Announcements

Hello, readers!

I, Vision, have a few exciting announcements.

First, we at YAvengers we like to announce that we are opening our inbox to questions from YOU, dear readers. If you have any writing questions, please send them to us at yavengersblog@gmail.com. We will pick from your questions and answer them here on the blog! Only one question per email, please (unless the questions are all directly related like "How do you format a manuscript? Do I need to format a query the same way", etc) and if you would like to remain anonymous, please say so in the email.

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Secondly, we are also planning to do some contests! Winners of these contests will have the choice of receiving a query letter critique or the chance to write a guest post for our blog or maybe even other prizes. Details will be given with each contest as it comes up.

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And lastly, we finally got everything sorted out and we will be having a Twitter Chat this month! We're moving our chats to Tuesday nights and we'll see how that works. This month's chat is about structure and while that's not necessarily an exciting topic, it is definitely an important one and we'll have fun talking about it! So join us, Tuesday, February 21, at 8:30 PM EST!

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Vision out.

Finding Time to Write When You're Running Out of Time

How do you write when you have a million other things to do? How do you find time to sit down and put pen to paper? How do you find time to revise that chapter when you're trying to stop enemies from revising New York City?

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How do you write when you're running out of time?

For many of us, writing is an escape and a somewhat necessary one. We feel much more at ease when we have written our ideas down or worked on our novels. But life sees this as leisurely (and yes, sometimes it is) and therefore, when we have a very busy day or series of days, writing time becomes non-existent.

But does it have to be?

Before you read these tips on how to squeeze in writing time, I want you to take several deep breaths, roll your shoulders a bit, relax. If you are reading this post right after it is published, perhaps you are already relaxed and not busy. But if you are reading this post months from now in hope of answers because you, dear reader, are looking for a way to write in a time when things are too busy and robots are destroying your hometown and the only person who can save the town is you... take a breath. Take several. Air is free.

Feel better? Good. Moving on.

1. Take advantage of the early morning. Wake up an hour earlier. Freshen up then come back and open your laptop. Take your breakfast and coffee with you, if you wish. But get words down on the page. Chances are that your home is quiet because everyone else is still asleep. Use this to your advantage. Write until you must stop. In writing before the day really begins, you force writing to be first.

2. Take advantage of the night. This is the same theory as the last point. When the day is done and everyone is quiet, open your laptop and write. Now, there are a couple problems with this plan. It is highly advised that you do not write both late at night and early in the morning. You will not get enough sleep. The other problem is that you may be just too worn out from the day to write. But if night is the only time you can write, then take that time.

3. Write longhand. If you find yourself racing around, running errands, or just no access to a laptop, bring a notebook. Write your story in that notebook when you have small bits of time. The words add up. A notebook is also good for getting down random ideas you have.

4. Word goals. Set yourself a small writing daily goal. 100 words is a tiny and fast amount once you get started. Three sentences is small.

4.2 Accountability. Get a writing friend. That friend will hold you to your writing goals and will also be understanding if you somehow can't make those goals. Also, writing friends are good for word wars and those are small, too.

5. When your work doesn't require thought: Stuck cleaning the whole house for your relative's arrival? Use the time while doing the mundane jobs to think about your writing. Plan the next scene you're going to write. Plan a blog post. Listen to music, writing podcasts, audiobooks-- things that inspire.

6. Read. Reading is very much counts of writing. If you don't have time to read, you don't have time or skills to write. Stephen King said that. If you're stuck in your writing, try to read. Or listen to an audiobook. It may help you get unstuck and also serve as that escape writing provides.

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These are my tips for how to get writing done when you're busy. But sometimes, you really just can't write.
And this is okay.

Take a break if you need it. Take a breath, crash on the couch, and watch My Little Pony.

Can't get enough of this pic too funny:

There is a saying that says if you're a writer, you have to write everyday. This is not true. While it is a good practice, you do not have to write everyday. No one's process has to be yours.

The other good news is that you have plenty of time to write in the grand scheme of things. You are not running out of time.

Take a breath. Finish your work. Write worlds.

~Vision

PS: Our Twitter Chat this month will be on Thursday, the 26th, at 8:30 PM EST. Please join us!


Sending Your Story To Alpha Readers



The Holidays are nearly upon us.

Here at Avengers HQ, I find myself listening to banter about fruitcake, watching Christmas films that no one really wants to watch, and generally trying to keep the peace.

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I'm also trying to start a new story. I am a bit... unfocused when it comes to choosing what to write and starting new novels. I tend to go through several plot bunnies and false starts before I find what I really want to write. I play with ideas of editing old projects, too. 

Editing old projects requires a few things. 

1. I have to love this project enough to want to edit it. 
2. I have to have feedback on it. 

The latter of these is both difficult and not. 

I have a couple friends who are willing to read anything I write and they give good feedback. This is the easy part.

But I am also always a bit frightened of sending things to them. This is the hard part.

I know my story is flawed. I want to be ready to send it, feel like it's a good story with small bugs instead of plot holes that will eat you. I know I made mistakes and maybe I should fix them before I send them to my alpha-readers. 

But alpha readers are there to help me find the mistakes so that I know how to fix them. 

If you wait until you're ready to send a story to someone, you never will send it.

The other day, I was playing with the idea of editing the novel I wrote for NaNo '15. One of my alphas had read it and the other had not. I had just never sent it to him. The majority of the story, though fun to write, was mortifying. But the main plot or at least the concept has potential to be great and I loved the characters. 

So I asked my alpha if he'd read it. He didn't need to give in depth feedback; I just need to know if I should rewrite, edit, or move on. 

He said yes. I sent it before I lost my nerve. 

And now, I wait. As I always do. But with Christmas coming up and critique reading of my own to do, I am plenty busy and can be patient.

My advice to you for having someone read your stories:
  1.  Ask. Even though my alphas will read anything I send them, I still find it's good manners to ask if I can send it to them. 
  2.  Be specific about what kind of feedback you want. Do you want specific things or general? Big stuff or line edits? 
  3. Grit your teeth and send it.
  4. DO NOT LOOK AT THE STORY AFTER IT'S BEEN SENT. You will drive yourself to insanity because you will notice mistakes.
  5.  Be gracious when the feedback comes back. Don't argue. (I also find that if you have to explain away feedback, it's because you didn't explain the topic well enough in the story.)
  6.  At some point shortly after you receive feedback, ask your reader specific questions if you have them. This is also a good chance to ask questions about the feedback. 
  7.  Let the feedback simmer before you apply it. Ultimately, everything is your choice; you are the author. You may decide that your reader was wrong and you don't want to add flying ninja squirrels to the story. Or you may disagree with feedback and then realize the reader was right. 
  8. Be willing to read their stories if they are writers. Iron sharpens iron. Help each other grow as writers. 
I hope this was helpful to you. These things have been very helpful to me over the years (I ignored the rule of don't look at the story after it's been sent and I about died of humiliation. Please don't ignore that rule.).

And now, back to getting into my new story and watching Thor, Captain America, and Dr. Banner try to make a gingerbread house. Oh look here comes Mr. Stark... oh dear. I had better go help them.

Don't forget our Twitter Chat this Friday! We're discussing Editing and the chat will start at 8:30 PM. 

Mr. Stark, I really think that building Stark Tower with gingerbread is a bit excessive... 

~Vision




Twitter Chat



Hello, readers.

Here at Avenger's HQ, we're getting ready for the Holidays.


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Look how festive! (This picture is a few years old, unfortunately. Since our dispute earlier this year, things aren't nearly as holly-jolly. But this is still a good one for Christmas Cards, yes?)













Most of you are probably doing the same.

I hope your November and NaNoWriMo's were wonderful. Some of you might have newly finished drafts. Congratulations from us.

This month's Twitter Chat is all about editing. If you are wanting to edit your new story or are currently editing or will be editing in the future, then join us for a chat. We're eager to hear your tips and tricks and share some of our own.

The chat is at 8:30 PM EST on Friday, December 23rd.

We hope to see you then!

~Vision

Completing Your Adventure

Greeting, it is I, Thor.


I have been a way for a while and I cannot tell you where I have been. I can tell you that I was with Loki and some strange things have been happening. (rest of paragraph redacted for spoilers)

I am here to encourage you as NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) comes to an end. There is still time if you have not finishing crafting your warrior novel. Every book has a beginning. Writing a book, whether you wrote it in one month or if you dragged in some book baggage that needed written this month, is an important accomplishment. You achieved something. Even if you only wrote eight hundred words, you started something.

There is still time to finish writing your novel. 

Don't give up.

I can honestly say that I have a folder of novels on my computer labeled as "Unfinished/Shelved Novels". Sometimes once I finish them, I realize that they aren't really good. Or I get part way through writing a book and stop. They all end up in the folder. But that's okay. If you don't finish your novel, you tried. Not every idea is meant to be a book. I once had an idea about three faeries taking a road trip to a place that looked exactly like Lothlorien, along with a cliched villain who killed the main faerie's parents, but was her uncle. Yes, that book is shelved. It wasn't good. But I am happy that I wrote it. Every word on the page is an accomplishment.

Someday all of your work will be worth it.

And remember, it's a first draft. First drafts are not meant to be perfect and sparkly. They are full of plot holes, accidental name changes, and some horrible writing. The important part, is that you finish the draft. You can fix the problems in revisions later.

Write.

Write and don't give up on your novel.

Now I seem to have misplaced something important. Darryl is supposed to be procuring a horse for us to ride. (spoilers redacted)

-THOR

And Now The Weather

*rap beat*

Hey.

Listen up, writers of NaNo or just those who are writing and maybe you're stuck and not feeling your story. Whatever you're doing, Vision is here to cheer you on.

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Keep dreaming and reaching for the moon.

Keep plotting because you will get there soon.

Keeping scheming just because you could.

Keeping writing because I know that your story is going to be good.

I can't wait to read this story of from you.

And now that you're encouraged, you've got writing to do. (And me too!)

Vision out.

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NaNoWriMo Is Upon Us!

Greetings, writers!

This is Vision and I have a couple of announcements.

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Firstly, our monthly Twitter Chat will be on Friday, November 11th, starting at 9 PM EST. This will be less of an informative chat and more of a "How's the writing going?" chat.

Secondly. We spoke last month of potentially doing word wars and virtual write-ins through out the month of November. We got a good response from you on Twitter, telling us that you would enjoy both of these activities.

While we have decided to do both of these, we've also made the decision to make this easy and instead of trying to schedule around different things (like other enjoyable word war events and write-ins) and promote and hope for a good turn out, we will open a chatroom.

That's right, we have a chatroom!

We're going to keep this chatroom open 24-7 throughout the whole month. The chatroom is not Premium, so it will only hold 10 people at a time, but if we find ourselves faced with overflow, we'll open a second chat and I'll be there, too.

To ensure that we all enjoy ourselves, there are a few rules.

Rules:
1. Be kind.
2. Please keep discussions at a PG-13 level or lower (preferably lower). We might have younger guests.
3. No swearing.
4. No spam.
5. No spoilers (This does not have to include your own book that you are working on. You may spoil that if you wish. We are willing to help you brainstorm through a tough spot.).

Here is the chatroom.

You are welcome to come whenever it is convenient for you and you can invite friends. I will be there a lot of the day, ready to host word wars and discuss writing as needed.

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We hope you can join us!

Vision out.