CURRENT GIVEAWAY CONTESTS

Here are my current Giveaway Contests


Upcoming Agent Spotlights and Query Critique Giveaways

Tracy Marchini on 4/17/2017
Loren Oberweger on 5/10/2017
Alyssa Jennette on 5/24/2017
Bibi Lewis on 6/12/2017
Kelly Van Sant on 6/21/2017

KIMBERLEY GRIFFITHS LITTLE GUEST POST AND BANISHED GIVEAWAY

Happy Wednesday Everyone! Today I'm excited to have Kimberley Griffiths here to share about her new YA multicultural historical adventure BANISHED. I can't wait to read book 2 in this series set in the Middle East.

Here's a blurb from Goodreads:


After spending months traveling the harsh, unforgiving Mesopotamian desert, Jayden reunites with a broken, injured Kadesh. Although everyone was convinced the violent and unpredictable Horeb, Jayden’s betrothed, killed the handsome prince, Jayden knew in her heart that her love was alive and safe. But their reunion is short-lived, as they learn Horeb is on their trail and determined to take back the girl he has claimed. Soon, the two star-crossed lovers are on the run toward Sariba, Kadesh’s homeland, where, as heir to the kingdom, he plans to make Jayden his princess.

But the trek to Sariba comes with heartache and danger. After narrowly escaping being stoned to death for a crime she didn’t commit, and learning that her sister has disappeared, Jayden’s only solace is her love for Kadesh. But even he is keeping secrets from her…secrets that will change everything.

This gorgeous and enchanting sequel to Forbidden is fraught with love, danger, and heated passion that will leave readers breathless.


Now here's Kimberley!

COMMON WRITERLY BEGINNER TICS

I’m so happy to be here at Literary Rambles today! Many thanks for helping me celebrate the release of BANISHED, Book 2 of the FORBIDDEN trilogy.

We wear a variety of hats as a writer: Creator, Drafter, Rewriter, Editor, Copyeditor, and Self-Imposed Critic—but don’t get them mixed up or you’ll make yourself nuts while you’re wearing the Creator hat, or run the risk of too much daydreaming during the Editor stage. Wouldn’t it be lovely to have the ability to pull our stories straight out of our minds and lay them all lovely and perfect on the page? Unfortunately, the technology for that hasn’t been invented yet.

Instead, we travel through these various stages of donning hats many times during the process of writing a book, back and forth and sometimes feeling like our brains have turned into scrambled eggs.

When you feel yourself ready to scream, try to put the manuscript/notes/editorial letters/critiques aside for a few hours or a day or two and give yourself a breather. Take a walk, read a book, have lunch with a friend, watch a favorite movie, brainstorm plot or character solutions with trusted family, friends, or other writers, and you’ll come back to the work feeling refreshed and raring to dive in again.

I’m here to advise you on a few of the most Common Beginner Tics while going through our writing stages.

Beginner tics are those mistakes we all make at one time or another, especially in the beginning of our practice as writers—and even published writers still make them during the Creator or Drafting stages. But it’s also true that published writers, with experience (perhaps even several books under their belts), do get better/faster at finding these problems, recognizing them, and then cutting and revising. Let’s get started.

Common Beginner Tic #1: 

Mistaking back-story for Story. Spend time with your setting and characters before you begin to write. Discover what happened to your characters before Chapter 1 begins. Know their goals, their pet peeves, their family, their best friend, their enemy, their secrets, their fears, their weaknesses and strengths. Once you know these aspects of your character’s lives you will automatically give them a richer, more fully fleshed out personality and emotions on the page.

You don’t have to tell the reader all these quirks and nuances (or your MC’s most embarrassing moment in high school), rather, the back-story will come out in small and subtle ways through their actions, dialogue, personality, and interaction with the other characters. You won’t need to stop the story and inform the reader what’s going on, or relay what already happened before Chapter 1; the reader will be able to figure it out. Readers are very smart that way.

It’s very easy to write one or more chapters about what happened to your character before diving into the actual story that the novel is about. Readers want to see your MC in an immediate scene or problem, even if it’s a small problem.

I began Banished like this, diving right into the scene. Background and recapping of past events or characters were woven in bit by bit, a sentence here or there, but no flashbacks.



Another point regarding Backstory: Sometimes we read a novel where the main character is telling the reader what has happened before they dive into their current situation, but in order to do that successfully you need to have a character with a very unique voice.

The only time I’ve seen this done well is in first person contemporary novels where the main character has a distinct personality and leaps to life on the very first page. It’s very difficult to do and usually takes an experienced and skilled writer to do it well. But it can be done with study and practice and creating a unique character with a lot of personality.

Common Beginner Tic #2:

Having the adults solve the problem for the main character child/teen. Your MC needs to figure it out on their own. Let your main character take action, be in the middle of it, and be the driving force behind the plot.

Common Beginner Tic #3:

Too much introspection by your main character or in your narration. We're introverted “Writers” so this is very easy to do. It’s one of the things that I constantly have to watch out for or edit the heck out of later when the first draft is finished. My characters tend to think through things, ponder, muse, agonize, and self-reflect in long paragraphs.

Common Beginner Tic #4: 

Telling instead of Showing. Showing requires us to embody the character and live their lives, as if we have *become* the character. Showing a scene gives richer details, conveys emotions, and refrains from becoming a summary of a scene. Instead of telling us that Cinderella went to the ball, danced with the prince, lost her glass slipper, and then her coach turned back into a pumpkin, show the scene by adding action and dialogue. Show us Cinderella dancing with Prince Charming, their conversation, their tender moment falling in love, and then her fright and race to escape the palace as the clock strikes midnight.

Common Beginner Tic #5: 

Using abstract words to describe the setting or the characters or the action. Use concrete verbs and http://theeditorsblog.net/2015/04/08/writing-advice-what-about-ing-words-part-four/
nouns. Go lightly on adjectives. Watch out for too much use of “ing" words. For more details read this great piece:

Common Beginner Tic #6: 

Not hearing the music/rhythm of the language. Read Cynthia Rylant. Read poetry. Read novels written in verse. This will help you see and hear the beauty and rhythm of language and alliteration and sentence length and how they can be used effectively to add depth and layers to your writing.

I hope these are helpful tips, and I wish you much success and joy with your own writing! I’m giving away a hardcover copy of FORBIDDEN and BANISHED along with some cool swag.

My Links:

Website: www.kimberleygriffithslittle.com (Teacher’s Guides and Book Club Guides)
Stunning FORBIDDEN trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3ncXetDyG8
Twitter: @KimberleyGLittl


Kimberley is being amazingly generous in her giveaway to one lucky winner. She's offering a hard copy of FORBIDDEN and BANISHED, a jeweled book club card, a bookmark, and a keychain for a giveaway. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower and leave a comment through March 13th. If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, you must leave it in the comments to enter the contest.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, let me know this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry. This is for U.S.

Here's what's coming up:

Next Monday I have a guest post by debut author Melanie Conklin and her agent Peter Knapp and a query critique giveaway by Peter and a giveaway of Melanie's MG contemporary COUNTING TIME.

Next Friday I'm participating in the Lucky Is Reading Book Giveaway Hop.

The following Monday I have an interview with debut author Janet Summer Johnson and a giveaway of her MG contemporary THE LAST GREAT ADVENTURE OF THE PB&J SOCIETY.

Wednesday that week I have an Agent Spotlight Interview with agent Patricia Nelson and a query critique giveaway.

The following Monday I have a guest post by debut author Andrew Brumbach and his agent Danielle Chiotti with a query critique giveaway by Danielle and an ARC giveaway of Andrew's MG historical adventure THE EYE OF MIDNIGHT.

Hope to see you on Monday!



66 comments:

  1. Congrats to Kimberly on a wonderful story. Pretty cover, too. And a Happy Wednesday to you, Natatlie!

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    1. Thanks so much for the kudos, and for reading my blog post! :-)

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  2. Sounds good! Follow on Bloglovin! Thanks for the chance

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  3. Awesome and so true. Each one of those tics comes out in a beginning writer and you know you've made progress when you can nod your head and say, "MASTERED!"

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    1. Thanks so much for reading, Crystal! Hoping we're all "Mastering" with every new project we write! :-)

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  4. I'm blog hopping with C. Lee McKenzie, et al. Your book sounds intriguing, Kimberly. All the luck with it. Thanks for sharing these tips with writers. I still find myself using too many ing words. They seem to pop up on the screen magically. I'm forever chopping them out of the text in revision, if not as I create and notice them. I've connected to the blog and am connecting with social media. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks so much for blog hopping over, Victoria! And thanks for all the kudos on BANISHED! Good luck with your writing, too! :-)

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  5. What great advice! This is all stuff I still have to work on. (And I love lists like this. So helpful! Good luck with Banished, Kimberly!

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    1. Thanks so much for the kudos, and so glad this list is helpful, Janet! :-)

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  6. I loved Forbidden and can't wait to read Banished! Tic number three is the one I have the most problems with.

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    1. So thrilled you loved Forbidden and hope you enjoy Banished! And yeah, I still fight all these tics at one point of another . . . Thanks for reading the post! :-)

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  7. It's true that these tics stay with us even when we've been writing for many years! At least they get easier to spot and understand during revision than when I first started. Congrats on the release of Banished!

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    1. Thanks so much for the kudos on Banished, Kristin, and yes, the tics are all still there, but they do get easier to recognize with experience. :-)

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  8. This series sounds amazing!!
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

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    1. Thanks so much for the kudos, Natasha! Hope you enjoy the trilogy! :-)

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  9. Congrats to Kimberley. I love that cover. I know these tics well.

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  10. Thanks for the pointers! I have to write a chapter of a YA novel for a class, hopefully your tips will help :)
    I loved Forbidden, I cannot wait to get my hands on Banished to see what happens next. I need to know!!!
    I follow via Blolovin, Emma Andje McAndrew.

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    1. I think my email is on my profile, but just in case, it is emandm2222@gmail(dot)com.

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    2. Thanks so much for the kudos, Emma, and so excited you loved Forbidden so much! Good luck with your writing:-)

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  11. Awesome tips! and so true for new and more experienced authors to be reminded about!

    What an awesome time to set her novels in!! truly original :)

    thank you so very much :)

    ccfioriole at gmail dot com

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    1. Thanks so much for the kudos, and for reading the post, much luck to you, Christina! :-)

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  12. I tweeted: https://twitter.com/christinafiorio/status/702744162765021184

    ccfioriole at gmail dot com

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  13. Thanks for the great list of tips. I've experienced struggle and growth in all of the areas. The toughest thing for me to do is to rest the beast I've created so I can come back to it with fresh eyes. (No drawing for me as my stack of books to read is nearing my height!)

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    1. So glad this was helpful, Greg. Wishing you ALL the luck with your writing - and the stack of reading, haha! :-)

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  14. I have Kimberley's MG books on my TBR list and can't wait to get to them. I have heard such great things about each of them. I really need to get to them soon!

    I loved her advice for new writers. I still work on the show don't tell all the time, but progress is made every time I write. :) I couldn't agree more about the backstory. I originally included too much. So much better without it, or revealing parts of it in a natural way.

    Thanks for sharing and wishing Kimberley the best of luck!
    ~Jess

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    1. Aw, thanks, Jess! Enjoy the books and thanks for the kudos! Good luck to YOU, too! :-)

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  15. I think we're all guilty of those six things. But with practice, we get better.
    Congratulations, Kimberly.

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    1. Thanks for the kudos, Alex, and yes, practice makes perfect - or at least more aware, knowledgeable and BETTER. :-)

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  16. this series sounds fantastic!!! I definitely want to read :) thanks for sharing!
    follow by email:efender1(at)gmail

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    1. Thanks so much for the kudos, Erin! Big Smile! :-)

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  17. I love the writing tips--always good ones to remember, even after you've been writing for awhile. Love this series and can't wait for book 3! Thanks for the chance to win this great giveaway! I posted to tumblr: http://yesreaderwriterpoetmusician.tumblr.com/post/139976153547/literary-rambles-kimberley-griffiths-little-guest

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    1. Thanks so much for the kudos, Danielle, and so glad these tips are helpful! :-)

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  18. Thank you for these great tips! And congratulations on your newest book! Will tweet out this great post as well.

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    1. Thanks so much for the kudos, and I'm so glad these writing tips are helpful, Emily! :-)

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  19. Wonderful advice. Thanks, Kimberly, for this post. Please choose someone else to win though. I am still packing. (Will it ever end?)

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    1. So glad the advice resonated with you, Rosi! Wishing you Every good thing! And good luck with the packing, too. :-)

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  20. I'm a huge Forbidden fan so I appreciate the guest post. Thank you for the tips and advice. I wish I had the talent to be a writer. I was unfortunately not gifted with that. Thank you so much for the amazing giveaway. I'd be honored to own these beautiful books. I follow though email - BloodRedMoon32@gmail.com
    Tweet - https://twitter.com/RedMoon32/status/703011967267528704

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    1. Thanks so much for the kudos, Red Moon, I love hearing that you love Forbidden! Good luck! :-)

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  21. Thanks for the post. This series looks amazing!

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    2. Definitely added to my TBR. BTW email is penny dot olson at gmail dot com. Thanks for a great giveaway!

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    3. Thanks so much for the kudos, Penny! Good luck! :-)

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  22. Great interview and advice. I can relate to the scrambled eggs for brain part. :)

    With backstory, there are times when flashbacks are perfectly acceptable. I have a book coming out from Random House in which the flashbacks are an essential part of the story. It adds to the mystery and suspense as to what happened five years before the book begins.

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    1. Thanks, Stina! And yes, scrambled eggs - no fun! I agree - flashbacks can be very important and an intriguing literary device when used well. Congrats to you! :-)

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  23. Great guest post - those tics are so true. I loved the opening line of Banished; it would definitely keep me reading. Yay for en media res! :)

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    1. Thanks so much for the kudos, and I'm so glad this post was helpful, Lexa. Hope you enjoy Banished! :-)

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  24. Fantastic advice:) Especially the comments about backstory, it can be a huge stumbling block.

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    1. Thanks so much for the kudos, Mark, and so glad the advice is helpful. Wishing you much luck! :-)

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  26. Thanks! Posted to FB and Tweeted :)

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  27. Great interview! I'm so excited to read Banished! I tweeted too! My email, just in case it's not listed is maria.e.martin2@gmail.com

    https://twitter.com/bookreader4ever/status/703354455073247232

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    1. Thanks so much for the kind words, Maria, and for sharing the Banished love! :-)

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  28. I'm rather intrigued by this trilogy. :) And I really liked this advice. It's great to be reminded of these issues, because it's so easy for them to sneak up on me while I'm writing. So I need to be reminded of them when it comes time to edit them out. :P

    Thanks for sharing, and thank you for the giveaway! :)

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    1. Thanks so much, Liz, so happy you're intrigued! :-) And yep, I constantly need reminders on my tics, LOL.

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  29. What wonderful tips/reminders for writers of any level~ thank you so much! The book sounds wonderful!

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    1. So happy the tips and reminders are helpful, Jessica! And thanks for the BANISHED kudos! :-)

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  30. I loved the first book, and this one is up at the top of my TBR!

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    1. VERY HAPPY TO HEAR that you loved FoRbidden, Kira! Enjoy BANISHED! :-)

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  31. Hi there! This one sounds fantastic :-) Thank you for the giveaway :-)
    email: megan.booktube@gmail.com

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    1. Thanks for chiming in and reading, Megan! Good luck! :-)

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  32. I love the cover!! I'm a follower of Literary Rambles. Thanks for the chance to win.
    Dedezoomsalot at yahoo dot com

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    1. Thanks so much for the kudos, hope you enjoy Forbidden and Banished! :-)

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    1. Thanks so much for the kudos, Joyce! Good luck to you and I hope you enjoy the Forbidden trilogy! :-)

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