Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Ready. Set. Write! Goals

This summer kicks off Ready. Set. Write! Hosted by Jamie Morrow, Erin Funk, Katie Upperman, and Allison Miller, Ready. Set. Write! is a weekly blog hop about summer writing goals. Anyone can participate, and we all give help and encouragement along the way. 


This is the goal-setting week (which I'm coming slightly late to). For this week, I will:
  • Return to my editing journal for The Book 
  • Add 500 NEW words -- not edits or revisions -- to The Book
  • Add another 1,000 words to Contracted
In the following weeks, I'll update with these headings: 
  • How I did on last week's goals
  • Goals for this week 
  • A favorite line from my story
  • The biggest challenge I faced that week
  • Something I love about my wip
Since I will be moving this weekend, I am not sure how much I'll be able to get done. I might have problems with updating the blog as well. When things settle down a bit, I'll be back. Until then, have a great rest of the week! :)

Sunday, June 8, 2014

It's the Little Things...

Everyone has their writing "thing." Some people like notebooks -- college-ruled only. Some people have to listen to the same song over and over again while writing. Others make playlists. Some people use only pen, some pencil, and others only type. I've heard from people who prefer to use typewriters when drafting. Some people have to find the "right" font for each story.

I used to think that a lot of this was just silly at best, and ways to procrastinate at worst. Weird writing "things" seemed like just more stuff to get in the way of actually writing. What did it matter if you used blue or black ink? Did it really make a difference to use Arial instead of Times New Roman? It all seemed like a lot of sugar pills to me.

I don't believe the "Muse" is real or necessary to start writing, and I used to think of all these writing "things" in exactly the same way. I thought people just made them up to make themselves look special, or to make it look like ONLY THEY knew the REAL secret to writing. Use Helvetica, and YOU TOO can write a bestseller!

Until, of course, I found my own writing "thing."

I used to double-space my wip's in Word. It took me forever to write anything, and my transitions were terrible. I tried single-spacing, but nothing improved.

Then I wrote Contracted after the format I use on this blog: no indents and a space between paragraphs. For some reason, being able to see the text this way gave me a better idea of how long to make paragraphs, where transitions should fall, and how much writing "ground" I was actually covering. Who knew. It wasn't a one-off thing, either. I changed my other wip to this format, and my writing has gone so much more smoothly since then.

I'm officially a convert. If it floats your writing boat, use it. Writing can be hard, so anything that makes it easier for you is good.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Diverse Book Blog Tag!

Perhaps you've heard of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks twitter hashtag, or have seen some of the diverse book buzz going around -- especially in MG, YA, and NA. It's important for all types of people to be represented in publishing, whether it's representing more diverse characters or publishing more diverse authors. 

"Diverse" is a rather wide umbrella that can include a lot of things: ethnic, religious, and cultural diversity, LGBT+, body types, and disabilities to name a few. For this blog tag...

1. Post a diverse book.
2. Say why you liked it.
3. Explain what the diversity meant to you.
4. Link to the post that tagged you and tag someone else!

My book is...


http://libbysguide.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/monday.jpg

What it is/Why I liked it

This is the first book in The Keys to the Kingdom series by Garth Nix. It's an MG fantasy/steampunk series of 7 books about a kid named Arthur who's chosen to be the heir to the universe because of a bureaucratic hiccup. The Architect of said universe has disappeared and Her creations are fighting amongst themselves over who gets to control things. Arthur unwillingly attempts to fulfill his Chosen One role in order to get the minions of his competitors to leave him, his family, and Earth alone. I really enjoyed the extremes of imagination that went into this book and the whole series. It was a wild ride from start to finish and it never did what I expected.

Diversity

Arthur comes from a very diverse family. His dad has a few kids from different mothers from his rock band days, his mom has kids from a previous marriage, Arthur is adopted, and his parents have kids together. Not all of the siblings are close in age or in ethnicity, but they all consider themselves to be part of the same loving, functional family.

Also, Arthur has asthma. His is a pretty serious case, and (spoiler) it's the impetus behind the entire plot. When I first read this book, it was gratifying to see an asthmatic protagonist. I could sympathize with people not taking him seriously, and how he struggled with physical activities that most people take for granted. I used to do a lot more sports, but it was always harder for me, and it got frustrating when even my relatively mild case of asthma stopped me from being as good as I wanted to be or having fun. Having an asthma attack is terrifying, and Mister Monday did a scarily good job of showing that.



Have you read Mister Monday? What do you think about diversity in books?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

What's Up Wednesday: Graduation Thoughts

What's Up Wednesday is hosted by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk, to help writers and bloggers keep in touch as we scribble. :)

What I'm reading

I'm relishing the chance to sit down with Fragments by Dan Wells, the sequel to Partials.  It's a post-apocalyptic science fiction YA series, and it's phenomenal. Dan Wells' world is the most well-thought-out, detailed, and possibly most scientifically accurate vision of the post-apocalyptic Earth that I've ever read. Also, I love these characters, and my recent favorites are some new introductions. I love seeing how the changing circumstances affect these characters and their relationships.

What I'm writing

I'm on break from writing right now. I wrote up until when I would have to write the awkward sex scene and the really complicated public event scene. Those scenes will be harder technically. I don't have writer's block; I'm just avoiding them. I'll admit it. In the meantime, I'm planning to do Camp NaNo in July with a new project. It ought to be fun...

What else I'm up to

I graduated on Sunday! I even wrote a post about it.

My feelings are mainly of relief. As Ty commented on the above post, college is "one of the final times that most of your movements are judged so closely by the standards of someone else's views of success." I'm still going on to graduate school, but at least now I can focus on what I really wanted to study all along. 

What inspires me right now 

Chocolate. And Fragments. And the big, exciting TBR pile that I will now finally have time for. Also, crocheting. I'm making a blanket/couch throw in "springy" colors, and it's coming out really well. It looks lovely.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Finally: Graduation

Yesterday, I graduated from college with my B.A.

Hooray!

Finally. Thank God. 

I wish that I could say college was the "best four years of my life," like people kept telling me it was going to be, but first of all I hate that saying, and second of all, it wasn't. It was good, of course, but it wasn't the best. Trying to classify parts of your life as "best" just leaves you constantly disappointed. So I try not to think of things in terms of "best."

I had a post planned out about things I did and learned while in college, but I'd like to keep some of that to myself for now. 

I started this blog as a freshman. Somehow, I managed to keep it up. If I could do it again, I'd rename it something less cheesy and more truthful. The "voices" in the title were meant to refer to the different characters I had knocking around in my head -- yet, specifics about my writing are one of the things I hardly ever talk about on here.

When I examine myself, I'm sometimes surprised to think that I write a blog at all. I'm more internally focused. I don't like sharing personal things even to friends with whom I am close, let alone strangers online. A lot of what I write here reads as shallow to me compared to other bloggers who regularly bare their souls in their posts and wear their hearts on their sleeves (or rather, on their blogs). 

But despite that, I'd like to think I'm occasionally funny. :)

I keep feeling like the college will call me and tell me that I forgot to do something, or that I'll wake up back in the fall semester of junior year (aka: Hell). I'll start believing I've graduated in a week or so, when I continue to wake up in my parents' house and not my dorm room.

And then I'll go back to graduate school.

And keep writing. And doing other things. And, finally, getting around to beta-reading everything from my CP's. Seriously, though, the incentive of finally being able to get back to their manuscripts really helped motivate me to grit my teeth, finish my final requirements, and graduate. I like beta-reading. If any of them are reading this, thank you for writing your stories and sharing them with me.

What's next? I have only a general idea. First, though, I have to unpack.