Friday, September 30, 2011
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Monday, September 26, 2011
Writing Song of the Day: "Idiot Box" by Incubus
Okay, so if you follow our blog you know how much we loves us some TV. Perhaps, too much. And that's why we realized we had to cut down on it in order to spend more time with our first love, writing. We talked a lot about that here, so we won't bore you with the deets again. Although we're limiting the shows we watch, there are still quite a few that are listed on a white piece of paper hanging on the fridge titled: "TV Watching Schedule". We've seen a few of the Fall premiers thus far and have gained some insight on how much premiere TV is like a novel's first few pages:
Make sure you have believable stakes. If your first pages don't set up a scenario where the stakes are high, than the reader is most likely going to ask a million questions. Like: why does she have to take on her sister's persona? Or: Why didn't she just stay in protective custody?
What do you all think? Does watching premiere shows help you with writing your own beginnings?
Friday, September 23, 2011
Friday is here, and Quita and I could not be more excited! Our week has been...hectic. But we're still taking the time to join Paper Hangover for the Friday Fives. This week they want to know:
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Reading Song of the Day: "Witchy Woman" by The Eagles
These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life.
The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
What are your all-time favorite book covers?
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin: As soon as we saw this cover--we HAD to have this book. It's mysterious and absolutely gorgeous. We can't wait to read it :D
Who DOESN"T love this cover? It's intense
and enticing and breathtaking :D
Twilight by Stephanie Meyer: Unique and although it has
NOTHING to do with the story--it's lovely!
Your go! Tell us what book covers are your faves of all time :)
Monday, September 19, 2011
You see, we spent pretty much the whole time asking: "Why did she do that?" "Why did he do that?" "Why did they do that?" "Why didn't we see Contagion instead?"
Every question (aside from the last one) had something to do with character motivation. Quita and I were clueless about what these characters wanted, and why they reacted the way that they did. On the plus side, it helped us reflect on the characterization in our own writing. This movie proved to us that CHARACTER MOTIVATION is crucial in making your story believable...and if you want yours to shine, here's what you need to do:
1. Ask yourself what does your character want. Well, duh. But this does not always have to happen in your first draft. The first draft is for you to figure out everything--almost like a getting to know you phase with your characters. The revision process is when you really understand your characters. So help us, the readers, understand them through their thoughts, their dialogue, and their actions.
2. What is standing in your character's way? At some point in the movie, something really awful happens to the Kate Bosworth character--and then she makes a decision that completely baffled Quita and me. We didn't understand her obstacle because...well, her character was pretty muddled and lame. So once you've established what your characters want on the page, the obstacle should be just as clear. But it should also make sense. If your character has a terrifying fear of cats, don't make him just enter a room with a bunch of strays to create an obstacle. Why does he need to be in that room?
3. What would your character sacrifice to get what he wants? If you've seen the previews to Straw Dogs, you can safely assume that there is a LOT of sacrificing going on. But Quita and I still didn't get it. Again, this is because we were clueless about ANY of the characters' motivations. So, if tips #1 and #2 were done in a clear, yet creative, way--we're going to understand why your character sacrifices his safety and freedom to run his truck through a farmhouse (this may or may not have happened in Straw Dogs).
Quita and I aren't fans of being spoon fed information in stories, but we have to understand the point in order to enjoy it. Oh, and since I did mention Mr. Skarsgard in the title, I only think it's fair to include a small sample of him in the movie:
I've never been of fan of Eric from True Blood, but I'm telling you that scene had some serious eye candy.
Now where was I?? Oh yes--motivation! What are your thoughts on it, lovelies?
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Wow, can you believe that we're almost done with our 2011 Debut Author Challenge? We only have 3 more books to review...and you're in for a treat with this installment. Do you like getting your funny bone tickled while having the bejeezus scared out of you? Then Carrie Harris's Bad Taste in Boys is the book for you.
Here's what Goodreads has to say:
Someone's been a very bad zombie.
Kate Grable is horrified to find out that the football coach has given the team steroids. Worse yet, the steroids are having an unexpected effect, turning hot gridiron hunks into mindless flesh-eating zombies. No one is safe--not her cute crush Aaron, not her dorky brother, Jonah . . . not even Kate!
She's got to find an antidote--before her entire high school ends up eating each other. So Kate, her best girlfriend, Rocky, and Aaron stage a frantic battle to save their town. . . and stay hormonally human.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Monday, September 12, 2011
Friday, September 9, 2011
*sigh* The Summer has officially ended and we are wrapping up our first week of school. That means four days down, 176 to go! But we can still relish in the ah-may-zing books we read over the summer...
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
What non-YA character would you love to see star in a YA book as themselves?
We actually stole our other choice. I saw that the lovely Katy Upperman mentioned Dexter Morgan, star of one of our favorite TV shows evah. And Dexter would be awesome to see as a teen. We already have a vague idea of his background based on flashback, but to be there in the moment with him while he makes his first kill and discovers his dark passenger? Whoa. Okay, we realize that sounds a little demented, but hey--we're writers. That gives us a crazy pass.
Monday, September 5, 2011
So, it's Labor Day. What does that mean for you?
A pool party?
What about what the holiday was created for originally? The United States government made Labor Day a national holiday in recognition of various labor organizations. It's supposed to be a day for those labor groups to be revered and loved on. But what have we, Americans, turned the day into? A day to either lay around and do nothing, or a day to mourn the end of summer and the beginning of dun, dun, dun...the school year!
*Inspirational Items: Quotes, pics of their kids, or books from authors that we all aspire to be like.
Friday, September 2, 2011
Friday's here! That means we have FOUR days until the kids come back to school and our jobs get even harder...but in the mean time, we can participate in some Friday Fives' fun with the Paper Hangover gang!
This week the peeps want to know:
If you know anything about me and Pam, you know we aren't huge fans of coming up with our own titles (evidenced by the clever title of this post). But we do love it when we come across titles that snatch our attention right away. With that being said, here are the top five books (in no particular order) with attention grabbing titles:
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor: The title is soooo mysterious. How can someone be a daughter of these two random objects?
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky: Pam noticed that she's enjoying titles that are more lengthy instead of the one word titles that she used to be fond of. She thinks this novel is a perfect embodiment of a wordy title that manages to give a concise overview of the novel.
Rock Star, Superstar by Blake Nelson: So, fell in love with Mr. Nelson while reading Paranoid Park. Then I realized: I needed more! I decided to read this book just by glancing at the title. And yeah, the book is just as bada** as the title.
The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler: This grabbed both of us when we attended SCBWI's LA conference in 2010. We've spent some time having round bodies (me, still have it...Pam, not so much--skinny bee-yatch), and seeing that there was a WHOLE novel about a character who had a round butt made us pretty much squeal!
This Is Not a Drill by Beck McDowell: This book is so new that there's no cover art for it over on Goodreads! But as soon as Pam saw the title, she knew she wanted to read this one...also, the summary is pretty interesting. Check it out!
Actually, check out all of those books! The kick butt titles are just a quick preview of all of the awesome-ness that the books have to offer. What about you all? What titles have grabbed your attention?