Monday, April 27, 2015

What Makes Us Writers || Guest Post

Sarah here. I'm so excited we get to welcome Anne Marie Schlueter of AM Station today!  Please show Anne lots of friendliness, and if you like what you see here, head over to her blog and check it out!




Writers.

We have a complex job. But is it really a job? It’s more of who we are. It is part of our essence, a part of what defines us. So perhaps it is more appropriate to say that we are complex people.

But are we really?

We understand the world in ways that others overlook. We can be still and silent and just watch and listen. Not many people can do that. We are aware of the sounds and smells around us while others are so lost in moving from point A to point B that they miss it all. We’re more concerned about what happens between. We want to know about the roads and dragons and forests that lie between A and B.

To be a writer is to be someone who is determined.

We don’t quit. Even when it feels like we’re spewing garbage, we put one word in front of the other. Even though we have a folder full of rejection letters, we hit “submit” anyway. We are unable to quit. Why? Because, for us, to quit would be to stop breathing. Simply, we cannot.

To be a writer is to be able to articulate beauty and sorrow. It’s the ability to turn feelings into words and slather them onto a page.

Writers are fearless. We are courageous. We are strong even when we feel weak.

We’re not afraid to just live.

A writer is not something you can become. A writer is someone that you are. If you write, if you listen, if you notice, if you love, then you’re a writer. Claim it. Embrace it. Be empowered by it. Don’t be ashamed of it. Tell people “I am a writer” because writing is tied to you as much as your name is.

Now go write!

Anne Marie Schlueter is a teenage writer with an affinity for words, music, food, and Jesus. Her articles have appeared on the Life Teen website and she blogs regularly. Other than that, she writes short stories and poetry, and is currently in the midst of editing a novel. Her blog: http://amstationreviews.blogspot.com/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/sassqueenofmw (@sassqueenofmw)

Monday, April 20, 2015

Novel Spotlight: Dauntless

Happy Monday! Or not so happy Monday, depending on how much you take after Garfield.

Today we have a novel spotlight.  The book came out about month ago and has gotten tons of 4 and 5 star reviews. I happen to know the author through two mutual friends, which I think it cool. Let me introduce you to Dauntless by Dina L. Sleiman.

Buy on Amazon
View on Goodreads


Though once a baron's daughter, Lady Merry Ellison is willing to go to any lengths to protect the orphaned children of her former village. Dubbed "The Ghosts of Farthingale Forest," her band of followers soon become enemies of the throne when they hijack ill-gotten gold meant for the king. Timothy Grey, ninth child of the Baron of Greyham, longs to perform some feat so legendary that he will rise from obscurity and earn a title of his own. When the Ghosts of Farthingale Forest are spotted in Wyndeshire, where he serves as assistant to the local earl, he might have found his chance. But when he comes face-to-face with the leader of the thieves, will he choose fame or love?

Dina L Sleiman is the author.  Here's a little more about her:


Dina Sleiman writes stories of passion and grace. Most of the time you will find this Virginia Beach resident reading, biking, dancing, or hanging out with her husband and three children, preferably at the oceanfront. Since finishing her Professional Writing MA in 1994, she has enjoyed many opportunities to teach literature, writing, and the arts. Dina also serves as an acquisitions and content editor for WhiteFire Publishing. For more info visit her at http://dinasleiman.com/ or check out her latest series at http://valiantheartsseries.blogspot.com/p/series.html



Have you read Dauntless? What did you think? OR What is one of your favorite medieval fantasy books? Comment below and let me know!



I received a copy of this book as a thank you for writing this post. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

When You're Too Frustrated to Continue || Guest Post

Today I'm very excited to have a guest post for you all. Please show a warm welcome to Jessica Wolf from Simple Scribbles



(scream)photopin(license)
Writing is hard. No one ever said it was going to be easy. If it was easy, everybody and their mother's brother's dog would be doing it. Like E.B. White once said, “Writing is hard work and bad for the health.”

There are times when I hate writing. I mean, I really, really hate it. There are times when I want to delete everything I've ever written and forget about it all.

Recently, I finished the first draft of my first novel, The Carpenter's Wife. Like most writers, after letting it sit for awhile, when I came back to begin editing, I found that I hated it. First drafts are supposed to be bad, but this was worse than I had expected. It was choppy, it jumped around too much, and overall, it just didn't read well.

After about two weeks of making small edits before moving onto the big ones, my Frustration Meter hit its limit. I could not take anymore. I was so disappointed in myself and so discouraged I had to walk away for awhile. In fact, I still haven't touched it since sometime last month.

Don't do what I did, though. Here are four things to do when you get too frustrated to continue!

1. Take a breather.
It's okay to step back every once and a while, especially if you're in the editing phase. But even if you're just drafting, sometimes taking a break from something that's causing you unnecessary frustration is what's best. This could mean take a break for ten minutes or take a break for ten days. Whatever you think will give you the most time and space to recharge.

2. Start something new.
If you're anything like me, you find sticking to one project at a time is difficult. I've learned to force myself to work on one thing and one thing only. Sure, I use Pinterest to pin the heck out of my growing ideas and I take notes on them like crazy, but I force myself not to put words down on paper until I've finished (or moved on, if need be) from my current project.

Even so, if you're finding that whatever you're working on is frustrating you to no end, choose one of those ideas you've been mulling around and start it. While first drafts aren't easy, they're sometimes the most freeing because you get to do whatever you want in whatever form you want. Try this tip out especially if you're in the editing stage and you're craving a good plain-ole' writing session. I tried this out myself when reaching my limit with The Carpenter's Wife, and I'm loving what I'm working on now even more.

3. Take a nap.
Simple, straight forward, effective.

Taking a nap might seem like a kid's thing, but it's a great way to get rid of frustration. Close your laptop or put down you pen, and throw yourself onto the nearest bed. Sleep it off and get back to work when you wake up. You'll be refreshed and you may even find you dreamt of a way to cure the cause of your frustration.

4. Stop. Yell/groan. Continue.
You might do this already, but, if you don't, venting your frustration is a great tool to get rid of it. Stop writing and yell, curse, groan, kick something, punch a pillow, stamp your foot. Do something to release some of that anger. When you're sufficiently yelled-out, sit back down and continue. Sometimes that little shout or punch to the pillow is all that's needed.

Getting frustrated with your writing comes with the territory. If you're never frustrated, that's probably not a good sign. Just remember: Never let your frustration get the better of you. You are a writer; your story deserves to be told. With practice, hard work, and determination, your novel will get finished and you will have triumphed over the frustration.

Until next time, keep scribbling, friends!
~ Jess


Jessica Wolf is an aspiring author with a sweet-tooth for historical fiction and period dramas. She is currently working on the first draft of her second novel attempt and hopes to one day self-publish. After high-school, she plans on attending college to become an editor. You can read more of her writing at www.simple-scribbles.com.

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Importance of Community & Ch1Con Book Giveaway

This post and GIVEAWAY is brought to you by Chapter 1 Young Writers Conference. Inklined is participating in the Ch1Con 2015 Blog Tour, which spans a number of writing-related blogs and includes a ton of original content from the Chapter One Young Writers Conference team. I’m super excited to be a part of it.

Founded in 2012, the first Chapter One Young Writers Conference (Ch1Con) took place in Chicago with six teenagers in attendance in person and countless others attending via an online live stream. It was an experiment limited to members of the Scholastic’s Write It community and their friends: Could a group of teenagers from across North America really get together and run their own conference? The answer soon became apparent: Yes. And so the conference was born!

 2015 registration is currently open on the Ch1Con website for writers from a middle school to undergraduate level and at an early bird discount price of $39.99. Three speakers have been confirmed so far: headliner Kat Zhang, the bestselling author of The Hybrid Chronicles, Taryn Albright, better known as the Girl with the Green Pen, and Ava Jae, debut author of BEYOND THE RED (YA sci-fi coming out in 2016). As a special bonus, Ava Jae’s agent, Louise Fury of the Bent Agency, will open to queries only from conference attendees for up to thirty days after the event.

The 2015 conference will be held in the Courtyard Chicago Arlington Heights/South Marriot, with sessions from 8:30am to 4:30pm on Saturday the 8th of August. Tickets for transport and room reservations can be bought online with links on the conference’s Travel page. Early bird registration is currently open at this link with adult registration for those 18+ and youth registration (with parental/guardian consent) for those under 18. 

 For more information and to join in on the Ch1Con community, check out the website and social media platforms for the conference:

Website: Chapter One Young Writers Conference 
Twitter: @Ch1Con 
Tumblr: Chapter One Young Writers Conference
YouTube: Chapter One Young Writers Conference
Pinterest: Chapter One YW Conference
Facebook: Chapter One Young Writers Conference 




The Chapter One Young Writers Conference. 
Every story needs a beginning. This is ours.

While I haven't signed up yet (due mostly to me being a proscrastanator (I'll look up how to spell it later)) I hope/plan on being at the Ch1Con this year! I would love to see you there.

Now, you might be asking

I'll tell you why. It's because I believe in the importance of community. Particularly, I believe in the importance of a community of teen writers who want to encourage you and help you write better.  There are three reasons for this.

1. Community Encourages You
Let me tell you a little story. Once upon a time I took a year long creative writing class, in which we were encouraged to write a novel. I did great in the class, writing a chapter a week. It was the first time in my life I wrote consistently. A huge part of this was that I had a teacher expecting me to turn in a chapter every week. My writing class was my community. That summer, after class ended, I didn't write. And then the next semester, I didn't write. I didn't become a disciplined writer again until I joined the Go Teen Writers' Facebook Group.  When you have community, you have a group of people that will cheer you on during your high points, and give you a helping hand during your low points.  Your community plays Haymitch to your Katniss.

Community Encourages Your



2. Community Fosters Friendships
There are so many people I would consider my writing friends. Guess where I met them. If you guessed "Through your writing community," you'd be absolutely correct! Some of them are much better writers than me. Some of them are just starting out and still don't know the difference between there, their, and they're & don't know what an Oxford comma is. I pity those poor souls. Through the blogging and Facebook communities I'm a part of, I've built relationships with all sorts of writers. When you join and online community, you either make friends or become a non-contributing member of the community.  Communities by their very nature help you form and grow friendships.

Community Forcing you to make Friends



3. Community Makes Your Writing Better
I found all of my closest writing friends through the teen writing online community. My closest writing friends are the one's I trust to tell me when my ideas stink and when they are pure genius. It is not a huge leap from close writing friend to critique partners. Without community to teach me, support me, and encourage me, I would still write like a 4th grader. Your community, and most definitely your critique partners know how to give it to you straight to make you a better writer.

Community Gives it to you Straight

Those are my three biggest reasons community is so important to writers (or any creative person.)  What are some of your favorite or least favorite things about community? Leave a comment or tweet me @SarahFaulknr and let me know.

And now, the promised giveaway!  This giveaway is brought to you by Ch1Con
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks so much for reading! I hope to see you at Ch1Con. Are you planning on attending?




777 Tag from Ink Castles: My Novel Excerpts

Hi guys! Skye from over at Ink Castles tagged me in the 777 tag. Here's how this tag works. You go to your WIP. Go to page 7. Find the seventh line on the page, and post seven sentences.  I'm so glad Skye tagged me, because if she hadn't, I probably would have done it anyway.

I've decided I want to do this the fun way, though. So I will be coming excerpts from all the novels I've ever written (3 & 3/4.)

Novel 1: High Fantasy about Rebellion
Dear Zeldea,
This is my daughter.  I would keep her if I could.  I heard about your own exciting news.  Congratulations.   I hope you will enjoy motherhood as much as I have these past few days. 
I have a request of you, Zeldea.  I am asking something huge from you, but I hope you will forgive me.  

This is a snippet of a letter that plays a very important part in the story. (Although I think the letter will be cut in a later draft, or at the very least, heavily rewritten.) This is the first novel I wrote.

Novel 2: Sequel to Novel 1
White light burst out of my hand to blind me for an instant before dissipating. I blinked a few times before trying again and getting a sphere of soft light.
It illuminated Jammeand rubbing his eyes with both hands. “You must really have it in for my vision.”
“Sorry,” I said.
Jammeand waved a hand and blinked a few times. “Your mother used to do the same thing.”

Let it be known that Jammeand is my favorite character I've ever crafted. If I have to kill him off one day, part of my soul will die with him. This novel is 98K and was written during November NaNoWriMo and April Camp NaNoWriMo 2012-2013.

Novel 3: Middle Grade Sci-Fi about Space Cadet

"Who . . ." He started again. "Who are you? What planet are you from?"

She tilted her head. "My name is Sandra Lettensong. I was originally from a small planet in the Beta 2 quadrant, but that planet was evacuated before you were born, so I doubt you’d have heard of it. I've been saddled with the unfortunate task of training you through your last year at the academy."

This is perfect, because it's a great summery of what my novel is about, and it sums up Sandra's personality so wonderfully. I wrote this novel kind of while writing the sequel to Novel 1, and I think it's the best first draft novel I wrote. The plot and characters are much stronger than in my previous two novels. I finished this novel in July of 2013.

Novel 4ish: High Fantasy set in Greece about Loyalty
“It is the decision of this court that Mr. . .” Clement looked at the thief.
“Gemmi,” the man whispered.
“Mr. Gemmi is guilty of the theft of fourteen chickens from Sergeant . . .” he paused again and looked to the former sergeant.
“Sergeant Havrold Carlice, Your Lordship.”
“Sergeant Havrold Carlice. As such, Mr. Gemmi must pay Sergeant Carlice two times the monetary value of the goods stolen. He shall also be held for sixty days in the Duke’s dungeon. 

Of all the excerpts I've shown today, this is the least representative of the story. Clement is the main character, the son of a senator. He blames his father for the death of his mother, and hates the plans his father has for him. This novel was written during November NaNoWriMo of 2013 and April Camp NaNo of 2014. It is incomplete at 83,000 words, because I'm not sure how to get from the plot twist at the end of the middle to the climax.

Which excerpt did you like the most? Which novel should I focus my attention on for the time being?  Leave a comment and let me know. If you want to do your own 777 post, consider yourself tagged.
Thanks for reading!