this opportunity to say a prayer for change, burn the list in a fireproof dish, then let the wind have the ashes (make sure they are completely cool before doing this). It's amazing how cathartic this can be when you are feeling frustrated and mad.

7. Remember crayons and coloring books? I've always thought it was a shame that we leave such things behind once we're supposedly grown. This technique requires you to find pictures you like, these can be family photos, drawings from books, or pictures from magazines. Once you find them make black and white copies and keep them in a folder or three ring binder for those days when you are not feeling supported as a writer. When it's time, pick one of the pictures and color it in with crayons, colored pencils or even paints. Play some relaxing music while you're at it. I think you will find the act of doing this will help your writing mind to come up with new ideas, as well as help you to feel nurtured and supported.

8. Take a candlelit bath or shower. I personally prefer a bath for this exercise, but a shower can work too. Depriving some of your senses by taking away artificial light allows the mind to relax and quiet down, and hence allows the space for new ideas.

9. Watch a movie that has information on your current writing topic. If you are a novelist watch a movie in your genre. I'm not suggesting you steal someone else's idea, but merely that you may come up with a new angle on your story by watching what someone else has created. If you write non-fiction you can still do this by finding a documentary on your topic, or even a fictional movie. It's amazing how you can get ideas about your own project just by watching someone else's angle on the same topic.

10. Create a list of ideas. Maybe coming up with ideas to write about is a problem? If so during those times when you are feeling especially full of ideas make a list of topics to write about or plots for stories or both. Then when you are feeling as if you will never write again you can pull this list out and use it to move on to another project. You can also do this during a particularly large and frustrating project, some ideas will require less work to complete than others. You could pick one of your ideas and write an article just so you have that feeling of having completed something while you're still working on your larger project.

- article can be found here.
prettyzombiegirl: (nanowrimo)
I should consider some of these... - National Novel Finishing Month (December). Goal: 30,000 words.

FAWM - February Album Writing Month (February). Goal: Write 14 original songs in a month.

NaNoEdMo - National Novel Editing Month (March). Goal: Commit to 50 hours of novel editing.

Script Frenzy - NaNoWriMo's sister challenge (April). Goal: Write a 100-page screenplay or stage play in April.

RePoWriMo - Refrigerator Poetry Writing Month (April). Goal: Write poetry using only refrigerator poetry magnets.

NEPMo - National Epic Poetry Month (May). Goal: Write 5,000 lines epic poem in May.

SoCNoC - Southern Cross Novel Challenge (June). Goal: Write 50,000 words of fiction.

WriDaNoJu - Write a Damn Novel in June (June). Goal: Write 50K in the 30 days of June. It's perfectly situated six months from November so you have optimum time to prepare for WriDaNoJu and NaNoWriMo.

SoFoBoMo - Solo Photo Book Month (Between May first and June 31). Goal: Create a solo photo book within 31 days.

JulNoWriMo - July Novel Writing Month (July). Goal: 50,000 words for a new or unfinished manuscript.

24 Hour Comics Day - (Changes annually, lasts 24 hours). Goal: Draw a 24-page comic in one 24-hour period.

48 Hour Film Project - (Varies; operates via tours around the USA, lasts 48 hours). Goal: Create a short film in 48 hours.

Book in a Week - (Begins on the Monday of the first full week of each month, lasts one week). Goal: Write a novel.

April Fool's - (April). Goal: Set a word-count goal for yourself and fulfill it by the end of the month.

AugNoWriMo - August Novel Writing Month (August). Goal: Write a novel in one month.

3-Day Novel Contest - (September). Goal: Write a novel in three days. They've been doing this since 1977. So cool!

SeptNoWriMo - September Novel Writing Month (September). Goal: Set a word-count goal and edit, write, or edit and write throughout the month of September!

NaPlWriMo - National Playwriting Month (November). Goal: Write a play in one month.

NaBloPoMo - National Blog Posting Month (Year-Round). Goal: Post every day for a month.

WriYe - (Year-Round). Goal: Set a word-count goal for the year and work towards it between January 1 and December 31.

JanNoWriMo - Goal: Write either 50k or your own word-count goal in January.
prettyzombiegirl: (english)
1. If you write every day, you get better at writing every day.
2. If it's boring to you, it's boring to the reader.
3. Get a writing routine and stick with it.
4. Poetry does NOT have to rhyme! Poetry do NOT have to rhyme!
5. Resist stereotypes, in real life and in your writing.
6. Writers read. Writers read a lot. Writers read all the time.
7. Make lists of your favorite words and books and places and things.
8. There doesn't always have to be a moral to the story.
9. Always bring your notebook. Always bring a spare pen.
10. Go for walks. Dance. Pull weeds. Do the dishes. Write about it.
11. Don't settle on just one style. Try something new!
12. Learn to tell both sides of the story.
12 1/2. Stop reading this and WRITE SOMETHING!
prettyzombiegirl: (nanowrimo)
This was the week three pep talk email sent through the NaNoWriMo website. I was inspired by this one so I decided to repost it here. Written by Kristin Cashore, she speaks about the inner voices every writer has to put up with while creating their masterpiece, and how to deal with your progress or lack thereof.

prettyzombiegirl: (replyme)
I can't speak for everyone on this, but it appears to be a common problem, "telling instead of showing" in your writing. At least for me, I definitely will admit to this. Having been a journalism major for years, this is actually my biggest problem in writing fiction. I have the tendency to just tell the facts as it is, get straight to the point with little to no imagery.

Scott was scared when the vampire attacked him.

So boring and bland when I should be writing something like this:

As Scott walked into the darkness, cold chills ran down his spine causing him to shiver in fear. He screamed louder than he had ever screamed in his life when the vampire jumped out of the shadows.

Ok, wasn't the best description, but you get what I'm saying. I have an awesome list of links for you guys to check out on this subject. Click!

Show, Don't Tell
When to Tell
Ways to Show
Use Specificity
Use Description
Eliminate your Filter*

* This one I liked the most because it talks about getting rid of filter words from your writing such as felt, heard, saw, looked, appeared, knew, realized. If anything, just check this one out! It's worth it!
prettyzombiegirl: (nanowrimo)
... via Alexander Chee. If you don't know who Annie Dillard is, Google her asap. This article I found is very insightful and may come in handy during NaNoWriMo.

. . . With detail after detail, Chee conjures Dillard during class as she drinks coffee from the thermos cup and eats caramel after caramel, letting the plastic wrappers pile up on the desk. But the heart of the essay comes from Chee’s description of Dillard’s rigorous take-no-prisoners approach to the craft of writing. “Very quickly, she identified what she called ‘bizarre grammatical structures’ inside my writing.” She also identified his overuse of the passive voice and his “museum of cliches.”

Chee shares some of the key points he learned from Dillard:

1. Put all your deaths, accidents and diseases up front, at the beginning.
2. Don’t ever use the word ’soul,’ if possible.
3. Never quote dialogue you can summarize.
4. Avoid describing crowd scenes but especially party scenes.
5. You want vivid writing, and vivid writing comes from precise verbs. Bad verb choices mean adverbs.
6. All of the action on the page happens in the verbs. Verbs control when something is happening in the mind of the reader. Gerunds are lazy, you don’t have to make a decision and soon, everything is happening at the same time.
7. Narrative writing sets down details in an order that evokes the writer’s experience for the reader. If you’re doing your job, the reader feels what you felt.
8. Avoid emotional language.
9. The first three pages of a draft are usually where you clear your throat. If the beginning is not found around page four, it’s often found at the end. Sometimes if you switch your first and last page, you get a better result.
10. Take a draft and delete all but the best sentences. Fill in what’s missing, making the rest reach for those best sentences.
11. Count the verbs on a page; circle them, tally the count for each page and average them. Now see if you can increase the number of verbs per page. In each case, have you used the right verb? When did this happen in relation to this? And is that how you’ve described it?
12. Go to the place in the bookstore where your books will go, and put your finger there.

You can read the entire article here.
prettyzombiegirl: (moffatts)
Is as follows/still in the process of editing:

1. "I Could Break Your Heart Any Day of the Week" by Mandy Moore
2. "You Belong to Me" by Taylor Swift
3. "Just Another Phase" by the Moffatts
4. "Power of Goodbye" by Madonna
5. "Paparazzi" by Lady Gaga
6. "Drive My Soul" by Lights
7. "Misery" by the Moffatts
8. "Carnival" by the Cardigans
9. "You Can't Break a Broken Heart" by Kate Voegele
10. "The End's not Near" by Band of Horses
11. "Tonight, Tonight" by the Smashing Pumpkins
12. "Twilight Galaxy" by Metric
13. "The Trick is to Keep Breathing" by Garbage
14. "Lost Without Each Other" by Hanson
15. "Be Mine!" by Robyn

... Just trying to keep a running list. More music will be added as I continue writing I'm sure.
prettyzombiegirl: (replyme)
Stolen from [personal profile] fotg...

"The Big Read reckons that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they've printed."

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Underline the books you LOVE.
4) Strike out the books you have no intention of ever reading, or were forced to read at school and hated.
5) Anything unmarked I either haven’t heard much about, started but didn't care for, or feel indifferently towards.

Read more... )
prettyzombiegirl: (replyme)
Here's another inspirational post. I thought this might help some of you during your time planning and writing for The Spark Inside.

"The best way to become acquainted with a subject is to write a book about it." - Benjamin Disraeli

"Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it." - C. S. Lewis

"Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self." - Cyril Connolly

"There are so many different kinds of writing and so many ways to work that the only rule is this: do what works. Almost everything has been tried and found to succeed for somebody. The methods, even the ideas of successful writers contradict each other in a most heartening way, and the only element I find common to all successful writers is persistence-an overwhelming determination to succeed." - Sophy Burnham

"Write from the soul, not from some notion what you think the marketplace wants. The market is fickle; the soul is eternal." - Jeffrey A. Carver

"Writing is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public." - Winston Churchill

"Easy reading is damned hard writing." - Nathaniel Hawthorne

"Keep in mind that the person to write for is yourself. Tell the story that you most desperately want to read." - Susan Isaacs

"Writing is a cop-out. An excuse to live perpetually in fantasy land, where you can create, direct and watch the products of your own head. Very selfish." - Monica Dickens

"There are many reasons why novelists write – but they all have one thing in common: a need to create an alternative world." - John Fowles
prettyzombiegirl: (default)
... for those of you who have lost sight in what we do best. write fanfic. this should remind you guys of what it should REALLY be about. this is what it means to me.

Fandom is focus. Fandom is obsession. Fandom is
insatiable consumption. Fandom is sitting for hours
in front of a TV screen a movie screen a computer
screen with a comic book a novel on your lap. Fandom
is eyestrain and carpal tunnel syndrome and not enough
exercise and staying up way, way past your bedtime.

Fandom is people you don't tell your mother you're
meeting. Fandom is people in the closet, people out
and proud, people in costumes, people in T-shirts
with slogans only fifty others would understand.
Fandom is a loud dinner conversation scaring the
waiter and every table nearby.

Fandom is you in Germany and me in the US and
him in Australia and her in Japan. Fandom is a sofabed
in New York, a roadtrip to Oxnard, a friend behind
a face in London. Fandom talks past timezones and
accents and backgrounds. Fandom is conversation.
Communication. Contact.

Fandom is drama. Fandom is melodrama. Fandom
is high school. Fandom is Snacky's law and Godwin's
law and Murphy's law. Fandom is smarter than you.
Fandom is stupider than you. Fandom is five
arguments over and over and over again. Fandom is
the first time you've ever had them.

Fandom is female. Fandom is male. Fandom lets
female play at being male. Fandom bends gender,
straight, gay, prude, promiscuous. Fandom is fantasy.
Fandom doesn't care about norms or taboos or boundaries.
Fandom cares too much about norms and taboos and
boundaries. Fandom is not real life. Fandom is closer
than real life. Fandom knows what you're really like in
the bedroom. Fandom is how you would never, could
never be in the bedroom.

Fandom is shipping, never shipping, het, slash, gen,
none of the above, more than the above. Fandom is
love for characters you didn't create. Fandom is
recreating the characters you didn't create. Fandom
is appropriation, subversion, dissention. Fandom is
adoration, extrapolation, imitation. Fandom is dissection,
criticism, interpretation. Fandom is changing,
experimenting, attempting.

Fandom is creating. Fandom is drawing, painting,
vidding: nine seasons in four minutes of love. Fandom
is words, language, authoring. Fandom is essays, stories,
betas, parodies, filks, zines, usenet posts, blog posts,
message board posts, emails, chats, petitions, wank,
concrit, feedback, recs. Fandom is writing for the first
time since you were twelve. Fandom is finally calling
yourself a writer.

Fandom is signal and response. Fandom is a stranger
moving you to tears, anger, laughter. Fandom is you
moving a stranger to speak.

Fandom is distraction. Fandom is endangering your job,
your grades, your relationships, your bank account.
Fandom gets no work done. Fandom is too much work.
Fandom was/is just a phase. Fandom could never be just
a phase. Fandom is where you found a friend, a sister, a
kindred spirit. Fandom is where you found a talent, a love,
a reason.

Fandom is where you found yourself.

(This was written in 2006 by hesychasm/I found it in a post in one of my fanfic groups.)

Don't forget about the fun, the good times, and the true reason you are a writer. To find and be yourself.
prettyzombiegirl: (lostboys)
So I've been reading some non-Hanfic lately which is good of me especially if I EVER expect to branch out of my comfort zone and write something else. I've been surfing around, checking out recs, and even digging through I've come upon some interesting stories that I decided to share. Treasures beneath the cut.

Some vampires, kevin&winnie love, interesting Xovers, and a guy with lion hair this way... )
prettyzombiegirl: (hanson)
So my second day on here and I already have a community set up! It's going to be completely dedicated to Hanson fan fiction. Here's the link:

[[community profile] hansonfiction - [community profile] hansonfiction - [community profile] hansonfiction - [community profile] hansonfiction]

There are RULES you must read before joining but once you do join you're allowed to post whatever your heart desires! I'm just excited I am THE FIRST one to make a Hanson community on here! That's so cool to me! So, if you like to read Hanfic or if you write a little yourself then stop by and join! It's open membership!


May. 22nd, 2009 01:11 pm
prettyzombiegirl: (Default)
Usual intro post that everyone always writes. . . I owe a million thanks to [personal profile] pithetaphish for inviting me to this wonderful world!

What I'll probably end up doing is keeping this unlocked and open to the public for a while. That way I can share all of my writings and random creations with the masses. If need be, I'll change it to "friends only" later.

In the next post, I'll add my fiction and fan fiction links plus let everyone in on what I plan to do with this fresh new journal!