Saturday, April 25, 2009

YAedge Featured Author: Sydney Salter

YA author, Sydney Salter, will be joining us for a chat on Monday, April 27th! Published with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Sydney has two novels debuting in 2009: My Big Nose and Other Natural Disasters and Jungle Crossing.

Drop by on MONDAY and meet one of the emerging talents from the Class of 2k9!

Friday, April 24, 2009

When You Realize It's Time to Say Good-bye

I was reading Miss Snark’s First Victim (an amazing blog- if you haven’t visited before, it’s a must) the other day. It made me realize I hadn’t paid enough attention to my “hook”, the first 250 words of chapter 1. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned much about my book, Lost and Found, but it’s in 'he said/she said' format. Reading the first 250 words made me realize I started with the wrong point of view, the wrong character.

It’s great to understand this now, when I’m still knee deep in the editing process. One of the many things I’ve learned in the process of writing and editing this book; it’s never too late to say good-bye to those scenes you love, but don’t have a purpose. Every scene, no matter how amazing you think it is, if it doesn’t have a purpose, say your good-byes and then press Ctrl-x (or command-x for all the Macs out there).

Never be afraid to think outside the box when editing. If the book gets better because of cuts you don’t want to make, it’s worth it. Even if a few important lines get cut, try to work them in somewhere else. You may be surprised how easy it is to slip in an explanation here or there that gives a scene more meaning later, but also keeps that unneeded scene on the cutting room floor.

Now I must go back to cutting my unneeded scenes. Another thing I’ve learned? Cutting scenes always leads to editing and cutting more. It’s like a snowball effect.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Swash-buckling Fill in the Blanks

In light of our April title selection for the YAedge Book Club, A.S. King's, The Dust of 100 Dogs - I thought we could play a bit of fill-in-the-quote with lines from my favourite pirate movie (based on a book), The Princess Bride.

Rob Reiner's 1987 film lives on - kids at my elementary school TODAY can quote lines from this awesome flick. The book's author, William Goldman, also wrote the screenplay. Adventure. Comedy. Romance. The book, the film has it all.

Okay, my pirate-loving friends, fill in the blanks - no prize for this one, but maybe you won't have to walk the plank:

1. As ____ _______ was all he ever said to her.

2. When I was your age ______________ was called books.

3. Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. ___ _______ __ ______. ________ __ ___.

4. _____ cannot stop true love. It can only delay it for awhile.

5. No more rhyming now, I mean it. Anybody ____ _ ______?

6. People in _____ cannot be trusted.

7. I spent the last few years building up __ _________ to iocan powder.

8. Life is ____, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.

What? Still not enough to soothe your inner pirate? Then check out these guys who started Talk Like A Pirate Day.