#authortoolboxbloghop

Save the Cat Writes A Novel (Book Review) – #authortoolboxbloghop

save the cat

Lately, most of my writing time has been dedicated to revising my Camp NaNoWriMo project, and I’m feeling good about the progress I’ve made. I’ve discovered several new things that have helped make the process easier for me. One is the chapter overview which I shared for May’s #authortoolboxbloghop. (If you missed that one, you can read about it here.)

Today, I wanted to share about another great resource – Save the Cat Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody.

Originally taken from Save the Cat, a book about screenwriting, this book takes the three act structure of a story and breaks it down even farther into 15 beats. It also tells about the ten types of stories and gives examples from best-selling novels like The Hunger Games and Harry Potter.

I love this book! It’s really helped me with my revisions. Using the fifteen beats, I’ve been able to see where things needed to be moved around so they fit better into my story. I’ve also been able to determine whether or not scenes are necessary. And I’ve been able to lay everything out to see how it’s working together.

One of Brody’s suggestions is to use index cards and a big cork board to set up the fifteen beats. I love this idea and while I haven’t got the board yet, I’ve started making the cards and can’t wait to see how it will all look once it is all put together. (I’ll be sure to share my results.)

I think any fiction writer would benefit from this book, and if you haven’t checked it out yet, you should. This is one of my favorite writing books and one I’ll be keeping close whenever I’m working on revisions. (If you’re a planner, you’d probably use this book before you write your novel.)

How about you? Have you read this book yet? What’s your favorite craft book? Let me know in the comments!

Nano Blog and Social Media Hop2

This post is part of the #authortoolboxbloghop hosted by Raimey Gallant. To check out all the participating blogs, or to join in the fun go here.

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Top Ten Tuesday

Summer TBR – Top Ten Tuesday

summer tbr2019

I’m so excited about today’s Top Ten Tuesday theme because summer is my favorite season, and I love finding great books to read at the beach or by the pool. 🙂 Here are the ones I’ve chosen for this summer:

1. My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, and Brodi Ashton – I’ve read books by both Jodi Meadows and Cynthia Hand and really enjoyed them, plus this is a Jane Eyre retelling, so it’s a must read for me.

2. Save the Date by Morgan Matson – I’ve had on my TBR for awhile, and it’s a perfect read for summer – with the wedding shenanigans and all.

3. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir – My sister recommended this one, and I haven’t gotten around to reading it, though I’ve had it on my shelf a long time. I decided it’s time to read it.

4. For a Muse of Fire by Heidi Heilig – I got this one at a book festival earlier this year. I met the author and got my copy signed, so I’m pretty psyched to read it.

5. The Jewel by Amy Ewing – This one has been on my shelf and my TBR for like years. So it’s high time I get to it.

6. The Beholder by Anna Bright – I got an advanced reader copy not too long before the book was released, and I loved the premise. Also, the author works at a local bookstore that hosts all kinds of great YA events.

7. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier – I’ve also had this one on my TBR awhile. I loved the movie, so I’m sure I’m going to really enjoy the book.

8. Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson – This whole series has been on my TBR for a long time as well. The premise sounds so intriguing, and every time I see it on my shelf I think “I need to read this,” so on the summer list it goes.

9. Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly – My summer list wouldn’t be complete without a mermaid tale. I meant to read this last summer, but didn’t get to it.

10. Lifeguard by James Patterson – I also got to have a good mystery on this list, and what’s more summery than a lifeguard?

In conjuction with these books, I’m also participating in the Goodreads Summer Reading Challenge. If you haven’t heard about that yet, you can check it out here. And if you haven’t added me as a friend on Goodreads, you can do that here. I’m always looking for new bookish friends! 🙂

How about you? What are you reading this summer? Are you doing the Goodreads challenge? Let me know in the comments.

 

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Girl. To find out more about the top ten theme, or to join in the fun go here.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday – Page to Screen

TTT-Big2

I haven’t done a top ten Tuesday post in awhile, but today’s topic is so fun, I wanted to post this week.

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Girl. To find out more about the top ten theme, or to join in the fun go here.

We all love movie adaptations, but sometimes we’re left wondering if it would’ve been better left as a book. Here are a few movies that were better as books:

Twilight – The movie wasn’t horrible, but it did change some things I thought it shouldn’t have.

Ella Enchanted – Honestly, I thought the movie was kind of on the dumb side. The book however, was great!

The Handmaid’s Tale – (This is actually a tv series.) I do enjoy this tv series – a lot. But the book was amazing. I had never read anything by Margaret Atwood before, and only picked the book up because of the show. I was also amazed because the book was written in the 80’s. If you haven’t read it, and are a fan of the show, you need to read the book!

Most of the time, the book is better than the movie, but sometimes the movie is better. Here are a few movies I found better that the book:

Tuck Everlasting – In the book, Winnie was only ten, making her romance with Tuck unbelievable and bordering on a predator-prey type of relationship.

Mary Poppins – The books are much sillier than the movies, and are so fantastical that the fantastical element diminishes the plot.

The Princess Diaries – I do enjoy the books, but I loved the first movie and thought it was better than the first book.

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (both movies) – Again, I enjoyed the books, but liked the movies even better.

And sometimes, the movies though a little different than the books, are almost as good as the books. Here are few of those (IMHO):

 

Harry Potter – Who doesn’t enjoy the movies almost as much as the books?

The Hunger Games I loved the books and the movies!

The Chronicles of Narnia Another great adaptation of a series.

What books do you like better than the movie? What movies do you like better than the books? Let me know in the comments! 🙂

#authortoolboxbloghop, For Writers

Revision – Chapter Overview #authortoolboxbloghop

time to revise

Last month I participated in Camp NaNoWriMo, and I worked on revising a WIP. Revision/editing can be overwhelming at times. I know I’ve often felt that way. Recently, I’ve started using a new strategy – chapter overview. And it is so helpful, I wanted to share about it today.

I’m a total pantser. When I start to write a novel, my planning consists of thinking about my story idea and possibly jotting down a few stray ideas. Then I just sit down and type. So when I start to revise, I really have to analyze each part and determine if I need to keep it or not. This is where the chapter overview comes in. (Before I start this process, I’ve already done one read-through so I have a general idea how the story is flowing.)

First, I note the chapter number, the number of pages, and the act in which the chapter takes place. Next, I write a one-line summary of the chapter and write out the purpose of the chapter – What is this chapter doing to move the story forward? This is key in helping me determine whether this is something that needs to stay or go. I also list the characters and the role they play in the story, and then I do a short summary of each scene in the chapter.

I’ve made my own Chapter Overview template that I use to help me with this. I’ve seen other versions floating around online which I’ve also used before, but none of them had exactly all the things I wanted to include, so I made my own.

example chapter overview

Here’s a printable copy: my chapter planner

For me, this has really helped me dig into my story and find what’s working and what isn’t. But more and more, I’m realizing that people learn and think differently, so you just have to find what works for you. If you’re a hard core planner, you might do all this before you even start to write because that’s what works best for you. I find that if I try to do too much planning before typing out my story it interrupts my flow and the story seems to crumble. Either way, I hope you find my chapter overview helpful.

What about you? How do you work best? What are some of the things you find helpful when you’re revising? Let me know in the comments! 🙂

Side Note: Earlier for the bloghop, I did a post on the different kinds of editing. If you missed it, you can read it here. (Cataloging chapters is part of the developmental edit.)

NanoBlogandSocialMediaHop2

This post is part of the #authortoolboxbloghop hosted by Raimey Gallant. To check out all the participating blogs, or to join in the fun go here.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday – Characters that Remind Me of Myself

 

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Girl. To find out more about the top ten theme, or to join in the fun go here.

relatable characters

I haven’t done a Top Ten Tuesday in awhile, and this was such a fun topic, I had do it even though it’s going up so late in the day. So here are the characters that I relate with in some way:

1. Lost in a Book – Belle. Belle’s curiosity reminds me of my own. I would’ve totally gone in the west wing of the castle to see what the Beast was hiding. In this book, Belle enters a book world, another place I would go to see what was there. I’ve also always identified with the “there must be something more” feeling.

2. Little Women – Jo. One of my first ever bookish heroines, I identified with Jo’s tomboy spirit, and I always had long, long hair. I would hardly let my mother even trim it. I may have finally cut my hair a little shorter, but I still identify with Jo’s dream of becoming a writer.

3. The Lunar Chronicles – Cress. I’m little, and even now that I’m grown, people still think I’m younger than I really am (which I like now 🙂 ). I also get anxious around big groups of people I don’t know, and would prefer to stay home. I do well with computers, not on a hacker level or anything, but I am my family’s go-to tech person.

4. Secrets Can Kill (Nancy Drew Files) – Nancy Drew. I couldn’t leave Nancy off the list. I lived in a small Illinois town (just like Nancy) when I flew through all the Nancy Drew files. Also, I’ve always had a thing for mysteries and true crime. I love solving the mystery before the book is over and I’m rarely ever wrong or unable to do so. I know it’s a clever mystery if I haven’t figured out who the baddie by the time I’m halfway through the book.

5. Pretty Little Liars – Aria. I enjoyed this series and the tv show. I relate most to Aria, because she is the creative one – she enjoys photography, art, writing ect. (In the tv show, she’s also the littlest one.)

6. Wendy Darling Series – Wendy. This series is so good, and I think one of the reasons I enjoyed it so much was because I really connected with Wendy. I’m the oldest of four, so I totally understand the need to protect and care for younger siblings. She loved to read and was interested in always learning more.

7. Worlds of Ink and Shadow – Charlotte. This is a fictionalized story of the Brontes. I related to Charlotte, as the oldest sister. Her father was a minister, my father is also a minister. Her family didn’t have a lot growing up, but her and her siblings created their own worlds to entertain themselves. That is much how it was growing up was for me too. We didn’t have much, but we did have our imaginations and we ran wild with them. If you love Jane Eyre and Charlotte Bronte, you need to read this book.

8. Before She Ignites – Mira. Mira loves animals, and even had her own dragon! Who wouldn’t want a dragon? Also, she experiences a lot of anxiety.

And in a throwback:

9. The Saddle Club – Stevie.  Stevie was the one I most related to in the Saddle Club series. She was a little disorganized and a bit of a tomboy, and of course, loved horses.

10. The Babysitters Club – Claudia. Claudia loved junk food and had long hair she always styled different ways. She also loved Nancy Drew. 🙂

 

What book characters do you most relate to and why? Let me know in the comments.

Blog tours

Fairy Tale Central Blog Tour

If you’ve been following my blog for long, then you know I love fairy tales. And when I learned about this new resource for fairy tale lovers, I knew I had to share it! It’s great for both readers and writers, so without further ado, here’s how Fairy Tale Central came to be…

Once Upon a Time two girls had a dream. A dream of a fairy tale site, an internet library, if you will, for all the fairy tale lovers of the land to gather and converse. To learn, to read, to fangirl/boy, to bask in the goodness that is fairy tales.

As this dream blossomed, the two girls recruited a third. Because, after all, all good fairy tales come in themes of three.

With the third member in place, the girls got to work. The dream began to take shape, until it was no longer just a dream. But something real.

Introducing…

FAIRY TALE CENTRAL

fairy tale central

This newly launched site run by Arielle Bailey, Faith White, and Christine Smith, is your source for all things fairy tales.

Every month a single fairy tale will be featured, and posts will include:

 

  • Reviews for retellings/shows/movies/etc.
  • Essay, origin, and discussion posts on the featured fairy tale
  • Interviews with fairy tale retelling authors
  • Galleries featuring fairy tale artists and artisans
  • And a whole lot more!

 

The FTC’s goal is to unlock the magic that is fairy tales and build a community of fellow fairy tale enthusiasts. Arielle, Faith, and Christine are thrilled to share this new fairy tale centric space and connect with all you epic fairy tale fans!

You can CLICK HERE to find the site and join the Fairy Ring! (Don’t worry, you won’t be enchanted or cursed.) And, if you want to connect even more, you can find the FTC on:

 

 

(If you’re inclined to share about the FTC in those places too, you may or may not be blessed by a fairy godmother. *smile, smile*)

Do tell a friend, or a dragon, or the fairy living in the hollow tree behind your house. All humans and mythological creatures alike are welcome!

NaNoWriMo

Prepping for Camp Nano – Part 2

3-WriterTwitter_cover

Last week I posted my tips for prepping for Camp NaNoWriMo. If you missed that post, you can check it out here.

In that post, I promised to share my calendar/ goals set up, so here it is:

april 2019 camp calendar

Since I’m doing revisions for Camp, I’ve set 7 pages per day as my goal. I’ve designated my check-in goal marks: 25 pages, 50 pages, 100 pages, 150 pages, and 210 pages (completion of goal). I’ve also assigned rewards to each one as I’ve found rewards to add a little extra motivation. 🙂

Camp NaNo actually designed a calendar you can use, which is what I used. You can print your own here.

Good luck to everyone participating! I hope you meet your goals and grow your writing skills. 🙂