1. Fellow PUSH Novel Contest winner Anna Waggener is having a giveaway over at her blog for three ARCS of her debut novel, GRIM! GRIM won the 2008 Scholastic Awards and from what I hear (there was buzz during my internship at Scholastic last summer) the book is awesome. It comes out in June, so go enter and support Anna!
2. I did a guest post on the PUSH Novel Contest over at Teens Can Write Too, a blog by and for teenage authors. If you're interested in the PUSH Novel Contest, or if you're just bored (I hang around the blogosphere a lot when I'm bored) you should check it out.
3. Congrats to my CP, BWB, and business partner-in-crime Taryn, who recently signed with Vickie Motter! Taryn's an amazing writer (we're almost the same age...woohoo!) and her novel, BEGGING TO BREATHE, is fantastic.
This past weekend I attended LTUE at Utah Valley University, a symposium for sci-fi and fantasy. It was awesome and I had a great time hanging out with my critique partners, Melanie and Celesta. I also got to see David Powers King and other bloggy people. Fun!
Since I don't really feel like doing an in-depth post, I thought I'd list a few random things that struck me from the panels I attended. Writers give such great advice! So without further ado, here are a few bits and pieces I picked up from the presenters.
1. Your protagonist should always be proactive. For instance, if you have a villain in your novel, and the villain has an evil plan, the protagonist's goal shouldn't just be to thwart the villain. They should have their own desires and plans that in some way counteract the villain's. In other words, make your main character proactive rather than reactive.
2. Avoid deus ex machina. For those of you who aren't familiar with the phrase, a deus ex machina is basically a copout way for a character to solve a problem. Let's say your main character gets captured. Things aren't looking good. Then, an older, wiser, and far more adept character shows up to rescue them, and they get out of the situation unscathed. This is a deus ex machina because the protagonist didn't have to solve their own problem. Not that characters can't be rescued at times, but if your book includes multiple situations such as this you may have a problem.
3. Everything should have a consequence. This was my main issue with the final Twilight book: I felt there were no real consequences. Everything turned out fine. Nobody was heartbroken, or injured, or dead. This is a large-scale example, but even on a small scale everything in your story should somehow change the main character's situation in a way that impacts the overall story development.
4. Don't give your characters stupid names. Need I say more?
5. When you're at conferences, try to utilize the buddy system. It's easier to have a friend introduce you to someone new than to introduce yourself. As a writer it's important to make networking connections at every conference you attend.
6. While networking, talk less about yourself and ask more questions about the other person.
7. Don't be rude.
8. Never give up. The single most cliched piece of advice ever given.
9. Don't freak out editors/authors/agents by being creepy.
10. Okay now I'm just listing random things because I can't think of anything else and I really wanted a list of 10.
Yay. There you have it. Did anyone else attend LTUE? How was it? Awesome? Stupendous? Life-changing? I want to hear about it!