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Friday, June 22, 2012

Weekend Boost

The Storyteller's Creed

I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge.
That myth is more potent than history.
That dreams are more powerful than facts.
That hope always triumphs over experience.
That laughter is the cure for grief.
And that love is stronger than death.
--Robert Fulghum

Happy weekend, everyone!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Fantastical Things

Thanks to my current WIP, I've plunged back into a world I haven't been in since middle school: the world of fantasy. Specifically YA Fantasy, and specifically current kick-ass YA Fantasy books such as the much-anticipated SHADOW AND BONE by Leigh Bardugo.

(Have to mention that the first draft of this post said "YA Fantasty," not "YA Fantasy," in true ironic typo fashion. Why yes, YA Fantasy CAN be quite Fantasty, Subconscious Me. I will explain why below.)

If you haven't heard of SHADOW AND BONE, um, do some serious googling. Like now. I'll wait.

*glares through computer screen*

Did you google? I trust you.

Now aside from Leigh making me feel severely inadequate (did you read her bio? CLEARLY YOU DID NOT GOOGLE. *glares harder*), SHADOW AND BONE is in and of itself quite a revelation for YA Fantasy/Fantasty books. I mean, a Russian-based fantasy world? Name one other YA Fantasy/Fantasty Russian-based world. YOU CAN'T, CAN YOU?

And if you've been chilling out on my blog for awhile, you might remember that a few years ago I worked for a brilliant little Russian travel agency, which re-awoke within me the bright-eyed twelve-year-old who watched the movie Anastasia and vowed to someday dance through Peterhof Palace. Russia is every bit as magical and glittering as Anastasia depicted it, and SHADOW AND BONE is every bit as magical and glittering as Russia itself is.

Which brings me to a few things.

One: seriously, go read Leigh's bio so I'm not the only one who feels like I need more hobbies.

Two: Good YA Fantasy/Fantasty stories have certain elements. Certain elements that SHADOW AND BONE very passionately incorporates, and certain elements I am beating my laptop bloody to incorporate into WINTER.

True to the OCD Writer within me, I shall outline these elements for you.

1) A glittery world. Yes, glittery. (Is this just me? Maybe?) A world so enriched in magic all its own that you enter this world feeling like you both have known it your whole life and have never seen it before.

2) Fighting. Bloody, gruesome, edge-of-your-seat fighting. My constant struggle with WINTER is feeling like a scene is boring if no one is getting attacked. Luckily, in SHADOW AND BONE, LOTS OF PEOPLE GET ATTACKED. Which is a really weird thing to like in books. Don't judge me.

3) Hello, YA Fantasty. The highly appropriate typo should speak for itself -- there should be tasty things. People, more specifically. People like Mal in SHADOW AND BONE. Mmm, Mal. And the Darkling. Mmm Darkling. Mmm. What? Oh, right.

4) Finally, the most important element (I feel) of a good YA Fantasy/Fantasty book -- culture. A culture so rich and unique and beautiful, so deep and thought-out and original, that you when you leave the book your world feels a little less complete for not having the same kind of traditions/methods/rhythm. No surprise at all, basing your fantasy world on such an already rich, magical culture as Russia is a sure-fire way to bring about a beautiful word.

So, yes, this post was more of a rave about SHADOW AND BONE than a post strictly about YA Fantasy/Fantasty elements (I think I might just start calling it YA Fantasty). But Leigh's book is one of the most original worlds to come along in quite awhile, and it feels like a door of sorts has opened in the YA Fantasty world. Could it be that Fantasty books will be the Next Big Thing? As someone with a huge bias toward the future of YA Fantasty should I commit to finishing WINTER (and it's looking good, folks), I certainly hope so. If SHADOW AND BONE is any taste of things to come, we're in for some killer worlds.

Monday, June 11, 2012


So I'm 20k words into the new draft of WINTER, and I'm at the point where I feel like a giggly little girl in the throes of a new love. One reason I'm currently high on book-writing is I rediscovered something I'd forgotten I adored the first time I wrote WINTER: court intrigue. Which is making me want to scoop up a bunch of court-intriguey books (I'm looking at you SHADOW AND BONE and THRONE OF GLASS) and devour them a-la-Lily in that episode of How I Met Your Mother where she has to gain weight to fit into her wedding dress and she chows down on a pile of fudge.

Because I'm all book-high and kind of incapable of writing coherent, helpful blog posts, I pose a question instead: what plot aspects have you found make you all giggly whilst writing? Court intrigue, steamy romance scenes, heart-pounding fight scenes, etc? Though, let's face it, we all get giggly with steamy romance scenes.

Back to the drafting trenches! *aways*

Saturday, June 2, 2012

And then a meteor came crashing to earth...



...is what I feel like writing when I get to the Editing Point where I just. can't. read. my book. anymore.

Which, in all fairness, has never really been used to end a book. NO ONE WOULD SEE IT COMING. Unless your book is about meteors crashing to earth.

But, yes, I finished another round of edits on Ghost Book. I am finally to the point where (as mentioned above) I am so tired of reading my book that blasting the crap out of my writing world sounds more fun than reading it anymore. This is, weirdly enough, how I know I am close to being done, edit-wise.

And because I'm fried from another Editing Sprint (this time a three-day editing sprint), I ask you: how do YOU know when you are done/close to being done with editing?