Welcome to my website!
Ever since I was small, I've been a storyteller. This website is the story of my life as a writer; the history behind my stories. For budding writers, learn about my sources of inspiration and how to tap into the resources around you to create art. Find out more on my Directory page, a visual layout of the contents of this site, just click to go further. I'll launch a 'news page' here when my first book comes out where there will be free giveaways, links to the book, and opportunities for you, the reader, to get involved. Join the mailing list for more updates.
To be part of my Comments Wall (below); make a comment, email me, firstname.lastname@example.org
At the start of this week, I clicked on the links to some writers' forums on LinkedIn. I didn't join them, you understand, I'd already joined the groups months before, but this was the first time I thought, let's see what's going on. I waded in there, tentatively, not knowing what to expect. This was the big boys at play after all, and I'm just a lowly writer for children, who hasn't even managed to get a book into print. Who am I, to poke my head up, and say, well anything really on the most serious business of writing fiction? But, the questions posed drew me in, three in particular jumped out at me; on the value of facebook marketing, the rules of writing and the pantser technicque of writing vs plotting. I was interested enough to throw my voice into the communal pot. What followed was quite magical.
I ended up following the conversation threads as avidly as I follow the discussions over on Writing for Children (on Wanatribe) or on Facebook. It was interesting, educational and surprisingly, hugely entertaining. Not only that, I made some great new connections. I've heard people talk about the value of participating in writers' forums for years, but I wasn't exactly sure what they were or how to get involved so I stayed outside of that particular brotherhood, until now. There's nothing like talking with people all over the world who share the same interests as you. The problem becomes then, balancing the amount of time spent chatting, with time spent working.
However, I'm pleased to report, I have managed somehow, to keep writing as well. I'm in the middle of editing the second book in The Records of Aden series. A couple of things have really changed my approach to editing recently. I find these gems fall into my lap just as I need them, as I reach a new stage with the editing where the book's as good as I can get it, and yet, it needs to go that little bit further. I read Les Edgerton's guest posts on Kristen Lamb's blog about dialogue. He said that a killer of good dialogue is the Q&A format, where one character asks a question and the other answers it as a way of getting the information across. When I went back to the beginning of my novel, with this in mind, I found that three quarters of my dialogue was exactly that, set out in a Q&A format. Talk about humiliating.
The second tip was from the same source. Edgerton said, The
point being, never let the protagonist gain things easily. Never. In dialogue, when the protagonist is trying to gain information, it should be like pulling teeth.
Here again, I have been going through the manuscript, and identifying all the places where I have let information and opportunity fall into my protagonist's lap. I could see how it makes the story dull. Therefore, the editing is turning into a rewrite in places, because I'm writing new obstacles for my hero, tripping him up, and blocking him where ever I can. I'm being the opposite of benevolent creator. I'm being downright evil. This has been my achilles heel, I realize, in that I've been far too kind to my characters. I have to become far more ruthless.
My writing hero, and pal, PJ Reece said on his blog this week As a writer god, I understand that. My poor defeated heroes are about to experience a dream come true—opening to their higher nature.
To that, I have to say a resounding Amen.
p.s. On Easter Sunday of this year, I submitted a query package to my first literary agent. No word back yet :-)
p.p.s. On Oct. 15 last year, I submitted the first book in The Records of Aden, Aden Weaver and the Or'in of Tane Mahuta to Harper Voyager. The official word from their website, is no news is good news. Still no word from Harper Voyager. Yay!!
Fiction does not spring into the world fully grown, like Athena. It is the process of writing and rewriting that makes a fiction original, if not profound.
~ John Gardner
It begins with a character, usually, and once he stands up on his feet and begins to move, all I can do is trot along behind him with a paper and pencil trying to keep up long enough to put down what he says and does. ~ William Faulkner
Mistakes are the portals of discovery. ~ James
Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~William Wordsworth
Your intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way. ~ Ray Bradbury
The feedback has been great.
'You've done a lot of work on this site. Very friendly! I look forward to some bloggerly blatherings about your writing life.'
~ PJ Reece, author of Roxy, Story Structure to Die For, Smoke that Thunders.
Jaguar Kukulcan said, 'I'm completely wowed by your site. What an amazing body of work. You've done an awesome job of presenting it.'
Claire said, 'Hey Yvette! First day of holidays and have finally found time to check out your website. Read the whole thing including your little nooks and cranies. Very interesting and quite thought provoking.
Hey Yvette, So nice to hear from you and I am so proud that you have claimed your rightful space as an author! Your website looks great and has distracted me from work for an hour now! The illustrations and black and white photos are FAB! Well done for putting all this together and sharing so much of yourself. It is a very generous gift and I will keep going back to it.
Yvette, just wanted to let you know that your synopsis for Aden Weaver is wonderful! I wish I could write summaries of my stories that read as beautifully. :)
Teresa Robeson, co-author of Out of Time, Tales of Time Travel
'Yvette - You have a very nice site. I've joined the e-mail list - so I expect to be among the first to hear that you have not only signed a book-deal, but that Peter Jackson is going to film it - which will be handy for you, being in New Zealand, since
you'll be able to walk down to the set every day, and tell him to cut out all those long, lingering looks he's so dreadfully fond of. It is a very nice site, and I love the 'magazine' feel to it, with lots of white space.' Bill Perring, award-winning author of The Seduction of Mary Kelly.
'I think your strength in your writing is you write with your heart and not your head which is good. This is what the readers relate, too. It's the reason as the reader, I became so involved with your characters who quickly became real to me.
You should have heard me talking out loud to your characters so many times as I followed them throughout the story.' `Maria Cisneros-Toth, co-author of The Monster Moon Series, and author of Butterfly Hollow.