April 14, 2013

Stop the Spoilers

Okay, so I might be a bit biased because a lot of elements of my WIP are very, very spoilable. Also, since reading TFiOS and hearing John Green's take on spoilers, my opinion of them has only gotten stronger.

I have this weird quirk that when I'm watching a TV series (it's always been a TV series, and almost never a book for this particular quirk), I go to Wikipedia and I look for spoilers for what's coming in a particular episode or later in the season. I'm not sure why I do this--part of it is because I am TERRIBLE with suspense in TV shows. I freak myself out enough as it is, so I tend to scare easily, especially when I know something should be scaring me soon. It's bad. I can't handle it. So I spoil myself. Another reason is because I get really impatient and I just like seeing if everyone I like ends up ok.

I am not everyone. I don't know anyone else who does this (although others like me must exist, or else all of this probably wouldn't be documented on Wikipedia/related sites).

Here's the thing about this quirk of mine, though. I ACTIVELY looked for these spoilers. They were not thrust in my face unexpectedly. I looked for them.

I firmly believe that this is the only way people should be exposed to spoilers. If they LOOK for them, whether that be through actually reading a book or seeing a movie, or by searching for whatever they want online. I do not, in any way, condone people commenting with spoilers for no reason whatsoever.

Which is why reading the comments for this particular video just now royally pissed me off:

I've embedded it here so you don't have to see the comments. But this, obviously, is the teaser trailer that was just released for the second installment of the movie versions of Suzanne Collins's series The Hunger Games. Which is SUPER EXCITING AND WHY IS IT NOT NOVEMBER ALREADY?


There are people in the comments section of this video posting spoilers of what happens to certain characters, and certain elements of the plot that are particularly spoilable. I saw two comments right next to each other that justified this spoiling by saying things along the lines of, "They should have read the books first. It's their fault they're too lazy to read the books, so they're just going to watch the movie."

This is NOT okay.

Just because you had the privilege to read a book series first, that, in no way, gives you any good reason to ruin the same experience you had for someone else.

This is a sentiment that I heard reiterated with The Lizzie Bennet Diaries in the year that it was being posted, but there are new people reading a book/series or watching a movie every day. Reading something before someone else does not give you special rights. (If you think you do, you're probably one of those people who comment "First!!!!! OMG" on a YouTube video, aren't you? Even when you're the 5,000th?)

Think of it this way: Are you better than someone (fundamentally, not smart-wise or age-wise or whatever-wise) just because you were born a minute before them? An hour? A decade?

No, you're not. Not really.

There are people growing up every day. There is a six-year-old out there today who will read The Hunger Games or Harry Potter or Pride and Prejudice for the first time in a few years and delight in it. Your kids will want to read those books or watch those movies, too. Can you imagine the spark in their eyes when the puzzle pieces finally fit together in their minds? How their eyes fill with tears when certain things happen to certain characters?


Slight kidding aside--seriously, guys. Don't post spoilers. Especially not in YouTube comments, or any other commenting place, unless it's a place that's okay with for that kind of thing.

In a world that is constantly releasing new entertainment content alongside the old, you do not get to claim the title of Spoiler Dispenser just because you think you're some sort of entitled hipster. The only title you'd get is gigantic jerkwad.

I think we'd all feel better if you opted out of that particular job description.


Cross-posting this (with some slight differences that I'm not transferring over here) to my Tumblr.

March 26, 2013

This book

My writing habits for the past week have been all kinds of ridiculous.

I don't remember writing this much, or writing this productively, since I started to write. In the past six days, I have written over 14,000 words in my new manuscript. That's an average of about 2,300 words a day. That's on pace to finish NaNoWriMo in 21 days.

It doesn't sound like much, but for me, that's a lot.

I'm a student. I have two majors and a minor. I work two jobs. For the past two summers, I've been taking classes and working. I'm in a long term relationship. That all to say, I do not have a lot of time or energy to devote to writing for my future.

In the past six months before I started this project, I had probably collectively written about... oh, I don't know. 500 words. (Not counting school stuff because, well, come on. Being a journalism major puts a lot of black and white wordage under your belt.)

And yet, this past month and a half, things have been different. I've been emailing back and forth (and pretty much every day) with my CP. I've amassed over 5000 words in notes for this story. And now I'm on pace and I've set writing goals to have the first draft of this story finished by the middle of July (taking into account the reduced time I'll have to write once school starts up again).

And, because of all of the work that my CP and I have put in to plotting both of our stories before we got too deep into writing it, I know I can do it.

Deep down, I always knew I'd be an outliner. My computer files are organized with countless folders, I have a system set up in my email to filter emails for different classes and from different professors. Spreadsheets and lists are among my best friends. I am a complete sucker for organization.

But in the past, for some reason, outlining was never a priority for me when I was writing. I'd go in with a premise--just a spark of an idea--and figured that I could figure it out as I was trying to pound out my words and get the story down. If I spent too much time planning it and plotting it, I reasoned, I would lose steam. I wanted to get that story out NOW.

I realize now that the pantsing method is so not my method.

I follow Rachel Aaron's method in 2K to 10K and plot out what I'm going to write beforehand. I just take a few minutes every day and figure out what comes next in the book; I'm always a few steps ahead of what's actually happening. I use my big outline to get the context of the story, and use these smaller plotting sessions to fill in the blanks: who's talking to who? What are they talking about? Where are they?

It's helped so much.

This most is mostly me reveling in my success from the last week. There are only a few more days left of spring break, but I'm confident this upward trend will continue. I'm looking forward to it.

This book is something else.

March 17, 2013


It's been a while since I've posted, but it's also finals week here in the quarter system of my school. Joy!

(That was sarcastic.)

I've been doing a ton of plotting lately, and I'll get started with actually writing my story on Thursday. I'm really excited! This project is one that I've plotted more than any of my other work, so I'm really looking forward to all these things I have planned.

It is going to be an exciting ride, guys.

See you Thursday!

March 8, 2013


I'm just going to put this out there: I've never been HUGE on music. I love music, but I've never been the type of person to actively search out new music or be blown away by it or anything like that. (And that's including the time I was in orchestra in high school. STOP GLARING AT ME.)


That being said, I just need to get this out (even though I already said it on Twitter): The Joe Hisaishi Pandora Radio station I'm currently listening to is the best thing that has happened to me this week. It is amazing and wonderful, and you KNOW when a station brings up music from The Legend of Zelda games as played by the London Philharmonic, it's GOOD.

*is swept away by great, great music*



March 6, 2013

Training for the marathon

I am currently in the process of holding myself back from writing. It is really hard. I was in class today listening to my professor lecture about humanitarian intervention (human rights class, woo!), but all I wanted to do was write. I popped onto Twitter during class--I'm a really attentive student, can you tell? Well. I mean. I actually am. I multitask. BUT THAT IS NOT THE POINT--and saw that Susan Dennard was running those wonderful #BAMFWordBattles.

Oh, man, did I want to join.

But I'm still outlining. I've been so tempted to just start writing this story; I know my characters, I know the underlying plot, I know what happens in the first third... but I can't. I can't start writing because I know I'll burn through what I know and the rest that I don't know well will not be what I want them to be.

I want to write what I want to write. I want to feel it in my bones.

At this point, like I said earlier, I have the underlying plot: the river, if you will. I have all the characters of the story. The one thing I need is the raft to keep them all afloat, and my MC directing the raft where it needs to go.

So, first order of business: Figure out what the heck happens in the latter part of my story from the MC's point of view. Figure out what situations the MC puts herself in, why she does it, how she gets out, and how it lines up with the underlying plot. That is, figure out the raft according to what my MC wants.

Second: Write like the wind, bulls eye.

March 3, 2013

Marchy times

(We're going to try this again, aren't we?)

I should be reading for class. (Sidenote: I should always be reading for class.)

I'll just throw this out there: I'm kind of scared of starting my next story. The thing is, I'm outlining like crazy - I'm trying to figure out all the plot lines and characters and their motivations before I start to write anything substantial. Why? Because every time I've started a project before, I hit a wall around the middle because I don't have a good enough idea of where things are going and, more importantly, how they're going to get there.

That's why I'm outlining. I'm not using any particular method to do it, but I'm writing out relationship dynamics, character traits, reveals that will happen throughout the story, plot points... pretty much everything. I want to be able to hammer this baby out when it comes down to it.

So why am I scared?

Because I don't think I know what I'm doing.

I mean, I'm sure that's true of almost every writer out there. The difference is they actually... do stuff.

I'm doing stuff. I even have a critique partner who is awesome and great and wonderful and great and great.

So maybe I'll be less scared when I figure out everything that I need to figure out. (Like, you know, what my main character does in the second half of the novel.) I have subplots. I have big picture. I need detail.

It's scary to not know things, but I'll work to figure it out. Because that's the only thing to do, really. It's not going to run over and hit you in the face.

Besides, that would hurt.

I should be reading for class.

September 5, 2011

Review: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

Title: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
Author: E. Lockhart (sidenote: LOVE) (other sidenote: I wish I could come up with an awesome penname like E. Lockhart. I mean, REALLY.)
Published: March 2008 by DisneyHyperion
Where I got it: Local indie <3
Why I got it: I was hungry. Just kidding, Hannah Moskowitz said she liked it. Plus I loved Lockhart's Ruby Oliver series...

Okay, before I get started on saying anything, I have to get this off my chest: The whole time I was reading this, I imagined Matthew Livingston looked like Matt Lewis. Yes, Matt Lewis who was Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter movies. I don't really know why he kept popping into my head, but I am highly suspicious of their similar names being the culprit.

I mean, seriously! Totally Matthew. In my head.

Here's the description from Goodreads:
Frankie Landau-Banks at age 14:
Debate Club.
Her father’s “bunny rabbit.”
A mildly geeky girl attending a highly competitive boarding school.

Frankie Landau-Banks at age 15:
A knockout figure.
A sharp tongue.
A chip on her shoulder.
And a gorgeous new senior boyfriend: the supremely goofy, word-obsessed Matthew Livingston.

Frankie Laundau-Banks.
No longer the kind of girl to take “no” for an answer.
Especially when “no” means she’s excluded from her boyfriend’s all-male secret society.
Not when her ex boyfriend shows up in the strangest of places.
Not when she knows she’s smarter than any of them.
When she knows Matthew’s lying to her.
And when there are so many, many pranks to be done.

Frankie Landau-Banks, at age 16:
Possibly a criminal mastermind.

This is the story of how she got that way.

I have to admit, I wasn't the biggest fan of that little blurb thing. Parts of it seemed eh at best. I mean, Debate geek to knockout? Gorgeous senior boyfriend named Matt Lewis--I mean, Matthew Livingston? Criminal mastermind? "This is the story of how she got that way"? (I mean, really. That's just a little cheesy.)

Okay. Sounds like a dream come true. So what's the story?

To my relief, the book was close to nothing like the hook on the back of the book, and I'm glad I read it. It was witty and definitely an enjoyable read, and I found myself cheering for Frankie the whole way through. True, she may have been a bit... overdependent? on Matthew sometimes--he was pretty much constantly on her mind, and she was always worried about what he would think about what she was doing. This may annoy some readers, but when I think about it in retrospect, I feel like this aspect of Frankie added to her character, not necessarily in a positive way, but in that it made her more like a real teenage girl, which is something a lot of authors who are writing "strong female characters" might shy away from. I felt like Lockhart was able to embody the strong girl-power image while not alienating girls who, in the end, really really really want to impress their boyfriends. Which can be viewed by some as pathetic. But come on. She's a sixteen year-old. And if you have a significant other that you really really really REALLY like a lot, don't tell me you wouldn't like to impress them with your smarts.

The plot of the story was great as well--I found the pacing enjoyable, moving at a speed that kept me entertained, which is always a good thing. I laughed reading this multiple times, and I stayed up until 2:30AM reading this, so apparently it kept my attention, too! This book has a great cast of characters (though some weren't as well-rounded as I would have liked), and if you're into quirky and E. Lockhart, you'll definitely enjoy this book.

Pack bandaids for when you fall into the pages!

August 31, 2011

WIP It Good

So I'm well underway with my new WIP (the last one is currently suffering from a bad case of whatdoIdointhemiddle syndrome, so it is currently sitting all lonely-like on my desktop. Of my computer, not my actual desk, I haven't printed it out), at a whopping (not really) 9,648 words! Which is awesome, as about 2500 of those words got written in the past couple days. Which is more than I have written in a couple days since... before I started college.

A year ago*****.

Which is just, if you ask me, ridiculous.

So I decided to replace that word count meter on the left of my page with a daily word count kind of thingimajig, so you all can follow my progress as well! (It'll be updated daily, so the word counts for any given day will be the the day that was closest. That didn't make sense. Maybe I'll just put dates.) For this particular WIP, I've employed a new strategy: I'm not setting an end goal as far as word count goes, so I can never really knowingly reach the slumping middle that has always been a problem with my stories. Genius, right? No? Anyone?

Stay with me here.

Anyway, yeah. Word metrics (which one of my fellow bloggers calls it! Woo! She's in Australia. I don't know if you'll read this, but hi, Jess!).

The past however long it's been since I've last posted here (what is it, six months or so?) have been fairly eventful. I did the following:
1. Finished my internship with the literary agency I worked for (though I still won't share which one, just got privacy and that fancy stuff--don't want angry writing coming after me demanding why the agent didn't get to see their work--eep!),
2. Got another internship (non-book related) at school,
3. Finished that one,
4. Got into the Journalism major (woo!),
5. Decided I also wanted to be an Econ major (woo!),
6. Did summer quarter at my school because School Kristine apparently hates Summer Kristine and wanted her to suffer, but
7. As a result of number six, officially became a junior in college just in time for the start of my second year (woo!),
8. Had lunch with author/agent Mandy Hubbard--non-business related, just for fun, and the first agent/author I've met in person! OF COURSE I asked her to sign my copy of YOU WISH, are you crazy?,
9. Is there a nine? There probably is, but I can't think of one, so... cookies! *throws cookies onto every's magically appearing plates in front of them*
10. Oh! I joined the Absolute Write forums! I haven't been super active on there, since I'm still actively working on actually writing instead of just talking about it, but I'm there!

Right. There's more, but I should get back to writing my WIP. It's called TROGDOR*, by the way. As in Trogdor the Burninator. Because, you know. Burninating is awesome. Especially if you're Trogdor.

*Not the real title, in case you didn't get that. I mean, you know I totally would actually title my book that. It's TROGDOR. But the whole copyright thing** probably ruins all that.

**Maybe, I actually don't know about all that stuff***.

***I could look it up, but I need to write****.

****I set a goal earlier today that I couldn't go to the bathroom until I'd written 500 words. According to my Twitter feed, that was an hour ago. I have 154 words to go. BYE.

*****OH WAIT just kidding I totally forgot about my 11k word dash in the first three (?) days of NaNo 2010, after which I stopped writing completely and it was a sad affair don't ask

January 29, 2011


All right, so I know I haven't been the best blogger. I haven't ever, really, except for those first few days when I had this blog. Man, those were the good days.

But anyway, NEWS! I am delighted to inform you that I am now an intern for a literary agent, who shall remain unnamed and the agency unrevealed, just for general privacy reasons. But I am le EXCITED, guys! It's amazing. I've already started on a couple assignments (I already get to dabble in queries!), and when I do the work, it doesn't feel like work at all. I adore it. I don't know if I'd ultimately become a literary agent or anything (but we'll see as the internship goes on...), but let's just say that I would not say no to a job in publishing. I feel at home.

As for my own writing, and not just my reading of others' writing, it's been slow lately. I've been needing to concentrate more on school lately, and on top of reading for my classes (because all my classes are reading intensive) and reading for my internship, I haven't found enough time or energy to invest myself in my stories. I've been thinking about them a lot, for sure, but I just haven't been working on them. I mean, I'm sure if I looked hard enough I'd be able to find the time, but I read the energy that I'll need to spend that will take away from the work I need to do now.

Can you believe it's almost February? Craziness.

I was about to say that time seems to be moving so quickly, but then I realized that no, it didn't. Not really. It just seems to be moving at a normal rate. Strange.

I hope you're all well! What are your latest endeavors?

December 9, 2010

I have been neglecting my blog, and I am sorry. Finals are now approaching within the next week, though, and then I get a two-and-a-half week break! Hoorayyyy!

Just a note, but I wasn't a winner of NaNoWriMo this year, which, to be honest, I'm okay with.

But it's time to get down to business.

I decided I would try something new, and work on one of my stories that's about halfway finished. It's a story that I've been in love with since I started it in June of 2009, and I've always had a mind to finish it sometime. Except, guess what? Life got in the way.

I have a problem that whenever I try and finish a story, I tend to leave it for something else, or for school, about halfway through the story. I have maybe three or four stories that I've done this to, actually. It could be just that I'm not motivating myself enough to push through, or it could be something else.

I've decided to go to a copy center and print off that one story that I mentioned earlier. I'm going to edit it over break, and then (hopefully) finish writing it. I'm going to see if that's the push I need.

Just checking in.