In Need of Creative Ways to Store Your Book Collection?

Books? Like those paper-and-ink thingys? Yeah, people still got ’em. And if you’re like me and never get rid of any of your books regardless of how many times you’ve read them, you will love these incredibly creative and unique ways to display/store/show off your collection.

Click here for the article from Chatelaine.com.

My particular favorite is #5 (linked & pictured above). What’s yours?

Critique Blog Hop Week 8

It’s Sunday, and that means another addition to the Critique Blog Hop! You can click that link for more information, or check out this page on my blog for the details.

This week I’m returning to my highest priority work-in-progress – On The Surface. These are the freshest 250 from what I’ve managed to add to it over the past few weeks… my schedule just has not been kind to my creative side lately. These are also the (current) first lines of the second chapter. I’m considering changing the point of view for the story, as I feel it may be more powerful in the first person POV rather than third. Any comments or thoughts on that are welcome!

—-

Liza wasn’t exactly thrilled about the idea of cleaning up the house. It would undoubtedly be a huge task, and why did they have to sell it anyway? After all, the house was still filled with Pap’s belongings, and most of his wife’s. She just knew her mother would get emotional, and then her dad would become annoyed and the whole thing would go to hell. Just thinking about the impending hours in the old house was exhausting.

They pulled into the cracked cement driveway between the house and the garage. Liza couldn’t help but notice her grandmother’s rose bush was blooming beautiful, bright pink flowers. They were still somewhat closed, like roses that people get for corsages or in arrangements for special occasions. They weren’t exactly buds, but they still had some time before they would open completely. She sighed as they walked past the bush and underneath the overhang.

“I’m so glad you decided to stay home for school, Liza,” her mother said over her shoulder. “You’ll be able to help us get the house ready.”

Before she could stop herself, she rolled her eyes at her mother’s comment. Luckily, though, her mother was in front of her and wasn’t looking. She knew her parents had been nervous about her college decision, but they were not the sole reason she chose to stay home when she could have gone to the state’s best school – three hours away.

—-

Like what you read? Check out these great authors for more 250 word excerpts!

http://mermaidssinging.wordpress.com/

http://caitlinsternwrites.wordpress.com/

http://ileandrayoung.com

http://jennykellerford.wordpress.com

http://jennifermeaton.com/

http://richardleonard.wordpress.com

http://jordannaeast.com

http://itsjennythewren.wordpress.com/

https://wehrismypen.wordpress.com

http://jlroeder.wordpress.com

http://letscutthecrap.wordpress.com/

 

Great Tips for Dialogue From Meg Waite Clayton

My latest endeavor in the publishing industry has been to follow all the big publishers, agents, writers, etc., on Twitter. I absolutely love their tweets, and I wish I had done this so much sooner. I highly recommend it. Side note: I also love TweetDeck for following certain publishing-related hashtags, but I’ll probably post more about that later on.

Anyway, it was via @RandomHouse that I discovered this gem of advice for writing dialogue, as compiled by Meg Waite Clayton, author of The Wednesday Sisters, among other titles. She’s got a great blog full of great advice, not just on dialogue, so those of you working on your own stuff should definitely check her out!

Meg’s Blog: http://megwaiteclayton.com/1stbooks/

My Twitter List of Significant Writing/Publishing Entities: https://twitter.com/kmwehr/writing-publishing (in case you’re interested in doing the same!)

Giving Backstory WITHOUT Info Dumping?

This is the current challenge I’m facing with my WIP. I need to explain some backstory, as my protagonist’s character flaw stems from a death in her family that happened way in the past.

I know the first question I should be asking myself is “Is it really necessary information?” It is — without including it, my readers and critiquers are kind of like, “Meh, she’s just dramatic and sad.”

It’s actually a lot harder than I originally thought. I want to show and not tell, but it’s hard to “show” history. Just about every writer will tell you, “NEVER INFO DUMP. EVER!” (Imagine someone saying that you to in the same manner the Mythbusters always give their “never try this at home… EVER!” warning… hehe.)

But in my research, I’m finding that some writers say info dumping might be the only tool in certain situations. And if that’s the case, you’ve got to work to try to make this information matter to the reader now.

Some suggestions I’ve collected from various writer’s blogs on how to accomplish this include:

“The more your information dumps relate directly to a story element currently at play in your narrative, the easier it is to hold an audience’s attention.” – From Lit Reactor

“Add Tension:  Make the info dump something that causes problems for the characters.” – From Jami Gold’s Blog

“I think the key to making information entertaining is to entwine it with drama — and that means ensuring that the characters’ happiness is tied to it too.” – Ruv Draba, a moderator at Scribophile

Would anyone else care to offer their opinions, advice, or techniques for getting essential backstory to the reader without the dreaded info dump?

 

It’s Nov. 1st – GOGOGOGO!!!

Hey NaNo’ers! (Like that? I think that’s a common term for us November novelists…) I know it’s been a while since my last update, but …

It’s that time of year again and I have to say I’m SO excited to be able to finally have the time to give NaNo a legitimate shot this go ’round. I have a rought idea in mind for a story I’d like to get down (perhaps I’ll share some tidbits if I end up liking it enough!), and I hope everyone else has at least an inkling of where to go with their rough drafts too!

For inspiration, I found a list on Twitter of novels that were published that actually began as NaNoWriMo projects. It includes one of my all-time favorite reads (and I highly, HIGHLY reccommend it after the craziness of this month is over!) The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern. HOLY CRAP! I never knew! But the book is so great. Of course, as the article states, she didn’t publish it in it’s NaNo form. Heavy editing was applied before this one hit the shelves. 🙂

Another novel that was wildly popular (enough to be made into a MOVIE recently!) that doesn’t appear on the list but that I know began as a NaNo project is Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen.

So there you have it, folks. Perhaps 50k in 30 days is the perfect motivation for some of us (including me) to get that first draft of a manuscript out of our heads and onto the page!

Also, for your reading pleasure, and perhaps as a help to get yourselves started: Do You Have a Plot?

Another Website for Writers

Today I wanted to share a website I came across via Twitter. It’s called Query Shark, and it’s for writers to submit their query letters to be workshopped before they send them off to potential agents or publishers. I’ve learned so much from just reading this website that I feel much more confident that I can craft a good one when the time comes.
Check it out! http://queryshark.blogspot.com/

Has anyone gone through the process of writing a query letter for a publisher or agent or anything like that? Any tips for the rest of us?