elizabethwrites.com : the internet home of
Elizabeth Scott

this week's BEA giveaway--Clockwork Angel (!!)--and all I need is YOUR help!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

So, to recap--all you'll need is a suggestion (or more, if you have them!), a US mailing addy, and make sure you leave a way for me to get in touch with you! I'll take comments through this Friday, June 25th at midnight EST, and then the person with the suggestion(s) I like best will get the ARC!

PS For feeds that strip the embedded clip out, here's a direct link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqm3qi6bJ2E


Blogger Rachel said...

Wow right now I would like to know just about everything in regards to writing, as I am about to start myself, but let's see. . . I hope you don't mind, I have a bunch :-) CAN YOU ANSWER THESE ON YOUR BLOG TOO PERHAPS?

I have read a lot of people's comments and articles on planning vs. pantsers and some ideas on getting into your characters heads, and I also heard an interesting comment from a writer on having 60 conflict points that are jotted down that point towards the climax so that they know there is enough tension for a novel. . . BUT I would like even more bare bones info. (and which approach do you use, and do you have any thoughts on that 60 points idea?)

When you get an idea (and do you personally get the idea for a character or a story first normally??), what is the first thing you do to start? Do you get inside your characters head? All the characters you envision in the beginning or just your main one? What sorts of questions do you ask to figure them out -- and do you do this process again when new characters pop up as you are writing?

Or do you start with outlining a story? Do you try to decide a certain amount of chapters ahead of time and then spread out the story within that frame? Any guidelines for when to present certain conflict points? Is there a guideline for how many chapters there should be for a YA manuscript?

Do you think it would be helpful to deconstruct favorite novels to see how they spread the story out chapter per chapter and introduce character? Any other ideas like this that might be helpful for beginning writers to get inside a writer's head?

Anything else you keep in mind or is critical to your personal beginnings of writing for each new project??

June 21, 2010 10:21 AM  
Blogger Alex (Tales of a Teenage Book Lover) said...

I think you should talk about how to get motivated to write. My WIP is currently 3 pages long because I haven't had any motivation lately. Also, it would be great to answer on your blog too.

June 21, 2010 10:30 AM  
OpenID niaraie said...

I think I'd like to hear about failure, ironically. I don't hear many writers talk about how hard it was in the beginning, and the insecurities and failures that they had as unpublished writers so how you made it through that and became an amazing published author would probably be interesting. Also any helpful thing on plotting, as it seems pretty difficult to grasp sometimes!
Nia G.

June 21, 2010 11:14 AM  
Blogger Erika Lynn said...

I would like to hear what might make your process a little different. Do you have a notebook full of random characters or things you think about but don't have a place in whatever you are writing at that moment. Also is there ever a character who starts in a book but you realize doesnt wrk and somehow makes it into another story. thanks


June 21, 2010 11:18 AM  
Blogger The Lovely Reader said...

What I would love to hear you talk about is your writing style. You write many different books, such as girly novels, deeper novels, darker novels, and now GRACE which is dystopian. How do you manage to do that? Many authors write one type of book for one type of audience and that's it, but you write so many different books. What is it like going from writing a book like PERFECT YOU to writing a book like LIVING DEAD GIRL.

I also want to know how much work goes in to the novel before you begin writing it. Do you plot everything out before, or just sit down and write? Do you write from the beginning to the end, or do you write what you want to write first and then fill in the gaps?

Another question I have is about characters. Do characters of yours ever take on a mind of their own and surprise you when you write? Do you plot out your characters like you would a story?

And finally, I'm wondering about how you write. Do you think of your audience when you write, or does it just come naturally? Is it hard for you to write in the persona of a teenage girl? Many authors try, but their writing comes across far too complicated for a teenager. How do you draw that line, knowing that you're writing for teenagers?

Like Rachel asked, can you answer the best question on your blog as well?

barbrafl737 (at) yahoo (dot) com

June 21, 2010 12:04 PM  
Blogger Erica75 said...

I'm currently at query stage with my YA ms and one thing I see with my peer critiquers is diffferences in POV. How do you decide which POV to write in? And if it's 1st person, how do you avoid it sounding like 3rd person with a bunch of "I"s stuck in there?

Another question I've heard a wide variety of opinions on is: What point to you decide that a project is worth pursuing or is headed to the recycle bin? The outline? The fist chapter? During editing (sigh)?


June 21, 2010 12:05 PM  
Blogger Yan said...

I'm curious about the editing process. When do you think you're done editing and start a new WIP?

I'm also wanted to know that when you do start a new WIP if you research to see if anyone else has already written a novel similar.

June 21, 2010 1:04 PM  
Blogger Kelsey said...

Oh, wow. Okay. If I could ask you anything about your writing (well, I guess I am right now), I would ask you... (Short and sweet!) WHAT IS THE HARDEST PART ABOUT WRITING? Kind of similar to Niaraie's question, but I've heard most of the other topics covered by you and other authors. I don't think this one comes up so often. At least, I haven't seen it around. I hear about the joys of writing, how-to, why, dealing with failure, but I want to know the nitt-gritty stuff. What makes you want to pull your hair out or wish you worked full-time at a coffee shop? :P Thanks for this opportunity!


June 21, 2010 1:54 PM  
Blogger catsue said...

I'd love to hear you talk about how you got where you are, and I'd also love to know how you do it every day--how do you stay focused on your wip? How do you know which ideas to follow through on?

June 21, 2010 2:05 PM  
Blogger Mariah said...

I would like to know what helps you overcome the self-doubt about whether your book will be good enough, if people will like it ect. Thanks and great contest!


June 21, 2010 2:15 PM  
Blogger Brooke said...

I believe you should talk about first drafts. You hear a couple of writers and authors comment on stripping down the very first draft down to the bones.

Though, you never hear them explain how they concentrate to get through it, or the work it takes before starting on it.

First drafts would be a interesting topic to discuss, or why don't you talk about how it feels when you finally finish a novel? That would be something I'd love to hear. :)



June 21, 2010 2:29 PM  
Blogger sullivan, m, kristen said...

Let's see...If I was listening to someone talk about writing, I'd probably want to hear how they get their inspiration, or idea for a book and keep their motivation throughout the writing.

Also, I think it would be interesting to know how you organize your thoughts through the writing process. Like how you seperate one thought from the other.

Another thing you could talk about is how you put your idea into words that make the story come alive. Like how you choose the right words.

I hope that helps!



June 21, 2010 3:04 PM  
Blogger fashionable librarian said...

I would want to hear about how much you plan the plot of a story and it's characters before you get writing. Do you go through and do a whole outline and character sketches or just have kind of a general idea about the plot and just see where the story goes as you writ it?


June 21, 2010 3:29 PM  
Blogger Jennefer said...

i think what i would like to hear about would be how you started out writing and what inspired you to become a writer. i would also like to hear about what the hardest part about writing is and the best part.


June 21, 2010 4:25 PM  
OpenID kathleenliz said...

I think the point in writing a novel that I, personally, have the most questions about is what happens after you get an agent.

-What is the revising process like at that point?

-What kind of contracts are involved?

-How long does it generally take?

-How does finding a publisher work?

-What is the publishing process and how involved are you [the author] in this process?

-How much self advertising are you allowed/expected to do?

And then I would ask you to describe your first ever book release and the few days after the book hit the shelves.


June 21, 2010 8:46 PM  
Blogger Just Your Typical Book Blog said...

I think I would like to hear how you've pushed yourself as a writer. Like with deadlines or even maybe a plot that will not move forward. Also I'd be interested to know if you think your writing has changed any since your first book was published.


June 21, 2010 10:19 PM  
Blogger ally said...

Well, I've seen a lot of posts about writing but, I must say the one speech that had me glued to my screen was J. K. Rowling's commencement speech at Harvard. Basically, it's the nitty gritty stuff about writing.

People should know that writing isn't all cupcakes and book signings. Writing is tough. It takes up time, your characters invade your sleep and haunt you during the day. Your computer seat has permanent butt imprints. Sometimes, you can't quit your dayjob and have to balance that out.

Then comes the road to publication, and we all know that ain't a piece of cake.

Of course, you can't spook 'em by just saying the bad stuff. I'd highlight how supportive the writing community is. How many friends you gain along the way and how social networking (blogs, Twitter, Facebook and such) help in the writing/publishing/spreading the word process.

You can also point out how not every book gets published right away and that one must be patient and have confidence in one's book.

Also, the feeling of having your book published and seeing the 1st ARC or finished copy, followed closely by seeing it on a bookshelf somewhere and then hearing/reading people's reaction about said book.

In conclusion, if I were to sit and hear about writing, I'd want the whole enchilada. Good and the bad.

Hope I helped =)! Good luck!!!


June 22, 2010 12:12 AM  
Blogger Samanthajo_322 said...

There are sooo many things I would like to know

First of all, when writing you characters, do you attempt to make them fit any stereotypes? In other words to make your books readable, do you feel that you need a bad boy and the good girl, and other typical characters like that?

In what settings do you enjoy writing?

Is it a strenuous process for you? Or do you truely enjoy writing?

When growing up, did you always know that you wanted to write? And did anyone attempt to stop you?

Thank you so much for giving away this book! I am so excited and I really hope I win, I've been entering all your contests!!!


June 22, 2010 10:25 AM  
Blogger Alice said...

I would actually love to hear about everything - the writing process, the publishing industry, your agents, everything! But I guess I would settle for a few of these:

How do you stick to one story? My problem with writing is that I'll start a story that I love the idea for, write about three chapters, then give up because I don't feel motivated enough to keep writing. How do you deal with that, or do you feel that way at all?

Another thing is worrying about reception. If I ever got a book published, I would be freaking out because I would be so disappointed if people hated my book! Do you go through this, and if you do, how do you get past it? Do you get past it?

Last thing, I promise :) Okay, I swear I'm not being a suck-up, but you're one of my favorite authors. What made you decide to start writing? Now that you are a writer, can you imagine yourself doing anything else?


June 22, 2010 11:52 AM  
Blogger Megg said...

Cool idea. I second the first comments suggestion on answering the questions on your blog, because that would be awesome :) You could post a video of the event or something.

Anyways, I curious about how many ideas you come up with in your heade and what happens from there. Outline? Just start writing? Or give it up? Do you start a lot more books then you finish?

When (if) you do give up on an idea, why?

Do you write anytime, or strict hours? Do you ever write at late hours?

I know some authors draw pictures or maps that go with the novel, for their own sake. Do you do anything like that? Or doodle to get inspired? Or, really, get inspired by any type of visual?

After the book is published, what do you do in regards to reviews? Do you read certain ones (from a specific place) and not others? How do you deal with the not-so-good reviews? Anger, sadness, or indifference?


June 22, 2010 7:42 PM  
Blogger Lynsey Newton said...

I'm sure you're going to be great whatever! I tweeted you some of my suggestions but here they are again.

I'd like a personal story about YOUR journey and how you got published. Tell us about querying, submission, finding an agent, getting the deal etc. I like the idea of "The life of a book" and then telling us about it from conception to publication.

As for writing, what are some of your best writing tips. For example, I'm always interested to know what writing CRAFT books authors love and use. I'm interested in the writing process too- are you a pantser? Do you outline? Write scene by scene? Do you use a special piece of software? How long does it take you to write a book from conception to publication?

Good luck E and thank you for the contest :)

June 23, 2010 12:37 PM  
Blogger Travis said...

What do you do when you're stuck?

Favorite/least favorite parts of the writing process?

Has the way you write changed with subsequent books?


June 23, 2010 1:20 PM  
Blogger Natalie (Mindful Musings) said...

I feel like a lot of people see authors as that...just authors. I'd be interested in hearing about your life prior (and while deciding) to become an author.

~What did you do before you started writing?

~Had you always wanted to be an author, or did a story just "pop" into your head one day?

~Was there a point when you sat yourself down and thought "I'm going to do this?"

~Were there any other motivations behind you becoming a writer?

~What was the most difficult part of the writing process?

~If you weren't an author today, what do you think you'd be doing?

Good luck at ALA! I'm sure you'll do great no matter what you decide to talk about! :)


June 23, 2010 1:30 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

I would love to hear out about critique partners, their importance, and how you found yours. Lately, I've relied on my critique partners for everything and sometimes can't write until I hear back from them! So, I'd love you take on it.


June 23, 2010 1:43 PM  
Blogger courtneyreads said...

I, personally, like to hear about all the hits and misses in writing.
Like how long it takes to come up with an idea and then how many times you have failed at moving the idea from your mind to paper.
Also, your favorite steps in the writing process. Maybe creating the characters, or twisting the plot.
Another I like to learn about is about revisions. Do you enjoy them or see it as something you dread but have to do.

Thank you so much, You are definitely one of my favorite authors!

--Courtney Rae--

June 23, 2010 1:44 PM  
Blogger Victoria said...

I'd like to know how you get over the fear. My boys have been trying to get me to write instead of reading all the time but I'm just too afraid to do it.

June 23, 2010 2:04 PM  
Blogger Okapi said...

I'd like to hear about writing and reading as a child. What inspired you to become an author, how your childhood experiences affected your writing today, and what your favorite books were. It always interests me to hear about a writer's background!

June 23, 2010 3:36 PM  
Blogger Sandy Shin said...

If I were at ALA, I would love to hear about the highlights of your journey to publication: how many years you have been writing, did you ever think about giving up, the major ups and downs of finding an agent/publisher, etc.

As an aspiring author, I'm also very, very interested in the changes in your writing process from your first book to your newest one: how much of that is affected by being published? And how much is just the natural process of learning more?

Also, what is the single most helpful advice you've ever received about writing? And the least helpful?

And, of course, I'd love to hear about your inspirations for GRACE, your newest release! :)

sandyshin7 [at] gmail [dot] com

June 23, 2010 5:35 PM  
Blogger Erika Lynn said...

I had another idea, what is harder to write. The beginning of a book or the end. Is it harder to get started or wrap it all up and how are the two parts different.

June 23, 2010 6:02 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

It would be great if you could give your audience a quick rundown of your entire writing process. You spend like 2 minutes on each item weaving you as a writer and the publishing aspect of writing into the talk like what does your editor and agent do for you at each stage in the process.

Introduction: Of course, tell them who you are and about your work. Discuss your approach to writing, how you get in the mindset to write, and what writing means to you as a person and an author.

Pre-writing: How do you gather ideas? How do you know the the idea for a story is the "ultimate" idea that can become a full length work? Do you have any specific techniques you use for exploring your ideas? Provide advice on pre-writing from any source.

Drafting: Do you just jump into drafting head first or do you get your feet wet? What part of the plot do you focus on first? How do you begin developing the protagonists? How do you stay motivated to write a full length novel? Because this is your career, how often/long do you write? Does drafting come easily for you? Detail some of your writing habits, i.e. do you carry your laptop everywhere or do you like to handwrite? While you are drafting, do you find that you have spontaneous bursts of ideas and have to resort to writing on napkins? Do you think words come to you easily? Why?

Revision/Editing: How do you know what to revise/edit? What is the hardest part about revision and editing? How do you know you are showing and not telling? I have yet to understand this concept. Who do you turn to for revision help (critique groups, etc.)? What is your best revision and editing advice? Please, I need all the motivation I can get!

Final Stages/Presenting:What do you feel makes a story complete? What is your role in deciding on covers, titles, etc.? Detail what happens between when you finish a work and then when your audience gets to read it like promotion, ARCs, book tours, etc. Now that you are ending one work, how do you begin moving to another project? Any leftover advice you haven't already given would be appreciated.

Here are my suggestions. I feel like I wrote waaay too much. Good luck, Elizabeth! I know you will do great! :D


June 23, 2010 8:46 PM  
Blogger Vanesa said...

Hi there!

I really would like to know what the most vulnerable moment when writing a book is? Which one has been the most challenging? If you could turn back time which book would you like to change and why? I am always “dreaming” about the behind the scenes, how do you create the first draft?…where do you find your inspiration?…the story behind the names of your book.

Thanks for another great contest!


June 23, 2010 11:27 PM  
Blogger Sammy said...

Elizabeth, what a great idea for a contest!

As an intern at a literary agency right now, I'm really interested to know how you decided to sign with your agent, and what kind of relationship you've built since.

Also, I was wondering if your agent's ever turned down any of your ideas. Because writers are so full of potential stories, I know some of them get turned down by agents, even when they wish they didn't have to. I've loved everything you've put out so far, which is why I'm curious to see if there were ideas that didn't quite make it.

I'm also incredibly interested in the revisions process. The book I'm currently querying went through about five rewrites before I thought it was ready. I know some people only do one huge set of revisions, or only edit certain scenes. Because every writer's process is different, I think it would be really great to see exactly what your revision process is like.

Lastly, where do you get your inspiration? Sometimes it can come from the weirdest places - do you have any totally bizarre stories of being inspired to write one of your books? And how did you go from that spark of inspiration to deciding the idea was actually worth its own story?

Thanks again for doing this!

Sammy Bina

June 24, 2010 12:42 PM  
OpenID gabrywrites said...

There are a lot of great ideas here. Well to put in my input, with the most asked and less asked. Starting from most asked.

-Where do you get your inspiration?
-Writer's Block
-When getting an idea, what do you do about that idea?
-Motivating to write. ( Big procrastinator, haha.
-Your writing style ( I love your writing style, it's so awesome. ) Talk about how easy it can be for you ( getting inside of a character's head, storyline, and etc ) and how hard it can be ( editing, revisions, and the hard parts )
-Failure. ( Rejections, how to get past those rejections, insecurities, this can focus on helping unpublished writers )
-Editing ( The process, how much you've edited, do you like editing,
-Fans ( This may seem like gloating but you could talk about how you appreciate your fans for reading your books )
-Publication progress ( the feelings you had when you got an arc for your first book, the finished copies of all your books, and the fact that people like it. )
-POV you prefer ( not needed )
-Tips on writing better, what not to do, advice
-Have you ever worked from ending to beginning? If so, was it easy or not? And do you prefer working from ending to beginning?
-What made you start writing and why you love it?
-Favorite things to write?

Email; ricettebunny@live.com
This was fun. o3o

June 24, 2010 7:58 PM  
Blogger Harmony B. said...

You could:

-I think this is something that A LOT of people have a problem with. Knowing when to stop. How to know when a story isn't working, how to know when to turn your back away and try something else. A lot of people are afarid that if they do this, they've quitters and won't amount to anything and I don't think that's true. Some ideas work and some don't. Explain what you do when an ideas not working and tell people that your not a quitter for not going forward with a story idea that your not in love with. It's something that's hard to deal with and I think people would love to see your persceptive of it!


June 24, 2010 8:56 PM  
Blogger Lena said...

I'd like to hear a little bit of everything, lol. For example?:

*How many times were you rejected before your first book was published? How do you deal with rejection?

*What was the first book you ever wrote about?

*Do you base the characters in your books on people you know? How about the guys?

*Where do you get the plot ideas from your stories?

*When you have writer's block, what do you do to "unblock" it?

*Do you plan on breaking out of the YA genre and writing any adult fiction? If so, what would the book be about?

*Any advice for aspiring writers?

I guess you can say I'd like to hear you talk about how you started off as a writer, progressed into the one you are now and your future plans for your career. Thus, the questions above. :)

HAVE FUN AT ALA! I wish I could be there!


June 24, 2010 9:03 PM  
OpenID adessien said...

There are some many things I would like to know about writing. I think you should start with the process of writing. How you go about it, process of developing characters and plot. You must talk about writers block and how to move a story along. I think some people think that coming up with a good idea is the hard part, but the hard part is committing that idea to page. You could have the best idea but if you cant translate it to page in a cohesive and entertaining manner you have nothing.I also think it's important for people do now that ever writer writes at there own pace. One author may release a book every two years, and another might have two released in one year.

After you talk about the actual writing of the book, I think you should talk about the process of getting that book publish. Who you need to contact and how to contact them. I think it would also be a good idea to talk a little about the printing process. How long does it take after the author has finish writing the book for the book to be printed and release? Why does it takes so long? What's the process? I think those will be helpful questions for all of us that hate waiting a year or more for our favorite book to come out.


June 24, 2010 10:50 PM  
Blogger Tina said...

I think it would be helpful-- and interesting-- to learn about your writing process. What comes first, characters or story ideas. Do you begin writing at the middle, the end, or the beginning? Do you write chronologically or just skip around when scenes come to you. When you write, do you picture the story unfolding like a movie in your mind, or is it just words on the page? What are the hardest parts of writing? What are the easiest? How much of your real life goes into your books? How do you come up with new qualities and quirks for your characters so that they're unique? Do you use any form of outlines or little notes, or do you just sit down and write? How do you weave so many plots together --ie, family, friends, boy-girl interactions, etc.-- into one story and still make it flow naturally? What is one thing you love about each book or a character you prefer from each book that you've written? What do you do to solve writer's block? On the average day, when you sit down to write, how do you feel? Do you have to be strict with yourself in order to write and set rules so that you don't get distracted, or do you enjoy it so much that you look forward to writing and your absorbed in the world and characters that you create? Do you always know how your books will end when you begin them, or does the ending sometimes surprise you? What was your most memorable writing experience? How has writing changed you as a person--both good and bad?

I hope those weren't too many questions >.< I tend to go a bit overboard when it comes to books.

Thanks for the chance to win Cassandra Clare's new book! I loved her series almost as much as I loved (and still love) Perfect You.


June 25, 2010 12:15 AM  
Blogger Jennifer Tran said...

I think you could talk about what happens when you just can't seem to get anything on the page or your inspiration to write teen fiction.


June 25, 2010 5:14 PM  

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