This is one of those times I’m going to blog about something I’m admittedly struggling with in the hopes it inspires me, (and maybe you too!)
Namely: changing from one creative project to another.
You may have encountered this before. Perhaps you’re trying to draft one story while you wait on edits for another. Or you’ve sent your first manuscirpt out to the query trenches, and now you need to write something new.
Maybe, like me, you’re a debut author who is also trying to write a new book.
It’s not easy, to split your thoughts, your hopes, your creative enegry between two projects. I’ve come up with a few ideas, but I’d love to hear your thoughts too!
- Image board!
I admittedly do this the old-fashioned way, where I print out random things that give me story-related feels, then tape them to a posterboard I hang by my writing nook. It’s a great way to get some visual inspiration. However, most people I know use pinterest… which is the exact same thing, without the whole “attempting not to glue yourself to bits of paper.”
Here’s a mini version of mine for my new project.
One of my all-time favorite things to do! Simply hop on spotify, or 8tracks, and start adding songs to a list that will give you all the feelings of your main characters.
Here’s one for my next story: link to spotify
- Pretend to be your main character
Okay. Maybe don’t do this if your main character is a brain-eating zombie or something, but I find a little method acting can be a lot of fun. Maybe it’s eating a food (not brains!) that your character likes, or perusing a store they might frequent. Have fun with it!
If you can, draw your characters! Or commission an artist (I’ve found amazing ones on Tumblr!) to draw them for you.
Here’s a sketch the amazing Linnea did of my new MCs. I love how she captured their personalities too!
Okay! So I’ve shared my favorite ways to start a new project. Now, tell me, what are yours?
Hi all! I’m here to share a teaser image for an upcoming YA sci-fi that I SO excited for! FREEFALL by Joshua David Bellin promises to be a thrilling, suspenseful epic! Check out the blurb below, share the image, and add it on Goodreads!
This wild ride of a novel is out Sept. 26th! Preorder your copy today.
FREEFALL: The fate of the human race hangs on the actions of two teens from very different backgrounds in this thrilling sci-fi adventure.
In the Upperworld, the privileged 1% are getting ready to abandon a devastated planet Earth. And Cam can’t wait to leave. After sleeping through a 1,000-year journey, he and his friends will have a pristine new planet to colonize. And no more worries about the Lowerworld and its 99% of rejects.
Then Cam sees a banned video feed of protesters in the Lowerworld who also want a chance at a new life. And he sees a girl with golden eyes who seems to be gazing straight through the feed directly at him. A girl he has to find. Sofie.
When Cam finds Sofie, she opens his eyes to the unfairness of what’s happening in their world, and Cam joins her cause for Lowerworld rights. He also falls hard for Sofie. But Sofie has her own battles to fight, and when it’s time to board the spaceships, Cam is alone.
Waking up 1,000 years in the future, Cam discovers that he and his shipmates are far off-course, trapped on an unknown and hostile planet. Who has sabotaged their ship? And does it have anything to do with Sofie, and the choices—and the enemies—he made in the past?
About the author: Joshua David Bellin has been writing novels since he was eight years old (though the first few were admittedly very short). He taught college for twenty years, wrote a bunch of books for college students, then decided to return to writing fiction. He is the author of three science fiction novels for teens and adults: the two-part Survival Colony series (Survival Colony 9 and Scavenger of Souls) and the deep-space adventure Freefall. Josh loves to read, watch movies, and spend time in Nature with his kids. Oh, yeah, and he likes monsters. Really scary monsters.
So, are you on the edge of your seat? I am! You can preorder Freefall here: link.
Broody here. I’ve stolen Carrie’s blog, (as well as all of your hearts) to share some exciting news.
A little about my cover. You might notice I look slightly different from my Twitter photo. That’s all right. I change appearances as the plot demands, and this book demanded a little more leather-jacket swagger. However, the art for both is done by the talented Linnea Gear! Linnea also has an amazing webcomic, DISSENT, which you all should read.
Did you look at my cover yet???
Fine. Maybe you don’t want to click on the link to the cover.
If that’s the case, keep scrolling.
Pretty handsome, huh?
Well. You know how to make it look even better? Get a copy to put on your shelf!
Preorders available at the below locations! (and save your receipts! Email proof-of-purchase to email@example.com to win a special preorder prize. Open internationally!)
Amazon: link here
Barnes and Noble: link here
Book Depository: link here
Indiebound: link here
And for updates, subscribe to my newsletter! link!
Hi! Carrie here! I’m pleased to unveil a new, ongoing feature on the blog, TALKING TROPES. These will be fun interviews with some really great authors, where we discuss their books, their favorite stories, and also tropes they love, and tropes they hate. One of the things I’ve noticed as BroodingYAHero is that people sometimes fall into the thinking that all tropes are awful, and that’s not true. Some certainly are, and some are overused to the point of absurdity, but some tropes are useful tools!
In this inaugural blog, I’ll be interviewing the fabulous Jessica Cluess, author of A SHADOW BRIGHT AND BURNING, one of my favorite reads in 2016! It has some FABULOUS trope subversion that you need to read to believe.
Oh, and I’ll also be doing a giveaway of its sequel, A POISON DARK AND DROWNING, so definitely read until the end!
Without further ado, let’s begin!
- So, first of all, your book is incredible! Can you tell me a little of your inspiration for it?
J: Thank you! I got the idea from Nicholas Nickleby, actually. There’s a scene where Nicholas physically stops an assault on a defenseless boy. Since it’s set in Victorian England, I wondered how a girl of the time might have managed something like that. Then I had this image of her blasting fire out of her hands, and bam. That was it.
- One of the things I loved about A SHADOW BRIGHT AND BURNING is how complex all the characters are. Without spoilers, it’s fair to say no one is quite as they seem. Do you have any favorites among the cast?
J: I think my two favorites are Henrietta and the magician Hargrove. Henrietta’s the lead and the narrator, so it’s very fortunate that she’s one of my favorites. I’d have a hard time writing the series if I didn’t like her! As for Hargrove, he’s got a lot of secrets, but he also has a lot of fun. I enjoy characters who enjoy themselves. He doesn’t angst endlessly over his past, and I admire that.
- What other books/tv/movies have you enjoyed this year?
J: Man, where to start? Traci Chee’s THE READER, Tara Sim’s TIMEKEEPER, Roshani Chokshi’s THE STAR TOUCHED QUEEN, Alwyn Hamilton’s REBEL OF THE SANDS, Emily Skrutskie’s THE ABYSS SURROUNDS US, all incredible 2016 YA debuts. Then there’s CARAVAL by Stephanie Garber, too!
I’ve been spoiled with the incredible amount of great books I’ve read. That’s an excellent way to be spoiled, of course. As for movies and TV, I find I have less and less time these days. One thing I’m currently deep into is Mr. Robot. It’s really doing wonders to increase my paranoia, so…actually, that’s not a good thing. Eh. What can you do?
- Let’s talk tropes. I know you’re a fan of BroodingYAhero. Are there any other character tropes you love?
J: Ah, Brooding YA Hero is one of my favorite things on the internet. I can’t wait for the book. Hmm. As far as tropes go, I’m a sucker for the ‘person has to confront their past’ storyline, in pretty much any form. I think the only way to really move into the future is to contend with past failures or problems. Also, it’s heavily dramatic. I’ve come to realize that a lot of my stories deal with characters having to deal with secrets from the past, be it family or society. The cycle doesn’t end until you break it, so to speak.
- Any you hate?
J: That asshole YA hero who always says and does asshole things? And then people call him charming? That’s not charm. That’s being a jackass. There’s a difference.
(okay, Harry probably isn’t that trope buuut it’s just too perfect a gif)
- What about plot tropes?
J: I love the ragtag bunch of heroes coming together and realizing they need each other, even if they want to kill each other. I really, really dislike plots that are built upon constant misunderstanding and miscommunication. That’s forcing characters to behave like idiots so that we can have a story.
- What’s one piece of writing advice you have for aspiring authors?
J: Originally, the hero of Star Wars was going to be named Jason Starkiller. It was a very, very different script, and not a very good one. My point is that your first draft is not going to be close to what you see in your head on the first try. Don’t get frustrated. Learn to love the rewrite process, because it’s what separates the Jason Starkillers from the Luke Skywalkers.
Thank you again, Jessica, for this awesome interview!
And now, for the giveaway!
Do you love fairytale retellings?
How about badass heroines saving the day AND finding love?
That’s why I’m so excited to take part in the cover reveal of GOLDEN by K.M. Robinson
When the girl with the golden hair betrays everyone, not even she has hope of surviving.
The stories say that Goldilocks was a naïve girl who wandered into a house one day. Those stories were wrong. She was never naïve. It was all a perfectly executed plan to get her into the Baers’ group to destroy them.
Trained by her cousin, Lowell, and handler, Shadoe, Auluria’s mission is to destroy the Baers by getting close to the youngest brother, Dov, his brother and sister-in-law and the leaders of the Baers’ group. When she realizes Dov isn’t as evil as her cousin led her to believe, she must figure out how to play both sides or her deception will cause everyone in her world to burn.
If her allegiances are discovered, either side could destroy her…if the Society doesn’t get her first.
Check out the cover after the jump!
Taking a break from all the fun and squeeing over my book that sold, I wanted to talk about something a little less fun.
How to keep yourself moving forward creatively when the state of the world (or your personal life) make you want to curl up in a ball and never leave your bed?
I wish I had an easy answer. I certainly do not.
First of all, whatever’s got you feeling this low, your feelings are valid. Secondly, please don’t be afraid to seek help, or at least reach out to a friend or family.
But maybe it’s not depression. Maybe it’s just the mean reds, as made famous in BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S
Holly Golightly: You know those days when you get the mean reds?
Paul Varjak: The mean reds. You mean like the blues?
Holly Golightly: No. The blues are because you’re getting fat, and maybe it’s been raining too long. You’re just sad, that’s all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you’re afraid, and you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?
Sound about right? Somehow, for me as a writer, I run into these mean reds often. I read an amazing book, and it throws me into a deep sulk that I’ll never be as good of a writer as that one is. Or I’ll get feedback that I don’t know how to handle, and I’ll feel like a fake writer.
Or, you know, there will be an election, and the whole world will catch on fire. That too.
Regardless of what’s got you feeling like crap, I wanted to share a couple of my favorite small things to cheer up:
- Look at old photos of good times.(also BACK UP YOUR PHOTOS. ahem.)
- Have a cup of tea. I’m not sure what it is about tea that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, but it works every time.
- Go for a walk. I was amazed to realize my saddest days are also my lowest step count days.
- Write something fun. Like fanfic.
- Treat yourself to a fancy pastry. If it’s got a French name, I bet it’s super fancy and very yummy.
- Watch a movie. I just watched LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP and found it absolutely adorable.
- Call a friend/family member/someone you’d like to be friends with.
Binge a series. May I suggest YURI ON ICE? Cutest show EVER.
So, tell me, what helps you get out of a creative bout of the mean reds?
This is the blog post every writer dreams of writing. I SOLD A BOOK! Follow this blog, and Broody’s Twitter, for more news.This book is a loving parody of the YA genre, narrated by the BroodingYAhero himself. There will be quizzes, games, and a wonderfully Broody storyline.
And add it on Goodreads here! LINK
A quick story:
I was presenting at YALSA, which was an incredible conference, in which I met many incredible authors and librarians! I spoke on social media on that Friday, and had the time of my life. Saturday, I got an email from my agent.
We had an offer on BROODING YA HERO’S GUIDE TO ACHIEVING MAIN CHARACTER STATUS from Skpony Press.
I celebrated, cheered…
And then the election happened.
It was very strange to feel both overwhelming joy and hope, and utter, heart-crushing grief. (Hence the long delay on writing this blog post.) But, I do think it’s important to celebrate small good things, even in the dark days.
So, now it’s time to celebrate. In the comments, I’d love to hear about a small good thing you’re celebrating!
Here’s the part where I get a little bit motivational. If you told me when I was young, or even a year ago, that my first book would be a YA parody, I would have… been very confused. I learned two things.
First of all, it’s very hard to claim that you’re funny. Seriously. If you don’t believe me, turn to the person nearest you, and say “I’m very funny.”
They will almost always reply, “well, say something funny then. Make me laugh.”
Haaaa. Good. Not like there’s any pressure now, right? But hey, once you get used to being considered at least slightly funny, it’s not all bad. (If my friends don’t laugh at my jokes, I can now say 37,000 people on the internet find me funny)
Secondly, I was quite sure, for the longest time, that I was born to take up the mantle of Tolkien and write sweeping fantasy epics.
I had no idea I’d write a YA parody for my first novel instead.
So, my tiny little motivational speech is to… be open to new ideas. Don’t assume you know what your first published book will be. Don’t be afraid of trying new ideas.
And above all, always be Broody.
Or at least, a main character 😉
So, as many of you know, Brooding YA Hero (found here) is getting a book deal! Woooooo!!!!
And… he’s also getting a makeover!
I’m thrilled to reveal that I’ve been working with the very talented Linnea (check out her site here!) on designing four possibilities that capture Broody in all his gemstone-eyed, swoony jawlined, feeling-avoiding, majesty.
And you, dear reader, get to vote on the winner.
The winning image will have extra detail added to it, and will be the new face found on his Twitter account.
But it’s not just about giving Broody a makeover. He’s the generous sort of book boyfriend, and wants to give you a chance to win an exciting prize! Vote on your favorite Broody, and you’ll be entered to win a fabulous prize package!
You see, Broody might not admit it, but he’s a big fan of books. And so, to celebrate his new look, we’ve set up a fun giveaway, where you get to vote on your favorite face, and get extra points for other things.
Two Broody Bundles will be given away! Click on the titles for more info on these awesome books!
Ready to vote/enter to win? CLICK THE RED LINK BELOW
The First, for fans located in the USA, contains new copies of:
OF FIRE AND STARS by Audrey Coulthurst
NO PLACE TO FALL by Jaye Robin Brown
A SHADOW BRIGHT AND BURNING by Jess Cluess
SWORDSPOINT by Ellen Kushner
IF I WAS YOUR GIRL by Meredith Russo
And the second, for international fans, is an ebook bundle of….
SONG OF SUMMER by Laura Lee Anderson
CARAVAL by Stephanie Garber (this is a preorder)
TIMEKEEPER by Tara Sim
Plus an exclusive, hand-written, mailed-to-you love letter by Broody himself.
So, do you remember the good ol’ days of fanfic? Of the thrill of rushing to your school’s computer lab to see if a certain now-mega-famous author uploaded a new episode of her fanfic? Or do you still catch yourself checking those incomplete fics that may never be finished?
Well, have I got an app for you! It’s called Serial Box, and it delivers serialized fiction right to your phone, or your computer. In other words, you get an “episode” of a book, once a week. These episodes are more than just a chapter. Like a TV show, they tell a complete tale, building to a season finale. Plus, you get a free audio file with each episode! Here’s the link
Subscribing is super easy, and cheaper than buying each episode. It totally makes my Wednesday when I know I have something new to read–its that same buzz as when a fanfic updates with a new chapter, except these stories are 1. professionally edited! and 2. guaranteed to never leave you hanging for an ending that never comes.
As this is a YA blog, I decided to review their YA serial, called ReMade.
Every minute, 108 people die. This fall, in one of those minutes, twenty-three of those deaths will be teenagers. Now they are humanity’s last hope for survival. Awakened in a post-apocalyptic world and hunted by mechanical horrors, these teens search for answers amidst the ruins of civilization. Fate, love, and loyalty face off in this adrenaline-pumping YA adventure.
One of the first things I noticed is that ReMade has some seriously amazing writers. I mean, Gwenda Bond AND Kiersten White? Cue fangirl screams from me
The series itself is super fun. It combines dramatic, contemporary elements with a sci-fi/dystopian storyline. It’s also worth noting this is a WAY more diverse cast, both racially and sexuality-wise than any other dystopian out there. It’s like the 100, except way less problematic! Each episode revolves around one (or two!) characters, so it’s worth trying more than one if a character doesn’t strike your fancy.
Have you read a serial novel before? Do you think you’ll give Serial Box a try?