Tuesday, June 14, 2011

For Writers - Watch a Movie with Kristina McBride

Happy Tuesday, everyone. Today's tip is coming your way from the beautiful Wasatch Mountains. I'm in Utah this week, loving the scenery. Here's a bonus tip - if you ever need to feel inspired, find some mountains to fill you with awe. *Sigh*

(Picture courtesy of Utah is Awesome.)

Our real tip this week is courtesy of Kristina McBride, author of the gripping YA novel, A TENSION OF OPPOSITES (paperback edition just released this week!) If you have not read this book yet, you should. Seriously.

Kristina is a former high-school English teacher and yearbook advisor. She was inspired to write A TENSION OF OPPOSITES after reading about the safe return of a child who was kidnapped while riding his bike to a friend’s house. Here's the official blurb about the book:

Two years ago Noelle disappeared. Two long years of no leads, no word, no body. Since the abduction, Tessa, her best friend, has lived in a state of suspended animation. She has some friends, but keeps them distant. Some interests, but she won’t allow herself to become passionate about them. And guys? She can’t get close—she knows what it is like to really lose someone she cared for.

And then, one day, the telephone rings. Noelle is alive. And maybe, just maybe, Tess can start to live again, too.

A haunting psychological thriller taken straight from the headlines, The Tension of Opposites is a striking debut that explores the emotional aftermath a kidnapping can have on the victim, and on the people she left behind.

Publisher's Weekly calls A TENSION OF OPPOSITES "a well-paced story with... emotional punches that really connect," Booklist says it's "right on," and Jay Asher, author of THIRTEEN REASONS WHY says it's a "tense... must read." Here's the book trailer:

You can find Kristina online at her website, on facebook, and by following her on twitter. If you're in the Ohio area, you can meet her (and me!) in person at our upcoming Beachy Keen YA Book Bash event at the Joseph Beth Bookstore in Cincinnati, July 30th.

Kristina says:

"I’m a huge fan of movies. Aren’t we all? One of my favorite things about my agent is the homework she doles out, often in the form of “Watch this movie!” When I’m having trouble plotting a new book, I can be found in the movie section of my library, scanning the shelves for titles in the same vein and genre of my latest story. I analyze (read that as over analyze) how other storytellers put together great plots, and use that as inspiration for my own work. Remember, you character has to want something, and want it badly. Your job, as the author, is to throw as much in his or her way so that goal is not easily attained. The story ends as soon as the main character’s goal is reached. Or not. The fun part is that you get to decide."

This week's link roundup:

Writing is Hard (Beyond the Margins) Why we do it.
Writing is Scary (Stir Your Tea) More on why we do it.
Writing is Painful (Beyond the Margins) "Pain cannot destroy us; fear can."
Write Your Query First (Writer Unboxed) Great idea.
Hemingway's Writing Block Buster (Time to Write) Stop in the middle.
Editing (Creative Penn) Start with a "high level review" of your book.
Internet Perils (Greenhouse Literary Agency) Why it's not a good idea to blog about the process.
The Importance of Beginnings (Kidlit) Bonus! Call for submissions.
Why the Best Kids' Books are Written in Blood (Speakeasy) #YAsaves
Fiona Dunbar on writing, thinking and support (Absolute Vanilla) Writing Room series.
The Doctor is in! (The Character Therapist) Excellent character clinic series.
Training to be a Career Author (Kristin Lamb) Writing is more than writing.
11 Resources for Editing Your Novel (Publetariat)
10 Dangerous Pests (Blood Red Pencil) Don't let them destroy your writing.
7 Ways to Rev Up Your Writing (Words and Such) Is your motor running?
5 tips to make your book appeal to Teens (JoeDunco) About teens by a teen.
5 Common Mistakes Authors Make with PR (Publishing Basics) Eep.
5 Tips for Beating Your Deadline (Quips and Tips) Good timing for me #ondeadline
3 Questions for a Better Book (Nail Your Novel) Excellent.
3 Tips on Developing Subplots (YA Highway) Switching threads.
3 Ways to Avoid the Waffle in Writing (W.I.P. It) Avoid the fat.
The Thoughtful Pause & Keeping Pace (TheOpenVein) Pacing. Bonus: articles w/in the article.
How to Craft Mystery (Nathan Bransford) "Mysteries are the lifeblood of stories"
Conflict Box (Genreality) Excellent overview of a great writing tool.
Actions vs Choices (The Other Side of the Story) Crafting better plots.
The Underappreciated Cliche (Query Tracker) Own that cliche!
More on Cliches (Laura Pauling) Rising above them.
Editing Checklist (the Editor's Blog) great tips.
Chasing Trends. (KT Literary) Don't.
Villains; Empathy and Emotion (Let the Words Flow) Giving villains greater depth.

Now go. Write!