Thursday, May 27, 2010


YA Highway is giving away critiques from some pretty amazing MG/YA agents and authors. Check it out at:

The prizes include:

-Agent Critiques from Suzie Townsend of Fine Print Lit, Kathleen Ortiz of Lowenstein Associates, and Mandy Hubbard of d4eo literary!!!
-As well as many many more critiques from YA Highway writers!!!

Good luck everyone!!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


All writers share the same dream - to be published. And though it seems impossible at times, we continue to strive for it with vigor and determination. But what many aspiring writers don't realize is that there's much more to writing than just putting together a great story, with interesting and realistic characters, and an engaging's a lot of seriously hard work. That work comes in various stages, one of the most important being the ability to edit.

Now, it's one thing to take others suggestions like adding description to a scene or developing a character more, but it's an entirely different thing when you come to the place where you to have to look at your work and slash it apart.

I just had to deal with this on Sunday. I was going through my ms, trying to polish it up before I start to make the rounds with my query. I came upon a section where the main character is going to the movies with her best friend and afterwards is attacked by Cerberus. It's a pivotal section of the story filled with lots of tension and excitement, but something wasn't quite right with it. After looking it over, I realized that the pacing was off. I spent the first four paragraphs of the chapter describing the main characters trip to downtown Houston, the theater district, and the movie she and her friend saw. While the section was beautifully written and I loved the pictures it brought to my mind, I couldn't ignore the fact that it didn't do anything for the story. It didn't move the plot forward. It didn't add anything necessary to story. It just wasn't needed. So, I cut it.

And though it was scary as hell to do, I felt good when it was done. When it comes down to it, being a writer is all about making the tough decisions when it comes to your work. The ability of someone to look at their story and see what isn't necessary is vital in the publishing industry. For me, the moment that I was able to look past my own ego to see what was best for the ms, that was the moment that I was closer to my goal of being a serious writer - and not someone who just dreams of being one.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Hello All!!! My name is Trakena and I'm a MG/YA writer plugging my way through the obstacle course that is publishing. My goal here is to give you all a taste of my writing world, and the craziness that comes with being a creative being surrounded by people who do not understand you in any way. I hope that my little piece of the Internet can bring a little bit of energy to those who read it. So, here goes.

Today my sister, her boyfriend, and I sat down to watch The Lovely Bones, a movie directed by Peter Jackson, starring Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz, Stanley Tucci, and Saoirse Ronan. It tells the story of a teenage girl who's raped and murdered by a neighbor and watches her family cope with her loss. It is an amazing story that really takes the participant through a roller coaster ride of emotions as you experience the family's grief and, finally, their acceptance. We were all in here moving from yelling at the screen during dangerous scenes to hiding the glisten of tears in our eyes as we watched the father break down with sadness. All in all, it was a really exceptional movie...and got me thinking on how movies can really impact book sales.

What a lot of regular viewers might not know is that The Lovely Bones is based on a novel written by Alice Sebold, which has received a great deal of praise for its storytelling and writing. Now, I read the first few chapters online when I heard that the movie was coming out. I had every intention on picking it up and finishing the entire thing, because what I did read was phenomenal, but life with its pesky interruptions and constant distractions got in the way of that and I completely forgot.

Now, after seeing the movie, I'm pulled towards rushing to the nearest Barnes and Noble and getting my hands on that story.