Meagan Spooner
Absolutely brilliant. This is the sci fi I’ve been waiting for! Action, romance, twists and turns–this book has it all!

Beth Revis, New York Times best-selling author of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE

2017-11-06T11:42:38-05:00

Beth Revis, New York Times best-selling author of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE

Absolutely brilliant. This is the sci fi I’ve been waiting for! Action, romance, twists and turns–this book has it all!
"A literally breathtaking archaeological expedition. Spooner and Kaufman prove once again that no one does high-stakes adventure shenanigans like they do."

E. K. Johnston, #1 New York Times best-selling author of Star Wars: Ahsoka

2017-11-06T11:44:34-05:00

E. K. Johnston, #1 New York Times best-selling author of Star Wars: Ahsoka

"A literally breathtaking archaeological expedition. Spooner and Kaufman prove once again that no one does high-stakes adventure shenanigans like they do."
One of the most intense, thrilling, and achingly beautiful stories I’ve ever read. Kaufman and Spooner will break your heart with skilled aplomb, and you’ll thank them for it. Absolutely incredible! If I have to, I will come to your house and shove this book into your hands!

Marie Lu, New York Times best-selling author of the Legend trilogy

2017-11-06T11:48:19-05:00

Marie Lu, New York Times best-selling author of the Legend trilogy

One of the most intense, thrilling, and achingly beautiful stories I’ve ever read. Kaufman and Spooner will break your heart with skilled aplomb, and you’ll thank them for it. Absolutely incredible! If I have to, I will come to your house and shove this book into your hands!
With rich, complex characters and a dynamic—and dangerous—new world, THESE BROKEN STARS completely transported me.

Jodi Meadows, author of the Incarnate series

2017-11-06T12:09:41-05:00

Jodi Meadows, author of the Incarnate series

With rich, complex characters and a dynamic—and dangerous—new world, THESE BROKEN STARS completely transported me.
Intense and absorbing, Skylark transported me to a world of magic and danger unlike anything I’ve read before. I loved Lark, and was riveted by her journey of survival and self-discovery. Dark, original, and beautiful, this is a novel you don’t want to miss.

Veronica Rossi, author of UNDER THE NEVER SKY

2017-11-06T12:13:28-05:00

Veronica Rossi, author of UNDER THE NEVER SKY

Intense and absorbing, Skylark transported me to a world of magic and danger unlike anything I’ve read before. I loved Lark, and was riveted by her journey of survival and self-discovery. Dark, original, and beautiful, this is a novel you don’t want to miss.
Skylark's rich narrative and plucky heroine will transport you into a mesmerizing and horrifying world.

New York Times bestselling author Carrie Jones

2017-11-27T09:17:02-05:00

New York Times bestselling author Carrie Jones

Skylark's rich narrative and plucky heroine will transport you into a mesmerizing and horrifying world.
With its blend of dystopian, steampunk, and generally fantastical elements, Spooner's follow up is even stronger and more gripping as the debut and is sure to ensnare further loyal readers.

Booklist (Starred Review)

2017-11-27T10:01:57-05:00

Booklist (Starred Review)

With its blend of dystopian, steampunk, and generally fantastical elements, Spooner's follow up is even stronger and more gripping as the debut and is sure to ensnare further loyal readers.
This intriguing dystopian adventure's depiction of the stand this strong female protagonist takes against the horrors of her world is fast-paced, compelling, and un-put-downable.

VOYA

2017-11-27T10:05:07-05:00

VOYA

This intriguing dystopian adventure's depiction of the stand this strong female protagonist takes against the horrors of her world is fast-paced, compelling, and un-put-downable.
Once again, the worldbuilding is superb, the characters fully fleshed out and intriguing, the battles riveting, and the edge-of-the seat suspense compelling. Teens looking for a well-written dystopian adventure with steampunk elements in the magical machines created by the Architects will enjoy spending time with Lark and her companions.

VOYA Magazine, starred review

2017-11-27T10:27:43-05:00

VOYA Magazine, starred review

Once again, the worldbuilding is superb, the characters fully fleshed out and intriguing, the battles riveting, and the edge-of-the seat suspense compelling. Teens looking for a well-written dystopian adventure with steampunk elements in the magical machines created by the Architects will enjoy spending time with Lark and her companions.
An extremely entertaining tale of past, present and future leaving the question: where does humanity stand when the best laid plans backfire?

Children's Literature

2017-11-27T10:29:04-05:00

Children's Literature

An extremely entertaining tale of past, present and future leaving the question: where does humanity stand when the best laid plans backfire?
A haunting and romantic exploration of love and what sacrifices come with freedom.


Marie Lu

2017-11-27T15:17:04-05:00

Marie Lu

A haunting and romantic exploration of love and what sacrifices come with freedom.
Amazing. That one word describes the whole book.

VOYA

2017-11-27T15:18:24-05:00

VOYA

Amazing. That one word describes the whole book.

Wisdomous Wednesday: Write Aloud

Wisdomous Wednesday is a weekly series of posts with advice about writing ranging from craft to navigation through the publishing world. If you have some wisdomous thoughts you’d like to share here, don’t hesitate to contact me. I love advice from other writers!

So, turns out I’m pretty incompetent at new to WordPress’s post scheduler thingy. It worked for me for two weeks and then the first time I started to get comfortable, turns out I scheduled it but didn’t SCHEDULE IT (there are like two steps to this process, guys, it’s pretty complex) so it didn’t post. So, uh, today’s Wednesday post is actually showing up on Friday. Just pretend with me that it’s two days ago, and we’ll all be happier for it.

Have you ever read a piece of dialogue (especially in YA!) and just cringed because you know  no self-respecting teenager would ever actually say “Dude man, that is wicked off the hizzook!” except maybe on like ABC Family or the WB (or the CW or whatever it is now, can you tell I haven’t watched it since Buffy)? Some pretty common advice to writers is that they should try reading their work aloud, because you’ll often find those bits of dialogue that seemed okay when you wrote it, but sound heinous when actually spoken.

I only mention this because that’s not actually related to today’s tip whatsoever. Except that you will also feel pretty ridiculous doing it.

Write Aloud

As my critique partner Amie can attest, I talk to myself while I write. I’m pretty sure she’s the only person who’s been in the room with me for extended periods of time while I’ve been writing. I talk to myself, I make faces, I twitch and shift positions and inspect my hands and feet and make tapping noises and basically am a one-woman show. This is because I find it amazingly helpful while drafting to somewhat act out the scenes I’m writing, because often I’m not sure what a realistic or impactful response is to what’s going on. And I find that I actually get ideas I never would have gotten, for new directions in the dialogue, or ways to describe reactions that avoid cliches like “Tears welled up in my eyes” or “my throat closed up” or “I bit my lip in frustration.”

So you know that inner diva? Come on, you know. You don’t have to be a drama geek (cough, like me, cough) to have one. You know that inner diva, who only comes out when no one’s watching? That acting talent that you KNOW would win you an Oscar if only you could summon it when other people are around? Channel it! Sometime when you’re alone in the house (or alone in the room) while writing a particularly difficult scene, just let loose and see what happens if you actually act it out. Don’t stop to write each line, just talk to yourself and see what comes naturally. Yeah, you’ll feel ridiculous, and hey, maybe nothing will happen and you’ll just think “Okay, so she’s nuts.” But every so often doing this comes up with a gem.

I think studying pretty much anything ends up being helpful to a writer in some way, but I think that studying drama is particularly useful. That’s a topic for a whole separate post, really (omg Stanislavski, etc.!) but method acting–really inhabiting the skin of a character, living what they live, eating what they eat, feeling what they feel–is pretty sweet. So try method writing–don’t just let your characters live in your head, try living in your character for a bit. Somewhere in between wailing to an empty room and shame-facedly cleaning up your runny mascara you’ll figure out exactly what made your character cry.

Out of curiosity, what’s the weirdest thing you guys do while writing?

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28 Responses to “Wisdomous Wednesday: Write Aloud”

  1. Great post. I always say my theater background helps in my writing. With dialogue, character and voice. 😀

  2. I loved Friends. Sigh. I talk to myself more when I’m running. I hold debates with myself about plot, if I’m stuck. I’ve only been caught a few times. 🙂

    • Meagan says:

      Joey being all “WHY GOD WHY?” was the first thing that popped into my head when I thought about “diva drama queen.” 😛

      Man, I’m not sure what’s more impressive. That you run, that you plot while you run, or that you can TALK to yourself while you run. If I ran for longer than a few minutes I’d barely be able to breathe to myself. 😉

  3. Reading my writing aloud works wonders! But I never really thought of acting it out loud while I was creating it. I’m gonna try this. And it could be interesting because my when I write, I’m in a COMPLETELY open area of my house – and am rarely the only person home. =)

  4. Sarah says:

    The nearest thing I’ve done is try to act out fight scene between two people – by myself – to see if it would work. I fell over 🙁

  5. Glaiza says:

    Lol I’ve never thought of method writing before but it it sounds like fun. I think there was a random cultural studies subject my friend tried out called ‘rehearsing lives’ which was basically theatre aimed at improving a person’s non-fiction writing. I kind of miss drama so I’ll definitely try out this tip!

  6. I don’t do anything weird while writing since I’m plain weird in the first place. LOL

    Great advice though. Thanks for your help.
    Nancy
    N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium

  7. Amie Kaufman says:

    Man, one of my biggest regrets in life was that I was not there the day you made a rucksack out of your pants. Missed opportunity.

    I definitely do facial expressions, tilt my head, freak out strangers by staring into space while I search for words. I think the greatest strength of this advice is definitely in avoiding cliches. When you focus on how something actually feels, you can always find a better way to describe it than using a stock phrase.

    • Meagan says:

      Yes, well. I’ll have you know no one else has batted an eye at that bit of the manuscript–because it is SO REALISTIC. So there. Hmph.

      Yeah, it’s definitely about avoiding the cliches.

  8. Julie Dao says:

    HAHA. I thought I was the only one!! But I think what I do is WAY more embarrassing because while you have the presence of mind to act out your stories in private or in the company of other writers who get you, I do it anywhere. Like when I’m walking down the street. Or sitting on the train. I talk to myself about the story or try out pieces of dialogue under my breath, and while I know I’m being very dedicated (yeah right), everyone else just thinks I’m some loony chick mumbling crazy stuff. Which I might very well be, come to think of it…

    • Meagan says:

      Haha! Thing is, the reason I like to write when I’m alone is BECAUSE I do this stuff without realizing. XD I get self-conscious writing when other people are around because I know I act like half a lunatic while I do!

      So glad it’s not just me. I’m always making faces at my reflection in the train window, to get the expressions of my characters down. I hope not too many people notice. >_>

  9. Jemi Fraser says:

    When I’m drawing I make all the faces I’m drawing. I’m a less-than-mediocre artist so I need all the help I can get!

    I’m going to have to pay attention and see if I do the same things when I write 🙂

  10. I do the same. I get weird looks from the cat…

  11. Nas says:

    I acted out an accident scene and made drawings to understand better how a child would end up with his feet facing skywards if a car tumbled upside down.

  12. You must be interesting to watch! I think I’m pretty quiet, though sometimes people try to talk to me, but I’m in another world.

    Here’s an interesting writing link you might like:

    http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2011/05/reversals-in-novels-and-movies.html

    • Meagan says:

      Nathan Bransford’s blog is awesome. 😀

      And yeah… I love it when I’m so into the writing that people can call my name and I don’t even hear. 😛 (Well, and sometimes a little embarrassed, too…)

  13. You know what? I used to write in bookstore cafes. I put earbuds in and play tunes to drown out the sound. When I’m really into the scene, I “act out” facial expressions as I’m typing. I often wonder what people are thinking if they should happen to look at me, LOL!

    Nice post!

    • Meagan says:

      Ooh, I’m jealous. I wish I could work in bookstores and coffee shops and the like! But I’m always way too self-conscious, and too distracted.

      One can only hope they think you’re an asylum escapee! 😛

  14. Joan says:

    Teehee, I talk to myself when I write too.
    Usually it’s when I can’t remember a word. And I have to flap my hands around, conveying the *feeling* of the word until I get the right word. Then I start narrating or making the character’s faces so that I’ll know how to describe them… Wonderful :))

  15. Joellen says:

    I needed to thank you for this good read!! I absolutely enjoyed every bit of it.
    I have you saved as a favorite to check out new stuff you post…

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