Wednesday, April 28, 2010

An Open Letter To YA Good Boys

Dear YA Good Boys,

You rock.

No, seriously--you do.

Please don't let that female character's behavior put a damper on your manliness. She may be frothing at the mouth whenever she sees Mr. I'm-Too-Sexy-For-My-Skinny-Jeans-And-Bedhead, but don't let that dupe you. You see, that female character has issues. Lots of them. And she wants what she can't have. What her mother warned her about. What comes at a steep price (usually her life or her dignity). Masochistic, right?

Luckily for you, YA Good Boys, lame female character isn't the only girl out there. There are tons of YA Good Girls who want YA Good Boys, who will love you just as you are, and won't resent themselves for choosing you over Brooding Douche. Outlandish, you say? Not so much.

So please, YA Good Boys, don't lose faith in the X chromosome because of that imaginary girl with issues. Let her find happiness with Brooding Douche. You go ahead and find your own, with a Good Girl that deserves you.

And while you're at it, go tell this very nice lady that you're out there. She believes in you, as do I.

Don't ever change.


The Sometimes Good Girl Trying To Bring You To Life

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Story vs. Market--The YA Way

Ever heard of the SATs? *shudders*

Well, the awesome writers at YA Highway created the first ever YASAT. It's got hilarious questions regarding YA fiction, especially paranormal romances. If you're an aspiring author in the genre, or an avid reader, I implore you to check it out:

The YASAT got me thinking about a couple things, but mostly this: story vs. market. Do you think YA authors write stories that follow a pattern because they like it as readers themselves? Or do you think that they're trying to appeal to a broader audience by injecting their books with something that's already been done?

I wholeheartedly believe that no one should write something they don't feel comfortable with. Sure, it's okay if writers want to challenge themselves with a genre out of their comfort zone, but don't do it just because it's what sells. Do it because that story brewing in your brain makes you want to jump, squeal with joy, and work hard so you can share it with the world. Do it because no other story seems like the right one to tell. And hey, if the cash flows after you type The End, so be it--that's just a stop on the road, not the destination.

Just remember: don't make your badass supernatural creature fall for an insecure wimpyface!

Their words, not mine ;)

What influences the way you write? Is it the story you're dying to tell, or the market you wish to be a part of?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Cue The Confetti!

It's been a bumpy ride, but I can finally take a breather. The second draft of my WIP is done!!!!


I am thrilled beyond words, so I won't bore you with unnecessary ones. Let me just sign off by saying that the next few weeks will be dedicated to Draft #3, which will surely give me a heart attack. And reading. Lots of reading, both for school and for leisure.

Well, more leisure than school... I'm rebellious like that...

Anyway, I wish everyone a great weekend! And for those hardcore Supernatural enthusiasts out there, here's a treat:

See? I'm not selfish. I share my lovelies with others ;)

So tell me, what are your plans for the weekend? Will you be writing and reading like me? Or will you be living the good life away from the computer screen?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The One That Got Away...

Every once in a while, writers need to trim the fat from their manuscripts. The reasons behind this are numerous: word count's too high, story doesn't flow nicely enough, too much info dump going on, yadda yadda yadda. But one reason that can be really frustrating is realizing that a subplot isn't working. No matter how hard you try, the darned thing just keeps getting lost in the trenches, or confuses the bejeezus out of your betas.


Wanna know what this reminds me of? Only the worst night of my life.

Chris Evans came to Puerto Rico to shoot the upcoming movie, The Losers. One of my friends told me, but I didn't think that I would ever get to see him.


One night, while I was out with my friends, I. Saw. Him.

I lost control of my knees. My ears throbbed like there was no tomorrow. Everything was a blur.

After one of my friends shook me so hard I thought my brain had rearranged itself, I decided to ask him for a picture with me (everyone around him was doing it, so I thought it would be okay). Problem? I didn't have my digital camera on me, and since it was really dark in the nightclub, my phone wouldn't do the trick. So I asked my friend, the only one with a camera, to use hers.

Other problem? Some douche slammed right into her, and the camera fell hard on the dance floor. When my friend tried turning it on, it didn't. The screen went black and the buttons weren't doing anything. It. Just. Died.

My friend tried to comfort me by suggesting I just go talk to him, but what was I supposed to say when the music barely let me hear her???? Plus, I'm very shy when it comes to attractive men, and I had zero guts to walk up to him. So there he was, standing RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME, and I let him get away.

So there you have it, friends. Your manuscript is a camera, meant to capture everything with precision and a style all your own. But when the camera stops working, you have to let that untaken picture go. Subplots are always tricky, but some mesh very well with the main plot. Others don't, and that's okay. You'll realize when to trim and when not to, especially if you wholeheartedly believe that the story you're telling deserves to be the best it can be.

That's the beauty of being a writer--giving up on your dreams is not an option. Letting go of what doesn't work surely is.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Romance--The Paranormal Way

Oh, paranormal romances in the YA market...

How you torture me! How you force me to live up to impossible standards of awesomeness! Why, oh, why?!

*takes a deep breath and stops stomping the floor*

So. YA paranormal romance. Fun stuff, right?

I can't get enough of it, although there are certain aspects that make me cringe. Actually, just one in particular: the romance.

I know what you're thinking: "Why would she read paranormal romance if she doesn't like the romance???? Is she brain dead?"

Nope. Not brain dead. Yet...

Anyway, let me explain myself. I don't dislike reading about romance. I do dislike reading a romance between teens who have recently met and fall head over heels in love in a span of ten pages. Maybe even less.

To me, love is something that takes time. Attraction is different. If you like the way someone looks or behaves, attraction knocks on your door pretty quickly. But love? Quite the snail, if you ask me... That's why today I wish to share an example of how romance can take its sweet ol' time. An example that is near and dear to my heart: Daniel Meade and Betty Suarez.

For those of you who don't know, these two were coworkers and best friends on the recently departed TV show, Ugly Betty *wipes tear from cheek*. Throughout four seasons, Betty fell in love with other dudes while Daniel slept around like a whor-

Well, you get the picture...

So when the show was abruptly (and unfairly!) cancelled, fans were clamoring for a Betty/Daniel hookup. I, of course, was on board for the relationship to finally happen. But then I watched the finale, witnessing how Daniel got the clue regarding his feelings for Betty, and how she chose a career over everything she'd ever known. They never got to say goodbye at all--Betty just left for London and didn't hear a peep from a grieving Daniel.

Until she bumped into him over there.

And he told her that he'd quit his job to "find himself" and start from scratch... with her by his side.

Sucks to say that Betty didn't end up smooching him or telling how much she loved him, too. Wanna know why? Because she didn't. Yet. But the finale suggests an eventual relationship between them. They stayed together in the end. Fans just didn't get to see it.


Because it would've felt rushed. Betty needed time to see Daniel like the soul mate he really was for her, even though he already knew that she was the one for him.

I know TV and YA books are two different things, but sometimes I see a clearer picture in HD resolution. Romance, the real kind, doesn't happen overnight. Physical attraction can lead to a deeper connection, but writers have to make sure that the connection isn't just a product of how hot the supernatural dude is. Make the MC care about hot supernatural dude for other reasons, which reveal themselves cohesively throughout the book. Let true love feel as real as you felt it when you experienced it for the first time. But never rush into something without a good reason why.

Nuff said.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Basshole

If you don't watch Gossip Girl, don't fret. This is not a conversion post.

I repeat: this is not a conversion post.

So please know that if you don't watch Gossip Girl, I'm not forcing you to watch it on the CW every Monday night at 9. Or to DVR it because you have other things on your agenda. Or to read TV blogs that review each episode in glorious detail.

There. Glad I got that out of the way...

Now on to the good stuff.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: The Basshole.

Chuck Bass, playboy extraordinaire and resident bad boy on the CW's Monday night show, Gossip Girl (it's on at 9, in case you're wondering. Oh, wait! I already said that...). I love a good jerk every once in a while. Some would call Chuck Bass just that: a jerk. To me, he's more than just a jerk with great skin and cool hair. He's a boy who lost his way, then picked himself up and chose a better path.

And, uh... Then he kinda reverted back to being a jerk... But now he's trying to be good again! I think...

Anyway, here's a funny (yet fake) interview I found that Forbes magazine did with The Basshole:

I wanted to share this with you because I'll be talking about characterization in the next few days, and I thought that The Basshole's interview fit perfectly with the theme. So if you're a Gossip Girl fan, go check it out!

If not, well... You don't have to read it. And you certainly don't have to watch Gossip Girl on the CW, every Monday night at 9... Or DVR it...

Friday, April 16, 2010

Being Awesome

Thanks to the wonderful and uber-talented Stina Lindenblatt for this:

Now I must pass on my mojo to seven other awesome people. I choose seven bloggers I follow and unabashedly love:

Justine Dell

Laura Diamond


Crystal Cook

Sarah Bromley

Jennifer Daiker

Rebecca Knight

Why are these ladies deserving of such an awesome award? Because they're awesome. Duh.

But why are they awesome, you ask???? Just check out their blogs and see for yourself! (hint: they're all dedicated to honing creativity, and offer great advice to those who follow a creative path as well).

So there you go. Someone said I was awesome this week. Whether I am or not, I don't really know. But what I do know is the one thing that makes me feel awesome: support. From family, friends, classmates, other aspiring authors, fellow bloggers, you name it. Support is what makes me awesome.

Did you feel awesome today?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Conversation With My Cardboard Villain

For the past few weeks, I've been reeeeeeeeaaaaaally sick. *sigh...*

I've also been talking to the cute-but-deadly villain of my current WIP (Lexie's story). My baddie has agreed to let me post the transcript of our most important conversation, which I hope will help other writers see the many flaws-

(Cardboard Villain interrupts to glare at me. A LOT.).

I mean... Not flaws, exactly... Just... You know...

(Yep. Still glaring. A LOT MORE.)

Okay, so here we go:

Me: "Hello, baddie! How are you today?"

Villain: *yawns* "Bored."

Me: *scratches head* "Bored? Why on earth would you be bored? Isn't plotting world domination supposed to be, like, super fun?"

Villain: *shrugs* "To most villains, I guess. But personally, I'm getting kind of sick of chasing after power all the time."

Me: *stares blankly*

Villain: *rolls eyes* "Listen, I know you're probably brain dead from having to rewrite your erased first draft, but don't you think that you could give me more depth? Don't you think that I should have some sort of purpose in this story? You know, something that explains why I'm a badass?"

Me: *stares blankly while drool slips from corners of mouth*

Villain: "Amparo? You still there?"

Me: ...

Villain: "I knew it. You're brain dead."

Me: "I'm not brain dead! I'm just... just... just..."

Villain: "Predictable?" *grins while winking* "Uninspired?"

Me: ...

Villain: "Why don't you take some time to think about it? My depth, I mean. Who am I, why I'm evil, why getting what I want matters so much... The good stuff. The stuff that sets me apart from all the other villains out there, who are just power hungry because there's no other way to be a villain. Because writers make them that way instead of giving them a story readers will believe. What do you say, Amparo? Wanna make me more than just a cardboard villain or not?"

Me: *nods while removing saliva from jaw* "Yes, baddie. I do."

Villain: Excellent. Now go get me something sharp and shiny to kill that lame ass character I loathe."


How about you? What does your villain want from the story? Does he/she think they're awesome? Or do they want a little more meat to those bones?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I'd like to thank the Academy...

Also known as fellow blogger Lydia Kang! She gave me this purrrretty blog award:

Thanks, girlie!

Now these are the rules I must follow:

1) pass on to 7 other blogging buddies

2) link this post to the award giver

3) show link of original blog where the award came from

4) add your blog to the Mr. Linky list over at the original blog

So here are my picks for this purrrrretty award:

Jaime Reed


Lindsay (a.k.a. Isabella)

Amanda J

Stina Lindenblatt

Karen Amanda Hooper

Darlyn Herradura

Love you all, ladies!!!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Tagged! I'm it!

The fabulous Rebecca Knight tagged me on her blog, and now I must share some quick facts about myself (try not to yawn so loudly, please!). The rules are simple: finish each sentence, then tag three people to do the same on their blogs.

Here goes!

I like reading blogs (duh...). But only the most awesome ones: writer's blogs, whether or not they're published.

I like the CW channel. A LOT. *blushes from shame*

I like walking my diva dog (although sometimes I feel like she's walking me...).

I like eating popcorn (or nachos) before the movie starts.

I like giving hugs.

I like to write to music. Especially if The Spark goes AWOL.

I like psychology. Human minds are truly fascinating.

I like making fake (and quite sucky...) movies on my laptop. The cheesier, the better.

I like reading about dictatorship (and praying that I never live in one...).

I like looking at the full moon. So pretty...

I like swimming in pools better than on the beach.

I ilke chocolates. I don't care which kind. Just gimme my chocolates!

I love Tim Burton. I want him to adopt me. Period.

Today was pretty productive, writing wise.

I hate close-mindedness. Makes me sick...

I hate reality whores. Although I do like laughing at some of them...

I hate bland female protagonists. Let's just all channel the Spice Girls and bring back girl power, people!

I hate networks who cancel really good TV shows just because they can.

I hate being stuck in traffic. Especially if the car next to me has Daddy Yankee cranked up to the fullest. Yuck...

I hate baby vomit. Double points if it falls on my chest (I'm looking at YOU, little cousin!).

I hate the cold. There's a reason why I live on an island (where are you, Matthew Fox? Where are you???).

I hate YA haters. It's a legit genre, people. Suck it up.

I (secretly) like everyone who's ever doubted me. I owe them a big thank you, after all.

I love Jensen Ackles. Shouldn't everybody?

Okay! Now that I'm done spilling the beans on me, I'm going to tag three fellow bloggers:

Weronika Janczuk


Jennifer Walkup

Love your blogs, girls!!!