“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it."


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Writing Put Aside...

Hello! I haven't posted for a week or so, but I have a good reason.

I started teaching last week! Yes, I'm now officially a co-teacher at a Montessori School for Early Childhood. I love it. I have some pictures to share (go more in detail on my other blog):
My cute lesson plan book!
My beautiful school and classroom; classroom 4!!!
I found this spot to have lunch on the golf course. It's so beautiful, and a wonderful, secluded, area that I can write. 
I titled this post as "Writing Put Aside" because I'm going to be so busy teaching and I go back to school for the Master's program on Sept. 11th. 

However, that being said, I'm going to try to write a little bit each day. And luckily NaNoWriMo is coming up and my goal was to get the first draft done after the end of the month (November); still the plan! 

I love having readers (followers) on my blog. You all give me inspiration! The children do too. I want to write more children series :) I dream BIG if you haven't noticed. 

Sorry for such a short post, but I'm exhausted from a big weekend! But guess what? I hit: 30,788 words on my novel!! WAHOO! That's good for me, and I'm thrilled. It's coming along. 

Thanks again for all the comments; I love the feedback and advice from writers...so keep it going.

Good night!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Hook Readers on the First Sentence


How do you hook the readers?

Especially on the opening of your novel? The first sentence....

So this has always been a challenge for me. I have wonderful prologues, I do, but the first sentence I feel like is just...mediocre. I stop and realize if that would hook me in on the first paragraph. I'm going to be honest right now: no. 

I'm still early in the process of my first novel, so I need your advice readers: how do you hook them in? 
I know you keep it simple, you introduce characters, have a punch-line, shock them, etc. but the problem is just that...I am not sure how to go about it. 

What approach do you take? Or do you not worry about it as much? 
 It's funny because I've done so many chapters already, but the first page of chapter one...well I dislike it. I have a feeling I'll be revising it...a lot. But least I can admit that to myself right?
I want to catch attention, I just don't know how to do it. So please, do share! It would really help me a lot. Any advice: 
How can I make these words come to LIFE!

What would "hook" you in as a reader? 

I have looked at a lot of different books over the last few days, making notes about the first line, but I don't want to be like everyone else; I have my own voice. But I do think it's critical to grab the attention of others. Agents need that hook; they have so many writers that want them so if they aren't hooked, they'll toss you aside. That's heartbreaking. 

Anyway, I'm actually reading Stephen King On Writing, finally, and I must say, I really like it. He is a twisted, but brilliant man! My boyfriend loves his books. He just read The Shining; that movie freaked me out, but maybe it's time I read it. 

WriteOnCon is still going well; maybe I thought of this post because in a live forum right now, they're critiquing sentence structure. So it helps me brainstorm if you will. 

Thanks Friends!
Happy Wednesday :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

101!

WOOHOO! I've reached 101 Followers.

Thanks everyone :) Means a lot that you'd take such an interest in my little blog here.

As promised, I said if I reached 100, I was going to share a tid-bit of Project CM. It's not much, but a little....


 Life doesn’t compare to the vast and endless sea, as it caresses the shore in an everlasting embrace. However, there is a certain type of beauty in the mortal life and the simple fact that we are fragile as we live one minute to the next. Waves were different in the sense that they are timeless, as they roll back and forth in a steadfast motion. They will never cease to exist; we would. 
But what if there was more to this world than meets the eye? What if fate had a certain calling that was already written in the stars and set in motion? The world you lived in would shift, and the destination would forever change. 

There is just a little something. It probably explains nothing, but it's actually part of the book. I wasn't trying to sound poetic, but it's my character's thoughts nonetheless. 

By the way, my character is a teenage boy and CM stands for his name (which I don't want to give at this point in time). There is another little tid-bit for you all! 

Lets say when I reach..hmm 130, I'll post more, deal? 

Anyways, who here is attending WriteOnCon? I'm having a blast meeting other writers! You can find my page here: JESS - I am bummed that I cannot share more of my work at this point in time at WriteOnCon, but it's so interesting hearing the professionals advice! It definitely will help along my journey. 

xo. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

My Goal

Hello everyone! How are we doing this lovely Saturday? I am feeling great; went on a run with my boyfriend around the beautiful Sugar House Park, and then came home and had some delicious oatmeal with fresh cut strawberries sprinkled on top, now I'm writing this! Been a great day so far. I love going to Sugar House Park; if you look back at some of my older posts, I used to write there weekly. I need to start going back to write there. There is a beautiful creek that runs through it, and I love to sit in the shady area with a lot of trees. Very peaceful and perfect for getting your thoughts down on paper.

So I titled this post as "My Goal," and it's a rather big goal, so I should get to it. As a lot of you may know, WriteOnCon is going to be next week (I have a countdown on the right of the blog).
I'm so excited, but at the same time, I was a little down about it. Last year at this time, I wasn't done with this story either, and I told myself that by next WriteOnCon, I'd be done...well I'm not. Sadly. So what I'm going to do is gain a lot of writing knowledge during WriteOnCon and meet some write writers (just like yourselves). There is something else that I like which is called: NaNoWriMo.
I'm sure most of you have heard about it, but basically your write a novel in a month, the month of November. My goal last year was to work on my Project CM, but I didn't need to finish it because I didn't want to just "hurry" it through. However, this year...this is the goal:

I'M GOING TO FINISH THE FIRST DRAFT OF PROJECT CM BY THE END OF NaNoWriMo. 

That's not too farfetched of a goal, and I think it would be nice to give myself some deadlines. I actually hope by that time, I'll be done with the first draft, and far into editing. I want to be able to send some Queries in next year (you never know by the next WriteOnCon), and see where it goes from there.

It feels great to make this goal; can be a little scary if I think too far ahead, but in reality, it's really a good thing and it's exciting. This story means the world to me. I have given it everything I am and really expanded my mind. So I want it to be perfect, to me. But making this goal makes me actually feel like I'm on top of the world...I can fly. The story is mine and mine alone. I know I can do wondrous things with it. And I will.
 Have a great Saturday! Write lots :) I am.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Typical Questions for Writers

So I was reading around, and I found an interesting blog about asking 10 Typical Questions from Writers (that are really fear in disguise). I was curious how you all would answer these questions. Some of them, well, I cannot answer right now - so I was going to let you all take the reigns; if you'd like of course.

1. How many words should my novel be?
2. I have a great idea for a story, how do I find an agent? 

3. I’ve written four chapters now, can you advise me on how I write a query?
4. Is there a market for… (insert genre)?
5. I have so many ideas, I don’t have writer’s block. I just can’t decide which one to write. What should I do?
6. Should I write a certain amount of words every day? How many?
7. How much money will I earn?
8. How long will it take to get an agent/publisher if I start sending queries now?
9. Do I have to write the full book before I try to get an agent?
10. Which writing software do you use and recommend?



See, these questions are a little different; some are common sense. I know that before you start looking for agents, you need to actually finish the book (or so I've heard). And I know how much money you'll earn...we can't all be J.K. Rowling of course. But some of the questions, well I'm curious to see what other writers will say! You can read the original article HERE

Well, the flow is still going nicely. I'm up to 70 pages! That's not too shabby. But it's getting in the more difficult areas of the novel, so my flow might be slowing down a little. I definitely outlined; actually wrote a backstory that was almost 100 pages. But it's just so much information. 

Here is a picture of my flow though - from Instagram:
Keep Flowing On!
By the way, I'm almost to 100 Followers! How did that happen?? Thank you so much; I love getting to know all of you. It really helps gaining advice from YOU! Maybe if I get to 100, I'll post a little somethin-somethin from my book :) We'll just see! 


Oh and one other thing, have you heard of Amanda Hocking? Yea, she's great! Sold over a million on amazon as a self-publisher. She was charging her books .99 cents! Amazing. She actually wrote me an email once...writing advice before she was famous, so it's something I'll treasure. Her writing has definitely gotten better! I just bought her book, WAKE. Pretty intriguing right now; I must say! 

I love the cover!
I'm bringing this up, because it slightly has something to do with my Project CM -- but only slightly. I still haven't found a book like mine yet; which is exciting and scary!

Have a great Wednesday folks! 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

He Said - She Said

So I'm on a roll, as you've read before, but I have a bad habit. Would you like to know what that is? Well, it's editing as I'm writing. I don't want to do it! It interferes with my flow; slows me down completely. But it's like a little pest that won't go away (nagging in my mind).

I would like to think that I'm a pretty good writer. I've been writing since the age of five years old. However, sometimes I know it can be so much more. It seems like it's just...thrown together, messy like. I want to use bigger words, and add more creativity when I'm describing things. But I'm working so hard at getting the story across clearly, that I mess up those other things. And I notice that, the PEST, of editing, throughout it.

Lately what has been bugging me the most though, is dialogue. I feel like it's the central point of a story, if you use it correctly that is. But you have to be careful not to give too much away, and not to just blab endlessly with no real meaning. I'm pretty good at getting the point across when my characters speak, but thinking of how not to always say, he said, or she said, is hard for me. I try to use words like: exclaimed, stated, asked, replied, answered, yelled, groaned, mumbled, etc. I know I could do better though. I always have to think about it, and that's what bothers me. I read other books by different authors, and I feel like they are so good at it (very talented), and I hope to get better at that too. I guess keep on reading, and keep on writing.

What are some of the techniques you all use when writing? And especially when writing dialogue? I would really appreciate some tips and to read what you have to say...so please do share my friends!


Monday, August 6, 2012

Project CM Back in Action!

I am SO pleased that yesterday, I wrote for four hours straight, and it wasn't just practice on "writing creatively." It was on a project that I've been working on for over a year now. I couldn't stop writing. Sure it's messy and it's not even close to perfect, but the flow was what counted. Editing after no doubt. But I'm just so thrilled that I was on a roll. I had to go to a family BBQ, and I love my family, but don't get me wrong, I was bummed I had to stop writing.

This project is really dear to my heart, and I haven't been able to work on it for some time now because it just sounded completely forced. So I was waiting to be in the flow again so it would just come to me. It took almost 6 months for that to happen, so that's why I'm so excited. Right after I post this post, I'm going to continue on Project CM :) I'll keep posting on how it's going.

Keep your fingers crossed that the flow will continue. I have two weeks until I start my job and school up again, so I'm taking full advantage of this!

WRITE ON.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

I Lied...But...

Ok, so I said in my last post, "Jess is back." Well, that was two months ago, and here I am. But I have a good reason for not blogging. I have been in Grad School for a new Montessori Innovation Program at Westminster College. I'm furthering my education in teaching, so blogging is something I haven't been able to do as much as I would like...as well as writing. But you'll be proud of me; I've been writing on the side a lot, especially as of lately.

My one professor said we need time to "Reflect" daily. It was our homework to refresh and take time for ourself. So what did I do? I wrote. A lot of it was short stories here and there. I wasn't working on my main series because I wanted to practice writing skills. I've gotten rusty, especially because I haven't been able to read as much as I've wanted to lately!

But truly, this program was amazing, and I have been writing...papers in APA style that is. A LOT of them. Wow. It's so nice to just carelessly write when I'm relaxing. But I must say, even though it was in essay format, it still helped me with grammar and writing skills I may have forgotten. So it wasn't a total damper this summer on writing.

Here is a picture of my Early Childhood group:
Their my girls! Friends forever now. I've learned so much, but writing is part of my life and always will be. I'll never stop. I know one day my stories will make their way to the public, but how long that will be, I'm not sure. It has to be the right story. I'm not going to hurry the process. But writing everyday (a goal I keep breaking), is something I'm going to do my very best on. Just will be hard when I start teaching full-time in the fall.

But these are two of my dreams, and as one is coming true, I'm about to make the other one as a published author come true as well.

Send good vibes friends. Hope all is well.