Friday, April 23, 2010

Clever Writing

Just spent a while reading excerpts on Amazon from Sara Pennypacker's Clementine series. In one book, called The Talented Clementine, she has a line about walking to the principal's office: "I walked down the hall on worried legs and knocked on the door with worried knuckles." That's brilliant! :o) It's great when a writer can be fresh and creative when writing for that young of an age group, too. (Which is about third grade or so.)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Novel Writing

Fooey on cyberspace and Internet technology. I had a blog entry written up this morning, and my connection dropped (or some such pathetic excuse) and I lost the whole thing. Now, if I could remember what I said... Something about how complex novels were to write, because how characters had to act like real people, and keep their actions consistent with themselves and with reality/real situations. The characters have to grow believably throughout, and gradually. Then you have to be concerned with plot, theme (what AM I trying to say with this book??), subplots, whether or not it has a hook, pacing (do I have yawner spots?), etc. Very complex. But I love it, mwuah-haha! I like the challenge, I guess. Not sure how totally good I am at it, but then, I've read some books that I didn't like the character development of, or the theme, or the ending, etc. So subjective, in a lot of ways.

Friday, April 16, 2010

YA Writing

So it seems the reading age-range for YA is 13-14 years old. Always a little younger, because teens 15-18 are heading for the adult books by that time. Although I'm sure there are exceptions, with some older teens reading young adult novels. (The same as there are exceptions with adults who read YA novels.) It's really a little too bad that they are separate, because some adults and teens are missing out on good YA stories.
One point that I've read recently is that even with a good plot or unique storyline, the novel still has to be character-driven. Not simply one quest after another until the end. The character has to have motivations, true feelings, struggles, and they have to change during the course of the book (what have they learned?). Some of my stories do that more than others, I have to admit.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Editing Contest!

I just subscribed to my first website/blogsite! It's a site for writers (published or not) about writing and publishing. It's written by Deborah Halverson, who's been an editor at Harcourt Children's Books. She is having a contest for middle grade (MG) and young adult (YA), a random drawing. If you win, you get a FREE general manuscript critique from her. Way cool. You can find it at: http://dear-editor.com/
I already found some good advice about using slang (am I overdoing it in EMRT? I'm making up my own slang), as well as writing natural dialogue--using full versus sentence fragments, and how much to insert narrative description. I may overuse the description sometimes, and not let a good back-and-forth happen, sometimes.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Toward More Colorful Writing

Just ran across an example in my own writing where I first thought of the usual adjectives, and had to force myself to be a little more creative! While describing the colors in a painting, I wrote:
"Rich dabs of cool green and golden yellow and crisp white and warm brown."
Which is okay, but then I thought gee, especially the GOLDEN is so cliche. The others aren't that unique either. So I had to reach a bit, and came up with:
"Rich dabs of vibrant green and robust yellow and sharp white and earthy brown."
I think that's a better sentence, and more original adjectives for those colors.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Google Books

I may be slow, but I just discovered Google Books yesterday. Big list of books, a place to find out-of-print books available online, descriptions, etc. Still gotta look into it further. Good for writing research, finding books to read in my genre or whatever. To see what else is out there, especially to compare and see how a particular book I'm writing is like others out there. Ya know, type in a subject and see what pops up, and if it's similar.