Artistic License

May 5, 2010

Blog has officially been moved

Filed under: Uncategorized — Joana @ 1:22 am

Since the biggest part of writing AL is done, I decided to create a new blog for my writing in general.  It can be found at  Feel free to follow and comment on the writing I post there 🙂


March 27, 2010

A bit of a side note: Grammar

Filed under: Uncategorized — Joana @ 11:42 pm

As the title says, this is a bit of a side note as it has little to do with my actual writing of Artistic License.  But I thought I’d say it, anyway.

Earlier today (or… yesterday, since it’s past midnight for me) there was a thread on inkpop where someone said to the effect of “Oh, grammar doesn’t matter when you’re writing; that’s what editors are for!” This floored me.  I’ve known this wasn’t true for years now, but the person that said this was my age (nineteen) and still thought that.

Moira Allen said it best in her article Grammar Matters when she said “Grammar — including spelling, punctuation, and a grasp of where to insert (or omit) capitals — is not some esoteric, elitist requirement imposed by editors and publishers who want to close the doors in the faces of "good storytellers." It is simply a tool — an essential tool in every writer’s toolbox. In any career, if you do not know what tools you need or how to use them, you will not succeed.”

Allen also says earlier in the article that editors DO care about spelling and grammar when you send in pieces to consider for publication.  You don’t have to have it perfect, but editors and agents are more likely to, when given the choice, pick up a story with an okay storyline and awesome grammar and spelling than an awesome storyline but would take days or weeks to edit the messy prose.

So, if any of my readers happen to be writers who struggle with grammar and don’t bother to improve or get a personal editor because you’re under the impression that it doesn’t matter, try telling that to the agents that reject you 🙂 That is all.

March 25, 2010

Status update and Vlogs

Filed under: Uncategorized — Joana @ 11:57 am

Less than a week to go in March, and it looks like AL will finally be going in for that review 🙂 In other news, I started a vlog, and I thought I’d post the links to the videos in here since I talk about my writing.


Vlog 1: Editing

March 11, 2010

Status Update- March 11’th

Filed under: Uncategorized — Joana @ 11:24 pm

Rewrote bits of chapters nineteen and three today!  And I’m pretty sure I’m tired because I kept messing up and eventually blew a raspberry at my screen.  Yeah, I’m mature.  Pft.

In my (somewhat) writerly life, I will be taking a trip to the Maine Festival of Books in April with one of the professors from my creative writing department!  I’d get to meet a lot of Maine authors and feel special and such, because as an unpublished, struggling college student writer, I am not special.  Le sigh.

Also, however, I have applied to be a Teacher’s Aid at Longfellow Mountains Young Writers Program, which is a week-long writing camp to be held here at UMaine Farmington in July!  I’m really hoping I can get in because I think it would be an awesome experience to be able to help high school students progress their own talents in writing 😀 Wish me luck!

Until next update, everyone.

March 3, 2010

Status Update- March 3rd

Filed under: Uncategorized — Joana @ 5:28 pm

Well, Artistic License failed to stay in the top five for the month of February, which means that I won’t be getting that review just yet.  However, it also means that I have that much longer to edit it and up its quality so that maybe, JUST MAYBE, I’d be lucky enough for HarperTeen to want to pick it up…

Yeah, in my dreams.

Artistic License is currently on its third draft.  There’s a lot I still want to do to improve it, but I really like how it is so far.  Always room for improvements, as my obsessive editing of miniscule details will tell you.

Until next time.

February 22, 2010

Status Update- February 22’nd

Filed under: Uncategorized — Joana @ 10:06 am

The second draft of Artistic License is done.  I think I’m satisfied with how this one’s turned out, so unless I have a drastic change of heart, there won’t be much dramatic rewriting at this point in time.  Right now, I’m focusing on cleaning up my prose (there’s a fine line between realistic teenage boy speech and having no idea what the hell you’re saying) and probably adding a scene or two that I think would help flesh out the story as it needs to be.

As far as the agent search goes, I have a few ideas.  My first pick, however, has closed query submissions for at least three months.  I doubt this will be a problem, however, as I also doubt AL will be ready to be sent in to agents in three months XD I’m not THAT optimistic.  In fact, as I turn twenty this year, I was thinking of waiting until at least then (my birthday is in August).  I will no longer be a teenager and I will, perhaps, be taken more seriously in the publishing world.  Nineteen can be considered old as far as ‘teen prodigies’ go but we’ve all seen examples of people who got published early in life.  I’d rather not be one of those people 🙂

Until next time.

February 9, 2010

Status Update- February 9’th

Filed under: Uncategorized — Joana @ 1:34 pm

With the second draft, first edit of Artistic License almost finished, I’ve started looking into other things.  For one, I’d like to at least have an idea of the agents that I can send it out to.  Artistic License is currently staying strong in the top five at inkpop for the month of February, and should it stay there, I will be getting a critique on it by HarperCollins.  I doubt I’d be lucky enough to get a contract with them, so my plan is to wait until I’ve gotten that review and edit it according to their advice before sending it out.  They are, after all, a publisher, and it’s highly likely my manuscript would be several times better after incorporating their advice.

As I said before though, the first round of edits is almost done.  Just two more chapters of Artistic License to go and I’ll have that second draft.  I do believe this is as far as I’ve ever gotten with a book, and I’m fairly proud of myself for it :D  It hasn’t been easy by any stretch of the word, but I think it will be worth it.

Until next time.

January 18, 2010

Status update- January 18’th

Filed under: Uncategorized — Joana @ 7:53 pm

I’m back at college, which means two things- twenty-four/seven internet access and classes taking up my time.  While I do carry around my writing notebook with me everywhere, I tend to not write an incredible amount during classes because I actually have to pay attention at least part of the time (or else my professors tell me I need to when they see I’m not taking class notes).

However, over the weekend while I was still home, I managed to rewrite a good chunk of Artistic License, a couple chapters that would be near the end.  Of course, as far as posting on inkpop is concerned, these particular chapters won’t see the light of day any time soon since I have so much between what’s online now and those chapters to still edit and post.

Despite the fact that my schedule is somewhat more busy, I’m hoping that this semester at college will be a lot better.  I went through a lot of emotional stress the last time, but I’m off the medication that we think caused it (and no, it wasn’t anti-depressants).  I realize anyone that still reads this blog might not be interested about my personal state, but I thought that just might be an interesting tid-bit.  And warning in case I suddenly drop off the face of the earth again.

Until next time 😀

November 22, 2009

The End

Filed under: Uncategorized — Joana @ 12:48 am

The end of Artistic License is near.

And by that I mean I’m almost done writing it.  Or at least I’m pretty sure I am.  Being a college student I have vacations and stuff, and I’m hoping the time home will give me time to relax and think over Artistic License, and complete it so that I can let it set for a while and then edit.

And speaking of editing, that offer for Google Wave invites is still open to anyone that wants to help me edit.  I already created a wave for it, which I’ll drop the finished document into so you can download it and have a read-through, then leave comments on the wave.

And if it makes you feel better, I’ll mention you in the Dedications section when I’m published several years down the road 😀

I don’t plan on posting any more excerpts.  That’s mostly because I’m finishing up and connecting scenes together so there’s not really much to choose from.  Again, if you agree to help edit, you’ll get to read the book in its entirety.

I’ll probably post something here when I finally do finish the book.  But until then, readers!

November 19, 2009

Novel Excerpt- November 19’th

Filed under: Uncategorized — Joana @ 9:36 pm

"Hello, Natalie," Michael said quietly. Natalie rose her eyebrows at him like she was rather surprised by this reaction.

"Michael, are you sick? Where’d your voice go?" she asked. Michael shook his head and turned back to look at me.

"I’m not sick, Natalie," he said. Natalie frowned at that and seemed to think about something.

"Hmm. I knew you changed after your parents’ divorce, but I didn’t know you lost the ability to speak," she said with a smile. It wasn’t as big as that grin she had been giving him as soon as she had stepped into the room, and it actually seemed more genuine.

"I didn’t lose my ability to speak, I just learned some self-control," Michael said. "One of us had to, and we both know it wasn’t going to be Miranda." Natalie nodded her agreement, and then she turned, finally seeming to notice me.

"Ah, who’s your friend? I don’t think Miranda mentioned him when she asked me to come visit," she said. I kind of glanced up at her before picking my charcoal stick back up and going back to my drawing. It was probably a third of the way done, actually, but I still had a lot of minor details I had to put in before I was ready to start painting it. As I was drawing I kept to myself. I knew that if Michael wanted to tell Natalie about us, it was going to be on his own terms. He would hate me forever if I did something like tell his ex-girlfriend that he was gay, even if it was her that broke up with him instead of the other way around.

"This is Cameron," Michael said. "He’s in the visual arts department, in case you couldn’t tell from the fact that he seems to think that drawing is more important than introducing himself." I rose my eyebrows and put my charcoal stick back down.

"What? I was just leaving my introduction up to your discretion," I said. Michael rolled his eyes and turned back to Natalie, who looked just a bit confused.

“I’m glad to see you again, but there’s not really much for you to do around here,” he said. Natalie smiled at that.

“Miranda said we’d all go out and see a movie, actually,” she said. “She said your friend could come to, apparently.” She looked over at me again like she wasn’t sure how to deal with me. Geeze, she didn’t even know I was gay yet. Paranoid much?

“Ooh, invited along to a movie with Michael. My dream has come true,” I said, grinning as I started to put away my stuff. Natalie was heading for the door and she kind of looked between us, seeming more confused than anything.

“I’ll be outside. Miranda said she’d wait for us,” Natalie finally said.

Once she was gone, Michael spun around on his stool so he was facing me.

“Geeze, Cameron, you think you could be a little less subtle?” he asked. I smiled as I put under my arm. I had considered just leaving it in there, but I felt weary, even though there really wasn’t an issue with vandalism at the school. Better to be safe than sorry, yeah?

“Of course I could. I was holding back for your benefit.”

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