What an AMAZING contest this was, with so many brilliant entries!! I really enjoyed seeing how so many of you interpret Levana, both her glamour and what could lie underneath.
(Hint: Some of you came very close to the truth!)
It is my honor to announce our Grand Prize Winner . . .
Artist: Genevieve LeFebvre
Why I Love It: There were many wonderful interpretations of Levana using her mystical mirror—both whole and shattered—but Genevieve’s won my heart for how it conveys both Levana’s striking glamour and also something dark and sinister lurking underneath. I think it was a brilliant choice to illustrate Levana’s “reality” in the mirror using only black and white, with the occasional hint of bloody red, but then juxtaposing that reflection with the airbrushed perfection of model’s faces clipped from magazines. To me, this illustrates both the illusion of beauty Levana tries to show the world, while also suggesting that her glamour is impermanent and variable, like a mask that can be changed out for a new one.
Also, just now in looking at the picture again in order to write my thoughts about it, I noticed that Genevieve left a secret message in the illustration! (How clever, Genevieve!!)
I won’t say what it is. Do YOU see it?
I am so happy that Genevieve and her mom will be flying in from Minnesota to join me for the Fairest Launch Party on January 27. (On a school night! Can we give her mom a big round of applause for that??)
I can’t wait to meet them and give Genevieve her VIP Prize Pack, which consists of . . . I have absolutely no idea, lol. But I’m sure my publisher has something special in mind.
Thank you so much to everyone who entered the contest and wow’d me with your brilliant interpretations of Queen Levana. My publisher will be announcing our five first place winners later this week.
The release of Fairest: Levana’s Story is only TWO WEEKS AWAY. I’m so unprepared, ha! But I’m excited to show you all this glimpse into Levana’s past and prime your expectations for the series conclusion, Winter, coming this November. Which I’m still revising. *cough*
But enough on that! Here is some updated information on the Fairest launch party and book tour!
The Fairest Launch Party in Tacoma, WA
Where: The Tacoma Public Library, Main Branch, in the Olympic Room
1102 Tacoma Ave S, Tacoma, Washington 98402
When: Tuesday, January 27, 6:00p.m.
Book signing tickets will be available at 4:00p.m. in the Handforth Gallery. Please note that the book signing tickets secure your spot in the signing line following the book talk, but do not guarantee a seat in the Olympic Room. Doors to the Olympic Room will open at 5:00p.m.
Come celebrate the launch of Fairest: Levana’s Story! Marissa will read an exclusive excerpt from WINTER, show off the winner of the Fairest art contest, and sign books! You’ll also have a chance to decorate your own crown, take your photo with Levana’s mirror, and even share your thoughts about The Lunar Chronicles with the rest of the world. Light refreshments will be provided.
Please Note: We are expecting a large crowd, so please plan accordingly. Seating will begin in the Olympic Room at 5:00p.m. and is on a space-available basis. Additional seating will also be available in the Handforth Gallery.
The Library will remain open until everyone gets their books signed.
(RSVPs are great because they help us plan the event, but it’s not necessary to RSVP, nor will RSVPing guarantee a seat or a place in the signing line.)
Books will be sold through King’s Books. All Lunar Chronicles titles will be available and Marissa is happy to sign multiple books per guest.
For a faster signing line, please pre-order your book(s) here: http://www.kingsbookstore.com/event/fairest
Can’t come to the party? You can still pre-order a signed and personalized copy to be shipped directly to you! Click the link above for details.
We hope to livestream the event so that fans all over the world can tune in to hear Marissa read from WINTER and answer questions! Follow http://www.thelunarchronicles.com or http://www.facebook.com/lunarchronicles to be kept up-to-date on livestreaming details.
The Fairest Book Tour
Nowhere near Tacoma, WA? Check out these other Fairest tour stops!
**IMPORTANT: Some events are ticketed. Please click on the bookstore links for more information.***
Salt Lake City, UT
Wednesday, January 28, 7:00pm
New York, NY
Thursday, January 29, 7:00pm
Friday, January 30, 7:00pm
Saturday, January 31, 7:00pm
The Woodlands, TX
Sunday, February 1, 3:00pm
Monday, February 2, 6:00pm
San Francisco, CA
Tuesday, February 3, 7:00pm
And one more time… if you can’t make it to an event, you can still order a signed book from King’s Bookstore to be shipped directly to you!
It’s almost here!!! Ohmygod! Okay, deep breaths, aaaaannnnd…. back to Winter revisions.
Yesterday I posted my complete reading list from last year. Of all 100 titles, here are the books and series that stand out the most in my memory as truly exceptional reads.
TOP 10 BOOKS / SERIES I READ IN 2014
In alphabetical order by author.
The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo
Books read in 2014: Ruin and Rising
Could there possibly have been a more satisfying end to one of my most beloved fantasy series of all time?? Leigh Bardugo NAILED this series conclusion. It is epic, resonant, heartwrenching, fulfilling, exciting… everything you could possibly want in a finale! Plus, you know, we got to see more Sturmhond. Any book with Sturmhond has my heart. I cannot wait to read what Leigh comes up with next!!
The Splendor Falls by Rosemary Clement-Moore
Rosemary Clement-Moore has become one of my top favorite authors, so I spent 2014 catching up on all of her backlist titles that I hadn’t yet read—and The Splendor Falls did not disappoint! This book has a wonderful southern gothic atmospheric quality, with plenty of haunts and spooks, and a little bit of romance to round it out.
Plus One by Elizabeth Fama
This was the first book that I read last year, and the second I finished it I had an inkling that it would end up on this list. Twelve whole months later and this one still clings to me—the world-building, the drama, the star-crossed romance . . . though I would have loved to follow the characters on a series-long adventure, this one makes for a wonderfully epic stand-alone.
Firebug, by Lish McBride
First of a two-book series, Firebug introduced us to one of my favorite heroines of the year and two of my favorite male leads (though in this example, two hot guys does not a love triangle make). Firebug may be packed full of Lish McBride’s signature wit and hilarity, but it’s never lacking in thrills and suspense. I’m super excited to get Part 2 in my greedy little hands!
Isla and the Happily Ever After, by Stephanie Perkins
The swooooooonnnnnss in Stephanie’s third contemporary romance absolutely equal (or in my opinion, surpass) those in Lola and Anna. Though I’ve loved each book in the collection, Isla was my favorite, with a quirky, adorable protagonist and a surprisingly realistic portrayal of young love.
The Under the Never Sky Series by Veronica Rossi
Books read in 2014: All three of them!
This is one of those series that I’d been hearing buzz about for three years (Veronica Rossi and I shared a release date back in 2012!), but for whatever reason I never got around to picking it up. Well, when I finally cracked open Under the Never Sky, it was all over—I marathoned the entire trilogy in under a week. Great romance, great adventure, great world-building, and I think very fitting for Lunar Chronicles fans.
The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski
Books read in 2014: The Winner’s Curse and The Winner’s Crime
I just think about these books and I start to hyperventilate all over again! This is easily the series I recommended the most this year—I have forced it into the hands of every fantasy / romance / adventure / YA fan I know. Seriously, just go read them. Well, read the first one, and then wait breathlessly with the rest of us for the rest of the series to come out! (Lucky me, I got an advance copy of Book 2. Yay job perks!)
Vicious by Victoria Schwab
Though I at first thought this was a stand-alone title (and it certainly works as one), I was so happy to hear that Victoria Schwab is working on a follow-up. The characters are phenomenal and the entire concept revolving around superheroes, villainy, and right v. wrong was seamless. I’m fairly certain that Victoria is an evil genius.
The Daughter of Smoke and Bone Series by Laini Taylor
Books read in 2014: Days of Blood and Starlight and Dreams of Gods and Monsters
One of the smartest decisions I’ve made in the last couple of years was waiting for both of these books to come out before reading them, because this is definitely a series that you’ll want to lose yourself in and not come out of until you’re finished. Laini Taylor has such a powerful imagination and these books are full of stunning imagery and emotions that tear at you—in the best possible way!
Storm Siren by Mary Weber
The first book in a new trilogy, Storm Siren pulls together some of my most beloved fantasy tropes (a female protagonist unearthing her own magical power; an oppressive society on the brink of revolution, and a breathless romance that has every possible odd stacked against it). But Mary Weber manages to put her own unique spin on this classic genre, with beautiful imagery, feisty dialogue, and ohmygod the worst cliffhanger ending in the whole entire world. (Seriously, you guys thought Cinder was bad?!) I am so looking forward to the next installment!
TOP 10 BOOKS I WANT TO READ IN 2015
A few of the above titles have follow-ups coming out in 2015 that I will be eagerly snatching up, but for this list I’m focusing on books that are already out. Some are 2014 releases that I was sad I couldn’t get to, and others have been on my TBR list for ages. Some are YA classics, and some are recent popular titles for which I’m curious what all the buzz is about!
In no particular order, the Top 10 books I want to prioritize in 2015 are:
1. The Curse Workers Series by Holly Black
2. Alanna by Tamora Pierce
3. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
4. The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima
5. Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
6. City of a Thousand Dolls by Miriam Forster
7. Tiger’s Curse by Colleen Houck
8. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman
9. The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
10. Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers
My goal for 2014 had been to read 100 books and I was going strong all year long. I finished Book #98 on Saturday, Dec. 20, so I was very confident. 100 books was totally in the bag!
And then I got caught up in holiday planning and didn’t read anything for a few days, and then…
And then I really wasn’t reading for a few days!! (Unless you count squishable baby books that max out at 15 words…)
So with a hint of desperation, I picked up two graphic novels on New Year’s Eve and, in between feedings and diaper changes, managed to finish the last page of my last book at precisely midnight. No, really. I shut the book at the same moment that fireworks exploded down the block. It was epic.
Then I changed some more diapers.
Here is the list of all 100 books I read in 2014, along with some statistics. My Top 10 Books / Series will be posted tomorrow, along with the Top 10 Books / Series I plan to read in 2015.
Total books read: 100 (woot!)
Children’s / Middle Grade: 6
General Fiction / Literary: 6
Graphic Novels: 10
Non-Fiction: 13 (3 parenting, 3 writing guides, 2 for research, 5 for fun)
Young Adult: 55*
*Young Adult can be further divided into:
Short story collections: 3
Futuristic / dystopian: 8
Paranormal / urban fantasy: 15
THE COMPLETE LIST
1. Plus One, by Elizabeth Fama
2. The Connected Child, by Karyn Purvis, David Cross, and Wendy Lyons Sunshine
3. Fool, by Christopher Moore
4. Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell
5. Winterspell, by Claire Legrand
6. Star Cursed, by Jessica Spotswood
7. Eleanor & Park, by Rainbow Rowell
8. Splintered, by A.G. Howard
9. Revolutions for Fun and Profit, by Ryan Shattuck
10. Under the Never Sky, by Veronica Rossi
11. Through the Ever Night, by Veronica Rossi
12. Into the Still Blue, by Veronica Rossi
13. How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk, by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
14. My Life as an Experiment, by A.J. Jacobs
15. Passionate Persuasion, by Rosemary Clement-Moore
16. Also Known As, by Robin Benway
17. Writing and Illustrating the Graphic Novel, by Daniel Cooney
18. Baby’s in Black: Astrid Kirchherr, Stuart Sutcliffe, and The Beatles, by Arne Bellstorf (graphic novel)
19. Zahra’s Paradise, by Amir & Khalil (graphic novel)
20. Dorothy Must Die, by Danielle Paige
21. A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness
22. Firebug, by Lish McBride
23. The Splendor Falls, by Rosemary Clement-Moore
24. Devine Intervention, by Martha Brockenbrough
25. The Wicked and the Just, by J. Anderson Coats
26. Symbols of Love, by Denny Lee and Josh Stoneman
27. Bubbly on Your Budget, by Marjorie Hillis
28. Choker, by Elizabeth Woods
29. The Raft, by S.A. Bodeen
30. Serenity: The Shepherd’s Tale, by Joss Whedon (graphic novel)
31. The Winner’s Curse, by Marie Rutkoski
32. Vicious, by Victoria Schwab
33. Looking Glass Wars, by Frank Beddor
34. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, by Leslye Walton
35. Of Neptune, by Anna Banks
36. Hatter, by Daniel Coleman (first publication; to be re-released Fall 2014)
37. Ashen Winter, by Mike Mullin
38. Shards & Ashes, edited by Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong
39. Dark and Stormy Knights, edited by P.N. Elrod
40. I Heart You, You Haunt Me, by Lisa Schroeder
41. Bad Boys of the Black Hills, and Some Wild Women, Too, by Barbara Fifer
42. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L’Engle, adapted by Hope Larson (graphic novel)
43. Haunted Deadwood: A True Wild West Ghost Town, by Mark Shadley and Josh Wennes
44. The Taste of Lightning, by Tamara Felsinger (beta-read)
45. Storm Siren, by Mary Weber
46. Enthralled, edited by Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong
47. Boxers, by Gene Luen Yang (graphic novel)
48. Saints, by Gene Luen Yang (graphic novel)
49. Threats of Sky and Sea, by Jennifer Ellision
50. Ruin and Rising, by Leigh Bardugo
51. The Serpent of Venice, by Christopher Moore
52. I am Malala, by Malala Yousafzai
53. The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak
54. In Real Life, by Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang (graphic novel)
55. Days of Blood and Starlight, by Laini Taylor
56. Dreams of Gods and Monsters, by Laini Taylor
57. The Giver, by Lois Lowry
58. Jellicoe Road, by Melina Marchetta
59. Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth Wein
60. The Avery Shaw Experiment, by Kelly Oram
61. The Thief, by Megan Whalen Turner
62. Isla and the Happily Ever After, by Stephanie Perkins
63. Sister’s Fate, by Jessica Spotswood
64. The Murder Complex, by Lindsay Cummings
65. Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn
66. Elusion, by Claudia Gabel and Cheryl Klam
67. The Truth About Alice, by Jennifer Mathieu
68. Unforgotten, by Jessica Brody
69. The Caress of the Wind, by Tamara Felsinger (beta-read)
70. The Kitchen Counter Cooking School, by Kathleen Flinn
71. Lailah, by Nikki Kelly
72. Altered, by Gennifer Albin
73. Writing for Comics, by Alan Moore
74. Panel One: Comic Book Scripts by Top Writers, edited by Nat Gertler
75. The Winner’s Crime, by Marie Rutkoski
76. Priya in Heels, by Ayesha Patel
77. Charming, by Elliott James
78. Prom Nights from Hell, by Rosemary Clement-Moore
79. Hell Week, by Rosemary Clement-Moore
80. Highway to Hell, by Rosemary Clement-Moore
81. A Little Something Different, by Sandy Hall
82. Epic Fail, by Claire LaZebnik
83. Blue Lily, Lily Blue, by Maggie Stiefvater
84. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll
85. Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, by Lewis Carroll
86. Salvation, by Anne Osterlund
87. The Adopted Family, by Florence Rondell and Ruth Michaels
88. An Unexpected Kiss, by Cindy Roland Anderson
89. Feels Like Love, by Jeanette Lewis
90. Full Court Devotion, by Cami Checketts
91. The Christmas Eve Kiss, by Taylor Hart
92. Risking it All for Love, by Kimberley Montpetit
93. Blue Christmas, by Lucy McConnell
94. Batwoman: Elegy, by Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams III (graphic novel)
95. My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories, edited by Stephanie Perkins
96. Dreamwood, by Heather Mackey
97. The Crown of Embers, by Rae Carson
98. The Bitter Kingdom, by Rae Carson
99. Amulet, by Kazu Kibuishi (graphic novel)
100. The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite, by Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba (graphic novel)
Forget Cyber Monday, we’re having our own cyber party all day today—officially dubbed Cyborg Monday—as we unlock exclusive new Lunar Chronicles content and start preparing ourselves for the upcoming release of Fairest on January 27!
Things to Do Right Now
1. Check out our newly redesigned Lunar Chronicles Web Site: http://thelunarchronicles.com/
2. Test out the brand new Glamour Yourself App. Make your own video or image into a Levana-style glamour, then share it with your friends! http://thelunarchronicles.com/glamour/
3. View the entries (so far) for the Fairest Fanart Contest, then enter your own Queen Levana-inspired design. The grand prize winner will be flown out to the Fairest Launch Party in Tacoma, WA, in January! http://thelunarchronicles.com/contest
(Open to US and Canada. Ends December 31.)
4. Enter the Cyborg Monday Sweepstakes on Instagram. You could win a copy of Fairest plus a Fairest poster and mirror!
Help Us Unlock More Exclusive Content
Want to read the first chapter of Fairest? Listen to a video of me reading an excerpt from the book? Download Lunar Chronicles wallpapers? See what cities I’ll be traveling to for the Fairest tour next January?
Then it’s up to you to help us unlock all this content!
How to unlock exclusive content:
– Tweet using the hashtags #Fairest, #CyborgMonday, and #GlamourYourself
– Post to Instagram, Tumblr, and Facebook using the #CyborgMonday hashtag
– Share your #GlamourYourself image on the social media of your choice
– Like The Lunar Chronicles on Facebook
– Like and Share this post on Facebook
– Follow @MacTeenBooks on Instagram
– Follow @FierceReads on Tumblr and Twitter
– Follow me (@marissa_meyer) on Twitter
All of those tweets, shares, follows, and reblogs are currently being monitored by Cress, and when we reach certain milestones, content will be unlocked! So get busy!
Join in the #CyborgMonday Twitter Chat
Bring your questions and excitement to the #CyborgMonday Twitter chat, happening tonight at 9:00EST/6:00PST.
Join the Cress Read-a-Thon
Read and share your thoughts on Cress between now and December 14! More details can be found here.
Calling all Lunartics: The first ever Lunar Chronicles Ship Weeks are starting soon!
WHAT ARE SHIP WEEKS?
From the TLC Ship Weeks Tumblr:
A Ship Week is a specified week where fans draw/write/etc and submit pieces for a particular pairing. Ship Weeks of course implies more than one week of such festivities.
The first annual The Lunar Chronicles Ship Weeks will take place from December 21, 2014 to January 24, 2015, the 5 weeks before the release of Fairest, and feature the following ships and the corresponding themes for Days 2, 4, and 6 of each week.
For each themed day (Monday/Wednesday/Friday), submit pieces based on the theme~ Other days of each week are open for any pieces related to that ship.
In other words—it’s a five-weeks-long celebration that allows the fans to create, share, gush, swoon, discuss, and fangirl/fanboy over our beloved TLC characters!
Dec 21 – Dec 27: Winter and Jacin
Daybreak Monday, Dec 22
Regency Wednesday, Dec 24
Wonderland Friday, Dec 26
Dec 28 – Jan 3: Cress and Thorne
Firsts Monday, Dec 29
Road Trip Wednesday, Dec 31
Unbroken Promises Friday, Jan 2
Jan 4 – Jan 10: FREE WEEK
Genderbend Monday, Jan 5
Plus Iko Wednesday, Jan 7
Crossover Friday, Jan 9
Jan 11 – Jan 17: Scarlet and Wolf
Shadows Monday, Jan 12
Cooking Wednesday, Jan 14
Wild West Friday, Jan 16
Jan 18 – Jan 24: Cinder and Kai
Dreams Monday, Jan 19
Masquerade Wednesday, Jan 21
Celestial Friday, Jan 23
HOW TO PARTICIPATE
Read all about it on the TLC Ship Weeks Tumblr, and use their submission form to submit your artwork! Then sit back and enjoy all the gorgeous TLC love to come out of it.
I’m not officially involved with TLC Ship Weeks other than being SUPER excited about it and helping to spread the word, so if you have additional questions, be sure to go check out the FAQ page on the Tumblr or ask the moderators!
I cannot WAIT to see what everyone comes up with!!! #BestFandomEVER
I cannot believe that I’ve never done a blog post about writer’s block. I mean, that’s writer-blogger 101, isn’t it? Everyone’s done a post on writer’s block!
But I couldn’t find one in my archives, and it’s a pretty timely topic during NaNoWriMo, so . . . all right then. Let’s do this!
First, a caveat:
There are lots of brilliant resources out there that get to the heart of real writer’s block. How it’s a psychological issue. Why it’s a problem that faces many creative-types. Why it often stems from emotional conflicts, such as perfectionism, depression, outside pressure, and on and on.
If writer’s block is something that plagues you often or has had its claws in you for an extended period of time, it might be related to a larger issue, and I definitely recommend doing more research into it and finding solutions that deal with the heart of the problem.
For me, personally—this is not something I’ve ever suffered from. Generally when I’m struggling, I know it’s temporary. Maybe I’m tired, or I’m distracted, or my WIP is giving me trouble, or I’m just not feeling the love that day. And I’ve found that, generally, when someone says they have “writer’s block,” it tends to be these shallower sort of problems they’re referring to.
Which is what I’m talking about in this post: Simple solutions and strategies for getting yourself writing again. Not the real writer’s block, which I will leave to the experts and those writers who have experience with it.
Thou Shalt Not Say “I Have Writer’s Block”
First things first. Banish the words from your vocabulary!
Real writer’s block, to me, is the inability to write. Period. And really, how many of us are ever incapable of writing? If I asked you to write a single sentence on your current WIP, could you do it? Yes? Well okay, then. No writer’s block here!
I’m not meaning to be flippant, but think about it. When you say “I have writer’s block” (Translation: “I’m not capable of writing!”) then you are giving yourself an easy excuse to not write. The result: You don’t write. Then you feel like a loser for not writing, which makes you even more convinced of your writer’s block, and so on. It’s a downward spiral.
And why would you give writer’s block that power over you?
Say: I’m tired. Say: I’m having trouble focusing today. Say: I don’t know what happens in this next chapter.
And then say: But I know that’s normal, and I have strategies for dealing with it.
My Favorite Strategies for Getting Un-Stuck
Strategy #1: Make Tiny Goals
For me, I find that getting started is the most difficult part of writing on a consistent basis. Every single day we are faced with distractions. Laundry, emails, television, etc. And if you never sit down and start writing, it’s really easy for an entire day to pass you by with no forward progress on the WIP.
And then another day goes by.
And then another.
When it seems impossible to sit down and get any writing done, I often motivate myself with itty bitty, teeny tiny goals.
Example: I am going to write a sentence.
That doesn’t sound so tough, does it?
And really, how long does it take to write a sentence? (Even if you factor in turning on your computer, opening your WIP, and scrolling to the bottom of the document, it’s still generally going to take less than a minute to accomplish this goal.)
Sentence—done! There. You’ve accomplished something. You’ve made progress on your WIP, and . . . I’m willing to bet that sentence is going to turn into a second sentence. And then another. And then maybe even another. Because getting started was the hardest part.
One sentence. You can do it.
Strategy #2: Word Sprints
I love word sprints. They are another great way to force yourself to sit down and get started without overthinking it. It isn’t about word counts. It’s about a set amount of time spent with your fingers on the keyboard, and you can do a word sprint in as little as five or ten minutes—perfect for when you just can’t seem to carve out any time in your busy life.
How it works is simple: You sit down and open up your WIP. You set a timer. (I like to do increments of 25 or 30 minutes, but really, this is up to you. Don’t make it too long, though, or it defeats the purpose.) Then you keep your fingers on your keyboard (or pen on paper) until the timer dings.
There is a racing-against-the-clock sensation that forces you to silence the inner editor and focus and write. You just might be surprised how much you can get done in short, focused writing bursts like this.
Strategy #3: Brainstorming on Paper
Now, the two above strategies work for me 90% of the time, because they give me the little push I need to get started.
Sometimes, though, getting started isn’t the problem. Sometimes I’m gung-ho and willing to write, but the book itself is being problematic. Maybe I’ve written myself into a corner. Or I’ve gone so far off my original outline that I have no idea what happens next. Or the characters have thrown a wrench into my master plan and now I’m floundering for what to do with them.
This is usually my queue to break out a pen and a notebook and start brainstorming. Studies have shown that we access a different part of our brain when we’re writing on paper versus on a computer, and I find that something almost always jogs loose once I switch it up.
What do I write? Well, that depends on what the problem is.
A lot of times, for me, my brainstorming will start with a rant. (Why is this book being so difficult?????) Then maybe I’ll start breaking down the problems, as I see them. (Jack was supposed to go to school so he and Jill could run against each other for school body president, but the stupid boy decided to skip school instead and is off gallivanting at the arcade—what a slacker! He’ll never win the vote this way!) Then, as my rant starts to run out of steam, I usually start throwing “What If” questions into the mix. (But what if Jack was able to win the vote anyway, even if he’s not there? What if his friend starts a rumor that he’s not at school because his grandma is dying, and he wins with a sympathy vote? Oh, and then Jill would be livid when she finds out the truth! And maybe Jack didn’t want to be president at all, and that’s why he skipped in the first place, and he’ll be so annoyed when he gets back to school and realizes he won!)
You get the point. I’ll keep going until I find a solution that I get excited about. (Note: sometimes that solution involves going back and changing things earlier in the draft, but hey, that’s what revisions are for.)
Strategy #4: Take a Break (to be used with caution)
And then, some days, you just need to take a break. Some days our brains are being pulled in a million different directions and writing just isn’t a priority. Some days we’ve hit a creative wall and our brains feel like mush. Some days we’re in the middle of reading a great book and we just won’t be able to concentrate on our own work until we finish reading it.
I believe it’s healthy to take breaks. Go for a walk. Take a nice relaxing bath, or a nap. Occasionally, you may need to take off a day and just read or watch TV or spend time with your loved ones. Seriously. It’s allowed.
The key word, of course, is occasionally. This is not an excuse to procrastinate for weeks and weeks (because Marissa Meyer said it was okay!) –but take the time you need to recharge and re-motivate yourself.
Then get back to work, slacker!
(I hope you’re all having a great, inspiring National Novel Writing Month! Feel free to share your techniques for defeating “writer’s block” in the comments.)
One more year! ONE MORE YEAR!
We are officially 365 days away from the epic conclusion of the Lunar Chronicles hitting bookshelves and e-readers and finally being in your hands!
That’s right. #WinterISComing.
I know, I know, a whole year is still FOREVER away, but we’ve survived this long, and I think if we band together, we can make it. (As I embark on what is hopefully my final round of revisions, I will be doing my best to ensure that the book is worth the painfully long wait!)
In the meantime, we do have FAIREST to look forward to, which will be released in just under three months, on January 27. EEP. I’m so excited to show you another side of Queen Levana and also hint at the beginnings of some of our favorite Lunar Chronicles heroes and heroines . . . now in chibi-form. (Ha!)
My publisher is building up to some really awesome, exciting things to be released on December 1—hereafter known as #CyborgMonday.
Sneak teasers from Fairest AND Winter? Tour city announcements? Videos? A Q&A chat with yours truly? A super special awesome secret thing that I can’t talk about but that I’m really, really psyched for?
All of that and more! So mark your calendars and get ready to tweet, tumble, and share, because some of the goodies will require your help to unlock. (!!!)
In the meantime, we just announced a brand-new fanart contest! And get this: The Grand Prize Winner will be flown out to my hometown of Tacoma, WA, to join me for the FAIREST Launch Party on January 27! Ah, I love it so much. The launch parties are always a ton of fun, and you’ll of course be going home with signed books and other fun swag—including some goodies that may only be available at the launch party.
Your Mission: Create a portrait of Queen Levana by answering the question: What do you think Queen Levana looks like?
See the full details here: http://www.thelunarchronicles.net/contest/
(I’m sorry to my international readers, but because this contest is being hosted by my US publisher, it is open to US and Canada citizens only.)
And my final announcement of the day—CRESS has made it into the Semi-Finals round of the 2014 GoodReads Choice Awards! Vote for your favorite reads of the year here:
Thank you, readers and Lunartics. I’m looking forward to an action-packed 2015!