Move On To Write Long

We writers have all been there before, the horrifying truth that you are, in fact stuck. You are unable to keep your words flowing, and you can’t seem to think of the next step. Some of us may call this writers block, and most of the time it is. There are other times though, when you just feel dry, like you’re sick of writing the same story over and over again.

wpid-1369258192104

What I’m here to tell you is to MOVE on.

It does us no good to just stare at our computers for hours trying to think of the next big step you or your character must take. What’s important is that you keep writing.

Getting stuck on a certain piece of your writing may make you angry, and impatient to finish, but what I have learned is that when you push yourself to finish a project even though you aren’t feeling it, the story is going to turn out horrible!

Trust me I have done it many times. Staring at the page without a thought in my mind is torture, but what is even more treacherous is reading the end result after bulldozing through. To help you through this, I have something I would like to share.

There’s a secret I’m going to tell you about myself that might frighten you, but could eventually help you along your writing careers.

I am one of those people who have a million thoughts zooming through my head. I have so many ideas for books that I begin to start a few chapters into a new book, but then stop after the first day. At first I thought this was my downfall, because I’m also the type of person who likes to finish what I have started in a timely matter. (In other words I’m impatient and I don’t like a jumbled mess of projects- it distracts me too much). I have realized  over the past few years of my writing that this also helps me.

Let me explain.

To have more than one project to work on isn’t a bad thing. It helps you move along fluidly in your writing life. Yes, it might be a bit of a mess, but it sure helps you write longer.

If you are stuck on a story and it’s the only thing you are writing on, then you can’t do much practice now can you? With more projects its easier to move on from where you’re stuck and continue to write what you love. As I have mentioned in earlier posts, there are certain ways to help you with writers block, or ways to help your creative juices flowing, but this is probably the most important to a writer.

As we all know,

The more you write, the better writer you become.

Isn’t that our ultimate goal, to become the best writer we can be?

*

If you need more help on writing, look around at my different posts. If you can’t find what your looking for feel free to ask me a question in the Thoughts box below.

As always, I love listening to everyone, so don’t be shy.

A. Willow

Should You Judge a Book by its Cover?

I’m sure many of you have heard time and time again to never, EVER, judge a book by its cover. It’s something that’s been drilled into us since the first time we could read, but does it still do us any good to ignore the one thing that catches our eye?

image

 I am here to tell you to Stop following this rule and to START judging!

The phrase, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” may truly have  meant something a decade or so ago, but with this new generation of YA books it’s hard not to disagree?

In earlier years I put my heart and soul into this one little phrase, but as the years went by, the more books I read, the more I realized covers in the Young Adult genre are unique for a reason. YA has stepped up to be the boldest genre in the book world, and for that reason publishers are putting more time into their covers. Covers are now providing the readers with more meaning behind the artwork, and beginning to grasp the concept of the book as  a whole. All it takes is to take a  closer look, into the depths of the illustration itself.

Today I will tell you how to judge a book, and why it is significant.

There are 3 specific qualities that will help you:

Step 1. What grabs at your heart?- There are people who believe that artwork is the gateway into one’s soul. So look around and find the cover that speaks out to you.  When skimming through the hundreds of books on the shelf, it’s easier to find a cover you fall in love with a lot faster than reading every single back that you pass.

So, when you find that one book that seems to be screaming out your name, take it!

Step 2. Take a closer look- Glimpsing a magnificent cover isn’t the same as thoroughly inspecting it. There are going to be certain quirks to the cover that tell you what specific sub-genre it is, and little quirks that will tell you the main theme or plot of the story. For instance, it will be pretty easy to tell if it is a contemporary, romance, fantasy, or paranormal book by just looking at the cover. Teens in their swimsuits on a beach is usually contemporary, while a wolf standing next to a girl with odd colored eyes is normally going to be paranormal. After doing this, you’re going to start getting a sense of the book you are holding in your hand, but we must dig deeper to find the actual story within the artwork.

Usually, the cover will hold a certain trait that is very significant for that book. It will be a little hidden symbol that represents the book as a whole. It could be as simple as a phrase on the front, or a discolored star in the sky, or simply a rock on the ground that is glowing from the moonlight. This shows the interesting aspect that makes the book unique.

Step 3. When in doubt, don’t toss it out- If you aren’t sure about the cover, or even if you’re obsessed, you should still read the back before placing it back. YA covers are supposed to help you decide if the book is right for you, but they shouldn’t be the ultimate decision. The back is there to guide you further into the story you have already seen unfolding in the cover-art.  So when I say you should judge a book by its cover, what I’m actually saying is you should judge a book by the front cover first, and then the back .

With such an intense and wide variety of YA, it might seem like you are being bombarded by all these books you could never hope to read in your lifetime. These steps are supposed to help you find the book that YOU love, but if you have a natural knack for adventure, then maybe it would be wise for you to do the opposite.

Enjoy your crazy cover journey, and let me know how it goes!

The Confessions of a Book-aholic

I have always wondered why I have such an odd obsession with YA books. Over the many years of the yearning to read that newest story that will drive me towards excitement, adventure and thrill; I have discovered that, unfortunately, I am a bookaholic. I am, point-blank, ADDICTED! My condition torments me on a day-to-day basis, but my biggest concern is knowing if this is a common problem or if I am completely abnormal. Let me explain my symptoms and allow you to decide for yourself if you have caught this strange fixation.wpid-1367434834953.jpg

When driving by the mall, as if by an incomprehensible instinct, I always park by the big and bold Barnes and Noble.  I honestly don’t see why, considering there is never any parking when I go by, but somehow I can never resist. Once I have fought for a parking spot I immediately dash inside, the doors swing wide open, and I breath in the scent of pages filled with vibrant anticipation.

I wish I could tell you it ended there, but embarrassingly enough the story continues.

As I walk past the stands, moving towards my usual section, my eyes catch the books on display. Everything looks so interesting, and there is always something new and fresh. I wish I had enough time in my life to stop and pick up a few of them just out of curiosity, but I know it is a rarity if I ever find that time in my day. I ignore my adventurous taste as I head towards the section that never slips past my notice.

“Young adult” are the words I hardly glance at anymore as I routinely skim the covers of its shelves.

After skimming through the different covers that scream out at me, I feel the semi heavy weight of the book in my hands. The book is smooth with a hidden electricity that tingles up my palms urging me to decipher this newfound energy into words. As the energy seems to linger at the back of my mind I already know I’m hooked.

This is the part that will be eerily weird to those of you who have never been a book lover before. I open the pages, lift the book to my face, and smell the sweet perfume of freshly pressed paper. It’s strange to think that paper could smell so good, I know, but it leaves the feeling that my next journey is about to begin.

I phase out here. My mind blurs like it has been intoxicated after only reading the first word. I am detached from my body becoming one separate being with my book. Emotions begin blending, my eyes can only visualize this new world of adventure, and my new life has just begun.

This is my obsession. I am addicted to reading, because it feels as though I am living a separate life, experiencing things I never thought imaginable.

This is my curse, my disease,…and my home.

If you can relate to a bookaholic like me write your thoughts down below. I would love to hear your story.

A. Willow

Quick Tip: You Are What You Read

As all of you may already know: Writers must be Readers.

Today I will quickly explain the different books you should be reading and why.

First you must ask the question: What Genre do you write for?   If you cannot answer this question then I would highly recommend you to start going through every section in the bookstore, grab the books that interest you,  and decide what you think you would like to write on. More than likely you write what you usually read. If you can find a genre that you love that’s great, but for most of us it isn’t that simple.book-genre

In order to write well you must broaden your reading. If you normally stick to YA paranormal romance, than move to the MG fantasy, or adult literature. You should have a taste of what different genres are about so you know your limits in your area of writing.

To know other genres will help you focus your attention on what is important.

For example: If you only read YA fantasy, you are so used to the trends of the fighting mixed with the romance that you don’t even notice it anymore. Once you go pick up a book of literature, a book of adult romance, and a book of children’s fiction, you can tell what is appropriate for your general audience and what might be more appropriate for another genre.

So instead of picking up the same old books you always read, expand your knowledge and embrace the journey to a better writer.

(Don’t kill yourself though. The requirement is one book of each genre not ten! You may go back to your normal books after that)

Enjoy your reading!

A. Willow

What is in a Personality?

Characters are the beloved parts of our book that we can hold close to our hearts or ultimately hate with a dark passion. They are memorable in ways that can make us laugh when thinking about them or cry out tears for their death. Although characters stick out in your mind, and seem easy to remember, they aren’t as easy to write as you may think.

Writing characters is one of the hardest parts about a book (short story, novel, ect.). In order to have a strong character that readers will love and cherish forever, you must know them like they’re your best friend, except you need to know them better! There is more to writing characters than meets the mere eye, and unless you know their inside feelings and outward appearance better than you know yourself, you are going to have a hole in their personality. Today I will give you a helpful trick to use that will build a character.imagesCAOWGDJ0

There are three rules you must follow at least a few times a week, or until you know the answer like the back of your hand.

Rule number one: Use Imagery
Use your imagination to visualize your character as if they are with you. Imagine they are thinking about the trees you see or heard what someone had just said to you. What do they look like? How do they act? Is there a special quirk that they tend to do while sitting in a car?

Rule number two: Embrace Dialogue
Dialogue is a key detail in any book. If your characters are well grounded, a reader can tell who is talking without the author giving the name. To practice dialogue, when you are out, listen to what somebody says then stop to think, “What would my character say back to that?” Imagine the conversation they would have with you about what that person said whether it be snarky, sarcastic, and even over bubbly.

Rule number three: Reaction to the World
Now that you have the hang of the first two rules you must completely visualize your character. If your character was in your place, how would they react to a certain situation. Would they help the kid getting bullied around the corner or would they completely rub it off as disgusting annoying kids?harry_potter_grows_01[1]

If you cannot answer one or all of these you might have a hole in your character’s personality. I would advise that if you are unable to answer, try really hard and decide for yourself what they would do. If a decision is honestly too difficult for you and seems impossible, you might want to rethink about your character as a whole. You and especially your readers, need to connect with the character on an intimate level and if you can’t even connect with them how do you expect anyone else too?

If you have any questions about how this works, or want more ideas on character, you can write a comment down below and I will help you through the character building process.

A. Willow

What Makes YA Different From Adult Books?

….*Sex and Money
…………………….*Rape and Porn
………………………………………..*Murder and Blood
These are all things that are the *BAM, in your face, type of topics when you read an adult novel. Unlike Teen books, you won’t find a lot of restrictions on what is acceptable to write.
The way I view YA is that it brings in a soft flowing transition into these dramatically dark elements. Instead of reading a book that’s filled with the little details of how a man carefully dismembered all the limbs, and decapitated his head with an axe spitting up the immense density of blood that speckled the entire room with blots of red,  YA takes it a notch down from the extreme level. Don’t get me wrong, YA is still very descriptive and beautifully written, but it’s highly likely you will keep your lunch down much easier without swallowing up that sort of intensity.

Another way is through Emotions! :You might stumble across a similar phrase as this one when reading a YA novel.
“I know it’s not the end of the world, but it sure as hell feels like it!”

16_allison-scott[1]As many of you know, teens are raging with so many hormones, half the time, they don’t think before they act. While adult books bring in emotions a little smoother and more reasonably thought out, YA is a falling chaotic mess of emotions. Now, for example,  if a guy doesn’t think before he takes that big smooch, obvious complications are going to arise. YA involves the teenager’s journey through strong relationships as well as rebelling against anything trying to stop them.(Lets face it, all of us went through this stage!)

When they have that many hormones attacking their body, who would blame them for acting the way they do?

I say let them think it’s the end of the world, because in the end their dramatic lives make irresistibly tasty books.