Some updates & a call for questions!
So this post will be brief. :-/ I returned from my epic 3-week tour and was slapped with a few deadlines and a nice cold. I love deadlines because they force me to get ‘er done. 😉 I don’t love colds because they make me grouchy and lazy.
Moving on. First off, if you haven’t yet seen the extra Something Strange and Deadly scene on Epic Reads, then head over there now! It’s Daniel’s point of view and should show a bit of insight into who that scalawag really is.
Of course, if you really want full insight into Daniel, then you can read A Dawn Most Wicked. It’s pretty much a tell-all exposé of this grumpy Spirit-Hunter who looks a lot like Max Irons. (Hotcha, hotcha!)
Second bit of news: if you missed the Young Authors Give Back Tour recap, then check it out. Or just peruse our Tumblr…or my facebook album. In a nutshell: WE HAD LOADS OF FUN. And kids are good writers.
Oh, and there’s an epic giveaway on the blog post. You should enter it.
OTHER NEWS, we are only 31 days away from the launch of A Darkness Strange and Lovely and OH MY GOD WHERE DID THE LAST YEAR GO?! It’s crazy how time flies when you’re
witing-revising-toiling-meeting deadlines-writing-crying-screaming-writing having fun. I’ve got some super amazing things planned–giveaways being among those amazing things–so stay tuned, dear readers.
Onto something totally different: NaNoWriMo and I have become buddies. They did an interview with me last week and then yesterday was #my1ststory day! You can see all the stories people shared on Tumblr or Twitter, or you can just check out my own. 🙂
Okay, now onto the meat of this post: questions. Specifically, questions from you guys. I asked for topic suggestions or burning questions a few months back, and I duly answered almost every single one (I will address the remaining handful soon). But if you’ve got any new questions of a pressing nature–be they publishing related, writing related, inspiration related, SS&D-related, or even me-related, feel free to ask in the comments below.
And now, my friends, I am heading back to work so that I may meet my deadlines and deliver a shiny book 3 to you next summer. 😉
June 21, 2013 @ 3:49 pm
Happy writing! I hope all the work you need to get done is accomplished in no time at all 😉 I am so excited that (1) I got to meet you in person, (2) emails (!) and (3) A Darkness Strange and Lovely is out soon. There are loads of things to look forward to — and I cannot wait!
June 21, 2013 @ 7:00 pm
YAYAYAYAY!!! Just got your email. Huzzah!
June 21, 2013 @ 4:12 pm
So much in this post! Sounds like your trip was awesome. The NaNo post was fun. I signed up for Camp July- and I’m so excited to get started! A question for you: You write steam-punk wonderfully- do you think you’ll stay “geared” 🙂 in that direction or do you have any interest in writing any other kinds of sub-genres in the future? If so, what kinds?
Hope your cold gets better!
June 21, 2013 @ 7:01 pm
I just signed up for Camp NaNo in July TOO!!! Even though I may not actually accomplish much, I’ll be a camp counselor during the third week! I’m super pumped. 😀
Okay, your question regarding steampunk is duly noted and I shall answer it soon. Thanks, Joni!! <3
June 21, 2013 @ 6:02 pm
I’m excited about all the stuff I’ve read about your trip and the nanowrimo posts. 🙂
Hope your family in Germany was not too affected by the floods, it was right in that area, and I was in Bayern and Switzerland at the time.
Oh! Ha! Your writing story. It made me smile when I read it yesterday, and I didn’t even know it was yours.
You may have answered this elsewhere…but do you know your endings when you start books? Do you find yourself plotting when you get stuck? When you are writing the first draft, which is allowed to be crap, do you ever just get a new idea/direction which would have to change what’s come before and keep going without fixing what has come before? This happens to me all the time, it’s so frustrating, and somehow I never know how to handle it. A while back you mentioned the revision course you did, I started looking into it, did you do it week for week for the whole 22 or so weeks?
I hope you get well soon and meet all the deadlines. 🙂
June 21, 2013 @ 7:05 pm
Hey Steph! So, to answer your last question about the revision course, I did it for all 22 weeks. It was brilliant, but that was also 3+ years ago when I was still learning How To Write For Real. It may not be as helpful to you if you’re more experienced. 🙂
AS for your questions about getting stuck & when something changes mid-draft, I will direct you to these posts: http://www.publishingcrawl.com/2013/04/01/a-conversation-between-critique-partners-maintaining-passion-for-a-story/, https://susandennard.com/2013/03/25/when-something-changes-mid-draft/ 🙂
June 21, 2013 @ 8:15 pm
Ah, sorry! I did try to look through the archives to not ask already answered questions. I use your archives ALL the time, they are super helpful. Thank you. 🙂
June 23, 2013 @ 8:56 pm
Hi Susan! I tend to struggle with the first quarter of the story (including inciting incident and catalyst) and with getting that hook right… Somehow, everything seems boring/cliché/not interesting enough/… Any advice on that? Or can you direct me to some useful posts? 🙂
I really really really want to read A Dawn Most Wicked, but am trying to wait until my last exam is finished… After that I should do some pre-ordering too, can’t wait for the sequel! 😀
June 25, 2013 @ 12:19 am
Hmmmm…Let me think on this. It definitely warrants a post, and I don’t think I’ve ever addressed something like this before. Thanks, Avery!
June 23, 2013 @ 9:52 pm
Hi Sooz! i’m glad you signed up for nanowrimo, too.
I have a question about writing, especially for characters. How do you think up your characters for the first time, decide their names, appearance, personality, etc? And how do you usually think up of introducing them? Thank you!
June 25, 2013 @ 12:20 am
Awesome question, Laura!! I’ll try to answer this in a post soon. 😀
June 24, 2013 @ 10:17 am
Ever mentioned that I think you’re awesome for offering to answer questions regularly??? 🙂
I’ve got two:
1. If you have two or more completely different general directions the same story idea could take mood, tone and genre wise, and all seem equally alluring to you – how do you decide for one?
2. I’ve asked that one also over at YAGB Tour Recap on pub crawl, but I’m not sure if the comments were just meant for contest entries – if not, sorry for double posting it here! *blush* Here it is:
Since I’m not living in the US but would have loved to participate in the workshop, I wondered if there is any way to get to know what you did there or to download any material you used in the workshop. It would be awesome, but I totally understand if it’s not possible.
June 25, 2013 @ 12:22 am
Alex, <3 You have an awesome question about the different ideas…I'll definitely write about it. As for the YAGB lectures, erm…..I don't think we'll be sharing them. The thing is that we might teach these workshops again–or *possibly* offer them online. SO I don't think we'll want to give the lecture materials away. Make sense?
June 25, 2013 @ 3:58 pm
Absolutely makes sense, I already thought it would be somewhat like that – but I thought “a girl can dream” and asked anyway 😉
Can’t wait to read that with the different ideas, so glad you’ll write about it – huge thanks! 😀
June 27, 2013 @ 10:24 am
It would be so SOOO great if you offered these lectures online. I live in Ireland (and I am too old) so I couldn’t attend.
P.S. I still think it would be a great idea if you ever had the time to do a book on writing. I know you mentioned self-pubbing one a some stage. Fingers, toes and everything crossed… 🙂
June 24, 2013 @ 2:57 pm
AHH, Congratulations on the sequel! <3 <3 <3
My question is, how do you come up with character interactions? Because when I write, it doesn't matter that I know my characters' history/background/everything there is to know about them, when I throw them together, everything becomes awkward and forced, and even though they seem to have great chemistry in my mind, it suddenly doesn't translate well on page.
June 25, 2013 @ 12:22 am
Excellent question, Rae…I shall do my best to answer this soon!! 😀
June 24, 2013 @ 5:23 pm
I know you’ve probably answered this question before (in fact I think it was part of a post you did a few months ago but I’d love a more detailed response on it). I am struggling with a serious dilemma at the moment. I have two unfinished manuscripts which have basically been completely pantsed. The first one is the first novel I’ve ever tried to write in NaNo) – I finished it (90,000 words) and then killed it by revising line by line rather than using your excellent method (or any smarter one other than line edits). The second is my last Nano novel which I wrote 60,000 words and then got stuck, convinced that the story is completely cliched and part of a saturated market. In short, I’ve fallen out of love with my half-finished novels. I can’t see/feel any spark in them.
Enter the Shiny New Idea which I wrote as a short story and absolutely loved! Unlike the half-completed novels, I feel that it’s unique and different. It’s something I’m proud of and that I’ve been comfortable giving others to read.
So, finally my question is this:
How do you determine if something is worth finishing or not? How do you decide if the idea is worth pursuing or if it’s perhaps a waste of time, knowing how much effort goes into writing & revising a polished novel? After all, not every idea is novel worthy… I feel like I’ve learnt so much about writing since I started and that if I start on the Shiny New Idea it might be a more structured approach rather than writing by the seat of my pants… I feel the characters calling me to tell their story or is this just the lure of the Shiny New Idea?
Thanks as always for your excellent posts. I’ve heard great things about A Dawn Most Wicked so I’m hoping to read it soon. 🙂
June 25, 2013 @ 12:25 am
Awesome and super tough question, Triona. I will do my darndest to write a good response that helps you out of your pickle. 🙂 Thank you for asking me a question!!
June 25, 2013 @ 2:49 pm
Congrats on all your success, Sooz! You definitely deserve it. I’m so excited for book 2 to be coming out so soon! I hope your work on book 3 will flow smoothly!
Hmm…questions…Ok, how about a tour question: Since authors often have little to no decisions on where they’ll go on book tours, lets pretend you could map out your own tour for A DARKNESS STRANGE AND LOVELY. What cities/bookstores (preferably ones you haven’t toured through yet) would you like to visit?
I also have a reading question that I asked another author on Twitter recently: How do you balance time between writing and reading books by other authors? Is it hard for you to get out of your own world (the one you’re writing) and into another world (the one written in another book)?Thanks Sooz! You rock 🙂
Sara (Page Sage)
June 26, 2013 @ 7:21 am
So much awesome in this post! I loved Daniel’s POV on Epic Reads.
As for questions…
1. What was the most difficult part of writing the Something Strange and Deadly series?
2. If you could be best friends IRL with one of the characters from the series, who would you choose?
3. What’s one requirement for writing? (for ex, you need a certain snack or a playlist)
June 26, 2013 @ 3:12 pm
Ooooh, awesome questions!! The perfect sort to answer right before ADS&L launch!! Thanks, Sara! <3