Saturday, June 29, 2013

Middle-grade author (and ex-literary agent) Nathan Bransford has some encouraging words of advice for writers who doubt the novelty of their stories:

What often stops would-be writers in their tracks is that their first efforts aren't very good. And they know it. The voice sounds like another author's voice, the plot feels like an imitation of a book they've already read, and it doesn't start out feeling particularly original.

As with every writing problem, there is only one remedy: Keep writing. Keep pushing on.

You can write your way to originality, you can write your way to a voice, and you can write your way to a unique plot. It may not start out that way, but if you keep pushing through and keep trying you'll end up in a place you never knew existed.

Don't give up. There are still plenty of worlds to be discovered.

Read the entire post here.

And while we're at it, Nathan sums the writer's journey here.

In publication news, best-selling author of the DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE trilogy, Laini Taylor's final installment has revealed the title (get ready for this): DREAMS OF GODS AND MONSTERS.

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How awesome is that title!

But it'll only be out on ... 29 April 2014.

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Yup, Chloe Moretz pretty sums it up.

In the meantime, I've got some catching up to do:


Finally going to read THE RAVEN BOYS, after having it for months on my Kindle!
Also, I just finished Sarah Dessen's THE MOON AND MORE:

I know a lot of people think her books are pretty formulaic and nothing much really happens in them, that they're just about normal teenagers going about their lives and learning stuff as they go along. But therein lies the beauty of her stories. They're not about supernatural creatures, they are particularly dramatic, the stakes are life or death, but they're about relatable characters we would like to root for, maybe because we find a piece of ourselves in them. Her characters either start out content with their lives, until someone or something comes along to show them how much more they can have and deserve to have; or they are dissatisfied in some way they can't pinpoint, and someone or something comes along to help them face their problems, thus bringing about closure or acceptance or a change for the better.

I read my first Sarah Dessen book, KEEPING THE MOON, when I was fourteen. It was about self-esteem and friendship and the usual stuff that girls my age then were concerned with. It wasn't preachy, and didn't talk down to the reader, but I got so much out of it. By then, I was hooked, and devoured every book of hers she had ever written. Dessen took NINE YEARS to finally become a full-time writer, having taught creative writing at Chapel Hill North Carolina University and bused tables for a living before that. But she's totally a YA star now, with her acclaimed books and huge fanbase. There are some books that change your life, and I think KEEPING THE MOON, and later THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER, are one of those that changed mine.

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