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Welcome Back! Alternatively, When Life Gives You Lemons…

Inkwell is back on regular posting schedule today and lucky me, I’m the one assigned for today.

…Truth is, I’ve got nothing. My writing life has kind of been floating in limbo since August and I don’t have the time to write a drawn-out advice post. So let’s talk about when life gets you down! Gives you lemons! What do you do? 

Turn those lemons into…not lemonade. Glorious pieces of prose? Poopy pieces of prose? Oh gosh.

If you’re like me, you probably have ideas floating around in your head all the time. What would happen if I stuck this villain in here or wrote this chapter from this person’s perspective? 

Collect those somewhere before they float away! They’ll come in handy at a later date.

Try to write something, even if it’s just a few measly sentences a day. Squeeze them out like juice from a lemon. This metaphor is going to get old fast, huh?

Can you tell I’m rambling? Well, that’s what your writing might look like for a while. And that’s a-okay. You can always clean it up later.

So yeah. Dedication is key here, folks. Of course, breaks aren’t bad, but try not to take too long of one. You’ll forget what you were writing about and risk giving up entirely. Give it a week or two at the most. Then you can come back with fresh eyes and ideas. Maybe lemonade too!

Now if I could just heed my own advice.

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The Night Circus – Review

It’s been a while since regular posting, I know, and there is a reason for that. We’ve all been super busy lately, with school starting up and the majority of us being students at various stages in our educations. Regular posting will resume shortly, however.

And now for the review.

Book: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Coffee cups:

The Night Circus is seductive. Purely, magically seductive. I don’t think I have read a book before this one that put such a deep and beautiful spell on me as I read.

I received Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus through Goodreads First Reads. While it had been out for a while, a giveaway was being hosted on the site.

I was first attracted by the cover. It was black and white and gray with red accents and stars and Victoriana and swirls and a little cartoon circus, and I wanted it in my bookshelf. (And oh, did the physical copy deliver on this. The front cover is a page with a circular window to reveal the circus illustration; you open to the secondary cover-thing, and the circus is cupped in a woman’s hand. The symbolism and appropriateness is glorious.)

But enough about the cover. I’d seen a friend’s five-star review and figured, “This must be pretty damn good,” because when she likes something enough to give it five stars, I usually feel similarly blown away. I read the summary and wasn’t especially wowed, but apparently I was intrigued enough by the fact that there’s romance. To be frank, I’m not sure I really took any of it in except for that. If I did, I forgot it almost completely, and thank God for that. And I’m glad for that, because the back cover summary gives too much away and tells you too much about this book. Which is why I’m not putting it here. The magic of this book is in how it is Le Cirque des Rêves. It carries you through the mystery and the magic the way the circus carries the characters. You only need to know that this book is about magic, love, a game, and a circus. And not to mention, the back cover summary is misleading. I’m almost positive the author didn’t get to approve of it before it became official, because the second paragraph gives the entirely wrong impression.


And now I will begin the actual review before I rage over back cover summaries.

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Inkspark #53

Welcome to the day’s Inkspark! Every day, around midnight PST, we provide you with a prompt or picture to spark your creativity for the day.  Feel free to post and/or discuss what the day’s Inkspark leads to in the comments. Happy writing!

Today’s prompt: So there I was, windows down, breeze in my face, belting out Queen’s Any Way You Want It, when the mostly-shirtless track team ran by…

If you want to suggest a prompt for future Inksparks, send it to us on the Feedback page along with a link to wherever it came from or where you’d like it to link back to if you came up with it. Prompts can be anything from actual prompts to music to pictures.

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Inkspark #52

Welcome to the day’s Inkspark! Every day, around midnight PST, we provide you with a prompt or picture to spark your creativity for the day.  Feel free to post and/or discuss what the day’s Inkspark leads to in the comments. Happy writing!

Today’s prompt: It was disappointing, but that was the way of things.

If you want to suggest a prompt for future Inksparks, send it to us on the Feedback page along with a link to wherever it came from or where you’d like it to link back to if you came up with it. Prompts can be anything from actual prompts to music to pictures.

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The Pros and Cons of Posting Writing Online

I seem to get more mixed messages from the writing community than from my ex-boyfriend. Seriously. Some writing sites champion posting online and encourage it (there are more writing platforms and sites that I can count springing up, some more legit that others), some reward it through contests and the like, others warn of the instantaneous death your writing career. I don’t know about any of the rest of you, but I totally feel like I am stuck in limbo as far whether or not to post my writing online. In fact, it goes in waves. One day I’m all for it and living the dream, then the next week I am afraid I have ruined every possible chance I have at making my bestseller come true. So I did some poking around, question asking and what some might loosely dub “research”. Here’s what I came up with… Continue reading

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Character Creation Exercise

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Starting a new story and need a main character? Or do you need a minor character for an ongoing work? Just interested in some development practice? Here’s a fun little thing you can do.

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W is for Writing

“If plan A doesn’t work, remember that the alphabet has 25 other letters. Relax.”

A few of my fellow former inkies and writing buddies have been banding about our thoughts and organizing techniques when we go about writing a novel. It inspired me to write out an ABCs of sorts (with a few letters left for you to fill in). Different ways and tools I and other writers use to build up our stories, develop our characters, track events–in all essence prep and plan ahead, with the best of intentions.  I have yet to meet a writer that does all of these things, but some are more fervent about pre-writing than others. You can these strategies when you get stuck or based on feedback you’ve received, wanting to improve certain areas of your work. Whatever the case, whenever you may use them, hope you find it helpful, dear readers and writers

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Summer Reads

Looking for some great books to read this summer? Here are some suggestions!

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Ingo by Helen Dunmore

By the Cornwall coast where Sapphire lives with her family, it’s easy to hear the call of the sea. Too easy.

When the sea called to Sapphy’s father, he vanished from her life. When the sea called to her brother, he started disappearing for hours on end. And now the sea is calling to Sapphy, and she feels its pull more strongly than she’s ever felt anything in her life.

In a novel full of longing, mystery, and magic, Helen Dunmore takes us to a new world that has the power both to captivate and to destroy. At the waterline, the two worlds of Air and Ingo meet. Sapphy and her brother, Conor, find themselves at the boundary between these worlds, in a place of danger and amazing discoveries. Continue reading

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The Young Adult Author’s Guide to Young Adults

Considering that a bulk (read: like 98%)* of YA lit that I read is not written by, well, young adults, I’ve started to notice trends. Not like trendy trends that I’d want to keep up with, either, but more like misconceptions. Misconceptions about teenagers. Misconceptions about teenagers as written by young adult authors who are not young adults but want to relate to their audience because, duh, you have to hook your reader somehow, right?

 But, as a teenager with approximately eight months until she’s not a teenager anymore, I’m particularly critical about how teens are portrayed in novels. Maybe it’s because I want to be a young adult writer as well, and writing a main character who’s about my own age is a little more natural, but come on. What’s with the generalizing? The dopey text speak? The horrible fashions that literally no teenagers wear?

Here I’ve compiled what I believe to be the most irritating, annoying, and (sometimes) offensive misconceptions about teenagers that young adult authors tend to have.

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Welcome!

This is the first post on this database, so I’ll just babble a bit.

I’ve gotten a lot of input saying a database would be a good idea, so I thought I’d put one together. Here, we can add general resources and whatever you guys think is necessary. I’m thinking it’ll begin with general resources, a beta request center, and a place for people to post their inkpop usernames and where they can be found now.

Feel free to contact me through this site if you’ve got any suggestions for things to add.

Signing off.

Jennifer

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