Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Words Have Meaning

I think with online communities it's easy to forget that there's a real person behind the profile picture or screen name. This doesn't happen so much in the writing community, but in other forums or YouTube there is a lot of nastiness, simply because we forget we're talking to real people. So I decided to vlog about it and the power words have (good and negative).

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

What's Up Wednesday

Today I'm participating in What's Up Wednesday, a weekly writing blog hop to stay in touch.

I just started THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morgenstern. This is actually the second time I got it from the library because the first time I never got around to reading it (because I had like 8 books from the library and had to return it before even opening it). But I'd heard so many great things about it, I had to get it again. I'm only a few chapters in but it's so different and intriguing and atmospheric! I really like it so far.

Still working on revisions and the query for TDoC. I haven't done any actual writing since it's with a few CPs, but I've already realized a few small tweaks I have to make before querying. And I'm researching agents. (So not actual writing, but has to do with writing.)

For my education classes, I'm reading about fixed mindset vs. growth mindset. Fixed mindset is the belief that intelligence and talent is fixed; that it's innate and cannot change. Growth mindset is the belief that you can acquire more intelligence or talent as you grow and learn. This concept is reinforced by telling students they're smart (fixed) or telling them they're hardworking (growth). [You can read a NYTimes article on this here if you feel inclined.] I thought this concept is really interesting because I kinda fell in the middle before hearing about it. I always thought I was decently smart/not quite talented in English (I was always told I was good at science), but I work hard at it. I attributed my wanting to write to stubbornness over talent. But that stubbornness is actually just a growth mindset, that I can keep learning and become skilled at it. So this makes me feel inspired that I can grow in to talent by working hard.

Still working on my YouTube channel. I've started doing nerdy crafts which just doubly adds to the mind set of creating things. On Monday, I made a dalek from Doctor Who, which didn't quite go as planned, but seeing it on my shelf is pretty cool, knowing that I made it myself (without a guide and only from a picture!) If you'd like to check out my channel, it's here: http://www.youtube.com/user/StessaSays

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Queries: summarize the whole book or just first third?

As I'm rounding out revisions for TDoC, I'm also revising my query. And I'm in a bit of a predicament.

I've researched how to write a query, know that you need a hook, setup, conflict and consequences. But I've heard differing things about how much of your story to put in the query. Should it be the whole thing? Or just the first third or so?

Now my story has different conflicts (as many stories have) and there are two or so main ones. One comes more toward the middle/end, and one comes at the beginning/middle. Both are parts of the overall conflict but just kind-of different perspectives. The middle/end conflict is the one that really packs the punch and has (IMHO) the better stakes/consequences. But it's at the middle/end. Is that the conflict I should write my query around? Or should I use the beginning/middle conflict because that's what happens first (and agents might not get to the end)? And I've been hearing differing things about which to include.

So that's the conundrum I'm in right now.

What do you think? Should I use the end conflict that has better stakes/consequences or the middle conflict that comes first?

Monday, March 3, 2014

Book Review: All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

I'm over on YouTube discussing the book All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill! Absolutely loved it. Click the link below to get to the review if you feel inclined :)