Show, not Tell

There are 3 rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.

Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Change of Pace

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Devin and I have decided to open our own, more personal blogs where we can write about our own writing progress and process. We’d love for you all to follow us!

You can follow Devin at her blog or on twitter.

You can follow Jessie at her blog or on twitter.

We hope to see you around! We wish you a very happy holiday!

Written by Jessica Lei

December 17, 2010 at 8:39 pm

Posted in General

Sage Advice from Last Week

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I hope you all had a nice week off! Finals are over and we’re back in business–albeit, a bit late today. There was nothing recent that just resonated with me, so here’s an older blog post that I think is just as beneficial! When we’re all in the querying stage, this is the one thing we’ll need to pay attention to–I’m sure these Agent Pet Peeves apply to more than just the ones on the list.

Read and enjoy! (There’s even a part two.)

Written by Devin Bond

December 13, 2010 at 1:55 pm

Posted in Advice, General

Finals Week!

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Studying

Studying -- Hopefully NOT Us

Hello!

It’s finals week for Devin and me. We’ve been updating this blog everyday for two months (yay!) and we think it’s time to take a break! Okay, no… I was the one who decided to do this, but I’m sure Devin can agree with a break.

Because finals are important, and so is sleep (see right).

We need to study and be on top of our game and sometimes that means putting other things on the backburner for awhile. So we won’t be updating this week, but we will be back the following week!

See you Monday, December 13th!

Written by Jessica Lei

December 6, 2010 at 6:00 am

Posted in General

Lesson 17

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Agents agree that everyone who isn’t an agent and doesn’t have an agent has no idea what an agent’s average day is like.

Well, what about the average day of a writer?

It’s going to look very different for all of us, but the bottom line is the same: we’re busy! We often have day jobs, or night jobs, or both–kids, siblings, husbands, wives, parents to deal with–school, homework, papers, midterms, finals. It’s incredible how much we manage to pack into one day’s worth of hard work.

I’m a full-time student working unpaid at a psychology internship I started over the summer. On a day where I had my internship, two classes, a midterm, and a writing assignment due for creative writing, this is what happened:

A Vigilant Writer/Student

A Vigilant Writer/Student

The Day in the Life of a Writer/Student/Intern

I stayed awake through 7am to write over 8,000 words on my manuscript to turn in for my English assignment. I took a shower and slipped into bed at 730am. I woke up at 1030am, clipped out an 11-page snippet of what I wrote the night before, read it over quickly and turned it in online. Went back to sleep until 1120am. Dressed, brushed my teeth, tried to make myself look presentable (probably failed in hindsight), packed food for the entire day, and took a 15-minute drive into Seattle (when President Obama was in town, even) to arrive at my internship at noon (okay, maybe 3 minutes after).

My supervisors fished around for 15 minutes trying to think of what I should do. I honestly told them I’d love to go back home to study, which they decided I could do that and come in tomorrow to make up the three hours. I took another 15 minutes to drive home, slipped into pajama bottoms and back into bed. I reorganized the Contents page, added a few pages to the list even, started this post, tweeted, read up on the blogosphere. Around 130pm I cracked open my textbook and started taking notes on what I knew I really needed to know.

Around 2pm I took a break and continued writing this post.  At about 230pm I hit the textbook again for another 30 minutes, keeping track of only the most important items that’d be on the test. I planned on going to my next class but decided to skip it (sorry, professor) in favor of more studying. So I took the next two hours to study and talk to Devin about the writing process.

Seattle Rainy Traffic

Seattle Rainy Traffic

At 5pm, I changed back into a pair of jeans and packed up for class. I drove 30 minutes to the other side of Seattle to my university–in light traffic (although it was 5pm, don’t know where everyone was). I had a double shot of espresso as I drove. It didn’t take me long to find parking and 5 minutes to walk to my first class. I waited in the hall for half an hour with a classmate before my next class started–my dreaded midterm. Instead of studying, we mostly talked about an English teacher we shared, about applying to graduate school, and how hard we thought the test was going to be. At 6pm, the test started.

I took it in an hour, drove back home at around 645pm, make a quick dinner of left-over chicken-flavored rice. I talked to my mom for about an hour, exchanging rants and bonding over stories of my freshman year. Then I opened up my manuscript and worked on my first chapter so I could send it to my crit partners–at 815pm.

By this time, I had been awake for 32 hours and had two shots of coffee. I worked on my manuscript until 3am, when my eyes were burning so bad I didn’t have any choice left to sleep.

So, what’s the lesson here?

Writing is rarely the only thing a writer does.

Written by Jessica Lei

October 27, 2010 at 6:00 am

Posted in General, Lessons, Writers

Sage Advice from Last Week

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Mondays are for what gave us an a-ha moment. I was shown this post from J.A. Souders’ blog about senses. We’re all used to the five senses, but she introduces you to six more you can use in your writing. The six other senses to enhance your stories are: Time, Temperature, Pain, Balance, Motion and Direction

 

Fiery Emotions

Arson is bad for the soul.

 

She went through an exercise to practice this and I think it can only help to do it too! I didn’t follow her example to a key, but here is my try.

Logan teetered on his feet, passing his thumb through the flame of his lighter. His skin sizzled, his mouth easing into a smirk as flames encompassed the house and the wood siding crackled in the heat. A scream rose above the flames and dissipated into the night. Only twenty minutes to ruin someone’s life–twenty minutes to provide hours of entertainment.

The fire licked at his skin and the thick, black smoke burned his throat–tasted like cheap cigarettes and dark roast coffee. He’d hoped for something more exciting. The acrid scent of cedar and boiling paint was nothing. He turned to the left and dropped his lighter on the ground. Whoever said revenge was best served cold was a complete liar.

And to break it down for the six new senses, here they are in plain sight! (Just in case you missed it in the paragraph.)

  • Time: twenty minutes
  • Temperature: heat.
  • Pain: sizzled
  • Balance: teetered
  • Motion: passing, turned, teetered
  • Direction: to the left

Now that I’m aware of them, I can tell my writing will be that much better! What do you guys think? Try it out and post it up, I’d love to see your take.

Written by Devin Bond

October 25, 2010 at 5:30 am

Posted in Advice, General, Writing

Hello world!

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Hello! I am J.D. Deshaw and I am writing a young adult romance novel. I am not just one person, I am two adorable young women who are cousins and best friends and partners, and now co-writers. This is kind of going to be what we learn as we start our first novel, because, I mean, what does it take to even start writing a novel? We don’t know, but I’m sure we’ll find out.

Written by Jessica Lei

July 21, 2010 at 8:39 am

Posted in General

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