Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Blog Chain: Breakin' the Law

I get to start this round! Aren't you excited? Here's the topic I chose:

There are SO many writing rules, but sometimes we have to break one or two, just to keep things interesting. Is there a writing rule you've broken on purpose? Why did you choose to break it? And if you want to post a snippet of your writing as an example, even better!

Raise your hand if you've heard that piddly little rule about not opening with a dream? Everybody's heard that one, right? And it's a big one. I've lost count of how many agents have blogged that you just don't start with a dream. Bad, bad writer for starting with a dream. But that's exactly what I did.

Here's my reasoning, and I'd love to hear your thoughts on it, even if you disagree.

I didn't just pick some random dream to make the opening exciting. It's a dream the MC has had countless times and it's integral to many aspects of the story, most importantly, the relationship between the MC and the boy in the dream. And technically, my opening is a daydream of just a small part of that dream ('cause I like to make things complicated), so it doesn't really count as a dream, right? ;)

Oh, and I started with dialogue, which I've heard is also a no-no. Bad, bad writer. I know.

So, anyway, here are the first 250ish words, in all their rule breakin' glory. :)


“Is this Heaven?” I asked.

My angel laughed, his eyes sparkling in the light from the two moons overhead. “Heaven? You’re messing with me, right?” A warm breeze rustled the field of glowing blossoms surrounding us and tousled his curls. He slipped his arms around my waist. “Okay. I’ll play. No, it’s not Heaven, but sometimes, it feels that way. Especially with you here.”

He leaned in, his scent filling the air around me. His lips brushed mine—

“Livy?” Patty’s quiet voice jerked me back to reality, from my attempt to escape to a happier place. Even if that world—and the boy I’d come to call my angel—existed only in my dreams. “It’s almost time.”

I glanced across the room at the casket—shiny black with silver handles. Elegant, according to Patty. Like that mattered. It would be buried underground, never to be seen again after today. And that wasn’t my mother in there.

Patty settled down on the arm of the loveseat and tucked my long bangs behind my ear. I resisted the urge to release them, so I could go back to hiding behind the auburn curtain they created.

“You sure you don’t want to see her?” she asked. “This is the last chance you’ll get.” She meant well. Just doing her job as my pseudo-grandmother and legal guardian. Well, that was what she would’ve been. If I hadn’t turned eighteen on the day my mother died.

Full first chapter here.


So what about you, my bloggy friends? What rules have you broken? Why did you choose to break them?

Don't miss Kat's post tomorrow! :)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Blog Chain: The Good Stuff

Blog chain time again. This round was started by Michelle H. She wants us to:

Be positive! Name some of the positive aspects of your writing — be it a compliment from a mentor, friend or crit partner to anything special you learned concerning your writing skills.

This was way harder than it should've been. I could spend hours telling you the things I need to improve on, but to actually point out the positives is a whole other situation. Not that I think I'm a bad writer. If that were the case, I would've quit long ago.

Okay, I'll give this a try.

I've been told by several people that my dialogue is good and feels natural.  Also, after much research and experimenting I've started to feel like I have a handle on the concept of voice (not that I could explain it to anyone else) and I've had a few compliments on that.


I'm a very detail-oriented person (aka crazy perfectionist) so my writing is usually pretty clean when it comes to grammar and punctuation--even my rough drafts.

And I think that's enough about me. :)

What about all of you? What are some of the positive aspects of your writing? Don't be shy. ;)

Be sure to check out Christine's post from yesterday and Kat's post tomorrow.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Well, It's Official....

I am now the mother of a teenager. Does this somehow make me more qualified to write YA? Just looking for the upside. ;)

Happy birthday to my favorite son! You can stop growing up now.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Are You an Introvert?

A while back, I came across this really interesting article, 10 Myths About Introverts, by Carl at Carl King Creative.

It's kind of scary how accurately many of these myths describe me. At the same time, I feel a little less crazy after reading it. And I think this list would seem very familiar to most writers and other creative folks so I thought I'd share.

Here's a sample:

Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.

This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.

Full article here.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Blog Chain: Motivation

Or the post in which I use the word love five million times. Or just six. :)

A couple of things first. I changed the blog layout again. I know it's only been a few months, but the cutesiness of the old one was slowly killing me and this one feels more science-fictiony. Actually, the night sky in the alien world in Embrol is purple, so this one is pretty close to perfect. Now, if I could just figure out how to slip a couple of alien moons in there.... ;)

Also, my rule-breaking opening (first 117 words) is up on Blackbird in my Window if you want to check it out. I'd love to hear what you think.

Now for the blog chain. This round was started by Laura. She asked:

What keeps you going (either trying to get an agent or to get published or finish that WIP that's kicking your butt) when you know the odds are stacked way against you?

Well, I do love a challenge. Or maybe I'm subconsciously punishing myself for something I don't remember doing? ;)

Seriously, though, I think a lot of it is just the hope that maybe if I keep at it, one day I might be able to make a little money doing something I love, which I can't say for any job I've had in the past. And I would love, love, love to see my book with a pretty cover sitting on the shelf at the bookstore. Actually, I think this might be the end result I'm looking forward to the most. So the whole ebooks-taking-over-the-world thing needs to hold off a while longer. You think it'll wait for me? ;)

What about you? What keeps you going knowing the odds are stacked way against you?

Be sure to check out Christine's post from yesterday and Kat's post tomorrow.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Very Cool Writing Contest!!

Rachel over at Blackbird in my Window is having a writing contest! Submit the first three pages of your manuscript for a chance to win the book of your choice. Plus, everyone who submits will receive feedback on their pages. How awesome is that? Be sure to check it out!