My Year of Reading YA

If you’ve spent time combing through the wealth of writing and editing advice for aspiring authors, you’ve no doubt come across this valuable nugget:

“Read in the category/genre in which you want to write.”

And what valuable advice it is. Reading in-category and in-genre familiarizes you with the styles, themes, and moods that dominate those fields and are pertinent to your writing interests. I’ve followed this advice and followed it well. Before I continue, indulge me in a quick bit of history:

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7x7x7x7 Challenge – Like the Ice Bucket Challenge, but Warmer!

Okay, so it’s nothing like the ice bucket challenge, unless you choose to dump a bucket of ice over your head as you post your goods.  But since my computer has a palpable dislike of all things wet, I am forgoing the optional “ice” part. So this is how the Twitter-born 7x7x7x7 challenge works:

Step 1: Scroll to the 7th page of your work-in-progress (WIP) or the story you entered into the lovely PitchWars.

Step 2: Go down to the 7th line.

Step 3: Post the next 7 lines.

Step 4: Tag 7 writer friends.

Too easy, right?  And a lot more fun than dumping ice over yourself while someone films your “aaaaiiiiiieeeee!” face, but at least that brings awareness to a worthy cause (ALS).  This challenge, on the other hand, will just bring awareness to the unlimited talent of the PitchWars writing community.  I am posting from my WIP, which is actually Book II of the MS I submitted to PitchWars.  Enjoy!

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Goodbye on the Promenade

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“I’ve got something to tell you.”

Dalyne smiled up at the man who’d spoken those words as they strolled through Saris Municipal Park. They’d taken the afternoon to enjoy one of the last temperate days of the Lesser Quatra season before the cold settled in. Leaves were already falling in a slow ballet from the spring berry trees to land at their feet as they walked hand-in-hand down the promenade.

“That’s funny,” she said, chuckling softly and squeezing his hand, “I was just going to say the same thing.”

Brittan didn’t return her smile. In fact, he looked pained. His lids sagged heavy over his eyes and his mouth was fixed in an uncomfortable grimace. Uh-oh. Continue reading

Be Creative, Not Obnoxious

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Writing rules are my friend. They are also my enemy. So in slightly outdated slang speak, that makes them my frenemy. Like spiders. I understand they serve an important purpose, and the large majority of them are benign. But that doesn’t mean I want them cozying up to me, crawling in my mouth while I sleep, and generally taking over my house. Or my book.

In the drive to publish my first novel, I was confident that following all the rules of writing translated into certain success. I tend to do a fair amount of self-editing as I write. I know when to properly apply a comma. I slay superfluous ‘thats’. I understand the difference between ‘writing badly’ and ‘writing bad’ (hint: the first is an adverb and the second is an adjective than needs a following noun. See? I edit good. Gotcha! I edit well.) Continue reading

A Genesis Revealed

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Dr. Iatriss blinked several times and squinted at the info block in front of her. The crystal torch attached to the polished stone wall was beginning to dim. It normally produced enough light to brighten the entire bedroom. Today, it managed to illuminate only as far as the bed extending out from the adjacent wall, leaving the far corners of the room to the dark of the chilly pre-dawn hours. The torch’s fuel cell would need to be changed within the next rota or two, but it didn’t matter. Poor lighting wasn’t the reason for her confusion.

“Well?”

The face of the young woman lying on the bed was filled with the same mixture of hope and trepidation new mothers displayed during their fetal signature scans. Dr. Iatriss saw it every time. She was usually able to present them with good news. This, on the other hand…

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The Waiting Cursor

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I am a writer.

You’ve no idea how long that phrase sat on my screen, the cursor blinking at me while I decided what should come next.  It reminds me of a turn signal on a car that just sits at an abandoned intersection. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting for another vehicle to approach and validate the signal’s reason for blinking before it moves. Blink. Blink. Blink. Continue reading

Kaia and the Quillico

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Kaia peeked under the cloth covering the critter cage. Yep, it was still alive, which was either a testament to the veracity of her scientific method, or else a real stroke of luck. The other half died shortly after the final separation phase. Her brother, Kaetos, cried for terracycles over the slimy yellow thing.

She took one last peep as the group of judges in lab jumpers stopped in front of her table. The stocky woman leading the group was one of Kaia’s academy instructors. That boded well for her.

“Good morning, Kaia. Are you ready?”

“Good morning, Doctor Karnvort. Yep, I’m good to go here.” Kaia stood tall with her hand resting on the cage cover. Continue reading