I picked up a writing book for young writer's (hey, I'm young at heart!) called Spilling Ink by Anne Mazer and Ellen Potter. The book looks like a lot of fun. First of all, it is written like a MG book (bigger font, easy to read sections, etc.) and second, the cover is bright yellow with a huge ink spill on it. How could I NOT buy it? I can relate to ink splotches and scribbles and scratch-outs and....well, you get the picture.
Has anyone read this book or bought it for a young writer? If so, what are your thoughts?
Also, I found the author's website Spilling Ink, which is packed with great posts! A recent one is about writing creative non-fiction. This site is an encouragement to children and teen writers (and me too!).
I didn't know that the "blah" I've been feeling lately had a name, but after reading Nathan Bradford's post How to Deal with Revision Fatigue, I now know exactly what I've got.
A bad case of Revision Fatigue...dum dum dum!
--Disgust when looking at "the pile"
--Feelings of self-doubt
--avoidance of "the pile"
--filling time with anything else, but "the pile"
--general blah feeling within 10 ft of "the pile"
As you can see, most of the symptoms are related to "the pile" -- that partially finished stack of scratched out, added in, and completely rewritten words, that resembles a garbage dump. Someday, that horrid mess will be a book. And, it will be a better book for undergoing major surgery.
But, the natural consequence of doing a book revision is fatigue. The only cure is to complete the surgery, as painful as it might be.
So, if you too are in the throws of this dreaded disease, like I am, make sure you read Nathan's post. It's encouraging and there is a cure.
I read a daily devotion, Until Today by Iyanla
Vanzant. I enjoy reading it, but sometimes disagree with the “spiritual” advice because it doesn't always seem Christian-based. So, I take the nuggets of truth and pitch
Today’s reading was about the power of positive thinking and
how you should focus on the positives, not negatives, because your life will go
whichever way you think. In one way, the author had a point. I do know people
who constantly look on the dark side and it seems that one problem after another
comes to them and then they wallow in misery. On the other hand, I know people
who are positive people that are dealt blows. But, just to say “think positive
thoughts” – well, that is self-centered, shallow advice.
BLUF: Trouble comes to all. It is how we respond that
matters. Simply turning to positive-thinking is not the answer. The answer is
putting your trust in the positive power of Jesus. Because of God’s love for us,
we can give up the problems of this world to him. Then we are freed from worry
and negative thoughts, thus living a positive life.
I’m pretty much a positive person. I do give up most of my
worry to God through prayer, but I have to admit that I have been negative
lately about my writing. In particular, about my book (my first novel). The lack
of progress on the revision weighs on me. I don’t want to work on it, even
though I’m close to finishing it.
Negative thoughts creep in:
Who will want to read
It’s not good
All this is rubbish. Don’t I know that God himself anointed
the book? Don’t I know that God himself anointed me to write? Don’t I remember
the moment that God called me to write? Can’t God use my book to plant his seeds
of truth even though it is fiction?
The answer to these questions is YES, YES, YES,
Prayer: Lord God, take my negative thoughts and banish them.
You are in control of my life and my book. You can and will use whatever I write
to glorify you. Give me a positive outlook. Give me the will to finish the book
with a happy heart. In your strength, I can do it! In Jesus’ name,
1.Photos can be used to
effectively hook and draw in the reader and help them get a feel for the
characters (clothing and looks).
2. Good characterizations,
from the MC, a 15 year old boy, to grandfather (Polish immigrant), to the
limping Miss Peregrine.
3. An author’s first novel
CAN be good! Can’t wait to see more from Ransom Riggs.
What I liked:
1. Great opening! Fun
story! Loved the grandfather and monster talk. Loved the island and creepy
house. Loved the bog boy and Horace’s Peculiar ability…man that was bizarre, but
2. I liked the whole idea
for the book. It was based on old photographs that the author borrowed from
different collectors. He used them to weave this fiction story together. What a
neat writing exercise that would make!
3. Perfect pacing – good
action and it moved along nicely. I didn’t want to put it down! I read it in one
What I didn’t like: Some of the story is a little far-fetched
(time travel loops, Hollowgasts, Wights – with white eyes). I went with it, in
the name of fun, though.
Recommend: Yes. If you like MG, odd stories, with a hint of
scary, you’ll like this one. The name of the publisher says it all. Quirk