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Posts Tagged ‘The Big Reveal’

  1. The Big Reveal

    November 21, 2014 by Suzi

    Welcome to the Big Reveal
     

    I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds
    of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at
    all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will
    have a new question for them.
     
    This week I have a whole new set of writers,
    so I’d like to say welcome, glad to have you here.
     

    For this first week, please let us know a little something about your current WIP. And then I want to know about titles. Are they hard for you?

     

    Danielle Bertrand
    Title: Timewalkers, Genre: Mythical Fantasy
    Titles usually come easy for me. Once I figure out a premise for a WIP the title will follow shortly after. Creating a title is one of the easiest topics for me when it comes to writing.

     

    J.A. Bennett
    Stealing the Stars — Contemporary Fantasy. I don’t have a process for choosing titles, which probably means they suck. I usually try to come up with something on my own, but sometimes I ask for help brainstorming. Titles are hard.

     

    Jackie Felger
    I’m writing a new adult contemporary romance for NaNoWrimo. I do have a title for it, but I’m keeping it as Untitled for now.

    I have several ideas for titles, even though I don’t have stories to go with them yet. My process is boring, in that, they pop into my head, and I write it down for later. But hey, it works.

     

    Stephanie Faris
    My book 25 Roses comes out in January 2015. Titles sometimes come easily, but sometimes I have to write an entire book before a good title comes to me. 25 Roses was one of those titles that came along with the idea. I was thinking about the carnation sales we had on Valentine’s Day in high school and I wondered what would happen if one of the students secretly purchased carnations and handed them out to the kids who never received any. 25 seemed like a nice round number, but 25 Carnations didn’t sound like a very good title. So I went with 25 Roses and made them chocolate in the book because…hey…chocolate!

     
    Tanya Reimer
    In the speculative fiction titles I’m working on are: Can’t Dream Without You (Paranormal fantasy), Cursed on the Prairies (Alternate history).

    I used to have a hard time with titles and just picked working titles but then I learnt a neat trick. Write the one-liner; who does what in the hopes of what—and slam that title at the end without thinking about it. Example: When a young man is bit by a spider he develops strange spider-like powers that allow him to save his city from a dangerous supervillain.—Spiderman

     

    Trisha Leaver
    My current YA Contemporary WIP is about a seventeen year old girl struggling to find her place in a family of virtual strangers. Its working title is a gripping, thematic WIP#5 LOL. So…yeah, titles don’t come easy to me. I usually don’t bother even pondering a title until the project is complete and I have a full sense of my main character and her struggles. Then I dig deep and try to come up with a title that conveys the theme and tone of my book. More often than not, this is a collaborative process between myself, my agent and my editor

     
    Do titles come easy for you?


  2. The Big Reveal

    November 7, 2014 by Suzi

    Welcome to the Big Reveal
     

    I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds
    of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at
    all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will
    have a new question for them.
     
    This is the last posting with this set of writers. I’d like to thank everybody
    for being a part of my blog. It was fun getting to know you all better.
     

    How much do you read?

     

    Shelly Brown
    My goal this year was 100 books and I’m only in the 60′s as of writing this. But there’s time. I made this goal after reading just about 10 books last year and realizing how pathetic that was (it’s HARD to read AND write AND do everything else that is expected of me.) So I guess you could say that I’m all over the place when it comes to reading. But I’m not one of those people who can polish off a book in a night. I wish!

     
    Crystal Collier
    I start every day with ½ hour of personal study reading scriptures or uplifting articles, and later will read over several online articles or critiquing pages. Above and beyond that, I typically I read 1 to 3 novels a week, approximately 100 books a year. If you want to be a successful writer, you have to first be an avid reader.

     

    Jessica Salyer
    I read a lot when I have time. In a good week I can read 3-4 books. In a bad one I’ll read 0-1.

     
    Madeline Mora-Summonte
    A lot. :) I’d say about a book or so a week. If I don’t read for at least a little while every day, I get cranky. Just ask my poor husband.

     

    Rebecca Barrow
    I read about four books a month (usually all crammed into one week when I’m on a reading binge). I wish I could read more—my TBR pile is intimidating.

     

    Chad Morris
    I’m not that fast at reading, nor prolific, but I’m always reading or listening to something. Between my full time job, my writing, keeping up with my five kids, and dating my wife, I don’t get a lot of reading time. I mostly sneak it in on bus rides to and from work and at night when the kids are sleeping. But that’s writing time too, so they compete. I don’t know how many books I read a year—I never keep track–, but it wouldn’t be impressive.

     

    Are you a big reader?


  3. The Big Reveal

    October 31, 2014 by Suzi

    Welcome to the Big Reveal
     

    I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds
    of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at
    all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will
    have a new question for them.
     

    Are you artistic/creative in other ways?

     

    Chad Morris
    I’m pretty mediocre at sketching, plucking at the piano, and playing guitar. I’m probably a little better than your average Joe at the drums and writing and performing comedy.

     

    Shelly Brown
    I am an actress by training. Lending itself to very character-centric stories.

     
    Crystal Collier
    Before I could write, I was telling stories through pictures. Eventually my love of words evolved to lyric and orchestral music composition. I loved crafts when younger, and event planning has always been a forte, along with stage performances–whether for singing or theatrical purposes. Mom always came to me for ideas, saying the day I quit having a hundred amazing and new ideas, was the day I quit being Crystal.

     

    Jessica Salyer
    Not really. Until I started writing I never considered myself artistic at all. I used to write poetry when I was little, but I stopped doing that.

     
    Madeline Mora-Summonte
    I try to be. :) I take the occasional art class, and I’m getting more into collage and mixed media work.

     

    Rebecca Barrow
    I like to try being artistic but don’t always succeed…there are many half-finished knitting/sewing projects around my house! I do play the piano and have done for sixteen years now. Writing and playing the piano are my two main creative outlets.

     

    Do you have any artistic or creative talents?


  4. The Big Reveal

    October 23, 2014 by Suzi

    Welcome to the Big Reveal
     

    I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds
    of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at
    all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will
    have a new question for them.
     

    Do you many story ideas sitting in your mind waiting to be written
    or do you only think of one story at a time?

     

    Rebecca Barrow
    I have a lot of ideas floating around, some more formed than others. I have ideas that will probably never get written because there isn’t the time for all of them. I do focus more on one at a time and then work on that one once it’s more solid in my mind.

     

    Chad Morris
    I have files with a lot of ideas. I think I have about seven that are my favorites about now I’ll have to decide between them.

     

    Shelly Brown
    I love a good shiny new idea but I’ve learned to write myself notes and keep plugging away on my current WIP until it’s November. When it’s November I get to chose between many fun stories searching out the one that I think will sell or the one I just HAVE TO write. Everything else has to wait.

     
    Crystal Collier
    Shall I turn out my story folder? I have at least one epic story dream a month, and find myself contemplating circumstantial possibilities even more often. I actually quit recording all my story ideas because as it is, not all of the 40 or so waiting to be written will probably ever happen. That said, once I start seriously drafting, I get tunnel vision.

     

     

    Jessica Salyer
    I have a notebook with me all the time for this exact reason. An idea will pop into my head and I’ll jot it down in my book. I think I have about 6 or 7 ideas in it right now. Some will get written and some never will. Then when I’m ready to start something new, whatever is speaking to me loudest gets written.

     
    Madeline Mora-Summonte
    Ideas come to me all the time but they usually only come in snippets – a few lines of dialogue or description, a character’s name, a feeling, etc. It’s not usually much to go on right then, so I jot the snippets down and put them away for another time. Sometimes, though, the idea is more fully formed and clamors to be worked on right away…

     
    Do you many story ideas waiting to be written?


  5. The Big Reveal

    October 16, 2014 by Suzi

    Welcome to the Big Reveal
     

    I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds
    of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at
    all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will
    have a new question for them.
     

    Do you put a lot of thought into picking the jobs of your main characters?

     
    Madeline Mora-Summonte
    Unless the occupation is important to the story somehow, I tend to just put it in the background somewhere, giving it a mention then moving on.

     

    Rebecca Barrow
    I put some thought into it. Since I write YA, if it’s a job for a main character I’ll focus more on finding the right thing. When it comes to parents I tend to fall back on the basics, or toss in a random thing like…tightrope walker, just for fun.

     

    Chad Morris
    So far in my books, it’s mostly just students, teachers, an inventor and an evil genius.

     

    Shelly Brown
    Ummm, I’ve never even thought about this question before. Maybe because my stories are about children/youth and when I do include employment the jobs are often intricate to their characters and the plot.

     

    Crystal Collier
    I’m always watching for strange or unique careers and making mental notes. Most of my works are YA, and you’d be shocked at some of the interesting jobs a teen can find at funeral homes, universities, and factories. To me, the job a person takes says almost as much about them as their name.

     

    Jessica Salyer
    I find that their job kind of comes with their character. Like it’s a part of who they are. Sometimes, I don’t even think about it or address it.

    Do you put a lot of thought into picking the jobs of your main characters?


  6. The Big Reveal

    October 9, 2014 by Suzi

    Welcome to the Big Reveal
     

    I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds
    of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at
    all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will
    have a new question for them.
     

    Do you have critique partners or beta readers?

     

    Crystal Collier
    All of the above. You can rarely have too many sets of eyes on a new work. Typically my books go through about 5 critique partners and 5 to 10 beta readers (plus the occasional critique group). We won’t even talk about what editors do to a book…

     

    Jessica Salyer
    I have a group of Critique Partners/Beta Readers that I depend upon. They are a necessity for me and I really don’t know what I’d do without them. I’m in a fairly large group, which is nice because we’re all very busy and I can just say, “Hey anyone have time to look at this?” If you want to be a writer I would suggest getting a Critique group that you trust.

     
    Madeline Mora-Summonte
    My husband is my First Reader. He’s always honest with me, telling me what he thinks works and what doesn’t, what he likes and what he doesn’t. We don’t always agree, and I don’t always make the changes he suggests, but I do always listen to and value his opinion.

     

    Rebecca Barrow
    I have a few people I reach out to when I need readers, some who give me general notes and some who give more in-depth feedback over a few rounds. It all depends on each story and where I’m at in the revising process, really.

     

    Chad Morris
    Yep. My wife is always my first reader and she SAVES me. Seriously, she gives great feedback. Because four of my five kids are in my target audience, I also read my manuscripts to them and gauge reactions. Plus, I run them through a few other trusted friends. When it gets down to galleys, my mom reads through my books and catches a lot of little errors.

     

    Shelly Brown
    I use beta readers. I have tried crit partners and crit groups but I think for my style of writing it is best to pass along a completed work. Of course there are exceptions to this and I’ve passed on chapters here and there to get feedback but overall I need time to go through and edit. I’m lucky to have a bunch of friends who help

     

    Do you have critique partners or beta readers?


  7. The Big Reveal

    October 3, 2014 by Suzi

    Welcome to the Big Reveal
     

    I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds
    of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at
    all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will
    have a new question for them.
     

    Do you do a lot of research for your writing?

     

    Shelly Brown
    The better question is have I ever written a novel that doesn’t require a lot of research. I’m a research nut. Informationaholic. I graduated in History and love to dig deep into places, cultures, people, facts.

    I wish I could do all of my research before I write then just write but there is no way I can possibly think of all of the questions I will have to address as I craft a story. What did they use for privies? Did that album even exists then? What kind of tree would be native to that part of the world? Would they EVER have the opportunity to have a private conversation? I research before I write, while I write, and while I edit.

     

    Crystal Collier
    I’ve written historical fiction in several time periods and cultures, which takes more research than most people want to think about—all the details from what kind of fabric they made clothing out of to societal expectations for age groups and genders. I think the hardest thing to nail down are the attitudes that would be prevalent in another time and place. Before I start writing, I do a ton of research to try and get myself in the appropriate mind frame. As I write, I’m constantly pausing to check a fact or find deeper specifics. Did you know that in 1750, King George the 1st established a marriage law that made the legal marriage age 21? Think that would fly today?

     

    Jessica Salyer
    Google is my friend. I find I’m constantly check information on it. From little things like the weather somewhere at a certain time of the year, to things that take more research like telekinesis and the use of your brain.

     
    Madeline Mora-Summonte
    Most of my work doesn’t require a lot of research. If I do need to look into something, I’ll do a bit before I start writing, so I have some basic idea, then I’ll do more thorough research after.

     

    Rebecca Barrow
    I don’t need to do tons of research, but when I do I usually do a mix of before and throughout writing as and when questions come up. I can’t say I’ve ever discovered anything fascinating, sadly!

     

    Chad Morris
    Though my Cragbridge Hall series is a crazy romp through a futuristic academy with amazing inventions, because it is set in a school and involves some time travel, it also includes a lot of real information and history. I just turned in a draft of Cragbridge Hall, Book 3, The Impossible Race. This book has a crazy tournament, where teams race from invention to invention doing challenges, so I got to study up on Joan of Arc, peregrine falcons, Nickola Tesla, Mars, Greek Mythology, Dinosaurs in ancient Argentina, the first American spy, acid lakes, and dragons in literature. If real info is a major part of the plot, I have to study ahead of time. If not, I can study as I go.

     

    What kind of research do you do for your writing?


  8. The Big Reveal

    September 26, 2014 by Suzi

    Welcome to the Big Reveal
     

    I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds
    of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at
    all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will
    have a new question for them.
     

    Are you a fast writer?

     

    Shelly Brown
    I write most of my first drafts during NanoWriMo, so about 30 days. BUT, I have usually worked through a decent amount of plotting before I start. Maybe a few months of thinking about the plot and making notes for myself. As you can imagine my editing is more extensive than people who take their time though.

     

    Crystal Collier
    I think every person has two modes: sprint until you die, and jog the distance. I’ve written both ways, with a deadline (and new white hairs), and casually over time. It’s a constantly evolving process and every book is a different story (pun intended). My last book took 3 months for the first draft and six months to complete all the editing. Granted, that was around my debut novel release and we home school, so I had split loyalties. If I wrote without the littles around, I imagine it would take about 3 to six months to complete a novel. I like to take enough time to really feel grounded in every scene and to build the language into something beautiful. Books are lasting legacies. They shouldn’t be rushed.

     

    Jessica Salyer
    The last novel I wrote took me just under three months to write the first draft. I had already written the book once and this was me rewriting it, so I may have been at a little advantage for it. (the first time it took me a year and a half to write.)

     
    Madeline Mora-Summonte
    I am a slow writer. I do a lot of thinking, the writing comes out in a gush, then there’s more thinking. I might put a bigger project down, pick up a smaller one, complete that, then go back to the bigger one. My process is really kind of a mess.

     

    Rebecca Barrow
    Drafting takes me a while, probably around six months averaged out. (It feels like longer.)

     
    Chad Morris
    I can write a book of 70,000 words in about two days.
    I wish.
    The truth. I make a short outline (1 page), then I jump into a REALLY rough draft. That takes me a few months. Maybe 2-4, depending on the book. But I have to rewrite and revise that draft for another month or two before I’d say it equals other people’s first draft.

    Are you a fast writer?


  9. The Big Reveal

    September 19, 2014 by Suzi

    Welcome to the Big Reveal
     

    I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds
    of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at
    all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will
    have a new question for them.
     

    Do you read or write reviews?

     

     
    Chad Morris
    I read some reviews, just to get an idea of how well the book is being received. I don’t usually read reviews of other books. I either pick it up because I’m intrigued by the premise, it was recommended by a friend, or I love and trust the author.

     

    Shelly Brown
    I occasionally read book reviews. Particularly when I’m looking to see if there is objectionable/intense material in a story. I only rarely write book reviews. I have to like the book to write a review. Why? Because as a writer myself I know that the author of that book spent hours and hours trying to craft something that they hope others will like. When I don’t particularly care for it I don’t feel the need to slam the work or the author.

     

    Crystal Collier
    I typically read one really good and one really bad review of a book before picking it up. (Very judicious of me, eh?) Granted, I’m not likely to pick it up at all if it has less than a 3.5 star rating, and I’ll put a book down if the bad review proves the more realistic one within the first couple chapters.

    It’s been a practice, especially since getting published to leave a review for every book I read…unless I’d give it less than 3 stars. (Super rare.)

     

    Jessica Salyer
    I don’t really read book reviews unless I’m unsure about a book. I usually go more by word of mouth or suggestions from friends. I’ll write book reviews once in a while if the book really stands out to me. But no, they don’t really affect if I read a book.

     
    Madeline Mora-Summonte
    I read/skim book reviews, and they will sometimes affect whether I decide to read the book or not. I’ll write the occasional book review, where I try to focus on the positive aspects of the book and how the story and characters made me feel, etc.

     

    Rebecca Barrow
    I usually only read reviews once I’ve finished a book—I don’t want to be spoiled or influenced before I read. I don’t write reviews since there are so many people out there doing a better job than me already!

    Do you read or write reviews?


  10. The Big Reveal

    September 5, 2014 by Suzi

    Welcome to the Big Reveal
     

    I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds
    of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at
    all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will
    have a new question for them.
     

    Do you tend to over-write or under-write?

     

     

    Rebecca Barrow
    I want to say I under-write, but actually, my last three drafts have been pretty long…maybe somewhere in the middle. My first four novels were all around 50K, and the next three closer to 100K. The most I’ve added is 14K from first draft to query ready, and the most I’ve cut is only 10K. Maybe this means I’m learning how to draft better stories? One can hope!

     
    Chad Morris
    Under write. My first time through a draft, I’ll skip over entire scenes if I don’t feel like writing them. I write what I’m excited about and then come back and fill in the cracks.

     

    Shelly Brown
    My first drafts tend to be right in range for my target audience. But that’s tricky businesses because I still have to add and take away stuff in editing keeping it close to the same size.

     

    Crystal Collier
    I’m a minimalist. I write lean on a first draft, fattening it up with details and the like in later drafts. If I’ve got a deadline, chances are there won’t be much trimming, mostly just adding. If I’m writing for fun, there may have to be some culling in the end.

     

    Jessica Salyer
    I tend to under write. My manuscripts are always light when I get done with them and I have to add to them.

     
    Madeline Mora-Summonte
    I tend to over-write my flash fiction, then need to cut to find the heart of the story. I usually under-write my novels – I form the bones, the skeleton, then go back in and add muscle, flesh everything out.

     

    Are you an over-writer or an under-writer?