Saturday, February 27, 2010

Buried

I desperately want to visit your blogs but right now I'm buried with family stuff and trying to finish my stubborn WIP.
Thank you for stopping by and I feel horrible for missing out on your blog posts lately. Hopefully I can get back to the blogosphere soon!
In the meantime, here are some thanks to kind bloggers who've given me awards:




Thank You Danyelle!





Thank you Nancy!





Thank you to Steena at Chocolate Reality for the Sunshine Award!


I think it's time for another awards banquet! Have a happy weekend everyone.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I've Got Momentum, Baby

In my mad rush to avoid buying Godiva for someone besides myself, I've discovered momentum in my writing.
This song kind of sums it up. (warning: Christian rock/hip-hop) plus, this isn't an official video but I thought it was kind of funny



Are there any areas of your life where you're gaining momentum? What song could sum up your day so far?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Showing Motivation

One thing I think writers tend to do is tell motivation. I think sometimes we want to explain a character's past and why they're doing something.

I'm not talking about backstory dumps or huge paragraphs of telling. It could be only a line.

The movie Georgia Rule inspired this post. The granddaughter tells someone she was molested, but then she says she made it up. The viewer is left to figure out the truth based on nothing more than the character's actions.

That's showing motivation. In the movie, we're not told:

The mom's an alcoholic so the daughter is an enabler Instead, the daughter acts in certain ways and the informed viewer can guess at her motivation.

The daughter was molested Instead, we're shown how the daughter acts with the opposite sex and we're left to draw our own conclusions on why she does what she does.

It's tempting to tell the reader why a character is acting a certain way, but sometimes I think the story is much stronger if we let the reader intuit the reason.

Do you like to tell motivation rather than use actions to show it? Did you see this movie?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Nekkid Readings ... and Other Links

First, hop on over to Linda's for a chance to win a copy of Deadly Exposure.

Also, don't forget to check out Elana's amazing contest which awards multiple query critiques by agents.

Then, lovely author Kathryn Magendie is readying for her second book release and in order to get the word out, she's willing to try all sorts of marketing techniques. Including posting herself reading an excerpt of her new novel.

Naked.

What would you do to market your book? How extreme will you go? Is there anything you absolutely will never do?

btw, Kat's reading is G-rated. :-)

Friday, February 19, 2010

When Your Muse Names Himself

Apparently muses can have names.

I always hear funny stories on how to deal with the muse, but I've never heard of the uppity muse naming itself until Amy's Hilarious Post on how she discovered her muse is a guy.

Do you have a muse? Do you blame things on your muse? What do you think about naming your muse, and if you did, what would that name be?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

They Buy What You Sell

Ever thought of your blog as you...selling yourself? Elana did an awesome POST about this and it reminded me of a blog I'd just read.

I'd linked over because I saw this blogger's somewhat rude comment on an agent's blog. The blogger had a decent amount of comments so I checked them out. It was a little shocking to read mostly anonymous, troll-like comments.

But it makes sense.

What you sell attracts a certain type of buyer.

This angry guy had tons of angry, mean comments.

Ever known an angry, divisive person? Having an opinion is way different than being rude. As Elana asked, what are you hoping to accomplish with blogging? What kind of You are you selling?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Cupid Shot Me!

I was sixteen.

Driving down one of the main roads of my small town, chatting with my little sister, when I noticed a fine pair of calves running down the sidewalk. My hormonal gaze traveled up those fine legs, landed on a fine chest and stopped at a familiar face.

The preacher?

Yep, over ten years ago I realized that local preacher Jimmy was more than a preacher. Cupid shot me that day (it was all physical) but later God drew us together and we've been married since 2001.

How did you meet your spouse? Your best friend?

If you want to play, pop by Diane's for rules and to sign Mr. Linky.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Interesting Marketing Survey

Verso Digital did a really interesting survey on Book-Buying habits. It's fascinating and helpful.

Don't forget! Monday I'll be participating in Diane Estrella's Cupid Shot Me. Hope you'll join in.

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Sick is the New Cool

Over the holidays I learned that my neighborhood is sick. Seriously. I kept hearing "This is sick" about everything. Having a fourteen year old brother is not only enlightening, but it's pretty cool.

Cool, by the way, is still an "in" word.

For those of you who write YA or MG, you might find these words interesting. Straight from Orange County, California, below is the list my wonderful brother gave me.
Define these words:

Boss
Beast
Gnarly (yeah, it's still in and I heard him and my dad use it fluently)
Bro
Bra
Steezy
Sic Thizz (yes, that's how it's spelled)

Have you heard any of these words? I think some of you have posted your kids' slang before. How do you feel about slang in fiction? Is the slang you use still cool? Or are you hanging on to outdated slang because it's groovy?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Set Your Scene

When I went to the ACFW conference, I had an editor meeting. I'd heard that particular editor liked scenes to be fleshed out at the beginning. Because of what I'd heard, I gave her my prologue to read instead of my first chapter.

Sure enough, the first thing she said was that she liked how I'd set the scene rather than jumping into action.

This isn't to say we shouldn't start with action. We should almost always start with action that's appropriate for the genre.

But before you jump into the action, set your scene.

Orient the reader. Give them a visual of where the character is. This definitely doesn't need to be a paragraph-long thing. A few sentences often are fine.

Every new scene needs to be set somehow, and early on. Do you set your scenes? Does too much description in a book bother you? Or do you like heavy description?

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Case of the Reopening Blog Windows: Solved

As some of you are aware, I'd been having problems with blogger. When I clicked out of a blog, it would reopen so fast and so many times that the only way to stop it was to log off my computer.

I think I've solved this annoying case though. Ha!

My computer has been telling me to get IE8 and I finally decided to download it for various reasons. That was a week ago. Since then, I haven't had a single problem with blogger. Other bloggers recommended Firefox too.

So if you've been having this, you might want to check your Windows updates. It's either IE7 or it might be a problem with Vista. I just know after I updated everything, the problem hasn't come back. *crossing my fingers here*

Does anyone else feel an amazing sense of satisfaction when a mystery is solved? Do any of you daydream about being a detective? Or am I just weird?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Big 5-Oh by Sandra Bricker



I first heard of Sandie thanks to a huge blog tour for her first Summerside book, Love Finds You in Snowball, Arkansas. Everyone posted rave reviews about how awesome this book was, and how funny.

Then I met Sandie at an Orlando meeting and she was super nice. Then I met her again on the way to the ACFW conference and I thought, I really need to get her book.

So I did and I laughed the entire trip home (on the plane). After Snowball came out, it seemed like Sandie's career started snowballing too!

I got my hot big hands on her book, The Big 5-Oh. It's just now releasing but I read the ARC, which is kind of awesome! The story is based in Florida and highlights a woman who's in need of a break, especially since her birthday is coming up soon. Often marked by illness or tragedy, birthdays are main character Olivia's nemesis. So she travels down to Florida for some much-needed R&R, but finds instead a second chance at love (not to mention a pool-loving alligator and a farting dog).

Despite some of the more serious issues, this book is a sweet read. I enjoyed it, especially how each chapter starts out with a little story about a donkey. Those tidbits cracked me up.

You can find Sandie at her website, her blog, and she even did a guest post on her agent's blog. Plus, her former agent and current editor commented on the post, which I thought was pretty cool.

The Big 5-Oh is available now. Don't forget to check out Sandie's other titles if you love romantic comedy.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

It's On: A Competition

As of January 1, 2010, I haven't accomplished much in the way of writing goals.

Furthermore, I've been writing my work in progress for almost a year. That has to stop.

Therefore, I'm proposing a little competition to get myself in gear.

If I don't finish my WIP by February 28th, 2010, I'm buying one lucky commenter some Godiva.



If I do finish, then I'm buying myself some.

Comment if you want to be entered and let me know if you want to race to the finish line. I have around 25k to go.

How's your writing going? Have your resolutions been manageable? Or did they already fall by the wayside

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Query: Sell Your Story Part 3

The consensus, I think, is that queries are tough to write, but make all the difference in garnering a request.

In my opinion, the blurb is everything. Of course make the other parts of your query polite and professional, but what sells your story is not how many contests you've won, not how long you've been writing, the classes you've taken, the theme of your story, etc.

Eventually we sell ourselves. But for first glance, it's all about the story.

So how do you go about writing a great blurb? And what should be in it?

A Plot Catalyst: This is super important. Agent Kristen Nelson did an in-depth series on this. Your blurb should start with the plot catalyst and cover what happens in the first 30-50 pages. Then you end on a hook.

The Hook: What is the danger (emotional or physical) that your character is going to face? The major decision he or she has to make?
In the words of Miss Snark, a good query contains the following formula:

Who is the protaganist?
What dilemma does he face?
How does it get resolved?

Answer each question in less than 25 words. That's the skeleton for a good query letter. It may not be your finished version, but it will give you the bone structure you need.


Another helpful post quoting Miss Snark is HERE.

What do you think of all this? How strong is your blurb? Have you been able to boil your plot down to its bare essentials? Have you studied the backs of books lately? Any advice to add? (since I'm still learning and working on this, just like you)