Friday, October 22, 2010

Finding Something Friday: Birthday Extravaganza! And a Writing Tip!

What's the next best thing if you can't be with a fantabulous friend for her birthday celebration? Why, the Birthday Extravanganza, of course! So, I'm throwing this neat little package of um, shrunken party stuff into the Birthday Giveaway!

But you can't win if you don't comment. So join the party, join the Giveaway! And come back next week, 'cause I have one more b'day gift I want to share. That means more chances for you to win. And celebrate with me! (Though to be honest, I'm going to celebrate anyway.)

Okay, now for those who've skipped down to get to the writing tip: READ.

I know it seems ridiculously simple. But after attending that last conference, I realized that not everyone pays attention to that part of the writing process.

Maybe I should expound a bit on what I mean by READ. Read in the areas you write, and hope to get published in.

If you want to get your essays published, read as many great essays as you can find. If you want to get your short stories in print, read the markets, read the genres, read collections of short stories. And if you want to get your YA novel published, read the hottest best-sellers in YA right now.

Not only will you get a grasp of what editors are looking for, but you'll also know what editors are talking about at conferences. At the SCBWI conference, The Hunger Games was the book that every presenter used as an example. Whether they were talking about plot, characters, voice or point of view, Hunger Games was the go-to sample.

Boy, was I glad I'd read The Hunger Games. I really enjoyed Suzanne Collins' series. But I learned something about pace when I read those novels.

Honestly, I learn something about writing every time I pick up something to read. It's that simple.