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October 2014
02

Anonymous asked

Hi here, love your blog! I was wondering, my character is 16 and uses the F word quite a bit, would this be a problem if I were to publish under teen fiction? What is what makes it teen fiction and not an older rating?

Teens swear. I’m around them every day at work and they drop the F bomb all the time. They likely hear worse from their peers, so reading it in a book isn’t going to do any further damage. Not to mention, a lot of adults read YA fiction these days as well (including me). 

I’m gonna quote T on this one from this post: “YA is slowly but surely becoming a very progressive category, less concerned with how crotchety old people think teenagers should be and more with how teenagers actually are.” 

That being said, to me, frequent use of the F word is just as annoying as an overused catchphrase. So just be careful how often you’re using it. If it’s every time the character speaks, then that’s too much. Don’t be afraid of it, but do your best to edit it so it’s not excessive.

Swear Words in YA Fiction - great perspective on the topic, and many comments to the original post so it’s a good discussion.

What the $%*! - Gayle Forman, author of If I Stay, weighs in. 

-R 

#twh respond   #anonymous   #swearing   #teens   #YA   
October 2014
02
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$30,000 Virginia B. Ball Creative Writing Scholarship Contest Begins Today!

writinghouse:

The Interlochen Creative Writing program is happy to announce that beginning today, June 15th, we will are accepting submissions for the Virginia B. Ball Creative Writing Scholarship. The winner receives a $30,000 tuition scholarship for every year he or she is enrolled at Interlochen Arts Academy beginning with the 2015-16 school year.


Visit www.write.interlochen.org for contest guidelines.  The deadline for submissions is December 1st, 2014.

If you are serious about pursuing a writing education or advanced program, take a look. 

October 2014
01

Anonymous asked

I'm writing a literary fiction novel, and I believe that the ideas are really original, however I'm having trouble with pacing and making it a literary novel that isn't slow or boring.

When I first started out with literary fiction, I admit I was really lost.  All I knew about it was that it wasn’t genre fictin, but of course, lack of a trait is not in itself a trait.  So I asked a brilliant professor of mine about it, and the way she explained it: what makes fiction literary is that it focuses not on the plot, the magic, the “genre” elements so much as it focuses on the ideas and concepts embodied within the story.

For example, in a short story called “Loser” (and I’m kicking myself because I can’t remember the author’s name just now), there’s an orphan boy who develops the unnatural power of finding lost things.  Most people would consider this a superpower, yet the story is still classified as literary fiction.  Why?  Because the story’s not “about” the superpower or the events.  It’s primarily about the themes and concepts - specifically, the concept of loss.

Long story short: Literary fiction can crop up in almost any genre.  If you have a strong grasp on the core of your story, you can use genre elements to help amplify your ideas.  Which means that in no way does your literary novel have to be boring, because it could be almost anything.  There are far fewer limits than it seems.  Write the book you want to write, and then with some digging, you can figure out what the heart of your story is and bring it to the surface.  Revision will definitely be your friend here.

And speaking of revising and planning: I’m going to refer you to a tool I like to use for building stories called the snowflake method.  You can find it here:  http://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/articles/snowflake-method/.  It’s a great building-block method that has you starting small and growing from there, getting deeper and more detailed you go.  It’s particularly helpful for pacing, since it helps you build scenes in conjunction with each other and offers perspective, rather than slogging through a rough draft from beginning to end.  Try it out and see if it might work for you.  No single method is a one-size-fits-all, but this method has helped me and my critique partners countless times, so perhaps you can make some use of it!

I think I’m going to throw this one to the followers as well.  What methods do you guys like to use for planning and pacing your stories?

- Senga

October 2014
01

Anonymous asked

This is for the anon asking about how to stay focused: I don't know if this will work for you, but try to make sure that you are quite relaxed, and give yourself lots of time to write. Usually, it takes some time to get into the writing "groove" and giving yourself time will help to keep up the flow.

This is great advice for staying focused. Be patient with yourself. Goals are great motivators, but the key is to write something, no matter how little it may seem. Every little step forward helps.

-R

October 2014
01

insperatonforyou asked

Hey,I was just wondering if maybe you would promo me.I know you probably get asked this question alot.But it would mean a lot since I'm trying to get a good tumbler page going.

^

October 2014
01
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WHY DO THEY ALWAYS SLICE THEIR PALM TO GET BLOOD. do you know how many nerve endings are in your hand?!?! why don’t they ever cut the back of their arm or their leg or something omfg

 -

me everytime a character in a movie has to get a few drops of their blood for some ritual bullshit  (via jtoday)

WHILE WE’RE AT IT, why do people try to cross those skinny bridges over lava/chasms/whatever by walking upright. IT’S CALLED CENTER OF GRAVITY. get on your hands and knees and crawl across that thing. HUG IT. SCOOT YOUR BUTT ACROSS. “but i look stupid!” lalalala but we’ll avoid that ~dramatic moment~ where you almost fall over and die because your damn fucking self wanted to look COOL

(via jtoday)

and stop yanking IV lines out of your arms the minute you wake up in the hospital 

(via panconkiwi)

That is a broadsword, why are you fencing with it

(via gallifrey-feels)

There is a freaking door right there. Stop smashing through windows, damn it.

(via intheforestofthenight)

yes, mr. action hero, I am aware that running dramatically from the baddies at breakneck speed is important, but know what else is important? NOT GETTING SHOT. RUN IN A FUCKING ZIGZAG PATTERN ON THE OFF CHANCE THAT THE MOOKS WERE NOT COACHED IN MARKSMANSHIP BY THE IMPERIAL STORMTROOPERS.

(via pterriblepterodactyls)

Oh, hey, you there, sneaky hero-type breaking into any place for any reason? WEAR SOME FUCKING GLOVES. They’re called fingerprints, dumbass. You have them and you’re putting them all over the fucking place.

(via dawnpuppet)

If something really fucking huge is falling on you, don’t FUCKING RUN ALONG THE LENGTH JUST TAKE LIKE TWO FUCKING STEPS TO THE SIDE

(via takshammy)

wEAR A FUCKING HELMET OBERYN YOU LITTLE SHIT

(via brigwife)

And for god’s sake, PUT PRESSURE ON THAT WOUND, DON’T SIT THERE AND WATCH THEM BLEED OUT. I’m talking to you, TV cops.

(via fixyourwritinghabits)

September 2014
30
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Your Character’s Speech (and their accents)

referenceforwriters:

We’ve talked about them a couple times before (more than a couple times, in fact) but I’d like to leave something very clear:

You are free to write your character’s accent as much as you want, however, people are also free not to read your story; harsh truth, but truth nonetheless. 

I more than agree that if your character has a particular way to express themselves, you can point it out through dialogue. I encourage it. Whether it is that, like, they use verbal crutches and stuff (they’re perfectly fine) or they use a very formal syntax and grandiloquent word choice (your character may be a bit pretentious), it shows something about their character, which is always useful specially if you want to back up certain statements (with the pretentious person, for example that they are suave, or wannabe suave depending on the context; on the other hand abrupt sentence structure may reference the character’s preference for straightforwardness, only looking to talk as much as it is necessary to do so).

Finally, accents in my opinion are a particular layer of your characters’ speech that should be used in moderation. It has the chance to be very, very annoying, and/or very, very offensive (particularly quite racist or classist), and sometimes only saying your character has a French accent may give us the feeling that they are talking in a French accent.

You are reading this right now in Morgan Freeman’s voice.

Look. Imagination. 

image

(warning: gif / gif not mine)

Sometimes dialect may make an entrance (dialect is different from just accents because dialect involves vocabulary and grammar; accent is pronunciation), which’s okay, y’know, so long as y’don’t exaggerate.Because if you overdo it (the way someone may overdo a character that stutters), it’ll disrupt the flow of my reading because I’ll be too busy trying to understand what you even mean. 

There’s also a special kind of issue with characters whose first language is not English. If it’s shown your character speaks perfect English, has done so for a while, and then drops the occasional little Spanish word in every other sentence, only that point out that sí, they speak Español, then that’s not only a bit extraño (if they speak perfect English, why would they do this?) but offensive (because we know the answer, that’s why).

See gratuitous Spanish, German, and French (among others).  

This only applies if it’s not quite explained why they do this. If they’re not perfect English speakers, or if they are doing this deliberately for any other reason, then you may not be doing this. However, sometimes not even people that are not fluent in English will speak this way. More often than not, they’ll try to express themselves as clearly as possible with what they know, and if they don’t know how to say something, they’ll try to explain it. Gratuitous (insert language) is just there to remind the readers these people are foreign and different, and that’s just not acceptable.

See my accents, character’s speech, and dialogue tags for more on this. 

-Alex

#character   #accents   
September 2014
30
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nerdpoweredbynetflix asked

Hi! Now I'm not sure if you're busy, and if you are, by all means ignore this (I don't want to be a bother), but I have a quick question. My best friend and I are writing a book, and we need resources about drowning, because someone tries to kill the main characters by making it look like an accidental drowning. Being a person who has never witnessed a drowning or been a victim of one, we need all the help we can get. Please and thank you!

klariza-helps:

Also, I feel it’s important to note that should you have been a victim of drowning, you would not be alive to be on Tumblr. The phrase you are looking for is ‘a victim of near-drowning’. Drowning is to die under water or other liquid/s.

September 2014
30

Anonymous asked

I want to publish my book but i am a minor. Do you think it'll work? :/

You can have your work published at any time. But before you send it to an agent or a publisher ensure that your book is the best you can make it. 

Check out queryquagmire as well.

-S

September 2014
30

reyleent asked

I'm writing about a young couple. I'm trying to write from her perspective, but more of his background and life is coming to me more than hers. How do I refocus on her? I would write it from his but I don't know if I could do it well. And she is becoming a lot like me. I don't want that, I want her to have her own personality and her own hobbies that are different from mine. How do I create her character? Is there any way to find traits I'd like to see in her? Thank you for reading!

Check out our character tag.

The best thing for you to do might be to develop the character fully before beginning to write. It will also help you to make her more different from you. Don’t be afraid to step away from your comfort zone and include something in her hobbies that you’ve never done. Try to make her her own person and the best way is through doing character development and even tryig character questionnaires.

Best of luck to you!

-S 

#reyleent   
September 2014
29

sanskrit-onmy-skin asked

How do I edit a book I've been writing for two years where my writing style has changed a LOT in the 2 years? It's going to be really hard to consistent-ify it.

You’ll have to rewrite it completely, I’d think. Personally, I’d print the entire thing out, read it and make notes on what needs to change before typing it afresh. 

I think this will be the best way to make it more consistent. 

-S

September 2014
29

Anonymous asked

Do you need to have had sex and have been in love to write romance?

I wouldn’t say so. I have only ever had mild crushes (please don’t ask me to define what a mild crush is), and have never had sex, but have been told by some friends that one short piece I have written really sets up the right mood (it’s not smut, just the build up). I will admit to reading smutty fanfic, which is why I’ve had some ideas of how to write a smutty fanfic myself, but personally I don’t believe you have to have had sex and been in love to be able to write romance.

If you need any more help, please don’t hesitate to ask!

~DP

September 2014
29