Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Music that inspires

I'm not the type of person who can listen to music while writing. In fact, I can't even have the T.V. on, or sit in the same room as people who are talking. I get distracted really easily.

I wish I could though. Because there is some amazing music out there, and it's so good for inspiring/setting the right mood!

I.Love.Fairy Tales.

So I often find songs that sound very fairy tale-like to me. Or adventure-like. Or anything that sounds like a 'book' I would read, lol. In fact, I would die happy if there were music genres like "Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-fi". O.M.G. I would die from happiness.

Could you imagine a soundtrack like that? If the lyrics of a song told stories like the ones you most love to read. Beauty and the Beast for example.

You'll never know when things will change
Father got lost in the forest, now he's in chains
It's ok, the decision I've made
My life for his, I'll make you a trade

Or something like that... Could you imagine an entire song that told that story? It would rock my world.

Anyways, every now and then I find songs that have that feel to me, so I thought I'd share them :D

Rabbit Heart -Florence and the Machine
Viva la Vida -Cold Play
The soldier and the Queen -Suzanne Vega

I love these songs. They tell a story (I know a ton of songs tell a story, but these feel like stories that could be books. I dont know what I'm saying...They're just different somehow?). In Rabbit Heart, and Viva la Vida, it's the protagonist singing to you. That's how I see it. :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The importance of a Prologue.

That's right, I said (wrote) it! The IMPORTANCE of a PROLOGUE.

Yep. That ugly thing that can sometime be found sticking to the front of your MS. Yes, that.

Now, I know that the poor, unfortunate Prologue has been called some ugly names before. Unnecessary, pointless, distracting, a waste of time. And while it sometimes can live up to those names, it's important to keep things in perspective. While a prologue is the wrong way to go most of the time, there certainly are times when a prologue is not only useful, but completely necessary.

"WHAT?" you say.

"You're absolutely out of your mind!"

Well, yes, that's true too... But hear me out!

It's all about beginnings (well duh, that's why it's called a prologue). But really, it is! Look at it this way... How many published authors have had to completely rewrite their beginnings? As in, a totally new, nothing like the original, good wholesome rewrite. A lot, right?

It's a way to get started. If you're anything like me (ok, so maybe you're not. For your sake, lets hope not) then you have a hard time getting started. It's even worse when there are all of these rules and tips you are trying to adhere to when writing. Start with action! No prologues! No info dumping! Etc!!!!

Sometimes you get so wrapped up in trying to be perfect the first time, you fail to remember that most people don't get it perfect the first time. So go ahead. Write a prologue. Set up the story, not for whoever will be reading it once it's published, but for yourself. Let yourself break the rules, because hey, you shouldn't be too attached to your original beginning anyways, right?

Letting myself type out those useless, ugly words was a great help. It let me get started. It gave me somewhere to build my foundation from. It let me get to know the world I was creating, and the characters in it. I know it's not an awesome way to the begin my story, but at least it lets me begin. And several thousand words later, I'm working on a better, stronger beginning, which will cut out the prologue all together.

But I'm still glad I wrote it.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2011 resolution + Daily writing goal = Book

This year I will write 250 words a day (or 1,750 words a week) without fail. In fact, I hope to increase this number to 500/day. This year I will finish the first draft of a book. This year my crit partners will expect an email with new material from me every single day. Oh, and I guess maybe I'll go on a diet or something too. :P

Not only is this goal important to helping me build a good habit of writing something, anything (hey, 250 is nothing) every day, but I also get to add this nifty banner to my blog (look on the right sidebar! ^-^), courtesy of

You know you want a banner too! I'm going to try to post a tiny snippet from what I write every day in the "Show and Tell" on the side bar, so check back every day to keep me in check. XD

If I can figure it out, I might add a chat/comment thing on the sidebar for you guys to post your own 'daily snippets' from what you've written that day (but you only get to post if you met your goal for that day!). This sounds like fun, I'm curious to see what you guys are writing! :D

EDIT: Ok, so I couldn't figure out how to add a chat thingy (honestly, I don't even know how to reply to comments on this blog... I'm used to LiveJournal). So, instead, maybe I'll just make my daily snippet and actual post, and you guys can share your snippets in the comments? Tell me what you think. :)
Happy writing! :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Inspiration Bug

It's biting.

Lately it seems I'm seeing more and more people posting about how they were just hit with inspiration for a new and exciting project. Several times even! This is the position I'm finding myself in now.

I've always had a few project idea sitting on the back burner, waiting for their turn to be written, but they've always done just that. Waited. There was an order in which I knew what I wanted to write. But now...?

I've been bitten. At least 3 times. I'll be working on my WIP by day, and dreaming about another story by night (am I cheating on my WIP? Lol).  I keep a journal by my bed, because I'm often struck with (what I like to think is) a brilliant idea to improve upon a plot. This is often not for the my WIP, but for my (mistress?) other ideas.

So while I'm writing THE VACANT THRONE, I've managed to almost completely outline SAVIUM (a little mermaid retelling), and have also fallen in love with another idea, which is untitled as of yet (it involves hourglasses, accidental kidnappings, agelessness, and of course, magic). None of these feel like the 'back burner' type. They are all screaming to be written.

What a dilemma.

What I've decided to do is this: Write them all. At once.

I plan on writing whichever one I feel interested in every time I sit down at the computer. Eventually (I'm hoping) one will stick more than the others, and will be the only one I dedicate myself to finishing. This approach should work fine, being that I'm not too far into TVT.

In other news, I have something like 21 tweets until I'll have reached my 1,000th tweet, and so I've challenged myself to write 10,000 words (in one story) before I reach my 1,000th tweet. 21 tweets is not very many, so it's good incentive. :)

And if you'll notice, on the side bar I've added "Show and Tell" where I'll be posting random quotes from whatever I'm working on at the moment. I also added a "book shelf" of the books which I currently own and are in my TBR pile, if you were wondering about my tastes, or were looking for something new to read. <3

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Race in YA: Why it's ok if all of your characters are one color

All over the blogs of writers, agents, and editors alike, you can find posts about how books lack diversity. How they mostly consist of Caucasians. How they wish every cover didn't have a white girl on it. Many cry out for more diversity.
I'd like to take a look at why diversity (while nice!) isn't a must. In fact, it sometimes may not make any sense!

It could be because of where we live that this happens. I mean come one, the U.S. is referred to as the melting pot. Racial diversity is something common- in some parts of the world.

If you were publishing a book in Japan, and everyone in the book was Japanese, would anybody really mention "Why are there no Hispanics in this book?". Probably not. Keep in mind, while many countries have noticeable racial diversity, such countries are hardly the majority.

The fact that the U.S. is so diverse has led its citizens to expect diversity in all forms of media.

But what if you're writing a fiction? A fiction that takes place in a world that doesn't exist in real life? What if that world was like Japan? So everyone in this world has tan skin, that doesn't mean the author lacks diversity, does it? Does every world we create have to be just like America? A big melting pot? Why can't it be in the beginning stages, where they haven't been able to travel and explore the whole world, and thus have a population that isn't that diverse.

If my world takes place where they travel with covered wagons, and have to take dangerous sea voyages to get to the next continent over (which is hardly the entire world) what are the realistic chances that my characters will ever meet someone who looks so different from them selves? Pretty slim I'd say.

Not that I discourage having diversity in your book (or other form of media). And I'm not saying you should make everyone white/black/olive/etc. skinned. I guess I'm just saying that in some worlds injecting diversity for the sake of diversity can be unnecessary. Sometimes the world we live in isn't diverse at all (A German or a Mexican would stand out like a soar thumb in Japan ).

If it's really that important, try not mentioning the color of your characters' skin. Let the reader's own personal preference kick in. ;)

(mirror posted on my LJ)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The results are in! :)

MOCKINGJAY is out!!!! But you knew that. :)

I have to say... THE HUNGER GAMES is a book which would have never caught my attention on its own. Before reading it, I had read the inside flap, and it just didn't seem that appealing to me. BUT, eventually I picked it up and read it. Why? Because SO many people I knew were recommending it.

Thank you, to everyone who ever exclaimed to me "You haven't read it yet!? FTW go to the book store NOW!". It's nice, when you discover you love a book you may have otherwise never picked up. Trust me, I'm compiling a list of all your favorite books, and I plan on making a Christmas wish list with them. ;D

So, I guess that brings us to what you've all been waiting for.... The Winners!

The winners of a copy of MOCKINGJAY are....
C.A. Marshall
Cass (Words on Paper)

And the winner of the entire HUNGER GAMES series is...
Roof Beam Reader

*throws confetti* The odds were in your favor! (Yes, that was a HUNGER GAMES reference)

Congratulations to all three of you!!! I can't wait to mail you your books! There's just one tiny little detail... I need your addresses (No, I will not stalk you. Probably ;D). Please email me at with the address you would like me to send your prize to. The sooner you get that email to me, the sooner I'll be able to ship them!

 Happy Hunger Games!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

We love you, Suzanne Collins

Six more days, guys. Six more days until our minds are blown.  Yes, you know what I'm talking about. Six more days until MOCKINGJAY is released! I have been waiting for the release of this book since... Well since maybe 2 months ago, when I finished reading "Catching Fire". BUT it was a REALLY long 2 months, ok? And many have been waiting longer...

So, in celebration of the upcoming release, I thought I'd give away some books...

To one person, I will be giving away the entire Hunger Games trilogy (Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay) in hardcover, and to two other people, I will be giving each a copy of Mockingjay. In the event that the winner of the set already owns them, they may choose 3 alternate books, the same applies for the winners of Mockingjay. (these books must still be in print)

Here's how it will work:
-Contest is open from now until 9:30 a.m. August 24th. Prizes will be shipped later that day.
-Contest is only open to the U.S., sorry. :( (BUT, for those out of country, if you know anyone in the U.S. who would be willing to ship it to you, I would be happy to mail it to them to forward to you!)
-The winners will be chosen via
-You must leave a comment telling me what your favorite book is. If you can't choose, feel free to list several. :)

For extra entries:
+3 for blogging about this contest
+2 for a link in your blog's sidebar
+2 for following me on twitter
+1 for tweeting about this contest, be sure to include @SammiKWalker in the tweet so I can keep track of them (can be tweeted more than once, for a total of up to +3 extra entries)

Please tally your extra points in your comment, and be sure to leave links to your blog/twitter. :)

Winners will be announced on the 24th! ^____________^