Author has written 53 stories for Humor, School, General, Life, Song, Fantasy, Friendship, Nature, Love, Essay, General, and Kids.
Well, who am I, anyway? I'm a writer--no duh. I wrote my first story when I was about four years old, and I've been writing ever since. (I actually still have that first story. Illustrations and all.) So, as you can see, I've got quite a bit of experience. These days I'm not very active on FictionPress in terms of reviewing or publishing, but I'm on quite a bit because of my betareading. So if you want some critique, or just feel like no one is noticing you, feel free to drop me a line and I'll take a look. :)
Projects I'm currently working on, in unbelievably vague terms:
Series 1: Middle-grade/young adult fantasy/adventure/steampunk/family/romance/hurt/comfort/angst series. Whoo! Planning for 25 books, mostly between 150 and 250 pages each. I'm working on almost all of them at once, but my main project, of course, is currently Book 1. Book 1 is in the 12th draft right now. It's also being edited by 3 different people.
Series 2: Sequel to Series 1. Planning for 23 books of indeterminate length. Book 1 is all I've started, and it's only a couple pages long. But it promises to be fun.
Side Series 1: Kids', but targeted towards teens, fantasy/adventure series. Maybe 3 books, maybe 7, maybe 12. Don't really know. I've done a few drafts of a few books, but they're kind of old. The world is amazing, though, so there's no way I'm abandoning it.
Half Wild: Trying to work on it. Lot of behind-the-scenes stuff going on.
My Gray World: Working on it behind the scenes. It's just so...old...
Oneshots: Trying to do more of these. I only have a few at the moment. But the lack of real commitment is appealing.
Poetry: I seem to have lost my bounce. :( Any poetry I write now is for school. I don't know why, but it just doesn't come to me anymore. I am sad.
Books I Recommend:
-The Ranger's Apprentice series by John Flanagan (Please read this. Your age, gender, and genre preferences don't matter. Please read this.)
-Dormia and World's End by Peter Kujawinski and Jake Halpern
-Guardians of Ga'Hoole and Wolves of the Beyond by Katharyn Lasky, but don't use them as a model for your writing
-Dragon Slippers and companions by Jessica Day George
-The Warriors series by Erin Hunter (but only if you can handle TERRIBLE endings!!!!!)
-Anything by Brian Jaques
-Savvy and Scumble by Ingrid Law
-The Mysterious Benedict Society and companions by Trenton Lee Stewart
-Nightshade City and The White Assassin by Hilary Wagner (These really deserve more appreciation!)
-The Secret series by Pseudonymous Bosch
-Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, may he rest in peace
Books I Don't Recommend:
-Swear to Howdy by Wendelin van Draanen. This book almost made me throw up.
-Dogsong by Gary Paulsen. Same as Swear to Howdy.
-Mick Harte Was Here by Barbara Park, unless you like to bawl like heck.
-The Lottery Rose by an author I don't remember, unless you like tragic endings.
-The Pigman by another author I don't remember. Soooo depressing...
These are currently being moved to my collection Become A Better Writer In The Time It Takes You To Do As I Say. Here are some previews, though!
Exercise 1: Dialogue Practice
This one is fun.
1. Open a new Word document (or OpenOffice, LibreOffice, etc.).
2. Center text.
3. Size 11 font.
5. "Hide white spaces" between pages.
6. Type, "(character name) has entered the chat room."
7. I don't CARE if there's no Internet or computers or smartphones or tablets or WHATEVER where your characters are.
9. It doesn't matter what you write. Just have fun with it.
More exercises to come soon!
CURES FOR WRITER'S BLOCK:
Bet you don't believe me. Or you're looking at this like it's too good to be true. So before you sue me for false advertising, let me say that these cures are not guaranteed to work. They usually work for me, though. At least one should work for you.
Fall asleep thinking about where you're stuck. With me, it always works out that I either have a dream solving my problem, or I wake up knowing what to do. The subconscious is a marvelous thing. ;)
Open your notebook or word doc. to where you're stuck. Read the whole manuscript start to finish. When you get to the end, often it'll just flow from there. You can also start a couple chapters back and read, depending on how much you have written. Or just stare at the thing and use your awesome brainpower to come up with something. Amazing how often that works.
Work on another project for a while. If you don't have another project, start one. Let the other one ripen. Come back to it a week or two later.
Take a trip somewhere you've never been. It can be across the world, across the continent, or just across the street.
Get a sheet of notebook paper or a page in a notebook. Write down all the events that still need to happen before the story can end. Make sure they're well spread-apart. Oh, yeah, and make sure you have a big fat eraser, 'cause you're gonna need it. Turn the events into a flowchart, connecting the events with arrows in the order they should happen. Add events as you need them. Write notes as needed. Write nonsense as needed. I did one between 1 A.M. and 2 A.M. once. It ended up completely illegible, especially towards the end. But it worked. (My description of the climax: "NO! WHOOSH! OW! NO! WHOOSH! OW!")
Read a book or watch a movie with a similar setting, plot, or character set to your book. Always gets me so fired up for writing that I forget about my block.
Give out writing tips or tutor another writer. You may realize, in teaching, that you've just told someone else the solution to your own problem!
Look at the story or scene from the point of view of different character. Write it if you have to. Should work for most types of viewpoint--1st person, 3rd person limited, 3rd person omniscient. Don't know about the weirder ones that have arisen as of late.
Read your book (or give it to someone else to read) aloud to an appropriate audience. Collect feedback. I did this with a group of sixth graders. When I got behind on sending chapters, they all wrote me letters telling me to send more. So I got back behind the laptop and MADE myself write more!
If you take a good look at your manuscript, read it over, try everything you can think of, and realize that it either can't go anywhere, or there's no way it can get from where it is to where it should be, start over. Sometimes you have to. There might be no other way. I warn you, it can be painful. I've thrown away drafts that were ten pages, thirty pages, fifty, a hundred, two hundred. It hurts, but no one said writing was easy. Or if they did, they were clearly selling a writing book, DVD, or forcing you to write something for them. :P
Broaden your artistic talents. Draw, paint, sculpt, write poetry. Whatever floats your boat. :)
Drink as much water as you can without throwing up. Tie yourself to a chair. You can't go to the bathroom until you've written at least a paragraph. ;)
More cures coming soon, as discovered!