Calling All Bloggers: Sign Up for the FINDING SLOPE Blog Tour!

Hello, lovely blogger friends!

I’m putting together the blog tour for Finding Slope and you can sign up to be a part of it right now.

Why sign up, you ask?

  1. You get an electronic advance reader copy (e-ARC) of Finding Slope, which means you get to read it FOR FREE before everyone else!
  2. You get to be a part of the blog tour! And you have options! You can post an excerpt, review, playlist, deleted scene, or interview with moi*—whichever of these sounds like something you’d like on your blog, sign up for it!
  3. It’s fun!

*Please note that some of these features are limited and will be assigned on a first come-first served basis. So hurry! Go go!

To sign up, just fill out the handy-dandy form below by January 25th! That’s all! And if you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments, or contact me @erinbrownwrites or erinbrownwrites [at] gmail [dot] com.

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Announcing Finding Slope!

Remember how I teased you about a new book of mine that would be coming out soon?

That book is Finding Slope!

Finding Slope Announcement

Please feel free to share this image!

Technically, it’s a novella. So, a short book. Longer than a short story, shorter than a full-length novel. Totally easy to read on a lazy, preferably snowy, afternoon curled up on the couch with a blanket and mug of hot chocolate.

It comes out March 10th, and I think a few of you will be pretty excited about the two main characters of this one.

So without further ado . . .

A spring break ski trip turns into the reunion Willa Thompson and Dan Martin never saw coming.

 After months of not talking, Willa and Dan run into each other at the last place they thought they would—a ski lodge in Colorado. Neither of them expected to see the other during spring break, and certainly never expected to meet their ex’s new college friends.

Dan sees this as his last opportunity to win Willa back and wants to make the most of the week together. He knows that they can make long distance work, and when he hears that they may both be in New York for the summer, he’s more determined than ever to convince the girl of his dreams that they should try to have a relationship again. Third time’s the charm, right?

But Willa isn’t sure if that’s for the best—they broke up for a reason, after all, and their circumstances haven’t changed. They’re still going to different colleges, they’re still long distance, and they still have no idea how to make that work.

But then again, when Willa is honest with herself, she knows that she wants to spend time with Dan. That she wants to see where the week in Colorado may take them. That she wants them to end up together. She just isn’t sure how—or even if—that’s supposed to happen.

In this Taking Flight novella, set against the snowy, stunning backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, Willa and Dan have to face the truth about their relationship and decide if they want to run back up that slippery slope together, or go their separate ways.

You can add Finding Slope on Goodreads here!

And read the first chapter on Wattpad now!

Watch this space for the cover reveal, teasers, pre-order information, and more exciting Finding Slope stuff!

And if you haven’t read Taking Flight and/or Making Headlines yet, now is the perfect time to catch up!

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friday things.

friday things

In Your Eyes

The Boyfriend and I watched this movie on a particularly boring day in Ipoh while we were in Malaysia at the one hotel we stayed in that had decent enough WiFi that we could stream something. And I adored this movie. It isn’t perfect, but it is charming and written by Whedon and there is Cress Williams to ogle for a couple scenes, so you know. My jam.

March Family Letters

I’m not completely sold on this yet, but modern Little Women! Jo! Laurie! But not Amy. Amy can go to hell.

 

I hope everyone is having a great 2015 thus far! Happy Friday!

 

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Happy New Year + New Things!

It’s 2015! *pops champagne*

I had a weird year in 2014. A lot of change and unknowns and upheaval—I self-published two books, left my job and friends and life in New York, and moved to another country.

That’s a lot.

And as I look forward to 2015, I have a lot of hope and excitement for what’s to come.

But I also need to do a lot of revising.

That’s right—I have a couple more books lined up for this year!

I can tell you right now that one will be upon us all  . . . soon.

I need to still be a bit vague about it because I don’t have all the answers you want yet, but here’s what I can tell you.

  • It takes place in the Taking Flight world.
  • It’s set during spring break.
  • There is a lot of snow.
  • And a chairlift scene.

I know. This is torture. But I promise there will be a fuller, wider explanation SOON.

Like, super soon.

Happy 2015, everyone!

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Revising 101

Hello, my dears!

Welcome to Revising 101, wherein I share the joys of revising with you and hopefully shed a little bit of light on this process.

Which basically means that I tell you how I revise and you can ponder whether or not I’m crazy.

So! Here we are. You have finished drafting your manuscript. You have a completed first draft. It is most likely riddled with typos and plot holes and weak motivations and unsatisfying characters.

This is TOTALLY NORMAL.

Writing a first draft is really freaking hard work. You have trudged through the messy process of drafting and now have a semblance of a book in front of you. But you are nowhere near finished.

Because now that you have written your draft, you can start getting it right.

Just like with writing, revising is a process that differs from writer to writer. So if the way that I go about things is just not going to work for you, that’s not a big deal—you know yourself and know how your brain works and that’s the most important part of all of this. Do you, dear writer.

So! My first step when I when a manuscript is to LEAVE IT ALONE for a little bit.

This is what YA author extraordinaire Rachel Hawkins often calls The Resting Time. This is the time where you let both your manuscript and your brain rest. So that when you pick it back up, you’re seeing it with fresh(ish) eyes and a clear mind. Use the resting time to read. Watch TV. Hang out with friends. Hell, write another book.

It’s hard to know how much resting time each book needs—and it’s completely up to you. But when the resting time is over, you will know it in yourself. Sometimes this is because you have a deadline and have no choice. If you don’t have a deadline, you’ll know because all of a sudden you’ll be thinking about your book and wondering about your characters.

It’s possible you’ll already have ideas to fill in some of those plot holes you introduced in the first draft or have figured out how to strengthen that weak motivation. And that’s wonderful.

When I know that the resting time is over, I pull up the document, copy/paste the entire thing into a new document and name it using the format Title.Revision 1.Date, turn on track changes*, and cold read my first draft. I do make changes as I read. I’ll fix typos and look up things I highlighted to fact check. I make note of things that are problematic using the comment feature and a complicated highlighting system that I like. But I try my best to read it without doing a lot of surgery quite yet.

After this cold read/light revision, I jump in and really start bloodying up the manuscript.

If I already know about certain weak parts that I need to work on, I’ll work on them as I get to them. And if there are sections where I just gave up and moved on while drafting, I’ll work on drafting the transitions or filling out a scene I left bare.

And this is how I work until I’ve finished my first revision.

It will look something like this when I’m finished:

A page from the first revision of Making Headlines.

Pretty bloody, right? This part two of the first revision is usually a doozy for me—I rewrite and move things around and remove entire portions and reconsider basically everything.

At some point, I have a bit of a breakdown and am convinced that this is the worst book ever written, which I tell to my sister, my boyfriend, and any friend who is willing to listen to me. But, even though I’m frustrated and annoyed and down on myself, I have to slog through the second revision, until I get to the end.

And then I start the process all over again. Because writing is a masochistic endeavor. (Normally this happens after a couple days off from revising.)

When I begin the second revision, I copy/paste the entire first revision into a new document, preserving the first revision as it is and beginning anew, following the same format as the first revision.

I read through, but typically revise as I go, instead of doing two separate passes. Normally, the second revision is less frustrating than the first. I can finally see the book taking shape. Sure, I’ll still have questions or concerns or sections that I’m not at all happy with—which I make a note of—but, overall, the second revision is a happy-making one.

Because when it’s finished, that means it’s time for other people to read it.

Next week: Critique partners and beta readers. Get excited.
*Yes, I work in Microsoft Word. If you don’t, I suggest you use whatever editing tools your software has. And if you’re working by hand, RED PEN TIME.

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friday things.

friday things

Outlander is Back on April 4th!

Yay yay yay yay more Outlander! In April. Bah.

“Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars

If you don’t like this song or are able to resist its infectious groove, you are clearly evil and not to be trusted.

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

This book came out about two years ago and somehow I didn’t pick it up immediately. Hopefully, most of you are smarter than me and have read it already. But if you haven’t GOOD LORD, BUY YOURSELF AN EARLY CHRSITMAS PRESENT AND READ IIIIIIIT.

It’s about a convent of assassins. Yeah. Get thee to the bookstore.

Taylor Swift Lip Syncing to “Blank Space.”

This is very charming.

Also, I want her coat. And her haircut.

The First Song from Into the Woods!

And it’s girl crush Anna Kendrick’s song. Yaaaaaaasssss.

So. Much. Excite. For this movie.

UPDATE! There’s now a teaser VIDEO of Miss Kendrick signing this, with bonus Chris Pine.

I hope you’ve all had a great first week of December!

Happy Friday!

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NaNoWriMo is Over! Now What?

Hello, Wrimos!

Good news! NaNoWriMo is OVER!

So. Now that November is done and we are fully into December, you might be sitting around basking in the glory of having started writing a book. Or you might be sitting around thinking, “Wait, okay, so I wrote 50,000 (Or 75,000 or 30,000 or whatever) words. That was a lot. How is it possible that my book isn’t finished?”

Or maybe you did this.

In any of these cases, here is a truth bomb for you. A novel is not 50,000 words long. At least, not typically.

I write young adult and new adult books, and typical word counts are somewhere between 75,000 and 90,000 words.

So my friends, what I’m saying is that you are probably not done drafting yet.

But that’s okay! Because now you know how to draft. The chief thing that NaNoWriMo does is get you in the habit of writing daily and letting you learn how you work best. So now that you are used to writing every day and know the time of day/place/environment that you write best, you can continue to do that!

And once you are done drafting, you will begin The Glorious Revision.

But more on that next week.

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TAKING FLIGHT & MAKING HEADLINES FLASH SALE!

Today, my alma mater and my characters’ alma mater play each other in that glorious sport that is football.

Also, it’s Black Friday.

To celebrate these time honored traditions, both TAKING FLIGHT and MAKING HEADLINES are on sale for just 99c, today only!

rivalry sale

Buy them, gift them, go team go!

Woo Pig Sooie!

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NaNoWriMo, Week Four

WRIMOS!

We are almost done!

FOUR MORE DAYS!

Soon we will all be doing this.

But. It’s not quite time for dancing yet. Because we still have four more days to go.

For some of us, this is TERRIFYING NEWS because we are way behind on our word counts and are feeling the heat of the deadline breathing down our necks.

For others, this is not a big deal. Maybe you’re already at 50,000 words and sailing past that word count goal. Maybe the goal is in sight—you know you’re going to hit 50,000 and are feeling pretty good about yourself.

If you have already hit 50k, SO MANY CONGRATS! Sit back, relax, and have a drink. Maybe a pastry. Because you are a writing rockstar and have written 50,000 words in less than 30 days and deserve a (short) break.

If you’re still writing, YOU CAN FREAKING DO IT.

You’ve got this.

Don’t think about the word count, just write. Write and write and write and write.

And if there’s absolutely no way at all that you’re going to hit 50k, here’s the deal: THAT’S TOTALLY FINE.

What you have spent the last month doing is figuring out how one writes a book. How you write best and how you work best and knowing what does and does not work for you.

Which, really, is more important than the actual book. Once you know the environment and time and way in which you are able to work best, you can go from there. When November is over, you can continue to work toward your goal of writing a book.

Because, and here’s the harsh light of day about NaNoWriMo, 50,000 words does not a book make.

But more on that next week.

This week, let’s focus on what you can get done. We are in the last sprint of this writing marathon. We can see the finish line. The light at the end of the tunnel. The pile of laundry we’ve been neglecting to do because it seems like a distraction from writing.

Instead of being petrified of the deadline, get excited by it.

You’re almost finished.

Don’t give up. Push through to the end. And on November 30th, look at everything that you’ve done, whether that’s 75,000 words or 10,000, and say, I STARTED WRITING A BOOK.

That’s huge and exciting and something a lot of people want to do, but don’t ever do because they think they don’t have the time or the patience or the know-how to do it.

But you have begun doing it. And if you’ve found it delightful and awesome or the worst, most frustrating thing you’ve ever tried, the fact of the matter is you started writing a book.

And that is something to be proud of.

So, Wrimos, best of luck with the last few days. Crush it.

And, American Wrimos, definitely use writing as an excuse to take a break from your family on Thanksgiving. Ain’t no shame in that.

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friday things.

friday things

-The hardest game of Would You Ralther ever.

-An artist in the Netherlands created this cool Van Gogh-inspired bike path.

-Dawson + Pacey IRL!

– Bob Dylan lyrics + Marcus Mumford + Other Musicians and Also Johnny Depp

-PITCH PERFECT 2 TRAILER!

Happy Friday everyone!

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