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Posts Tagged ‘Natalie Whipple’

Today I am excited to share my interview with Natalie Whipple over at Between Fact and Fiction and I would like to thank lbDiamond for her awesome question. Now on to the interview:

1.  What inspired you to become a YA author?

I’m not sure I was inspired, it was more that my stories kept ending up in that range. When I first thought of publishing, I actually wanted to do pictures books. Since I like to draw and write, I thought that would work. Except I couldn’t think of a good idea, and I hated to put that kind of pressure on my art. Art is my hobby, and I fully intend to keep it that way.

Then I attempted a middle grade novel. That lasted, oh, 10 pages.

Finally I decided to go back to a story I wrote in high school and redo it. While it still didn’t turn out very well, it was the first novel I finished. And the reason I finished, I think, was because I actually enjoyed writing about a teenager. Not that I would ever want to be one again, but it seemed like a comfortable place for me to be. I felt like I could grasp the voice better than in anything else I’d tried.

2.  It’s important to both develop/describe the world you’ve created, but it’s also important to keep the action going.  How do you balance description and pacing?

Well, I mostly do it in editing, honestly. In the first draft, sometimes you don’t know how the pacing is because you can’t see the big picture yet. The book isn’t done. It’s hard to see what is necessary and what isn’t.

But in edits? You can see how one chapter drags and another goes by too fast. You can see where a scene needs fleshing out or pruning. You can put the information where it needs to go, instead of where you thought it up in drafting.

When it comes to balance, it all depends on what kind of book you intend to write. Different genres require different paces, and there’s even variance within genres. I suggest reading popular writers in your genre to see how they pace a book. Assess if you like it,or if you don’t. Think about how you want to handle it. There’s not really a hard right or wrong on this one.

3.  A hot topic right now is three-dimensional characters.  How do you make your characters pop off the page?

You have to know your characters, and that takes time. Sometimes I think I know them, but half way through a draft they “open up” and the whole book gets thrown off by what they finally tell me. Or maybe I get lazy and don’t really get to know them, because it does take work to fabricate a fake person in your head.

I think the most important thing is capturing your character’s voice. Not to say your book needs to be in first person, just that you have to know them. They have to talk to you. Am I making any sense? You really do have to know what they want. You have to know what they like, what they hate. You have to know their past, how they deal with it, etc.

Not all of this goes on the page, mind you. But you still have to know it. It will show if you know it.

4.  What has changed the most since you’ve landed an incredible agent?

Honestly, not much. Writing is still hard sometimes. I still have a family to take care of and lots of things to prevent me from working. It IS nice to have professional feedback though, to have someone in the business on your side.

5. You created Happy Writer Society.  What exactly is it and how can other writers participate?

The Happy Writers Society is dedicated to erasing writer angst. I started it because I was sick of stressing out over publishing, and I decided I wanted to be happy at every moment on the journey. Or at least trying to be happy. Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past few years, it’s that accomplishments don’t make you happy for very long. There’s always another goal ahead, another hurdle to pass. You have to choose to be happy at each point.

As for how others can participate in HWS, I post every Friday and am open to guest posts as well. The information on submitting is on my blog under the Happy Writers Society tab. Besides that, spread the happiness and you are automatically a member.

Thanks again to Natalie for taking the time to answer my questions.  You can follow Natalie at Between Fact and Fiction by clicking here.  Also, Natalie is no longer represented by Nathan Bransford, he, unfortunately for the writing community, has taken a job at CNET, but has left Natalie in the more than capable hands of Anna Webman.

Now it’s time for me to find my pencil, which means I will be wondering aimlessly through a pack of wild wallabies waiting pounce. ;p

P.S. I’ve been toying with idea of hosting short stories, poems, etc. on my blog, so leave me a yes/no/maybe so in the comments and don’t forget to check out Natalie’s site.

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Hello everyone!  Today is November 1, and you all know what that means, this is the first day of NanoWriMo, the month authors from everywhere try to write a 50,000 word novel in a month. 

Now I’m not actually participating in NanoWriMo this year.  I’ve decided to continue focusing on my novel, but in honor of NanoWriMo, I’ve given myself only til the end of the month to finish my second re-write.  So I’ll be participating too…in a way….hey this counts.

So to everyone who actually registered good luck!  And to those who are unofficially participating, like myself, maybe next year well actually have the gull to register and participate for real. :p

But seriously, I hope everybody accomplishes what they set out to this month and if you aren’t going to try this absolutely insane endeavor, maybe you can do what Natalie Whipple is doing over at Between Fact and Fiction.  She is do a NanoriMo (National Reading Month).  She has set aside the month to catch up on all the novels she has yet to read.

So good luck to all and I hope you all find your pencil!  It might take me awhile.

I’m going to leave you today with a song from a band I just recently discovered and decided I love.

http://youtu.be/gZjXnH80MBs

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So anybody who follows this blog, or sneaks to the post just under this one, knows I recently named Natalie Whipple’s blog Between Fact and Fiction the blog of the week. Well, I’ve been in contact with Natalie and she has graciously accepted to grant my humble blog with an interview.

So, as I was sitting down to write the questions out, I realized I write this blog not only for myself, but for all my great writer friends. With that in mind, I would like to offer all of you a chance to create one question you would like to know. Leave it in a comment, then on Sunday morning, I will post all of your questions, including my own and we can put it to a vote.

There can only be five questions, so take your time.

Now it’s off to find my pencil, my wonderful pencil of Oz? I’m being silly, but it would be funny if I found it there.

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Okay, so I know today is normally Road Trip Thursday, but really it should be Wednesday, so I’m fixing that now and making Blog of the Week my new post theme for Thursdays.  Oh, and I should have started with this, I’m back.  And thank you to everyone for your concern and for reading my short story over at Glass Cases.  It means a lot and it was nice to know people care.

Anyway my blog of the week for this week is….Between Fact and Fiction.

Three reasons why I love this blog:

First, I love Natalie Whipple’s design, it’s so awesome.  Before you read anything about her you have an idea of what genre she writes for. And who doesn’t love large-blue (my fave color) block letters surrounded by childhood doodles?  If you don’t, you’re reading the wrong blog.

Second she has an agent, Mr. Nathan Bransford (I’m so jealous), and blogs about her journey through the agented world of writing as well as being the founder of the Happy Writer’s Society, whose goal is to rekindle the joy of writing in writers who have lost it.

Last, she’s real.  I love writers who are down to earth and include little humorous tid-bits about their day. Especially embarrassing ones or ones that don’t put the author in a particularly good light.  These are the things that help us connect with each other and why I love Natalie’s blog.  In fact, her latest post reveals just how juvenile she really is when she makes a flatulence joke.

So click the link.  Check out Between Fact and Fiction and make mistakes so you can blog about them later.  If they’re embarrassing enough, I just might feature you in my next post for Blog of the Week.

Until then, goodbye.  My pencil seems to have accumulated a pile of dust since I’ve been here last and is in dire need of cleaning.

Oh, if you follow, write, or come across a great or well written blog, I would love to hear about it.  Just leave link in the comments and I’ll be sure to check it out.  Who knows, maybe they’ll be in the next installment of Blog of the Week! ;p

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