Ann Dee Candy Speaking at the Liberry!

WIFYR/SCBWI WRITER’S KICKOFF!

WHEN: Thursday, January 18, 2018 
TIME: 6-8 pm
Place: Provo Library
WHO: ALL WRITERS are invited, but numbers are limited!
WHAT: A time together to kick off the New Year with writing buddies and prizes and fun and excitement and love and . . . well, you get it!
SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKER: Ann Dee Ellis, award-winning author of several middle grade and young adult novels

Please bring a potluck dish for eight and one writing quote (or prompt) printed on a 3×5 card.

Register here: https://wifyr.com/registration/index.php

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The Difference Between Dreams and Goals

The Difference Between Dreams and Goals

by Kathryn Purdie

Another January is here, and writers everywhere are making resolutions for the new year. “I’m going to get an agent! Sell a manuscript! Hit the New York Times Bestseller’s List! Win a major award!” Easy there, writer. Those sound like dreams, not goals. The difference between the two is vast and important, but both are vital for success.

Dreams give us passion. They are the driving force necessary to pursue our goals. Dreams help us get back on our feet when we experience setbacks. But while dreams are powerful motivators, achieving them is almost always beyond our control. After all, we can’t make an agent or editor invest in us, force readers to buy our books, or demand critics to enjoy our work. What we can control, however, is accomplishing specific writing-related goals, which will hopefully move us closer to realizing our dreams.

As far as the realm of traditional publishing is concerned, writers should only be pursuing goals within two categories: education and writing. Why? Because no one can take away what you learn, and no one can take away the words you write. They are the only goals you and you alone control. The chart below lists suggestions for goals within each category.

 

GoalsVsDreams

This January and all throughout the year, make those vision boards, dream big, and keep your passion alive, but find satisfaction along the way through accomplishing goals YOU can control, and remember SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.

Happy New Year, writers!

 

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Kathryn Purdie is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the BURNING GLASS series (Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins) and the forthcoming BONE GRACE. She lives near Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband and three children. Kathryn is a trained classical actress who studied at the Oxford School of Drama and was inspired to write her debut trilogy while recovering from donating a kidney to her older brother. In her spare time, she loves playing guitar, binge-watching TV, and devouring Peanut Butter Oreos. Find her online at www.kathrynpurdie.com

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Dear Friends

December is a wonderful black writing hole for me. Everything stands still and nothing gets done and things are merry and bright and there’s lots and lots of chocolate. I am now back to real life, thank goodness, and school starts tomorrow! Yay!

A few good things:

  1. I got noise cancelling headphones. This means I will be wildly productive.
  2. I’ve been reading more than ever (but not writing) and I listened to an interview with Elizabeth Strout, one of my favorite authors, who had these pieces of advice for writers: a. don’t stop. ever. And b. read beautiful sentences. She says reading good words and sentences and books is like eating good food. It gives you energy and strength and makes you feel better.
  3. Someone at church said this: momentum is more important than destination. I believe this!

With that, my goals:

  1. Finish a draft by the end of January of WIP.
  2. Write a little, even so so little, five days a week.
  3. Read. Read beautiful sentences and books.
  4. Listen to beautiful sentences and books and podcasts. You can get a lot of professional development and learning done by searching for podcasts from your favorite writers and artists. There is so much wonderful education on the internet that you can be taking in as you DO THE DANG DISHES!!!! And I believe it makes me happier and more motivated when I am filling my heart with things I need.
  5. Be happier. Be more patient. Spend more time outside in the mountains. Meet new people. Be kinder.

Those are so easy right? Are they attainable? Maybe. I’ll adjust as Carol suggests. I’d love to read yours too. Hope your year is off to a great start.

 

Love Ann Dee

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2018–Goals–HAPPY NEW YEAR

Gosh, I love a new year. Don’t you? There’s something neato about being together in the pot. Sharing goals and etc. Like suffering together during NaNo!

Now, I have some not-so-good news. I don’t have last year’s goals. That means I need to figure out how to go back one year (here) so I can find what you all wrote and so we can see what you did. When I figure that out, I’ll post your goals so you can see whatcha done good.

BUT–we must not let that deter us.

What are your goals?

What are your plans?

What are your dreams?

One thing my dear Rick Walton told me was to make goals I was in control of. I love this. It’s so smart.

“I will sell five books this year.” Ummm. I can’t make S&S or Harcourt buy a book. BUT I can write  five books.

Also, making goals attainable is a good thing.

Read this, by the amazing Claudia Mills. It’ll teach you a thing or two. I swear.

https://claudiamillsanhouraday.blogspot.com/

And read this, too! It’s Cheri Pray Earl’s blog about goals.

https://dustingforfingerprints.wordpress.com/2017/12/31/the-year-of-the-writer-thats-me/

So. I’ll give you three of my writing goals for the year–or writing related goals.

  1. Start a REAL, OFFICIAL business. It may be small, but I have been putting this off for some time.
  2. Make that danged website of mine shine.
  3. Write a draft of a new book every three months. IF I sell something and rewrites take up new writing time, I will make adjustments.
    If I break that down, it turns out to be four new books. By the end of the year.
    If I break it down even further, it’s about 1000 new words a day. With play time in between. And time to rewrite.

EVENTS For those of you who want a jumpstart for this year, we have these two events coming up:

WIFYR NEW YEAR KICKOFF!

Provo Library

Third Thursday of this month (6-8 pm–I think!)

Potluck fun!

 

FEBRUARY AGENT/EDITOR RETREAT

Editor Sarah McCabe (Simon and Schuster) and agent Jenna Pocius (Red Fox Literary) are visiting BYU campus. Both will speak on Feb 28, 2018 from 5:30-7 pm. (Room number TBA)
This event is open and free to the public.

For those who write for children and young adults (and those interested in writing for adults), March 1st, March 2nd and March 3rd, will feature Sarah and Jenna in one-on-one critiques with paying attendees.

$119 will include a day of learning with published authors as well as critique time with either the editor or agent. We’ll talk good writing, writing with humor and even glance at marketing your work. We’ll discuss query letters, the important pitch and truly knowing what your book is about–and being able to express it. Each $119 registration includes ONE day.

www.agentretreatutah.wordpress.com

 

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Merry Christmas Days . . . Lots

Merry Christmas day #16
With the snow that’s (finally!) showed up, I think now is a good time to focus hard on sense of place.
Is it cold? Is it hot? What’s the weather like? Is the sky grey? Does the field next to your characters house smell like cow poo? Is there a rustle of wind off in the distance? Did someone blare their horn so hard that it broke? (I did this the other week, believe it or not)
I hate sense of place, but it’s needed to make a story great. So when I work on it, I really take a look around me, I try to focus on my character and imagine what I would be feeling if I was where she was. Sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn’t. But at least it’s SOMETHING. And whatever I can do to get the story moving.
Merry Christmas day #17
Do you remember the first time your heart shattered into a million pieces? Do you remember the second time it did? Maybe it was because a loved one passed on. Maybe the person you loved didn’t love you back? Maybe your first born child got a tattoo? Whatever it was, do you remember that emotion? Do you remember that sinking feeling in your gut that you thought would never go away?
Use that. Put that into your story. Let your character feel it, too. (even if you don’t think she deserves it) Good emotion not only makes you feel, but it also makes your reader feel, too. (they might hate you for it, but at least you made them feel something)
Push that heartbreak out onto the page, and let those emotions run wild!
Merry Christmas day #18
Do you remember your first Christmas? Reach back into your brain and see if you can find that memory. Do you remember the excitement? The butterflies inside your belly? You must have been little, did you know what was happening at the time? Did you know why everyone was being so kind?
Maybe your character remembers her first Christmas? Maybe it was also her first memory with her sibling, or parents, or grandparents?
Write about it. Write about memories. Maybe a good flashback is what you’re missing, and you didn’t even know it!

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Merry Christmas Day 13 & 14 & 15

Merry Christmas day 13

Life has a way of throwing curveballs. We never really know what to expect. And that can be pretty darn crummy. Another thing that is crummy is when you can figure out  what is going to happen in the novel from page two or three. There’s no reason to read a book when you already know the ending from the beginning.

Look carefully at your  novel. Is it too easy to see who done it? Wha? You’re not writing a mystery novel? Well, you sorta are. All novels should have something that  has to be figured out. Giving that surprise away too soon, or writing poorly so there is no surprise, or just plain being lazy in your writing leaves the reader wanting more.

How can you change up your book so there are plenty of curveballs? Plenty of surprises?

Merry Christmas day 14

For me the name of the character is really important. My editor at St. Martin’s Press said, “Carol! I cannot believe you named your characters after your daughters.”

Well, I do. My daughters. Or other family members.  Or people I love. Or people I hate. They all wind up in my books. (I joke I should have given them each three names not just a first and middle name.)

In my newest novel, MESSENGER, I used all of my grandmother’s sisters and brothers names. That’s a family of 10. Because I love my extended family, the book became that much more  important to me.

So who would you write about?

Why?

How did that person change you?

How is that person complex?

We all know we can’t use our relatives exactly the way they are, but what are 15 things you would write about this person?  What are 15 things you would keep the same about their personality? Their mannerisms? Their speech? Their loves and hates?

I always, or almost always, have Nana smoking, drinking beer, cleaning house, wearing polyester, and laughing. Those are just a few of the things Nanny did.She died almost 25 years ago.  I miss her. When I write about her, she lives again for me.

Merry Christmas day 15

I just saw a post on Twitter about not using adjectives. And I have to admit that I am one of those people who is trying to trim my overuse of them. Or at least I’m trying to do as Lance Larsen says and turn them on ears. (We’ll talk more of this next year.)

Anyone can talk about the Christmas season in cliché ways. It’s snowy. Glittery. Cold. But using adjectives in new and different ways will make your prose sing. It will make the reader stop and pay attention. Yes! That’s what we want!

Take one chapter of your novel and mark  all the adjectives. Now go through and look at the ones that you can cut.  Which ones you can change and make more special? How can you use them in unique ways?

Ack! It must be the season. I used the word special. I really don’t like that word.

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Merry Christmas Day 12

FEARS
I have a bad habit of watching scary movies, and then staying up at night for days at a time thinking about that movie. I know I shouldn’t watch them, but I do it anyway.
For today’s writing challenge, write about your FEARS.
What scares you? Failure?  Movies? Death? Both?
When were you the most afraid? What’s the scariest thing you ever saw? The most frightening book you ever read? What about scariest person you ever met?
Ready. Set. Write!

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