Friday, October 23, 2015

HAUNTING FRIDAY READS BOOK REVIEW: Duplicity by N.K. Traver







  
                                 







GENRE: Young Adult Contemporary Science Fiction Thriller (I think I just made that up but it works.)

N.K. Traver is awesome. First, she took her knowledge as a computer programmer and combined it with her talent as a writer and voila’ Duplicity was born. Second, because she mentee’d Alison Green Myers, my kick ass Ink Sister in #PitchWars. Alison sings her praises and I do pretty much whatever Alison tells me to do;)

Traver nails the Male Protagonist Point of View (POV) in Duplicity—and I don’t admit that often. I scrutinize dialogue, body language, and inner monologue when a female/male writes the opposite genders POV. Most times when an author tries a different gender he or she uses stereotypical characterizations that make me cringe, but when the author gets it right? Well, that’s time for a Happy Dance.  

 I heard murmurings of a hacker/cyber purgatory prior to Duplicity. I was intrigued by this mythical place—was it a black hole that sucked you in and never spit you out, was it an alter dimension where hackers walked among us yet could no longer interact with the real world? 

When I read Duplicity I thought, yep, that’s what it is. That's exactly what it is.

Natalie slowly changes the main character Brandon. Actually she strips away layers of his appearance then his persona one by one. Brandon doesn’t know what’s happening or why, and he can’t control any of the changes. When he starts to physically fit the mold of a grounded, well-respecting teenager, she rips him out of his hacker/kind of jerk life and throws him into Cyber purgatory. Brandon must hack his way out of this cyber purgatory or the Good Brandon will take over Brandon’s life banishing Brandon to this in-between cyber dimension forever. 

Often we don't recognize a good thing until it smacks us in the face. In this case, its our reflection in the mirror.

Great read—I highly recommend it!

Write on,
Kim


Thursday, October 22, 2015

WRITE HABIT: What's Your Tense BY KIM BRIGGS

YOUR PAST, YOUR PRESENT, YOUR FUTURE

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**For the sake of brevity, I’m not going to give a Grammar lesson on all the sub-categories of tenses, but I will discuss each tense and provide a few examples of when it’s used well, as well as, useful tips to take your writing to the next level.


PAST TENSE
Most books, both fiction and nonfiction, tend to be written in the PAST TENSE. It began thousands of year ago with when hunters returned home with their kill slung over their shoulders. Following the feast, villagers sat around the bonfire and listened to stories about the hunt, and so began our oral tradition of retelling a past event.

Eventually, inspiration struck, and someone decided to record these stories. First through pictures, then through words.

If you pick up a book, whether it’s from the bookshelf at home, at the library, at the story, from your neighbor’s coffee table, it’s probably written in the PAST TENSE. It’s a writer’s GO TO POV.

Rainbow Rowell weaves past tense verbs into a believable and top favorite young adult novel.
“Do you have more stuff downstairs?” he asked. “We just finished. I think we’re going to get a burger now; do you want to get a burger? Have you been to Pear’s yet? Burgers the size of your fist.” He picked up her arm. She swallowed. “Make a fist,” he said. 
—excerpt from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

I too spun words into a story in my first version of Starr Fall, my Young Adult Thriller, but when I finished, I knew it was lacking something. It didn’t have the gusto and immediacy it needed, so I wrote one chapter in present tense, then another, then another, and decided to change the entire novel. Starr Fall was meant for PRESENT TENSE just as Fangirl was meant for PAST TENSE.


WRITER TIP: Experiment with different points of view with your story and see what works. What you find might surprise you. 


PRESENT TENSE
I love PRESENT TENSE. I love the urgency. I love how I jump into the story and become the character. I love that my heart pumps and I don’t know what’s going to happen when I open that locked door. 


Laura Halse Anderson in Speak, Veronica Roth in Divergent, Suzanne Collins in Hunger Games, all use PRESENT TENSE. It’s no coincidence that they are three of my favorite authors or that their books have been made into movies.

Laura Halse Anderson handles PRESENT TENSE with such skill that few can rival her. She uses 1st person PRESENT TENSE in Speak, but she often shifts the attention away from the main character and onto and/or into her surroundings.

The cheerleaders cartwheel into the gym and bellow. The crowd stomps the bleachers and roars back. I put my head in my hands and scream to let out the animal noise and some of that night. No one hears. They are all quite spirited.
excerpt from Speak by Laura Halse Anderson

Suzanne Collins places most of the focus on her main character, Katniss, but balances that focus with time on other characters and happenings in the Hunger Games.

I bite my lip, feeling inferior. While I’ve been ruminating on the availability of trees, Peeta has been struggling with how to maintain his identity. His purity of self. “Do you mean you won’t kill anyone?” I ask.
excerpt from Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins 

AVOID THE “I” TRAP: I run towards the soccer field. I feel sweat pool at the base of my back. I think I should stop running.
ACK! ACK! ACK! 


Because we as readers are so entrenched in the PAST TENSE, it’s difficult to make the shift to PRESENT TENSE the first few times we try it. Our writing feels choppy and less polished. It’s difficult to slide into backstory or a flashback without jarring the reader. As writers, we must create just the right set of events/scenes/circumstances in our passage for the literary device to work. 


WARNING: Be careful not to flood your reader with flashbacks and backstory—they’ll get confused, tired, annoyed, miffed, and put down your book. And that my friend will be the death of your book. (Sorry I slipped into FUTURE TENSE, but I felt it was warranted.)


If you find you’re using a lot of literary devices such as flashbacks and backstory, try writing a scene in PAST TENSE. More than likely, you’re probably not using the correct tense for the story you want to share.


I find that I revise a considerable amount more when I use the PRESENT TENSE vs. PAST TENSE. I try to vary my sentences, mix thinks up, reexamine paragraphs, and rewrite them often so I can move the story forward without too much BLECK. I’m not going to lie. It’s a load of work, but the end result is well worth it.


SIDE NOTE: I’ve used PRESENT TENSE for so many years now that I find myself switching other authors’ tense to the PRESENT TENSE and I often feel that these books would grab the readers’ attention more if the author choice a different tense.


FUTURE TENSE: 
I will mention FUTURE TENSE, but it is not used often in books. In fact, a quick Google search came up with some antiquated novel that’s not worth mentioning. If you should find a book that uses FUTURE TENSE, let me know. I will revise.

WRITER TIP: If you're not sure what tense you want to use, pull your favorite books off the shelf and skim through them. Does the author's tense speak to you? Is it something you think you'd like to try? If yes, GO FOR IT. You gotta use what works for your story. Play around. Try new things. 

Most importantly, get writing!


Write on,
Kim Briggs

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

AND THEN HE Book Launch Happy Hour with Author KIM BRIGGS

I've been shamelessly promoting my new adult dark thriller, AND THEN HE, and I appreciate all of YOU dealing with me, so I want to invite you to my AND THEN HE Book Launch Happy Hour. Anyone can attend--it's online. All you have to do is LIKE my KIM BRIGGS, AUTHOR Facebook page and then post a picture of your favorite cocktail--and it can be a mocktail. I don't discriminate.
If you jump through these easy hoops, you might just win an autographed copy of AND THEN HE and a sexy swag bag filled with all sorts of goodies. (I'm sure I've mentioned my love of chocolate...)




I promise I won't overload you with a zillion posts a day--the page just gives me another way to reach out to all of you and share the Writerlove!

To attend AND THEN HE Book Launch Happy Hour Press Me

Looking forward to seeing you!

Write on,
Kim

Monday, October 19, 2015

ALL THINGS WRITING: WHAT TO DO WITH INSPIRATION by Kim Briggs

WHAT TO DO WITH INSPIRATION by Kim Briggs: My new adult thriller, AND THEN HE, went up for sale on Amazon on Thursday.  PRESS ME To Buy AND THEN HE It's exciting to watch my sal...

WHAT TO DO WITH INSPIRATION by Kim Briggs

My new adult thriller, AND THEN HE, went up for sale on Amazon on Thursday. PRESS ME To Buy AND THEN HE

It's exciting to watch my sales rise as more people buy my book. It'll be even better when they rate AND THEN HE and leave a comment. (OR worse, but let's be optimistic, shall we?)

I'm also hosting AND THEN HE Book Launch Happy Hour, and by the way, YOU, yep YOU, are invited and so are all your friends. PRESS ME FOR PARTY INFO ,

I'm ready to move on to the next project--I'm always thinking about the next project and the project after that, and so on, and so forth.

My creative process resembles something like this:

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And 

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1. INSPIRATION
An idea, a dream, a vision, or an image pops into my head. I might be talking to a friend, I might be at one of my kids events, I might be sleeping (that happens often), or I might be working on one or two other projects, when suddenly my eyes glaze over and I shift into a transcendent world of inspiration--sounds very corny but it's true.  

2. RECORDING THE INSPIRATION
Then, if I'm really organized, I jot down the idea in a journal. If I'm feeling especially ambitious and/or optimistic, I get out my laptop and start typing. More often than not, I grab the closest papery type substance (receipts don't work that well but envelopes do) and scrawl down some trigger notes. I might even use the voice memo function on my IPHONE--but I am VERY visual, so I gotta SEE it to believe it. 

3. ALLOW THE INSPIRATION TO TAKE FORM
After I've set the idea down on paper, I run with it. Seriously, I work out and mull it over and let it take shape while I try to keep in shape. Exercise makes me focus--I'm very energetic and exercise allows me to release some of my pent up energy and target exactly what type of story I want to tell. 

4. DON'T PUSH THE INSPIRATION
Seriously, you can jot down ideas and start writing, but you can't knockout a 40,000 to 70,000 word book with a few barely formed thoughts. Sometimes, it takes YEARS, yes years, before your initial inspiration takes shape. 

Ex. I have a post-apocalyptic story I've been adding to for well over a decade--I'm just waiting for the right form to take shape. I've tried to push and whittle something out of my notes, but it's just not ready yet.

On the other hand, I've had a story I've been dying to tell, but I couldn't figure out a unique way to share the story--some way that would make it stand out from the crowd. This past spring, during someone else's inspirational speech, lightning struck. My eyes glazed over--I barely remember the rest of the talk because I began churning inspiration round and round. I took notes and outlined and began to form a loose frame of a story. Then I put it back in the drawer. 

My post AND THEN HE plans included subbing a nonfiction picture book prepped and knocking out two young adult projects, but wouldn't you know it, during the craziness of the past two weeks, I found the form to the other story and the voice of the main character.

Now, I'm left with a dilemma--three solid young adult projects and only one me, but that's the best type of dilemma.

I'd love to hear what YOU do with your inspiration?

Write on,
Kim 





Thursday, October 15, 2015

AND THEN HE by Kim Briggs is LIVE!!!!!!

GUESS WHAT?!?! AND THEN HE, my New Adult Dark Thriller is live. Live BABY! You have the choice to purchase the ebook or the paperback version.


Oh please, please, please my dedicated readers and friends, please rate AND THEN HE and leave a comment. It means so much to me!

Write on,

Kim

AND THEN HE by KIM BRIGGS Cover Reveal

My New Adult Thriller, AND THEN HE cover reveal…





Excited? Turned on? Interest peaked? Good. The Book should go live soon. Just waiting for Final Go Ahead from Amazon.
Get Ready.
Write on,
Kim Briggs

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

ALL THINGS YA and NA NAME CHANGE

Times are a changing.

Big things are happening in my writing life. My New Adult Thriller, And Then He, debuts Thursday on Amazon. Don’t worry—you’ll hear ALL about it. I will be shamelessly plugging myself on every social media outlet I’m a part of. 

Don’t miss the cover reveal tomorrow. It’s sure to warm you up on a brisk fall day. Hell, you might even overheat.

But there’s also more to my writing career then New Adult and Young Adult fiction writing. My writing and reading interests run the gamut of categories and genres—that’s why I’ve decided to change the name of my blog to ALL THINGS WRITING.

I’m excited about the change. REALLY excited.

ALL THINGS WRITING will allow me to interview and cheerlead for all my writing and illustrator buddies, and I’ve got A LOT of them. It’ll also gives me the opportunity to talk about different issues that don’t fit the old blog.

So, get ready because big things are coming your way!

Write on,


Kim Briggs