Learn more about WriteOut, a writing camp for teens founded by Ally that starts this summer in Cedar City, UT.

i like to lie

Currently reading:
Wolves, Boys, and Other Things That Might Kill Me by Kristen Chandler

UPDATE: The winner of the ARC is AlannahP Javier! Alannah, can you e-mail me your mailing address so I can get this book to you? If Alannah doesn’t claim the ARC by the 10th, I’ll draw again. šŸ™‚

Remember when I said I would post a picture of the book I’ve been reading at the beginning of every post? And then I forgot? Apparently I like to lie. I will start posting book pics again–probably not with every post, but definitely more often.

In other non-lying news, today is the last day to enter to win the ARC of MATCHED! I’ll update this blog entry tomorrow morning with the winner.

And in REALLY FANTASTIC news, awesome author Melissa Marr is giving away TEN copies of MATCHED–four on her blog, six on her fansite. Click here for more information. She’s fantastic!

It’s so exciting when people get behind the book. It is kind of crazy to me that we still have almost five months to wait before MATCHED is released. I would wonder what to do with myself if the Boys weren’t so constantly, chronically busy/entertaining and if I didn’t have two sequels to write.

I’m actually at that place in the manuscript of Book 2 where I close the file and walk away for a month. I know a lot of writers do this and I do too. I build the time into my schedule because I know the book will be better if I do. I just get to a point where I’m a hamster on a wheel revising tiny things or trying over and over again to fix a problem that I just can’t fix, even though I know it’s there. There’s one particularly sticky area that I’m going to let sit at the back of my mind while I’m on a break with the manuscript.

This doesn’t mean that I don’t write at all. If a great idea comes to me about the book, I’ll open a Word file and jot it down and save it. I’m working on another project that I really like, and I’m always thinking of things to put in Book 3 and adding them to that file.

But mostly I’m just letting my mind rest. Working on one thing for months and months (I started drafting this book back in November and have tried to work on it daily ever since) makes your focus narrow and tunnel-y. Which is exactly what I can’t have if I want to go back and look at this draft and make it better and solve the bigger problems. I have to get out of my little book world and look around. Try this, with your writing, if you haven’t already. It will work wonders.

I promise I’m not lying.

+ comments (12)
  • Stacey
    July 6, 2010

    Fun stuff! Oh I want to read that book, and I want your arc! So glad I came by, cause I have been blogging MIA for a while! Off to go enter contests! Woot.

  • mary.e.campbell
    July 6, 2010

    I’m so glad to learn that your WIP alone for awhile and let things simmer. I’m doing that with mine and I thought I might just be a loser because I haven’t felt like i could write it. I’m just about ready to focus on it again.

  • Melissa
    July 6, 2010

    After a first draft, I always put my manuscript away for a few weeks before I look at it again. I think things get sorted out in your head while you’re not thinking about it and it allows you to see it with fresh eyes when you bring it back out. Unlike some others who seem to have trouble putting it away, I have no trouble at all. I don’t even think about it! Hmm, I wonder what that means.

  • NatalieWhipple
    July 6, 2010

    That time away is so important. Somehow, things click together in my brain when I’m not working. It’s like there’s a special back room in my head were The Book goes to fix itself. Then it comes out with all the answers I never thought I’d find. It’s awesome.

  • Enna Isilee
    July 6, 2010


    Do you finish the entire draft before you take a break? I would assume so. But usually when I write, I’ll take a break half-way through the draft and when I come back to it I think it’s crap and I just scrap it. Ever had that problem? I think that if I actually FINISHED an entire draft, I might feel more comitted to take the time to edit it.

    ~Enna Isilee

  • Sandy Shin
    July 6, 2010

    I agree! Setting a WiP aside for a while is definitely a great way to regain perspective. When I do that, I often come back to the manuscript with fresh eyes, which is a great thing. :]

  • KristaBulloch
    July 6, 2010

    A little late, but I LOVE Ray LaMontagne! Shelter has been played more times on my ipod than any other song.

    Oh, and you look great in all your photos.

  • celi.a
    July 6, 2010

    Very insightful post. Also, that first bit made me laugh. Nice work. *grin*

  • Carolyn V.
    July 6, 2010

    I love that Ally! I find when I put something down for a while and pick it back up, it is much easier to find the places that need revising. =)

  • DerrillWatson
    July 6, 2010

    Just as a testimonial, that works for nonfiction too. It improved my dissertation, my food policy textbook, and both book chapters I have out. Besides, it’s so nice to just leave something be for a month!

  • ally
    July 12, 2010

    Stacey, I hope you win too! šŸ™‚

    Mary, you are definitely NOT a loser, and definitely not alone. I know lots of authors do this. Stephen King recommends it in his book On Writing, which is where I got the idea.

    Melissa, I think that is a great sign, actually. It means you can get real distance from the book, which is so critical!

    Natalie: I wish my brain had that room. That is awesome.

    Enna, great question. I’m going to answer it in the post tomorrow.

    Sandy, I could not agree more!

    Krista, you are the best, and Ray is yet one more reason why you and I are kindred spirits.

    Celi.a–so glad you laughed. šŸ™‚

    Carolyn, me too!

    Derrill, Scott has said that very same thing! So great to hear from you.

  • AlannahP.Javier
    November 22, 2010

    I only saw this today =/!

    I was having a rough week that turned out to be a rough couple of months and I’m catching up on previous posts. Such a bummer :/!

    I didn’t see if you picked another winner further on (as in, after the 10th). Did you?

    And congrats on Matched being released pretty soon :)! I’m planning on preordering it this week!

    Thanks for the chance to win it even if I did kind of miss it :P!

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *