Archive for May, 2010


Okay, so everyone has their own secret writing formula, time of day + certain spot= large word count. Or certain setting + lots of people/no people around= large word count. Or listening to music + office=large word count.

There are so many variables, but I tend to be a more “doom and gloom” kind of writer. Now I know everyone is wondering, what in the heck is a “doom and gloom” kind of writer? I do my best writing when it’s gloomy out. I love the rain, cloudy gray skies, thunder rumbling, lightening flashing or at least a very dim room. I also find that the creative juices really get flowing when I’m in certain settings. For instance up at a lake with the waves crashing in the background or dreary wooded areas with lots of green and the light blotted out.

If I had it my way I’d buy up a chunk of wooded land and plop a writing shack right in the middle of it. Not that I have anything against the sunshine, it’s just that I like the dimmed rooms/dark settings for my writing. Then of course there’s the music. I love listening to it while I write as it can set a mood for a scene or make me dig deeper into the romance between characters.

Okay, so here’s my writing formula: dark cabin + woods/lake front+ dreary weather = high word count.

So I’m wondering what kind of environment creates the best backdrop for your writing?

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Critique Groups

As a writer I can’t even begin to talk about how great having a critique group is. And for any aspiring writers, I think it’s important to consider having a critique partner or critique group.

The group I belong to has 11 members and we all write YA. We are a by application only online crit group. This of course allows us to chat, crit, brainstorm, and share information from the comfort of our own homes. And the added bonus is that we all write for teens. So we are better suited to help one another on our journey. We “get” one another.

The importance of having other people crit your stories for you is that they bring a whole new perspective to your work. Because I, for one, know that I tend to miss things when I’m writing. Or sometimes I’m too close to the characters/plot that I’m not able to figure out what needs to be cut or added.

So having someone else come in with a fresh pair of eyes enables me to catch things I might have otherwise missed. Above that, there are times when maybe I know a scene isn’t working and I can have one of the girls read it through and they can make some suggestions.

But beyond the critiques we do, we’ve also forged some awesome friendships and we act as a support system for one another. Because let me tell you, when you start sending those queries out it’s good to have other writers to come back to and discuss things with. No matter how much your family and friends are “cool” with the writing thing, they never fully understand the time, energy, emotions, and hard work you put into the MS.

So if you don’t already have a crit group, find one. You won’t be sorry!

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Breaking free of the forum. Meet your writers:

Cambria Dillon

Min Buchanan

Rebekah Purdy

R.M. Gilbert

Traci Kenworth

Vanessa Barger

Each week these ladies will bring you YAFF MUSE a weekly blog series featuring members of YA Fiction Fanatics. In this series, we’ll post original short stories created from an image meant to inspire our muse. We hope you enjoy!

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Check out the link in my sidebar!

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Okay so I grew up reading The Vampire Diaries books by L.J. Smith. And in high school I absolutely loved them. The love triangle between two vampire brothers Stefan and Damon Salvatore and the human girl Elena. The characters were so vivid in my mind and I remember in book four of the series crying when I thought Elena was dead. Ugh! But now 16 years later they’ve made a fabulous t.v. series on the WB based on these books. And I say based on because the televisions show doesn’t follow the books (certain parts do but not many).

And I actually love the show too! The actors they have playing the characters bring them into play so vividly. Needless to say I’m a hug fan. Now onto the real discussion, season finale!

OMG, did anyone else watch Thursday night’s Vampire Diaries (eeek)? I’m totally wishing I didn’t have to wait a whole summer to see it again. The season finale was fabulous, seriously.


Okay, the whole show was rattled with action, drama, dead vamps, accidents, death–but it was SO awesome. All I can say is that Ian Somerhalder is flipping hot as heck (swoon, fanning face).

I was so ticked at Jonathan Gilbert for using the pocket watch contraption on the vamps and for a moment I thought Damon/Stefan were going to be caught. I felt bad for Elena and how Jeremy was treating her, they’re siblings for goodness sake’s forgive her already.

And Damon, ugh! I love me a bad boy that’s trying to do the right thing. And he does when it comes to Elena and I know that he and Stefan are brothers but dang it if I don’t want Elena to have a “Damon” moment. He loves her too. So yeah, I love both brothers but it sucks because it’s creating a love triangle similar to the one that got them in trouble in the first place.

And I liked that Damon stepped out to try and protect Elena–and that he and Stefan could band together for that.

Stefan loves Elena so it’s like I want things to be good for them, but I want to see Damon have some happiness too.

Loved the Founder’s Day stuff and how the vamps were coming in and Alaric stepped out to help Damon out. And when Damon was stuck in the basement, I was freaking. Ugh! And Stefan came to his rescue (although, Bonnie was kind of a b**tch–and I thought she was going to let them die).

And the ENDING–OMG! I didn’t see it coming. Totally surprised. When Damon walks up to “Elena” on the porch and he shows that tender side, I wanted to seriously jump through the screen and kiss him. And speaking of kisses, I was shouting at him to go for it and when he and Elena kissed I about fainted. Then of course Jenna interrupted…and then after all that–it ended up being Katherine! OMG! Didn’t see it coming and I’m hoping when Damon walked away touching his lips that he knows something’s off. And what Katherine did to Jon, holy crap–at first I was like “Wow, Elena is totally pissed at him”. When he was like “Katherine” I was like “No way.” The whole hacking his fingers off.

Then up the sidewalk comes the real Elena on the phone with Stefan (aw so she didn’t really get to kiss Damon because the evil vamp did). Holy crap, holy crap, holy crap. I could yap about this show forever. So good. I’m sensing Season 1 DVD in my near future (or at least when they come out).

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Okay, so I purchased a few new books over the weekend (yay). This means not only am I supporting my fellow writers, but I’m getting some darn good books too (hehehe).

These are my purchases, although the Vampire Diaries book was replacing the one that I lost when moving from Kansas when I got out of the army.

So here’s the list of my newest books:

Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris

Vampire Diaries: The Fury and the Struggle by L.J. Smith

Pre-ordered Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead

And picked up three new authors I’ve never read:

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

The Hollow by Jessica Verday

Can’t wait to read them, but I’ll have to wait because I’m reading Tempted book 6 of the House of Night series right now, and working on my own stories.

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So I’m trying my hand at writing two stories at once. Normally I stick to one at a time, but I had two ideas that were both rather vocal in my mind. One is a YA Fantasy set more in medieval times, while the other is more of a YA Fantasy set in modern times (and lighter tone).

I’m actually enjoying it! I thought I might have a hard time hopping between the two–but as of yet there have been no problems. I think it’s because the “voice” is different in them.

On the querying front (for TWP), I’ve got 4 partials out right now that I’m waiting to hear back on (totally psyched). Yeah, I’m doing my usual “hey let’s check the email a million times an hour” thing.

Mother’s Day was fabulous! My babies made me homemade cards and gifts. I absolutely love the thought and creativity they put into it. I always save them too!

Well I should get back to work…

Cross posted to my LiveJournal

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Okay, so I’ve decided to start a 2nd blog. I’ll still use my livejournal one as well and cross post between the two of them. Yeah, I’m sounding kind of ambitious here (LOL).

The good news is I survived April, which was a miracle in itself. April seemed to be the month from hell for me. Back in March my youngest daughter broke her wrist and in April the doctor decided it wasn’t healing right so she ended up having surgery. Then my youngest son had to get braces.

But April was also great in that I finished my last edits on The Winter People (thanks to my fab crit group over at YAFF). And so I sent my baby out in the world. Yes, this means that the querying has begun (insert maniacal laugh here). So now I sit by my email with eagerness, excitement, nervousness. And most of all, with hope.

The life of a writer is full of so many emotions. Like I stated above there’s excitement, hope, fear, wonder, and sometimes even grief. But the important thing I found is, no matter what kind of news you get, keep writing.

I’m hoping May will be my “good news” month, but we’ll see. It’s definitely starting off okay–I have my anniversary this week, one of my son’s will celebrate a birthday, and at the end of the week is Mother’s Day, which means lots of cool “homemade” gifts from my babies!

Well time for some shut eye!

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