Monthly Archives: March 2010

My First Public Reading

A week ago I was asked by my former Girl Scout co-leader to talk to the troop about writing for their Reader badge. I actually jumped at the chance–my first request as a writer to speak to a group. I went over the bare bones of what a writer needed to do to transform an idea into a full-length novel, skimmed the surface really since I had only thirty minutes and the group ranged from 6th to 12th graders. They didn’t mind that their speaker is pre-published and listened attentively to my first read (ever!) of the first scene of my YA novel Wildflowers and Winged Boys.

Needless to say, I was nervous and thought afterwards I had read too much and the girls had gotten bored. But …

My leader friend emailed her thanks with the note that three girls had asked about reading the rest of the book. Wow. Made my day, no week. I think I may have some Beta readers for the revisions I’m just finishing.

As part of my prep I put together a short list of resources that have helped me along the way:

The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler

Who the different characters are in a story and what different stages the story goes through. Go to the articles under Hero’s Journey.

Screenplay Mastery by Michael Hauge

Movies have a bit of a different structure, but still works for books. Go to the articles section and read them, especially Screenplay Structure.

National Novel Writing Month

It’s in November. Sign up, it’s free. They will send you encouraging messages from popular writers on how they write.


The blog of New York Times best-selling author Cynthia Leitch Smith on which she shares what’s happening in the world of children’s and teen literature. Lots of book reviews, author interviews and links to current happenings.

Go to any author’s website and see what tips and articles they have.

And lastly, write, write, write and read, read, read!

Contests by the word

Contests, contests. Writing ones of course. I’ve entered a 5000 word, a 2500 word and now a 200 word still open until Sunday, March 14 at Guide to Literary Agents“Dear Lucky Agent” Contest. Only problem? My MACbook seems to count the words differently than the same MS WORD program on PC.

Over, of course.

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