Monday, November 19, 2012

Going Dark for Thanksgiving, and Possibly Through the Holidays

So it's time to be more diligent with my edits. And with querying. And with drafting new material. All that writerly stuff.

I'm going to pack up the blog for a bit (perhaps through the holidays, another hectic undertaking all its own), but will be sure to tweet the next post whenever that comes. I'm thinking of doing something on why all aspiring writers should see Wreck-It-Ralph--not only a great way to do a pitch (see teaser trailer below) but also a great way to study character motivation and how it drives plot.

Merry Holidays to everyone!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

365 Days of the Query: What Keeps You Going?

A few weeks back, I discussed what might stand in your way when it comes to writing. At last, the follow-up: What keeps you going? (I also did a very similar post last spring.)

Here are some things in my arsenal when the climb gets steeper:

My writing
Even if I hit a rough patch of rejections, or edits aren't going the way I plan, inevitably, I always have a new story that I can come back to. As of right now, I'm knee-deep in editing two different projects, and meanwhile, the second book of the series I mentioned last post is screaming to get written (and it's tons of fun). When you get pummeled, remember why you started writing in the first place.

My husband
At the end of the day, when I believe that I'm the last person on Earth who can accomplish what I strive for, my husband is always the first to say that I can do anything. Or, we can just relax together so I can recharge my batteries (as I have a habit of overworking myself). Do what you can to find a person like this in your life. It doesn't have to a be a husband or wife. It can be anyone who is an anchor, an ally, someone you can trust to stick around when the going gets tough.

My network of writer friends
Another necessary group of people you should find however you can. Not only are writers the best group of people ever, they get it. The insanity of writing. The frustrations. The drive to create. They understand what it's like to fix a beginning fifty times (or more!). They have wonderful advice, and offer insighful critiques. Plus, you can often meet up together to write. After I met a librarian-writer friend at a conference in 2008, we've been meeting online at least once a week, give or take, for the last four years. Even when I'm exhausted and spent, meeting her helps me keep accountable and gets me writing even when my energy is nill.

My network of non-writer friends
A good friend of mine recently suffered through a very tough loss. She was able to get most of the way by, and she knows the tools necessary to more forward. Recently, she mailed me two bracelets that had two-sided inscriptions. They were as follows:

Bracelet 1:  Life is tough: but I am tougher
Bracelet 2: The biggest risk in life: is the one you don't take

Again. Find those anchors. People you can trust. People you can be yourself with. People who can pull you back from the brink.

When it feels like you're going against the grain without much payback, try to look for opportunties to get yourself out of the fray. Enter some contests. Find a critique partner. Keep trying. I've usually found when I'm going through a rough patch, a smoother one is right around the corner.

So what about you? What keeps you going?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Next Big Thing

I'm excited to announce that I'm a part of The Next Big Thing Blog Hop. Lots of aspiring writers (and some published authors) are doing this--the idea is to answer ten questions about a work in progress or newly published novel, then pass it on to five more authors the following week. Two weeks ago, I was tagged by Eliza Green. Since I'm a bit late to the party on this, I will be passing my baton to two aspiring authors instead of five.

I'm excited to feature my completed novel, TRISKELEON, especially now that it's a finalist in the MARA Contest.

What is the working title of your book?
Triskeleon. It's derived from the Triskele symbol found in ancient Irish relics.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
My protagonist, Marnie, existed long before the idea for the book did. In my early twenties, she came to me in a dream, fully formed: a fifteen-year-old redhead with curly hair, braces, and glasses. A few years later, I pictured her getting whisked into a story book. That idea had already been done, so I adapted it and made it my own. A few years after that, I stumbled upon a photograph of a bracelet with Triskele designs inside a book on Celtic Mythology, and the rest of the book and world-building ideas came like wildfire--there were so many that I've managed to stretch them into two sequels (Stolen Sieve, and Erased Enclave, respectively).

What genre does your book fall under?
YA sci-fi/fantasy with some romantic elements.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Not sure about the first book--I think David Hyde Pierce would make a good Weatherby (the mentor warlock), and perhaps Sean Connery would make a good soothsayer. As for the love interest, Quinn, I'm thinking a younger version of Aaron Paul. And for the second book, there's a character I hope Peter Dinklage would play.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
When a Triskeleon bracelet transports Marnie to the magical land of Anderli, she must use her Momentan powers (abilities to manipulate time and space) to save Anderli before surrounding worlds begin to unravel.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
The hope is for an agency. I'm currently querying.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
April 2008-December 2009 (I got married inbetween there, which cut into the time considerably). Subsequent drafts were ironed out from 2009 to the present.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I'd categorize it as a YA version of Outlander mixed with A Wrinkle in Time. I'd also add a sprinkle of Inkheart.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?
My friend Brittany--an excellent writer in her own right.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Main themes include magic and chaos vs. logic, as well as how awkwardness is an advantage rather than a detriment (particuarly for teen girls).

So who's next? Stay tuned for posts from:


Sera Rivers