Sunday, May 15, 2011

Revision tips from the trenches - via Noveltee(n)

So, I'm in the middle of revising Aillea's Cards and I thought I'd share some of the revision tips that have really helped me improve my manuscript. This post is originally from Noveltee(n), the collaborative teen blog where I post on Thursdays, but since it's applicable to all writers I thought I'd paste it here.

Prose writing is generally made up of three different components: action, internal thought, and dialogue. These aspects should balance each other out, with approximately the same amount of each in the manuscript as a whole. Too much internal thought slows the pace, whereas too much action or dialogue can become rather repetitive. Finding the correct balance is essential to story pacing.

Here are some tips:

~Highlighters are your friend! Choose a different color for each of these three components, and then go through your manuscript and block out sections according to their primary focus. This will provide a visual to help you see where your strengths are....too much dialogue? Maybe your action scenes drag on for pages and pages, without any breaks for internal thought or conversation. Skim through your manuscript to see where you can cut back.

~Print out a version of your manuscript. Trust me, looking at it on paper is different than reading it on a computer. If you don't want to use all that ink, try changing the font to something completely different, which will allow you to look at the story with fresh eyes. After reading through a manuscript multiple times you tend to unintentionally skim certain sections. A new font forces you to focus.

~Make a list of revision changes. Divide the list into two sections: changes that permeate the entire manuscript, and those that apply only to a specific scene or chapter. From there, divide the specific changes into groups based on the section of the manuscript in which they occur (I usually create four groups total). Tackle specific changes first, then do a read-through of the entire story while fixing problems that come into play at multiple points.

Anyways, I hope this helped! Now I'm off to revise....I need to finish this manuscript ASAP!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Harry Potter's Ending

So I grew up with Harry Potter. The books became popular when I was in second grade, and the seventh installment came out when I was fifteen years old. I love them. LOOOOOVVVVEEEE them. But I have to admit, I was very disappointed with the epilogue of book seven, which I found to be tedious and entirely unnecessary. I mean, did you really have to spell out exactly what happened to all the characters? Why not leave some of it to the imagination? It was unbearably saccharine (for me, at least), especially considering all the beloved characters who met their deaths in the final installment. After all that carnage, bloodshed, and loss, how can you possibly end Deathly Hallows with a phrase like "all was well"?

Anyway, now that you've made it through my short rant, I encourage you to pop over to my friend Emilia Plater's blog and read the alternate ending she cooked up for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It's hilarious. As in, pee-your-pants hilarious. Seriously, I'm pretty much in love with this girl after reading this. Someday we're going to meet in person and be BFFs and maybe even shop for boots.

*Note - don't click this link if you are bothered by slight sexual innuendoes.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


I try not to blog about contests, but I thought I'd pass this one on since it's a local debut author who I've met. Rachel over at The Ending Unplanned is giving away an ARC of Elana Johnson's POSSESSION. POSSESSION has been making quite a stir in the YA community so far, and it's one of SImon and Schuster's leading titles for summer 2011. Go enter! Now!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Did you know....

I'm giving away yet another copy of Incarceron, by Catherine Fisher, on Noveltee(n)? The book's been optioned for a movie in which Taylor Lautner (Jacob in Twilight, for those of you unversed in popular culture) is rumored to star. At the moment there is only one entry, so if you put your name down you'll have a 50% chance of winning!

So you should get on that :).