Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Plot Points & Pinches

What am I reading now?  Angelfire (Courtney Allison Moulton)

Annnd . . . what do I think so far?  Ellie is haunted through her own nightmares. They're dark and evil and intensify as she approaches her 17th birthday. That's when Will shows up. He's gorgeous but stalker-ish. When her teacher is the victim of a brutal murder, Ellie is introduced to her destiny.

The book follows the continuing war of heaven as it is taken to earth by fallen angels and the host of monsters who serve both good and evil. Ellie could sit back and enjoy her daddy's money, but she can't--she has a central role--and she chooses to put herself in danger. She jumps in head first and works her butt off to live up to the expectations. Oh, and Will--so not a stalker.

Plot Points and Pinches
The Interior Structure of a Story

First Plot Point: This is the moment in a story that is the inciting incident for bringing the problem to the forefront. Prior to this the character is introduced. The reader has some idea what they are like in their public persona and a little about the inner struggles they have.

Pinch Point #1: Reveals the antagonist and the evil, terror and force the antagonist will use to win.

Midpoint: The context shifts for the protagonist, the stakes are suddenly higher, much higher

Pinch Point #2: The antagonistic force is overwhelmingly resourceful and capable of destroying the protagonist. This pinch point reveals the depths to which the antagonist will stoop to be the victor. This is a new, and surprising low, revealed about the antagonist.

Second Plot Point: Nothing new can be introduced after this point. The protagonist gets the final piece needed for the resolution of the problem.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


What am I reading now? Divergent (Veronica Roth)

Annnd . . . what do I think so far?  I love this book!
If I could give it 6 stars on Goodreads, I would. I enjoy dystopian anyway and this one meets all the expectations I have for that genre. I especially like the segregation aspect of the book--the society is divided along values each group believes will lead the society as a whole to live peacefully and realize everyone's potential.

Right, it's dystopian. Living peacefully and realizing everyone's potential is sooooo not going to last!


This past Saturday, iWriteNetwork held its first Winter Workshop. One of the speakers, Greg Park ( the author of Veil of Darkness, Cleansing Hunt, and Children of Ta'shaen) taught a class on Hooks. Boy, did I need this class. I thought I had hooks on all my chapters and at the beginning of my book. During his class he presented some ideas and then gave us time to work on our own stories to incorporate the ideas.

Some of the ideas I took away from the session are:

The author needs to grab the reader from the first sentence, the first word. They may not give you a page to get around to making them have questions they must read on to get the answers for.

Scenery at the beginning is as boring as landscape pictures from someone's desert vacation. (Okay, not his example, but these are my take aways remember?)

Use the hook to identify the most important idea in your story. You don't have to present the idea at that point, just get the reader to ask questions about it.

Do not, DO NOT, jerk the reader around by having a hook that doesn't bear importance to the rest of the story.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Fairy Bad Day

What am I reading now?  Fairy Bad Day (Amanda Ashby)

Annnd . . . what do I think so far? What a fun book to read! I liked that the characters were really teen-aged. So many, too many(!), YA books really seem like books about characters who are in their 20s or 30s and lie about their age to be in a YA book. This one rang true. Loved the humor:  Assigned to fight cute little fairies--Snicker, with hairspray-- Heehee, and fingernail files--ROFL.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

What am I reading now?  Shattered Souls (Mary Lindsey)

Annnd. . . what do I think so far?  Easily 5 stars on Goodreads. I liked the writing, the story, the characters, the emotion. I loved watching Lenzi's rediscovery of herself and Alden's love for her.

And the bonus--nothing offensive.
This book would make a great addition to every teacher's book shelf for YA paranormal fiction. But seriously, it won't be on the shelf that often. Have a waiting list ready as soon as you introduce it.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

YA Fairies & Fantasy Giveaway

What am I reading now?  Become (Ali Cross)
Annd. . . what do I think so far?  Finished. Couldn't put it down! I wouldn't think I'd like a book where the main character is Satan's daughter. But I did. It's an incredible tale of love and hope.

Throughout her life Desolation Black, Desi, has witnessed and experienced the evil and chaos her Father creates. He is Satan. Guess what kind of a life he thinks is best for raising a daughter. Right. All expectations would be that she embraces his lifestyle, but she doesn't. She abhors it, though she doesn't see much choice for her to escape it.

At 17, she's exiled to earth on a special mission to claim specific souls her Father wants. She has been raised in Hell and has only associated with demons and the damned. Everything in her life is cold, dark, vile. But deep within her heart, a small spark of hope, of goodness, is hidden. Though she cherishes the spark, she sees it as a weakness and keeps it buried. It is the only good she has ever known. Good and evil clash, and she has to decide what she wants, with her soul hanging in the balance.

*Awesome book. The characters are well developed. Lucy will step from the pages to hug you. You'll want to jump in to do the same for Miri. Michael seems like a flat character until his true nature is revealed then wow--great choice for a hero. And Desi pulls you through sorrow, love, fear, despair, revulsion, apathy and hope. Most of all hope! Several others take up space in your heart as well and stay with you long after you close the cover on this book.

Only one lucky (very lucky) reader will win this book. If you don't win, you still might want to order it from Amazon. Yeah, you do. Here's the link.

If you'd like to win this copy of  BECOME
     Be or become a follower (by clicking on the "join this site" button on my right-sidebar--if the picture doesn't show up, you can't win the prize)
     •Leave a comment about your favorite faerie or fantasy book
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Congratulations, Lisa! You won.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Networking with Writers

What am I reading now?  The Pledge (Kimberly Dertling)                Annd. . . what do I think so far? The futuristic remnant of America is ruled by a queen (yes, she's evil, EVIL) and the citizens are bound in a caste system, where words can kill you. Charlie must choose: How to protect her family.  Can she be someone other than who she has always been, and someone she has always hidden?

A lot Dystopian and a little Cinderella.

This one has already taken up a residence on my "Favorites" shelf in my bedroom.

Networking with Other Writers
Becoming a writer takes time, patience and a support system of other writers. When Deanna and I first started writing, we didn't know anyone else who was a writer. We simply googled "Utah" and "Writers" and went from there. Since that time, we've become more involved with the writing community in our area and on the internet.
Here are some of the things that have been so valuable to me as I pursue developing this into a talent. I've met great people and have learned more about how to write, and publish in the future.

•Workshops & Classes

•Local Writing Groups
•Online Writing Group

•Online Critique Group (CrittersInk)

•Online Writers' Group
You're welcome to join us.