Wednesday, November 18, 2009


In critiques lately, I keep referring people to Rachelle Gardner's recent post on backstory. She does an amazing job describing what it is, why it's a problem and how you can fix it. I'm posting the link here for easy reference:

Monday, November 16, 2009

Writing Update

This is way overdue. Since the last time I posted an update, I've written the first draft of a brand-new novel (contemporary YA, no paranormal elements), almost completed the third draft of a novel I started around this time last year, and revised another based on some feedback I received from an agent.

I'm especially happy with the changes I made to that book. I wish I would've discovered the solution sooner, but it just took time and distance and a fresh perspective to make what the story needed obvious to me. (I have no idea what number draft this is. I've thought it was "finished" so many times before that I've lost count.) Fortunately I've been querying in little batches, so I still have plenty of places to send it. So far the feedback has been positive -- my brand-new first page was chosen as a runner-up in the most recent MSFV Secret Agent contest. Being chosen as one of the finalists was exciting, but mostly I'm happy to have finally gotten the story and my characters to where they were supposed to be.


By Maggie Stiefvater

I loved everything about this book. The beautiful, lyrical writing. The doomed and impossible romance. The unique twist on werewolves and winter. The characters - sweet and sad Sam, quietly strong Grace, and also the girl with whom Grace forms an unlikely friendship/alliance.

The temperature plays an important part in the story and is almost a character on its own. The cold practically seeps through the pages. This is the perfect time of year to read this book and I found myself dreading the cooler temperatures as much as the characters were.

I loved the voice and writing style so much that Stiefvater's first two novels have now jumped to the top of my book wish-list, and I'll be eagerly awaiting the two planned Shiver sequels.

If anybody is looking for a gift for a Twilight fan, try Shiver. No vampires, but the romance has a similar quality. Jacob fans especially should enjoy this book. But I think it would appeal to anyone who's looking for a beautifully written YA romance.