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Elizabeth Scott

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Last night, I finished Alexandra Robbins' The Overachivers: The Secret Lives of Driven Kids and wow, is it a great read. Robbins writes mostly about a group of high school student who attended Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, Maryland, and how fierce the pressure was for them to succeed: to get the best grades, get the highest possible SAT scores, do the most extracurricular activities, and get into the 'best' colleges. Reading about these students, who almost all seemed to survive on a combination of practically no sleep and extreme stress, and who all also seemed to suffer from a profound fear that whatever they did wouldn't be enough, was like watching a really gripping (and depressing as well because seriously, the stress teenagers are under these days is insane) movie. I know that probably seems like a weird thing to say about a non-fiction book, but the students' stories were just so compelling that I got completely sucked into the book and even visited Robbins' website afterwards to see how they were all doing.

And, continuing to share writing links I've found helpful...

Manuscript Formatting for Beginners -- Just what it says and, in my case, something I had to read a lot. Because I knew nothing (and I mean NOTHING) about how to properly format a manuscript.

An Author Talks About Her Writing -- From the now-defunct blog, BookAngst 101, Lynn Viehl, who has a popular blog called Paperback Writer, talks very candidly about how she writes, how much money she makes, and how she promotes her books. Viehl is well-known for her frankness, and the interview is very much worth reading.