Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Pickles and Barf

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop for writers created by Jamie Marrow and Erin Funk.  Click here for more information or to find out how you can play along.

What I've Been Reading:

This week I read PICKLE by Kim Baker.  What an amazing example of middle grade voice.  And it is super funny and cute.  This is the tone that I am going for in basically all of my MG books.

What I'm Writing:  I have been using the amazing website Fiction University to help edit my Mary Poppins re-imagined MG.  This site is awesome, you guys.  I gives you step-by-step, day-by-day ideas for editing, and lots of information if you are a newbie like me.

I have also been working on my outline for my April WIP, which is currently titled SMALL TOWN HERO, which will be a contempt MG.

What Works for Me:  I would like to preface this section by saying that really none of this works for me yet, or I would have an agent and a book deal.  So lets call this section "Stuff Niki has tried".  I was struggling this week to get all the points on my outline.  I usually try using beat sheets, but for whatever reason, I was having a hard time getting the scenes to flow.  Soooo....  I watched a comp movie.  Granted, reading a comp book and taking notes would have been better, but I can watch an entire disney movie during my kiddos nap time.  All I needed was a middle grade, fish-out-of-water story.  It didn't have to be too close to what I plan to write, I just wanted to analze the story structure.  So I watched the cult classic (don't judge me) CADET KELLY staring Hillary Duff.

While this movie was by no means a literary classic, it did the trick.  I now have an outline with all the scenes scribbled out.  What I need to do now is to go back and make sure that they are all good, move the plot along, tie together, blah blah blah.  But just like writing the actual novel, the outline comes in several different drafts.  At least for me.  So I have a good idea where that one is going now.

What Else is Going On:  We have the pukes here.  Specifically my children have, and my husband and I have been under the weather as well, so NO BUENO.


  1. Oh man, now I want to (re-re-re-)re-watch Cadet Kelly. That was such a fun movie. Glad it gave you inspiration to get an outline together.

  2. The Fiction University website is so helpful! Best of luck with the edits!

  3. I'm a big fan of Fiction University. Such a helpful site! I like watching or reading things that share some element with whatever WiP I'm working on. They don't have to be alike at all, but that one single element they have in common can be so inspiring. (Like recently I wanted to check out stuff with girls disguised as guys in situations where there is a lot of risk of them being found out.) Sorry to hear the pukes are visiting. Hope they go away soon!

  4. Boo to being sick! Hope you're all on the mend.

    Hooray for the outlining working. You've gotta do whatever works, right?

  5. I love Fiction University. She has such great tips for strengthening a WIP, and she's a great teacher. I haven't tried the step-by-step stuff, but I used to read her blog religiously and apply what I learned to my writing. Now I search her archives whenever I'm focusing on a specific problem.

  6. Oh gosh. I hate it when one kid gets sick because then we all inevitably get sick. Luckily, the last few times we've had throwing up, that hasn't happened. Hope you guys feel better soon!
    I've never thought of watching a movie similar in genre to what I'm writing to help out. Good idea!
    I'll have to check out Fiction University.

  7. Thanks for the recommendation on the website. That sounds awesome - I'll have to go check it out! I hope you and your family are all on the mend soon! It's so awful when it goes through the whole family. I hope your week improves!

  8. Oh no for the Pukes! (Which incidentally sounds like a fantastic punk band)

    I use movies to do plot arcs too! Of course, mine are weird avant garde French films, so that miiiight be why I'm having such a tough time with my plots. *grin*

    Hope you have a fantastic week!