Monday, March 2, 2015

A Writer/Reader's Life: Fun YA stuff!


This week I thought it might be fun to do a post/conglomeration of fun YA images and articles! Here are a few of my favorites that any YA fanatic or avid reader will enjoy: 


For Harry Potter fans: 



For Hunger Games fans: 

Hunger Games memes on pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/explore/hunger-games-memes/

For Divergent fans: 


A tank top we could all use: 


And, finally, what most of our rooms look like on a good day: 




I hope you enjoyed, and happy reading! 





Monday, February 16, 2015

A Writer's Life: Knowing Your Characters

Getting to Know Your Characters 


Sometimes plot can overtake your writing life. What's the biggest plot twist you can come up with? When should the inciting incident happen? Should you have a big fight scene at the end where everyone dies...but not really? 

That's cool, you know, because plot is awesome.

But there are times when plot can overshadow character, and you don't want to sacrifice those characters in the process! A good character can write a plot all by his or herself. That's why it's always good to get to know your character as much as possible before you get started. Here are a few ways to do that: 

1. Ask Her (or Him) Questions 



What would your character say? This might sound insane, but asking them questions will help you get to know your protagonist! What's her favorite food? Her fondest memory? Soon you'll begin to compile moments in time that your character remembers and cherishes, which is awesome writing material.

2.  Get Into Her Head  


Try to dedicate a few minutes out of the day to really get into your character's head. Make a solid effort to see the world the way she sees it, and maybe that can help with your characterization. Thoughts translate to words, and if you try to sift through your character's thoughts, writing her will be so much easier! 

3. Let Your Character Speak for His or Herself



While you are writing, make sure to let your protagonist speak for herself. It's easy for us to get in our own heads and stay there, but if you push yourself to keep your character's voice at the forefront of your mind, writing will be easier! 


That's it--a few good ways to keep your protagonist at the front of your brain! Have fun getting to know your characters, and, as always, if you have tips or trick so of your own, post them below!



Monday, February 9, 2015

A Writer's Life: How to Handle Stress

How to Handle Writing Stress

As writers, we've all been there--that manuscript that just won't finish itself but is due at midnight, and you're about 20,000 words short. Or maybe you're neck-deep in edits, and you just can't figure out why those plot holes won't fix themselves. Whatever the case, we writers tend to get really worked up, and sometimes it's downright maddening! So here are a few tips, sites, and images to help you keep your cool and inspire your inner writer.


1. Stress Reduction Kit

This one is just plain hilarious. Now I'm not condoning violence (especially of the self-inflicted variety), but sometimes you just have those days where your protagonist won't cooperate and you can't get your thoughts under control. 




2. Relaxation Techniques for Stress Relief 

These are awesome! This article hits the nail on the head when it says that stress is necessary for creativity. But when it becomes overwhelming these techniques come in handy:



3. How to Write While Under Stress 

Another great set of steps! These are from wikihow, and they take you through writing while under stress. Not a bad process, and you'll get a lot accomplished! 



4. And, Finally, a Little Motivation 

Here is an article with some great motivational tips! Any time you're under a lot of stress or can't seem to get past your own writer's block, just remember: stress is hard, but when you finish whatever you're working on, it will all have been worth it! 







I hope those helped! Here's to pushing forward and writing a little every day, no matter what life throws at you. Remember- when life gives you lemons, write a book about it.


Thursday, February 5, 2015

It's An All New Kimberly Derting...


.com, that is! The new website is finally here. Check it out at www.kimberlyderting.com





What do you think, yo?

Monday, February 2, 2015

A Writer's Life: Writing Resources

Writing Resources 


As writers we sometimes get a little frustrated with our own brains, which is completely normal! Most days there are just way too many ideas flying around in there to focus, and it's easy to get side-tracked or even completely overwhelmed. So here are four sites that I've found that can help with keeping on track, including tips, ideas, and even some cool prompts!




1. Fiction Writing Prompts for YA: 


This site has a few fun prompts that you can try out on your own! They're pretty helpful and simple, just getting back to the basics of contemporary YA. If you like realistic prompts, these will help! 


2. How to Write Young Adult Horror: 6 Tips

Here's something a little different- how to write YA horror! This is a great list of tips for any of you out there who want to try your hand at a young adult horror novel. Yikes! 



3. The Key Differences Between Middle Grade and Young Adult


If you're struggling with what audience you want to reach, this is a great article! It touches on some of the main differences between MG and YA. 


4. Inspiration: 6 Wise and Beautiful Quotes from YA Literature 


Looking for a little inspiration? These YA quotes are sure to inspire! If you're feeling a little dejected or in a writing slump, these will surely help :) 





I hope that these sites helped! If you have any tips or have had a particularly productive day of writing, give a shout out below! 


Monday, January 26, 2015

A Writer's Life: Why A Life Journal Works

The Life Journal and Why it Works


As a writer, there is something that I like to call a "Life Journal." It's a journal that you carry around just in case you see or hear something you don't want to forget (which, to be honest, usually happens at the most inopportune times). But if you have your Life Journal, and you're not in the shower or speeding down the highway, then you can jot it down! There are so many instances in every day life that make awesome material, and it would be a crime not to remember at least a few of them. So, here are a few reasons why carrying a Life Journal can benefit your writing!


1. It's Not Just Kids Who Say the Darnd-est Things




Sometimes the people closest to us will surprise us with the craziest sayings. That's when you can snap out your Life Journal and write them down (after asking permission of the speaker, of course). But some of the greatest quotes can come from the most unlikely sources, and sometimes entire characters can come from a single sentence!

2. Your Own Thoughts are Hilarious




Have you ever been waiting in a really long line, and something sarcastic or just downright hilarious pops into your head? That's right, it's journal time. If you have your Life Journal with you, you can scribble down that side-splitting thought and use it to fuel your quippy main character. 


3. Daydreams--They're Great for Writers




Letting your mind wander is seriously the #1 way to come up with story ideas, fix plots problems, and work on dialogue. It might be anything from surviving in a post-apocalytpic world to deep sea diving to making out with the boy next door--but whatever it is, you want to write it in your Life Journal! You never know when one of those space-out sessions will drift into real story material. 


4. There's Just So Much to Remember




Let's face it, sometimes the weirdest, funniest, most downright unbelievable things happen to us. It's hard to remember everything we encounter, especially hours (or even years) later. So why not write it down? With your journal in hand, you'll have endless material for any situation you could dream of writing about...and no worries about forgetting it.


And that's it! Carrying a Life Journal, (especially of the pocket variety), is so darn useful. Whether you're eavesdropping, having a hilarious inner narrative, or just plain daydreaming, a Life Journal will help you to save all the important material for later!



Thursday, January 22, 2015

That YA Dorm Life: Book Nerd Nightmares

The Top Five Book Nerd Nightmares

If you are anything like me, then you have shelves and shelves of books and they are all your literary children. Each one is special and unique, with different covers and personalities, and you love each and every one equally. 

Awesome. 

Only, what happens on a college campus to our precious books is not always pretty. Here are five of the most terrifying book nerd nightmares, from the mouth of a fellow bibliophile and college student: 


1. The Dog Ears



Source: Giphy 

Yep. I said it. People will borrow your book and dog ear your pages and ohmygoshmakeitstop. One minute you're discussing your favorite YA reads, the next moment they're handing back your book and its pages are scarred for life. Um, no thanks.


2. Two Words: The Rain



Source: Giphy


Picture this: you're out for a peaceful walk in the park, just you and your new book. You're on chapter nine, and your favorite ship is about to become real, when a sudden strike of thunder and torrent of rain drenches every last beautiful page. Sobs ensue.


3. That One Who Takes the Jacket Off



Source: Tumblr

No. No no no no no. Why did you borrow my book and take the jacket off? "Oh, the jacket annoys me." Um, I don't think that's an excuse to publicly humiliate my beautiful new edition of Divergent. Please, for the sake of literacy, cover her up! 


4. The Makeshift Coaster


Source: Giphy


I have no words for this one. 

Simply. 

Horrifying. 


5. And, Finally, the Bottom of the Book-Bag



Source: Giphy

This one is just devastating. You finally get that copy of your favorite book, the one with the shiny new cover and the crisp, pristine pages. And then....the bottom of your book-bag swallows it whole. Ouch. It's like someone has taken your hopes and dreams and folded them up at the bottom of that book-bag, too. 


And so, fellow book lovers, I hope that I have not scared  you too badly. Indeed, these situations are easy to avoid with copious book shelves and a watchful eye. 

Good luck! 

-Ashley