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Bucket List!

I was listening to a podcast when I first came across the poem The Buried Life… it describes a feeling that I’ve been struggling with for years and was never fully able to articulate. I didn’t think this was something that other people felt, and I truly think that since I’ve been more open to connecting with others recently, I was able to find this conversation that resonated so strongly with me. This poem inspired not only me, but it also inspired a whole movement and organization called The Buried Life. It’s led by a young guy named Ben Nemtin who, after struggling with depression, surrounded himself with people that inspire him. He soon realized that he and his friends were all feeling this same disconnect that he felt from their true selves, and they equally felt disconnected from their true heart and soul’s desires. With The Buried Life poem articulating this feeling to them, they decided to do something about it and created a Bucket List that allowed them to connect to each other …

WIPs- Novel, Editing Checklist, Interactive Game?!

Hey guys! I just wanted to pop in and give you guys an update on my current works-in-progress (WIPs). Not only do I feel like sharing mine, but I’d love it if you commented and mentioned what you’re working on right now and how you think it’s going. It’ll give me a much-needed break from looking at my own words lol if you even have a link to your work, I’d love to check it out! So, for my “little” fantasy novel, I’m trucking along. I use the quotations because it’s expanded a lot more than I had expected, but I anticipate cutting down a few of the chapters that I’ve written… I also anticipate throwing in some exposition that I just don’t know where/how to put it in yet. Soooo we’ll see. I’m about 50,000 words in (yikes) and I’m maybe 1/3 of the way through (honestly, who am I kidding, it’s about ¼ of the way in and I’ve just bloated my beginning Act… uuuuuugh)… my main character, Ylva Thorne, is pretty incredible …

Six of Crows | Book Review

Have you ever been skeptical about a book? It could have been due to hype and rumors, online discussion, or maybe just the classic “judging a book by its cover.” I can’t say I’m not guilty of judging books based on hearsay, because I have to admit I was very skeptical about the book Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. Part of the issue is that I read Shadow and Bone, the first book she ever wrote about the Grishaverse. I wasn’t a fan of the plot of that book or the characters, so… in all honesty… I carried that judgement over to her duology Six of Crows and Crowned Kingdom. The other issue is entirely my own: there was so much hype around these two books that I just subconsciously averted myself from them. I don’t know why, but I just couldn’t get past the idea that maybe this book was just as gritty and enticing as it was being advertised. I mean… a popular YA book can’t possibly be gritty and hard and cold, right? …

What is a Scene?

This week, let’s chat about scenes. In the last installment, we discussed the over-arching set up of the novel through acts, but this week, we’ll break it down further so that we see the actual usefulness of scenes. Scenes are different for each medium (TV, movie, book, screenplay, etc.), but they embody this one thing: action. A scene is a section of writing in which your reader is a part of the story and there is more attention and focus on what’s happening; it is not description, or exposition (for the most part), or conclusion, but it happens around these pieces in chapters. You know when you’re reading a novel and a chapter typically starts off with a sort of “introduction” and then moves into the meat of the chapter. Chapters are broken into scenes- you can see writers break these up by using little “page break” symbols. Sometimes, the writer just uses white space to create an illusion of switching attention between scenes. So, don’t get confused by thinking a chapter and a scene …

Should Novelists Also Write Short Stories?

There is this age-old idea that in order to be better at writing novels, a writer should either begin with or practice writing short stories. It’s fallen out of fashion because there are even less markets now-a-days that publish short stories, and even fewer that actually pay the writer for them. It used to be true that authors could find a good way into the industry through being published by short stories, but it is way less likely now. So, is this actually worth doing? I say YES, but of course there are caveats. In my experience, writing short stories are perfect as practice. They’re “short,” to-the-point, and you can usually get an idea out onto paper within a day. It won’t be polished, but it helps you develop your voice and style and also flexes your vocabulary muscle. It’s also less emotionally devastating to write a short story using a new technique and do poorly at it, than it is to write a full-length novel and find out you need more practice. Plus, short …

WIP and Muses: Darlings Come-to-Life, Dragons, and Aliens

Right now, I can hear the rain falling. The only light on in our little apartment is the Lavender & Sage candle on my desk, and, despite the darkness outside, I can still hear birds singing. It’s been an interesting week. I took almost an entire week off from writing because lo and behold, I completed my third novel. And you know, I really think this is it. I learned so much from my first two stories that I think I finally, finally, got something worth reading into a story format. It’s still rough, it’s not great, but it’s got that certain something that’s been missing from my last few stories. Sentinel Crooke is a fully formed human (at least, in my mind), and I want to share him and his universe with the world. My goal was to write it in two months. Everyday, 1,500 words, and I damn near came close. I wrote for 62 days, from June 12th to August 14th, and finished the last Monday by churning out almost 8,000 words in …

What is an Act?

You may think Acts are only used for Screenplays, but I’d like to tell you: we’re writers! We break all the rules! Actually, that’s not the only reason why writers use Acts. The three-Act plot structure is one of the oldest writing techniques to date. It’s famous for being used by playwrights like Shakespeare. But, as novelists, we can use it to structure our story into the most cohesive story we can. Acts revolve around the biggest turning points in your story. This means Acts drive the plot. For the sake of ease, we’ll use the three-act structure as an example (even though you can do two-acts, 9-acts, and even 12-acts). Your first Act is the set up. It tells the reader who they’re reading about, why they should care, and what’s the “problem.” The second Act is what Writer’s Write like to call “The Complication.” It sets up the “problem” in a way to make it more important and more of a hurdle. Typically, the protagonist is faced with more difficulty in addressing the …