Tuesday, December 1, 2015


Hey guys!!

I am living proof that NaNo doesn't kill everybody. I survived, AND I FINISHED MY NOVEL. So that's nice.

Since my novel is based off of reality, I didn't hit the 50k mark because I could only extend my plot so much. But that's okay. I still feel like I won because I finished it.

Currently, I am in the midst of plotting and writing a new WIP, which is going swimmingly.

Congrats to ALL NaNo participants, whether you 'won' or not! Personally, I think the situation is a win-win even if you don't hit your mark. Because A) it gets you motivated to actually START writing, and B) You got some writing done. Even if it was only 50 words, you still added progress to what you already had.

Talk to you soon!



Monday, November 2, 2015

Some Tips for Surviving NaNoWriMo 2015

Hey peoples,

Well what did I tell ya? I should be a prophet. Yes, we have been inactive for a few weeks. Sorry bout that. Anywhozies, I'm here to try and help you survive NaNoWriMo.

For those of you who don't know what NaNoWriMo is, you can either click on the link, or listen to my 5 second explanation. In other words, click on the link.

NaNoWriMo is an acronym that stands for National Novel Writing Month. And the name is kind of self-explanatory. You basically kill yourself writing a novel in one month. That's right. 29 days. 50,000+ words. It's a fun form of torture.

Here are some tips in surviving this thing:

  • Budget your time. - Figure out when you can write each day, and then do it.
  • Take showers/brush your teeth/sleep regularly. - Seriously, personal hygiene is VITAL. If you feel gross or really tired, take a shower. It will clear your mind and clean your body. Two birds with one stone.
  • Have bribery items handy (i.e. ice cream, gold fish, carrots, or whatever your favorite snack is). - Make smaller goals within your daily routine. When you succeed, give yourself a treat.  
  • Don't Procrastinate. - If you waste all of your time browsing through facebook and pinterest, chances are, you're not going to get all of your writing done. And the last week of NaNo will be dreadful for you.
  • Exercise. - I am so serious when I say this. Writing is hard. It's hard on your brain. Your body may have all the energy in the world, but if your mind is shot... Well, you're in for some bad experiences. Go for a run. Even if it's just for 10 minutes, it will help. I promise. Yoga, brisk walking, and strength training also work nicely.
Hope this helps you! Enjoy NaNo!


Monday, September 14, 2015

The Art of Character Crafting - Post #6: "Creating a Convincing 'Mood'"

Disclosure: Today's post will be super short; due to the amount of homework and classes that I have going today.

Sometimes, I just have that one character. You know... He/she causes me pain whilst writing, because I cannot for the life of me create a mood for them. It's quite frustrating.

First of all, every character has a mood. I'm not talking about emotional moods... I'm talking about the character traits that everyone identifies them with.


Katniss Everdeen - Mysterious, survival-orientated, lost. Think about it. When you first read The Hunger Games, what did you think of its' main character? Definitely mysterious. Definitely survival-orientated. Definitely lost.

Ronald Weasley - Funny and often oblivious.

Samwise Gamgee - Extremely loyal.

Sometimes, these moods come easy to craft with the character you are creating. Other times, it's difficult.

'This dude is SUPPOSED to be dark and scary and mean but he's just sarcastic and creepy.'

I've pondered different techniques of this difficult task, but only one has ever worked for me. Go back and look at your sentences. Check your wording. If there's any place where you can change your wording, do it. If need be, go to your thesaurus. Look up synonyms of the word that you are going to change.

This post is veeerrryyyy short... But hey, why would I give you tips that I don't use? *cough*

Keep writing & happy homework (for those of you who are in my boat)!


Patricia Rane

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Blending Dialogue With Description - Post #3: "New Beginnings and Age Old Endings"

Once upon a time, a very long, long time ago; in a faraway land...
And they lived happily ever after... THE END.
Well, that's an interesting way to start this post. As you may have noticed, I began this post with possibly the most used lines in the history of writing. Fairytales always begin and end exactly like this. Disney movies do to, sometimes. Let's talk about fairytales, shall we?

Fairytales. Along with Bible stories, Fairytales are the classic stories that children hear first. They are tales of adventure, romance, self-despair, hatred, love, loyalty, kindness, courage, and many more traits. But what makes them so enchanting?
Why does Hollywood insist on making remake after remake? Why do desperate mothers turn to a good fairytale to soothe their jittery children? When certain words and phrases are said, why is it that a fairytale will instantly come to mind? Why have these simple tales of character building life lessons and fanciful longings been passed through centuries worth of generations? What makes them so enchanting?

First of all - because this is the internet after all, and we all are entitled to our own opinion ;) -, I am going to tell you all about my perspective on fairytales.

I adore fairytales. I absolutely adore them.
(this is me, thinking about fairytales, in case you were wondering)

Some of my fondest memories of my childhood learning stage was reading the original The Brother's Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson. My mom went through the material with me, but I found myself sneaking the book off the shelf and reading the ones that we skipped. The discussion questions that she presented me with were amazing for my imagination, because it caused me to search deeper into the story. It made me ask questions like, What does the author REALLY mean in presenting this character in this particular way? Why is this character so kind to the other characters who are mean?

The bottom line is that Fairytales are unforgettably wonderful. Everyone loves them. I'm not just referring to the green and gold bound tales, which gather dust upon every library shelf. Think about it. How many successful movies/tv shows - just in the past year - have been based off of pure fairytale folklore? Several come to my mind. And they've all done beautifully well both in the theater and in dvd/merch.


These are just a few among a much greater number. The point is, it doesn't matter which form they take, fairytales somehow work their way into our lives. 
So... Back to the question. Why are they so enchanting?
This is the best answer I could come up with: 
"Fairytales are stories that are so simple, yet so elegant... Everything about them makes you want to read them over and over again... They have the perfect amount of everything. Just enough dialogue, just enough description... Along with morals and great writing, it all blends together perfectly... Making the perfect story." 

And that's it. They have a balance that's not distracting. There's not too much dialogue and there's not too much description. However, fairytales are very short compared to the (at least) 50k word novel that you are writing... This could be a thing to do chapter by chapter.

Lastly, I encourage you to study fairytales. Fairytales are some of the oldest tales that there are. Read them, watch them, study them. Believe me, it will help improve your writing in one way or another.

Keep writing, lovelies!


Patricia Rane

Make Something - Post #4: "But Don't Make it Badly"

     So I was gone for a while. Yeah... well, as you already know, I was moving halfway across the United States, so you can't blame me. On the upside, I've been getting lots of awesome inspiration for a Make Something blogpost!
     There are many hard parts about writing. Inspiration is a huge part, along with characters, realisticness (the person who's supposed to be good at grammar just made up a new word!), and probably the biggest thing for me: editing. The problem with editing is that no one wants to do it. It's not hard, it's just annoying. Who has the time to go through a book and edit every single little mistake and weak spot when they could be writing more awesome stuff? 
     Okay, so maybe some of you like editing. That's great; you really don't need to read this, haha! But if you don't, here are some options that will make it easier. 

1. Edit as you go.
     If you haven't already figured this one out, then I am about to make your life a whole lot easier. It's so simple; edit as you go. When you finish a chapter, go back and edit it then and there. It'll take a load of stress off your back, believe me. Of course, this method only works if you're editing a work in progress. 

2. Get help from a friend.
     I have a few friends who actually took classes on editing so sometimes I'll just send them a few chapters of my book and they'll take care of it. They love doing it and it makes my life so much easier! I highly recommend asking someone to help.

3. Ice cream.
     Ice cream. The answer to everything. Just kidding... not really. What I mean by "ice cream" is just buckle down and do it. Get some ice cream and don't think about it. If you keep looking at all the material you have to edit, you'll get discouraged and never do it. Just take it one chapter at a time and give it all you have, because ultimately, the end product will be worth it.

Sorry for the short post, guys, but I'm still quite busy. Hopefully I'll be back soon with more posts! Love you all. <3

Keep writing!
~ Emilie

Friday, September 4, 2015

The Art of Character Crafting - #5: "Details are just so darn hard!"

Let's face it. Every writer runs into this roadblock at least once.

Birthdays, anniversaries, appearances, names, significant dates, dreams, pets, family members, unimportant friends, school stuff, extra-curricular activities, memories, favorite things... etc.

I'm not going to lie, it's HARD keeping track of this stuff. Which character's birthday is on June 22nd? Was that Pepper or Skylar? I'm just gonna say it was Skylar, and hope that I'm right. 

I don't know about you all... But I really don't have time to sit down and reread my novel every time I need one of those details. There's about a million other things that I would rather spend my time doing besides tirelessly searching for one detail... I don't know... like, WRITING, maybe? Yeah. Or baking. Or eating donuts. Or petting puppies. Or doing English homework. You know, the usual list. So, how do you keep track of all this tough stuff? Over the past few years, I've tried several different methods, which have all served the same purpose for me. They all work pretty well for organization, it just depends on what type of writer you are.

1. Character Notebook - This can be any type of notebook. Journal, Binder, College-Ruled, Composition Book... You name it. The only thing I wouldn't recommend using is loose-leaf paper. Loose-leaf paper is genius, but it's TERRIBLE for people with OCD; and it's not too good for organizing your character details either. Anyway, when you're in the midst of plotting your story/creating a character, pull out your character notebook. Just start writing. Full, name, place of birth, age, family members, significant other, favorite things, dreams... etc. With an organized notebook, you will easily be able to go back through to a specific character, whilst looking for those details. Aaand, if you have OCD, like me, I have another suggestion for you. Use a binder. Once you have so many characters completed, you can organize them in whatever order you like. Alphabetical order is FANTABULOUS for being perfectly organized. It's almost like having a CLASSIFIED character file. You know, just like the FBI. Or CIA. Or whatever. "Muahahaha, I've got all the dirty details on these characters. Well... I guess that's a good thing... You know... Cause I created them..." *slow clap*

2. Info File - Whenever I begin a new project... Even if it's just getting the idea down on paper, I always create a specific file for all things related to that particular novel. In this file, I have several different word documents organized in a wonderful OCD-friendly environment. Character charts (names, dates, that sort of thing...), chapter names (which are EXTREMELY great for plotting), plot twists, different vital events. If they aren't related to each other, they go in a separate document; but if they are for the use of one book, they go in the same file. KABLAM. Congratulations, you are now a very organized person.

3. Lists - This one... eesh, I wasn't sure if I should even post this one. I mean, I don't want the label 'list lady'. But, hey, they work. And they help. So, label me all you want. This may not work for everyone... Especially people who have the rare gift of NOT overthinking things. Me? Yeah, whenever my wheels get turning, it's hard to stop them. Anywho, at the beginning of each chapter that I write, I create a list. These lists go in my info file. The list will usually contain everything that I want to happen in the particular chapter. Even snappy dialogue interchanges... If I want it to happen in the chapter, it goes on the list. In doing it this way, I can easily refer back to my checklist and see if my writing is staying on the track that I want it on. Rabbit trails are fine, but I hate having to delete fifteen pages of work because I didn't think about how it would effect my plot. It's so frustrating thinking that you have 20k more words than what you actually have. Again, I've sat contemplating whether or not I should show you one of my lists... Yikes, this is scary. I feel like I'm exploiting all of my secrets. Oh well. We're all friends, amiright? Sooo... Inhales slowly, here you go (Note: some things have been removed for my intents and purposes, thus making it a VERY short checklist... but, hey, at least it'll give you some ideas.):

4. Pinterest Boards - Pinterest is my bae. Seriously, though. You can create a board on pinterest for the purpose of keeping track of your character... Quotes that remind you of them... Pictures of clothes they would wear... Pictures of THEM. Unless you want all your followers to see your character details, make sure to remember to make it a secret board. You can do so by clicking "create board", and selecting to keep a secret.

Alrighty, well that's all I have for you today! I hope that was helpful... Again, if you have any specific questions you want answered, please feel free to contact me using the form on our homepage!

Keep writing!


Patricia Rane

Friday, August 28, 2015



So, I promise that there's an explanation.

We left you. All alone. For the whole entire summer.

First of all, sorry. Secondly, life happens. Lastly, who would want to be inside - reading our blog on a gorgeous summer day, anyway?

This summer, my parents decided to take several different trips. Without our computers. Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Florida, Chicago... The list goes on. The vacations were simply splendid and I am not going to lie... It was nice taking a break from blogging/writing. Sometimes, your brain just needs a break.

Emilie's been busy all summer too. She moved about halfway through the summer. In other words, the first half was spent resting her brain and packing, and the second half was spent unpacking.

Anyway, we are alive and well and quite beautifully tanned (at least, hem, I am). Our plan is to begin posting the week that school starts for us. The schedule? Hmm. Well, we are going to be trying to post every other day. No promises though. The school that we are attending is quite demanding. Besides that, I have sports and she has theatre... We both have church activities, our own books to write, and lives to live. Sometimes blogging just won't work. Which is why we promise to try. But we do not promise to give you something every day.

The HUGE series kick-off that we had at the beginning of the summer is going to continue. We got positive feedback from y'all, and we feel that the topics that we picked are going to continue to be a great fit for our blog.

Thank you for your love and support. And hopefully we haven't lost all of our audience.

Keep writing!

Bye for now,

Patricia Rane ♥

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Art of Character Crafting - #4: "Names."

Well, I am back from Spring break, and back into the depths of despair (school). Anywhozies.

Today, I will be addressing a very complex and nail-bitin’ topic. Names. Every author hits this wall at least once in their attempts. What should I name my characters? I really want the name to be significant with the personality of the character! AHHHH!

Hear ye, hear ye! I am here to help you!!
The first thing that I do, whilst looking to name a character is write down a list of names that I like.
The second thing that I do, whilst looking to name a character is take my list of liked names to babynames.com
The third thing that I do, whilst looking to name a character is type the names one by one in the search box of babynames.com

The fourth thing that I do, whilst looking to name a character is look at the origin of the name, the meaning, and the gender the name was intended for.

The fifth thing that I do, whilst looking to name a character is well... choose the name.

If you don't like the meanings/originality of the name, the website has a vast array of unique names. You can search by origin, if your character has a specific nationality. Usually, I randomly click on something and BAM. I have a new character.

I realize that this post is extremely short and some of you may be rolling your eyes in boredom. But there are people (hem, like me) who have the toughest time choosing the name for their characters. And then when you get into the OCD people (hem, like me), they usually want the name to be significant with a bunch of stuff about the character, and yaddayaddayadda.

The bottom line is: Names are important. They are very important. Without them, you would be calling your characters Thing One and Thing Two and Thing Three and etc. No offense to Dr. Suess, though. He is brilliant.

Keep writing!

-Patricia Rane

Friday, March 20, 2015

Some News & Announcements

Good morning, my lovelies!

 I have some exciting announcements and some new information about our blog.

 Item numba one on our agenda is FWBM! Ravens and Writing Desks offered us to be their featured writing blog of the month! Emilie and I are so thankful for this opportunity, and I hope that you will check out our posts over there! Also, be sure to join their community, and sign up to get their posts!
A huge shout out and thank you to RaWD!! ♥

Item numba two is sort of an apology/explanation… You may or may not have noticed that this week, Emilie and I had a hard time posting regularly. It’s gotten a little bit hectic around both of our homes’. Emilie is currently starring in a play, which works her crazy hours… And my family is preparing for a Spring Break vacation to D.C. So… I hope you all understand that in the next few weeks, the posting may be a bit irregular.

And that bring me to item numba three: Spring break. Our spring break is rapidly approaching (yay), and I will be gone for the week. No Patricia posts that week. And depending on what Emilie’s family is doing that week, she may or may not be posting.


Item numba four… Actually, there is no ‘item numba four’. **laughs like a maniac**


Haha, keep writing!


~Patricia Rane

Monday, March 16, 2015

Rescuing The Fretholyne - Chapter 1

Chapter 1
“Oh, come on,” Abbie groaned, hitting the steering wheel. “We’re gonna be late for school, and you’ll be to blame,” she yelled at the car. She tucked a strand of her light brown hair behind her ear. Her gold flecked eyes flashed in anger.
“I’ll check the fluids,” Jake offered. Abbie took a deep breath and nodded.
“I’ll help him!” Skylar eagerly offered, unbuckling her seatbelt. Abbie rolled her eyes, but unlocked the SUV’ door.
“Just don’t stain your uniform,” Heather said, examining her manicure.
After five more minutes of sitting there, Abbie made up her mind. “That’s it,” she ordered. “We are not being late for school, just because some stupid, mortal car won’t start.” She opened the door to the driver seat. Fifteen year old Heather got out on the passenger side. The sound of opening doors echoed in the garage.
“Guys,” Heather said to Jake and Skylar. “Stop fiddling with that, you’re gonna get your clothes dirty.”
Abbie produced her amulet, which made Leiza cough uncomfortably. “Um, Abbie?” She asked. “You’re not planning on using that, are you?”
“You know dad will have a cow if—,” Heather was interrupted.
“Well we can’t be late for school, now, can we?” Abbie snapped. The stress of going to mortal school was enough, but having car troubles, and the thought of being late looming overhead…?
“But, Abbie,” twelve year old Carter protested. “This could get us expelled!”
She hesitated at this thought. But then the determined look was back. “Nobody will find out about this. Right?” she looked sharply around at them all. No one said anything. “Good.”
Everyone put one finger on the tiny glass item the sixteen year old held in her hand. Amulets were one thing that each Hero was expected to have. It would help get you out of tight situations if your certain power didn’t apply. It could save your life, in very extreme matters.  “Jackson Jewitt high school.”
Everyone opened their eyes, and they were standing on the front lawn of a large brick building. Heather took one look at Skylar and rolled her eyes. She started patting her little sister’s auburn hair back into place. The sun glinted off of Heather’s blonde hair, and nearly blinded Carter, but he just grinned. Heather was SO prim, and perfect. Long blonde hair, and curious blue eyes. It made him smile again, thinking about how motherly she was.
These seven kids were all going to experience their first day of mortal school. Their father and mother, Damien and Miridia Ferguson were hesitant to let their children leave the safety of their home, in the hills of Denver, Colorado. But when they had seen how persistent their children were in going to see what mortal schools were like, they finally gave in, entrusting them all into the care of Abigail, their oldest daughter. Their father made them all promise that they wouldn’t use their powers. At all. And, on their first day, Abbie had just broken that promise. They moved into a small house that was fifteen minutes away from the school, in New York City, New York. It was a disadvantage, the school being so far away, but it was the only one he could find without records of shadow heroes.

Abbie and Heather raced into the English classroom, where a tall, skinny, English professor had just begun the class. “Ladies,” he said, clearing his throat as they rushed to take their seats, “Tardiness is not a characteristic you will want to be characterized by in my class.” He adjusted his wire framed glasses.
“I’m sorry, Professor,” Abbie apologized. “We had car problems this morning,” she said truthfully.
“Please turn to page 13 in your English textbooks. You will also need to take out your copy of Shakespeare’s, ‘A Midsummer’s Night Dream’.”
The rest of the class was mainly talking about how Shakespeare was a “True Writer”, and how much their professor adored him.
At the end of the learning session, the two teenagers were starting to realize why mortals hated school so much.

Fifteen year old Jake, fourteen year old Leiza, and thirteen year old Skylar slid into their seats, just seconds before the bell rang. “Good morning, class,” the math professor said, eyeing them. She was tall, and thin. Wearing a light purple and gray dress suit, she looked quite intimidating. (YES, I like what you did with this sentence).  The class murmured a greeting, and the teacher turned her attention to the three kids. She smoothed her hair, which was pulled into a tight bun, straightened her glasses, and said, “I see we have some new students.”  (This whole paragraph was better!)
Jake looked around to make sure that she wasn’t talking about someone else.
“You three,” she said. “In the back.” Inwardly, Leiza groaned. Why couldn’t they have come in two minutes earlier? “Could you three please come up here?”
Jake slowly stood up, his younger sisters following his example. They made their way to the front, the teacher looming in front of them. “Welcome to Jackson Jewitt,” she said. “I’m Professor Jewitt.”
Skylar gulped. They had the headmistress and the owner of the school as a math teacher? Well… this would be interesting. Just so long that she doesn’t find out that we know her powerful position, Skylar thought.
“You’re the headmistress?” Leiza asked, running her fingers through her dark brown hair.  Skylar wanted to punch her. The teacher looked pleased.
“Yes,” she nodded. “Yes, I am.” She looked somewhat triumphant that they had noticed her position of authority. “And you are?”
“Leiza,” she answered.
“I’m Jake,” their brother said. “And the quiet one with the murderous look on her face is Skylar. Usually, we can’t get her to shut up.” Now Skylar wanted to punch Jake, too. Why couldn’t they just shut their mouths?
“I see,” the Professor said, pursing her lips. There was something about this professor that made Skylar uneasy. “Well, you may take your seats.”
“Open your math books to page four,” said Professor Jewitt. Then she narrowed her eyes, looking directly at Skylar. “We’ll see just how much you know.”
Twelve year old Carter, and eleven year old Kendra raced through the empty halls of the school. “Using her power amulet, indeed,” Carter huffed. “We’re gonna get in trouble if dad finds out!”
“Carter,” Kendra said, glaring at him, “We’re definitely going to be in trouble, if we can’t find our classroom,” she said as-a-matter-a-factly.
“OUR SISTER JUST VIOLATED THE ONLY RULE THAT WE HAD TO FOLLOW, ON OUR FIRST DAY!” He yelled, his voice echoing down the halls.
“Will you please shut up?” she asked. “You’re the one who is gonna get us in trouble, screaming it to the whole world.” She said grumpily.
He glared at her. “DO YOU KNOW HOW DANGEROUS IT IS TO USE OUR AMULETS—,” he was interrupted,
“Is there something wrong?” a female voice asked coldly. The two kids whirled around. A woman was standing in the doorway of a classroom right behind them.  
“Um, no, Professor,” Kendra squeaked. “We were just… Um… looking for our classroom.” She gently flipped her honey-colored hair over her shoulder.
“Please follow me.” The teacher said, motioning into the classroom behind her. The classroom just happened to be full of students.
Carter scanned the class, and then he spotted Jake, Leiza, and Skylar near the back.
“Leiza,” the professor said, her eyes still fixed on the two youngest.
Leiza looked up from her homework sheet. She looked surprised.“Yes, Professor Jewitt?”
“Are these your… relatives…?”
This time, Leiza looked over at Skylar. Skylar gave her ‘The look’.
“No, Professor.” Leiza lied. She had a feeling that Skylar sensed that this was dangerous.
Carter opened his mouth, but Kendra jabbed her elbow into his side. He shut his mouth, and remained silent.  Kendra knew that their older siblings had a good reason to lie, whatever it may be.  
The Professor looked surprised. “You’re… quite sure?” she asked.
“Of course we are,” Skylar sneered. “Don’t you think we would know who we’re related to?”
Jake gave her a warning look.
“Please, Professor,” Kendra began, “We’re late for our class. Could you please direct to the correct room?”
“What class is it that you want?” Professor Jewitt asked, the cold tone returning to her voice.
“General science, grade eight,” she answered.
“It’s door eight, over in the next hallway.”
Kendra murmured a thank you, and then dragged Carter from the room. They entered the classroom and looked around. It was empty. “Hmm,” Kendra mused. “Maybe she misspoke herself,” she said after checking the door number. “Well, this is the general science room,” she pointed to a sign on the wall. It read, “Jackson Jewitt loves General Science.”
“Maybe we’re early,” Carter offered.
“We can’t be early,” Kendra murmured, looking fixatedly at the blackboard. She glanced at her watch. “Classes for this time frame should be almost halfway through.”
Carter saw some movement out of the corner of his eye, near the window of the room. He started walking towards the window, and the half-bookshelves that sat under it. Suddenly, Kendra heard a scuffle out in the hall. She turned, just in time to see Skylar burst into the room. “Carter!” Skylar yelled. “It’s a trap!”  

This is chapter one from the first novel that really 'kickstarted' me writing. Actually, I had almost completed this book when it was deleted from my computer. It was quite discouraging. But thankfully, I had saved the first few chapters on my Google Drive, and I didn't have to completely start over.
It was during a Go Teen Writers word war that I got this idea. And it was the word war that really got it going.
I remember that I had just baked some cookies... And it was a really nice day outside. I can't really remember anything else about coming up with the idea, haha. I guess it just wandered into my head!
Keep writing!
-Patricia Rane♥

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Art of Character Crafting - Post #3: "Why Is My Interaction So Flat?"

Newsflash: If any of you have any specific questions that you would like us to answer in our series', please use the contact form on the homepage! Make sure you include your special question, along with which series you would like to see it appear in!

Sometimes, I have problems writing interaction between two characters. I can't exactly pinpoint why I have the trouble... It just happens.
Often times, it just seems flat. Like there isn't life to it. Like, people wouldn't actually do this...
It might be a cliché, and it might not. One common cliché for writing interaction happens with a romantic sense to it. You know... Handsome guy in cape... Drop-dead gorgeous girl... Sunset... Maybe a few kisses. You get the idea.
Aside from the cliché category, sometimes I just can't get it to flow properly. The wording sounds awkward, and yet, I can't seem to reword it at all.
Here are a few tips to get you out of the cliché/it-won't-flow-no-matter-what-I-do phase:
  1. If You're Writing A Romance Scene - Throw in some humor. Sarcasm. You know, a little icebreaker. I don't know about you all... But most of the successfully non-cliché romantic scenes that I read (and that amount is very small... So, what am I talking about.) there is some humor thrown in somewhere. It lightens up the awkward tension, and gives a unique twist to the situation.
  2. If You Can't Get It Flowing - Take a break. Delete the stuff that you are having problems with, and walk away. A few hours/days break might help work the knots out in your head.
  3. Look Up Synonyms To the Major Words - Words that have the same meaning and look totally different can really change a scene. Or you could go the other route, and cut out all the small words. That works too.
  4. One Last Resort - Email it to your friend and ask her how she would word the scene/paragraph/sentence. A friend's input can really help. Trust me, I know from experience.
As I said at the beginning of the post, if you have any specific questions about a topic which we are covering in one of our series', please do not hesitate to use the contact form!
Keep writing!
~Patricia Rane

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Saturday Updates!

Hey, everyone! This is Emilie, bringing you the Saturday updates. :) Just a few things I wanted to let you know about!
     New blog! And no, I don't mean we're getting an entirely new blog--AGAIN. I mean that we're trying to redesign the blog to make it look more appealing, haha! That black was really killing the mood.... Anyway, you might see a lot of changes coming, so stay tuned!
     New series! You probably noticed that we have this extra day where we don't post anything and it's just kind of awkward and crickets and stuff.... Well no longer!! I will be starting a new series next week about editing. Because let's face it; every single writer on the planet struggles at least a little bit with this. It's going to be fun and educational! Just like Dora the Explorer! (Wow, I'm sorry, guys, that was painful...)
     And just to make your weekend even better, here's a cute puppy dog.

You're welcome.
     Anyway, I hope you guys have a wonderful day! :)

Keep writing,
- Emilie

Friday, February 27, 2015

Guest Post - RaWD

We are so happy to have Wild Horse, from over at Ravens and Writing Desks with us today!

Wild Horse is a public high schooler in New Zealand. She likes to read, write and consume large amounts of coffee. She became serious about writing in her early teens, but she would like to go into Science when she leaves school. She's always got a story in her head and a pen in her pocket. Sometimes you have to yell her name to get her attention, because she likes to live inside her head with her characters. At 1am in the morning, with her finger covered in pen or eyes fuzzy from the computer screen, she understands that writing is her passion and without it, she would go crazy. You can find her on Pinterest, Goodreads, and at her blog.

Thank you for being with us, Wild Horse!

Thanks for having me!

  How old were you when you started writing?
I learnt to write at a young age, and I kept a diary on and off from about the age of 10, but I wasn't serious until I was 13 or so. It was a slow process, I didn't even know until I looked back. It sort of just happened. 
 What motivated you to start writing? 
I just did, I guess. I love books, and I wanted to bring that same joy to someone else by writing. It's always felt natural for me, I always have many stories in my head, and I go crazy if I don't note them down or develop them further. 

 Was there a figure that inspired you to begin writing? 
Not really, I bumbled my way around for the first year or so, then began to develop seriously as a writer. I didn't write because someone I looked up to wrote, but Go Teen Writers encouraged me hugely as I found my writing feet. 

 What sort of books were you reading when you decided to become a writer? 
Things like Pony Club Secrets by Stacy Gregg, Ranger's Apprentice by John Flanagan, Roman Mysteries by Caroline Lawrence when I was 12 or 13. Later on when I realised that writing was a serious part of my life, I was reading anything that I could get my hands on. You can find me on Goodreads to see what I'm reading currently. 

 Do you prefer writing with a paper and ink, or typing on the computer? 
I love handwriting, but my hand starts to cramp, then I can't read my own writing, or spell. So I type out of practicality. 

What genre are you currently working on? 
I just started a Contemporary set on a New Zealand farm.

Which genres have you worked on in the past? 
Fantasy and Contemporary is all I have ever written. I struggle with Si-Fi, Romance and Historic Fiction. I'm not sure why, but I've always written in the real world I see around me, or in one thats come completely from my imagination. 

 What is your FAVORITE genre? 
I love to write Fantasy and Contemporary equally, and I read pretty much every genre. I don't only read one because I think that there is great books in every genre. 

What would you say to someone who is just beginning their writing journey? 
Stick at it. The bad days and the good days. Listen to others, soak up everything you can. 

 Do you have any quotes that have really inspired you along your way? 
I have several, and while I can't remember the exact wording, or even who said them, but they go something like this: 

"If you don't have the time to read, then you don't have the skills to write." I love this because I eat books like I will never see another one, and I think that it really helped me develop my writing skills. 

"Sit down, pick up your pen, and write."
I get sidetracked often, and being reminded to just get on with it is always good. 

"Don't talk about it, write it." 
I don't really talk, I think. But I know I spend way to much time thinking rather than writing. 

"The first draft is piling the sand up, ready to make a sandcastle." 
My first drafts are always a mess. They change (I'm a pantser) and things that don't make any sense happen. But it's down on paper, and thats the most important thing. 

 Any last bits of advice?
Someone once said, "Being a writer means having homework everyday of your life" and I honestly think that it is the truth. And it's important to write every day to develop your skills, but I would never treat it like homework. I took a break after NaNoWriMo and my exams (they happen at the same time for me), and not writing allowed me to pick up and filter more ideas. However, it's important to remember that writing doesn't always mean your WIP, it could be a journal or a short story.  

Thank you so much for being with us, Wild Horse!
Thanks for having me! 
Please be sure to check all the information, which is listed in her author profile!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Blending Dialogue With Description - Post #2: "Making It Interesting"

It is too often a time when I find myself falling into the trap of unnecessary dialogue. And if it's not necessary... Well, it's probably boring. In other words, *yawn* your audience is butterfly hunting at this point. Yeah. Butterfly hunting. Where on earth do I get this stuff... Seriously?

Let me clear one thing up for you. When your audience is reading your book, you don't want them off hunting for butterflies.

"But-but-but, my description! It is not butterfly-hunt-distraction worthy! It is beyond perfect!"

First of all, no.

The first part in learning to use GOOD, USEFUL description, which will keep the interest of your reader, is learning to accept some criticism. If your friend says that you have too much description, then you do. She wouldn't lie to you, just to keep you happy. That's not what real friends do. And that just got really deep. We're not going there...

Here are some steps, to insure that your description is interesting to your readers.

  1. Answer all the five senses questions - I briefly covered these questions in a previous post. Basically, you describe what your character is feeling/seeing/smelling/hearing/tasting.
  2. Cut out all the extra words - If your description is too wordy, most people won't take the time to read it.
  3. Use vivid words - If you can create a beautiful picture in just a few sentences, chances are, you won't have any problem with description.
  4. Describe things as they are - Sometimes, I find myself exaggerating things... It's hard, I know from personal experience, to not get overly excited about something. Well, let me rephrase that. It's okay to get overly excited about something, but when you start using that energy in your writing, it can get kind of weird.

That's about all I got for you today...

You'll want to be on here tomorrow! We have something really special for  you all :) (It might just be a guest post from one of the girls over at RaWD... You never know... ;))

Keep writing!
Patricia Rane

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Art of Character Crafting - Post #3: "Character Journal"

Today, I am going to be talking about something that is a little bit different than the norm. I am going to challenge you to do something.

My challenge for you:

Write a journal, which is in the perspective of your character. Believe me, knowing how your character feels in certain situations can really help development, and your knowledge of your character.


Make use of your antagonist… Make life miserable for your main character. Make sure to describe the emotional side of things. This isn’t a story, this is your characters mind. Well that sounded kind of creepy. Sorry. “This is your character’s mind…” DUN DUN DUN.


Have fun!


Keep writing!


Patricia Rane

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Make Something - Post #3: "Ain't Nobody Got Time Fo Dat"

Have you ever done something because someone else was doing it?
     That is kind of a stupid question. Like 99.9% of the human race has done that. But I guess it's a question that makes you think. It's so easy to just go along with the crowd because either you don't want to stick out or you just don't know what the heck you're doing. And because I'm not aiming to get into your personal business today, I will be talking about the latter. ;)
     When you first start writing, it's kind of like building a house. You have a lot of materials but... what do you do when you don't have any blueprints? A lot of people just start building randomly. And  other people just borrow a blueprint from someone else. And guys, getting inspiration from other people is fine. (As long as it is not plagiarism, obviously.) But when you're just starting out your writing journey, it's easy to just kickstart yourself on someone else's writing style.
     Eight years ago, in the mists of time, I was just becoming an author. And during the time, I was super huge on the Little House on the Prairie books. Because those were really the only books I read, I based my writing style off of those books. Which is fine, I guess, but I let those books control how I wrote stuff and they hindered me from falling into my comfort zone. And it took me way too long to realize that I need to develop my own writing style.
     When it comes to actually finding your writing style, however, you need to step out of your writing norm. And this can be really hard, because after you've stepped out, finding your style itself can be an even bigger challenge. But guys, do you really want to write something that isn't your own? The reason you're doing this in the first place is to have fun. Writing is an outlet to be yourself. Express yourself. Tell your own story. So don't tell someone else's story. Ain't nobody got time fo dat. ;)
     I have a challenge for you all. Write something completely you. (Just let yourself tell the story and don't follow any rules that you've inadvertently made for yourself.) If you've already overcome this nasty hurtle in writing, then just pull out one of your books. (Haha!) Then send at least one chapter to us. We want to read your awesome stuff, people! But we don't want to read someone else's stuff. So be yourself. Create your own style. You're starting from scratch, but that's a firm foundation for building up, right?

Keep writing,
- Emilie

"The role of a writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable to say." - Anaïs Nin

Monday, February 23, 2015

Dark Awakening - Chapter 1

Hello, everyone! This is Emilie. Today (or tonight, rather--sorry about the late post!) I will be featuring the first chapter of my book, Dark Awakening. Enjoy!

~ ~ ~

In the deep forests of Thralia, two figures raced through the woods on two brown horses, cloaked in dark green and both clutching brown sacks with objects within that clinked together as their steeds thundered through the trees.
They finally stopped at the mouth of a dusty cave, overshadowed in thick leaves. One of the figures laughed and pulled back her hood, revealing that she had dark hair and knowing brown eyes. A small scar on her lip made her look intimidating, even when she laughed. 
“They never saw that one coming,” she said, looking over at the second cloaked figure, who also took off his hood.
He had the same type of hair and eyes she had, clearly indicating they were related. His hair stood up wildly and he had dried blood all down the side of his face. He grinned at her and threw his sack to his sister. “Look at that. I snagged one of those lamp thingies.”
She pulled out an Aladdin-type lamp, rubbing it jokingly. “First wish?”
“A million dollars,” he said, eyes crinkling up with laughter.
She put on a serious face and dumped out the sack, spilling gold coins, jewels, and even a silver goblet onto the ground. She swung off her horse and made a dramatic gesture. “Granted! Second wish?” She rubbed the lamp exaggeratedly, making her brother force down the corners of his mouth to suppress a laugh.
“Uh… a nice house,” he said, shrugging.
She strolled toward the cave, pulling her horse with her, and showed off the dirty interior with a hand gesture. “Done! Nice house!”
“You call that a nice house?” he asked, tying his horse’s reins to a branch. He suddenly became serious. “Gretel, we can’t stay here. This is one of Maleficent’s storehouses. If they find us…”
“Hansel, have some fun. We can do anything we want now. The queen thinks she can just send a bunch of stupid soldiers after us. But after four years, she hasn’t caught us. I think you can have at least one day off.” 
“Gretel, you know we can’t ever relax,” he reminded her. “We can’t relax until we overthrow Maleficent. Then we can take a day off.”
She shrugged, knowing he was right. “I know...”
“You nearly got killed back there with those guards,” he said. “I don’t want to put you in danger by staying here.”
Gretel thought about never having to hide from Maleficent again. No chases, no narrow escapes. It sounded almost too good to be true.
She put the lamp back in the sack and scooped up the rest of the gold. “Come on, let’s take a look around this storehouse.”
Hansel sighed and followed her as she walked into the cave.
She picked up a nearby lantern at her feet and lit it, holding it up to the darkness. Gold glittered all around her, piling up and reaching to the wall. She grinned. “Jackpot.”
“This place is empty,” she said as she inspected one of the pieces of treasure. “It’s not like we’re going to be eaten by a monster or a dragon or something.” She waved her hand dismissively as she picked up a diamond necklace and turned it in her hands.
Hansel put his hands on his hips. “She wouldn’t leave this much treasure lying out in the open. Somethings wrong. Get out of there, right now!”
“Okay, fine, I’m coming,” she said distractedly, picking up a gold chain. The small vial dangling off the end was full of dark, wicked looking liquid. She shrugged and put it on anyway. 
“Gretel, stop!” Hansel said, drawing his sword from his sheath. He sensed something was wrong.
She turned and looked at him, looking slightly concerned. “What is it?”
Suddenly there was a low hissing sound from deep within the cave. Gretel jumped and slowly backed up toward the entrance. She edged to her horse where she retrieved her bow and arrow, putting an arrow to the string.
Hansel mimicked Gretel’s voice under his breath. “It’s not like we’re going to get eaten by a dragon!”
She shot him a look and raised her bow as she saw two red eyes blink into existence. “What exactly does Queen Maleficent have guarded her cave?” 
“I think it’s a dragon, but because of the red eyes and the reptile-like noises, I can’t be sure,” he said sarcastically. “Why can’t you just listen to me?”
They both jumped as a spout of fire reached out of the cave. It made the horses rear wildly and broke free, running away.
“What do we do?” Gretel asked her brother, panic rising.
“Shh!” Hansel said. “Be still. Maybe if we inch away it won’t see us.”
There was a deafening roar that made both of them cover their heads protectively with their hands.
“You were saying?!” Gretel yelled above the noise as they both backed up. She saw two sickly green claws emerge into the light, then a giant snaking neck came out and reared to the sky, shooting fire again. 
Gretel thought that dragons were actually quite beautiful. She had only seen a couple in her life and they had been in pictures and paintings. She had always wanted to see one in real life, but this wasn’t exactly what she had been picturing.
They had elegant heads and beautiful ruby eyes. Their brilliant scales glittered like millions of tiny emeralds.
I am an idiot.
She shot an arrow at its head, but she missed its eye and it glanced off its hard scales. She growled in frustration and looked over at Hansel, who was brandishing his sword. 
“This isn’t working!” she yelled. 
Hansel ran forward and slashed with his blade, slicing through the scales with difficulty. The dragon roared again, spurting more flames and snapping at him with its long needle-like teeth. Hansel jumped aside to dodge a swing from the dragon and slid under its belly. He slashed at the exposed, softer scales, and the dragon arched its neck in pain. 
Gretel put another arrow on the string and released it, planting it between its front legs. 
She pulled out one of the last arrows from her quiver and ran forward, shooting at its heart while sliding between its legs, up next to her brother. The dragon shifted over them, roaring in pain and shooting fire wildly.
Then suddenly Hansel grabbed Gretel’s collar and pulled her out of the way as the dragon thrust its body downward to the side, trying to crush them. They stumbled into the sunlight as Gretel fumbled to fit another arrow to the string, still shaking from the narrow escape.
Hansel swung his sword defensively as the dragon lunged toward with his teeth. Its eyes glittered with an evil blood red light. 
Suddenly it swung one powerful claw at Gretel, eyes flashing, and the impact sent her flying into a tree before she could do anything. Her quiver cracked, and colors swam before her eyes as she crumpled to the ground.
“Gretel!” Hansel yelled. 
She blearily saw him swing to deflect snaps from the dragon, trying to stay conscious. 
Suddenly something else caught her eye; a movement from the bushes, and then pain exploded in her arm and she cried out.
She was faintly aware of Hansel calling her name, and then everything went black.

~ ~ ~ 

She groaned immediately as she regained enough consciousness to feel the broken bones in her body, and cried out. Immediately she felt her brother’s cool hand on her forehead, stroking her gently. “Are you okay, Gretel?”
She had a million questions running through her head, but she managed to sit herself up against the tree he had leaned her against. She tried to open her eyes, but her head hurt too much.
“I figured I’d wait till you were awake to lecture you about the dangers of greediness,” he said jokingly. 
“Oh, please, spare me,” she moaned, hand fluttering up to her head. “What happened?”
“I think the dragon was just going for the potion,” he said. “It fell off of you when you hit the tree. Then it just grabbed it and flew away.” He shrugged. “Anyway, I found one of our horses,” he said. 
“How long was I out?”
“Only about twenty minutes,” he said. She finally managed to open her eyes, and saw that Hansel’s hair was even more wild than usual and singed all across the top. She was going to ask if he was hurt, but she figured he’d only say “no,” regardless what the truth was.
He continued, rummaging through what must’ve been one of the saddlebags. “Thankfully, our gold is still in here, including that magic lamp.” He laughed and waved it in her face. “It really works!”
“Please, not right now,” Gretel said in a pained voice, closing her eyes again. 
Hansel laughed again and patted her gently on the shoulder, before pulling out the water-skin from the bag and opening it up. “Do you want something to drink?”
“Agh, I would, but I don’t think I could stomach it. Agh!” She suddenly cried out, grabbing her arm. “Ow…” 
Hansel jumped forward and pulled up her sleeve carefully, making Gretel wince again. When the cloth was pushed away, Gretel gave a little gasp of shock.
There were four deep gouges in her arm, looking like claw marks. But they couldn’t have been from the dragon, Gretel thought. The dragon’s claws were too big. 
“You must’ve hit some rocks,” Hansel murmured, touching it gingerly with his leather gloved fingers. 
“That doesn’t look like a bunch of rocks could’ve done that,” Gretel said weakly. “I think I’m going to throw up…”
Hansel poured some water on the wound, making her bite her lip to suppress another cry of pain. Then he slipped off his thin shirt and used it as a bandage, wrapping it around her arm. She gave him a look of gratitude and shifted her body. “Do you think I broke anything?”
“Just your leg, I think,” he said.
She looked at him blankly. “What? Just my leg?” It felt to her like all her bones in her body had been ground up to tiny pieces. 
He chuckled, shaking his head. “Yup. But it’ll take a while to heal, unfortunately.”
“What about Maleficent?” she asked. “I don’t know how to use a sword, and all my arrows are broken.”
“We’ll make more,” Hansel said. “And I’m here just in case anyone comes back. Trust me, you’re safe. Now try to rest, or else your leg’ll take longer to heal. I put a splint on it, so all you have to do is just not move around. I’ll be back in five minutes. I’m just going to go scout.” He stood up, strapping his sheath to his waist. She watched him go, wondering when he’d notice that his hair was sticking straight up.

Looking around again, she located her quiver laying a couple feet away from her. Picking it up, she took out an arrow from it, which immediately broke in three different pieces. She groaned and began to finger the sharp end. She couldn’t shake the feeling that the scrapes on her arm were more than just scrapes. She could feel deep inside that something was wrong.

~ ~ ~

My inspiration for this chapter was really actually quite complicated. I'm not sure you would call it inspiration rather than an idea that I had no idea what I would do with. I had been thinking a lot about combining fairytales into one world for a long time--I had always liked the concept. I suppose that's how Dark Awakening was born. I started writing and gathering ideas and it really just fell together.
     I think the hardest part, though, was actually starting the book. Isn't that always the hardest part? It is really rather challenging to round up all your thoughts and put them into coherent sentences that actually create something you like. (Got all poetic there.) I had so many different ideas. Inspiration, if you like. But it was only when I was a few chapters in when I actually started to go somewhere. Have a direction. A solid plot. I guess that's the moral of this story: taking your time. You don't need everything figured out at the beginning, right? I mean, sure, you need SOME structure, but in the long  run, you're still figuring out the full story at chapter 30. You will always keep adding on, but the important part is never to get discouraged. :)

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the beginning of my story!
Keep writing,
- Emilie