Tag Archives: eeb

Writing Buddies Are For Life

12 Aug

So this is pretty much co-authoring in a few pictures. In case you were wondering, along with writing, we also do weird, stupid things in public, but what were the librarians going to say?

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The One About Co-Writing (Part Two)

7 Aug

And then they… no, they didn’t dance. They finished the one about co-writing.

 

6. Discuss the Book and All Future Plans for the Book Frequently. This may seem like a weird thing to do at first, but I promise it’s worthwhile. No one will be more supportive of you and your future (obviously awesome) fandom than your co-author. So talk about it. Where do you want this book to go? What are your dreams? If your dreams are as bad as Flynn Riders, then come up with some better ones. While it may seem like you’ll never get anywhere, laughing about who you think your readers will ship in the future and drooling over certain publishing companies will help not only to set your standards of achievement high, but it will also make you and your co-author closer. Along those same lines, you’ll establish similar aspirations for the book. This is very important. If you’re envisioning yourself as the next New York Times Best Seller and your buddy is really just wanting to write a story to share with the family, then he or she might not be so inclined to slave over the manuscript like you are. Talking about where you want to go with the book will also help you tackle the big discussions in chunks instead of all at once. Do you want to have more than one main character? How long of a book are we talking? Do we want to make this into a trilogy? A saga? A series? Multiple series? When should we draw the line and maybe move on to other things? Brooke and I went through this a lot with our “cycle” WilderQuest. A lot of times, we let all of our gushing ideas accumulate for months before we addressed them, and because of that, our ideas would often clash and clash hard. Again, communication is the key.

 

7. Keep the Book Consistent. What tense? What point of view? Formatting. It is a big deal. Let no one tell you otherwise. Ever. Because it is a big deal. Especially if one of the people involved is OCD. That was me, Sarah, if you were wondering. This is probably one of the most important things to keep in mind while you are co-writing. A lot of times, you and whoever you choose to write with will have very different ideas of how things should look. In fact, your styles will likely be very different as well. And although it can become a really big road-block if you let it, there are a lot of ways to avoid locking up over inconsistencies. This may end up requiring you teach a few Microsoft Word short cuts to your authoring compatriot or sacrifice your own ideal title headings for ones that your buddy likes more. Again, be ready to compromise and work through the problem with God’s grace and serenity. Agree on and then set up a chapter template, make character description sheets up, and share what you think about each others’ writing. Brooke and I often talked through inconsistencies that arose, making notes of some character’s preference for certain things and also how to properly indent paragraphs. And more often than not, all that was needed was brief clarification. Here’s what happens when you don’t do this:

“Evangeline huffed in irritation, glaring at Liz with her cold, dark brown eyes.” — Chapter 2, written by Sarah

“Evangeline’s bright blue eyes flashed; fear was evident in her face despite the chaos of battle.” — Chapter 11, written by Brooke

See the dilemma? While these sentences didn’t actually come straight from WilderQuest, this very thing actually did happen. You’ll find that you and your friend will likely have characters that the both of you created almost entirely by yourself, or you’ll come up on a part in your book where one of you planned out the battle scene to the gory details. These aren’t bad things, but always keep in mind that the other person working with you is probably not telepathic. If you have things planned out to the very last dotted i on the page, be sure to share this and be willing to compromise if your better (writing) half has an idea. Plot bunnies multiply exponentially where inconsistencies are, and no one wants to have to chase all those fluffy mongrels off.

 

8. Make Achievable Goals. The word “achievable” here is very important. Goals will be the things that help propel you through the tough times of novel writing and also push you to the breaking point, and goals will also often be a test of your teamwork finesse levels. Whether it’s a goal to reach a certain word count, write a certain number of chapters in a week, or a setting and meeting a certain dead line, you will find that it is very important one, that these goals that you set can actually be achieved, and two– without butting too much into the next point, that you encourage your friend to meet the goals that you do set. Seriously, just knowing that someone else who you know is human (because who can be sure about these big time author people) tacking a crack at reaching that really hard goal will help you to do better, even if you don’t achieve that goal in the end. Granted that nothing is quite as satisfying as knowing that you and your writing compadre have reached a goal on time. So strive to meet those goals. Or make a point to laugh about them later. Both are pretty enjoyable, although one of them is decidedly more productive.

 

9. Encourage One Another in Writing and in Life. This is definitely the biggest benefit of writing with another person. Although, undoubtedly, you will have your ups and downs, good days and days that main characters end up in dark pits being tortured to death, you will also have days that you finally pull out of your writer’s block and the first person to throw you a party and send you cake is your co-author. Days that you’ll disparagingly decide that your novel will never go anywhere and you might as well stop now and take up some profitable career now like your mom has been telling you to for the past sixteen years and the one to dispel all that is your wonderful, high-spirited writing buddy. In fact, you’ll find that the friends who write together, often stay together. Like, seriously, Brooke and I have been life-buddies since the tender age of two. There is something about spinning a tale with another uniquely amazing individual that is really pretty awesome in-and-of itself, and you will likely discover that the people who “get you” the best are the people that you write with. So, with this pretty awesome relationship in mind, don’t overlook the importance of daily making an effort to build each other up and encouraging one another to strive for each of your “bests” — whatever that best looks like. And if you’re pen pal is just having a rough go of it in general, be there for them– pray for them. Trust me, riding through the storms of life with someone is one sure way to ensure that when you write together– it’s just that: together.

 

10. Co-Writing Can Be Lots of Fun. So Enjoy It. One of the best feelings you’ll have while co-writing is the moment when you and your friend finish a book, and you read back through it and realize that you’ve shared a very unique part of yourself with another person who feels the same way. I have learned so much from co-writing and continue to learn about not only my own style and abilities, but also about other people and how to best interact with others. Truly, nothing will improve your writing as quickly as working together with other talented individuals because you will find yourself wanting to put forth your best so that they will do the same. Instead of standing on the precipice of a new novel alone, you will be standing with a friend and fellow warrior. Some of the best memories I have are from late-night role-playing sessions, really, freakishly long book planning discussions, and the intermittent moments of shared insider jokes and character impersonations. So have fun with it. Co-writing is probably one of the most fun things you’ll do. And while it does take a lot of work on the outset, the rewards that you reap in the long run will far exceed the little troubles that you go through at the start.

 

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Well, there’s our take on co-writing. Did you think of something that we missed now that we’ve reached the end? Think that you could explain one of the points better? Have a story to tell that fits one of our ten points? Tell us about it in the comments below!

New Contact Form

7 Aug

Hi, guys!

We just want to let you know that we have a new feature of EEB! You can now find our contact form in a drop-down menu from the “About” page at the top of the webpage. We are super excited about this, because, although we had a contact form before, we really would like to encourage y’all to submit questions about writing, faith, and life in general! You now can have a significant impact on what kind of posts we put up there.

You're going to have to sharpen your pencil for this one, guys.

You’re going to have to sharpen your pencil for this one, guys.

Now, we are, of course, going to continue with our usual posts and writing updates (and probably come up with some fun, random posts too — *spoilers* Sarah’s been thinking about starting a serial on idioms in the English language), but we are also super excited about building a community of writers who are for the kingdom of God! This is why your input is super important. You are all what makes this blog so much fun to write, and as a team we want to keep building up our relationships with you guys!

So don’t be afraid to drop us a line– even if it’s just to say hi. You guys are awesome, and we are excited about this new opportunity for us to all grow closer together.

 

-the EEB Writing Team

 

Sarah’s House June 2014

3 Jun

So, in case you were not aware, the EEB crew doesn’t get to meet up very often. In fact, Sarah and Brooke have never even met Brenna in person. Which of course means Sarah imagines her being a taller than she actually is. We usually make up for this by Skyping each other frequently, phone calls, and even using snail mail. (Sarah literally obsesses over mail. It is one of her favorite things.) When we do meet up for the day, though, there is always a lot of excitement.

Yesterday was no different as Brooke and Sarah met up for the first time since Sarah’s 16th birthday in January. After a day filled with discussing previous writings, the odd art of creating villains, and laughing at the Fourth Wall, we pulled out the nerf swords and did some dueling. Now, we are obviously no trained swordsmen and likely broke ever rule of conduct and form in the history of the world, but it was still a lot of fun to pretend and imagine our own characters as we dueled.

We finally rounded out the day with a trip to Fox’s Pizza, a small, very Southern pizza joint near Sarah’s house which makes some killer pizza and also has one of those Coke machines that lets you choose from pretty much every soda ever invented. Those things are awesome. And granted there were no tears as the Norris’ left to go home, there was quite a lot of hugging and shoulder punching and drawn-out fare-welling to make up for it.

Sarah will be posting some of the duel videos to YouTube later today, so keep an eye out! If you didn’t know, EEB now has it’s own YouTube channel, EEB Writing.

Let the duels begin!

‘Til We Grow Up

24 May

Well, as much as I hate it, I am growing up. (I’m still not sure how I feel about that). I am part of the Class of 2015… meaning that I will graduate from high school around this time next year. And while I may adamantly deny the fact that I am nearing adulthood, EEB has changed a lot. As proof of the fact, here is a screen shot and link to our first website and to our current one (albeit, you are currently on the current one, which means clicking on it is virtually pointless.)

Exhibit A: Hardback Horizons

Exhibit A: Hardback Horizons

 

This website was the first website adventure Brooke and I ever had, (in fact, this was engineered before I met Brenna…) and it was quite an adventure. You wouldn’t believe the number of conversations we had about the title of the website. It was great.

 

Exhibit B: EEB

Exhibit B: EEB

 

EEB is, not only our most recent and second website, but is likely the one we will stay with for a long while. We are so blessed to have been able to “grow up” and expand our reach to our readers and other writers!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go and retreat into my pillow fort where I will remain… coloring… until I’m ready to deal with the real world (which is never, in case you were wondering.)

EEB: Sarah’s Video Introduction

21 May

 

EEB welcomes you to our blog and to the King’s Road!

Right in the Feelz

20 May

And then, out of the sobs of the fangirls and the screaming of your fourth grade English teacher, came a noun that would soon overcome the world of the “interwebz” as our dearest Brenna calls the semi-volatile, habitually quirky, occasionally dark-and-twisted, always fluff-loving, tear-bending community that makes up the Internet. Feelz. The act of being pounded in the soul by emotion. Give or take a few heart-wrenching death-scenes, spontaneous moments of singing and dancing to those songs that just lift you up, and a few pages of stirring dialogue in which all the character development manifests and you’re only able to pump your fist while doing that awkward book hold so the pages don’t change and grin like an idiot.

So what are some of the biggest and best Feelz moments we’ve experienced as Fandoms? Well, I won’t give you specifics, but here is a list of my top ten favorite “types” of Feelz:

1o. I Ship It. I do not always ship characters, but when I do, they become OTPs. OTPs are dangerous. Some of my favorites are Vrell Sparrow and Achan Cham from the Blood of Kings series by Jill Williamson, Kale and Bardon in the Dragon Keeper Chronicles by Donita K. Paul, and the unforgettable pair in The Savage Damsel and the Dwarf  by Gerald Morris. What’s great about being an author is your OTPs are always cannon. Always. It’s wonderful. Some of my favorites from my own writings and things are Mark and Lee from the Heir Returning trilogy and also Marya and Louin from the Heir Returning trilogy. Justin and Evangeline from WildQuests get the honorable mention because they were probably Brooke’s and mine first pairing. Ever. Pstttttt. I’ll even let you in on a secret. Back in the day, Brooke was literally obsessed with Justin Beiber and she totally based our Justin off him. Fortunately, he became his own character throughout the series, but yep, that’s all I have to say about that.

9. Fiery Balls of Innocent Awesomeness. Little, super-cute, super-insightful kids in books are just great. Like, they can say all the things and be all cheery and not-emotionally-disturbed and joyous and all the fluffy happy things without it being cheap. I love it! I can’t think of any right off the top of my head from any books I’ve read, albeit I am sure I’ve read several rather good ones, but the one that I am writing a lot of write now is Louin from the Heir Returning trilogy. He won’t show up until book two, but in our role-play on Figment he is quite active and is the source of many feelings. Many feelings.

8. Super-Awesome-Not-Cliche-at-All Romantic Dialogue. Yup. I totally condone this. This makes me really really really happy on the inside because I DON’T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT HER BUTT OR HIS EYES! TELL ME ABOUT THE CONTENT OF HER CHARACTER AND HIS CHIVALROUS NATURE! Lord! Have! Mercy! Seriously, people. We aren’t that unoriginal are we? One author that did an absolutely phenomenal job with this is Lisa Bergren, particularly in her River of Time series. Really couldn’t get enough of Luca’s casual quips. Well done, ma’am. My faith in human capacity for good romance is restored. Lee and Mark in my own series are very much about this sort of relationship. I had nothing to do with that… obviously. What? Stop judging! I can have a romance with swords and chivalry if I want!

7. Here, Take a Piece of My Soul. You know what I’m talking about. Those moments when it’s like a lecture, but you’re finding yourself nodding along with the speaker and the monologue is just perfect and awesome and you’re just like “YEAH! I’M GONNA GO SLAY LIFE NO!” Yup. Probably the best two examples of this I have ever come across are in The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkien and the Ascendance Trilogy by Jennifer Nielson. Seriously, Sam and Sage had me in stitches (and crying tears of liquid pride) more than once. Of my own characters, Del Avior from Out of Darkness does this the most often, and she is followed closely behind by our steadfast Pastor Rajii from the Heir Returning trilogy (and eventually the Heir Rising trilogy).

6. We See Your Darkness And Raise You One Fellowship. All those awesome gangs of awesomeness. Call them what you will: bands, brotherhoods, gatherings, friends, supah ninjas… They are just the coolest. Too many to list here… because literally all good books have them. All good books. That’s just a rule. For awesomeness. There has to be a gang. And if there is a gang, there are all the brotherhood feelz. And they are some of the best.

5. Soldier Relationships. I don’t really have to go into this one very deeply. It’s just… there’s this sort of connection between people who have been through absolutely terrible things together. And those bonds mean Feelz. In literature, one of my favorites is the gang from Blaze of Glory by Jeff Struecker. From my own books, Leyrl and Itzal in the Heir Returning trilogy. There are other connections between them, but one of their first and most apparent ones is that of their shared experience in war.

4. From the Master to the ApprenticeTorch passings kill me. Literally. All of those words and bonds and things and good lord… I just can’t handle it. I just… I don’t even know if I can do examples… because, well I might not be able to finish the list. Del and Eira. There. From Out of Darkness and the Evading the Emperor role-play on Figment. I.. there literally aren’t words. In literature, Halt and Will from The Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan. There are many that I could mention… but honestly, just thinking about them… I can feel the feelz. (See what I did there?)

3. Partners in Crime (Not Romance). This one really needs no explanation. When two people pair up, not romantically, and just decide to take on the world together as bro and bro, sis and bro, or sis and sis, it’s just awesome. Sherlock Holmes and John Watson from Sherlock Holmes by Author Conan Doyle, Soren and Gylfie from The Guardians of Ga’Hoole by Kathryn Lasky, and the threesome from Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling even though it wasn’t totally unromantic made up of Hermione Granger, Harry Potter, and Ron Weasley.

2. Those Meaningful Last Words. Ack. Ack. I can’t handle the really really really really really sweet, perfect death scenes. Like, they literally kill me on the inside. Every single one. Even if it just kind of happens… But then you’ve got those ones (and you know the ones), where the author (I am sure of this because I have done this myself) is grinning and crying like a maniac while writing the scene. And there are words. And feelings. All the feelings. And no one can handle it. No one! Don’t lie to yourself. Some of the best ones I’ve come across in published books are in The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien because saying “My brother, my king” as you’re dying… I just… I can’t even. Sherlock Holmes by Author Conan Doyle. No explanation needed here.

1. That Moment of Magical Alignment In Which Everything Is Literally Heartwrenchingly Perfect. It’s that last twenty pages of a thriller when everything falls into place and you’re somewhere in between gasping, sobbing, snorting, and screaming. It’s that moment when the protagonist stands up and accepts their responsibility, when the chaotic neutral character is redeemed, and the dialogue has such power it’s like a drum in your heart. Literally my favorite “feel” of all time. Some of the best examples of this are in This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti, Urchin and the Rage Tide by Margaret Mcallister, and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis. From my own writing, I have to say this moment hasn’t quite happened yet. I’ve plotted and planned out the ends to both of the novels I’m working on, Kingsblade and I Will Not Be Moved, but I haven’t quite gotten there yet. Don’t worry, though, because there will be all the feelz in those endings. Especially in the conclusion of the Heir Returning Trilogy. Kingsblade is the first book in that series.

Then there’s that one that really can’t be ranked because well… it’s Jesusfeelz. Don’t even try to explain them. No, stop. You just can’t. Literally it is impossible without doing this: asl;dkfja;lseianval;sdkfj;asldkvna;ldsifuga;lri;sdlkga;lsdkjga;lsdkfja;lskdfja and aas;dlkfja;lekfm;leinv;ldknva;lskdjfa;lien;ldkva;slkdfjasdfasdfasfioa;nr;lkgjaf;lgkjl;rin;blknadslkncd and al;dskfjalievnl;dkng;lafjglskdfjgljkdsfghlksdjfghsldkfjghsdklfsdcjasdnvao. They are wonderful. It’s like Jesusbumps, but… more.

And there you are. Now, if you’ll excuse me I have a few death scenes to write and a few conclusions to finish. Mwahahahahahahaha… ha. ha. ha. ha.

Ha.

#RIGHTINTHEFEELZ

So why were we given emotions again?

To have Feelz of course, silly willy!

All the feelz.

Ha.

 

And that’s all I have to say about that.