Monday, September 30, 2013

The Difference Between Revising and Editing

Hope you had a wonderful week!

There was something about editing I didn't understand for a long time.  I even read James Scott Bell's book on Revision and Self Editing, and still didn't know there was a difference.  I thought they were different words for the same thing.

Then, in my essay writing class, the teacher handed out a paper.  It illustrated the arms and cup method to revising and editing.  Suddenly, I realized the difference.  Maybe you already knew this, but if not, I found this incredibly helpful.



Add--for novels, this means adding scenes, characters, plot lines, or chapters.
Remove--throwing out scenes, characters, plot lines, and the like.
Move--rearrange all of the previously mentioned items.
Substitute--re-writing scenes, characters, ect.



In the end, revising is still writing.  You're changing and shaping the plot and your characters, but editing can be done by you.  It can be done by anyone with a red pen who's read The Elements of Style or the Chicago Manual of Style.  Editing makes you look more polished, but it's not about the actual stry, it's about the individual words.

Thanks for reading!  Hope you have a wonderful week.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Deleting 15,000 Words a.k.a. Frustration

For those of you who don't know, I've been editing my novel MioM (abbreviation) since the beginning of August.  I started this novel when I was about 11 and finished the first draft when I was 13.  I edited the first draft a little bit then, but quickly moved on to other novels.

I went back and worked on it again at age 14ish.  I had learned a lot about writing, especially beginnings.  I pretty much deleted and re-wrote my first 5k. 

As I've been re-working my novel for the third time, I've had a hard time knowing where to start.  I took over 4500 words worth of notes about how my characters were flat, my setting uninspired, and my plot lacking and it all seemed so overwhelming.  Finally I decided I had several scenes that were beyond salvaging.  I started with the chapter where my beginning re-writes had stopped.  It was bad.  The next chapter was too.  I continued reading until I arrived at a place where I was actually happy with my novel.  I deleted everything in between.

Suddenly, my word count plummeted from 57K, (which I already knew was short) to 41K.  I started to panic.  I hid away from my book for a week, wasting time on trifling things like Pinterest and School.

I read all of Ally Carter's latest book, United We Spy.  I starting reading a Donald Maass book I got back in June.  Reading that good work of fiction and a good instruction manual on how to write fiction, I got even more frustrated.  I hated my book.  I would never amount to anything worthy of publication.  I would certainly never be labeled a "good" writer.  My book stunk, my characters were thinner than tissue paper.  I was a bad writer.

Despite the fact that I wrote almost 3K over the weekend, I'm still not happy with my books, my ideas, or my characters.  My writing and I are barely on speaking terms.  I kind of want to curl up in a hole with my kindle and forget Microsoft Word ever existed.

What do you do to combat these feelings of unworthiness?  This has never happened to me before.  Does the fear go away?  Please tell me it goes away.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

TEEN BLOGGERS: National Teen Read Week Blog Tour

So.  It's September 19. Exactly one month from today, national teen read week will end.

What is Teen Read Week, you ask?
National Teen Read Week is a week dedicated to encouraging reading in teens across American and the world.  It's hosted by YALSA or Young Adult Library Services Association.

When is Teen Read Week?
This year's teen read week is October 13-19.

What happens during Teen Read Week?
It's really just a week of encouraging teens to read books, use their libraries, and fall in love with reading.  This years theme is Seek the Unknown @ Your Library.

What is Inklined doing for Teen Read Week?
Inklined is hosting a blog tour.  There will hopefully be posts at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  There will also be an 8:00 pm post Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

What is a blog tour?
A blog tour is an online event that travels from blog to blog.  It is a series of connected or related posts all linked together by the hosting blog, in this case, Inklined.

Can my blog be part of the blog tour?
That depends.  Are you a teen or author of a blog mostly read by teens?  Do you like books and/or reading?  Will you be able to write a blog post and schedule it for sometime in the week of October 13-19?  If you answered, "Yes," to all of those questions, then yes!  Your blog should be able to join the blog tour.  Video bloggers are welcome, too!

Why would I want to be part of the blog tour?
Well, not only is this blog tour a way of contributing to Teen Read Week, encouraging authors, and spreading the love of books to more people, but the blog tour helps bring people to your blog.  It lets you introduce new blogs to your readers, and it's fun!

How do I sign up?
If you have questions, you can e-mail me at  If you think you're ready to sign up, click on the Teen Read Weeks Sign-Ups page or click here.

I know some bloggers that would love this, how do I spread the work?
We're using the twitter handle #TRWTour.  The shortened URL for this post is  You can tweet about this post at the blogger, leave a comment on the teen blogger's blog, or e-mail them.  I would love for you to tweet and facebook about this even if you're not sure you know any bloggers that would be interested.  You can also help me by spreading the blog button around.

Thanks for reading!  I would love to have you and your blog on the blog tour.

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Biannual Switching of Teas

Hey!  Hope you're having a wonderful week so far.

So, last Monday the high where I live was 95 degrees.  In that kind of weather, my caffeine of choice is sweet ice tea.

I know that to be a writer, liking coffee is practically on the contract for writers, and I do like coffee.  But we don't have a one cup maker.  Out of my family that is still living at my house, my dad and I are the only ones that drink coffee.  Which means that on a typical day we will never, between the two of us drink a pot.  Normally we make one pot for the weekend and throw a good two cups away come Monday morning.

It should be noted here that the type of coffee I enjoy is so far removed from black, hard core coffee drinkers would probably call it hot chocolate.  Basically, I fill a mug about half full of coffee.  I fill it up to 3/4 with skim milk, and then I dump in two tablespoons of Nesquik chocolate milk mix and a tablespoon of sugar, stir it up, nuke it for 20 seconds, and enjoy.  I would also enjoy a caramel latte, a mocha latte, a frappe, and the occasion vanilla chi latte.

So, I don't drink a ton of coffee.  I drink more in the winter, but still no more than three cups all enjoyed over the weekend.

Tea, on the other hand, can be made in a microwave for one person in a few minutes.  In the summer, like I said, my drink of choice is Lipton tea, steeped for 10-15 minutes with 1-2 tablespoons of sugar for the roughly 3 cups of liquid.  Once the hot tea is done steeping, I pour it over a cup filled with ice, wait two to ten minutes, depending on how impatient I'm feeling at the time, and drink.  Ice tea is not a common drink in my family and I get some strange looks from my family when I'm drinking it, but oh well.

So while I enjoyed ice tea on Tuesday and Wednesday, by Friday the temperature had dropped to a high of 68.  And today, when I found myself craving some tea, I realized that it  was way too cold for ice tea. So for the first time since April, I brought out and thoroughly enjoyed my favorite hot tea.  I had it in my favorite mug while writing this blog post.

This is the tea I'll drink at 10:00 PM at least 20 times this November, trying to stay up long enough to write those 1667 words before sleep claims me.  This is the tea I'll make when my sister comes home for Christmas and she's sipping her earl gray or white pomegranate.  This is my drink of choice for all the mornings Mom only has the house at 62 degrees and there's 4 inches of snow on the ground.

This is the tea of fall, winter, and early spring.

What about you?  Do you have anything that lets you know summer is leaving in fall is on its way?  What is it?

Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Book Review: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

“If you start to read this book, you will go on a journey with a nine-year-old boy named Bruno.  (Though this isn’t a book for nine-year-olds.) And sooner or later you will arrive with Bruno at a fence. Fences like this exist all over the world.  We hope you never have to encounter one.”  ~The Boy in the Striped Pajamas 

That was all the back cover of my audio book had to say about the novel it contained.  I had heard some great things about The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, but I had no idea what it was about.  Then I saw the cover one day and immediately decided it wasn't a book I was going to read.  Ever.  What can I say?  Don't judge a book by it's cover.  That's the reason I'm not showing you that cover now.

I don't want to say a lot about this book.  The discovery of the story is so tightly tied to the story that I don't want to spoil any of the reading for you.  You'll just have to read it for yourself.

This book, more than any I've ever read, resisted the urge to explain.  It didn't dumb down its story for its reader.  It forced its reader, me, to think, to learn, to care.  I appreciate that so much!

This book receives 6 out of 5 stars from me.  It's wonderful and breathtaking.  Anyone should read it if they're over the age of 12.  Adults should read it.  Kids should read it.  You and all your family should read it.

It's wonderful and it's short, so even if you don't fall in love with it as much as I did, it will only be three hours of reading time gone.

If you are a writer, I don't care what genera, you should read this book.  It--more than any other book I've ever read--resists the urge to explain.  It treats its readers with intelligence.  It shows and doesn't tell.

All I have left to say it this.  Read it.  And if you have read it, give it to others so they can read it.

And please, don't go look up the cover now because you're curios.  If you buy the book, buy the one with the cover that's just stripes.  You won't regret it.

Thanks for reading.


Monday, September 2, 2013

What I Want for my Books and my Readers

Part 4: Wrap Up

I don’t want a single scene that is weak, boring, or treats the reader as if they don’t understand something.  I want every scene to have the potential to be the reader’s favorite.  I want to use silence and use it well.  I want the reader to take away more than just a story or a character from my book.   I want the reader to understand the characters a little more each time they read.  I want the reader to be changed by reading my book. I want you to read my book and go Wow! I want to be as professional as possible.  I want the timing of the story to be spot on, so that it’s easy to read the whole thing in two or three sittings.   I want to be able to read my work and not find a problem with it.

I want the reader to love the story.  And I want to give them a story worth loving.

Thanks for reading!