Thursday, July 5, 2012

Exciting Critique Opportunity from Lisa Burnstein

Hey writer friends, if you have a finished YA manuscript, here is an exciting critique opportunity you should check out!

Lisa Burstein, author of Pretty Amy (Entangled) will be giving away 3, 3 chapter critques:1 critique from her editor, 1 from her agent, and one by her. You're also eligible to win a query critique and a $25 dollar Amazon/B&N gift card.

Pretty cool huh?

Entangled is a rising publisher and has already had several best-sellers in their first year. So polish up that manuscript and cross your fingers!

(disclosure: blogging about the contest is one way to increase your number of entries ;))

Sunday, July 1, 2012

"Hashtag #amwriting? More like hashtag '#amdrinking'"

And we're back...!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

blogs, blogs, blogs

So, I started classes today.
And I'm shopping like a mad woman, trying to find the perfect ones. Also, I am taking care of a zillion other school things. And I just got a job. In addition to my classes/homework/journalism/other activities.

American dream, eh?

So, when I get some time, I'm going to figure out a blogging schedule. I was thinking maybe doing a post for each genre I write each week and then publishing posts the last week of each month.

Maybe book reviews one day! I started reading The Goddess Test on my flight home. I'm excited for it to get past the "Oh my goodness I'm new and all the boys love me and why don't they just leave me alone?" Mary Sue part. I think it's going to be pretty good though. Aimee Carter definitely doesn't mess around, piling on too much back story or purple prose to describe emotions. I like that. I just hope the characters don't suffer for it.

Anyone else have thoughts on The Goddess Test?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Blogging Tips: Spam Isn't Just for Comments Anymore

So, when I came back from my impromptu mental/physical health break, I noticed that I had a lot of new blog views.

About 300 new ones. And considering I'm no blog star, I knew something was up. And because all of the referring links that the hits came from were weird broken links that had nothing to do with me or writing. A quick google search taught me that you can get "spam traffic" from this links because the SEOs who create them want you to click on their sites and try to make a few pennies. Not sure what the point of that is, but I guess if you spam enough it could be lucrative.

And I thought I was getting some blogging friends from Russia. Well, shoot! I still feel excited about getting referred from Google El Salvador though ;)

Blog on, friends!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Writing Challenge UPDATE I am 8? Over the weekend I ended up not doing as much editing as I'd like due to so real-world problems (sadly I cannot live in the writing world full-time). The reason I was so stressed about getting this short novella done and edited so quickly is that I really wanted to have it ready for a pitch contest on the 26th.

But here's the thing: there will be other pitch contests. I can always submit through the normal submission process.

I realize that if I don't get this baby edited "in time," it might actually be better in the long run. I'm the type of person that needs to let my work sit a bit before I come back to it. This is a new genre for me, and I'm not going to shoot myself in the foot by subbing too early (been there, done that). I've had a pretty rough week and my email inbox is starting to remind me that I have a lot of responsibilities at school that I'm going to need to prioritize. I'm not going to let my novel writing go completely this semester, but I will have to schedule my writing time carefully.

I guess this is learning how to make the real-world and the writing-world meet in the middle!

On that note:
I LOVE DOWNTON ABBEY. Watched an episode Sunday and now I'm hooked. I gotta see season one now! Does anyone have any good romance novel recommendations for this era?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Notebook

Sorry this one doesn't have Ryan Gosling in it.
for your ovaries
I've been told two things since a very young age:
1) Use your indoor voice
2) Keep a writer's notebook.

I specifically remember some author coming to my elementary school and telling us how she kept a journal next to her bed to write down things in the middle of the night. And something about squirrels.

Anyway, writers often give (and subsequently get) the advice to keep a notebook. This is because we never know when our writerly brains will strike. Since we have so much going on up there in the old noggin, it's important we write it down to remember it.

The thing is, I hate journaling. Sure, I had plenty of pretty pink diaries as a child, but I never kept true to them for very long. It just didn't interest me to keep a running record of my sucky childhood.

So when my playwrighting professor this past semester made us keep a daily notebook, I was skeptical. I didn't think it would help me.

Boy was I wrong. Journaling turned out to be a great writer's tool. In fact, it ended up shaping a lot of my final project.

*voice of squirrel author haunting me*

However, I still found that I couldn't maintain a daily notebook. I never seemed to have the time to sit down and journal my whole day.

What I did have was a blackberry and EverNote
EverNote is a great app you can use on your smartphone and computer to take down quick audio, visual, and text notes wherever you are and whenever you're inspired. It transfers the notes from your phone to a notebook on your computer and PRESTO- writer's notebook.

I find it a lot more convenient than a paper notebook and since I'm attached to my phone anyway, I actually use it. Also, it's great for creepily recording dialogue you hear.

Not that I do that...

Anyway, there are a number of products like this on the market, but evernote is what my professor recommended to me and I think it works well. The free version does have a memory limit, but I haven't run into any problems yet and I use it quite a bit.

Do you journal? What methods do you use? Let me know!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Day 3 Writing Challenge Results

So, first of all, THANK GOD for modern technology:
How to Succeed in Novel Writing...

I know piracy of musicals is bad, but if ever there was ever something to get me writing sexy, romantic scenes, it's this man's voice.


It's always made me sad that they over autotune him on Glee. I saw him and Starkid in November, and honestly, he's just phenomenal live. I wish I had been at UMich for the original A Very Potter Musical (and Sequel).

*Criss Rant Over*
Word Count: 11,424 (+2858)

Pros: I am essentially done my first draft other than a quick little HEA conclusion at the end. The hero and the heroine are together and all the conflict is resolved.

Cons: EDITING EDITING EDITING. I'd like to have this story ready to pitch by January 26th, which is scary fast considering I have no beta lined up and short contemporary romance is a whole new genre for me. I'm going to let the manuscript sit for a day or two while I crank out internship cover letters (oh, those things?) and maybe study my Russian (textbook has collected dust ALL break). Spring semester is around the corner and as excited as I am to go back, I'm also getting panicky.

And I need a haircut. So there's that.