The Dancing Writer's Advice

Amber Skye Forbes

thedancingwriter:

This is the cover to the sequel, When Stars Die. You guys are the only ones who will view it for now. If you want to see the previous cover if you have yet to read the book, it’s on my website. The girl on the previous one is the protagonist Amelia, and the girl on this cover is the protagonist, Alice. Here is a working blurb. And I say working because we haven’t finalized it just yet.
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 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.
(Shadowmen are dead witches, by the way, a concept explained in book one.)
Now that you have seen the cover, I hope some of you will help me with the book blast that I have scheduled for October 24th. You can even re-blog it right now, which will be just as helpful—and tags, too, please. However, if you have other social media, like a Wordpress blog or Blogger or whatever, I would love for you to make a post about it, too. If you decide to help—just message me with your e-mail address—I will include a media kit with more information. This is what will be in it:
The cover of this book.
A smaller cover of When Stars Die with links on where to purchase it.
The blurb.
An interview with Alice.
A rafflecopter giveaway of donated YA books that you will automatically be entered in, receiving all points that will be included in the raffle copter. The total points you have will be 15 to win a $20.00 Amazon gift card. I would also appreciate it if you signed up for the newsletter, which will be included in the kit. There will be five winners who will be able to choose the books they want.
There will also be a bio and pic of me with social media links.
I will have it formatted already, so all you have to do is copy and paste.
Again, if some of you want to really help me if you are on other social media, just send me your e-mail. If you don’t have any other blog but this, you can use all the materials I will send you to add to a new post, even if you’ve re-blogged this one. If you do have another blog, I would absolutely love for all of the info to go on to that one as well. Link it to your Twitter, FB, Pinterest, whatever you have, if you have these things.

Just want to let you all know I am not MIA. I have recently been diagnosed with PTSD, and so I am really trying to get myself together, but it’s proving to be fairly difficult. 
However, I am happy to report that copy edits for The Stars Are Infinite have been completed. All that’s left is a couple of proofreads, formatting, and ARCs will be ready to go! 

thedancingwriter:

This is the cover to the sequel, When Stars Die. You guys are the only ones who will view it for now. If you want to see the previous cover if you have yet to read the book, it’s on my website. The girl on the previous one is the protagonist Amelia, and the girl on this cover is the protagonist, Alice. Here is a working blurb. And I say working because we haven’t finalized it just yet.

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 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.

(Shadowmen are dead witches, by the way, a concept explained in book one.)

Now that you have seen the cover, I hope some of you will help me with the book blast that I have scheduled for October 24th. You can even re-blog it right now, which will be just as helpful—and tags, too, please. However, if you have other social media, like a Wordpress blog or Blogger or whatever, I would love for you to make a post about it, too. If you decide to help—just message me with your e-mail address—I will include a media kit with more information. This is what will be in it:

  • The cover of this book.
  • A smaller cover of When Stars Die with links on where to purchase it.
  • The blurb.
  • An interview with Alice.
  • A rafflecopter giveaway of donated YA books that you will automatically be entered in, receiving all points that will be included in the raffle copter. The total points you have will be 15 to win a $20.00 Amazon gift card. I would also appreciate it if you signed up for the newsletter, which will be included in the kit. There will be five winners who will be able to choose the books they want.
  • There will also be a bio and pic of me with social media links.

I will have it formatted already, so all you have to do is copy and paste.

Again, if some of you want to really help me if you are on other social media, just send me your e-mail. If you don’t have any other blog but this, you can use all the materials I will send you to add to a new post, even if you’ve re-blogged this one. If you do have another blog, I would absolutely love for all of the info to go on to that one as well. Link it to your Twitter, FB, Pinterest, whatever you have, if you have these things.

Just want to let you all know I am not MIA. I have recently been diagnosed with PTSD, and so I am really trying to get myself together, but it’s proving to be fairly difficult. 

However, I am happy to report that copy edits for The Stars Are Infinite have been completed. All that’s left is a couple of proofreads, formatting, and ARCs will be ready to go! 

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: What It Is

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: What It Is

PTSD

Mothers Matter–Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

When we think of PTSD, we often think about war veterans who have gone through a traumatic experience while defending our country. However, it is not just war veterans who can develop PTSD, but survivors of any traumatic event. Bipolar disorder alone can trigger PTSD because of the severity of the episodes. In fact, if you Google PTSD and go to…

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harmonyinkpress:

October releases from Harmony Ink Press

  • All the Devils Here by Astor Penn - October 2, 2014
  • Under the Stars by Geoff Laughton - October 9, 2014
  • When Ryan Came Back by Devon McCormack - October 16, 2014
  • Wild Summer by Suki Fleet - October 23, 2014
  • Guardians by A.M. Burns - October 30, 2014

In October we have a book with a lesbian protagonist and four books with gay protagonists. In that, we have a science fiction story, a western, a ghost story, a contemporary story, and a fantasy story.

Beautiful covers!

Sign up for My Newsletter!

I believe I’m on issue five now, but I know there is an archive somewhere on Mailchimp that I can use to link it to the newsletter. Last issue’s article was about the process of going through cover art for an author, so I know some new people will probably be curious about that. By joining, you’ll get to read original articles, hear awesome news from me before anyone else, be given book recommendations, receive a collection of articles I’ve recently written, and sometimes a little bit more. Issue 5 will be absolutely fun.

To sign up, just go here.

This is the cover to the sequel, When Stars Die. You guys are the only ones who will view it for now. If you want to see the previous cover if you have yet to read the book, it’s on my website. The girl on the previous one is the protagonist Amelia, and the girl on this cover is the protagonist, Alice. Here is a working blurb. And I say working because we haven’t finalized it just yet.
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 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.
(Shadowmen are dead witches, by the way, a concept explained in book one.)
Now that you have seen the cover, I hope some of you will help me with the book blast that I have scheduled for October 24th. You can even re-blog it right now, which will be just as helpful—and tags, too, please. However, if you have other social media, like a Wordpress blog or Blogger or whatever, I would love for you to make a post about it, too. If you decide to help—just message me with your e-mail address—I will include a media kit with more information. This is what will be in it:
The cover of this book.
A smaller cover of When Stars Die with links on where to purchase it.
The blurb.
An interview with Alice.
A rafflecopter giveaway of donated YA books that you will automatically be entered in, receiving all points that will be included in the raffle copter. The total points you have will be 15 to win a $20.00 Amazon gift card. I would also appreciate it if you signed up for the newsletter, which will be included in the kit. There will be five winners who will be able to choose the books they want.
There will also be a bio and pic of me with social media links.
I will have it formatted already, so all you have to do is copy and paste.
Again, if some of you want to really help me if you are on other social media, just send me your e-mail. If you don’t have any other blog but this, you can use all the materials I will send you to add to a new post, even if you’ve re-blogged this one. If you do have another blog, I would absolutely love for all of the info to go on to that one as well. Link it to your Twitter, FB, Pinterest, whatever you have, if you have these things.

This is the cover to the sequel, When Stars Die. You guys are the only ones who will view it for now. If you want to see the previous cover if you have yet to read the book, it’s on my website. The girl on the previous one is the protagonist Amelia, and the girl on this cover is the protagonist, Alice. Here is a working blurb. And I say working because we haven’t finalized it just yet.

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 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.

(Shadowmen are dead witches, by the way, a concept explained in book one.)

Now that you have seen the cover, I hope some of you will help me with the book blast that I have scheduled for October 24th. You can even re-blog it right now, which will be just as helpful—and tags, too, please. However, if you have other social media, like a Wordpress blog or Blogger or whatever, I would love for you to make a post about it, too. If you decide to help—just message me with your e-mail address—I will include a media kit with more information. This is what will be in it:

  • The cover of this book.
  • A smaller cover of When Stars Die with links on where to purchase it.
  • The blurb.
  • An interview with Alice.
  • A rafflecopter giveaway of donated YA books that you will automatically be entered in, receiving all points that will be included in the raffle copter. The total points you have will be 15 to win a $20.00 Amazon gift card. I would also appreciate it if you signed up for the newsletter, which will be included in the kit. There will be five winners who will be able to choose the books they want.
  • There will also be a bio and pic of me with social media links.

I will have it formatted already, so all you have to do is copy and paste.

Again, if some of you want to really help me if you are on other social media, just send me your e-mail. If you don’t have any other blog but this, you can use all the materials I will send you to add to a new post, even if you’ve re-blogged this one. If you do have another blog, I would absolutely love for all of the info to go on to that one as well. Link it to your Twitter, FB, Pinterest, whatever you have, if you have these things.

Revision Checklist Series Six: Scenes Part One

Revision Checklist Series One: Character

Revision Checklist Series Two: Plot

Revision Checklist Series Three: The Opening

Revision Checklist Series Four: Middles—Part One

Revision Checklist Series Four: Middles—Part Two

Revision Checklist Series Four: Middles—Part Three

Revision Checklist Series Five: Endings

Yay! I’m finally getting back to my revision series after a little bit of a hiatus. Today’s post will discuss revising scenes, and this will occur in two parts.

In every scene there must be conflict, tension, a viewpoint character, a clear objective, and clear emotional reactions.

First off, put yourself in your scenes.

Imagine what your character is feeling in each scene, to try to live the emotions. Sometimes you can act out what your characters are doing. I have done this plenty of times before to make certain I was writing things realistically and accurately. I’ve also read my books out loud before to make certain each scene sounded right to my ears. I had to read all of The Stars Are Infinite out loud, and it was insane because it is currently 104,000 words. That may change after I receive the copy edits, but it was dizzying. Frankly, I hate reading my work out loud, but it’s necessary because it helps you spot errors you might not otherwise have found without reading out loud.

Imagine the scene as well. Imagine everything that occurs from beginning to end. Put yourself in that scene, and while your characters obviously can’t see you, you can pretend to make yourself an observer of their lives. Are their actions realistic? Are their emotional reactions realistic? Does the way you described the scene make sense?

Basically you’re pretending to be a director, so you can pretend your characters are actors. Simply read your scene. If you don’t like them, have your characters re-work their parts or even re-work the scenes. It’s like creating a ballet from a directors point of view. If the scene created is awkward and choppy, the director can change the moves of that scene so that the dancers can make the scene flow better.

Look at the beginning of each scene. Each scene must have its own hook so that way you’re grabbing the reader right from the start. Don’t spend too much time describing. That slows the pacing.

You also need to look at the purpose of the scene. Does it push the character along? The plot? If it does neither of those things, either fix it or cut it.

Scene endings are just important. They must be well-written so that way readers want to keep reading. Here are a few ways in which I’ve stopped scenes in When Stars Die:

  • At the moment something terrifying to the protagonist is about to begin.
  • Right before the moment of an antagonist appearing.
  • With my character in the middle of an action: running, for example.
  • Sometimes calmly, a-calm-before-the-storm ending. For example, Amelia drifts off to sleep with her lover, Oliver, but the next day she has to attend a witch burning.
  • Something symbolic/meaningful.
  • You can also end your scene with an unanswerable question.

Pacing

Lots of exposition can slow the pace of a book. Action scenes sometimes can be excluded from this piece of advice, because sometimes the characters are too busy in fight or flight mode to speak. However, actions scenes absolutely have to be fast-paced, even with exposition. However, you can use dialogue.

Have you ever heard of white space? White space is how much whiteness there is on a piece of paper or document. Lots of words on a page can leave less white. Less words on a page can mean more white. Having that white space can, for the readers, keep the pacing at the pace it needs to be. Sometimes you don’t need all that white space. As long as the pacing is brisk, you don’t always have to add bursts of dialogue. You simply have to make sure you mostly show and don’t tell.

Sometimes the pacing of a scene needs to be slowed. To do this, you can add action, thoughts, description, and monologues.

I slow my pacing at the beginning of chapter twenty-three in When Stars Die. The previous few chapters were fast. Slower scenes function to give readers a break from all of that heart-pounding tension. Here is an example of a scene. Amelia just learned some horrible news that she’s deciding whether to believe or not. This is how she reacts:

Mourning light crawls up dawn’s pallor, coaxing me to my feet. I stumble out of an abandoned shack in the poverty-laden backstreets of Malva, and make my way toward Comely’s Inn. My head pounds, my eyes are full of last night’s sand, and my mouth tastes like whiskey and vomit. Now I understand my mother’s opium addiction. If opium is anything like whiskey, I’m certain it was a barrier against the painful beating of this world’s heart.

A belch escapes me as I drag myself through the backstreets. The belch makes its way up my nose, and I lean against a shack and wretch out the contents of my stomach, which are nothing more than the whiskey some beggar left to rot. I’m trying to remember what happened, but last night is clouded in whiskey’s haze, at least for now. Each step is agonizing though. Every time I turn my head, a wave of nausea washes over me. Instead of dragging myself through the back streets, I’m now stumbling. Oh, Deus, just strike me now for allowing the divine taint of whiskey to infect my mind’s unwanted memories. They’ll soon come back in waves; although I can’t recall them at the moment, they’ll make me bitterer than absinthe.

There is another paragraph of exposition before a line of dialogue. Then the chapter picks up in pace on the third page.

Next part will be about prolonging tension.

I GOT THE COVER ART FOR THE STARS ARE INFINITE!

Okay, so it still has to be tweaked and finalized, but the point is that it’s all there, all beautiful and gorgeous. Alice, the protagonist in the book, is gorgeous, and so are the stars and the subtle blue clouds. Just…GAH!

Participating in a cover reveal means you’ll be able to see the cover five days before the reveal! If you want to help me out, just message me. I’ll have a media kit made up with the cover, blurb, an interview of Alice, and a raffle copper widget with donated YA books some of you could win. More instructions will come if you are interested.