Writing Tips and a Published Author

Yesterday a published author came to speak at my school. Her genre is completely different than mine- she writes realistic fiction (and is now moving to YA) while I write fantasy- but it was still an amazing opportunity for me to learn a little bit more about the writing process. I already knew a little bit after reading Terry Brooks’ Sometimes the Magic Works, all of which she reinforced, but it was interesting to hear her personal journey and writing techniques.

Jessica Brody is the author that visited my school. She currently has three books published and is in the process of getting two more out (both YA). The three currently in print are The Fidelity Files, Love Undercover, and The Karma Club. The latter of the three is her first YA book, and though it does sound like an interesting book I’m not exactly a fan of YA… mainly because I read to escape my everyday life, not see what other people do with theirs. But for any fans out there of YA I think it would definitely be a very good read. I found her in one of the classrooms later in the day and went up to ask a couple of questions that hadn’t been answered just through her general presentation. The first I asked was how she picked character names. You see, because I write fantasy, I go the typical way and make up strange names simply for the enjoyment of it. I go through long lists of Greek and Latin roots for meanings that fit the character and fit them together to make a name, or I go online and find a name I like and alter it just a bit. So I wanted to know how a realistic fiction writer chooses names. “Baby names dot com,” she said with a big grin when I asked. “I usually got to the unusual names or popular names lists and just scroll down the page until one jumps out at me.” Sounds genius to me. So simple. I may just do that for my less fantastical characters.

The next question I asked was if she free writes straight through, if she breaks it into chapters, or if she jumps around a lot. She replied that she writes straight through, breaking it into chapters (episodic chapters, as she put it) as she goes, each chapter averaging ten pages for her adult books and six or so for her YA books. Jessica was very nice, I must say, and I’m so glad to know that when you become published you don’t turn into some egotistical celebrity. You’re still a person. I honestly don’t know why I had thought that would change.

I just figured I would share this with anyone that reads my blog and enjoys writing, themselves. Jessica also has a website with a link for aspiring writers where she answers a lot of common questions: http://jessicabrody.com/writers.html


~ by Rckrgrl on May 6, 2010.

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