Sunday, December 30, 2012

Favorite Reads of 2012

The year's quickly coming to a close, so I thought I'd finish out 2012 by listing my top five favorite books I read this year! Here they are in no particular order (since it's hard enough for me to narrow it down to FIVE, let alone try to put them in order from most favorite.)


Nevermore

The goth boy with the cheerleader has been done before (in sometimes cringe-worthy ways), but Kelly Creagh's characters are so emotionally-gripping that they feel like real people. That and the paranormal Edgar Allen Poe themed-plot kept me turning pages long after I should have been in bed. I still need to pick up the sequel.


The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

Author N.K. Jemisin really hooked me with her interesting fantasy world and a cast of gods who seemed like real otherworldly beings, not just humans with superpowers. I seem to enjoy fantasy books with cutthroat political maneuvering, and so I loved seeing how the main character adapted when she was just chucked into the middle of things. I really enjoyed the created mythology and am anxious to know where things go from here. I still need to pick up this sequel as well.


Hex Hall

I was skeptical about this book at first. I was just about sick of stories about “high schools for people with powers,” but this one really delivered something special. The main character’s voice is wonderfully sarcastic and I frequently found myself snorting at her humor. I can’t wait to read the spin-off novel next year!


Timepiece

I’ve been a fan of Myra McEntire ever since my friend Shalena over at Writer Quirk brought me the first novel in the series, Hourglass, as a birthday present in 2011. So I snatched up this sequel as soon as it was available. I really enjoyed Kaleb’s character in the first book so I was stoked to discover that he was the POV character for Timepiece. I enjoyed reading from the perspective of a male for once, and thoroughly enjoyed getting into his head and seeing his developing relationship with a certain other character. Of course there is also the aspect of time-travel, which I always love.


The Near Witch

I was thinking I read this back in 2011, but according to Goodreads, it was this year, so yay! This story is poetic and beautiful without being overly flowery. I ate up every word. I also got an advanced copy of Victoria Schwab's next book,"The Archived," and let me tell you, it's even better than her first book. I can't wait to see more stories from this talented lady!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Turning Off the Perfectionist

I'm doing better since having my little writerly breakdown last week. I'm plugging away at editing my last few chapters with the hopes of being able to actually start querying literary agents in January.

I think I've finally been able to convince myself that no, this novel is not going to be perfect. Yes, I've heard that from other authors before, but I don't think it really ever sunk in. It wasn't until last week that I really realized how badly I'm burning myself out on this story that I love by constantly going back and rehashing it to pieces.

Not that I think that I shouldn't have spent time and hard work editing this book. It's definitely light years ahead of the drivel it started out as in my 2010 NaNoWriMo. But I think I've been working on it too long.

I've realized now that if I keep tearing it apart and rewriting, I'll never finish. My skills as a writer are growing with every book I read, with every new scene I write. If I keep going back, month after month, and trying to edit my entire book into something up to par with my new writing skills, it will be a never-ending process. I'll just never be able to say, "It's done. It's as good as I'll ever be able to do." I just need to get it as good as I can do now.

I've decided to finish edits on my last few chapters and then take the plunge and see if I can get anyone interested. If so, great. I'll have the advice of a professional to help me make the book into something they think they can sell. If not, well then, maybe I'll look into self-publishing or maybe I'll just put it in a drawer for the time being, but at any rate I'll move on to my next story.

I can't grow as a writer if I'm stuck on the same novel, and if I keep rehashing the same story, I know I'm eventually going to overdo it and ruin the book completely. I'm just going to do the best I can at this point in my life and then keep moving. Quit trying to be perfect. That's the only way I can do what I love without also losing my mind in the process.

Plus I've got a baby coming in April. I'm not going to have the extra brain cells to lose.

 
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