Tags: ask the elevensies

Ask the Eevensies - WHAT'S YOUR THEME?

WHAT’S YOUR THEME?

Welcome to ASK THE ELEVENSIES 

This is our Weekly Feature where anyone interested in writing and publishing is invited to ask a question of our entire membership and then join in the conversation that ensues.   Everyone who visits this page is invited to comment, answer the question on their own, or provide follow-up questions.  

Thinking of your debut Ya/Mg, what is the theme or one of the central themes of your story? I’m not about to try to define "theme" here. I imagine it varies a little in meaning for each of us.  Please use the definition that works best for you.  

A.) What is the theme of your debut YA/Mg novel?  Did you have this theme in mind as you began to write, or did it emerge from the story and the challenges facing your character(s)?  I would certainly welcome any discussion on how theme develops while crafting fiction, as well. 

B.) Is your theme different from novel to novel?   Most of us have been working on books 2 and 3… and for  many of us our Mg/Ya debut is not our first completed novel.   Perhaps this question can be restated Is the theme different in your current novel?  If theme has emerged at all yet.  It occurs to me that some authors explore different angles of the same theme in their fiction. Is your theme the same from book to book? 

Let me start by saying that I saw more than one theme emerging as I wrote DEAD RULES, but my overall theme was fairly well in place as I began to write.  

Come back often!  We’ll keep answering your questions (& providing comments) all week.   Questions of the week and the responses are archived on this site (currently in the right-hand column at the "Ask the Elevensies" link under "Special Posts"). 

If you find a question and the responses interesting, please post a link on your blog, facebook, twitter, or any of those other places on the web I can't think of right away.   

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: 

What is the theme of your debut Ya/Mg novel?

Is the theme different in your current WIP?

What Do You Read? - ASK THE ELEVENSIES

WHAT DO YOU READ?   

    Welcome to ASK THE ELEVENSIES 

This is our Weekly Feature where anyone interested in writing and publishing is invited to ask a question of our entire membership and then join in the conversation that ensues.   Everyone who visits this page is invited to comment, answer the question on their own, or provide follow-up questions.    

Writers are readers, they tell us... So, uh....   

A.) As a publishing novelist, what do you WANT from a NOVEL when you read one now?  
What qualities of fiction turn you on and make you happy/excited/content that you are reading it?  Or share with us what you don’t like when you read fiction? You can mention favorite novels or novels you hated, but please say why for each. And, since we’re all publishing novels, let’s stick with fiction… if we may... and with fiction that we are reading nowish and not when we were 12 or 14.  Unless, of course, you don’t like reading fiction and you are 12 or 14.  

B.) Do you care at all about the bio of the author when you are choosing a novel to read? 
In other words, gender, country of origin, religion, age? Would you buy a novel “by Anonymous”?  Do you read “new” authors at all or do you wait until an author has an established track record? Does the author matter? 

Aside:  Do you prefer to read a novel that is "hot" and that everyone else seems to be reading (as a way of staying in touch and keeping pace with our current literary culture)? 

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Come back often! 
We’ll keep answering your questions (& providing comments) all week.   Questions of the week and the responses are archived on this site (currently in the right-hand column at the "Ask the Elevensies" link under "Special Posts"). 

If you find a question and the responses interesting, please post a link on your blog, facebook, twitter, or any of those other places on the web I can't think of right away.   

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THIS WEEK'S QUESTION:
 

What Do You Want from a Novel You are Reading?

Does Knowing Something About the Author matter?

LOSS OF VIRGINITY - ASK THE ELEVENSIES

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST EVER ANYTHING PUBLISHED?

How old were you?  It is only courteous and proper to let you define what being “published” means.  So, let’s go with the thing that was published, as well.   What is the first thing you remember that you wrote being published.  Was it good for you?  Did it matter? 

Welcome to The Elevensies. This is our Weekly Feature where anyone interested in writing and publishing is invited to ask a question of our entire membership and then join in the conversation that ensues.   Everyone who visits this page is invited to comment, answer the question on their own, or provide follow-up questions.    

Come back often!  We’ll keep answering your questions (& providing comments) all week.   Questions of the week and the responses are archived on this site (currently in the right-hand column at the "Ask the Elevensies" link under "Special Posts").

If you find a question and the responses interesting, please post a link on your blog, facebook, twitter, or any of those other places on the web I can't think of right away.  

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: 

What was your first ever anything published?

P.S. If the first thing published is a little too personal to share, you can tell us about losing your writer's virginity in some other way.   

Hunny Bunny

Ask the Elevenises - What's In a Name?

What’s In a  Name?

The specific question we were asked is “Where do you get your character names?” 

Cool question. Having the right character name is really important to me as a writer, and it can be tricky. Often, if I don’t have the “right” names for characters they simply refuse to become real.  

I think it matter far less to everyone else, including readers, whether the girl is Bella and the boy Edward. But, for Stephenie, I bet it mattered a lot.

Meanwhile, where do you get your character names? 

Credit roll at the end of a movie? Football players' line-up? Folks you knew in grade school?      

Do names matter to you at all as part of the writing process?  

Welcome to The Elevensies.
 This is our Weekly Feature where anyone interested in writing and publishing is invited to ask a question of our entire membership and then join in the conversation that ensues.   Of course, everyone who sees this page is invited to comment, answer the question on their own, or provide follow-up questions.     Come back often!  We’ll keep answering your questions (& providing comments) all week.   Questions of the week and the responses are archived on this site (currently in the right-hand column at the "Ask the Elevensies" link under "Special Posts").   

If you find a question and the responses interesting, please post a link on your blog, facebook, twitter, or whatever social network you might be involved in.  We'd appreciate it.    

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: 

Where do you get your character names? Do they matter?

UPDATE:

1. Cemeteries
2. U.S. Census
3. Baby Names websites
4. Real People
5. Student names
6. Yearbooks
7. Maps 
8. Birds, flowers, cars... and counting... 


9. Yellow Pages, White Pages...
10. Fleetwood Mac band members...
11. Dogs!
12. & stealing stuff from Beth Revis' webpage
Eye Patch

Ask the Elevensies - WHAT'S YOU ACORN?

What’s Your Acorn?

The specific question we were asked is
 “Where do you get your ideas?”  Okay, this might have been a joke question, since it is rumored to be so often asked of novelists.    I think there is a reason the question comes up and it deserves consideration.   When I consider where ideas for writing book-length stories originate, I think there is a Golden Acorn for each of us -- from which a book may grow. 
 
What’s yours? What small initial seed of a big ol’ book-length work captures a writer’s nuturing?   

Was (or is for your current work or a future work?) your Golden Acorn a character, a situation, a plot twist, a setting, a topic, a past experience? None of these?  We all know there is something that spurs an idea for a new book in our minds and our hearts, something golden enough we cling to it and then we enlarge it. What is (or was for your previous novel)  your idea nugget?     

Since most of us have written more than one book, is the acorn always the same? Do you start with a character each time your write? A line of dialogue? A setting?  Is your Golden Acorn different for various projects… a character here, a “what if” there?    Do all your wonderful golden original ideas become books or do you find that some wither and go away?    

Welcome to The Elevensies. This is our Weekly Feature where anyone interested in writing and publishing is invited to ask a question of our entire membership and then join in the conversation that ensues.   Of course, everyone who sees this page is invited to comment, answer the question on their own, or provide follow-up questions.    

Come back often!  We’ll keep answering your questions (& providing comments) all week.   Questions of the week and the responses are archived on this site (currently in the right-hand column at the "Ask the Elevensies" link under "Special Posts"). 

If you find a question and the responses interesting, please post a link on your blog, facebook, twitter, or whatever social network you might be involved in.  We'd appreciate it.  

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION:  What’s Your Acorn?

a. What’s the seed (of an idea?) from which you eventually grow a book? 
b. Something tells me you'll come up with "b." on your own.  :-) 


KittyMirror

Ask the Elevensies - What Do You Read?

What do you read?

The specific question we were asked is
 “Do you have any favorite books on writing that you'd recommend?” I’d like to expand that a little and add the additional question of what each of you reads that inspires you to write, to work.

a. What books on writing work for you?   
b. 
What do you read that inspires you to work?
c. And, what the hell, let's play deserted island while we’re at it.  What two or three books would you take along if you were going to spend the next several months alone tied by your ankle to a palm tree?     

Welcome to The Elevensies. This is our Weekly Feature where anyone interested in writing and publishing is invited to ask a question of our entire membership and then join in the conversation that ensues.  We are more than 85 professional writers who have sold their first Middle Grade or Young Adult novel in the current market.   Of course, everyone who sees this page is invited to comment, answer the question on their own, or provide follow-up questions.  

Come back often!  We’ll keep answering your questions (& providing comments) all week.  Check back on Tuesdays for new questions and responses.  Questions of the week and the responses are archived on this site (currently in the right-hand column at the "Ask the Elevensies" link under "Special Posts"). 

If you find a question and the responses interesting, please post a link on your blog, facebook, twitter, or whatever social network you might be involved in.  We'd appreciate it.   .

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION:  What do you read?
a. What books on writing work for you?   
b. What do you read that inspires you to work?
c. What three books would you take along if you were going to spend the next several months alone tied by your ankle to a palm tree?     

Short list of books on Writing recommended thus far:

10 Rules of Writing.  Elmore Leonard.
The Art of Fiction.  David Lodge.
Bird by Bird.  Anne Lamott.
Booklife.  Jeff VanderMeer.
How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy.  Orson Scott Card.
Novel Metamorphosis.  Darcy Pattison, Kriby Larson.
On Writing.  Stephen King.

On Writing Well. William Zinsser.
Revising and Self Editing.  James Scott Bell.
Save The Cat.  Blake Snyder.
Self-editing for Fiction Writers.  Renni Browne, Dave King.
Seven Basic Plots.  Christopher Booker.
Seven Steps on the Writer’s Path.  Nancy Pickard, Lynn Lott.
Story.  Robert McKee.

Storyteller.  Kate Wilhelm.
Telling Lies for Fun and Profit.  Lawrence Block.
Writing Down the Bones.  Natalie Goldberg.
Writing the Breakout Novel. Donald Maass.
Writing the Novel.  Lawrence Block.

Thanks to everyone for taking the time to add their titles to the list!   Your spirit of generosity is greatly appreciated.

Please note:  Many of The Elevensies prefer not to read books on writing, but find their "guide" to writing by reading great fiction.  The works they read that inspire them are included in the commnents.  Check it out.   

 

ASK the ELEVENSIES - WHO DO YOU WRITE FOR?

Who do you write for?

Writing a book length work is a HUGE commitment of time and requires dedication and focus.  Authors write to be published.  Authors write to be read – do you take into account by whom?  And yes, I know, it could be: For whom do you write?

a. Who do you write for?  
b. Do you write primarily for girls or boys?   This, taking into account that most MG, and much YA, is marketed to one group or the other.
c. Are there special responsibilities writing for young readers (as compared to, say, adult fiction writers)?  

Welcome to The Elevensies. This is our Weekly Feature where anyone interested in writing and publishing is invited to ask a question of our entire membership and then join in the conversation that ensues.  We are more than 85 professional writers who have sold their first Middle Grade or Young Adult novel in the current market.   Of course, everyone who sees this page is invited to comment, answer the question on their own, or provide follow-up questions.  

We also want your new questions!  Just add them in the comment section (if you can start these with "New Question" it would be helpful, but I can probably figure it out if you forget). I will pull out the new questions to ask the membership in the upcoming weeks.

Come back often!  We’ll keep answering your questions (& providing comments) all week.  Check back on Tuesdays for new questions and responses.  Questions of the week and the responses are archived on this site (currently in the right-hand column at the "Ask the Elevensies" link under "Special Posts"). 

If you find a question and the responses interesting, please post a link on your blog, facebook, twitter, or whatever social network you might be involved in.  We'd appreciate it.  

Welcome to the lifeboat party and Thanks for participating!  Your feature moderator, Randy Russell.

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION:  Who do you write for? 

UPDATE:  Also currently being discussed: 
b. 
 Do you write primarily for girls or boys?   
c. Are there special responsibilities writing for young readers?
d. Is it possible to write Mg/Ya fiction and ignore audience altogether?


Kiss

ASK THE ELEVENSIES - Deciding What to Write

How do you decide what to write? 

Writing a book length work is a HUGE commentment of time and requires dedication and focus.  Let’s stay with novels in the main. 
a. How do you decide what to write? 
b. When do you know you are working on the right project for you? 
c. Does genre matter in YA/MG novels or do you just write what you want and hope the genre will define itself?


Welcome to The Elevensies. This is our Weekly Feature where anyone interested in writing and publishing is invited to ask a question of our entire membership and then join in the conversation that ensues.  We are more than 85 professional writers who have sold their first Middle Grade or Young Adult novel in the current market.  Many members have already sold their second and third books.  

Don't be shy.  We love to talk about what we do.  

We also want your new questions!  Just add them in the comment section (if you can start these with "New Question" it would be helpful, but I can probably figure it out if you forget). I will pull out the new questions to ask the membership in the upcoming weeks.

Come back often! We’ll keep answering your questions (& providing comments) all week.  Check back on Tuesdays for new questions and responses.  Questions of the week and the responses are archived on this site (currently in the right-hand column at the "Ask the Elevensies" link under "Special Posts"). 

If you find a question and the responses interesting, please post a link on your blog, facebook, twitter, or whatever social network you might be involved in.  We'd certainly appreciate it.   Thanks for participating!  Your feature moderator, Randy Russell.

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION:  How do you decide what to write?

UPDATE:  Also currently being discussed: 
Do you write a novel you want to write or do you write a novel that you think publishers want?


Eye Patch

ASK THE ELEVENSIES - All About Agents

How did you get your agent?   How many agents said NO? 

Welcome to The Elevensies. This is our weekly feature where anyone interested in writing and publishing is invited to ask a question of our entire membership.   We are more than 85 professional writers who have sold their first Middle Grade or Young Adult novel in the current market.  Many members have already sold their second and third books.  

You’re invited (as in PLEASE DO) to submit your follow-up comments & additional questions (anything related to literary agents).  Don't be shy.  We love to talk about what we do.  And we love it when other YA/MG novelists  who have sold novels published prior to 2011) join the conversation.

We also want your new questions!  Just add them in the comment section (if you can start these with "New Question" it would be helpful, but I can probably figure it out if you forget). I will pull out the new questions to ask the membership in the upcoming weeks.

Come back often! We’ll keep answering questions (and providing our own comments) about agents all week at this very post.  Check back on Tuesdays for new questions and responses. 
Questions of the week and the responses are archived on this site (currently in the right-hand column at the "Ask the Elevensies" link under "Special Posts"). 

If you find a question and the responses interesting, please post a link on your blog, facebook, twitter, or whatever social network you might be involved in.  We'd certainly appreciate it.   Thanks for participating! Your feature moderator,
Randy Russell.

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION:  How did you get your agent?   How many agents said NO?

UPDATE:
  Also currently being discussed: 
First, who our agents are!  As examples of  agents successful with debut novelists.
B. How to decide which agent to query in an agency that allows you to query only ONE.
Next, should new authors focus on the newer agents?  Or should they shoot for our dream agent?  
Finally, did you query your dream agent first or later, after you might get some feedback from other agents?

And. 4. What determines who your dream agent is? Is it the press he/she gets? Is it because she keeps a blog?