Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Road Trip Wednesday: Best Book of the Month

Well, I went to BEA at the end of last month, so my bookshelf is definitely not lacking. But I've also been busy, so I haven't read nearly as much as I should. Still, I read some GREAT books this month, but I will pick just one favorite:

A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin.

I'm still reading this one, actually, but I'm almost done. I've been reading it since early May. It is a beast--1000 pages, and really, the thing doesn't have any wasted words, which is quite a feat at that length. So it's taken me a while to read, because sometimes my brain is too tired to absorb all the awesome. But it truly is awesome.

Also, if you've been watching Game of Thrones (which is a BRILLIANT book to TV adaptation; they stuck so well to the plot I don't even know how they managed) and don't want to wait until 2012 to know what happens next...

What was your favorite book this month? Blog about it and link on YA Highway!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Divergent Challenge: A Dauntless Post for a Dauntless Week

I didn't actually seek out Dauntless this week, because it sort of found me before I could. Most of my Dauntlessness came earlier in the week, but writing this post itself is feeling kind of Dauntless right now.

Last week, my agent left agenting. It's hard for me to decide how much to say about this situation, because most of you probably already know who my agent was, and if you don't, I'm sure it's not hard for you to figure it out. And also, posting about something bad that happened with an agent, to me, feels like I'm airing some really personal business. So it's pretty scary.

So suffice it to say, this was all sudden, and ultimately revealed some not good things. I think everything is for the best and I am going to be fine, but it was at the beginning of the week when it really started to hit that I was suddenly agentless, and it was also the beginning of this week when I had to deal with the details of it. Which involved me doing some dauntless things: calling someone on the phone who I didn't know. I do not like calling people on the phone not in the least bit, and on top of that knowing that I had to be prepared to be stern, if need be (I didn't need to be). This was a nightmare scenario.

I also had to wrap my mind around the fact that I was on my own again, and that I'm going to have to query again. Coming to terms with that has been a little bit hard, but I do think I've reached acceptance now. I'm at square one, but not really. And while this was obviously a bad event for me, it's also shown me a resoundingly positive side to so many people, and I've felt supported and was reminded how much I truly love the YA community, as strange as that might sound. All the people who helped me or offered to help me or listened to me gripe this week, you can't know how much I've appreciated it, and you're all truly wonderful.

Also, unrelatedly, I made a really poor decision involving my television that I won't describe for you all but I'm lucky that I still have an unbroken TV and two unbroken feet. I realize that sounds like I tried to kick it. I didn't. I tried to move it. We have not yet upgraded to a flat screen TV. I think ours might weigh as much as I do. I wish I were exaggerating. So that was Dauntless in the sense that a Dauntless person would fearlessly take on their television, even against better judgement.

Were you Dauntless this week?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

RTW: Outlines

I am definitely an outliner. Usually, I have only a very vague outline before I start writing, but then when I hit somewhere between 5-10 thousand words of drafting, I stop and do a better outline that hits on all the major plot points and any individual scenes that I can really think of firmly. If I get stuck at any point, not knowing how to get from one plot point to another, I stop again and make an extra detailed plotline of all the scenes needed to get from plot point A to plot point B.

Sometimes things change. Okay, things always change. I've yet to have an outline that survives completely intact from beginning to end of a draft, but it's okay. Having it gives me structure and direction, otherwise I will meander and write 100k+ manuscripts that include massive logic gaps and probably multiple chapters of scenes that are in no way relevant to the plot.

How about you? Are you an outliner, or do you keep it all in your head? Visit YA Highway to add your link and check out what others said!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Divergent challenge: Candor AND Erudite!

Obviously if there was a faction for procrastination, that'd be the one for me.

So I haven't posted for Candor week yet, and it was actually a successful week for me! Candor week was also BEA week, and as I sat for 11 hours on a bus to New York City, I thought really hard about how best to go about Candor week. Obviously it wouldn't be good if I went around spouting every thought that came into my head. So I decided to go with the spirit of Candor. I tried to be just generally honest and assertive, without going overboard. Instead of hanging back when I spotted someone I knew but hadn't met in person before, I went and introduced myself (Hi Phoebe!) When the line for an autographed copy of SHATTER ME was cut off RIGHT in front of us and we had to hightail it over to the Harper booth to get unautographed copies, and the woman wasn't sure she was going to get them out for us but another woman was getting them out and handing them to others nearby, I got a little aggressive (don't worry. No Harper people were harmed. And we got our books! Also: my aggressiveness was unnecessary.) And generally, I just tried to make sure I was assertive. And that's basically how I want to be in general. Sometimes I am better at it than other times. But it was definitely a successful faction week.

This week, Erudite. Well, I had a lot on my mind this week. I got married on Saturday. My husband (!) who is out for a few weeks at a time for his job has been home all week. Some other flustering things happened. So all in all, I didn't have time to even think about learning. So I guess Erudite was a fail.