Tuesday, November 17, 2009

New Home

So, I was playing around with pictures and layouts and...I made a new blog.

I might still post over here, but I think I might post more often here: http://raven-ashley.blogspot.com/

Monday, November 16, 2009

New Moon, Writing, and high school....

So, in case you haven't noticed New Moon is coming out in FOUR DAYS!!! Yeah, I know, you're excited, but not as excited as me. ^_^

Seriously, I've been waiting for this movie for a long long long time. I can't go to the midnight showing because a.) I don't have a ride to get back home and b.) my mom won't let me.

Sometimes I want to know what it feels like to be a teenager, you know the kind who are high off of angst and rebellion.

But alas, I'm a goody-two-shoes and I'm going to brave my anticipation until I can go on Saturday. In the morning.

Who goes to the movies in the morning? That's like weird...and unheard of but my friends are being nice and are going to wake up and go to the movies with me in the morning/afternoon. Unless, you know, they change their mind and I have to go with my sister/best friend two weeks from now and...yeah, I can't wait that long.

In other news, my friend who I don't think is my friend anymore, just exploded today. Apparently she was still holding a grudge over the weekend and when I saw her at lunch today she just kept doing these really childish things.

I mean, she's a junior. I know I'm only fifteen and that I do little kid stuff sometimes, but there's a time and a place for everything.

She was screaming and losing her mind, but because I don't usually get all bent out of shape over childish, silly things, I remained calm and now everyone sees that she was overreacting.

Seriously, the girl was giving me a headache! She was calling me a wimp and a whole lot of names that I won't mention here, and I was just ignoring her.

But she just kept talking and it took someone to drag her away for her to shut up and the more I think about it...ugh!

High School is hell on steroids.

In other news, I am slowly progressing on my nano novel. I was so drained when I got home, but I managed to churn out 800 words and if I wasn't so tired maybe I would have more but every word is progress.

I'm really loving the characters and it's strange how they just start taking on a life of their own.

I love them to pieces though and I'm glad I didn't give up this idea.

I hope everyone had a great Monday!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Um, yeah...

So I'm not a Lady GaGa fan but Bad Romance is awesome in a kind of weird way. I just got done watching the video and when it was finally over this is what my face looked like: O_O

My eyes were probably bigger but you get the point.

Seriously, though, that song fits my Super SEKRIT project that I may or may not write after I finish editing my nano novel. It's called Volatile Secrets and it's dark, very very dark. That's all I'm saying for now.

Speaking of my nano novel, Mirror Mirror is coming along well. I'm trying to reach 25K before I have to leave home and go to my grandma's house. But I don't know if I'm going to get there because I keep procrastinating.

I made a page for my novel on my website.

And I finished Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen yesterday. Great book. I'll try to get a review up soon.

So, how's everyone surviving NaNoWriMo? I hope everyone's word counts are increasing and I really need to get back to writing so....


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Genre, genre, genre...

Everyone has their own genre. Everyone has read books that pertain to the genre that they write. If you write YA fantasy, you might be interested in the Harry Potter series or maybe The Chronicles of Narnia. If you write YA contemporary, then maybe you like to read stories by John Green, Sarah Dessen and Courtney Summers.

Reading is the only way we can get better at writing. But before we write, we must know what we want to write. Some people know from the moment they read a novel that they want to write that exact same genre or maybe people are just born to write fantasy or contemporary or any other type of genre out there.

It's just like I know I was born to write YA. Not because I am a young adult but because I love how it doesn't hold back anything. It's true to the life I'm living now and there are some great stories out there, that are funny and sexy and just extremely awesome. And they're all YA books.

I've ventured outside of the YA genre. Adults say that teens my age and older have a short attention span and that's not necessarily true. I read Jane Eyre in two nights when I was eleven. It was the first book that was not considered MG or YA that I had read. And at the time my mom didn't allow me to go into the YA section , but that's a whole different story.

But I read everything from Jane Austen to Richelle Mead. I love vampires, dashing gentlemen, and angsty MC's. Basically any genre that has romance in it, I love.

That is why for years I couldn't pinpoint my genre. I mean, everyone has a genre. But me, I'm the oddball. I kept trying everything, hoping something would stick and well, nothing did. When I was younger I wrote MG because I was a nine year old and blushed when I heard the words "kiss" and "love".

As I got older, my stories became serious in topic. I love religion and I found myself writing stories about atheist soldiers seeking redemption, Jewish boys living in a world where people don't understand their religion or their morals, girls who didn't believe in God because he didn't save her sister, and finally, boys who believe music is a religion *coughs* Alden *coughs*

I would spend nights researching the religions of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. Working anything I could into stories, so that they could be accurate and yet still enjoyable.

Then I graduated to historical romances. I had just finished reading Pride and Prejudice when I was thirteen and I decided, well, why can't I write a historical romance? I wrote stories about courtesans looking for love, and a plain-Jane type of girl with a suitor who didn't love her. My first NaNoWriMo novel was entitled The Jane Effect and that was a historical romance.

After a while though, I realized that that wasn't sticking. So I hopped from one genre to the next, and none of them stuck to me.

Then I entered the world of YA contemporary.

Alden's story was one I had been thinking about writing for years and I just didn't have to guts to write it because it was dark and raw and everything I was not. But once I churned out that first line: "My father has a gun", there was no turning back.

I found out that I loved writing contemporary because you can be as creative with the writing as you want, and you can be funny and honest and you get across messages people will be afraid to get across.

And that's when it hit me.

Getting across messages some people will be afraid to get across.

I wanted to do that. In today's worlds, adults fear letting their children see certain things. Like my mother, she didn't want me reading about drugs and sex and violence. I wasn't even allowed to watch a movie until she looked it over. I don't blame her for that, but if you don't let your kid see or read something because you think it's inappropriate, it doesn't mean that they're not going to see it somewhere else.

So why not have them read about it in books, so that they are aware of what is out there? Not so that they can become curious and want to try whatever it is in the book whether it be unprotected sex or cocaine, but so that they are educated, so that they are aware of things out there.

And no YA book sends out a bad message. Even if a book is about drugs and kids that run away, they still have a positive message in the end, most of the time.

That is why I want to YA contemporary. Edgy-YA Contemporary to be exact. Because you know, I can't do comedy and mushy stuff. I like romantic comedies and all but I think it's better on the dark side.

They have cookies. ^_^

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

This is yet another teaser from my NaNo novel Mirror, Mirror.

I looked at Low. I really looked at him. He had no rough edges, no imperfections. There weren't any frown lines on his face, or creases in his forehead. It was as if he had no worry in the world.

He squinted his eyes, as the sunlight fell over him. "That house just feels too much like a prison."

My heart stopped, but I didn't think about what Low just said, I just nodded. "I know, I know."

"That song I was singing, it's how I feel. I know we're apart of a family who loves us, who needs us but I just feel so..."


He smiled, softly. "Yeah."

"Someone once told me that I looked lost. I looked like I hadn't found myself yet. Maybe we're alone because we don't know who we are."

"Yet. We don't know who we are yet." Low paused, his eyes widening, his voice wistful. "Run away with me."

I blinked a couple of times, before my eyelids froze. I knew what he just said but I couldn't understand what he was saying. Run away with him? He wanted to leave. He wanted me to leave with him. It made no sense.

I shook my head.

"Kendall, I know it sounds crazy, but we can't stay here any longer." Low looked to the sky. "Every night I go to sleep and dream about a better life. A life with just you and me and..." He braced my shoulders and looked deep into my eyes, until he could see my soul. I didn't want this. I would never want this. He could see that. He frowned.

"Why?" I asked, my emotions erupting.

"Because...because I love you."

I shook away from him. "No you don't."

"Yes," he grabbed my arm, "Yes, I do. Kendall Elizabeth Ryan I love you."

I wanted to throw up. I wanted to wash my skin until his touch was gone from my skin.

"No you..." Something moved in my peripheral vision. It was blue blur. My heart turned to stone, and my eyes glazed over. Standing just ten feet away from us was a police officer.

He looked like the same one who took down Jax. I gulped. We couldn't get caught. We were supposed to be ghost, we didn't exist. If we got caught, our life as we knew it would be over.

"Low." I whispered, tears streaming down my face.

"Yes." His voice trembled. I've never heard him like this before. He was always so strong.

"If you trust me," I started. "If you love me, you'll run."

"What are you..."

"Run." I repeated, firmly.

He loved me. He ran.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Character Profile: Kendall Ryan

Actress: Michelle Trachtenberg

"Though Pris was the one who plaited my hair and sewed up my clothes when I was little, I hated her because she was pretty and smart and everything I was not. Kip liked girls like that. And I wasn't like that, so he wouldn't like me."
~ Kendall Ryan

Full Name:
Kendall Elizabeth Ryan

Age: 17

Appearance: She usually has bags under her eyes because she doesn't get enough sleep. Her hair is brown but in the sun it looks like it has red highlights. She has a very pale complexion because she is in the house most of the time.

Personality: She is very whiny sometimes, and she values her faith in God. If you make her mad, she won't hold a grudge and when she loves, she'll love with all her heart.

Hobbies: She likes to write poetry and listen to music, anything to take her mind off of things.

History: She remembers her mother, but for most of her life she has been living with Kip. Later on in the story, her past is revealed, but I won't say anything more. Don't want to give anything away.

Love Interest(s):

Kipling Fitzgerald - She has fallen in love with Kip because she thinks that they are alike. Even though he is verbally and physically abusive, she loves his flaws and will do anything to make him see that he cares for her too. The fact that he taught her all he knew, the fact that he raised her and protected her excuses all of his wrongs.

Lowell Fitzgerald - She doesn't hate Low, but she hates the feelings that he might have for her.

Ellis Parker - Ken meets him later on in the story, and then she realizes that maybe she's been wrong about love all along.

Theme Song:

Chasing Pavements by Adele

Surviving NaNoWriMo Tip #1

It's so easy to fall out of love with your NaNoWriMo novel. At the beginning of the month, you're psyched, you're ready to embark on a thirty day journey to finishing a novel that has been cooking in your brain for quite some time now.

You may have a massive outline or you may be just winging it. How ever you are planning to churn out 50,000 thousand word in 1 month, that is up to you, but you can't help if you fall out of love with your novel can you?

I'll admit that I was pretty proud of my novel at the beginning of the month. It is one of the first contemporary novels that I have gotten past 10,000 words on. Also it has romance, adventure, and the characters really are growing into their shoes, so to speak.

But then I get anxious.

There are so many things that I had planned for this novel. The plot was supposed to go one way when it went another, and I can't go back and fix anything, because during NaNoWriMo you're supposed to keep on trucking and basically you have to stick a shoe in your inner editor's mouth.

This is hard, especially for perfectionist such as me and millions of other writers out there. But in the words of John Green, it's okay to suck during November.

It took me a long time to realize that, but now I see clearly. *Cue the music*

Sometimes the raw writing can be better than revised writing. It's the words that comes straight from the heart, from your mind. They're fresh and great and wonderful and beautiful. Once they're on your paper or your Word document, they're there forever. You won't erase them, you can't. Because if you want to be on top, you have to keep moving a long.

If you have fallen out of love with your characters or your novel, I can't really tell you how to fall in love with them again.

But I can say that once you keep working with them, to improve your relationship, so to speak, you'll learn to like them. You'll learn to except them for all their flaws and imperfections. And then you won't be able to get them out of your mind. They'll hypnotize you, they'll take over you, until you have to love them.

My only advice to you, I guess, is to keep writing. I know you might have heard this advice in millions of other places, but it's probably the best advice you'll ever receive.

Keep writing.

And it doesn't matter if you write 3 words or 200 words or 1,000 words or 4,000 words a day. Every word you write, is progress. Every word you write because you one step closer to your goal.

Soon, December will be here and you can set that inner editor free.

Good luck everyone!

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