September Wrap-Up: Pre-Writing, Hedgehogs, and Hawkeye Appreciation

Is there ever a month that isn't packed with YAvengers action and writing advice?  Correct answer:

That's right.  I, Cap, am here again to fill you in on the posts, tweets, and other fun stuff you may have missed while you were off saving your own worlds.  This September, as we slowly but surely suit up for November's NaNoWriMo challenge, we tackle all kinds of Pre-Writing Decisions.

(Before we get down to brass tacks, however, today is release day for Broken Body, Fragile Heart; a poetry collection from Stark's alter ego.  You can read all about it here.  I have read-- and listened to the author read-- samples from the collection, and they are excellent.  Check it out.)

It's time to begin.  NaNoWriMo is but a month away-- time to suit up.

September begins with a stunningly profound post from the bag-o'-cats himself.  Loki talks to us about mood, tone, and style, how to use each, and how to capture your enthusiasm even in revisions.  It's a great post, one I've filed for future use.  (I've done that with so many YAvenger posts that my filing cabinet is getting a bit tight.)

Agent Coulson talks about multiple POVs, or points of view.  All your questions about juggling viewpoints are answered here, including how to make each unique, how to introduce a viewpoint for the right reason, and many others.  Even if single POV is more your style, knowing how to juggle more than one is useful.  Not only that, but Coulson makes it fun to learn how.

To help with all your POV decisions, Miss Romanoff digs into the nitty-gritty details of first, second, and third person, as well as past and present tense.  She obviously has a lot of experience reading and writing each.  She has examples and gifs and all the fun things to accompany such a technical post-- and even if you've been doing this gig for a while, it's worth a review.  Definitely look it over.

And now it's Thor's turn.  With a roll of thunder sounding in his wake, he crashes in to talk about pre-writing itself.  This isn't simply lying around on the couch, wondering if you should write-- this is outlining, worldbuilding, researching, and making sure your great idea can keep an entire novel going.  It's an important step of the brainstorming process, and he hits all the important points.

But don't take him too seriously.  Only a couple days after his post, we found this picture of him, obviously leaked from Asgard:

...And this one, apparently from his new day job on Earth:

My friends, let's take a moment of silence for our godly friend.  All those battles to save universes must have taken quite a toll on his sanity.

Okay, moment of silence over.  We have more to accomplish than pitying Thor.  There are some pretty great posts still to come.

I, Captain America, was next to post.  (Well, that makes me sound conceited.  It was coincidence, I assure you.)  I posted on genre and age-range, making sure you knew your audience before you dove in.  Many times, you'll want to transcend genre and age, but it's often practical at the beginning to restrict yourself to a single group.

Now it's Iron Man's turn.  Frankly, Stark blew me away with his post on themes.  Themes seem like the stuff of high school English, or the tools of literary fiction authors, but Stark takes those assumptions and realigns them, guiding us to understand that themes are just as important to YA as they are to anything else.  I loved his post-- another one I'll stuff into that file cabinet for later use.

Lastly, Dr. Banner weighed in-- rather heavily-- with a post on clustering scenes based on enthusiasm rather than straightforward outlining.  It was an interesting take, and an approach I had not seen before, but am ready to try if outline fatigue should hit me.  I encourage you to visit, and revisit, his post as we begin brainstorming and outlining for NaNoWriMo.

You may have noticed that our sharpshooting member, Hawkeye, was absent this month.  He was unable to post due to world-saving duties.  We should know by now that we aren't the only demand on his time, and we might have to go a month without his wisdom.  It's a pity, but necessary.  (Just wait until next month.)

That was the month here at the YAvengers.  I hope you read and enjoyed all the posts-- if you didn't, either read them again or go through again replacing "novel" or "writing" with "chocolate".  It works wonders.  (That's right, September is Pre-Chocolate Decision month.  Do you stop with one piece, or eat five in a row?)

October, the last month before NaNoWriMo (ack! I need a bigger shield), is Pre-NaNoWriMo month.  We're doing a lot of pre-thingy months, but NaNoWriMo is a big deal.  You'll want to read about brainstorming, outlining-- or not outlining-- and everything else we have to talk about.  Those posts will begin soon, so stick around.  Or, you know, save the world and catch up later.  (That's always an option.)

Until then, I'm out.  Be awesome, write awesomely, and bombard me with Hawkeye gifs (just for fun).  Get ready for a great October.



  1. Excellent month, Avengers! Looking forward to next month!


  2. Thanks for the shoutout, Cap. I appreciate your promotional support. :) And also your compliments on my post. I liked those too.

    1. Anytime. I wish I had written the post after I bought the collection, though— then I could have more bragging rights.

  3. Were you trying to use your shield as a clipboard, Captain? Because that's what it sounds like, reading this post. (Does using a circular "clipboard" make it tougher to hold on to?)
    I love the idea of chocolate-ness. Definitely trying that. :-)