Wednesday, July 21, 2010

It's That Time Again...

Question & Answer Time!

I usually do this about every other month, so it's time to open the blog up to questions. What can you ask? Well, just about anything as long as it's PG-13. Need an example, perhaps?

Christine H read my mind yesterday and asked a great question in comments: What type of training did you invest in? What about it was so helpful? Are there any courses that you would personally recommend?

I didn't invest in much, if you mean paying for writing classes, etc. My knowledge comes more from trial and error, getting lots of feedback, and reading.

In college I took all of one creative writing class. I didn't have to take freshman English because I scored high on my AP English test in high school, so the only other writing class I took was the required advanced course. I picked technical writing. Since I graduated in English linguistics with a minor in editing, I had a lot of language expertise, but not exactly in creative writing.

I also worked for BYU's multicultural magazine,
Eagle's Eye. I wrote, edited, and designed for them my entire time at school. I loved it.

When I started up writing stories again, I jumped into the online community and got lots of feedback, read agent blogs, made a lot of mistakes, fixed my mistakes, read a lot of books, worked my butt off, etc. Rinse and repeat.

So I guess I'm not the one to be recommending courses or whatever. If I'm being honest, the two I took weren't super helpful overall. What was more helpful was actually writing a whole book, realizing it sucked, and doing it again. And again. What also helped was reading a lot of stories, learning what worked. My agent was also a huge help in teaching me how to really dig into edits and improve a story.

Training can come from anywhere, I think. It's all helpful. So don't worry about spending a ton of money if you don't have it.

See how fun that was? You could have your question answered too! All you have to do is ask.


  1. What book are you currently reading/just finished?

    How do you decide which project to work on next if two are really really shiny?

    Favorite anime of all time (or at least the top five)?

  2. Hi Natalie; I have a question... How can I find other writers online who are at my level, i.e., "Beginner"? :) Also, for beginners to novel writing, would you recommend reading agents' blogs at this point? Thanks!!!


  3. Oooh. Okay I've been wondering about this for a while. Is the wallpaper on your supercute blog just a stock background or is it scanned from your art doodles?

  4. Aaargh! I was going to ask about the background on your blog. I assume you drew it? I'm wondering how you made it so seamless.

    How important do you think it is to establish a "brand" as a writer? If I start out writing YA, will I ever get to write those grown-up book ideas I have in my head?

  5. hey girlie - gave you a blog award today :)

  6. Do you find it easier or harder to write during the summer and why?

  7. How do you get inspiration for all your daily blog posts?

  8. Explain the end of Evangelion.

    And because that was really mean, I offer these links to Cowboy Bebop the series and the (entirely optional) movie on Amazon for only $47, in the hopes you won't yell at me.