Wednesday, June 13, 2012

ETERNAL SPRING with Jennifer McAndrews, plus links

We have a very special guest this week. My own dear friend, crit partner, and workshop co-presenter, Jennifer McAndrews, is joining us today to celebrate the release of ETERNAL SPRING, a young adult anthology available as a free  kindle download from Amazon. Jen's one of my favorite writers ever. You can find out why by picking up her latest novel, DEADLY FARCE is a humorous mystery from Avalon Books, and by checking out her contribution in ETERNAL SPRING.


Flowers, vacation, baseball, prom...what does spring mean to you? From unicorn hunters and teenage exorcists to Egyptian princesses and aspiring ballerinas, this collection of thirteen stories by some of the most exciting authors in Young Adult fiction explores young love and new beginnings during the most beautiful time of the year.

You can catch Jen at RWA Nationals next month, presenting on the Hero's Journey in YA (with yours truly), and you can find her online on her website, on twitter, on facebook, on pinterest, and at Honestly YA.

Jen's Tip:

It’s a standing joke, the actor asking “But…what’s my motivation?” As clichĂ© as it sounds, in fact it’s a very important question to ask, not only for actors but for writers. It is critical for both to identify and understand the motivation of a given character. For an actor, it’s the character he or she is portraying; for the writer, it’s every major character in the story. Yup, every major character.
For a minor character, there’s no need to move beyond a “simple” motivation. To say the minor character mows the lawn for the elderly couple on the corner because that character is kindhearted is sufficient. If, however, we’re talking about a main character, a major character, kindhearted is only the surface. For the main character, dig a little deeper. Why is kindness important? What need does the character have that showing kindness fulfills?

Let’s say he or she does kind things because failure to consider others’ needs during childhood resulted in a scolding from Mom. One step deeper? That scolding from Mom resulted in feelings of guilt and inadequacy. So acts of kindness today may be motivated by fear of inadequacy.
On the flip side, what if the character does kind things because doing good deeds during childhood resulted in praise from Mom. One step deeper? That praise from Mom resulted in a feeling of happiness and security. So acts of kindness today may be motivated by a desire for happiness.
Either way, now you know that main character’s core motivation. That motivation is going to define that character, in easy situations and in tough ones. You’ll know how a character is going to react because you know that motivation.

And for extra fun, next time someone pretends to be a “suffering actor” by whining “but… what’s my motivation?”, answer them! (hint: tell them it’s fear. that stops ‘em every time!)

This week's link roundup:

My latest, LIGHTS, CAMERA, CASSIDY Episode Three: HACKED, hits the shelves tomorrow, June 14, 20012.  Please join me for a Lights, Camera, Cassidy Charmed Summer Giveaway (starting tomorrow) to celebrate. You could win stuff.  Bonus points for sharing the love (and the link).

21 Ways to Make Your Plot More Compelling (Writing at High Altitude)
10 Quick Tips to Better Fiction (WG2E)
6 Reasons Editors Will Reject You (Writer's Digest)
5 Ways Writers Get Lazy (Jody Hedlund)
5 Ways Adult Heroes Differ From Their YA Counterparts (Romancing the Naked Hero) : )
5 Super Villain Schemes so Crazy They Might be... Crazy (
3 Tips for Staying Focused (Writing on the Ether)
3 Important Rules for Writing Endings (The Write Practice)
How to Influence Editors (Rachelle Gardner)
The Good Seed (Writer Unboxed) Part III of Donald Maass's series
Different Ways to See the Same Thing (Paranormal POV)
The Sound of Silence (Write Brained)
Fill In the Blanks Plot Template (The Other Side of the Story)
How to Plot By the Numbers (WordServe Water Cooler)
Hard Word and Getting Lucky (Writer Unboxed)
Climbing Mt. Revision One Step At a Time (Story a Day) Revising Short Stories.
Detailing (Gail Carson Levine)
What Teens Are Really Reading (School Library Journal) One librarian's survey.
Worrying Isn't Action (
What Makes a Real Book (Content or Container)? (Chicago Tribune)
Tips for Effective Dialog (Writers on the Storm)
Let's Try That Again (Bent on Books)
Literary Devices: Allusion (Fantasy Faction)
Secrets to Character (Jungle Red Writers)
Conflict in Story is Like Finding Gold (Moody Writer)
Don't Leave Me Hanging (Romance University) Happy Endings in Romance.
Romance Structure and Romantic Moments (Genreality)
Easy Ways to Keep the Reader Interested (Moody Writing)
The Single Most Important Characteristic for Success (Writing on the Ether)

Now  go. Write!