The Dancing Writer's Advice

Amber Skye Forbes

Guest Post: Confessions of a Literary Intern. Yes, that’s a real thing.

Amber Skye Forbes graciously took me on as a literary intern (I came up with the job title. Snazzy, no?) to help out with things like organizing a book blast, scheduling interviews, and getting her book into libraries. As you all know, writing a book is tough, but what comes after is a different kind of tough. Getting the book off the shelves and into hands of readers doesn’t happen all on its own. That’s where I come in. *cue badass soundtrack*

Amber pretty much had it all under control, but I’ve always wanted to work in publishing as an agent of some kind, so she agreed to let me work for her and gain some hands-on experience. I wouldn’t recommend this type of work to someone who doesn’t enjoy networking, shooting out emails and being a control freak. And there are other skills which come in handy, of course. When I’m not trolling blogs, trying to suss out whether they’re taking interview/guest post requests, I spend a good part of my day prettifying commercially available images and turning them into graphics with Pixlr.

In addition, I contribute to Amber’s Facebook page (1400 likes and counting!), organize giveaways, promote the newsletter, and much more. I still have my own creative writing, of course. I want to get published one day, too, but it seems the best I can do (for now) is surround myself with writer folk who share the same aspirations. I’m still in high school, too, so there’s homework and stuff, but the less said about that, the better. *shudder*

Luckily for this intern, Amber isn’t the type of author to laze around and let her press team do all the work. No, she’s just as eager as I am to get the word out there about the awesomeness that is When Stars Die. Whenever I shoot her an interview that needs answering, or a guest post that needs writing, she has it done and dusted in no time at all. Naturally, Amber is human too, which means she gets sick and does homework and goes to work (Yes, work. Writing doesn’t pay all the bills, no matter how much we wish it would) like any other person. All that just makes her devotion to her writing even more incredible, and makes my job more important.

Right now, we’re working on the anniversary book blast of When Stars Die. It’s on October 22, so if any of you strange internet people want a slice of the action, shoot me a message at sebstarcevic (at) gmail (dot) com. I put together a media kit to package off to any interested parties, so you’ll be getting a bunch of cool graphics, plus an exclusive interview with Amelia, MC of When Stars Die.

Now, this literary intern has other things to do. Sayonara!

About the Author: At age 10, Seb Starcevic wrote his first novel and convinced himself it was going to be a bestseller. Spoiler: It wasn’t. Since then, he’s dreamed of being a great many things, such as: historian, writer, editor, and palaeontologist. While he is none of those things, he still retains a childish fascination with dinosaurs, and can be found agonizing over correct comma usage. Nowadays, he lives out his editor fantasies through the Corner Club Press, and dreams of the day he finally finishes a novel. In addition, he writes articles for the highest bidder, and plays the role of desperate intern for author Amber Skye Forbes. Oh, and he’s still in high school.

thedancingwriter:

Taken from Jullane’s Burning of the Witches
As promised, I am doing a 3900 follower giveaway, but this one will be unique. I am going to draw 15 winners who will be the first to receive an unofficial ARC (advanced reader copy) of chapter one of The Stars Are Infinite. For this chapter one, you don’t have to have read When Stars Die, although if you really want to purchase the second book, you will need to read book one—or else book two is going to be absolutely confusing.
Keep in mind that while the content edits for chapter one have been finished, the copy edit stage has not been started, which is why I consider it an unofficial ARC. However, I hope the winners will nonetheless enjoy the first chapter.
This is a YA paranormal story.
Why am I giving away an unedited chapter? Well, the book is slated to have a December release, so I figured I would begin showcasing parts of the book now.
First, here is a working blurb for The Stars Are Infinite:
Alice Sheraton is slated to be executed for being a witch; however, her father spares her. He sends her to Finight Hill, a safe house for witches. Here a Shadowman begins to pursue her, and from this Shadowman she learns that she has been bound since birth with a terrible fate: either be a martyr to free witches from their misery, or choose to live knowing her existence will bring on more chaos.   
I will draw once I have hit 100+ notes. Liking and re-blogging will get you two entries. Also, signing up for my newsletter will get you another. (I promise you won’t regret signing up for it.)
Take the time to visit my website!

I’m probably going to draw for this tomorrow. I just can’t keep up with everything right now, so I might as well draw the ten lucky winners soon.

thedancingwriter:

Taken from Jullane’s Burning of the Witches

As promised, I am doing a 3900 follower giveaway, but this one will be unique. I am going to draw 15 winners who will be the first to receive an unofficial ARC (advanced reader copy) of chapter one of The Stars Are Infinite. For this chapter one, you don’t have to have read When Stars Die, although if you really want to purchase the second book, you will need to read book one—or else book two is going to be absolutely confusing.

Keep in mind that while the content edits for chapter one have been finished, the copy edit stage has not been started, which is why I consider it an unofficial ARC. However, I hope the winners will nonetheless enjoy the first chapter.

This is a YA paranormal story.

Why am I giving away an unedited chapter? Well, the book is slated to have a December release, so I figured I would begin showcasing parts of the book now.

First, here is a working blurb for The Stars Are Infinite:

Alice Sheraton is slated to be executed for being a witch; however, her father spares her. He sends her to Finight Hill, a safe house for witches. Here a Shadowman begins to pursue her, and from this Shadowman she learns that she has been bound since birth with a terrible fate: either be a martyr to free witches from their misery, or choose to live knowing her existence will bring on more chaos.  

I will draw once I have hit 100+ notes. Liking and re-blogging will get you two entries. Also, signing up for my newsletter will get you another. (I promise you won’t regret signing up for it.)

Take the time to visit my website!

I’m probably going to draw for this tomorrow. I just can’t keep up with everything right now, so I might as well draw the ten lucky winners soon.

(via thedancingwriter)

Begin, Keep It Up, End It

This is a guest post from Kristina. I did not write this, but I hope you will nonetheless find it useful. 

Beginning, middle, and end, that’s all it takes to write that novel you’ve been putting off. Sounds easy, right? Well, if you remember which parts are most important, it can be.  

The Beginning

The beginning is CRUCIAL. To begin a book is to introduce your main characters, world, and the emotions/circumstances that will drive your story. This introduction is not only for the reader, but for yourself. Outlining and character charts can only help you so much with getting to know your characters. It’s kind of like saying you know a person just by seeing their social media profile: age, gender, location, where they work, et cetera. And you want to fill out all of this, if only for you to know, but putting this character description in action is how you will really get to know him or her.

Especially if you’re writing in first person, you want to know your protagonist’s voice: think I am my protagonist. I am my protagonist. Just don’t mutter this repeatedly out loud if you’re writing in a café or some other public place. Unless your goal is to scare the loud table beside of you away to reclaim peace and quiet for writing. In that case, throw a good creepy look their way to accompany the muttering, and you should be good to go.

Keep It Up

The middle is CRUCIAL. Now, you know your characters and their situation(s), but you need to grow both of these things. Even if your beginning starts out huge with some intense action scene or something, it should still be the smallest part in your book. Writing your novel will be like dancing up a staircase: you’ll waltz up several steps to start, linger a step or two, waltz up a couple more, and repeat.

Here’s what I mean by “linger.” After that intense action sequence, some explanations to cool down will be necessary. This is a good time to introduce any backstory vital to understanding your characters and what is going on right now in your plot. (Notice I said “now.” You don’t want to prematurely reveal backstory that gives away motive or, worse, the whole story before it even begins.)

Often times, this is the part people refer to when they say “it took a while to get into, but it was a great book.” You can’t control every individual’s preference on what defines a “great book,” but you can add flavor to this necessary point by adding subtle clues, for example, sensory imagery that adds something creepy to the atmosphere for a paranormal novel while providing insight to the future plot. With this, your reader will be intrigued by the information both provided and shown to them in scene, making them think something strange is definitely going on/about to happen.

As for the deeper middle, this is where throwing in clues can only get you so far. Eventually, your characters will need to act on these clues and details in one or more turning points. For example, the turning point in one of my novels is when my protagonist learns she has gained a stalker (on top of everything else I already put her through) via an incident that happened towards the beginning of the book. That incident was a “clue” or setup for what would happen far later.

But, if I could only say one thing about the middle of your book, it would be to set the reader aside for a minute to think about yourself. What scenes are you most looking forward to writing here? Is it a first kiss/acknowledgement of feelings between your protagonist and hero in a romance novel? Maybe a fight scene that will set up the ending? Whatever it is, it’s important that you have fun writing it, because if nothing is keeping you going through writing the middle of your novel, there will probably be nothing to keep the reader going either.

End It

The ending is CRUCIAL. Plots and subplots are wrapped up, every secret is revealed (unless, for instance, you’re writing a series), your villains get what they deserve or get away with the crime, and your main characters live or die happily ever after. Make sure not to cheat your reader or yourself on this. Take the time to thoroughly conclude what needs to be concluded. You don’t want an awesome twisty middle with a blah ending that feels more like a summary. Go ahead. Have fun. Punish (or not) your villains. Let your heroes bask in their accomplishments (or kill them off. It’s your book. I don’t know what you plan on writing!). And above all, fit that final piece in your novel’s beautiful puzzle. Then stand back and admire your work!

Conclusion

Notice how I emphasized that each part of your novel is crucial? That’s because each part of your novel IS crucial. The beginning is what yanks the reader in, the middle is what keeps the reader there, and the ending is what makes the reader not want to leave. Yes, the beginning is key to hooking an agent or publisher, but the middle and end will make them stay in your story world. So, when writing and revising, don’t focus all of your attention on only one of these three things. Put your heart and energy into every sentence of your book, and I guarantee you’ll end up with something awesome! :) 

Kristina M. Serrano graduated from CFCC with an Associates Degree in Arts, as well as from UNCW with a BFA in Creative Writing Fiction and a Certificate in Publishing, landing on the Dean’s and Chancellor’s Lists. She is the Executive Editor for The Corner Club Press, plans on soon querying the latest two of the four YA novels she’s written, and has dozens of unfinished novels and plots stored away for a rainy day. Aside from writing, she enjoys reading, singing, and sharing ice cream with her hyper Bichon Frisé doggie, Jake.

You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, or Blogspot.

http://kristinamserrano.blogspot.com/

https://twitter.com/BooksandBichons

https://www.facebook.com/authorkristinamserrano

The Psychological Damage of Victim Blaming

I used to get into arguments a lot on my Facebook page that ranged from a myriad of topics, until I finally got rid of these people. The first person I got rid of was one who believed victims of sexual assault should take some responsibility for what happened to them. He said they (primarily […] http://dlvr.it/73vHfs

Temporary Leave

For now this blog will have guest posts from my publicist and members of The Corner Club Press. I have ensured their posts stay true to my blog, so I hope all of you find them equally helpful as the posts I write. It’s going to take some time for me to finish my revisions series because of this, but I desperately need the down time, so I hope all of you can understand. During this time, I can answer questions you send me, so if you have any, feel free to ask.