April Highlights // 2016

Saturday, April 30, 2016
And now we're 1/4 of the way done through the year. No need to freak out. ;)
Let's get right into the post, since I'm horrible at coming out with interesting intros. I could just shout, PIZZA, but somehow I don't think that would be appropriate.

// I GOT MY LICENSE! I haven't driven many places yet (simply because I stink at all directional things), but I've gone to Church and picked up pizza. I'll go to the library soon. That's basically all the places I need to drive too. :P

// 400 Twitter followers?? I thought that was kind of cool. I'm so blessed by all the friends I've met through it! <3

// Speaking of Twitter... I met Amanda IN PERSON from Twitter! She was so sweet and awesome. <3

// YOUTH CONFERENCE. An awesome weekend full of faith, friends, and fun. (that alliteration, though) I hope to do a post about some things I learned later next month. :D

// I GOT A JOB AT STARBUCKS. So. Much. Excitement. I survived an interview and several phone calls (talking on the phone is not fun), and I must've done okay, since I got the job. :P I start in two days and am really nervous, so prayers would be very appreciated. <3

// Some blog milestones: 150 of you hanging out in the GFC section, and 50,000 pageviews! (um, woooow.)

// FIRST THUNDERSTORM SINCE LAST YEAR. All the happiness because I love thunderstorms. <3

// I officially have tickets to see Captain America: Civil War. On May 5th. That's in five days. I'm not ready. *screams*
I resisted the temptation to buy a million books this month and settled for only two. Look at me being all responsible. ;)

The first book I bought was Princess of the Midnight Ball. This is an old favorite. I first read it when I was twelve or so, and still enjoy it with every reread. <3

The next one is Dreamer's Often Lie. It's about a girl who starts hallucinating (or is she?) Shakespeare characters after she's involved in a skiing accident. I just... wow. The writing was brilliant and it was a very fascinating and slightly eerie read.

What's also cool in the realm of "book things..." Is that I got to meet the author of Dreamer's Often Lie! I went to Jacqueline West's release party.

I sadly didn't make it into the picture since I'm in the left corner. But you get to see my dad who's directly to the right of Jacqueline. xD (*waves to my dad* :P)

I've never done anything like this before, so it was a fun experience. I got to meet her, listen to an excerpt of the book, and play some Shakespearean mad libs. :P Not to mention that the bookstore was awesome and had a whole basement full of YA books. *swoons*

ANYWAYS. Back to book reading for the month. This month's total...

Yeah. Compared to other months this year it wasn't the greatest. But I did write a whole book, so I'll use that as an excuse. ;)

It was kind of a "eh" reading month. Most of the books I read were somewhere between 2-3 stars. I read a lot more fiction books for school, too, so that was interesting. 

Favorite book: The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale. I've read this book three times now. It's such a sweet and light fantasy read. <3
Favorite cover: Rebel of the Sands. ACK. It's so pretty. It has a very "Song of the Desert-ish" feel. If only the book was good, though. I was so bored. :/
Average rating: 3.23 stars. (aw, yeah. Katie doing math for a blog post. My mom should be proud. :P)
// emily shares an AMAZING short story on her blog told from the POV of bunny slippers and I'm just in awe.

// what it looks like being an editor.

// rachel interviewed me!

// as did Jessi. (too interviews in one month? Exciting.)

// why these future fears? A poem about the future.
I summed up most of my writing happenings for this month in my "Camp NaNo Craziness" post. Apparently I wasn't very clear on what I actually wrote in the beginning of April. Oops. (that's what I get for writing posts at nearly one in the morning.)

The novel I just wrote is called A Twisted Star. I tried writing a blurb for it, but since half of the book doesn't really have a plot... I can only promise that it holds golden blood, silver tears, light-sucking prisons, snarky characters, and light in the darkness. *insert simple cover*

As for progress on Song of the Desert... I haven't worked on it this month. AT ALL. For the first time in a year, I'm doing anything related to it or the sequel. It feels very weird. But also refreshing? The break is actually making me more excited to start editing again. (that feeling will probably change as soon as May 1st comes. ha.)

In case you weren't aware, I'm not working on Song of the Desert because it's currently in the hands of beta readers. So far I don't have to make any huge plot changes. Just scenes and inconsistencies. Those can be petty, but they also really help the book take shape. I'm feeling confident. :D
// pictures lead to the post //

// what I learned about sending my novel to beta readers.
// making your novel into an ACTUAL book. Like, a book form. That you can hold. Aw yes.
// other posts that are still being decided on. :P (I'm not THAT organized.)

// katie grace

So, what's happened for you in the month of April? 
Since Civil War is coming out soon, are you #TeamCap or #TeamIronMan? Or do you not care? :P

Writer Quirks

Saturday, April 23, 2016
All writers write. But all writers write differently.

I went around and asked my lovely writing buddies about their most interesting writing quirks. And here they are. 

- - -

"I type faster and more accurately with only my right hand."
but my typing speed stands up to someone with two hands.

"I sweat and shake when I'm writing an emotional or intense scene."
and when I get really into writing, I rock back and forth without realizing I'm doing it.

"I clean the whole area before I write."
I usually write in my room, so I have everything put away and straightened before I sit down to actually write.

"I have to chew something while writing."
like gum, sweets, or a pen.

"I write better when it's completely dark."
with a dim computer screen. And black document with white text.

"I write my first draft without chapters."
I don't mean for this to happen -- I just lose track of words and scenes and before I know it the book is finished without any chapters.

"I type better if I don't actually look at what I'm typing."
embrace the typos.

"I like to sit in weird positions."
I haven't been able to (yet) figure out how to sit upside down on the couch with the laptop on my lap.

"Every time I write a good sentence or scene I have to get up and walk around because I'm so excited about it." 
Every. Time. And usually I go to the bathroom...

"I write better after I read."

"I have to be listening to stand up comedy..."
...and I write dark short stories and poems.

"I can't write well sitting."
I have to be standing or lying down.

"I talk to myself to brainstorm."
I'll open a document and have a chat with myself. Plot with myself against myself. Scream in all caps at myself.

"I steal pens."

"I hand write all of my books."

"I only listen to a few specific songs."
I'm able to forget that I'm listening to anything, then accidentally keep one on repeat for literally hours without noticing music is on.

"When I come to a character name that I haven't come up yet, I write something like [Name of That Idiot Jerk Dude].
Then I'll fill them in later once I actually come up with the name.

"I type with my eyes closed."
I like to picture the scene in my head and describe it with my fingers. Can't open my eyes to edit or anything because I'll lose the visual.

"I wrote more words the earlier it is."
When I was writing my first drafts, I'd wake up at 3am and work from 3 to around 7 to get the most words down.

"I tend to take on the expressions of the characters I'm writing while writing them."

"I usually can't write anything until around midnight."
I have to be really tired and basically ready to fall asleep at any minute before I can do anything productive.

"If I'm writing a really intense scene, I start talking as if I'm dictating it while I type."
It's weird.

"I have to be drinking tea."

"I've been told that I scowl at my laptop."
I think it's just the face I make when I'm concentrating, but apparently it's kind of unnerving.

"I either listen to really loud metal music or complete silence."
Depends on the day. It's weird.

"I write 97% of my novel with the help of word wars."
Lifesavers, I'm telling you.

I dance while writing occasionally.
Also, I cry when I write something good.

"I've noticed that I tilt my head to my right shoulder."
I leave it there until the momentum of the scene is gone or I start getting a crick in my neck... Whichever comes first. xD

"I always have a glass of Gatorade."

"Sometimes I'll sit on an exercise ball while writing."
And "attempt" to balance my laptop on my lap.

"I write faster when I am just slightly hungry."
I don't know why. xD

// katie grace

(thanks to my friends over at the Go Teen Writers Facebook page for sharing some of your writer quirks! <3)

(AND, the giveaway winner is Rosalie! Congratulations. :D)

Can you relate to any of these quirks?
What are some writing quirks that you have?

Camp NaNo Craziness

Tuesday, April 19, 2016
A random Tuesday post? Oh yes. I couldn't fit it in anywhere else this month, so... surprise!

This April's Camp was interesting. Challenging. Full of improvisation. *dies* I started off the month by almost putting barbeque sauce instead of chocolate sauce on my ice cream, so that showed how ready I was. :P

I'm going to quickly recap this  Camp journey like I did for November last year. Here we go.

day one // 3,599

WELL. Camp started off kind of horribly. I was excited for this story -- SO EXCITED. I started writing it happily at midnight. But something just wasn't working. The main character's voice felt off to me. The whole story felt off to me. 

So I started with a different beginning. That didn't work.
I started with different tenses and point of views. That didn't work.
I skipped to the middle of the novel. That didn't work. 

I tried writing five different beginnings. None worked.

So, naturally... The next step was to start a new novel. 

Yup. A totally, unplanned, spur-of-the-moment novel. Whether or not I have much of a plot... debatable. We'll see how it goes. 
day two // 10,212

Day two was... better, I guess? Anna and I ventured together in writing 10k1day. AND WE BOTH SUCCEEDED. So. Yay! xD Even though I don't have a plot and I don't know what I'm doing, words are happening.

Still sad about pitching Little Red Rain Coat (for the time being), but I'm happy. Aw yes.
day three // 10,051

TODAY WAS A CRAZY DAY. I came home from Church, grabbed my computer, plopped on the bed, and just wrote. 
And wrote.
And wrote.

I didn't really stop writing, either. My fingers were on FIRE. (almost literally. Ouch.) I almost quit once I got to 9k, but since I was so stinkin' close to 10k... I had to write that extra thousand. :P
day four // 905

Slow day, but that's okay because...

a) I NEEDED A BREAK. Desperately. 

b) go back to point A. I don't have any other excuse. I just didn't feel like writing that much.
day five // 1,477

Look at this. Another day with plot problems. NO SURPRISE. 

Halfway into today my main character changed genders. No, they're not having gender identity problems. I just decided that it would be better with a dude main character instead of a lady. Which is weird, because I've never written from a guy's perspective before? 

day six // 0

No writing. Much procrastination. Blame the internet.
day seven // 2,553

MAKING PROGRESS. Writing is exhausting, guys. I'm learning that now more than ever. xD 

Today was another sloooow writing day. I just need to WRITE this thing. But it's hard to write when it's so. stubborn. *grumble* At least my main character isn't changing genders now. So that's good. :P
day eight // 0

Another day of zero words written. *sigh* I blame it on the fact that I woke up to snow. (in April. NOT ALLOWED.) 

Also I met a NYT bestelling author, Jacqueline West. Much excitement. :D

One more excuse to blame it on: I'm writing 15k tomorrow. I need time to mentally prepare. Obviously.

ew snow. WHYYYY.
day nine // 15,033

I started off by staying up until 2am. I wrote 5k, which only left 10k for when I woke up. Even though it sounds insane, it was a very good idea for me. I write SO much better at night than I do in the morning. It would've taken me four or five hours to write 2k in the morning compared to only two hours after midnight. xD

Aimee was super awesome and joined me with warring all day to help keep me aliveee. She's an amazing and talented writer, you guys. <3 She did 15k, too, so go congratulate her cause I couldn't have done it without her.

Surprisingly... even though this day was tiring, I actually finished by 7pm. It all went very fast. I'm on a general writing high with feeling good about this story and writing in general. SO YAY! 
day ten // 1,689 

I was GOING to take a break today, but the words were calling to me. I wrote the first death in this novel, so... yay? Or sadness? Depending on how you look at it. :P (I personally think it's rather fun, but, shhh)

BUT MY NECK HURTS SO BADLY. I was worried about my wrists for this month, but I can't get this ache out of my neck from bending over the computer screen. Over books. Over school. Just bending my neck over in general. Ouch.

Finished up the day with watching The Martian with the family. I have so much love for that movie, you guys. <3
day eleven // 5,482

WORDS ARE COMING. I'm writing like crazy and it feels amazing. Days like this make me love writing. xD
day twelve // 2,077

Up until this point in the book, I really haven't had a plot. BUT THAT'S CHANGING! I know where I'm going. I know the ending. I know what's going on and I couldn't be happier. Hopefully this means lots of words for the next few days.

But first...

Or just the cookie dough. Who even eats baked cookies, anyways?

day thirteen // 4,258

Mwahaha, the cookies helped! I'm only starting to worry a bit, now... I want to finish this book by the 15th, but by the looks of it... I'm not sure if that's going to happen? I HOPE. I'll write madly to try to accomplish the goal.

*dons writerly super-cape*
day fourteen // 3,097

So I WANTED to finish by the fifteenth... but I see how impossible that's looking, now. I went to a baseball game with my family (which included reading, because sports aren't exactly my thing...), and decided to enjoy that instead of worrying about writing. The worrying only came about when I got home. ;)

day fifteen // 736

YOUTH RETREAT TIME! Every April my youth group goes to a conference over a weekend. We spend time listening to a bunch of speakers, worshiping, and rocking out to loud music on the car ride there and back. :P

I managed to write around 700 words at night, but decided to stop because I didn't want to become that "annoying, loudly typing writer" in the hotel room. :P
day sixteen // 0

Nope. Absolutely no writing done today, and I'm OKAY WITH IT. Too busy learning about our awesome God, playing games, eating pizza, and giggling until two in the morning with my awesome friends. So much amazing. <3
day seventeen // 419

It's not the easiest trying to write off of 10 hours of sleep in the last two days. I wrote a little bit, but that's all I could manage. :P

The GOOD thing is... is that I'm closer than I realized to the finish! Like, REALLY CLOSE. I could probably finish this novel in a couple days close. *screaming until my voice grows hoarse* 
day eighteen // 1,849



*throws glitter and confetti and eats cookies and pizza and screams forever and ever* The ending came so suddenly. I was close -- so close -- and then all of a sudden BOOM. I'm finished. 

This novel is an absolute mess. Especially the first half. Just... there's so much rewriting that's going to be one. But I'm not going to worry about that now. Right now it's going to sit in the document for a good, looooong while.
Snippet because why not?

(these characters are ridiculous. Their names are kind of ridiculous. But this whole novel is a ridiculous mess so what can I say?)

Now what? 
For the rest of Camp I'm going to try to relax. Read lots of books. Catch up on beta reading and critiquing. Hopefully get ahead on blog posts. I'm going to take advantage of this time I have left while my book is still getting read by other people. 

And when May comes... 
... then begins the edits again. o.o


*ends this semi-rambling random Tuesday post*

// katie grace

How is Camp going for you?? Are you surviving?
Also, cookie dough or cookies? ;)

Why You Should Write A Book Blurb (and some tips on how to do that)

Saturday, April 16, 2016
Since I am on a youth retreat this weekend, the lovely Hannah agreed to guest post for me! After you read her awesome post below, don't forget to enter the giveaway of GO TEEN WRITERS I have going on. :D

Hi everybody! I am so excited and honored to get to talk to you all today. Katie is an amazing and wonderful author/human (but I'm sure you are already aware of this) and I am so happy she gave me this opportunity to stretch out in the blogging community and give you some (hopefully) beneficial advice. Because, like, me posting on her blog? WOW. I'm a newbie and she's a blogger QUEEN so. 

*is very excited and humbled and flattered*

On with the post!

We all know that dreaded question. The moment one of our friends figures out we are a writer, it never lingers too far behind in the suddenly terrifying conversation.

"So, what's your book about?"


If you're anything like me, you'll have that moment of crisis. What is my book about anyway? Drat -- what's my MC's name again? I only spent three hundred and seventy-two pages with him. How could I forget this? Oh no. They're staring at me. They're waiting for me to say something, aren't they? But how on God's sweet earth am I supposed to explain to this mortal the extent of my pure geniusness?

As writers, I'm sure you can all sympathize with this scenario. We want to tell our friends what we're writing, but when the chance comes, the word get all mixed up. We want to tell them what our book is about ... without making it sound like a lame Lord of the Rings wannabe or some cliche paperback you found in the free bin outside a thrift store.

But, you see, it doesn't have to be a 'dreaded question.' In fact, it can become something you actually look forward to.

How is this possible? 

I'm glad you asked. 

You only have to do one little thing. (Granted, it's a hard thing. But it's still just one Thing and that's not as scary as a bunch of Things.)

You must write a book blurb.

When you pick up a novel and flip it over -- that's the book blurb. (unless you have a hard back. Then the book blurb is on the jacket's front flap once you open the book) The summary of your novel that is (usually) two to three paragraphs long. It can also be called a back cover copy of a write-up. But. They're all the same thing.

NOTE: A book blurb is not a synopsis. A synopsis is a whole different ball game(writer game? paper game? eh. you get the point).

In case you're still having doubts about why you should write on of these (they're hard to write, after all) here are a few reasons to convince you of how amazing they are. (if you're already convinced, feel free to skip them)

It's a super easy way to tell someone what your book is about.

I love it when someone asks and I can just say, "Oh here, I have a blurb on my phone. Let me just ..." and then I pull up my notes app and they can just read it and I don't even have to say a word. The blurb speaks for itself. And, nine times out of ten, (whether they're sincere or not) they'll look up at me when they're done and say, "that sounds really cool!" And I can just let out a long breath and relax. There's no stuttering through a brief and terrible summary where I say "um" and "like" a gazillion times and manage to make my fantasy sound like a cheesy cliche mess.

If you're dealing with an online friend, then it's also such a relief. You can just copy it from the notes app into your message and they can read it like *snap*
It earns you some respect, especially with writers.

You ask, "What's your book about?" and then wait. And then -- whoa. you mean you actually have a blurb? And it reads well? WOW.

Writing a blurb -- and writing a good one -- is so critical not only because it sums up your book in a quick and easy way, but because it shows them you have a good idea and you can write well. if you stumble through an explanation of what your novel is about, there's a good chance you'll give them the wrong idea about your story and they'll think you can't write. But a well-polished blurb tells them, yes you do write well and yes, this idea is a good one.
It's a really good way to get beta readers.

I am only on the second draft of my WIP, and already I've gotten several people that I don't even know ask if they can beta for me. Why? Because, after seeing a collage or snippet from my story, they asked what it was about and I gave them my blurb. And what's more, they liked it. And they wanted to read the book that it belonged to. I'm not sure when I'll formally ask for betas, but when I do, I know for sure I'll need a blurb. 

And there will probably come a time for all of you when you will need betas. And what will you need to give them?
A blurb.

I encourage you to write a blurb sooner rather than later. You'll have to do it eventually, whether you get beta readers or not (and, um, you really should get them). So why not get it over with and just write it now?

"But it's hard," you might whine. "How am I supposed to write a good one?" 

Well. I am by no means an expert on this subject, but I'd like to think that I can offer some sound, logical advice.


Yeah. Now. Like, right now. Tear yourself away from my captivating words (ha) and go write a blurb (I dare you). Go make a word document or pull out your journal or whatever, and write. a. blurb. Don't tell me you don't know how. You've read them before. Just write it how you've read them. If you do it wrong, who cares? You can just edit it or rewrite it entirely if necessary.

NOTE: You can write a blurb at any point in the story making process. You can write it when you get the idea. You can write it before you get the idea. (Although that would be rather difficult...) You can write it after the first draft, or during it. Just write it. Wherever you are, even if you think you don't know enough about your story to write one yet, try. Besides, if you have an idea for your book, you should be able to do it. After all, the blurb is supposed to be what the book is about. If you have the idea, you can write at least a rough paragraph to start yourself off.

The inciting incident is your key to hooking readers: that Something that happens in the first couple of chapters that starts the story off, that sends your character on a journey. The big Thing that the book is all about.

Use it. It's sort of a spoiler (only sort of), but that's how you're going to hook your readers. They'll find out about it soon enough in the book anyway. Give a little backstory (just enough for the readers to know what kind of character they're going to be dealing with and the other absolute essentials.) and then hurl that big Thing to pique their interest.

ANOTHER NOTE: the inciting incident, let me clarify, is the event that changes your character's normal world. It's the event that kicks the story into action and it usually happens by the end of the second or third chapter.

So. We already know the Big Thing that happens. That's the prompt. Our character has to make a decision: to go or to stay? To flee or to face? To submit to the rules ... or to fight?

Stuff happens after the inciting incident, and you want to hint at that in as vague and non-spoilery a way as possible. 



If you don't have an interesting enough inciting incident to hook your readers with, you need to rethink your story and its structure. If your character gets diagnosed with cancer in the middle of the book, do not tell the readers this in an attempt to hook them. I read a book once whose blurb spoiled the Climax of Act Three, and for the whole book I was just waiting for the Thing it said would happen to happen. But ... it didn't. Until the. very. end. (Well, not the VERY end, but basically.)

The blurb is supposed to kick off with the inciting incident, and give a brief description/teaser of how the character is going to handle this and what they're going to do about it. If your character gets sick in the middle of the book, you can hint at that in the blurb. But don't tell them outright. 


EHHHEM. Enough of that. #rantover

Seriously. Writing a book is hard, but so is writing a book. If you can write a book, I think you can handle a blurb. ;) Don't psyche yourself up about it. Just do the Thing, and be your amazing, awesome self. After you write it, send it off to your writer pall(s) for opinions and (if needed) a critique.

Katie popping in. I recieved Hannah's permission to insert her awesome blurb. You can all "oooooh" and "ahhh" over it and see how she worked her tips in. She wants to note that this is before editing the second draft so plot things can change, but IT'S A VERY AMAZING BLURB THAT MAKES YOU WANT TO READ HER NOVEL. Which is good. ;)


Born and raised in captivity, slavery is all Rissa has ever known. Obeying her Owner, for fear of her brother and sister's lives, she's never dared to attempt escape. But when her deaf little sister, more a daughter to Rissa than their own treacherous mother, is sold, everything changes. Rissa has only a week to find a way to free her, before it is too late.
Aster is soon to be King, but he is less free than anyone. Trapped in a dirty game of tricks and lies in a castle where no one will leave him be, he has no idea who he can trust. He's become responsible for a land full of problems, but all he truly cares about is finding the people behind the assassination of his family.
Two worlds collide, and the two form an unexpected team. Can a slave and a prince solve the mystery of the assassinations? Together, they must combine their knowledge and skills and put everything to the test as they attempt to thwart the thief's conspiracy.
- - -

And that's it for today! Congrats if you read through this to the end. Have some coffee. *hands out big bags of coffee beans and mugs of fresh coffee*

Thanks again, Katie, for letting me blab on your lovely blog. Toodles! *waves fingers and skips away*

// hannah 

Thank you so much, Hannah! <3 I love this post -- you shared some super amazing tips and reasons! Make sure to go visit and follow Hannah's amazing blog: Ink Blots and Coffee Stains. She posts every Saturday (like meee!), and they're all worth reading.

(psst, one more reminder to go enter the giveaway for the Go Teen Writers book!)

Also, Hannah will be answering comments today, so make sure to leave her some comment love. ;)

Have you written a blurb for your novel? Is it easy for you (haaaa) or hard?

GIVEAWAY(!!) + Go Teen Writer's Appreciation

Saturday, April 9, 2016
(keep reading for a giveaway at the end of the post!)

I've been wanting to write this post for such a long time. What I'm writing about in this post means a lot to me and has influenced my writing in ways I didn't know was possible.

So, what am I going to be writing about? 

GO TEEN WRITERS. If you're not aware, Go Teen Writers is a blog that provides honesty, encouragement, and community for teen writers. (it's great for writers of all ages, though.) Everyone should go check out the blog right now, because honestly? It's probably what kept me writing. 

I first stumbled upon the blog on April 3rd, 2014. So this is basically the two-year anniversary of my love for them. (hence the appreciation post. HA.)

I still follow and read the wonderful blog, but Go Teen Writers means so much more than just amazing writing articles. I became part of the Facebook group, and that's where I met all my writing friends.

Go Teen Writers has inspired me to...
  • ...to start a blog.
  • ...to keep up a blog.
  • ...to continue writing even when it isn't working.
  • ...to finish my first novel.
  • ...edit my first novel. 
Go Teen Writers has taught me...
  • ...that I'm not the only teen writer. 
  • ...to be an encouragement to other writers. <3 
  • ...about the awesome NaNoWriMo events. 
  • ...perseverance.
  • ...the importance of writing friends.
  • ...about the lovely world of YA books. I DIDN'T REALIZE THERE WERE SO MANY WONDERFUL BOOKS.
Go Teen Writers has connected me with SO many other teen writers...
  • Athelas and Alea are the first Go Teen Writers I ever connected with, which is pretty special. 
  • Rosalie, the super kind writer I met at Realm Makers. She is so encouraging and lovely.
  • Kristana, who's declared herself my internet 'mother.' She sends me messages all the time which is just the sweetest.
  • Aimee, (my #10k1day buddy and writer of the best books ever)who I'M GOING TO MEET IN JUNE AND LET ME FREAK OUT FOR SEVERAL THOUSAND MOMENTS.
  • Hannah, my ENFP, sister, writer, and word war buddy WHO I AM ALSO GOING TO MEET IN JUNE SO LET ME FREAK OUT SOME MORE.

So, basically, Go Teen Writers means a lot to me. They kept me writing and editing and blogging when I wanted to give up.

You want to be done with the cheesiness and get onto the giveaway? Let's do it.

Since this is a Go Teen Writers appreciation post, I'm giving away a shiny, new copy of the book Go Teen Writers. (link leads to Goodreads) This book is just amazing. It gives great information about everything that has to do with writing a book from the beginning draft to the publication process.

And this giveaway is like a THANK YOU giveaway to all you epic readers, because you all make me so happy. <3

The question we hear most from new writers is, “How do I get published?”
And the answer is: Respect your dream. 
Every writer’s journey is different, yet as we’ve reflected on our experiences and those of the writers around us, we've seen time and time again that those who are successful are the ones who had the patience and endurance to stick with this writing thing. They didn't look for shortcuts (at least, not for long), nor did they quit after five, ten, or one hundred rejections.We can’t make the process easy for you, but it’s our hope that this book will be a tool you can turn to time and time again when you’re thinking, “Okay … what’s next?”
Includes tips for: 
Getting published, finding the right agent, book surgery, thicker plots, deeper characters, richer settings, weaving in theme, and dealing with people who don't get your writing
And I'm sorry... but this is not international. Unless you're fine with a Kindle copy. ;)
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(also, if I don't answer comments until Sunday or later, it's because Aimee and I are attempting a 15k1day tomorrow and we might possible die. So, there's that.)

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Dear Song of the Desert (A Letter to My Novel)

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Dear Song of the Desert, 


Yesterday marked our one year anniversary. The beginning I drafted then was so different from how it is now. Goodness, the book itself is almost an entirely different story. 

The story took place in some sort of wasteland, and my mountain caves were forests. Your title was The Music Master. Half of the characters didn't exist, and my main character, Gita, didn't have her poor vision struggles. 

I wrote the last word on July 11th, 2015, taking a little longer than I normally do to write novels. You were my second novel... ever... to write, and you should feel pretty important because of that. 

We've gone through about five drafts together, now. Those early stages were hard to write. You were sometimes always a pain, but somehow we got through it. Now you're off to beta readers(*sniff* look at my baby -- all grown up), and I just have to wait in fear while they tear you apart.

This whole journey wasn't perfect, though. There were tears. There were lots of moments of frustration. I felt discouraged. I compared you to other novels.  I lost chapters due to computer problems. There were many times when I wanted to pitch you in the garbage and just g i v e  u p.  But you certainly taught me how to persevere through something tough, so thank you for that, I guess.

You were also troublesome -- I think everyone on this blog can testify to that from all my moaning about the struggles of editing. ;) And it wasn't only editing, it was writing, too. I got stuck in places. I thought the plot was going to be done when I was 23,000 words in. That gave me a scare. (until I got to 93,000 words. I'm really bad at estimating, okay?) You liked giving me ideas for new plot lines after I was halfway through editing a draft.

Also, typos. Typos and lines such as: THIS ALL STINKS UGHHH, were commonly found in my first couple drafts. 

I still have those moments and freak outs where I think, "Is this even good? The sequel's a mess. My characters are stupid. Everything's stupid." But it's become less. I'm finally starting to see good parts in you, as long as it may have taken.

Yes, you were a troublemaker, but you could've been worse. Editing could've taken so much longer. Seven months is a long time, and I hope to get faster at it with later books, but I managed to get it done. And in less than a year.

I get excited (and rather nervous) when I think about what's ahead of us. Comments from beta readers. Editing those comments from beta readers. And, in the future, we can start down the route of publishing. *screams* There's lots to come, but we'll get through it.

I want to end this before it gets too cheesy and I get all teary eyed, but thank you for being you, as tough as you may be sometime.

It's been an amazing journey, and I can't wait to continue on it with you. 

your author.

// post inspired by Aimee's letter to her WIP

What would you say in a letter to your novel? How long have you been working on your current WIP?
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