Saturday, June 5, 2010

Answers + upcoming guest blog AND contest!!

Ya'll ready for this?? Next week is going to be made of awesomesauce. I'm not kidding around here. Wanna know why? First of all, I'm having a FABULOUS guest post on Tuesday and then.... I'm having another contest on Thursday! So make sure and stay tuned for both of those.

Thanks so much for the questions on my last post. Here are my (hopefully somewhat interesting) answers!

Aubrey asked:

Where do your ideas come from? Oh wow, I'd have to say everywhere. Real life. Daydreams. Songs. Anything can spark an idea. I admit, sometimes I've had to really dig hard for ideas, but other times, they just come to me. As we were driving home from CA my hubby and I were talking about how many people there are everywhere--all the time, day or night. How many cars are always on the road. That little thought process/conversation sparked a whole new idea I'm playing around with right now!

How long does it take you to go from idea to finished first draft? This varies, but I'm pretty fast. The fastest I've written a book (rough draft) was about 2 weeks. Well, unless you count the books I wrote in high school. Once I whipped one out in one day. Yeah. It was amazing. My best work ever. Why are you laughing? I'm serious! Okay, yeah, not really. :D The longest was about three months, but that one has needed the least editing of all of my books because even though it was so much harder to write, it came out very clean.

What is your favorite thing about being in the YA author/book world? Well, I haven't totally "entered" it yet, but the authors I do know and have met have been SO friendly and so helpful. The YA world just seems so tight-knit and everyone seems to be friends. I'm really excited to *hopefully* be a part of that when I get my deal. (Crossing fingers and toes!)

The Dixon Family wrote: Congrats on getting an agent! Any idea when we will hear about a book deal? I don't know yet. I hope sooner than later! Any extra finger crossing is greatly appreciated. ;-) (*looks around slyly and winks*)

Elliot Grace wrote:'s one I ask many bloggers/writers, how do you handle the rejections?
Myself...I realize getting slushed is part of the biz, but sometimes...okay, just breathe:)
Oh man, this is such a tough part of the business. And it doesn't end! I have an agent now (Phwew!), but now I have to worry about editors rejecting me! I have to admit, somedays I handled rejections really well--I brushed it off, didn't take it too hard. Other times... yikes. I would get pretty down. I tend to be really hard on myself, and think I (or my writing) just isn't good enough. But I wanted it so badly, I would keep going. Thank heavens I did! I think the times I handled it the best were the days/weeks when I was keeping busy with something else. Janette Rallison gave me that advice, and it really does work. Once you are querying something--start a new project. Don't wait. And do not have it be the sequel!! When you have something else (entirely different and new) to work on, it helps you realize this isn't your one and only shot. When all else fails, try chocolate. Sugar highs help. For like 5 minutes. ;-)

I'm Erin Wrote: Ok, how in the world do you map out a book. Because I know you write fast, so do you think of an outline with all the sub plots first, or do you do do that along the way, and add them in later? Help please. I don't want to start my next book until I can figure this out. In highschool I used to write by the seat of my pants (and often ended up with a big old mess about halfway through with no idea where it was going to end up), but when I got serious about writing to get published a couple years ago, I've pretty much always had some sort of an outline, or at least a few pages of notes to guide me. I find I can write much faster and much more effectively when I know at least a general outline of my plot. For one of my books I have a chapter-by-chapter outline (that I followed pretty closely, although I'm always open to changes as I'm going); most of the time I just have notes for the character arcs and the main plot points. I may not write down all the subplots, but I do try to have them in mind as I write, and I usually at least jot down a note or two about where to include it. Although sometimes I'm pleasantly surprised at how some subplots evolve organically! Even though you may not stick to your notes/outline completely, I think it helps a lot. But that's just my opinion and style. I know lots of great authors who write completely organically, no outline at all. You have to find what works best for you.

I would recommend trying an outline if you haven't yet though, you might love it!

Thanks for the questions everyone, I hope my answers were helpful. Stay tuned for next week!!


Theresa Milstein said...

Congratulations on landing an agent. I hope finding a publisher goes smoothly!

Stina said...

Congrats on landing an agent. I'm with you on outlining. I couldn't imagine not doing that first. But I also love the flexibility an outline still affords me. I'm working on one right now, so when I'm ready to querying my wip in the fall, I'll be busy working on my first draft of my new project. :D

Unknown said...

Found your blog from Elana the awesome!

Congrats on landing an agent!!! That's amazing!

Jennie Englund said...

I'm here via Elana, too.

Fun times!

Kristi said...

I'm here via Elana too and loved this excerpt! Congrats on finding an agent and I loved, loved, loved reading these questions and answers!

Aubrie said...

Congrats on your agent! I'm following your blog now!

Frankie Diane Mallis said...

Hi Sara, Elana sent me over. Congrats on signing with an agent! Very exciting:-) I'm a new follower:-)

Melissa said...

Congratulations on the Agent and I loved your answers to the questions. I'm following you know, cause I can tell your awesome!

I agree with you about the YA community - everyone is so nice and kind and supportive!