TCWT: "Take any character from one of your books and put them in a therapy session. Write a short scene about what happens."
ZH: Well, I would choose the Mad Hatter from Where Madness Dwells, but that scene is actually kind of already in the novel and includes profanity and some violence... so I don't think I'll share it here. Maybe another time, though.
TCWT: "What are some of the coolest/weirdest/funniest/most disturbing things you’ve researched for a story?"
ZH: I looked up lots of drugs for Where Madness Dwells, and even had an open conversation with my mom (who has seen almost everything, but thankfully hasn't done any of it). The stuff I learned is nuts. If I hadn't already decided against drugs, this definitely would have turned me off.
It's finally here! A while ago in my Exiting Stuff post, I announced that I would be doing a guest post on Natalie Truitt's blog, and today's the day it went live! You can read it here on her blog or just keep reading below.
So you’ve decided to write a novel. That’s great! Congratulations on committing yourself to a wonderful adventure. The question is for most writers is what do you want to write? Fiction or nonfiction? If fiction, what genre, etc. But some authors think bigger picture first: Do you want to go it alone or do you team up with a co-author?
I’m done both. And while you shouldn’t take my opinion as law, but keep these considerations in mind while making about your decision.
So, for those who read my Exciting Stuff post, the first 4 things have come to pass (well, the contest is still up, but not for long! Deadline is May 1st, so get your submissions in.
Stay tuned for more exciting stuff coming!
UPDATE as of 2:40pm: I FINISHED! It was an amazing read. Gonna go and write some of Where Madness Dwells with my co-author now, but check back here soon.
TCWT: What is your ultimate goal as a writer?
ZH: To be a published author with an income of at least $100 (ideally more, obviously) off my books alone. I don't know whether that means self-publishing or the traditional route (I'm keeping my options open, but I do dream of seeing my books on Barnes and Noble shelves). But either way I want to become known for my fantasy romance series "The Belgrave Legacy" (Book 1 is 7th Heaven, which I'm currently drafting), my Alice in Wonderland-inspired novel, Where Madness Dwells, and my literary story, Eve is Dead.
I don't need to be JK Rowling or Amanda Hocking famous, but I want at least 1,000 fans. I want my fanbase to be voracious readers, kind and respectful of one another, and very vocal in their praise.
I eventually want to go to a Writer's Digest Conference and Book Expo America too, but I'm waiting for a finished manuscript before I do that, just in case I meet an agent who's interested.
Alice King has been spiraling ever since her father’s death two years ago. Her mother has finally had enough and decides to send her to a correctional boarding school: The Damon Academy for the Gifted. Once there, Alice meets many other troubled teens; among them are Mina and the infamous acid-addict Hatter.
For the March Character Costume Challenge hosted by Of Battles, Dragons, and Swords of Adamant. From my novel, Where Madness Dwells.
A gift from her grandmother before she lost her mind to dementia. She was always Madison “Hatter” Harley’s favorite relative, the only one who understood her strange fantasies. As a reminder of her now dead grandmother, Hatter always carries with her, either as a necklace or tucked away in a secret pocket of her goth outfits. She tends to store it either in her hat or her boot. She can often be caught glancing at it, but don’t ask her about it or she will curse you out before marching away.
So me and my writer friends decided to create a blog called A Pocket Full of Pens and I did the first post yesterday and forgot to post a notice here. My blog post was on “Plotting vs Pantsing”. I’ll be posting on the blog every Saturday. Hope you all like my first post! I’ll also post it here:
When I first started writing in 3rd Grade I hated outlining or planning my stories in any way. I thought it stifled my creativity. I would get the original story idea and would immediately start writing, not caring what the end would be. While this was great for short stories, when I started trying to write longer pieces in 6th and 7th Grade I found that I often got lost or bored and would abandon WIPs (Works in Progress, if you didn’t already know). learned that maybe some general guidelines would be helpful. I still couldn’t bring myself to completely map out every scene/chapter or even know the end, but as I got ideas for big scenes, I’d write them down in a sort of timeline fashion.
Last year, in 9th Grade, I started my first full-length novel: an Alice in Wonderland spin-off with a friend of mine called Where Madness Dwells. We both started on the story idea and wrote the first 5 or so chapters, but then took a break because school got in the way. However, before we split, I had made a list of chapters with a rough idea of what we needed to have happen by certain points of the story; you could say I created a rough skeleton for us to work off. Not quite an outline, but at least it was something. Where Madness Dwells has since been placed on the back-burner due to our conflicting schedules, but I know that when we go back to it, we’ll have a sense of direction and will be able to dive right back in.
This year, as a present to myself after getting my braces off (I’d been racking up points with my orthodontist, Bronsky Orthodontics if you’re wondering) and bought myself Scrivener…which has been the BEST decision I’ve ever made. It’s made working on my new novel, 7th Heaven, a walk in the park. I can easily see all my chapters together on Corkboard (shows summaries only), read them continuously, or edit them separately. I can also add in images or other research related items in different folders, but still accessible within the Scrivener window– which is great for me since I’m an organization freak when it comes to my writing.
So, I’m a converted Plotter. What are you? Sound off in the comments below.
By Zara Hoffman, Originally from A Pocket Full of Pens.
So, I’ve been writing a lot, but unfortunately it’s been a lot of SCHOOL papers among studying for lots of tests and I haven’t had much time to write my novels. But here’s an update:
The Best Intentions is now called “Eve is Dead” and I’m beginning to restructure it to fit the name. I also just need to sit my but in a chair and write (I’ll actually have time over Winter Break). Second, 7th Heaven will be the first book of The Belgrave Legacy series (I have it all planned out, now I'm just writing). Where Madness Dwells is on hold right now. I’m just trying to catch up.
TCWT: What are you writing for NaNoWriMo? Briefly explain how the idea came about. Then write a mock first page for the novel.
ZH: I'm writing an Alice in Wonderland-inspired spinoff: Alice King is sent to the Damon Academy for the Gifted, a correctional boarding school, where she encounters other troubled teens. Among them is Mina and the infamous acid-addict Hatter. Once Alice enters Wonderland, she goes on a journey leading her to a terrifying revelation. Read more about Where Madness Dwells.
I'm a self-published author— because being a college student wasn't hard enough! I write YA multi-genre fiction for young adults or the young at heart. I love This Is Us, NCIS, BBC's Sherlock,
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