I won NaNoWriMo yesterday! I'm dedicating this win to Written? Kitten! and to #Ch1ConRUN and @NaNoWordSprints on Twitter. It's been a tough challenge for me, probably the hardest since the first time I did NaNoWriMo. This novel is strange and different and difficult to get through, but once I get it all together, I think it'll be a good one.
Today, I wanted to talk about the process of abandoning book ideas. When you're an artist, you have to pick and choose which ideas to run with, which to wait longer to use, and which to throw away completely. Some ideas are abandoned before you ever make an attempt at them, some get abandoned partway through, some become full novel length before being trunked, and some even make it partway through the publication process before they're thrown out. Often, ideas grab you and refuse to let go for a long time, but the decision to trunk them has to be a logical one that considers factors like personal ability, style, and purpose, the quality of the idea, and the current publishing market.
My purpose in writing is a) to better understand the issues I'm facing in my own life and b) to make a positive difference in others' lives. The things I believe in, religiously, morally, and socially, thus form the core of my novels. Other personal factors also have their place: for example, I am a terrible romantic, which shows in all my books. My personal boundaries about language, drugs, and sex have an impact--I have no interest in censoring others, but I do draw some lines in my own writing. (I have to be smart about it, though, because of realism and appropriate character development. There are more cuss words in #OCDStory than I have ever used in my life, thanks to the POV!)
This year's NaNoWriMo is almost complete! I've already got an idea for next year's session that involves a story retelling. 😉
To go with that, I thought I'd share some more book recommendations today! These are the best YA novels I've read that retell things like fairytales, mythology, and classic literature. I love seeing the ways that modern authors change up these older tales. Without further ado, here are the ones that I recommend to you!
1) Marissa Meyer's The Lunar Chronicles. This YA sci-fi series retells the stories of "Cinderella," "Little Red Riding Hood," "Rapunzel," and "Snow White" amidst an imaginative and diverse future world that includes psychic moon colonists, cyborgs, and genetically modified wolfmen. It's great stuff! (4.75-star average)
2) Fairest by Gail Carson Levine. Gail Carson Levine is the queen of children's fairytale retellings, and she's got some good ones that cross from MG into YA. This is one of these, a fantasy "Snow White" retelling that takes place in the world of the classic Ella Enchanted. (4 stars)
3) Beastly by Alex Flinn. Though Gail Carson Levine is the queen of children's fairytale retellings, I think Alex Flinn might be the queen for YA. My favorite by her, Beastly, is a YA contemporary fantasy retelling of "Beauty and the Beast" from the Beast's perspective. It explores family, love, loneliness, and the inevitable theme of change. (4.5 stars)
Today, I present to you a compilation of links to funny posts around the web for book lovers! Enjoy!
You Know You're in a YA Novel When...
Barnes and Noble: 9 Signs You Might Be Living in a YA Novel
Tara Sparling Writes: How To Know If You're in a YA Novel
Writers Write Real Good
The Toast: Flaws Only a Protagonist Could Have
Writer Unboxed: The Aspiring Writer's Dictionary
More Hacks for Hacks like the above
Go Teen Writers: Types of Writers
SlushPile Hell on Tumblr
Barnes and Noble: 99 Book Nerd Problems
Buzzfeed: 19 Problems Only Book Nerds Understand
17 Problems Only Book Lovers Understand
20 Reasons Reading Will Actually Ruin Your Life
19 Dilemmas Every Book Lover Has Faced
29 Moments Any Librarian Knows Too Well
Mashable: The 14 Levels of Fangirling
Some People Have No Taste
One Star Book Reviews on Tumblr
Hey, everyone! Today, I'm participating in the Teens Can Write, Too! blog chain, which I shall be doing until I turn 21. This month, we're blogging in a minimal-word format trying to capture the essence of what it means to us personally to be a teenager. So I present to you: my teenagerhood as expressed through a handful of pictures. You can click on each one for the source.
Content Warning: Reference to verbal/emotional abuse
Before I get to today's post, a couple of announcements.
First, on Thursday, Ch1Con revealed our new design and announced our exciting new partnership with Teens Can Write, Too! (TCWT), an awesome blog/community run by the fantastic John Hansen. We're teaming up in order to bring you a GIGANTIC TEEN WRITING EMPIRE OF DOOM. There's a lot of stuff going on in line with that, which you can learn about in the announcement posts by Ch1Con and by TCWT. The main thing I wanted to tell you guys is that I am now an admin, editor, and blogger at TCWT as well as Ch1Con! So keep your eye out over there for my posts.
Second, after a rough first week, I'm finally catching up on my NaNoWriMo word count. Trying to create a relatable character out of a mental illness while staying true to the nature of that illness and the fact that the OCD is, essentially, a "villain" in this story is a wonderful challenge. I'm enjoying it a lot. 😊 Yay for #OCDStory!
Okay, on to today's post. In the past, I've touched on this topic, but TCWT's theme this month, which is "Beginnings," has led to me thinking a lot about my journey so far. So today I'd like to talk about my very first fans as a writer.
Today, I explain how to be a college student during NaNoWriMo using selfies! (Except not really, this is mostly me complaining.)
1) Glare at the homework you have to do before you can do NaNo.
It's November, which meeeaaaansssss NANOWRIMO! I'm excited about my project, which is my first real attempt at a contemporary novel since middle school. You can friend me, check out my progress, etc., at my profile. I also have a nifty widget up on the blog sidebar! If you're interested, here are 25 reasons why you should try NaNoWriMo yourself.
Now, here is your monthly humor!
Why I Hate James Pat...
The Lesser Evil: Femi...
PTSD and The Hunge...
Guest Post: 5 Fandom...
My Mayo Clinic Experi...