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17 May 2011 @ 10:34 pm
I just thought I'd share my book. It's "you pick the price" for a little longer if you want to download it as an ebook, even for free. It's not for everybody, but check it out if you please. If you're interested, awesome!

Other things: 

Print version
Facebook Page
My website

Thank you for your time everyone. As I'm sure you know, being an independent writer is difficult and involves a lot of shameless self-promotion. I believe it was mentioned below. Anyway, take care, and I hope you enjoy. 


Current Location: Syracuse, NY
08 April 2011 @ 05:38 pm
Maggie Stiefvater's blog is doing what she calls a Critique Partner Love Connection. Basically, it's a way for writers to find the right critique partner.

It works like this:

"Post a comment saying the age range (adult, YA, MG), a brief, one-sentence blurb about your book or just the genre if you don't want to share more than that, and whether or not you have an agent, etc. Also the last book that you read that you loved that you feel epitomizes you as a reader.

Then, if someone sounds appealing to you, you send them a message saying so and find out if it's mutual. If it is, you exchange the first 50 pages of your manuscripts, critique them, and return said critiques. If either of you doesn't feel like the crit relationship is working at that point, you get to smile and say thanks and walk away without any questions asked. That's the way it works. "

Of course, since it's Maggie Stiefvater's journal, the vast majority of people involved are writing YA paranormal romance, which is a bit of a dilemma for those who write in other genres.

So my question is this: Is anyone interested in doing something similar in this community? 

(4/10/11): Since it doesn't look like a ton of people are interested, maybe it would be better to hold off on this for a couple of months.

However, if you're looking for a critique partner right now, feel free to comment with any or all of the following:
-a description of your work, including genre and age group
-your current progress
-what you're looking for in a reviewer (ie, brutal honesty, good at detecting logic and consistency issues, dreamy eyes, etc.)
-any other information you feel is relevant

See if anyone bites, and if not, we can always try this again later.
06 April 2011 @ 05:58 pm
New to this group, but not new to writing. Have been doing it for about eleven years and started out way back when Yahoo Groups was very active. Now, I am taking a writers course for writing for children and am on assignment 7. My teacher is published author Katherine Pebley Oneil--think I got the spelling right and I have been published as much as anyone who has been very determined to get published for their first time. So, I have been published three times--just short stories. Am here for the sake of enthusiasm and encouragement. Need encouragement. I am working on a book for teens--something faith based about a girl who is a magician/Ramona (Beverly Cleary) type. Thing is...this isn't a Harry Potter magician--this is the real thing...get out of handcuffs, enter rooms supposively locked (or cars), slight of hand, and a tiny bit of the illusionist stuff. She gets something taken from her (a box) and little by little the items in the box are given back to her, including a journal from her deceased father (who was killed), starting with the last page--first. The story, is well--the whole plot is under construction while I write it, so I just need to get going and write every day...

Am looking forward to reading other peoples post and have a wonderful day!!!

Personal interests:

Spending time with family
lots of church
listening to industrial music!!! 16 Volt, Pop Will Eat Itself, Acumen nation, Wumpscut and Classic Modern Rock--Consolidated, Wire, P.I.L.
Current Music: 16 Volt
02 April 2011 @ 08:00 pm
How do you feel about prologues? Do you find them useful to engage readers right off the get-go? Or, do you find that they sometimes give away too much information, and you inevitably figure out what twist happens before you really should?

Ultimately, what you do feel is the goal of a prologue? And do you find they are used predominently in a particular genre?

The reason I ask is, I feel as though the novel I've been writing on and off for the past few years has started with one, but I'm not sure if I've utilized it to its full potential, or I'm just using it as a piss-poor chapter holder?

Secondly, if one prologues - is one obligated to epilogue too?

I'd love to hear your thoughts! ♥
Current Mood: curiouscurious
02 April 2011 @ 03:23 pm
I was browsing some online journal articles for uni today and it struck me again how interesting and varied most of the surnames are. I've always struggled with surnames for my characters, trying to find a balance between suiting the character and their other names, not using the really common ones to much, finding one of the right nationality/culture/heritage, and not using one which just seems made up. So I thought I'd share with you a long list of surnames which I've found through university study. These are the surnames of real people, even though some of them may look made-up. I have no data on age, nationality, heritage, or pronounciation, but here is handy site which should be able to help with that in a lot of cases: http://www.surnamedb.com/

List under hereCollapse )

--edited because I found about ten names I hadn't put in--
Current Mood: curiouscurious
01 April 2011 @ 09:19 pm
I'm the sort of writer that needs a first sentence in my head to kickstart everything. So I like to keep a list of writing prompts laying around, like the "opening lines" section of this one: http://www.gkbledsoe.com/articles/process/prompts.html

I also like to keep http://futureisfiction.com/plotpoint/index.cgi open, for giggles.

It can be tricky to find the sort of prompt I'm looking for, though. As you can see from the first link, a lot of writing prompts are "Write about how you felt when..." and "Write a story that goes with this picture" and such.

Do any of you have writing prompts that you keep nearby? What about favourite plot or character generators?
01 April 2011 @ 08:15 am
This has been bothering me for a while.  I'm not familiar with the YA section, but I realized my current project has a teenage lead and deals with teenage issues/life.  It heavily involves the supernatural (lead character has communication with the dead/creatures that deal with the dead), but most of the planned "dark" elements are very human. So it got me thinking, how does one go about writing a "dark" YA novel?    Are there any topics that are off-limits?  If you happen to include a triggery subject, would it be better to make a quick reference and otherwise gloss over it or tell the story how you feel it needs to be told?    
I'll share a few places that I've found myself constantly returning to when writing:

1. The Oatmeal: Semicolon - an entertaining, but informative piece about how to use semicolons. Also be sure to check out their other sections: How to use an Apostrophe; Ten words you need to stop Misspelling; and When to use i.e. in a sentence. **I've shared these with some of my previous high school students, before I started teaching elementary - and I did 'edit' them a bit for appropriate age levels.

2. Grammar Girl: Quick and Dirty Tips - excellent source of information! I love the examples and I'm following her on Twitter because I love to be in "the know".

3. Google.com - as stupid as it is, I ♥ Google. All I do is type in: Definition: ____________ (whatever word I'm looking for) and ta-da, I get a wonderful meaning for the word, and I even find out then if I spelt the word wrong! I like to use this when I think I know what word I want to use, but I need to make double sure I truly understand the meaning of it.

4. British Canadian American Spelling - I edit a lot of work, and many of my clients (I use the term loosely, as this is a free thing I do on the side) are American. I have to make sure I am using their American spellling when editing. While doing my own, I use the Canadian spelling and British.

5. Synonym.com - awesome site that I frequent when I can't quite remember the word I wanted to use. Very useful when writing stories and hating the word "said".

Do you have any favourite sites or paper resources that help with spelling, grammar, or punctuation?
Current Mood: calmcalm
31 March 2011 @ 01:53 am
Any author blogs you guys read? I'm always on the lookout for more writing-related blogs.
Post your own writing blogs too, if you want!

Here's who I read:
http://www.jmtohline.com/ JM Tohline, author of The Great Lenore
http://www.warrenellis.com/ Warren Ellis, author of lots of great stuff
http://victoriamixon.com/ Victoria Mixon, who is mostly an editor these days, from what I gather
http://terribleminds.com/ramble/ Chuck Wendig, author of Irregular Creatures
http://sarahtales.livejournal.com/ Sarah Rees Brennan, author of Demon's Lexicon

http://www.advicetowriters.com/ This isn't a blog, but rather a collection of quotes from authors. It's occasionally inspiring, so I thought I'd include it in the list.

So, have at it. Who do you read?
31 March 2011 @ 07:35 pm
Hi, new com :) My name is cloned_fiction, butterfly.sting, or peadragon depending on where on the internet I am... I usually write fan fiction (mainly for Firefly) but I've tried my hand at original fiction a few times in the past. I usually only share my fan fiction though. I like to write in my spare time to explore some of the concepts my imagination invents, it's pretty over-active and can get distracting if I don't channel it somehow. Anyway, onto the topic I wanted to discuss.

I was curious as to everyone's writing style. Do you think you have an identifiable style in your writing? How would you describe it? What do you think are some things which has influenced it? and does it differ from idea to idea, story to story or can you write any genre, subject, tense even, and the end result will always have that same edge to it?

After recently doing a university crash course in creative writing I've gotten much better at analyzing writing and being able to spot these kind of things where I had previously been pretty unobservant in the matter. I mostly write fan fiction, but I have one original fiction thing going as well, and the difference between each of my stories style-wise is huge. It's almost accidental, I'll just start writing and a style will emerge without me having to think about it. With the fandom stuff, I think that has a lot to do with keeping the style and tone of the original work going through my writing to an extent. 

My original story, on the other hand, is set in England, where I have never set foot. Due to my limited knowledge of England/Britain I find my style for this story is influenced mainly by the writings of Douglas Adams (even though I wasn't aiming for that). There is also a little bit of Eva Rice, Black Books and Dr Who in there somewhere I think. As you can imagine, the eventual style created by these influences is quirky, but a lot of the time it's also entirely all over the place. I would like to one day develop a style that is mine, rather than one with influences that come across so obviously. Has anyone else managed that? And did you do anything to get there, or did it just happen with time and practice?
Current Mood: pensivepensive
Current Music: She was coming home - The Gadflys