Monday, October 29, 2018

The Edge Rules Blog Tour: Guest Post and Giveaway

Today I am excited to share with you a great guest post from author of The Edge Rules Melanie Hooyenga! Today she is going to be sharing with us the way she writes. Do you think she's a planner or a pantser? Well you're about to find out! Below you will find the guest post from this fantastic author, more information about The Edge Rules, and a great giveaway! 

I want to thank author Melanie Hooyenga for being with us and sharing her thoughts with us today.

How I Write

Writing is a very personal thing, and what works for me may not resonate with anyone else, but I’m always willing to share a glimpse inside my head. These are a few tricks that help me get to The End:

 I don’t edit as I write, and if I get stuck on a word, I don’t let myself dwell on it for more than a minute. Literally. I allow myself 60 seconds to think of the perfect word (this includes checking a thesaurus) and if I can’t pry it from the depths of my brain in that time, I put brackets around the next-best option and move forward. That way when I get to that part while editing, I’ll know I wasn’t happy with the word and I can spend the time needed to fix it. (Although more times than not it still jumps out at me and I know it isn’t the right word.) 

For those wondering how I don’t edit as I write, I simply don’t allow myself to re-read until I’m done. Sure, I may read passages if it’ll help with my current scene, but I don’t change things. I do keep a separate file with a running list of all the things I want to change in the next draft.

Some people can write a novel without an idea of where the story’s headed, but I am not one of those people. I’m an outliner through and through and I can’t write a novel unless I know how it’s going to end. That said, my outlines are pretty basic. Each chapter gets anywhere from one to five sentences describing what needs to happen, and when I’m drafting, I copy/paste that chapter’s description into the bottom of the word doc. This helps keep me on track as I write, but it’s also a mental trick that makes it feel like I’m just adding a little in the middle of the scene rather than writing into the great white abyss of the blank page. I’ve gotten so used to it that it’s actually difficult for me to write without text at the bottom of the screen.

 Over the past eight novels, I’ve learned how much I can write in one sitting and manage my expectations accordingly. Since I outline, I usually know where I’m headed, and when I’m on a roll I can write 1000 words in 45-60 minutes. There are certainly days where the words don’t come as easily, but I if I hit close to the 1000-word mark, I’m happy. On the downside, I can ONLY write 1000 words in one sitting—maybe 1500 if I really push it. If I’m hoping for more in a day, I need to take a break for at least an hour and it definitely requires a change of scenery away from the computer. Only then can I trick my brain into writing more. (Are you sensing a theme with me tricking my brain?)

Sometimes I’m amazed that I’ve not only written a novel, I’ve written EIGHT. And I didn’t start until I was in my mid-thirties. So if you have a dream to write a novel, go for it. The only thing holding you back is yourself.

The Edge Rules by Melanie Hooyenga
Publisher: Left-Handed Mitten Publications
Published:  October 26th 2018

Sixteen-year old Brianna had everything she wanted: money to ski all over the world, underlings to do her bidding, and parents who gave her every freedom—as long as she played by their rules. But when she’s busted shoplifting and assigned to the Chain Gang, she ditches her shallow ways and realizes being herself is easier than manipulating people.

Forced to partner with kids she’d never dream of befriending, including Xavier, a boy who makes her pulse go into hyperdrive, Brianna vows to be a better person. Breaking Old Brianna’s habits isn’t easy, but her infatuation with Xavier—someone her parents would never approve of—motivates her to keep trying.

Even when he convinces her to trade her swanky skis for a beat-up snowboard.

Brianna lets go of her need to control everything and finally starts to feel free—until her past threatens to jeopardize her first real chance at love. She discovers balancing on the edge is as challenging in life as it is in snowboarding, and when a new friend is in trouble, Brianna must decide between the superficial things that used to be her world and putting her friend’s safety before herself.

Multi-award winning young adult author Melanie Hooyenga first started writing as a teenager and finds she still relates best to that age group. She has lived in Washington DC, Chicago, and Mexico, but has finally settled down in her home state of Michigan. When not at her day job as a Communications Director at a nonprofit, you can find Melanie attempting to wrangle her Miniature Schnauzer Owen and playing every sport imaginable with her husband Jeremy.



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