Monday, October 17, 2011

The Pitch Dark Tour: Writing Tips

Hi, all, Emilia here. I am here to talk about the HarperTeen's Pitch Dark Tour in Boulder, CO!

Okay, we were thinking of so many ways to do this. Gabrielle was supposed to bring a video camera to record the event but, her mom had car trouble. So, no video :(. My camera on my phone is not the best either so maybe next author event we will plan this better.

I came to Colorado from Florida so I got lucky that I was able to attend this event. I took one of my friends with me. Below are photos of me, my friend, and the amazing authors. To the left is me with the authors, and to the right is my friend, Alicia, with the authors.
These authors were so much fun. They really do brighten up the room. They made us laugh, share some snippets of their books, and answer some questions. We even got to hear the first chapter of ENDLESSLY from Kiersten White. I really wanted to buy her book, but they ran out at the store. This was my first event so, I was really nervous. I was afraid to ask questions, a mistake that won’t happen in the future. Before the event though, I was thinking of something that I could to make this event unforgettable.

I came up with these.
What are those, you ask?

These photos are little cards that I made at home for the authors to sign. I am a beginner writer and I wanted advice on writing. So, I asked the ladies if they can write some writing tips on the back. I am going to do this at every event, because it will be something special to me. I will probably frame all of them. Yup I am a dork like that.
Claudia Gray's, author of Fateful, writing tip

Read everything you can.

That shouldn’t be a hard tip for readers like us. To me, this tip is simple. READ! The books that you love reading, you can take into your writing. Think about all of the things you learn from books. Not just fiction, what about the school books you have to read for class. History, Health, Science, Math, and duh English, they all come in handy. So, when your teacher tells you "You will use this in the future.", they might be right.

For example, those paranormal books you love so much, use what you know about them and write. I read a ton of books about angels, so I wrote my own. If you see something you like, take the idea and mess with it. Make it your own.

And lucky me, I read Fateful from Ms. Claudia. I got inspiration from her book and wrote a whole new book about shape-shifters because of a section in her book. AND that very section I got my inspiration, she read it during the event, I was so excited to hear from her. It was a sign :D.

Kiersten White's, author of Supernaturally, writing tip: 

READ! All the time! Figure out what works & how to do it!

Read all the time. Hmm… Check!

The next part is figuring out what works for you. I define this as not only figuring what to write about, but also the time, and place to write. Not everyone can write a book in a week. I know I can’t. So, set a time in the day or week to write just for yourself. Come up with anything to write about. Don’t think about publishing, that will only stress you out. If you have a passion for writing, it should be fun and enjoyable.

But it is also work. You can't expect it to be easy. If you're writing a series, another tip from the authors. You might think the first book was hard, but the second one is even harder. If you pull through and put time in, you will succeed.

Also finding the right place to write. Some people like quiet spots. Others like to be near people while writing. Or listening to music. Figure out what works for you the best.
Amy Garvey's, author of Cold Kiss, writing tip: 

You can’t make a blank page better. 
Write, even if it’s crummy, and then you can revise.

Most authors have a book set aside that they wrote that won’t ever be shown to the world. You want to know why…. They’re BAD. That’s right, even authors have some bad writing history. Amy is telling you to just write. Write what comes to you. You can always go back and change it later. And since we are not published authors, we DON’T have TIME LIMITS. So, we can always go back and change things. That what makes it fun.

Also, set goals. Like if you want to finish a chapter a week, or have 10,000 words by the end of the month. Just make the goal realistic. If you don't have time to say write 5,000 words a day, then you will never do it. Start off slowly, and work your way up. Some chapters will come easily, others not so much. Be patient.

Jocelyn Davies's, author of A Beautiful Dark, writing tip

Don’t be afraid to show people your work. 
Feedback will help you write better!

This is one of my favorites. An excellent writing tip. You need feedback from people. Positive feedback motivates you to write more. Whenever I see these type of comments about my books "This is so good, you should write more!", or "I want to know what happens to Marina!", it makes me smile. 

I'm like, "Oh my god, people actually like my writing!"

Also, people might catch a mistake in your writing that you missed. I think the best editors you can get are from people that you don't know. I find it more better hearing from people I don’t know. You want to know why. I think my parents just act like they like my writing. I feel like my friends would do the same thing. I want more of an honest opinion. 

But you don't have to be like me. Share it your friends, your family, or even read to your class. If you don’t have anyone to show off your writing, here are a couple of websites that love teenagers that write. These are the websites that us, Seekers, found each other.

  • Inkpop - It's a HarperTeen writing site. They have editors, at the end of the month, read the most popular works.
  • Wattpad - Have really awesome contests, and Watty Awards for the top stories.
  • Bookrix - They also have contests, and soon, you can sell ebook of your book. Awesome!
  • Figment - We don't know that much about this site but heard it was fun.

Well, that's all the writing tips from the event. Hope you enjoyed!


  1. Jeez these are really good tips. I didnt know you guys were writers too.

    Thnx for sharing these, and the websites. I might just check them out!

  2. @Bookworm Pam

    Yay! I would love to see your writing.

    If you do join, send me a message! I'm on most of those sites.


  3. These are really good!

    And good idea on making cards at home, I'm going to do that if I can't buy the books.

    Thanks for sharing!