The Coffee Shop - JULY

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Re: The Coffee Shop - JULY

Post by writersink » July 10th, 2012, 2:04 pm

Sommer Leigh wrote:
mark54g wrote:Wow,

Quite thorough. I realize I am not the intended audience, but the "SAMENESS" of it really seems to be such a drag. They are the same story but the names are changed. I will, however, look at the list you sent and see if I can find something I like.

However, this now makes me wonder how my story would do in a sea of books like this. :)
Well, there are lots of unique books out there, but the ones you see that are very much the "Same" story over and over again are still quite popular with teen girls. They want more of what they like.
Sometimes I want to try out new things, and sometimes I'll be browsing through a section of a library or a bookstore and I'll not be bothered to really look, so I'll pick up a book that screams "the same." It's a comfort thing. I know what to expect. Although recently I read "the unbecoming of Mara Dyer." It has the whole beautiful boy thing, but also has a really interesting storyline. Ah well. They sell. I read them.

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Re: The Coffee Shop - JULY

Post by Mark.W.Carson » July 10th, 2012, 2:07 pm

Sigh...

I still hope that I can have a stand out among those. There are so few books already with a male MC in that realm. I would hate to have no shot after all this work.

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Re: The Coffee Shop - JULY

Post by dios4vida » July 10th, 2012, 2:25 pm

Mark.W.Carson wrote:I still hope that I can have a stand out among those. There are so few books already with a male MC in that realm. I would hate to have no shot after all this work.
There's no such thing as "no shot" if you've written a compelling enough story.
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

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Re: The Coffee Shop - JULY

Post by Mark.W.Carson » July 10th, 2012, 2:27 pm

Here's to hoping. We all THINK we have, don't we? The question becomes, is this story, the one that has been rattling in my head since the late 1990s, good enough to do that?
I mean, I find it compelling. I liked it enough to have it keep my interest for over a decade. It's the story that made me want to start writing. Does that mean it is good, or that I am just a creature of habit? :P



Edit:
I'd like to thank the wonderful staff here for helping me achieve my "new look."

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Re: The Coffee Shop - JULY

Post by writersink » July 10th, 2012, 2:32 pm

Mark.W.Carson wrote:Here's to hoping. We all THINK we have, don't we? The question becomes, is this story, the one that has been rattling in my head since the late 1990s, good enough to do that?
I mean, I find it compelling. I liked it enough to have it keep my interest for over a decade. It's the story that made me want to start writing. Does that mean it is good, or that I am just a creature of habit? :P



Edit:
I'd like to thank the wonderful staff here for helping me achieve my "new look."
There's only one way to find out... Getting out there and subbing it (when it is good and ready of course :) ) But after all, isn't that not knowing whether you are any good, and thinking "I'm just wasting my time" the best part of the writing process? No? Just me... :lol: If it helps, I believe in the story.

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Re: The Coffee Shop - JULY

Post by Cookie » July 11th, 2012, 12:22 am

Sommer Leigh wrote:
mark54g wrote:Congrats Brenda,

and BLARGH. I can't find a decent YA book that doesn't read like "Textbook paranormal girl who doesn't want to be noticed finds AMAZING BEAUTIFUL BOY"
While this is probably very true, remember that you are not the primary audience for these books. :-)


OK I finally sat down and skimmed my books looking for something you might enjoy. I maybe picked more than you were looking for, but I broke them down into general categories. I've read all these and loved them all or I wouldn't recommend them.

Male protag, contemporary setting, non-supernatural/fantasy:
Anything by John Green. My fave is Looking for Alaska, but they are all good.

Male protag, contemporary setting, supernatural/fantasy:
The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan (This series is one of my favorites. Book 2 and 3 are narrated by female characters though)
The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea Campbell
White Cat by Holly Black (#2 is Red Glove and #3 is Black Heart. All awesome)
How I Stole Johnny Depp's Alien Girlfriend by Gary Ghislain (I KNOW this sounds ridiculous, but it's by far the most fun I've ever had reading a book. The writer is a genius.)

Female protag but gender neutral story, Contemporary, non-supernatural, beautifully written, sometimes heartbreaking, also a lot of fun:
How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford

Female protag but gender neutral, contemporary, supernatural, girls being hardcore and kickass:
Sisters Red by Jackson Pierce
Feed by Mira Grant (this one has zombies, but it's more political thriller than horror. It's sort of The West Wing meets Hackers and also there are pockets of America infested with zombies)
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Female protag and male protag, future, non supernatural/fantasy:
Legend by Marie Lu

Female protag and male protag, vaguely contemporary (covers many years), fantasy, cool magic system, gorgeous writing:
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Female protag, fantasy setting, very interesting magic system, girl geing hardcore and kickass:
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Finally - the Leviathan series by Scott Westerfeld and the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld. He's the greatest YA author of our time, in my opinion. I think he's even better than John Green. Leviathan has both female and male protag, is set in a diesel punk past during World War I, it's sort of like realistic fantasy. The Uglies series is set very far into the future and is a true dystopian. Both are fantastic storytelling.

Most of these have some romance in them (for example Leviathan and Rise of Renegade X has hardly any while The Night Circus is a love story but extremely non-traditional in it's telling.) None of the women in any of these stories make romance their priority.
I'm going to second White Cat, Feed, Leviathan, and John Green (especially The Fault in Our Stars). And add:

Angelfall by Susan Ee
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Above by Leah Bobet
And I know it's not contemporary, but I really loved the Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

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Re: The Coffee Shop - JULY

Post by Sommer Leigh » July 11th, 2012, 9:09 am

Cookie wrote: I'm going to second White Cat, Feed, Leviathan, and John Green (especially The Fault in Our Stars). And add:

Angelfall by Susan Ee
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Above by Leah Bobet
And I know it's not contemporary, but I really loved the Book Thief by Markus Zusak.
I didn't add Angelfall because he didn't want horror. Angelfall is awesome but it's got a fair bit of OMG WTF IS THAT and gore. It's still one of my top 5 favorite books of all time.
May the word counts be ever in your favor. http://www.sommerleigh.com
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Re: The Coffee Shop - JULY

Post by Mark.W.Carson » July 11th, 2012, 9:22 am

I looked over most of them. Some I'll have to look at again. Sadly, I am not convinced of any as of yet (any non paranormal/supernatural are getting axed immediately, if only because I'm trying to go for something as a comparison, and I'm avoiding direct dystopian or other time periods for the same reason).

I know... I am impossible to please.

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Re: The Coffee Shop - JULY

Post by wilderness » July 11th, 2012, 3:55 pm

I gotta agree with Sommer -- I absolutely love Scott Westerfeld!

Mark -- If anything, I think there is still a relative lack of YA/middle-grade books for boys, leaving you in a sweet spot! It's always good to be submitting something there isn't enough of :)

Meanwhile, earlier this month a bunch of us were whining about how down we felt about revising our WIPs. I really liked Natalie Whipple's blog post today about creating a "love list" for your WIP: http://betweenfactandfiction.blogspot.c ... -list.html. I tried it for my own novel, and it got me thinking -- hey there are some really good things in here! I mean of course we have to think about what's not working in order to fix it but thinking about what is working is a great way to keep your excitement. The obvious never fails to amaze me, haha. :D

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Re: The Coffee Shop - JULY

Post by dios4vida » July 11th, 2012, 5:10 pm

So I finished my draft and sent it off to Matt for critique on Monday (YAY!) after two years of trying to get the stupid thing right. The next night Brian was awesome and brought home Chinese for dinner. Anyone care to guess what my fortune cookie said?

Your labors will bear sweet fruit.
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

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Re: The Coffee Shop - JULY

Post by LizV » July 11th, 2012, 5:28 pm

Thanks for the "Love List" link, wilderness. I really needed that today!

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Re: The Coffee Shop - JULY

Post by Cookie » July 12th, 2012, 9:51 am

Sommer Leigh wrote:
Cookie wrote: I'm going to second White Cat, Feed, Leviathan, and John Green (especially The Fault in Our Stars). And add:

Angelfall by Susan Ee
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Above by Leah Bobet
And I know it's not contemporary, but I really loved the Book Thief by Markus Zusak.
I didn't add Angelfall because he didn't want horror. Angelfall is awesome but it's got a fair bit of OMG WTF IS THAT and gore. It's still one of my top 5 favorite books of all time.
I missed that part XD.

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Re: The Coffee Shop - JULY

Post by Claudie » July 12th, 2012, 10:49 pm

I just want to say that I am ON TRACK, for the very first time since these monthly Bransforums goal-setting threads exist! And it's the month with the most ambitious goals, too. It makes me very happy.
"I do not think there is any thrill [...] like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success... Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything." -- Nikola Tesla

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Re: The Coffee Shop - JULY

Post by Graeme o'Winnipeg » July 13th, 2012, 5:15 pm

Love this thread!

The coffee shop is my office. In fact, that's what inspired me to get a job at Starbucks this last year. I've learned where the Starbucks and Second Cups are, and the other shops of notable repute. I've also got the good study halls at my university, places to go and work.

What I've found is that writing, like studying, is a solitary pursuit, and for me I do it best when I'm around people, with a renewable coffee source on the table. I just go and be, and look at my writing as my "manifold". There is no exact rule, but I have my projects on the go, several of them at once, for the days when my main goals aren't quite working out, or else if I am particularly inspired by the conflicts / characters of another manuscript. I alternate between writing "in the forest", and writing "over the trees", and have adapted Microsoft Word accordingly so that I can work at the outline level, go ahead and sketch a scene or tweak the details of a larger arc, etc. All of this means that when I'm at the coffee shop, where I'm psyched out to work, well, work gets done. I also have the discipline of reading a chapter a day of an author I admire (currently George R. R. Martin), writing down words I don't know, then researching them on wikipedia and adding them to a Word document for reference when I'm writing. This alternate avenue further diversifies the writing experience, giving me plenty of opportunity for breath in a way that, ultimately, leads toward my biggest-term goal: to be a better writer.

I think coffee shops are the best invention for us writers!

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Re: The Coffee Shop - JULY

Post by Claudie » July 17th, 2012, 11:52 pm

So guys! We're past the midmonth mark now and I was wondering how you were all doing on the writerly front (well, really, on all fronts). I've had a good month with minor setbacks (like, y'know, realising you really need to rewrite the WHOLE Part 3, and that you should also reoutlining it to make sure you don't run yourself into a wall) but overall, so far so good. I have to discipline myself into sitting down to write my average 1k/day, but I admit that being on track (or almost!) for the 30k a month and hitting 1k every day (again, or almost!) is very satisfying. The constant progress helps to keep in-story too.

On the other hand, it seems that if I want to end this draft before school starts, I'm going to need more than 1k per day. Something like 1200 would do, but damn some days those extra 200 look like a lot. Guess it's time to step up, though!

What about you? It's so sad when the Coffee Shop chatter dies!
"I do not think there is any thrill [...] like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success... Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything." -- Nikola Tesla

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