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Showing posts from October, 2018

Six Stages of the Creative Writing Process

This is a guest post by Angela Panayotopulos.  1. It begins with an idea.You heard something. You saw something. You kissed someone. You moved somewhere. You had your heart broken. A loved one died. A friend betrayed you. A bomb went off. You had a baby. The idea appears in front of you like a ghost or an angel that has suddenly slipped through the veil between worlds and looks you in the eye—and then the veil drops again, and you either keep what you saw or you neglect the memory until it fades. Do you choose to keep it? Probably. Because, duh, COOLEST IDEA EVER. 
2. It continues with a decision.  You’ve seen what you saw, you’ve felt what you felt, and this is something that anyone could see or anyone could feel. Ideas are as plentiful as stepping stones, and we stumble across them daily; it takes a special stone or a special frame of mind to stoop down and pick up that pebble. So the next question is: what do you do about it? 
3. It ensues in a fight.  Ideas are wrestlers. Half of the ba…

And Then There Were None | Agatha Christie

“But no artist, I now realize, can be satisfied with art alone. There is a natural craving for recognition.”
Genre: Mystery. Number of Pages: 264. Perspective: Third. Location: Devon, England.
Ten strangers were gathered on a remote island. After a mysterious recording blames each person for a different unsolved murder, the ten start dying, one-by-one. As the only people on the island, they have to figure out which of the ten is the true murderer. For a complete summary, you can go here. Do you like… reading books… with lots of… ellipses…? If so, you will dive right into this book. It took me at least fifty pages to get into the story enough to ignore all of the ellipses and colons in dialogue. 
While reading this book, I had to remind myself that this was one of the original mystery books. Many recent mystery and thriller writers adapted elements of Agatha Christie’s books. At the time, I’m sure her story structures were unique. With that in mind, it was a creative approach to make every ch…

Bird Box | Josh Malerman

“In a world where you can’t open your eyes, isn’t a blindfold all you could ever hope for?”
Genre: Horror. Number of Pages: 262. Perspective: Third. Location: Michigan.
Something horrifying is out there. If you see it, you’ll go mad. To stay safe, keep your eyes shut. For a complete summary, you can go here.
This was the perfect spooky horror story for October. This is the first book that has ever raised my heart rate like a scary movie does. I found myself reading faster in the intense scenes. It reminded me of the movie The Quiet Place, but it is sight, rather than sound.
From a writer’s perspective, creating a story told without the use of vision is pretty brave. Malerman did an amazing job describing the other senses. I think most writers rely on character’s sight too much. It was a bold creative choice that could have easily flopped.
The only reason why I didn’t give this story five stars is because I thought the character development lacked. There was only one character other than the m…

Above the Line | Urban Meyer

“Giving up on somebody takes nothing. Helping them change takes a tremendous amount of time, energy, discipline, and love. In the end, it's worth it.”


Genre: Sports Non-fiction. Number of Pages: 272. Perspective: First. Location: Columbus, Ohio.
This is a sports memoir and leadership seminar combo by The Ohio State Buckeyes head coach, Urban Meyer.For a complete summary, you can go here. Oh, Urban, I love you and the Buckeyes, but this book was not good. My husband and I listened to the audiobook together on our last road trip (Disclaimer: I hate audiobooks, and it’s even worse when the author is not the narrator). My husband enjoyed the book because of all the behind-the-scenes Buckeye football info. He also played football in high school, so he could relate to the fraternity mindset of football. But he admitted that most info was already public knowledge, especially the recap of the National Championship season. 
For me--the casual football fan and proud Buckeye--this was redundant an…

Fair Haven | Red Lagoe

“Don't let the crap that happens to you in life keep you from living. Live with a fire in your heart and a fire under your ass and fight like mad.”
Genre: Horror/Post-Apocalyptic. Number of Pages: 228. Perspective: Third Alternating. Location: New England.
When humans are infected with a rabies-like virus, the world becomes a dangerous place. Melody teams up with her sexy neighbor to find her missing husband, amidst ravenous creatures. For a complete summary, you can go here. At this surface, this may seem like another zombie book, but it is so much more than that. I definitely got The Walking Dead vibes from this because it was more about the character development and relationships than the zombies (but there is some butt-kicking action too). Lagoe said she pictured the main male lead as Joe Manganiello. Oh, yeah. I can see it. Definitely a sexy guy to fight alongside. 
I loved the tension. The author and I have talked in the past about characters in toxic relationships. She did a great…

It’s A Writer Thing -- Six Myths of Revision

This is a guest post by Jessica Bayliss. 
Hello, Wonderful Writers! I’ve been deficient in my blogging over the last couple of months. I’ve heard how jammed launch-time can be, and now I know first hand. They weren’t lying. It’s an intensely busy time. But TEN AFTER CLOSING is a month old, and now I’m getting back into my normal rhythm, which means it’s time to return to my It’s a Writer Thing series.
My primary writing motto is: Finish what you start, and revise what you finish. Every time.
Both of these things can be challenging for different reasons, but today, with the Pitch Wars Mentee Announcement getting closer, I’ve been thinking a lot about revisions. 
Drafting used to be my favorite part of the writing process, but not anymore. Now, I LOVE revising! I think revision has a bad reputation. Here are some myths about revising that I’d like to debunk today. MYTH 1: REVISIONS = EDITS No, no, no. Revision isn’t the same as editing, though editing is part of revision. 
Revision is the act …

Teen Read Week: What to Read

Young adult books are not just for teens. Some of us adults also enjoy stories about friendship, coming-of-age, and the joys/struggles of high school. Here are my favorite books to read for Teen Read Week!

Panic | Lauren Oliver Panic is a young adult novel about a secret competition for graduating seniors in a small town. The winner gets to take a pot of about $67,000. The only catch is that the challenges are life-threatening and illegal. For a more complete summary, you can go here.
I actually have no complaints about this book, which is rare. Usually I find at least one thing that could be improved upon. I’ll admit that when I first started reading this book, it reminded me of The Hunger Games or Scorpio Races—two books about teens competing in deadly challenges. However, Panic ended up being a book that holds its own. 
My favorite part about this book was how it incorporates panic. There is a strong fear of death, which everyone faces, during the competitions. The fear in the challen…