Sunday, October 2, 2011

sometimes

I need to remind myself why I'm even finishing #dawnWIP. Yeah, if that's not enough to tell me to shove into a drawer, right?

I have to because I've been trying to get this story out of my head. And I challenged myself to actually finish a story in its entirety.

I don't know how much different from the original this story can be anymore. It's unrecognizable. I don't like the story further than the fact that I LOVE the MMC. Like seriously, I die when I read about him.

Storyline needs cleaning, but the world is just amazing (to me.) FMC has a voice (HOLY CROW did it shock me when betas said they loved the snark) but I don't really like her. Is that a thing? There's nothing wrong with her, really. She's just very uninteresting to me.

She always has been, really. She's normal and what's to remain that way. I really wish she had more goals other than escaping a supernatural society and/or trying blend her two worlds together. (I think that's what sequels are for. Maybe?)

As far as YAs I've read, the FMC is very meh, the MMC is oh so yummy, and the suspense is the plot of the story. I have no suspense but I have a boring FMC (which I hate to read in other books) and a steamy (to me and other betas) MMC. *thumbs up*

So, yeah. There's the problem with #dawnWIP.

Tips? I'm running out of ways to save this story.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

how to get me to comment on your blog

From the creator(s) who brought you that other how-to blog post on here, comes: HOW TO GET ME TO COMMENT ON YOUR BLOG!

I know you guys have been waiting for this one. I can feel it. (But I am a little crazy and pretend to feel the weather changing too even though I've never broken a bone.)

Let's see. Where to begin. It's not as hard as it seems. First, if you really want my opinion, shove your blog in my face. Use a catchy title or lie to me, flat out.

Once there, I won't read a block of writing but if your paragraphs are small, I'll forget why I came to your blog and read it.

Next, make sure you have voice. I don't know what to say about that. I have no blogging voice. Blogs aren't my dealio so that's up to you, Captain Underpants.

And last, make sure I can comment. If things ask me to do stuff after I type up a reply, likely I'll navigate away and throw the comment out of my head. No pop-ups or whatchamacallits. Human verifiers. They're annoying and I have tech trouble as is :P

Also, I liked weird pictures. Those are a bonus and if you have shiny pictures, I will come back and follow your blog. (YOU HAVE TO MAKE FOLLOWING YOUR BLOG EASY TOO!)

Don't tell the author she doesn't follow her own rules. She barely has a blog and barely knows how to use it. But this is for YOUR benefit. Not hers. She'll forget this post after awhile.

i feel like i do one of these every week

Okay, the contest thing for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is going to be held off for awhile. I know, I know. I always do this but I've got finals, and school enrollment stuff to think about. Sleep? Yeah. Past 72 hours I've gotten maybe 19 hours of sleep.

I think that's unhealthy. I should know but my brain is dead. Also, I've got revisions and we ALL know how that goes for my brain. I become a zombie and then things get sour.

On top of that (oh there's a list of things that I have to spell out), family is going into a transition stage. We're going to get new phones and better internet and HOPEFULLY a better computer for me. Phone's dead. Like really. Comp goes on standby for just about anything...yep. *sigh*

So there's your Rainbow Cupcake newsletter.

Feel free to wince for me when I *don't* get anything and stop talking to my writing community again. MAJOR SIGH.

--E.I.G

Monday, September 19, 2011

how to get me to buy your self-pub

I've seen the tweets but kept my mouth shut. I mean, I can't say I'm enthusiastic about self-pubs but I'm not opposed. Self-pubbed peeps have some pants and determination...

But a lot of them are also just a little bit out of it.

No, I'm not a pubbed author. In any way. (Not that I remember.) But I'm a reader and I see these things.

The self-pubs that I've pawed through, and I've gone through MANY, have so many grammar mistakes, plot holes, he said/she said screw ups, I exploded into fury. You want my money? Work for it.

And I'm not just say this about self-pubs. I've bought some other books with typos. Ask those books how their book spine feels after I flung them at walls.

I except the little things but if you want to write for money, go to a class, learn how to edit, take your time, and let the story age. Lather, rinse, repeat.

If you're on a schedule (and this happens to ME a lot) get a beta. We work for hugs and returned betaship.

Now, after you've done that, put it to the test. Stamp an excerpt where it is easy to find and make sure you've put the best out there. (By that, I mean the beginning.) I need a hook and first pages should hook.

Just because you work for yourself, doesn't mean you decide how hard you work. Give us your best and we will come in hordes for your books.

Anything else to add? Those are my peeves.

*The author of this blog doesn't ask for your money so she will keep on having an affair with commas she probably knows shouldn't be in her work.*

how to fix the problems with blogs

Complain.

I did, on Twitter, and presto-magico, my buds came to the rescue. Miss Cherie told me that if I unclick the Stay Signed In button, that I'll be able to comment on my own blog and Bamo-Presto! again. It worked. I hate technology :) but if it works, meh.

<3 (Thanks, Cherie)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

the problem with blogs

I keep trying to answer your comments and stuff, but it doesn't work. So if you left a comment, I'm sorry :( Also, anyone want to direct me to a nonterrible blogging site? I am SO done with Blogger.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

First of All

Since no one took my offer of free books, I'll be making a giveaway/contest soon to win some YA titles. (IDEAS ARE SO TOTALLY WELCOME.)

Second:
I've been revising like MAD. Like, I couldn't function kind of revising. (And I don't know how well I'll do with the betas.) I missed socializing and being able to finish a thought without it being a sentence from my story. SO YOU GUYS ROCK FOR STILL BEING AROUND!

Third:
I can't even begin to tell you guys how crazy I am about my upcoming due date! (Book Baby) I think I've got something here and 33 days from now I'll be querying. AND HYPERVENTILATING LIKE MAD!

This story means so much to me and I hope that my hard work shows. If the story doesn't sell, though, I'm just going to tuck it away for another few years. I've done it once, I'll do it again.

Right now, I just came up another story idea. I'm not going to stop being a writer because I'm not published. :) Besides, I can always torment you guys with my unpublishables ;D


So let me know what you guys think I should do for the giveaway/contest! :D

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Notepad Trick!

I'm sorry for not blogging often! Computer is just not happy with me and frankly, I'm not too happy with it either! I've got a list of problems/consequences now because it won't work.

Well, anyway, on to the point of the story. I've edited and edited again my story. If you follow me on Twitter you have an idea how awful my first few edits have been. Even this one that I'm on (Draft "7") has been sleep depriving (am I spelling that wrong?)

I've never really gone this far in edits with one story but it seems worth it. For now.

But I'm here to share a secret. After the betas (and at the end I only had one that really worked. Fail. YOU CAN TOTALLY HELP WITH THAT, THOUGH.), I kept notes, I'm going back to tighten up the draft for another round and as I'm going, I remembered a trick awhile back to help me catch all the editing errors.

You see, even a great reader can sometimes change in their head or overlook typos, but not computers. Stay with me on this one.

Most of us have this primative thing on our computer called Notepad. It's pretty useless, really. Unless you want it to read to you.

Step One:
Open Notepad. Duh.

Step Two:
Past this in: CreateObject("SAPI.SPvoice").Speak" "

Step Three:
CreateObject("SAPI.SPvoice").Speak"THIS IS WHERE YOU PUT YOUR WORK IN"
  • There's a catch. Get rid of your little " and ( and ... (it'll say comma if you don't) and all other symbols. No spaces or whatever. Sounds like hard work, I know. I KNOW. I did it yesterday and it SUCKED. But it'll be worth it when the computer says done instead of down and you catch that typo.

Step Four:
Save the file, after all that crap in Step Three, as xyz.vbs

Step Five:
Open up the formatted version of your work about to be read to you.

Step Six:
Go to My Documents. Double click the script looking icon that is xyz.vbs and quickly go to your work.
  • Now, the reading is a little hard to listen to, at first. Robot voice. And also, if you need more time to get your doc, put something random at the beginning. (Like: Book Title by the fabulous Insert Your Awesome Name Here, as read by Insert Your Comp's Name Here. [I'm not the only one who named my computer.])

It's not much but it's something. :) Let me know if you guys have other tips!
P.S. I'm sure Notepad has other uses.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Team Ked

I'm not sure when there was an offer to review DOME. I'm not even entirely sure how or when I volunteered but it came to me by email from Nova Sparks herself.


I couldn't tell you the last time I read some sci-fi stuff (mostly because genre titles and I don't mix) but I had already read a snippet of DOME on another person's blog and I watched the book trailer. It seemed like somehting I'd want to read into.


The story is 65k and told from two POVs. Sam, a Colorado man, and his daughter Emma. The story starts with Sam's world(s) drowning under some mysterious dreams that foretell an upcoming catastrophe. The destruction of the world.
But at least there's a rescue...they think.


Well, I thought I would actually talk more about the book's other characters but...I'm kinda in love with Ked. (He's taken, ladies. And I will @&%# you up if you try something.) Ked's Emma's Syrion friend who takes her around the forbidden darkness of his planet.


And much like Romeo and Juliet, Emma and Ked's blossoming romance is forbidden and dangerous to both. (Just ask Sam's too touchy friend) Ked's coldness at first does a 180 in time to make me love him. Holy CROW! THE BOY MAKES ME SWOON!


If not for the incredible suspense, the sci-fi awesome, or the worldbuilding (damn that planet is well built! You feel the blinding darkness and the dome's domeiness), get it for KED! I mean, Emma's POV...yeah, her.


He's so brave, and so cool, and so level-headed, and I love him, and I married him in space Vegas and he's the only fictional guy who I've tried to marry. (And I have a hot and heavy crush on Mr. Heathcliff. Just ask my tattered WUTHERING HEIGHTS.)


My only real complaints about the self-pub sci-fi 1st POV book was that some places needed some copy editing. At the beginning, I didn't really believe what was happening to Sam. Also, it wasn't completely about KED AND EMMA! (but I am a YA romance writer/readerso...)


Sam's POV definitely added tension though and I loved them. Heart beat fast :D


I could go on about Ked but I'm sure my Mother-in-Law (oh, she knows about this. She does. I spam her with Wish-You-Were-Here tweet postcards all the time.) would rather me not rewrite the story right here.


Oh, and for those of you who have read DOME before, one: Ked is SOOOOO mine still. Two: Not La Push, the push ;)


(YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT THAT INSIDE JOKE WAS @.@)
Author Nova Sparks:
Twitter: @NovaSparksBooks (http://twitter.com/#!/NovaSparksbooks)
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/novasparksauthor
Blog: http://novasparks.blogspot.com/

Thursday, July 28, 2011

all about dawn

I tweet a lot about #dawnWIP and the continuation. So...

What is #dawnWIP?
It's a YA 115k (for now). Fantasy. Some romance. I guess part dystopian. (You'll see.)
The story revolves around the main character Ariel London who gets thrust into a secret society of "outcasts" and double immortals. The only way to leave is to die. Not such an undoable thing when she has a heart condition with less than half a year left on the prognosis.
But that's why she wants to leave. It'll take some time to outwit some of the people who want to keep her but that doesn't work in her favor when she becomes attached to some of the hopeless souls trapped in DDS.
Now leaving would be selfish and murder, but if she doesn't leave, she'll never see her family ever again.

Plans for the future?
Haven't decided. When it's done. When it's perfect to me. I'll either query it, self-pub, or post it up on the blog :) I'm not picky. I might even keep it for myself.

Current projects?
Synopsis, query (for my use), and blurb.
And I'm working on bringing to life the hectic sequel.

Want an extra?
It's a deleted scene for a reason. But I think it has potential as an extra :)

            “Dove-cakes,” Jerry laughed. The leader. He was pretty. Like the rest of the jerks who lived in Lalaland. And ew. Dove-cakes? I frowned. “What did you do to your foot?”
            “Battled the sea creature living at the bottom of my bathtub for some foot soaking time,”
            Rey, the beautiful one, snickered. “Did you lose?”
            “No. You should have seen him,”
            Jerry sat beside me, much to Margret’s sulk, and smiled at me.
            He was so close and so pretty. I stared.
            “Hi, my la—” the baby faced one gasped with one hand over his chest. He collapsed backwards into the beautiful one’s arms.
            I gasped too. “Is he okay?”
            Jerry frowned at me. “My cousin had a bad bone break awhile back.”
            Darren and Rey laughed. “Run,” they said at the same time, remembering. I assumed they were screwing around when the break happened.
            Jerry shrugged. “Harold sort of busted his bone through skin,” he whispered. “Scared the crap out of him,” he whispered and quickly cleared his throat to cover up.
            I turned to Margret who had been invited to the empty chair by the lady. She didn’t seem to care for the boys.
            I turned back to them.
            Darren lifted his auburn eyebrow at me. “How you doin’?”
            They knew the head of the household was right behind me, right?
            Lady Armani was watching curiously but unresponsive. She seemed entranced, actually, with our talk.
            The doors locked the chefs in. I stared, confused, at the butlers locking the glass doors from the outside. No one else had moved.
            Lady Armani suddenly laughed evilly. The sound scared the chefs and yeah, me.
            I turned to her.
            “I have you all to myself!”
            If she wasn’t so damn powerful, I’d really consider taking her to a hospital to get that crazy checked.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

keeping the story alive

I don't know how many times I've said this but I've rewritten (completely) my current WIP (#dawnWIP) several times in the past few years. And by several times, I can name at least 15 attempts. I have the drafts to prove it.

I can't say for sure why it failed so many times but I can tell you all the things I did.

First, I wrote the damn thing. The first time I made things up, tied them together, and finished it with a cliffhanger into the next chapter of the series (it wasn't meant for a series when I started it but it said so at the end. Damn endings.)

I was a newbie. It had to be my fifth full lenght story? So when I was done, didn't want to leave it, hated it when I read it, tossed it and started over. And over. And over. And over again.

It wasn't how I liked it so I took one idea, wrote the rest of the series and couldn't edit the first part of the story. So I did what anyone would do--or should do, really--go back to the original, sit my butt down, and write.

That's what I'm doing now but it's been two years so a lot of the original is hard to put in...enter the handy-dandy Director's Notebook writing edition!

That's right. I'm writing a diary to #dawnWIP on my first struggles, the original scenes that made me fall in love, where the characters came from, the original playlist, and the like.

I have to say  writing a Writer's Notebook was the best idea I ever had. When I put down the essence of the story, I can write #dawnWIP, read the notebook, and edit.

Hopefully, this version will make it to MS state.  And it will get there with the essence I've saved into the notebook.

My tips:
  1. Write as a companion. Director's Notebooks exist. Paw through one sometime.
  2. Let yourself wander in the explanations/inspirations/processes
  3. Speak all the truth
  4. Pretend you're rich-off-your-butt famous and let yourself talk to your fans. They want to know every detail about this story :)

Let me know what you guys think!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

apology

I often complain about some of my classmates. Some of them are rude, others very petty (worse) than me, but most of them hate each other and never tell. There's always drama, but I recently tweeted that one of my classmates (I get along with her too) had medical problems "up the yin-yang".

I said it because I'm pro-natural choice. You eat better, excercise, and do the best you can, you'll be the best you can. There are instances when your body can't do something or the other no matter how hard you try. That's where I think you have to med up.

This classmate had all kinds of problems and I saw how she ate and thought to myself that if she took care of herself instead of love about it, she wouldn't have to interrupt class with her med stories.

Tweets on her specifically I might still stand by (I can't remember them all) but she said something about her mother's complications and I tweeted the same thing. This family obviously doesn't take care of themselves, I thought to myself.

Well, later on, she said that most of her mother's complications where from skin cancer. And I felt terrible. I shouldn't have said that without knowing. I know I didn't know but it's one of the only times I opened my big mouth to talk about someone I didn't completely know.

Moral of the story: I'll never talk about anyone again. That I don't know. I know a lot of my classmate because she talks about everything and I know what she's doing is wrong. She knows it's wrong. But I shouldn't talk about her either.

Judging is bad.

So I wanted to apologize publicly for that because that was totally wrong of me and next time you see me talk about someone's health/choices slap me over the head :)

Friday, July 15, 2011

book trailer in the making

Stay, die.

Leave...

die

What could I choose? If the person who could save my life wanted to take it?
How about these lines? Mystery + pics + music=idea?

the query game: things agents don't want to see

We've all seen those tweets with the #queries/#querytip hashtag and we've retweeted and taken notes. I've pulled together all the notes I have on queries so far.

1. Don't start queries with clauses
ex: With Melanie Gray on the verge of..., Heather...

2. No first POV
I've seen agents vary on this, though. Like Nelson Literary Agency. I'm sure one of their new clients wrote a 1st POV query.

3. Read author under the agent's name and their guidelines.
You'd be surprised how different guidelines can be from agent to agent. They also want personalized letters. Writers who query want to get pubbed (duh) and just mass querying makes you look like you're desperate for it. If you do your research and show it in your letter, it shows that you took the time to find someone you want to work with. (Don't waste my time, I won't waste yours--agent rule)

4. Avoid acronyms everyday people wouldn't understand
MIA most of us know to be Missing in Action. FBI we might not all know but we have some idea what it means. ME most of us would draw a blank on. (ME=Medical Examiner. Thank you, Liana Brooks.)

5. Don't give the point of the story, let it show.
Don't say the theme, let it show through. Can't let it show? Just talk about the story up until the deciding point.

6. Don't be redundant and for everyone's benefit: K.I.S.S. (tell me you know this one. I hate using the word stupid. Oh well: Keep it simple, stupid.)

7. Edit queries.
Let them age. You age and edit your MS don't you? Queries TOO.

8. 250 word count is good for a query. (1 pg)

9. No links
The way I see it, but agents probably don't--I don't know--, they have no reason to trust you or put extra effort. Again, never heard an agent say that but that's the way I see it.


The point is to entice the agent into asking for more and letting the agent fall in love with your story. Agents WANT to fall in love with your work. They love books just as much as you do so do your part to hook them and reel them in :)

Have something to add? Feel free to comment below!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

feedback time

Stay, die.

Leave...

die

So whatever I chose would have to be based on something else.

A little part of me wondered if I could pick an option where death had a slimmer chance of winning.

If I stayed...would this lifestyle really be so bad? Always guarded, always protected, loved maybe.

If I left, the world would end quickly.

As much as I hated him, as much as I feared him, without him...

What could I choose? If the person who could save my life wanted to take it?


I won't say how I feel because I want to know what you think. NOTHING IS OFF THE TABLE AS FAR AS COMMENTS.

Please comment! It'd be nice to have someone pick this apart and let me know what they think!

Monday, June 27, 2011

#dawnWIP fave lines

Lines I post on Twitter for your enjoyment here ;)

It would be easy. Would he even blink?

"Run down the road screaming like a maniac and hope the lady won't let me be killed if I get caught again."

But if he tries to rape me, like you make it seem like, kill him.

"It's okay," I told him with a smile. "I speak human...and antique,"

Hell in his eyes, mercy in his lips. That's the way he wanted to play it.

It felt like I was their pet goldfish.

Stupid outrageously pretty and polite non-monster boys.

So predicatable. Boys and anacondas.

You can get the latests by Twitter searching: #dawnWIP #lines

*This is pre-edit quotes. They might not last for the next draft.*

Current Projects

On my current writing projects list:

--blog series: BLOWN AWAY
When Aidan disappears out of the blue, Ash blames herself for never being able to tell him how she really felt until the moment people around her begin to die just seconds after she leaves him. The closer the attacks seem to be, the stranger she feels. Like Aidan is watching her.
Can he be the one trying to kill her?

--#dawnWIP
Her chances of leaving are slim. Her chances of surviving are slimmer when the person who can save her life is the one who wants to take it.

--The manga
Character arc to a story, this is the mangafication to a love story between two boys as innocent as Romeo and Juliet.

--#starsdraft
Supposed to be edited for August querying. Haven't seen it in weeks.

I'm dealing with school, job-searching, and wedding planning. It's a miracle when I steal the muse for 10k. (Which in writer terms is a lot. DID. NOT. KNOW.)

Monday, June 6, 2011

About Me!

I'm just your basic all-over-the-place happy-go-lucky YA-fantasy-starcrossed-lovers writer. I tweet a lot at L_E_official ebelleful elyananoreme on Twitter. I usually blog about writing but I'm changing it up by writing a series on here. Let's see how it goes. :)
I might query more this year but I do like to write for myself mostly.
my picture. Mine.
:)

--E. Belle