Monday, December 31, 2012

"How I Write" The Where

Sorry I missed all of last week. I was planning to blog and then left my laptop in Vegas. Sigh. It was a very hard thing for me to be separated from my laptop for a week. It might've been the longest I've been without it. But anyway, I'm trying to make up for it with a vlog. I don't know if this is a reward or a punishment for you to have to watch a video of me. Probably more of a punishment. Ha. I think I might have to run a bloopers reel here soon because I'm not very good at vlogging yet and my bloopers are adding up. :) Next time.

Friday, December 21, 2012

"How I write" Characters

So someone asked me in an interview recently if Addie (my MC in Pivot Point) came to me fully formed or if she came little by little. And the answer to that was easy, it's how all my characters come to me: little by little. Some writers like to do a character write up thingy (see, I don't even know what's it's called. That shows you how often I've done it). But I once sat in front of one of those worksheets (ah, there's the word I was looking for--worksheet) staring at those questions (ex. What does your character fear; how would your character react to a horde of bees) That is not an actual question from a worksheet. In case that wasn't obvious. Real questions are much better and helpful.

I figure out how my character reacts when a situation arises. And then I always, always, have to go back and make her/him consistent throughout the book. So at first my characters have a general personality. Like I know if they're shy or loud or crazy or reserved. But the intricacies of their personalities are developed throughout the course of the book. I feel like as long as I can answer those important questions that a worksheet poses by the end of my book, then the character has become.....well, real I guess. (At least to me.) :)

That said, some of my side characters have come to me fully formed. This is probably because I base most of my side characters off of real people in my life. Ha. Just kidding.........or am I? (I am.)

What about you? Do you jump into writing with fully developed characters, complete worksheets, or do you learn about your characters as you write? 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

So happy

I promise my blog isn't going to turn into this big Look At Me fest. I really really like to talk about books I love and other authors as well as things other than writing going on. But for those of you who didn't see this on twitter the other day, I have to share because it makes me so happy.

Pivot Point got a starred review from Publisher's Weekly!!!!! Click here to check it out on their website.  Or you can read it below. :)

"Addie Coleman has an ability anyone would relish. She’s a Searcher who, when faced with a difficult choice, can foresee both outcomes before deciding which she’d rather live out. Since Addie’s parents have just announced they are divorcing and her father will be leaving their secret paranormal Compound, Addie must do her most important Search yet. Debut novelist West cleverly alternates chapters to show readers how Addie’s two very different futures will play out—one with her mother on the Compound; the other with her father in the Normal world. West’s premise is a winner, and Addie is the kind of heroine readers would want as a best friend—loyal, unpretentious, and thoughtful. Two love interests in Addie’s divergent futures make things even more interesting, as does a murder subplot. What truly makes West’s story memorable, however, is Addie’s wry humor (“I’ve been thinking about books where the main character’s parents are going through a divorce. A big theme is rebellion. I think I should give it a try”) and the book’s fascinating exploration of how life can change with one simple choice. Ages 13–up. Agent: Michelle Wolfson, Wolfson Literary Agency. (Feb.)"

Monday, December 10, 2012

First Trade Review

So I got my first trade review from none other than Kirkus. :) I'm not going to lie, this was how I read it: *holds breath, holds breath, lets out a tiny squeak, squeezes eyes shut, realizes I can't read, opens eyes, holds breath again, lets out breath in a relieved rush of air*

Reviews make me nervous. Trade reviews make me even more nervous. But I'm so happy with this review. I feel like the reviewer really understood what I was trying to do with the pacing and the plot. I love it when people get it. And I'm so excited to be able to share my Kirkus review with you:  

Author: West, Kasie

Review Issue Date: January 1, 2013
Online Publish Date: December 12, 2012
Pages: 352
Price ( Hardcover ): $17.99
Price ( e-book ): $9.99
Publication Date: February 12, 2013
ISBN ( Hardcover ): 978-0-06-211737-3
ISBN ( e-book ): 978-0-06-211740-3
Category: Fiction

Clairvoyant Addison Coleman must choose between two futures and two love interests.
Addie has the ability to see potential futures. Her powers are very specific: She can only see her own futures and only what will happen if she makes a decision. When her parents decide to divorce, her father drops a bombshell on her—he intends to leave the secret community that is home to the paranormal and live among the normal people. In order to decide whom she will live with, Addie performs a Search that, in alternating chapters, reveals Addie’s two possible futures. The plotting is deft enough that the stories interweave without being repetitive, and both give clues to a mystery Addie’s father is investigating that involves dead teenage girls from the Compound. If Addie stays, she will be romanced by handsome quarterback and all-around-most-popular boy in school Duke Rivers. If she leaves, she befriends the thoughtful, witty Trevor—who was quarterback for his school before an injury while playing against Duke’s team. Both love interests are developed well, and readers will be able to see Addie with either. The worldbuilding isn’t as on point—the Compound raises logistical questions that are glossed over for the sake of the plot’s strong pace. Minor missteps are easy to forgive given the underlying suspense of multiple mysteries.
West’s debut showcases riveting storytelling. (Paranormal romance. 13 & up)

Friday, December 7, 2012

"How I Write" Drafting

So, I'm going to start this new little series called How I Write. My disclaimer is that this is just me telling you *my* process. It's not me telling you how you should write. In fact, I'd love to hear in the comments how you do the things I'll be talking about. Also, if you've been following my blog, you'll know this isn't going to be deep.....or organized....or probably helpful. Ha. But it sounds like fun and I love to hear how other people do things, so here it goes.

Drafting. My first drafts are what I like to call skeletal. Like really skeletal. A lot of times I'll call them my outlines because even though I don't outline, they are that bare. They are usually just a series of conversations linked together. Then I have to go back later and fill in the thoughts and the scenery and the details of the story.

When I can't think of a name for a character or a restaurant or a school, I use the letter 'X'. So when my first draft is done I have a lot of 'X's to sort out. I also like the phrase 'blah blah blah something cool happens here'. I use that a lot. My friend Candi used to make fun of me about that because sometimes she'll read my stories as I'm drafting them. One time I actually had my character say 'blah blah blah' for real. And Candi wondered what she was really going to say there. I said, "No, she's really going to say 'blah blah blah'."

For me, this type of fast drafting helps me get the whole story down in sucktastic glory without over thinking it too much. Then I go back and fill in and rearrange and add. It works for me. What about you? How do you draft?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wednesday Reads


So, here is another example of a book that has been in my TBR pile for almost a year now. Why did I wait so long? Love it. So much so that I passed it on to my husband. Which sounds funny for a Cinderella remake, but seriously, it's so cool and different and intriguing. (I think those were the exact words I used to pitch it to him) I don't hand a lot of my YA reads to my husband so that says a lot right there. So get this one onto your reading list, because book 2 comes out in January. So excited.

Goodreads summary:
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . . 

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.