Saturday, May 7, 2011


I've been busy these last couple weeks. Not so much writing, but more thinking. Trying to understand things that I'll never be able to understand no matter how much I try. It gets a little frustrating, knowing that I'm never going to arrive at an answer, but it's entertaining enough.

This thinking has also pulled me away from editing. Or maybe that's just an excuse.

I'm actually afraid to edit. A few weeks ago when I was actively editing, I started coming up with all of these ideas, all of these different directions that I could have taken the book, and I couldn't decide whether any of them actually fit with the book. It almost felt like I was adding in entirely new plotlines. And it was starting to become a little bit unrealistic because my MC was starting to have nothing good in her life. She was fighting with friends, she lost everything that she depended on, and all of this crazy stuff.

So I cut one of the subplots that I'd added in.

As refreshing as this was, I couldn't help but feel that I had completely wasted my time working on this subplot. But I didn't because this subplot gave me the idea for another subplot, which I kept.

I'm planning to start editing this week. But I want to start working on specific scenes, specific paragraphs, and specific sentences, rather than the whole book.

Wish me luck! And good luck to all of you as you embark on your own writing adventures. Are any of you having the same problems I am?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I Did It!

I few weeks ago - or something like that... - I posted about struggling to write from the POV of one of my characters, whose name is Rebecca.

Well, as I was sitting in Starbucks the other day (Starbucks always helps me concentrate) I found out some very interesting stuff about Rebecca's past. See, I always thought Rebecca was mean because of _______, but I found out that it's actually because of _________ and _____________, although _____________ is also important. And I think I'm getting closer to who Rebecca is because of this realization.

What did I learn from this? I learned that when I'm having trouble with something in my book to give it time. I had to work out all of the details in my head and connect them. Also, going to Starbucks never hurts :)

I also mentioned posting part of one of my WIPs. I'll try to do that soon.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Review: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

This is a good book.

I could leave it at that. But, I like rambling, so I won't.

I got this book for Christmas of '09. I read it. I liked it. But it got pushed to the back of my bookshelf and forgotten about. Flashforward to Christmas '10 and guess what was under the Christmas tree? The sequel! So I said, okay, I guess I'm going to have to reread Shiver to read Linger because I don't remember what happened.

But then life got in the way and writing got in the way... and I forgot. And I kept meaning to reread it but I never did.

So then last week, when I was home sick for the 2 1/2 day in a row, I decided to read because my mom decided that I was no longer allowed to watch TV when I was home sick so I couldn't watch any of the stupid reality shows that I'd become addicted to. Anyway, my point was I said, "Oh! I guess I'll read Shiver now."

I opened Shiver. And I read. And I read. And I read. And I read. Until about 2 o'clock when I finished the book. And it was freaking amazing. The language, the story, the characters, the ending... wow. I ran upstairs, grabbed Linger, and read until 9 o'clock.

Yup. I read both books in one day. It was actually a really cool experience. I spent the entire day with Grace and Sam.

To try and sum it up, these books are about a girl named Grace who lives in this little woodsy town and a pack of wolves live in the woods behind her house. When she was younger, the wolves attacked her, but this one wolf with yellow eyes saved her. She's totally obsessed with these wolves. They're all she thinks about and she dreads the summer because that's the only time that they mysteriously disappear from the woods.

So what's she going to do when a boy from her school is attacked by the wolves and a group of men, including her father, decide to go into the woods and hunt the wolves? And how will she react when she discovers the wolves' secret? (Which is pretty obvious so I might as well tell you: they're werewolves. Shhhh.)

Now... Favorite parts:
  • Grace. I think Grace is me in disguise. There were just so many things about her that I could totally relate to. She's quiet, she's obsessive, she's totally in love with Sam. Which brings me to my next point.
  • Sam. He's a musician with yellow eyes. And he turns into a wolf. What more could a girl want?
  • The ending. It was amazing.
  • The language. There were just random lines that just astounded me.
  • The cover art.

Things I didn't like:
  • There was something about the pace that didn't seem right. Maybe it was a little slow. I'm not sure. It was that kind of thing where someone asks you, "What's the book about?" and you say that's a hard question.
  • The ending. Why did she do that?
  • The fact that I went online and found this video of Maggie Stiefvater reading the first chapter of the next book Forever that comes out in July and it was the biggest cliffhanger and I have to wait until July until I get to read it. Grrrrrrrr.
So, there were things that I would have changed, but overall, I loved these books. And I think you should read them.

BTW, I was thinking of posting a few paragraphs of my WIP sometime this week to get some feedback. Would anyone be up to helping me? It would be very much appreciated.

Monday, March 28, 2011


Voice makes everything, doesn't it? It adds an unique perspective to the novel, it entertains the reader, and it can push the novel forward.

Which is why I haven't written anything in a while.

To make a long story short, I started writing from a new POV. And this person is very different than everyone else I've written before. She's more bitter, for reasons that will be brought up later in the story. But for now, she has to have that bitter, I-don't-care attiude about everything.

This is where I'm having problems. I can't figure out what this person would be thinking as they experienced these things. I can't figure out how she would be feeling in these situations, underneath all of her bitterness and... I'm not sure. And that's my problem. The worst part is that I know I can't get help from anyone on this. Nobody can tell me, "Oh, this is how she's feeling." I have to figure this out on my own.


Just wanted to let you know that that's where I've been. Trying to figure out who this girl is and editing my novel. And being sick. Oh, and I unintentionally kind of gave blogspot up for Lent. Yup.

What have you been up to?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Which Story?

Only about a month on this blog and I'm already having trouble finding time to post! There are many reasons for this. There is the fact that I decided to follow far too many other blogs and find that it takes me well over half an hour to read them, then I have a bunch of homework, and plus I'm also working on about... a million and two writing projects.

I've mentioned how I'm editing Keeping up the Sun. I really like editing, but I've gotten to this part where it feels like one of those Valentine's Day crossward puzzles that teachers give you because they just want to assign you something (Speaking of which, Happy Valentine's Day!). It feels like such busy work. Because now I'm smoothing out the transition into and out of the new part of the book that I just added and while some of the little scenes I'm adding now are cute, they don't have the same excitement as the other scenes I've written.

Another reason that editing isn't going very well is that I figured out how to make one of my novels that I'm about halfway done with work, so I've been trying to spend some time working on that which is going slowly, but steadily.

And then there's another reason. Do you even feel like, when you're overworked and you've been using all of your creativity on one manuscript or you're spending all of your time doing something such as studying, you get more ideas? I don't understand how this works, but it always happens. After cranking out about 50 pages in a week or two, I suddenly found all of these other ideas popping into my head. I got an idea for a new novel and I've gotten ideas for a couple of short stories which is scary because I don't write short stories. I'm horrible at them.

Anyway, it's been hard to decide what I should spend the most energy on - the novel that I'm editing, the novel that I'm working on, or the new ideas that I'm really excited about?

When it comes to these decisions, I tend not to go with the new ideas because whenever I start workng on a new idea and I stray from one novel, I end up forgetting about it and abandoning it. So, as for right now, I will not be starting a new novel. Working on a few short stories is okay, I've decided, but no new novels. And the rest of my energy? Well, I'm dividing it between editing and writing.

That, or I decide that I don't have energy at all and I go to sleep.

What do you guys do when you have multiple ideas/manuscripts/stories-that-suck-away-your-nonexistent-free-time? Have any advice?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

After getting Lauren Oliver's Before I Fall for Christmas, I began following her blog. Which led to learning about her new book Delirium.

So when I got the chance to get a free ARC of the book (for reasons that I won't mention) I wasn't going to say no, even if it was only a few days before the book actually came out.

I got Delirium on a few weeks ago Friday night and I was done with it by 1 o'clock on Saturday.  [PS - I did sleep for a few hours in the middle of reading but that was only because it got to the point where I had to reread sentences 3 times before they made sense.]

This book was AMAZING.

It takes place in future USA where things are... different. Love is no longer a happy ending to a fairytale. It wasn't something that people longed for and searched for their entire life.

Instead, love became something that people feared. Imagine a world where love is a disease, people who are in love are said to be "infected," and these people can be killed just for giving someone an innocent kiss. Romeo and Juliet is seen as a story that reinforces why love is so horrible rather than a brilliant love story.

Pretty scary. Which is why Lena Haloway can't wait until she turns 18 and she gets the operation that will cure her from love. After her operation, she will be matched with someone who the government thinks is equal to her in status. It's kind of like took over the world and has ordered that everybody be matched by them no matter what.

Of course, right when Lena is about to get her operation when, well, as quoted from the back cover of my ARC: "Lena does the unthinkable: she falls in love."

As though that isn't complicated enough... well, I don't want to give away any more of the plot. But now I shall tell you how amazing this book was.

My favorite part was also probably the scariest part. There are arguements that Lena uses that almost made me believe that love is a disease. She talks about how in Romeo and Juliet they died because of love. She says that stress, heart attacks, and other diseases like that are all love's fault but we've given them other names. I am such a romantic, but there were certain lines that had me doubting true love.

But Lauren Oliver didn't let me doubt love for that long because she showed us Lena's blooming love with a certain boy that will go unnamed. They are so adorable and I love their relationship.

And the ending... oh, the ending. The ending was one of the most unexpected endings I've read in a while. It wasn't the classic ending, and while that can be a little unsettling, it was perfect for the novel. It worked perfectly.

Plus, the characters. Wow, the characters. Just read it.

I've heard some people complain that she didn't do a very good job with worldbuilding. I agree to an extent. Some of the aspects of this world were unclear and I feel like she needed to incorporate more of the history of this place into the novel so that we understood. But I was so involved in the characters and the plot for so much of it that I didn't even notice.

So do I recommend this book? Definitely. Get out there (don't care if you're snowed in) and buy it. And then come back and tell me what you think.

If you haven't read the book and don't plan on it, please tell me what your opinion on endings that don't follow the fairytale plotline.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


One of my favorite bloggers Jennifer Hubbard did a post today on character's dreams. I thought I would follow that up with a post on our dreams. The author's dreams.

I'm sure you've all heard the story about how Stephenie Meyer got the idea for Twilight from a dream. From what she's said, she dreamed one scene and that very same day began writing the book. I'm not saying that she's my favorite author, but I don't think anyone would disagree with me if I said that that approach was successful for her, right?

I find that if I'm going to use a dream as the basis for one of my ideas, it requires a little more work than just copying my dream down.

The first problem I have with this is that I usually only remember a scene or two from my dreams and the rest is a complete blur. Sometimes I'll have one crystal clear image but I'll have no idea what was going on in the rest of my dream. So my first step is always to figure out what exactly is going on in this dream and why this scene is so important.

Another thing is realizing that the scene might not fit with the storyline that I've set up exactly. Keeping up the Sun, my WIP, was based off of a dream. I remember two scenes from the dream. The first scene was when this girl was in a car and she didn't know how to drive and the guy in the seat next to her had to explain to her how to drive. That was fine and all, except that when I started writing the manuscript, I found out that the MC was only 14 and therefore couldn't drive. So that needed to be worked out for a while, but I found a way to make it work.

Finally, sometimes this scene turns out to be not so important after all. The scene mentioned above was actually one of the last scenes that I wrote in the first draft. I had actually forgotten about the scene that the whole novel had been based off of. If I went back now and took the scene out, it probably wouldn't affect the novel all that much. It certainly adds to the suspense, but it's not a necessary scene.

So my opinion on taking ideas from dreams? Do it. But when you do get an idea from a dream, don't immediately run to your notebook or your computer and start writing. Give the idea some time and figure out what's happening in the scene.

Now, you tell me... have you ever taken an idea from a dream? How did it work out?