Monday, 28 February 2011


Hi guys! Monday again, and I hope you're all having a sterling day, or at least one that you can live through.

First today, of all I want to remind everyone about The Iron Witch giveaway. If you haven't entered yet, get your butt in gear and clickety on this link RIGHT NOW. I pick the winner on Wednesday, so there isn't much time left.

In other news, I'm still deep in the grip of my FrostFire rewrite here. As a result, today I'm going to do a little round-up for you of writing links that I personally find useful.

1) FIVE WRITING MANTRAS THAT BEAR REPEATING. Inspiring words from SF author James Maxey.

2) ON INSPIRATION. Useful common-sense advice from bestselling YA fantasy author Cassandra Clare.

3) WHEN THE WRITING ISN'T WORKING. Comfort and help from YA fantasy author Jackie Kessler.

4) FIVE THINGS THAT DEFINE MY WRITING. A thoughtful post from me about the themes I like to explore.

5) CHARACTER PRIORITIES AND JET PROPULSION. Some solid points from Dystopian YA author Veronica Roth.

With any luck, you'll get as much excitement and interest out of these as I did.

Before I go, I want to put something to you all. I've been blogging since June last year, and a lot of my early posts were basically seen by me and about four others. And some of those were good posts that I'm proud of. So I'm considering re-posting some of those early articles now, to allow new readers or sporadic readers who've missed posts, to see them without having to trawl forwards through the blog archive to do it. How does everyone feel about that? Even if you did read the posts the first time around, would you find it interesting to get a chance to re-read?

Well, that's all from me today. See you Wednesday, when I'll be picking one lucky winner for The Iron Witch!


Isabel said...

I'm back at school today after a week of vacation, so not the best Monday ever for me, unfortunately. But I passed 11,000 words, and 10,000 is a big achievement, so I'm happy about that.

I think you should re-post! I'd like to be able to read the "Insecurity: I Haz It" post and "Never-Ending Stories" in particular. Two of my favorites. Very inspiring :)

Zoë Marriott said...

Irk. Well, you'll live through it, at least, knowing that you've broken 10,000 words.

Glad that reposting doesn't get an instant thumbs down! I might do Retro-Wednesday or something like that a couple of times a month.

Isabel said...

Hmm... I also think you should do more vlogs. Those are always fun, and I think you said you were going to try to do one every month...

Oh, yeah, congrats on the steadily climbing list of followers! Six more to go before reaching 200!!! EEP!!!!

Zoë Marriott said...

The problem with vlogs, though, is that with the recording and editing and uploading, they literally take me a full day to do. So when I'm writing and I have limited time, they're always the thing that falls to the wayside. Hopefully once I've gotten through this re-write, I'll have a bit of breathing room and will be able to come up with some new vlog ideas.

And of course, I've promised to do that singing thing once we get to 200 followers...*gulp*

Isabel said...

LOL! No pressure - on either points. But I'm looking forward to hearing you sing!

Megha said...

I AM SOOOOO going to try and get more followers on here XD

So. Zoe. I think it would be GREAT if you re-posted. Thing is, I ALWAYS go through the archive, so I know most of the posts by heart XD

And, for World Book Day, in school, we have to dress up as a character from our favourite book. Guess who I'm going to be? Yes, that's right. Zahira.

Any tips on how to dress? I'm not planning to spend so many £££ on this, but what would look good? I'm going to face-paint the scar on, of course. Zahira would NEVER be complete without the scar. What else? Hmmm... well, I'm not sure if I have anything like a robe. I think I should wear some loose trousers, and, like, tighten them at the bottom, like some harem trousers. I think it would look somewhat like a warrior... what do you think?

Isabel said...

Megha: I think the harem trousers would look good, if my opinion matters. I wish we had a day like that at my school!

Zoe: I am SOOOO excited for tomorrow!! I hope you post early, so I can find out who wins before going to school. But if not, I can still be excited for the rest of the day! Eep!!!

Today Karen Mahoney had a live chat, and I got to participate for part of it. My first live chat. Very fun and exciting. It's too bad you missed it! It would have been really fun if you could have joined...

Hehehe. GUESS WHAT?? One of my friends has a connection with Puffin Publishers, so he is going to get a copy of Bitterblue BEFORE IT EVEN COMES OUT!!!!!!!!! I mean, like, this SUMMER. O. M. G. That means that I can borrow it!!!! I am SO amazingly ecstatic. You must be so jealous LOL!
I seriously can't wait for this book. And it's not like I'm getting it tomorrow, either! It's so annoying when you don't know the release date for a book so you can't count down the days... X(

Elise said...

Hey Zoë, great compilation! I especially like the Veronica Roth one at the end. Oddly enough, it sums up why I didn't think one of the books that she uses as an example was all that great: The Hunger Games. (Nobody shoot me!) it was a good ride and all but at the end I was left with a "that's it?" kind of feeling. I think it's because most of the book is focused on survival, which, if you think about it (or at least if I think about it) isn't all that exciting. You've only got two choices! Oh, um, sorry for ranting all over your comments, I'll get to my actual question now! (it's okay if I ask you a question through the comments, right?)
So, I know the number one piece of advice from any author is "just sit down and write the freakin' thing already!" and I've tried! I write a scene or two and then I story has no plot. I have three ideas for stories floating around in my head right now, and all of them have 1) a fairly well laid out setting, 2) really in-depth characters, with backstory and development, and 3) little to no actual plotline whatsover. I know how all the characters grow and who they are at the beginning and end of their story, but the only events that I know for sure happen in my newest story are: these two meet and become BFF's, she reads him a story, he teaches her to ride a horse, they have a fight, they both become really sad, they make up and are BFF's again. This is obviously not a book anyone who likes reading good books will want to read. I have a few ideas for plotlines, but they all feel kind of forced, and like they don't quite fit with the rest of what I created. Should I pick one of these just so I have something to work with, or is there some key to creating plots that I'm missing? Any advice is appreciated, thanks!

Zoë Marriott said...

Megha: that's wonderful! What a great, fun idea - I'm honoured you've chosen Zahira. As to harem pants, Zira wouldn't wear them. She always tucks the legs of her breeches into knee-high boots. If you can't do that, just let them hang down. She's not really a fancy character, she just wears shirts, breeches and boots - but she does love bright colours.

Isabel: Lucky you! I AM jealous. I'm looking forward to BITTERBLUE very much. I hope you enjoyed your talk with Kaz, but I'm afraid I'd have put people out if I'd just turned up! Authors need to be invited to things like that.

Elise: Well, I'm behind most of the world in that I haven't read HUNGER GAMES yet, so I can't agree or disagree with you. Survival is a pretty classic plot struggle though, and many books make use of it. I think it depends how it's written. I'll think about your question and hopefully try to answer it sometime next week, okay?

Isabel said...

Do you have any idea when Bitterblue is actually going to come out? It's so frustrating when you don't know the release date of a book that you are absolutely DYING to read... like I said before XD

Elise: I think maybe your issue is that this story... it wasn't meant to be told. Not by you, at least. If the book you are writing isn't something that you are in love with and feel strongly about, then sometimes it's good to just move on. Try to wait for some other ideas, and make use of those! But I hope this works out for you - I'm sorry you're having so much trouble. :(

Elise said...

Zoë: Well, of course, everyone has their own opinion, and I am in no way trying to demean that of others (or anyone's writing). I forgot to make that clear in my first comment. I have a strong belief that every story is subjective.
I would love to hear your advice! That would be fantastic!
Isabel: That hadn't occured to me, I'll think about it and see where I stand. Thanks for offering a different point of view!

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