Tag Archives: Question of the Week

QOTW: Books You Read Again and Again

27 May

This week we asked ourselves:

What are the books that you’ve read over and over again?

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I’d have to say my most read/re-read books (my copies of these are literally falling apart now) are:

The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
The Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Pope
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
A Room with a View by E. M. Forster
The Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin
Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey

(Look at that! 4 out of 6 are lady authors. Woot.)

-Susan Dennard

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Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
Nancy Drew & Hardy Boys: Secrets of the Nile by Carolyn Keene
The Atonement Child by Francine Rivers
Kissed by an Angel by Elizabeth Chandler
The entire Cheney Duvall series by Lynn & Gilbert Morris
The Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper

So I tend to reread children’s books when I’m bored. Sue me :-p

-Sammy Bina

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I reread tons of books because I didn’t have a lot of them as a kid so read each one like 10 times, haha.

THE GOLDEN COMPASS by Philip Pullman
ENDER’S GAME by Orson Scott Card
SABRIEL by Garth Nix
GREEN ANGEL by Alice Hoffman
DRAGONFLIGHT by Anne McCaffrey
THE AMULET OF SAMARKAND by Jonathan Stroud

ONE CHILD by Torey Hayden

-Kat Zhang

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The Chronicles of Prydain (all five!) By Lloyd Alexander
The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
Sabriel by Garth Nix
The Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop
Wit’ch Fire by James Clemens
Alphabet of Thorn by Patricia A. McKillip
The Golden Compass/His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman

-Sarah J. Maas

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There are some books that I reread SO often and looks so old and worn (but I love reading them). They are:

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
Sabriel by Garth Nix
The entire Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith
His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman

The Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce

-Vanessa Campbell

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Gosh… there’s so many that I’ve reread and reread… a short list of old favorites:
Rant, by Chuck Palahniuk
World War Z by Max Brooks
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Dealing with Dragons, by Patricia Wrede
Maniac Magee, by Jerry Spinelli
The BFG by Roald Dahl
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
The Time-Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
The Phantom Tollbooth by Juster Norton
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Euginedes

Recently discovered books I think I’ll be rereading forever:

Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
In the Forests of Serre by Patricia McKillip
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley

Game of Thrones by G. R. R. Martin
-Savannah J. Foley
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I rarely reread books, but if its been several years I will revisit them! Among the few:The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

And

Z for Zachariah by Robert C O’Brien

And that, literally, is it!

-Mandy Hubbard
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My most often re-read are:

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

The first three Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling
The Mummy Case by Elizabeth Peters
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
-Jenn Fitzgerald
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What are the books you’ve read again and again?
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QOTW: Favorite Childhood Animated Series

20 May

What was your favorite childhood animated series?

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The Simpsons!! Does it count if it is STILL my favorite animated show? Now my wee daughter watches it.

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I loved RECESS when I was a kid. The characters, the rules of the playground… I wanted to live in that world.

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Adventures of Tin-Tin, and Scooby Doo!

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DuckTales, Rescue Rangers, Gummi Bears, TaleSpin, Care Bears, and Doug. ….I watched a lot of TV as a kid.

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I loved Tom and Jerry 😉 But only the old, old fashioned ones. Not the newer ones!

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The Simpsons, Looney Tunes, and Scooby Doo! Though I loved all the old Hannah Barbera cartoons

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Digimon, Sailor Moon, and Arthur. Sometimes, I still hum this song when I’m walking down the street, and I maybe have this as my ringtone.

Also, like Jenn, I LOVED old Looney Toons cartoons. Oh, those two….

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What was YOUR favorite animated series as a child?

QOTW: Secondary/Supporting Characters

8 Apr

How should one go about building secondary/supporting characters? Is it too distracting if they have their own story lines? Can an MC’s best friend be caught in a love triangle even if that isn’t the focus of the novel?

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I think secondary characters should definitely have their own story lines! This is especially true if they’re relatively important secondary characters. After all, most writers aspire to make all their characters, not just their main character, seem realistic and well-rounded. Real people change and grow (the real-life version of a “story line”!), so it only makes sense that secondary characters should as well! Of course, not every little character you bring to life is going to get the spotlight, but I think a MC’s best friend can definitely be caught in a love triangle even if it isn’t the focus of the novel! On the other hand, I do think that any story lines that are given a certain amount of focus (and by that I mean much more than a mention) ought to affect the main character or the main story line in some way. For example, if the main story line is the MC aspiring to reach a goal and the secondary character’s story line is a love affair with character B, then perhaps the secondary character’s relationship with B will be what convinces B to help the MC in some way.

Of course, the effect doesn’t have to be this big or obvious. The secondary character’s story line might just affect the MC emotionally or even teach her a lesson. But it shouldn’t just hang in the story unrelated to anything else.

-Kat Zhang

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I hate it in books when the secondary characters exist just to show that the MC is ‘normal’, or has other relationships in their life. If your secondary character isn’t important to the plot, and doesn’t undergo some sort of growth or transformation, what’s the point of having them around?

For really significant secondary characters, you need to flesh them out like you would a main character. They need motivations, likes, dislikes, and desires. Then there’s the ‘gun on the table’ principal: I love it in stories when information is relayed about secondary characters in the beginning, then we don’t see them in the middle, and at the end that information comes back and is significant to the main plot. I’ve been watching the SAW series lately, and if you’ve seen even a few of the movies you’ll know what I’m talking about. Characters you think unimportant are actually incredibly significant to the main plot line, even if they aren’t MCs.

Harry Potter is another great example of non-MCs significantly influencing the story, but I’m sure I don’t have to give you any specific examples of that 🙂

-Savannah J. Foley

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How do you go about developing your Secondary Characters?

QOTW: Romantic Interest

25 Mar

This week’s question is from Miranda, who asks:

How do you guys create a worthy romantic interest for your hero/heroine?

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Honestly? First and foremost, I try to envision a guy I could see myself being interested in. Otherwise I’d have a hard time relating to him. Then I consider what kind of guy would compliment my heroine. If she’s kind of frigid and has trust issues, more than likely he won’t. Admit it — it’d be boring as hell to have two MCs who are bitchy and cold. I’ve found that trying to piece together someone who will eventually help the main character is always a good tactic. If my MC is shy and mousy, I’d probably pair her with a guy who would instill in her a bit of self-confidence. They’ve got to be a good match in terms of personality because, as I said, two people who are continuously in a bad mood are no fun. Lately I’ve taken to stealing bits and pieces from friends’ personalities. My closest male friend gives the best hugs in the world, and that definitely wound up in my current WIP. Also the fact that he’s great at communicating his thoughts without a lot of words. They always say write what you know, so combining that with your image of what you feel your love interest needs to be seems to be pretty foolproof.

Sammy Bina

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Firstly, any romantic interest has to be central to the plot. You can’t have romantic interest just for the sake of romantic interest. However, I do like seeing it in the stories because usually romance challenges the Protag to grow in personal ways. Therefore, the romantic interest needs to provide some sort of conflict, in order to promote growth.

There’s a lot of different types of romances… there’s the ‘We hated each other at first but then grew to like each other’, ‘we didn’t consider each other romantic possibilities at all until later’, ‘we liked each other immediately but it took us forever to get together’, etc. There’s even the ‘we’ve been together for a while but are now being tested to see if our relationship can survive.’ Each of these scenarios provides opportunities for conflict.

Secondly, there has to be CHEMISTRY!!! Chemistry arises from (you guessed it) conflict. We already did a QOTW about that here.

Now, as for that word ‘worthy’… I’m not sure what you mean in this particular situation, but I definitely believe that love interests should be on the same ‘level’ as the MC. They need to be strong enough to offer something to the other person. You’d never be with someone who couldn’t provide something for you, whether it’s comfort or understanding or even financial assistance. Relationships are about give and take. The romantic interest needs to have something to give.

Savannah Foley

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Like Sammy, I first try to think of a guy I might be attracted to–and not just in a physical sense. Looks usually play a really minor role in the process of creating a love interest. While I do consider how the love interest might complement my heroine–what traits they might bring out in her, for better or worse–once I have a vague idea of the character, I run with it.

I let the love interest become their own person, with their own history and wants/goals outside of my heroine’s life. When I know what the love interest wants (um, not in the romantic sense, but more in the sense of what they want from LIFE, what they are trying to accomplish, what they fear most…), then I see how that impacts their relationship with the heroine. Sometimes that means butting heads all the time, sometimes that means an instant, close connection. So, long story short, I think you write a convincing love interest best when the love interest is an actual person–when they’re not only defined by their relationship with the heroine. There isn’t any formula to it.

Sarah J. Maas

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I think about couples as, well, a couple. They’ve got to spark in some way, and while not every couple I write is going to explode with some kind of mad passion for one another, they need to stir up something in each other. They’ve got to complement one another, push one another, support one another.

I try not to just think about this one-sided; the love interest tends to turn out a little shallow sometimes that way. I keep in mind that I’m not “making him for her.” He’s not supposed to be some perfect guy who provides everything she needs. He’s going to need things from her, as well. I write him to be his own person, first.

And yes, sometimes I draw from characteristics I find attractive in real life :P. But actually not that much, because my protagonists ultimately aren’t me, and they’ve got different likes and dislikes. Plus, wouldn’t it be boring if all your books had basically the same love interest–the perfect version of the guy the writer wants to be with?

The Writer on SUBS! 😀

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Got any pointers of your own to share on creating a hero/heroine’s romantic interest? Share them in the comments!

QOTW: Personal Theme Song

28 Jan

We wanted to do something different and fun this week in preparation for heralding in Query Critique Week 2 next week (and the week after)!

So, we decided to answer the following, totally-invented-by-us question:

If you could have one theme song play every time you entered a room, what would it be?

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Battle Without Honor or Humanity, complete with slow motion, as displayed in Kill Bill vol. 1. You have to skip to the 0:17 mark:

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Mine is totally “The Beautiful People” by Marilyn Manson.

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Mine is most definitely “Alles Neu” (which means “Everything New”) by Peter Fox.  This song makes me want to run fast, dance crazy, scream loud, and wreak as much mayhem as possible.

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This is a NO-BRAINER for me!  My theme song would be “How Soon is Now” by The Smiths.  No better guitar part to make an entrance to…

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My theme song would totally be “Fame” by David Bowie. In a way, it kind of already is. I have this playlist on my iPod labeled Metro Melodies, and it’s the first song that plays. I’m not gonna lie, I sauntered around the D.C. metro blasting that song every day this past summer.

… I’m such a freak.

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LOVE THIS SONG. Absolutely adore the Stone Roses. Loooove.

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Deinfitely Song 2 by Blur! Whenever I listen to it on my iPod, I get so tempted to just start jumping up and down.

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Oh, I don’t know if I can pick just one! I’d need a theme PLAYLIST or something! Lately, though, I’ve been rather obsessed with this song… Though it’s far too sweet and melodious and…peaceful to be anything like a theme song of my life 😛

What is YOUR entrance theme song?

QOTW: Why do we fail so?

21 Jan

As the title suggests, us ladies couldn’t get our acts together this week.

We hope you accept our deepest apologies with this hastily drawn image.

QOTW: How Do You Keep Your Plot From Feeling Contrived?

14 Jan

This week’s QOTW comes from H. Holdsworth, who asks: How do you keep your plot from becoming contrived?

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This is a tricky question since almost no plot can be completely “new”. Because of that, you can end up with that “contrived, ripped-off” feeling. I think the best way to avoid this is to give the story a unique aspect — maybe an ironic twist or a crazy-but-lovable character.

For example: wizarding schools? Done a thousand times. Boys who are the Only Ones to stop Evil Bad Guy? Also been done a thousand times. What makes Harry Potter special? The setting — Hogwarts, Diagon Alley, muggles, quidditch. It’s the world that made J.K. Rowling’s series really stand out and attract millions of readers.

Another example: vampire who loves a non-vampire? Done. An immortal who has waited forever to find his True Love? Done. What makes Twilight unique? That a vampire finds his true love, but he doesn’t just love her — he really wants to suck her blood and he’s not sure he can keep himself from doing it! That’s some situational irony. (Plus, it’s a great way to build tension! Whether or not this was intentional, it was a very clever plot device on Meyer’s part!)

One more example: noir detective stories? Definitely been done. Quest to solve best friend’s murder? Also been done. What makes Veronica Mars unique? The MC, Veronica — she’s a tough-as-nails teenager with sarcasm, sleuthing skills, and a softer side to boot. Viewers fell in love with her, and that kept us coming back each episode.

Honestly, though, you can’t avoid the tropes (see Jenn’s post if you don’t believe me). No matter what, something about your plot will leave someone thinking it’s a copy. But remember, no one can tell a story the way you would. Even if I used the exact same plot, scene for scene, it wouldn’t be the same because I can’t write what you write! Your voice is the ultimate weapon in your arsenal for uniqueness.

-The Newest LTWF Contributor With A Book Deal!

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To me, a story seems contrived if its plot has twists and turns that aren’t properly set up.  For instance, if a seemingly unsolvable problem is solved by a character conveniently having an ability that was unknown before the crisis moment, the solution feels contrived.  This kind of problem can be avoided by laying the foundation for events that are to come so that they don’t appear to come out of nowhere.  A story can also seem contrived if a character does something that just doesn’t fit with his or her previous behavior, such as a usually cautious mother asking a stranger to watch her child in a store, or a knight taking off his helmet in the midst of a battle.  When I read a story that has that type of inconsistency, I feel as if I can actually see the hand of the writer in the story, manipulating the characters like puppets so that the plot can take a certain turn.  Contrived stories have that feeling of working out conveniently for the writer.  To make your story ring true, take the time to create authentic characters and be sure that all of their actions are authentic, as well.

-The Writer Out on Subs

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A plot feels contrived when the plot is too external– when it feels too much like the author is holding her characters on strings, orchestrating everything. When a character is fully developed, the plot twists and conflicts will come about organically– it’s the decisions the characters make that effect how the plot plays out. If too many external conflicts are used, it’s no longer the characters controlling the plot, but the writer, and then it starts to feel strained or forced. If you focus on developing your character, the plot will play out more naturally.

This is why I always reccomend that if you have a book idea, the first thing you do is figure out what kind of character would create the most conflict– whether that means a bossy Type A character who loses control, a fashoinista who ends up stranded in the woods, a socially awkward girl who ends up in high society, etc. If you truly think about what kind of characters will naturally create the most conflict, chances are the plot won’t feel forced.

-The Writer And Literary Agent

 

QOTW: Wrapping up Manuscripts

17 Dec

This question came to us via email from Ashley Rhone:

This question has been bothering me for some time now: is it necessary to write my the first book in a series as a standalone? Or can I leave a few strings untied, or even perhaps end the first book on a cliff hanger of sorts?

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This question is a great one because I learned the answer the hard way!  I think most of us would love the chance to see our first novel expanded into a series, and for some very fortunate writers, that’s exactly what happens.  That said, an agent will tell you that it is important that your first novel be able to stand alone, which means it must include a satisfying ending.  Early drafts of FIREFLY left many loose ends (just ask Savannah and Kat, who both read and gave me comments!) and it was very difficult for me to understand why those questions left in the readers’ minds mattered so much.  I wanted to believe that, even if there would never be a second book, the questions were just part of a somewhat mysterious ending.  What I came to understand was that it wasn’t so much about killing all the mystery; it was more about a sense of satisfaction after reading that last page.  You can shake up your readers’ contentment with the ending in Chapter One of Book Two, but your readers need a sense of resolution at the end of  each book.

Julie Eshbaugh

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Julie is exactly right. Readers have to come away from your book ‘satisfied’ that the story drew to a successful end, otherwise they will develop negative feelings about your book, which may impact your readership in the future. Consider M. Night Shyamalan. Man, I like his stories, but I HATE his endings (except for Devil, which I saw recently and really enjoyed!). Endings are very important in wrapping up the reader’s expectations. They invested time and energy into your book, expecting to be rewarded at the end. When there’s no reward, or only a partial reward, they feel cheated.

Agents and editors know this, and that’s why they prefer as many loose ends as possible to be tied up. Given the current economy, fewer trilogy sales are going on right now… many prefer to sell the first book and see how it does before authorizing the second. Therefore, you might only get ONE chance to tell your story, so you need to give it a one-story ending.

-Savannah J. Foley

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I’m gonna have to agree with Julie & Sav on this.  The book needs to be able to stand alone, meaning it needs to end on a satisfying note, track a full character-arc, full plot (with resolution!), and wrap up most loose ends.

That said, The Spirit-Hunters was written as the first book in a trilogy, and I queried it saying, “Though this is the first book in a trilogy, it can stand alone.”  Why did I say that?  Because it can stand alone.  The MC grew into a new, tougher person by the end; the main plot goal of book 1 was answered and resolved; and all but 2 subplots were wrapped up.  There were loose ends at then end of book 1, but they were “minimal”: the introduction of a new villain and an intentional non-resolution of the romance — they were aspects that I could remove if I needed to make the book 100% stand alone (and not part of a trilogy).

Like Julie said: meeting the reader expectations is very important in any novel, but especially your first.  Some series can get away with crazy non-conclusions (::cough, cough:: George R. R. Martin), but not most of us!!

-Susan Dennard

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Have a question you’d like to see answered? Ask us using the QOTW link at the top of the page!

QOTW: What Are You Thankful For?

25 Nov

Remember guys, we’re having a Livechat on Saturday at 3PM EST! Don’t miss it! We’ll be fielding any and all writing-related questions 😀

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In honor of the American celebration of Thanksgiving, we decided to answer the question, What are you thankful for this year?

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I’m feeling especially grateful this year. SO MUCH has changed in my life in the past 12 months–and so much of it is wonderful. Of course I’m grateful for my book deal, and my lovely agent, and my awesome husband, but I’m really, truly grateful for all of the amazing friends who have come into my life this year. I always thought writing was a solitary act, but it’s thanks to my writing that I’ve met so many brilliant people, who make my life brighter just by being in it. So, I’m grateful for my friends, new and old, who are there with me always–who will commiserate at bad news or bounce around screaming at good news, who will make me laugh until I cry, and who will astound and move and inspire me. My world is a better place because of you.

-The Writer With Her First Book Deal

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I’m grateful that all my family, by blood and by love, is still present and accounted for, my job is secure, and my pets (including my new dog!) are healthy, all despite some scares this year. I’m particularly grateful that my creative dam burst and flooded me with good and new ideas to work on when Antebellum finally finds its publishing home. I’m grateful for my wonderful agent who challenged and excited me with a massive rewrite, and I’m grateful that NaNoWriMo gave me the motivation and encouragement to finish it in record time.

There’s so much to be grateful for, and I think Sarah expressed it perfectly: This was probably the worst year of my life so far, but Let The Words Flow and my friends here were always a positive, safe place I could retreat to when I needed an escape. Now pretty much everything has turned around and I expect to end the year on a very positive note 🙂 LTWF taught me a TON this year both as a writer and a person, and I feel more grown up and capable of handling anything that comes my way.

-The Writer Condensing Three Books Into One

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Wow, there’s so much to be grateful for in this past year. It’s been a little over six months since I first joined LTWF, and I’m very grateful for the new friends I’ve made and all the help I’ve received.

I’m grateful for signing with my agent, Emmanuelle, and for the revisions I’ve made to HYBRID that have made it a stronger story. Heck, I finished the first draft of HYBRID this year (WOW, that seems like it happened a long time ago!), so I guess I should be grateful for that, too!

I’ve gotten to know so many wonderful people this year, people from all over the world, and I’ve loved talking with each and every one of you.

There are many other things I’m grateful for, like my family and my friends and my teachers, but the list would be enormous and boring, so I’ll just end here 🙂

The Writer Revising to go on Submissions!

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A lot of great things happened to me this year, so I have a lot to be thankful for! First, I finished my senior thesis, and jumped into the world of querying. The entire experience, from writing the first draft, to revising, to querying, has taught me a lot about writing, but it’s also provided some worthwhile life lessons I won’t soon forget. I’m continually stunned and humbled by the continued support the people over at Plagiarism Haven offer. Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today. To the ladies who help run it, who I count amongst my dearest friends, I’m so thankful. And then there’s LTWF! I am beyond grateful to have found a home here as well. I’ve made even more friends, and gained so much knowledge about this industry, it still seems unreal. Also, I would still be dreading my future if it weren’t for my internship and the people I met this summer. This summer was the summer that changed my life, and I can’t put into words how grateful I am that Elaine and Naomi took a chance on hiring me as their intern.

But above all, I am thankful for my family. I went through a lot this year, and they stood by me through everything. They supported my decisions, and they continue to encourage me, even when I feel like giving up. The love I have for them is unparalleled, and I wouldn’t be who I am today without them. They’re the reason I do what I do, and they’re the reason I feel as lucky, and as thankful, as I do.

-The Writer Querying

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Well, everyone pretty much stole my answers. 🙂

Like the rest of the LTWF ladies, I have so much to be grateful for this year.  I started researching The Spirit-Hunters this time last November, and that book has been my Dream Achiever.  I never thought I’d find so much writing bliss in one year!  I’m grateful for my crit-partners and my agents.  I’m grateful for the great group here at LTWF.  I’m grateful for all the friends I’ve made here and on my main blog.  I’m grateful for the books I’ve gotten to read and critique — so much fun and so educational.

But none of my dreams would have come true if it weren’t for my husband.  He has been more supportive than I ever dared hope someone could be.  He reads my crappy first drafts; he splurges on office supplies for me; he bakes me brain food (a.k.a. cookies) when I need them; and he cheers me up when my self-doubts take control.  All of my writing victories have been his victories too, and sharing that joy with him is such an amazing feeling.  Honestly, he is the Only Reason I’ve gotten this far, and I can never thank him enough for that.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!!

The Newest LTWF Contributor!

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This year has been incredible for me. There is so much that I am grateful for!

It’s almost impossible to believe that it was just earlier this year that I signed with Natalie Fischer of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency, or that it was just a few weeks later that I joined Let the Words Flow. Both of these events have brought such good things into my life. I also began working on a new WIP recently, and I can see how much my own writing continues to improve. I am so thankful for this ongoing growth as a writer. I know I owe it to my agent, my colleagues here at LTWF, and to our readers, who through comments and posts on their own blogs have continually taught me how to be a better writer. Thank you all so much!

This year was also significant for me because I survived a very serious car accident. I would never choose something like that as a means of growth, but I did learn a lot about persistence and patience as I came back from my injuries.

Which brings me to my family. (After all, they took excellent care for me during the six weeks I was bedridden!) I am so fortunate to be blessed with a husband who supports my goals and never complains that the house cleaning and laundry take a back seat to my writing, and a son who not only puts up with the fact that I’m “not like the other moms,” but actually seems to be proud of that fact! My family makes me smile every day, and for that, I am truly thankful!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! ❤

The Writer Revising To Go On Submissions!

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I am grateful for so many great things! My 3 year old had her first *real* snow day yesterday, and seeing her throw back her head and laugh while the sled went down the hill was a definite highlight of my life, let alone the day. 🙂

I am grateful for my wonderful family and friends, and that we’ve all managed to stay healthy.

And…of course, my talented clients, who wow me every day and remind me of why I love my job.

I’m grateful for the readers who purchased PRADA AND PREJUDICE or YOU WISH and sent them into their sixth and third printings, respectively. I’m grateful for wonderful books to read and a warm house when it is freeeezing outside.

Happy T-day everyone! Hope you have a wonderful meal and a family to spend it with.

The Writer and Literary Agent

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What are you thankful for today?

QOTW: Writer Munchies

29 Oct

In honor of Halloween this weekend, we thought we’d answer this QOTW about treats from Angela!

After following a lot of writers on twitter, I realized that we all have something called “writer`s munches”. For example, mine is chocolate. I can`t write a single word without a bite of my chocolate-y goodness.

What food or drink do you like to snack on when you write? I think this is also a good time to exchange recipes, lol.

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Cheesy popcorn is my snack of choice. I may or may not have eaten an entire bag during one rather furious writing session a week ago… It’s like I eat it without thinking, and when I finish a chapter, the bag is gone. I’m convinced a ghost came and ate half the bag when I wasn’t looking.

As for my drink of choice, I firmly believe apple cider makes any writing session a million times better.

The Writer and Former Intern Currently Querying

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CHOCOLATE COVERED RAISINS. They’re just so damn good. I don’t like raisins alone or raisins in bread or anything but when they’re covered in chocolate, it’s just the perfect mix of sweet and tangy and fruity and YUM. If that’s not available, any kind of small finger food that doesn’t leave your hands greasy/sticky/grimy is awesome because I don’t have to worry about picking up utensils. It’s faster to use fingers, pop it in your mouth, and continue writing :P.

Drink of choice is just water. I always have water on my desk.

The Writer Editing Her First Novel!

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Coffee first and foremost.  Then, I tend to eat cookies…  Any kind will do, but usually I end up with something called “Karamellgebäck” (caramel cookies).  They’re pretty AMAZING, and you can’t eat just one.  Plus, they go perfectly with coffee — an amazing taste bud combination.

Next, I go crazy over candy — specifically sour gummy bears.  Germans are known for their amazing gummy bears, and my particular favorites are soooooo delicious and sooooo addictive.  Strangely, though, this one brand is really hard to find.  I can only ever get them at this one Bauhaus (like a Home Depot), and then only when they happen to have them in stock.  Needless to say, when they are available, I LOAD UP.  I look like an idiot — going to a Bauhaus only to buy ten giant packages of gummy bears.  But my cravings shall not be denied!

I’m actually giving away all my favorite munchies for my giveaway extravaganza.  What a crazy random happenstance!

The Newest LTWF Contributor!

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I like rice crackers, sometimes and tea. Lots and lots of tea (I’m very seriously addicted to tea, I drink like six-seven cups a day and if I try to cut back and drink four I get the worst headaches. Withdrawal symptoms from tea, I kid you not). I’m also a fan of chocolate. But I don’t really eat very much when I write — usually I just forget to eat because I get all caught up in the story.

The Other Writer on Submissions

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I don’t have a go-to snack… I think I usually take food breaks because the part I’m writing is tough and I just don’t want to deal with it. Eating is an avoidance tactic, lol. I usually go for leftovers, but something sweet definitely has more appeal. I’ll eat energy bars, little ice cream cups, potato chips… anything bad for me, really. And let’s just say that we have way less Halloween candy for trick-or-treaters today than we had when I first bought it (note to self: NEVER by Halloween candy until the day before!)

Does anyone else like to munch but also resent it cause then your hands get icky and you have to wipe them on something before you type again? I wish I could eat and type at the same time, lol.

-The Writer Converting Three Books Into One!

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It’s a toss up between brownies, or toast with Nutella. Actually, since brownies require time to actually make (time I don’t really have these days), I’d say it’s more often than not toast and Nutella. I swear I have a serious addiction to that stuff. I sometimes even eat spoonfuls of Nutella straight from the jar! I mean… bread and choclate/hazelnut spread? HEAVEN!

The Writer in the Publishing Industry Working On Her First Novel!

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I really don’t snack while I write, because, like Savannah, I use snacking as an excuse for a “get-up-from-the-laptop” break.  I love gummy bears, and at Easter, I could (and practically do) live on marshmallow Peeps.  Susan’s story about going to the store just to buy massive amounts of sweets hits home with me.  At Easter, I’ll get in the check-out lane with a cart FULL of Peeps. (They last for months, but you have a very short window in which to stock up.)  I usually try to make some fraudulent chit-chat with my husband to deceive the cashier – something like, “Do you think this will be enough Peeps for all the kids at the party?” but he always tells the cashier that I’m full of crap and they’re all for me!  Ah, well, I couldn’t be too embarrassed; I just confessed the truth of my addiction on the internet!

Beverage of choice?  Easy – Diet Coke with Lime.  🙂

The Writer on Submissions!

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I require Diet Coke. Beyond that, I love gummy bears or baked sour cream and cheddar chips. Mmmmmm.

I also love skittles.

The Writer and Literary Agent

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I definitely need some form of caffeinated beverage, preferably coffee, diet coke, or diet mountain dew. But if it’s late enough in the day (past 6), I need a pot of caffeine-free tea sitting on my desk. As for food…I’m pretty much prone to eating everything from dumplings to cheetos, though I DO have a soft spot for ravioli…

The Writer With Her First Book Deal!

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Like Vee I need tea, lots and lots of hot tea, or in the middle of summer, good, southern sweet tea. I don’t tend to eat when I’m writing because I forget, and food just gets in the way, it makes my hands sticky and crumbs get on the keyboard. A nice big mug is much easier to deal with!

The Other Writer Currently Querying

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Add me to the list of people who can’t eat while they’re writing. I can’t really do anything while writing. I have to completely be in the zone, which is hard enough with my gnat-sized attention span. However, I eat all the time while staring at my manuscript and willing it to write itself 🙂 Munchies of choice are cereals–anything that’s satisfyingly crunchy and at least a little sweet. Right now, I’ve got a bit of an obsession with Raisin Bran Crunch. I don’t know what’s up with the raisin hate, Billy–raisins are awesome! And the cereal is really good. Really. You should try it. Just don’t blame me once the addiction takes hold.

-The Writer Who Just Signed With an Agent!

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What are YOUR go-to writer munchy foods?