Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Action versus Suspense

How do they differ?
  • Action means happenings.
  • Suspense means uncertainty.
These are not my words or wisdom, but of William Noble, author of Conflict, Action, & Suspense.

Since my WIP is YA Fantasy and I'm creating a new world, I find that in my current revision I'm creating a good bit of mystery and uncertainty. And the "action" that I have shown is more in the form of the characters thinking, trying to figure things out. Obviously, this is not action because a character's thoughts are internalized. Sure they may get an epiphany here or there, but nothing is really happening. In my last draft of my WIP, it was wham, bam, boom, action in your face. One happening after another. The suspense was built off the tails of the previous action.

It's difficult to create a perfect balance of action and suspense. Thoughts?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

SCBWI Summer Conference

It's in LA. So you kow the weather will be good, barring an earthquake or mudslide.
The faculty seems quite diverse and I think an individual manuscript consultation would be incredibly cool. I'm particularly interested in participating in the premium workshop led by Krista Marino, senior editor at Delacorte Press.

How many of you are thinking about going?

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Below is an excerpt from William Noble's Conflict, Action, & Suspense:

  • Happy families are dull
  • Unhappy families are interesting
Why the difference? It's the distinction between losing yourself in a crowd and maintaining individuality, between wearing a common blue uniform and wearing the only red uniform on the field.

I was perusing through this book the other day and this excerpt hit home for me. I had been struggling with the family dynamics of my main character for quite some time. For some reason, I kept making the grandfather too nice and the mom nothing short of super woman. Sure they had their secrets. But secrets aren't enough to make a family interesting. But when I read unhappy families are interesting it set off a chain of events in my imagination that created a family of three that were at odds with each other. And that's when the writing started to fly.

Sometimes you just don't know what will set off the creative juices.

Happy Writing Folks!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Bahm's Book Give-Away

Natali Bahm is celebrating her 1 year query anniversary for Underground and she is giving away books!
Have a beautiful weekend!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Hidden Treasures.....

Are you one of those people who have new clothes hanging in the closet that you've never worn? I have friends that certainly fall in this category, but I am not one of them. If I get a new article of clothing I can guarantee that I will wear it within the week.
I am one of those people, however, that has a tendency to buy books, or receive books as gifts, that I forget to read.
See the great reads (or so I've heard) just gathering dust on my shelves....

Maybe one of these will be my next favorite book. What hidden treasures do you have patiently waiting on your bookshelves?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

To E-read or not to E-read....That is the Question....

I was the person who would skip any blog post about e-readers and e-books. E-readers. Bah. How stupid. What's wrong with books? You know, the kind made with paper?

But then....the e-readers came at me with full force, mocking me with their 3G wireless, taunting me with their 400,000 books on demand (if you're the Kindle) or 1 million (if you're the Nook). The idea of keeping something slim in my purse became tantalizing....and after years of denial.....I kind of want one.

 So while I was recuperating from ACL surgery, I came up with the grand idea to sell some of my dusty books on Amazon and use that money to buy an e-reader. I was up to $121 before Sarcastically Delicious (aka boyfriend) poo pooed the idea of an e-reader. He's so practical. He said why don't you use the $121 to buy new books and then after you read those, sell those back on Amazon, and then buy more. He pointed out that when you purchase an e-book you can't sell it back.

Are any of you Kindle owners? Nook owners? I pad owners? Am I falling for the dark side? Or the path to true reading enlightenment?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Gossip Time!

When I was in middle school I read the Babysitter's Club. During the early teen years I read vampire novels by Anne Rice. Interview with the Vampire was the 90's version of Twilight, although I don't believe it ever got quite as hyped up. In high school a friend's mom lent me a copy of The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks, and I have been a Nicholas Sparks fan ever since. And now every Christmas Sarcastically Delicious (aka boyfriend) gives me Spark's latest book as a present. Books are the BEST present.

I finished reading the Last Song yesterday and recommend it. Spark's books are typically about love and tragedy and are usually about adults. But I believe this book could be considered YA because it's told from the point of view of three very different teens and one adult.

I don't want to give too much of the story away since the movie was just released. I won't ruin it for you like Miley Ray Cyrus ruined the book for me when she did an interview on Jay Leno's Tonight Show. When Leno asked her why she did the movie, she replied, "I did it because it's a story of a Dad blah blah blah." (Don't want to ruin it for you). At that point I was only 50% of the way through the book and I was like NO! She didn't just say that!  Of course it kind of ruined the book for me, but that's neither here nor there.

Nicholas Spark's books often make me cry (or bawl may be appropriate), so I usually don't watch the movies. Why would I want to put myself through that twice? So when someone recommends a book or a movie, I will ask if it has a sad ending. And if it does, then i won't watch it or prepare myself with a box of Kleenex. So for those of you who need to know, I would say the Last Song is not as sad as Dear John. It's a mixture of happiness and sadness.