Monthly Archives: May 2013

Creative Writing Tip: Make Sure Your Plot Has Action of a Type to Meet Genre Expectations

Now here is a great thing to keep in mind! Does your writing fit into genre expectations? Come read what Victoria Grefer has to say on the blog Creative Writing with the Crimson League! I found the article VERY interesting!

Creative Writing with the Crimson League

Today I’m continuing with a series of posts I’m writing to explore the four reasons I had to abandon a novel in progress after 100 pages and rework plot, setting, and character to get things going. This post will focus specifically on plot, genre, action, and creating the right kind of tension.

My hope is that this series of posts will, first of all, maybe help someone avoid the trap I fell into (even though I had a happy ending and am releasing the novel in question on Friday. It’s book III of my Herezoth trilogy, called The King’s Sons.)

Secondly, I hope to encourage those who, possibly, are in the process of rewriting or considering rewriting. You aren’t alone or a failure, and yes, you can write. Having to rewrite doesn’t prove the contrary.

Today, we’re on number 3 on the list: one reason I started my novel…

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4 out of 5 stars for “Blackbird” by Cheryl McIntyre

Photo Credit: Goodreads

Photo Credit: Goodreads

“Do you still love me?” he whispers into my lips.

“Yes,” I moan.

“Then it’s never too late.”

“Blackbird” is the novella that takes place during the final chapter of McIntyre’s novel, “Sometimes Never” and the Epilog. In this novella, readers finally get to see what happens between Hope and Mason once Hope turns 18, they both graduate high school and through the start of college.

What’s my take on this short little novella? Honestly, it was much too short… I found myself feeling as if I was being rushed through the entire story! That being said, I NEED to say that I absolutely fell in love with this book, just as I did with “Sometimes Never.” Even though I felt rushed through each scene, I still felt like I was right there in the middle of it all!

Cheryl, once again, does an amazing job of putting readers right into the shoes of both Hope and Mason, which can sometimes be a difficult thing to do when writing from two character’s point of view. Cheryl makes it look like a piece of cake!

Hope is still a symbol throughout the novella as we watch her face her demons head on and as we watch her struggle through some of the toughest moments of her life. The same can be said of Mason and of his struggles to see if he’s made the right choices.

Many people like to mock the idea of young love, that it isn’t real and/or it’s just a result of the ever present teenage hormones rampaging through young bodies. In this novella, Cheryl proves that young love can be true love, and that it can survive some of life’s toughest situations. Yes, these feelings are new and intense, but it can be lasting and it can be true.

Overall, even though I felt a little unsatisfied with the way the story flew through some important events, I still say that Cheryl McIntyre has earned a solid 4 out of 5 stars for this work! It fills in many of the gaps and makes us fall even more in love with the Hope/Mason team. Cheryl, another great piece of work, and I am looking forward to more of your work!

 


5 out of 5 Stars for Rebecca Berto’s Drowning in You (Finding Forever in Us #1)!!!

Oh, and in case you’re curious, love is nose to nose, cheek to cheek, two fingers to two fingers. And love is now the one thing I can’ step away from.

DrowningInYou AMAZON

Now, I know most of you checked out the “Drowning in You” cover reveal back in February, but for those of you who haven’t, here is a breif book description for you!

Secretly crushing

Crushed by a tragedy

Charlee May’s been crushing on Dexter Hollingworth since she was fifteen. Five years later, a horrific skiing disaster at Mason’s Ski Lift Resort leaves her millionaire dad critically injured and her mom dead at the hands of Dexter operating the lifts. Charlee is suddenly the sole caretaker for her little brother while their world falls apart.

Dexter couldn’t be more different from Charlee. He’s tattooed, avoids exclusive relationships and his Dad has a fair share of illegal dealings. With Dexter’s reputation, almost everyone believes he planned the Mason’s skiing disaster.

And after all these years he’s still crushing on Charlee May, the girl who’s too good for him.

When this cruel twist of fate ties Charlee’s family and Dexter’s reputation together, Charlee and Dexter wonder if their feelings are reciprocated, while Dexter discovers his dad is trying to steal the May’s millionaire fortune.

But like an addiction, one look, one touch, one taste—they’re hooked no matter the consequences.

Now that everyone has a little background, let me just say this…. OH MY GOD! I had some expectations with this book considering Rebecca’s last novel, while I enjoyed it, still had room for improvement. With “Drowning in You,” Rebecca absolutely blew me out of the water! I’m talking mind blown and left wanting more! Yes, there are a few places I could see a change or two, or maybe a different road that should have been taken, but you know what, the overall story and the characters just make it all worth while.

I just – I just want to be ten again rather then twenty and not haing to act like I’m in control and – oh, how I hate the “R” word – responsible.

Rebecca, once again, was able to make a heart wrenching story into one that leaves readers wanting more. Charlee May and Dexter Hollingworth both have to struggle through different, and yet very similar life changing situations (considering the two events are intertwined with each other), and at such young ages (20 & 21) I couldn’t even imagine what they had to go through, and yet, I felt like I was in their shoes as I was reading. Yes, I know that last sentence contradicts itself, and I don’t care, because its true. Rebecca was, once again, able to put her readers into the shoes of her characters, and that right there is a sign of a true writer in my opinion.

I only regret not being able to read it when I first purchased it! Once I had the time to sit and read, it took me a total of 2 days to finish, it was that good, I just couldn’t put it down! Rebecca, this is a shout out to you, never doubt your abilities as a writer! Just from the time between “Precise” and “Drowning in You,” your writing and story telling abilities have grown so much! Keep up the good work, and I can’t wait to dive right into your next piece of work!

VLUU L100  / Samsung L100To find and connect with this talented author, visit one of her many social media platforms!

Website: http://rebeccaberto.com/
Twitter: @rebeccaberto
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rebecca-Berto-Novel-Girl/209018375858083


On Writing: Scrivener vs yWriter

 

Scrivener (software)

Scrivener (software) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

A good day (or evening) too all my readers out there! I know I have been very M.I.A. over the past week or so, and for that I apologize. After finally graduating from my university and moving back home, it took a lot of work trying to adjust to the back at home life and the job search and what not. So I haven’t had a lot of time to devote to my blog, reading, or reviewing! Though fear not! I have gotten back on my game, and am currently in the process of reading a few different books for review!

 

Sense I’ve been spending a lot of time on my laptop with my ever continuing job search process, I decided that I might as well really start writing my novel that I’ve had in planning for the past few months. About a week or so ago, I decided to download the free writing software, yWriter. I heard it was the best to use if you were writing on a Windows PC (which I am). Well after getting really bored with the simplicity of the program (it didn’t offer as much as I was hoping), I finally (as of today) downloaded the free 30 day trial of Scrivener for Windows.

Now, I have never been the type of writer that could just sit down and write out a story from start to finish. It’s just impossible. I am a very scratchy writer, with bits and pieces in about a billion different places. I’ve heard raving reviews about both of these programs, so of course I’m a little torn about which one to go with. While I like free, I do like some of the features that the paid program provides. Decisions, decisions.

So this is my question to you all, for those of you who have had experience with these programs, which would you recommend? I would really like to see what others have to say about them before I decide if I am going to go with the paid or free software! Leave your comments and I will forever be thankful!

 


Wide Awake by Shelly Crane Promotional Event!

He smiled that Mason smile that set me on fire all over. Then he put one hand on the other side on the hospital bed and the other lifted toward my face. I waited, bated breath, gulping, sweaty palms, fluttering eyes, the works. His face got so close before he stopped. I thought he had decided against whatever he was doing he waited so long. I began to pull back in disappointment, but he reached behind my neck gently and pulled me to him. The barest of touches was the best way to describe our first kiss. It wasn’t really a kiss at all. His bottom lip barely brushed my top one. When he leaned back and opened his eyes, he must’ve seen the confusion and frustration in my face.

He chuckled. “I just had to taste that coconut…” he licked his lips, “but I don’t want to kiss you when you’ve been angry at me and I messed up our date.” He said ‘date’. Like…a date. “I want to kiss you when if we go another second without it, one of us will combust.”

My breaths were raging. I tried to calm myself. “I…” I failed.

“I want to give you back your first kiss, the one that jerk stole from you. And I want it to be something that even a coma can’t make you forget.”

Wide Awake CoverTitle: Wide Awake

Author: Shelly Crane

Release date: March 23, 2013

Genre: Contemporary

Age Group: Young Adult

Event organized by: AToMR Tours

Links to the book:

Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15810336-wide-awake?ac=1

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/WIDE-AWAKE-ebook/dp/B00BZYAUZU/ref=sr_1_7?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1364174678&sr=1-7

B&N – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wide-awake-shelly-crane/1114905118?ean=2940016246352

Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/298525

Book Description:

A girl.
A coma.
A life she can’t remember.

When Emma Walker wakes up in the hospital with no knowledge of how she got there, she learns that she’s been in a coma for six months. Strangers show up and claim to be her parents, but she can’t remember them. She can’t remember anyone. Not her friends, not even her boyfriend. Even though she can’t remember, everyone wants her to just pick up where she left off, but what she learns about the ‘old her’ makes her start to wish she’d never woken up. Her boyfriend breaks up with the new girl he’s dating to be with her, her parents want her to start planning for college, her friends want their leader back, and her physical therapist with the hazel eyes keeps his distance to save his position at the hospital.

Will she ever feel like she recognizes the girl in the mirror?

Wide AwakeAbout the Author

YA author from a small town in Georgia and loves everything about the south. She is wife to a fantastical husband and stay at home mom to two boisterous and mischievous boys who keep her on her toes. They currently reside in everywhere USA as they happily travel all over with her husband’s job. She loves to spend time with her family, binge on candy corn, go out to eat at new restaurants, buy paperbacks at little bookstores, site see in the new areas they travel to, listen to music everywhere and also LOVES to read.
Her own books happen by accident and she revels in the writing and imagination process. She doesn’t go anywhere without her notepad for fear of an idea creeping up and not being able to write it down immediately, even in the middle of the night, where her best ideas are born.

Author social media links:

http://www.shellycrane.blogspot.com/

http://www.facebook.com/shellycranefanpage

http://www.twitter.com/#!/AuthShellyCrane

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4951964.Shelly_Crane

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=me%3DAG56TWVU5XWC2&field-keywords=shelly+crane&x=8&y=13

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/shelly-crane?keyword=shelly+crane&store=allproducts

A Special Excerpt!

He smiled that Mason smile that set me on fire all over. Then he put one hand on the other side on the hospital bed and the other lifted toward my face. I waited, bated breath, gulping, sweaty palms, fluttering eyes, the works. His face got so close before he stopped. I thought he had decided against whatever he was doing he waited so long. I began to pull back in disappointment, but he reached behind my neck gently and pulled me to him. The barest of touches was the best way to describe our first kiss. It wasn’t really a kiss at all. His bottom lip barely brushed my top one. When he leaned back and opened his eyes, he must’ve seen the confusion and frustration in my face.

         He chuckled. “I just had to taste that coconut…” he licked his lips, “but I don’t want to kiss you when you’ve been angry at me and I messed up our date.” He said ‘date’. Like…a date. “I want to kiss you when if we go another second without it, one of us will combust.”

          My breaths were raging. I tried to calm myself. “I…” I failed.

            “I want to give you back your first kiss, the one that jerk stole from you. And I want it to be something that even a coma can’t make you forget.”

AToMR Tours


Editing Tips

A great piece on editing by henrymclaughlin on WordServe Water Cooler! Make sure to check out their other great entries!

WordServe Water Cooler

 Books aren’t written, they’re rewritten. Including your own. It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn’t quite done it… Michael Crichton

The workshop leader looked over the group—a motley crew of aspiring and published authors seeking to learn. She arched her eyebrow and said, “The purpose of your first draft is to get the crap out. Then you can go back and write the book.” Okay, I thought, that’s an interesting way to look at it. And it actually freed me to write better.

I’ve also learned that each draft has crap in it. The goal is to have less and less in each revision. Even today, I’ll pick up my published novel, Journey to Riverbend, and see things I would change. And the published version is the eighth draft.

ScissorsOver the years, people have asked me, “What’s the best way to…

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Writer Tools – Shovel

Found this piece to be very interesting and worth sharing with my readers! “Writer Tools – Shovel” by Tyroper on the blog “Time to Write”

Time to Write

 

 

 

Sometimes I’m digging for meaning in my novel, and all I am finding is dirt, pebbles and lumps of clay. Sure I could take the clay, wash it, add a bunch together with a bit of water, and create a “David” statue replica. But that would be a side-route, a false meaning. My book doesn’t have anything to do with the statue of David. Of course, I am a writer and not a sculptpr, so my play with clay resembles a ball. Sculptures are pretty, but I want to pin some meaning on the tail of my plotkey. HeeHaw.

At times I get so enamored with the hole I am digging, and the straight and smooth sides, that I forget I am actually looking for something in the hole. But, those sides are pretty awesome, right? This hole is ready for a citrus tree…

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