Saturday, July 28, 2012

Saturday on Second Anniversaries

Or: I'll think of a subtitle later. (Or not.)

As Jewels said on Thursday, our second blogoversary (it's like an anniverary for a blog, get it?) was on Wednesday.

Two years ago when this blog started:

- I was seventeen.

-I had just written Spyder. (You might have heard me talk about that once in a while? The one I've been revising for, like, ever? Yeah, I wrote that two years ago. Surprises the heck out of me, too.)

In the last two years, I've:

- Written two more books. (And half a book that failed before I finished it, but, hey, it still exists. And also a 15k short story which may not seem that long but DARN IT, I do not write short stuff!! And it was contemporary! And it has no swearing! DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD THAT THING WAS TO WRITE?) (Okay, I'm done now. Honest, I'm using lower-case letters again.)

- Got a new job.

- Got an RSI. Which, hey, I should wearing my wrist brace to type this.

- Erm. Apparently that's all I've done in two years. I don't have an exciting life.

Future-y type stuff:

- I'm revising my second novel. Yay revision.

- I'm going to query that thing if it's the last thing I do. I hope.

- *mumbles something about a new book*

- I also go back to work in September, at the library and baby-sitting.

At least, those are a couple of my goals and things I'm pretty sure are going to happen, but who knows! Anything could happen.

What are your goals? What were you guys up to two years ago?

Peace and cookies,

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thursday: Past, Present and Future

The Past

If you asked me back in kindergarten what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have said something impossible like
  • an heiress (I blame the Suite Life of Zack and Cody. It took me way too long to realize London Tipton was basically Paris Hilton. My friends said the dog should have been a clue)
  • Cupid (I am a horrible match maker though. Ask any of my characters.)
  • a dog (I am not sure why though since I was scared of dogs...)
But a writer never even crossed my mind (even though I wrote all of these "what I wanna be when I grow up"s in a book for story time as part of my autobiography).

About four years ago I started reading Harry Potter. I fell in love with the series and books especially YA (I was the kind of kid who lied on my reading logs, so actually liking to read was a shocker for everyone). With my love for reading, I fell in love with writing.

The Present

I still love writing and reading (I don't do enough of either though).

I'm currently writing a YA fantasy which is weird since I'm character driven instead of plot, and plot is kinda important in fantasy.

The Future

I don't know what my plans for the future really are. I know most writers hope to get published, but I never wrote to get published. I write because... well I don't know why. I've been retyping this line over and over again, but really I have no idea. I write because writing is a part of me. I think that best way I can explain it.

Of course I am not completely crazy. I have wondered what it would be like to be published and to have readers fall in love with my characters like I did with Harry Potter and countless other books. Maybe it's just a fantasy, but maybe one day it'll be a reality.

I don't know. I'm just starting my writing journey, and I just wanna see where I go. Whether I am a NY Times bestseller (probably not) or just writing for myself, I just hope I am happy and writing. That's all I really hope for right now, and I hope you too are happy and writing in the future.

But if the future is anything like the past, I am going to love every single maddening second.

Yesterday was our 2nd anniversary here at YaLit Six. I think I speak for all of us here when I say thank y'all so much for the amazing support. Y'all are amazing. Thank y'all for following (is that the blogger term?) us, reading our thoughts, commenting and being apart of our writing journey.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tuesday is Incompetent... simple things like cooking.

And knowing whether something goes in the fridge or the freezer. (I usually guess wrong.)

(Also, I'm working on it. Really. My sister is trying to help me, though she usually just laughs. A lot.)

Anyway. If you've been following YA Lit Six for a while, you've probably seen many a post about how main characters/love interests/best friends/pets/etc shouldn't be perfect.

(Perfection is boring.)

So, while considering my own, erm, kitchen incompetency, I decided to share a tip on characters not being perfect. And that tip is, expand on that imperfection. Make it part of the story. Toss your main character into the wilderness where she *has* to learn to prepare food, at least in its most basic form (cooked over a fire?) or she'll wither and die and get eaten by wolves or the like.

Or maybe something a bit less extreme, like she accidentally sets the cookies she has to make for her school/club/neighborhood bake sale (good way to add in setting there) on fire, and so she's late, and so someone gets mad at her or she gets in a car accident or runs into an old friend she would not have otherwise run into due to her lateness, and the plot gets rolling.

But then bring it back into play. Don't just mention this quirk and then drop it. Use it like a brightly colored ribbon on the overall story package--tie it together, even if it's just for decoration.

Happy Tuesday!


Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday on Quirky Anger Releasing

Odd title. I'm aware. But we'll get there in time, my friend.

I was hit with a couple of realizations this morning, but here's a quick story first: today was just not my day. Nothing-- with the exception of a delicious chocolate milkshake-- contributed positively to my day at all. I'm not going to sit here and bore you with the many details, but you should know that I was operating under the influence of anger for the duration of Monday. Not the Oh my god I am so annoyed right now I don't think I can passively sit here and not whine about my life like a little baby kind, but the IMMA KILL YOU STAY OUT OF MY WAY kind. It was scary.

Realization #1 (that I've had over half a billion times): Mondays suck the life out you, whether you are at school, work, or just minding your own business on a remote island with no signs of civilization around. That's just what Mondays do. It's a universe quirk, I guess. I can't think of any other explanation for it.

Realization #2: I obsessively clean when I'm angry and need to think. You guys should see my room; it's so serene and peaceful that a deer might just walk through any second and mistake my bed for a nice little haven (I don't know where the heck that analogy came from... ignore it. Just ignore it.)

Since I try to turn things into deeper matters than they actually are, I stumbled upon...

Realization #3: MCs and other characters with anger quirks are pretty cool.

I've never written for an MC that had a weird anger issue tick, but I think it's safe to say that at some point in our WIPs, our characters get mad at some point or another. If they don't, that would imply that nothing in your story is wrong, which leads us to believe that your WIP has zero source of conflict whatsoever.

So I clean when I get angry, right? Here's another quirk: I had a horrible day at work a couple weeks ago, and I need to blow off some steam. In my blind rage, I bought a tube of cookie dough and drove over to the local park (this is at night, mind you), sat in the grass, and yelled everything I thought was wrong with the world at the sky.

...I am also a psychopath, if you couldn't pick that up from the last paragraph.

So the next time you come to a part in your WIP where your MC is visibly upset, don't just go the Clara clenched her jaw and and cracked her knuckles but swallowed her anger route; instead, think about taking the Clara got out her GPS and searched for the nearest lake so she could shoot her handgun at it path. It could be a stretch, but who knows? It could just add the depth you've been looking for.

"Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean." -Maya Angelou

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Saturday on Summer

Or: What I'm Not Doing This Summer

(Also, it is storming right now so if this post is late, it's only because the power went out. Yeah. That's it.)

Some of you might know that I work at my library doing Storytime. During the summer, we have a student who comes and does it instead (it's a grant thing) so I get the summer off. For my other job, my boss has decided to take the summer off so for the most part, I'm off from that, too.

So you might think I'd do something like, oh, say, write a new book.

Nope. Now, mind you, I'm not saying this would work for anyone but me, and by next year, I could have completely changed my mind about the whole thing, but right now, I don't write books in the summer.

Where I live, summer is not usually long. It often snows from late October to April here. That's seven months of snow, if you're keeping track, and it's not unusual for here. We had a mild winter this year (only a couple weeks of -40) and an early spring (and then more snow, but then it melted again), but THAT is unusual for here. In any case, there are SEVERAL months out of the year where I will GLADLY stay inside as much as possible.

(Hey, I'm not the only one. The kid I baby-sit isn't much of a winter person, either. Which is good. As long as I come up with something for us to do after school during the winter, we're both happy to stay inside. It works out well.)

But in the summer, that is another story.

I want to sit outside with my feet in my kiddie pool under an umbrella slathered with sunblock and read for hours (picture here for the general idea, although we had to get a new pool 'cause the old one got scuzzy and the chairs had to be replaced because they got damaged in the hair storm that year - also, I was baby-sitting when this was taken hence the Disney Princess beach balls).

I want to read books that are more than 500 words long because as much as I love picture books and love my job, I get burned out by the routine and also, most of the year, I don't have any hold slots left on my library card (we only get fifty and I use them all), and I like being able to order books on my own library card because that is awesome.

I want ice cream because ice cream.

So right now, until probably when I go back to work, I'm doing the other stuff besides drafting. Reading (it's important for writing!), research, trying to figure out the plot of one of my books that's already written because that's gonna take something, absolutely nothing at all. And that's probably going to be all I'm going to do this summer.

What are your summer plans?

Peace and cookies,

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Thursday Wants to See More of These in Books

I’ve noticed I complain a lot on here about all the things that annoy me in books, so today I wanted to talk about what I’d like to see more of. 

MCs who WANT to fall in love- I don’t know about y’all, but after reading so much, I can’t wait to fall in love. Call me a hopeless romantic, but I think love is out there for everyone. I’ve read a lot of characters who either completely avoid love or never think about it (which I find so unrealistic since anyone who spends two seconds in a high school hallway will see couples all over the place).  What if a character is so desperate to find “the one” that she bumps into a lot of “the jerks”, “the cheaters”, and “the heartbreakers”? What if meeting those guys doesn’t change her mind about finding love? What if a MC is so desperate to find love she seems clingy? I think this would be something new and interesting to play with, and it could make your MC more relatable (since really who hasn’t at one point wanted to fall in love?). 

MCs who wear makeup- Why are there so many MCs who don’t know how to use a mascara brush? I knew how to put on makeup before I even wore makeup. I’ve noticed a ton of MCs who have no idea how to use make up but have a friend (secondary character) who is gorgeous and knows everything there is to know about makeup… Why can’t the MC be the fashion forward one? I think it is so much more stressful trying to find “the look” (I know I have looked in my full closet a few times and saw NOTHING cute to wear) than having a fashion forward friend find it. Trying to look good for someone is part of the fun of makeup. So why aren’t there more makeup knowing MCs? They don’t have to be ready to go on the runway but at least high school maybe. I know makeup is considered the “girly-girl” thing, but really and truly how many teenagers do you know who don’t wear makeup of some kind? I once counted the number of girls in one of my classes who weren't wearing makeups, and only one girl wasn’t.

First Dates- First dates can be so cute and romantic and awkward. Use them! I’ve seen them in contemporary, but rarely if ever in paranormal ROMANCE and fantasy. I know the world as we know it might need saving, but why can’t the love interests get that first date? You can blow something up at the end of the date, so they don’t get the awkward “do we kiss goodbye” at the front door scene if it tickles your fancy just as long as we get that date. (PS. When I say date, I mean planned in advance, getting dressed up, and making awkward conversations while peeking over dirty paper menus to look at your date.) 

A Guy who ISN’T in Love with the MC- I know your MC is amazing, but everyone doesn’t have to be in love with her. I always kinda yawn when I see a best friend in love with the MC because it’s become a cliché. I kinda already talked about how much I loathe love triangles, so I’ll just leave you thinking how you could spice up the best friend relationship. Maybe he used to love your MC before she turned into a bad apple. Maybe he’s in love with your MC’s sister. What if he only likes your MC for physical reasons (he doesn’t care about her personality in that way).

What do you wanna see more in books? Are What Ifs fun for you to write?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tuesday Says Stop Being Boring

Attention, everyone. Yeah. You. Sit down. I have a Public Service Announcement for you.

Listen. Everyone is special, different, and unique. Each person has a story to tell, a background, and characteristics that sets him or her apart from every other person's set of stories, backgrounds, and characteristics. Not everyone is drop-dead gorgeous, not everyone is the Hunchback of Notre-Dame, and not everyone is plain-looking except it turns out if they actually straighten their hair or something they're actually beautiful even though they were beautiful all along everyone just pretended not to notice.

We all know this.

So please, will someone clue in the main characters?

At least half of the books I read (or start reading) have the main character describing herself as "boring" or "plain." Every one of them seems to have plain, straight brown hair and dull gray/brown eyes. Phrases like "My best friend is the exciting one. I am not exciting at all" run rampant. Main characters apparently do nothing, like nothing, and look like nothing exciting.

Yeah. That's boring.

Except, that's not true. Of the books I finish, the main characters reveal their quirks, passions, styles, aspirations, and other exciting character traits as the story progresses, as if the whole "I'm boring" routine exists to psych out the reader. Also, in general these main characters get told in detail how beautiful they are, so there goes the "I'm plain" theory as well.

I propose main characters skip the first step--the "I'm boring" step. I mean, why would a reader continue to read about a character that blatantly tells them they're not exciting? I have never heard someone say, "Wow, I really want to get to know XYZ, she sounds so boring." (Not even sarcastically.) I'm not saying main characters should start a story with "The top ten reasons I am awesome: ..." (though, come to think of it, that would be a good hook). But main characters should let the reader decide for him/herself how boring they are.

I'm glad we had this little talk.

Happy Tuesday!


Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday is Slightly Preoccupied

Argh. Grrr. Rawr. More pirate noises.

Today was the start of my church's Vacation Bible School, so I have been away from my computer all day. Therefore, I have nothing to blog about... apologies. I really could not think of anything on my ten minute bathroom break that was worthy enough to write about (unless you think Wookies, Benedict Cumberbatch, or the philosophy book I've been attempting to read for school are super interesting and would make lovely topics).

Well... I'll keep you all entertained with these amazing Star Wars song parodies. It's going off my Wookie rabbit trail in my mind. Take the rest of the night easy and stay tuned for next Monday, 'cuz I promise I'll be epic-er. Props to my good friend Sarah for the awesomeness!

Call Me Maybe - Star Wars Edition

The Star Wars That I Used to Know (George Lucas, we all despise you)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday Steals Thursday's Post...

...or maybe vice versa, because I had been planning to do this for a week now XD Funny how this turned out, but I'm going to share a couple songs from Society Road's playlist today! (By the way, update on the revising -- I'm 25 pages in. Out of 225. So! 200 more to go!)

Alright, Society Road has one of my favorite playlists and so I'm going to share a couple of my favorite songs from this favorite playlist. Some just fit the characters, tone, and mood--just the overall book in general--SO WELL. So here goes.

1. Changed by You by Between the Trees. You know how couples have 'their song'? This is definitely Ember and Devin's song (they actually have two "songs," but this was the first).

2. Distance by Christina Perri. Their other "song" ;)
3. I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker by Sandi Thom. I'm not exactly sure how this song really fits into my WIP, but I love it, and something about the melody, harmony, and mood of the song remind me of Ember. And I just love the song apart from it being on the playlist.
4. The Graveyard Near the House by The Airborne Toxic Event. One of my favorite bands! They actually have another song on the playlist, too, which is worth looking up--All I Ever Wanted. Anyways, this song is on the playlist just because of the pure sound of it and the meaning of the song fits a bit.

Well, I hope you enjoyed these songs! Share some of your WIP's playlist songs below? I love listening to new music.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Thursday’s Playlist for her WIP

I am kinda busy today, so I decided to give you a look at my playlist for my WIP. Enjoy :)

"The One The Got Away by Katy Perry (Cover by Christina Grimmie)

This song kinda sort matches with my WIP. They are each other’s “one that got away”, but the details are kinda fuzzy. I really love the mood of this. It fits so well with my WIP.

"Hold It Against Me" by Brittany Spears (Cover by Sam Tsui)

I like this song because it just reminds me of the struggle my MC faces when it comes to her love interest. They aren't exactly like the lyrics, but she does struggle with him and if they should be together which is what I think about when I hear this song.

BTW you should check out Sam Tsui and Christina Grimmie’s cover of “Just a Dream” by Nelly. It doesn’t go in my playlist, but it’s an amazing song anyways.

"I Won't Give Up" by Jason Mraz (Cover by Julia Sheer) 

Wasn't the video so cute? Anyways I really love this song. I loved the Jason Mraz version as well, but this version just feels so honest. If my WIP was a musical, my MC would definitely sing this song. 

“Try” by Laura Zooca 

 This is just so pretty. I love the mood and the lyrics.
“I could try and say that I don't need you anymore
But all that I know is you've found a way to let me go
While I'm slow dancing with the memory of us”
"Cheetah Sisters" by The Cheetah Girls

The memories of this song alone make me smile. There is a really strong sister relationship in my WIP that really gets put to the test. This song basically summarizes their entire relationship. My favorite part is when they say “'cause mama didn’t raise no fool” makes me smile because that is so true for my sisters. Their mama is not the type to raise fools.

"Monster" by Skillet

This doesn't exactly fit the mood of the rest of the songs, but it is another song that REALLY fits my WIP. Most of my characters (especially one in particular) deals with their own monsters which plays a big part in their individual character and plot arcs. 

Did you like the songs? Which was your favorite? What’s on your playlist?

BTW This isn’t about playlists, but if you haven’t already, you should check out the Lizzie Bennet Diaries on Youtube. Start from episode one though. Today’s episode was so adorable. So check it out. I really love what they did with Mary and Kitty :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wednesday Went On A Scavenger Hunt

First off, let me apologize for not posting last week. I have this really cute habit where I completely forget what day it is when I'm not in school. This week, I'm at the beach, but I love you all so much, I'm taking a break from building sand castles/fairy villages/pools for the ever-present toddlers that seem to follow me around. I'm vacationing at the beach with my extended family-- 16 aunts and uncles, 22 cousins, and 6 first cousins once removed. It can get a little crazy. Tonight we decided to have a scavenger hunt around the town for all the cousins. Needless to say, the neighbors did not appreciate our music video making, chanting, sprinting, and jaywalking. There were only minor injuries and my team did not win, but we didn't lose either, which is pretty impressive considering the fact that we were the only team with a member that was under two years old.

Good: We all got free ice cream.
Bad: One of our neighbors threatened to call the police.

I am at the beach, on vacation from my problems. Next week I won't be able to blog because I'm out of the country, but I'll try to give you an update on my traveling (and writing) at some point.



Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tuesday is the Cliché Police

Okay, I'm not here to tell you to never, ever, EVER, use a cliché when writing.

Maybe just never ever.

I mean, I suppose there's a purpose to clichés. You can't just spout off analogies willy-nilly, there has to be a universal understanding to the concept you're trying to put into words. Nobody says "mysterious as the dark side of a pomegranate," or "it could fit on the head of a paperclip" (except maybe Ziva, because she can kill you with one of those things), because "dark side of the moon" and "head of a pin" already have strong associations, and nobody stops to say, "Hey, the dark side of the moon isn't that mysterious anymore because those space guys photographed it and all," because that's not the point. The point is, the dark side of the moon, when used in the cliché context, is very mysterious, and therefore whatever the cliche is referencing is also very mysterious.

And boring, by now.

I mean, come on. After Mulan, you can't even use that phrase without a) beating on a long-dead horse, or b) breaking into song. And that's a good thing. It means we need to stretch our analogy legs and go for a jog and come up with new phrases. You can't say "mysterious as the dark side of the moon," but you can say "mysterious as the back wall of my closet," if I do the legwork and explain in my story/article/blog post that my closet is perpetually messy and I no longer remember what the back wall looks like.

See. Unique. Attempt at humor. Pathetic failure at humor. Laughs garnered in pity. SUCCESS.

My point is, break into your inner creativity like it's a jar of Nutella and your mom just gave you a spoon and walked out of the room. (See what I did there?) (Hi, Mom. Ignore that last part.) Skirt around those clichés. You're better than that.

(You can, however, always use clichés in a sarcastic/ironic/dry manner. If character A rambles on about how awesome and amazing character B is, especially if character B is not someone character C likes, character C is free to say, "Hmm, and let me guess, he's able to leap tall buildings in a single bound?" Because boom, roasted.)

Happy Tuesday!


Monday, July 9, 2012

Monday on the Awesomeness Factor

After I got off work today, I vowed to clean my disgustingly messy room. It didn't happen.

But... I did sit down in front of my bookshelf and I read passages from all of our favorite series, such as Harry Potter, Hunger Games, and Percy Jackson. Ah, childhood. And procrastination. What an epic combination. It got me thinking: why were we all so captivated by these books at some point or another?

Let's delve into an analysis, then.

Harry Potter

-J.K. Rowling can truly claim that she captivated the 99.999% of the universe with her charming characters and exciting plot.
-What I was drawn in by: the thought of a magic school where kids cast spells all the time and lived with each other in beautiful towers got me. Seriously, who wouldn't want to be Harry or Hermione? I mean, yeah, Voldy was a little scary, and lots of people died, but they got over it. Eventually.

Hunger Games

-Suzanne Collins is a beast. How can a person introduce the idea of children killing each other and gain fans from it?
-What I was drawn in by: though I wouldn't necessary want to be a tribute in the Hunger Games, I really wanted to be a fly on a wall in the arena. Experiencing all the technology and and violence would be super cool (if I wasn't a part of it).

Percy Jackson

-Okay, I think we can all agree the movie wasn't superb, but I loved these books when I was in middle school. I really wanted to go to Camp Halfblood every summer and know that my father was Zeus, the butt-kicking Greek god of the sky.
-What I was drawn in by: exactly what I stated above. Wouldn't you want to play a game of Capture-the-Flag with... real swords? (gasp) And wouldn't it be great to meet all your half-brothers and sisters that have the same god or goddess as their dad or mom?

In conclusion to my short but pointed analysis, a pattern arises: The authors of Harry Potter, the Hunger Games, and Percy Jackson all created worlds in which we wanted so desperately to immerse ourselves. I think this is what makes the genre of fantasy great-- visionaries mold together what they most desire and make their own universes out of it.

So, if you write fantasy short stories or novels and are interested in the setting of your work, ask yourself: if I couldn't live in this time period, which one would I want to live in? If I like mythology, how can I use that to further add details to my world?

I'll be pondering those questions as I clean my room, unfortunately! Happy Monday.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Saturday Has A Thought On Plot

Or: I am too easily amused by puns.

Have you guys ever seen Kiki's Delivery Service? If you haven't, you might not want to read this post. I'm going to be talking about the plot of the movie and if you don't want to be spoiled, feel free to skip this post. (Although the movie is... like 23 years old. While it might be a bit less well-known, it's still like putting a spoiler warning before the fact that Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker's father.)

*waits for people to leave*


Alrighty, so if you haven't seen it, Kiki's Delivery Service is about a thirteen-year-old witch who leaves home for to live on her own (with her cat) for a year as part of her training as a new witch. She's a witch, right, so you expect the movie to end with a fight with a villain/bad guy, right? (See: Almost every Disney movie ever.)

Except... not. It's a movie about a girl who learns to become more confident in herself, who makes friends in a new place, and matures. The movie has a definite peak of drama at the end, but there's no antagonist and even the climax of the movie is very much linked into Kiki's growth as a character.

That's something that's hard to do, especially when you have a supernatural element. It's very easy to have the plot distinctively linked to that element. And that's not bad (I do it myself) but this is a great example of not always needing that.

It doesn't make it a weak plot, either, as long as there is character growth. I think a plot like this is intricately linked to its characters. Kiki grows through the movie. She develops more confidence, begins to trust herself more, opens up to people more, and becomes more responsible. Especially the self-confidence which was a HUGE thing.

I'm not really good at this kind of thing myself (hey, we're always learning, though) so mostly I'm going to point you in the direction of this movie and tell you to watch it because it's a charming movie and absolutely adorable AND it's a good lesson on plots without "bad guys".

(Also I stand by my right to watch things dubbed in English because I don't really like subtitles and I like multitasking and you can't multitask with subtitles. At least I can't. And, dude, the UK dub of The Secret World of Arrietty has Saoirse Ronan. The girl is 18 and she's won an OSCAR. Plus hello, English accents are awesome. I'm not going to discuss the Disney dub because... way too many Disney voices. But... yeah.)

This blog post had very little point besides me recommending a movie. It's hot and I'm brain-dead, this is the best I got :P

Leave me stuff in the comments.

Peace and cookies,

Friday, July 6, 2012

Friday Performs a Switcharoo

If you read one of my posts towards the beginning of the summer, I mentioned I was starting a new project. A YA sci fi? Yup, that one.

Well, sometimes that thing happens where you totally feel like working on another project instead of the one you intended to work on. Plus I don't feel like I'm quite ready to write this sci fi. It's going to take a lot of research and I'm not fond of its beginning. I think it's something to put off for the future (slightly ironic as it takes place in the future, hehe).

So, my switcharoo! I'm switching over to the project I'm feeling right now, which is my 2011 NaNo, Society Road. It's definitely screaming at me to be revised and I love, love, love it, so I know it's something I'll enjoy (the sci fi wasn't very enjoyable to be working on).

Since I'm that awkward person that never really talks about their books to other people, but I'm writing on this blog about writing books and whatnot, I feel as if I should actually explain what this book is about. Because I may be talking about it a lot in the future ;)

Society Road is a dual POV YA contemporary. It centers around a boy named Devin and a girl named Ember. Devin's just moved to a new town, and really just wishes to fit in, play soccer, the normal stuff. However, it's a little difficult for him and he ends up interested in a town rumor going around that there's a 'ghost' that lives in the large forest around the town. When he's feeling a bit lost, he ventures into the woods and finds a girl--not a ghost, a real girl who's been living in the woods alone since she was a young girl. The book follows the development of their relationship and her interactions with society (if you remember, Ember was the protagonist I talked about in my 'get inside your head' post).

There may also be a serial killer.

So. I'm excited to work on that again.

What about you guys? New projects? Old projects? A mix of the two?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Thursday Sets Da Mood with Disney Love

I really hate mood. It’s one of those things that I hate my English teachers asking about. Why can't I just say the mood was sad and that be the end of it? Better yet why couldn’t the author set the mood like Sebastian from the Little Mermaid.

“First, we got to create da mood.

Now we can't exactly add a music number to a book to set up da mood unless we made a singing book like those greeting cards (which would be amazing for the record).

The key to mood is word choice.

There's a big difference between
It was a dark and stormy night.
It rained a lot at night

Choose your words carefully. Just because "it was a dark and stormy night" sounds good doesn't mean it's right for a perfect love scene at the beach or a happy go lucky wedding.

I suggest being in the mood when you write to strength the mood in a scene. It's like trying to write about being sick after being sick. After the fact, we tend to change up the details (why would we want everyone to know about how we puked our guts when we could sugar coat it). If we are sick, we know how full well how crappy it is.

When I'm writing a scary scene, I like listening to the rain. It’s been raining up here in Michigan which is making me so happy since I love rain. Maybe it’s because I’m from Texas where any amount of rain is much needed. Whatever the reason, I love rain. Rain is the perfect way to set the mood for writing.

When the rain starts, I itch to write. I love listening to the pitter patter of rain on my window and the roar of thunder. It’s like my ultimate background music. It get me and my writing in da mood.

Yeah mood is the kinda stuff I hate thinking about for English essays, but it's super important. Not only do you have to get your readers in da mood, but you also should be in da mood yourself.

How do you get in da mood? How do you write mood in your scenes? What's your favorite Disney movie (is it the Little Mermaid with the amazing Sebastian)?

BTW big things are in the future for YaLit Six, so be excited. Be very excited. If y’all want us to talk about anything or you need help/ advice, y’all can contact us on our twitter age (which I am finally learning how to use. YAY!), comment or email us at yalitsix@gmail(dot)com. We wanna hear from y’all.

Happy writing!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Tuesday's Posts That Were Supposed to Post but Did Not Post

1) Hello! I hath returned! And I hath had an amazing two weeks. I will also stop saying "hath." Anyway.

2) Apparently I am bad at Blogger, as (I thought) I had two posts all set up ahead of time to post in my absence. But they did not post. Which is sad. So here's what you missed (and it will sound silly now, remember I wrote these weeks ago) due to my miscommunication with Blogger:

For Tuesday, June 19th:

Hellooooo everyone! 
I had to say it like that because it's the kind of call one would make from far away, and I am currently far away both physically and time-ily. In the present I'm probably nowhere near a computer, and in the past (when I'm typing this) I'm, well--yeah. In the past. That's right, Blogger allows me to TIME TRAVEL. I love time travel. 
I decided for this week and the next I'll find a blog post from a while ago. Like, two years ago. I just realized I've been YA Lit Six-ing for two years. And a half. Two and a half years. No, more. Almost three. (Forget it. No math during summer. A long time.) Anyway, flashback time! 
Tuesday, October 5, 2010 
What do you do once you finish a book in English class? Oh, that’s right…you write a paper on it. And holy cow, are there a lot of topic opportunities for Tale of Two Cities. Feminism Lenses, Character Analysis of Sydney Carton (!), Comparison of Foil Characters Like Miss Pross and Lucie, Why The Heck Does Lucie Choose Darnay and not Carton, Pick Some Symbolism Any Symbolism, Et Cetera. 
Mine, though, doesn’t stem from any of those. My idea came from a random thought of vaguely avian creatures with Stars Upon Thars. 
Yep, my in-progress paper compares Tale of Two Cities with The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss. And that got me thinking: yeah, Dr. Seuss writes about animals that look like Big Bird crossed with an emu and a teddybear named Sylvester McMonkey McBean. But he also writes about humans. In The Sneetches there’s a not-so-underlying lesson about how groundless and ridiculous discrimination is. 
Once the ball of thought got rolling I looked at other stories by Dr. Seuss, and they’re riddled with commentary on human nature. The Butter Battle Book, for instance. Go read it, and then tell me it’s not a brilliant narrative about rising tension and danger rooted in something completely trivial and misunderstood. (Cold War?) And my English teacher mentioned that the Cat in the Hat and that Goldfish that’s always a downer are like Sigmund Freud’s id and ego.
So do your inner psychoanalyst slash sociologist a favor. Put down that vampire/fallen angel/heartbreak novel and go catch up on your Sneetches.
And for Tuesday, June 26th:

Greetings from the past! 
I chose this one because the Katie mentioned in the story is currently gallivanting around the world with me. (I assume. Maybe she's gotten lost by now? Hi Katie. I hope you're not lost.) Anyway! 
Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I’ll admit, I’m a thesaurus addict. When I’m writing I love to use the thesaurus to find even better or stronger or weaker, even, words to describe something. The smallest differences between words can create the largest differences between visions for me. It also helps build a huge vocabulary. 
There’s a difference between knowing words and knowing how to say them, as I’ve found out. Multiple times. At one point I was reading aloud a section of Rain at BookFest PA and I got to the word “beige.” In my mind I read it as beejsh—you know, with jsh being the J sound in Jaques. (And I got that part right.) 
“…a beige dress…” I read, and a motion caught my eye. It was my friend Katie, shaking her head and giving me a weird look. I spared her a look of my own before finishing the reading. After I was done and back at my table, she came over with her arms crossed. 
Beejsh?” she demanded. 
“Um,” I said, “yes?” 
She pursed her lips. “It’s bayjsh.” 
“Oh,” I said. She shook her head again, and went on to grumble about past pronunciation offenses I’ve committed, which include “botanic” and “queue.” 
The moral of this semi-rambling story: thesauruses are great. But look up a pronunciation before you actually say your new words.

Hope you enjoyed. As for today, happy Tuesday the third of July!


Monday, July 2, 2012

Monday Craves Motivation

Initially, I kicked myself when I remembered last Tuesday morning (and the one before that) (and it probably doesn’t help that it’s nearly midnight here) that I forgot to post, but my horrible blunder actually serves a purpose in my post this week.

 Early on in my sophomore year, our school’s college counselor had our class take an aptitude test to see what our personalities and work ethics looked like. I was skeptical at first; even the most in-depth personality test I had ever taken online had been vague and uninformative at best. Nevertheless, I took it (after much persuasion on my college counselor’s part), and I was shocked at how, well, meaty it was. It asked around 90 questions (my ADHD kicked in around #30) which ranged from inquiries about group projects to music tastes. We didn’t get the results right away; instead, they were given to our parents at a later meeting for us to read.

The bullet point that caught my eye instantly was the one that read, “While Victoria is a spontaneous and outgoing individual, she probably finds that she cannot commit to long-term projects and is not easily motivated.” At first, I was shocked, but then I realized that everything the statement suggested was absolutely true. I am a spontaneous and outgoing person; however, as you can tell from my lack of posts and the fact that I’ve started to only post every other week (curses! I truly am horrible), I do have commitment problems as well as motivational issues.

 After I read my test results, I couldn’t sleep. I thought about all the times I had started novels and short stories, but kicked them aside to pursue other ideas. Seriously, I was haunted, and I felt so guilty. How could I call myself a writer and not, well, write on a daily or weekly basis? When I get around to actually writing a piece, my creative side comes out and I can crank out a word or two, no problem. But you can obviously tell from my lack of posts that I continue to have trouble with this.

 I don’t have a sure-fire way to motivate myself and work on my commitment issues, which is why I wrote this post, wondering if anyone could help me out. What do you guys do for problems like mine?