Also, I FINALLY figured out how to insert GIFs from Giphy on my site, so be prepared, they SHALL never end. (Hehehe….Okay, right now I’m having a more inside joke that no one except Mary is going to understand. I’m sure you can tell, by my insanity being extra high, I’ve been doing a lot of writing. Don’t worry, I’m getting close to finishing this thing, so maybe then I’ll calm down……I hope.) Anyway, before we get into everything with Go Teen Writers, I’ve been wanting to answer the questions for Katherine’s Would You Rather game, but I wanted to wait until I saw what everyone else was going to put, so I thought now would be a good time to do it. If you missed the game, totally check it out!! It was a BLAST!!! (Also, if you don’t really care about my answers, not judging you, just scroll through the next few paragraphs onto the actual start of the post. 🙂 )
Would You Rather…
#1. Go to Hogwarts or Narnia?
Okay, so 80% (no, I did not make up that percentage) of you guys said Narnia, and I’m gonna have to agree with you. Sorry, Hogwarts, but it’s NARNIA!!!! I’d get to see ASLAN!! HOW could you ask for anything more???!!
#2. Make friends with a fire-breathing dragon or an ice-breathing dragon?
This one was cut more 50/50…clearly we’re gonna have to debate one of these days which is the better one. 😉 I’m actually going for ice-breathing ’cause I think it sounds cool.
#3. Drink pumpkin spice water or eat pumpkin spice Pringles?
Okay, first off WHO EVEN INVENTED either of those choices. Don’t get me wrong, I really like Pringles, but pumpkin spice? Seriously? And I just shudder thinking about the water. Again, ya’ll were more 50/50 on this one. I’m gonna go with pumpkin spice water.
#4. Spend a day with Jafar or Gaston?
About 80% of you guys went for Gaston. Sorry, everyone, but I’d rather go with Jafar! (Okay, that answers a bit biased, ’cause I LOVE Aladdin, but still.) And Ally M. J. has an EXCELLENT point that Gaston did put muddy boots ON A BOOK!!!!! *gasp* Oh, the TREASON!!!!! But, I will agree, that Gaston might be easier to handle. But, I recommend, all of you hiding away your books for your time with Gaston while Ally and me are gone to go hang with Jafar. (Though, I do wanna say, I LOVED reading ya’ll’s reasons for going with Gaston, they almost convinced me to change my choice. Almost.)
#5. Write a fight scene or a death scene?
80% went with a death scene. And, I’m with the majority. Death scenes are soooo much easier to write than fight scenes. (Jane’s the only one among us with a good heart. She said fight scenes, ’cause they weren’t as sad.
Sorry, Jane, that the rest of us are really mean authors. XD)
All of your answers, were just AWESOME!!!!!! Honestly, I wanted to mention more of what everyone said, but we don’t have time for all of that, so if you guys missed it, go check through the comments. They were SUCH FUN to read!!!!!! Now, onto today’s post!!!!!
Happy release day to Stephanie Morrill, Jill Williamson, and Shannon Dittemore on the release of their new book, Go Teen Writers: Write Your Novel. “An absolute must-have for all writers young, old, beginner, advanced, human or cyborg.” –Nadine Brandes. Learn more here!
“Whether you’re looking for encouragement or practical advice to get you writing or editing, Go Teen Writers is the place for teens who want to connect and grow. The ladies behind the blog and the books have years of experience honing their craft and figuring out what works and what doesn’t. If you’re a young writer searching for that missing piece to help propel you forward, look no further than the resources Go Teen Writers provides.” — Sara Ella, award-winning YA author of the Unblemished trilogy and Coral
You have a story to tell, don’t you? Or maybe you simply want to try your hand at fiction writing. Perhaps you’ve given it your best effort, but simply didn’t have enough tools in your tool box to finish that first draft. Wherever you’re at with this novel-writing thing, popular bloggers Stephanie Morrill, Jill Williamson, and Shannon Dittemore totally understand.
They know it’s hard to finish a first draft. To stay motivated until the end. To feel like a “real” writer. They know because they’ve been there too.
In Go Teen Writers: Write Your Novel, you’ll learn:
There is no such thing as one right way to write a novel.
How to take an idea and give it a beginning, middle, and end.
What story structure means and how it strengthens a book.
Different approaches to plotting a novel.
How to develop characters worth reading about.
Strategies for creating memorable storyworlds and settings.
What theme is and how to use it to enrich your story.
What to do when your first draft is finished.
There’s no doubt about it. Learning to write a novel from beginning to end is a challenge. But with this book as your guide, you’ll see that when you’re in possession of the right tools, you’re capable of finishing what you start. You’ll be empowered and encouraged—as if you had a writing coach (or three!) sitting alongside you.
Stephanie Morrill, Jill Williamson, and Shannon Dittemore have written a combined 30+ speculative, contemporary, and historical novels for young adults. Since 2010 their critically acclaimed website, GoTeenWriters.com, has offered honesty, community, and encouragement to teens (and not-so-teen) writers working to improve their craft. When not writing, blogging, or mom-ing, they can be found hanging out with young writers at conferences or wherever chocolate is being given away.
An Interview with the authors behind the book!!!!!!
When you were a teenager, did you consider yourself a storyteller?
Stephanie: I considered myself to be a writer from first grade on and always thought I would write novels.
Shan: I think I did, yes. I don’t know that I would have pulled that word out of the air, but I was part of a performing arts group (drama, puppetry, and dance), and I dabbled in poetry and the like. To me, everything revolved around story, and I knew I had a knack for telling them. A few teachers had encouraged me in that, and I embraced the idea. I didn’t really know what to do with it, and I don’t know that I envisioned it as a full time career, but I liked the idea that I excelled at something cerebral.
Jill: Not really. I was a daydreamer. And I wanted to be famous. So, there were days when I daydreamed about being a screenwriter or a novelists. Most days, however, I dreamed about being a fashion designer. That was what I went to college to study.
If you could go back to the beginning of your writing journey and give yourself advice,
what would say?
Stephanie: Write what you want to write. When I first started pursuing publication, I wanted to write impressive novels that you would study in English class. Literary fiction. But I had zero ideas for literary fiction, and I don’t really enjoy reading it that much either! I wanted to write that because it seemed impressive, which isn’t a great reason. I wanted to write young adult fiction just out of love for the stories themselves.
Jill: Trust your gut. There were several times when I didn’t think something was a good idea for
my career, but I trusted other people instead. Turned out that I was right. I knew my market. I knew my audience. And I knew how my stories would be received. I wish I would have trusted my instincts and not given in to pressure from others. Once you’ve been in publishing a while, you need to trust your gut. Not every opportunity needs to be pursued. Think carefully about your own goals and make careful choices.
Shan: My answer to this question changes frequently, but one thing I’d want rookie writer Shannon to know is that writing stories is, in itself, a reward. Writers do this job for all sorts of reasons. I began to pursue writing as a career because I wanted a work-from-home job that satisfied my creative itch. And while it hasn’t made me rich financially just yet, storytelling has met some financial needs, but more than that, it has been the catalyst for growth in my own life. As I try and fail alongside my characters, I learn and I change and I am so grateful for that experience.
Any last words of wisdom or encouragement for new writers?
Shan: Read. A lot. And widely. There’s pushback against classics these days, but I say dive in. Read everything you can. Read old books and new books. Read what interests you and give
those big scary books a try too. If you have other bookish friends, talk about the stories you
read, or journal about them. Pull the story apart in your head, consider why certain characters did what they did. Ask yourself how the setting contributed to the tale, and how failure played a
role in the growth of the characters. Consider why certain books resonated with you and why
others didn’t. Be thoughtful about literature. It’s a choice that will serve you well.
Stephanie: Build strong writing habits. Writing a little every day or every couple days is better than writing once a month or writing 50k once month out of the year. Having strong writing habits will make a big difference in your writing life.
Jill: I’m with Shannon on the reading part, but I’d say: read and write a lot. Read books in the genre you’re hoping to write. Study how the authors tell those stories. But also, read fiction widely. And write every day, if you can, or at least regularly. You will not become a better writer if you don’t practice a lot. So sit down and type some words. Over and over and over again. And try to have fun doing it too.
Again, for all you interested, you can learn more HHHHHEEEEERRRRRREEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AND HAPPY RELEASE DAY TO JILL WILLIAMSON, STEPHANIE MORRILL, AND SHANNON DITTEMORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hehehe, I TOLD you now I’d go GIF-crazy on you guys! Anyway, so now we’re onto the IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Cue the fanfare!
So, you know I’ve been talking about the guest posting TWN has been invited to do this month. HERE is all the extra details. A really good blogger friend of mine, Allie Andersen, is hosting a CHRISTMAS BLOG PARTY on her site. There’s gonna be DIY tutorials, original poems, Sci-Fi short stories, fun games, and SO. MUCH. MORE!!!! You DEFINITELY don’t wanna miss this. It’ll get you right into the Christmas spirit and give us stuff to do since, you know, the virus that will not be spoken of is still going crazy right now. Get all the details HEEERRREEE!!!!! There will also be in that post a link to the list of ALL the upcoming posts, which me, Katherine, and Alana will each be getting a separate one there and a way to add it to your Google Calendar (if you have that) so you don’t miss a post. So, yours truly (That’s me!!!!) has got the first guest post out of the three of us from TWN. That’ll be this TUESDAY!!!! My post’s gonna be on a list of Christmas movies you’ve gotta watch this year!!!!! Totally join me for that. I will also be doing a reminder post here on that day, but newsletter subscribers won’t be getting an email notifying them of it, ’cause we’ve got posts piling up, and I don’t wanna flood your inboxes. So, maybe set a reminder on your calendar. YOU DON’T WANNA MISS THIS!!!!!!!!!!!! We’re gonna have a blast!
SOOOO let’s chat in the comments, guys!!!!!!! Are you excited for this new book’s release? Are you gonna check out Allie’s Christmas Blog Party and does it sound exciting? Do you like me adding GIFs to my post? Who’s seen the movie ELF? *raise hands*(For those of you who haven’t, CONTENT WARNING: there is one four-letter word spoken towards the end. So, be warned if you do go check that out.) ALSO THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT PLEASE READ AND ANSWER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I totally completely forgot about this post part of a link-up from blogger Christine Smith’s site where I talk about my novel and stuff. I thought I could do it this Saturday, but I need to know if that is too many posts together at one time!! If it is, let me know. If it’s not, let me know. I need to hear from you guys on this one. Thank you!!!
Well, now I’m handing the spotlight over to you. Talk to me in the comments!!!!! You’re on air! (
Yes, I ran out of other brilliant ideas to say.)
Later, guys! *dramatic exit*