Beth Note: Don’t miss out on the giveaway at the end of this post. And remember all orders of Paper Hearts made before Nov. 15 from Malaprops will come with a special gift–see details below!
|You can win a journal with this cover!|
I wrote Paper Hearts: Some Writing Advice for the writer I used to be. The questions I used to have plagued me when I was starting this career path.
How do I get to the end? What’s the proper way to structure a novel–is there even a proper way? How do I make my book stand out from all the other ones on submission?
Now, fifteen years, eleven unpublished books, three New York Times bestsellers, one self published book, and countless hours working on craft and working with other professionals, I think I finally have the answers that I needed way back then.
Unfortunately, I can’t travel back in time.
But what I can do is try to help others. I’ve been compiling articles on the things I’ve learned about writing, publishing, and marketing for years, first informally on blog posts, then collectively on Wattpad.
After hitting 100,000 reads, I realized that I should take Paper Hearts more seriously…and that I had not one book, but three.
Fully revised and expanded, the Paper Hearts series will feature three volumes, one each on writing, publishing, and marketing. Paper Hearts, Volume 1: Some Writing Advice will be out on November 1, with the other two following in December and January.
About the Book
Your enemy is the blank page.
When it comes to writing, there’s no wrong way to get words on paper.
But it’s not always easy to make the ink flow. Paper Hearts: Some
Writing Advice won’t make writing any simpler, but it may help spark
your imagination and get your hands back on the keyboard.
- How to Develop Character, Plot, and World
- What Common Advice You Should Ignore
- What Advice Actually Helps
- How to Develop a Novel
- The Basics of Grammar, Style, and Tone
- Four Practical Methods of Charting Story Structure
- How to Get Critiques and Revise Your Novel
- How to Deal with Failure
- And much more!
if you pre-order the print copy from my local indie bookstore,
Malaprops, you’ll also get a chapbook of the best writing advice from 12
beloved and bestselling YA authors included for free!
Probably the most clichéd and oft-used phrase for any writer is the old adage, “write what you know.”
So how did I end up writing a novel that takes place hundreds of years in the future, on a spaceship populated by genetically modified people heading to a planet that might not really exist? It’s definitely not something I “know.”
Typically, we don’t really “know” our stories. Or, at least, I don’t. I’ve never been the youngest person on a spaceship, but I do know what it’s like to not fit in. I’ve never had my parents cryogenically frozen, but I still remember that moment when I realized that I’d grown up and was no longer under their safe protection.
Many times it seems that people who aspire to write teen fiction are more focused on writing teenagers than on writing characters who behave realistically. They will often do research on the outward appearances: clothing, slang, mannerisms. Very often, this is where they trip up, because that’s not the important stuff.
Focus on the stuff you know—the stuff everyone knows. We have all experienced the same things most teens have experienced: first love, first heartbreak, betrayal and fear, joy, sorrow.
This is what the writer must know—and if the writer knows this, then everything else—the characters, the plot, the world—will fall in place.
Find the beating heart of the story. Invention is a wonderful thing—a necessary thing when it comes to writing. You need to have invention, but, somewhere beneath everything that you create, you also have to write what you know. Not literally. Emotionally.
She lives in the Appalachian mountains with her boys: one husband, one son, and two very large dogs.