an example of how reading can help your/my writing

Instead of entertaining you with juicy facts about moi, I'm just sharing about a book I read that helped me with an ms I wrote. 

This is because I planned to follow erica's suit for sharing fun facts and a pic and I'm just too lazy to get up and get my camera and plug it in and find the pic and save it to pics and upload it....

So you'll have to wait to see me and my baby bump until  my next post, probably Friday. 

What I will tell you today.  I read Anna and the French Kiss the other night.  In fact I stayed up until after 2 AM (reading in the dark with my nifty, attached Kindle light).  I felt like a teenager again.  I knew I'd regret it when my three year old started tweaking my nose at 6ish, but I didn't care.  It was bliss.  (I could probably have competed for world's crabbiest mom during breakfast, but still. No regrets.)

While reading, or after, I realized what my contemp romance ms is missing.  More conversation between my protag and her love interest.  And more conversations ABOUT the items important in their seventeen year old lives:  interests, post-high school plans, dreams, pet peaves, etc. (sorry if it's peeves.  Lazy, remember?)   I also realized that while my initial "plan" put friends in the love interest's life, I never actually included them in the book.  Um, yet.

Since 2 AM, my protag now loves rocks and fossils and has aspirations in the geological field.  THIS (acually was not way off because her dad had mentioned in a phone convo with her that she was his math girl...now I added in her correcting him by saying, "Science, Dad.  I like rocks.")  led me to a new setting for a scene or two and a way to get my protag and love interest together by tying in a subplot that I was stuck on!  AND two scenes: one with boy who IS love interest and one with boy who is competing for this role to show how one reacts to her interests and how the other reacts..not so well. (don't even tell me this is cliche.)

SO...MY POINT...YAY for me.  :0)

and thanks stephanie perkins and anna and hot english/american boy w/french name (etienne).

that's all folks!


  1. I really enjoyed that book! And yes, the best way I learn is by reading!

  2. I just finished Sarah Dessen's new book, What Happened to Goodbye. There wasn't much parental involvement in my WIP, but after reading Sarah's book, I knew what I needed to do. :D

  3. So funny, because I always immerse my characters in peer groups. My feedback is 'cut them back a little, I'm getting things confused'. Ah well. We each have our things, and it's great to read a book that helps you spot what you've mucked up.

  4. I <B my new Kindle, so I appreciate how much you are enjoying yours. Anna and her lovely kiss was a wonderful story.

  5. Omg, you're pregnant? Where the heck have I been? Man, I really am out of the loop. I'm sorry I've been absent. I miss you guys! And yes, I love those aha! moments when I read a book and I'm like, THAT is how I need to convey this thing I'm stuck on in my ms. Yay for inspiration!!

  6. Awww, I wanted to see the baby bump! :( I guess I can wait... I know exactly what you mean about that novel, GREAT book! I love novels like that where we not only enjoy them, but learn something about our own work from them.

  7. Yay for you! Yeah, I did that a couple of nights in a row with Anna and the French Kiss. Loved it. And don't you just love Etienne? *swoon* He's very different from my American-French hot-boy-sorta-boyfriend way back when.

  8. I love it when that happens. Sometimes something is just not right with my story and I can't put my finger on it until I find the missing element in another book.

    It's incredibly helpful.


  9. I loved that book so much. Probably one of my faves all year. And mostly, I loved that they were best friends and talked so much before even getting together. Good on you for realizing that's what you MS needs.

  10. Oh gosh - I totally did that the other week with Hourglass - stayed up until 3 finishing and I had to get up and pack at six.

    Sometimes I think I have too much dialogue - that's where I love my CPs. They help me balance. :)

  11. 1) I really like my Kindle also, including the handy light. Do you use it for working on your own writing too, or just for reading?

    2) I agree. If all of the conversation is driving the plot, then the writing is airless and nothing like life. Sometimes that stuff has to be trimmed in editing, but it's a mistake to trim too much.


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