4.17.2017

Research: What's it like to go to a formal dance?

First off, I'm sorry for my spontaneous hiatus.

Okay, now for the actual post.

Last weekend, I went to a formal dance.  No, I did not go just for research, but I thought you all might be interested if you ever want to write about a modern day dance.  (I can't speak for medieval balls, sorry.)


1. Girls wear long dresses and guys wear suits.


Most girls curl their hair and either leave it down,  some up some down, or put it up in a pretty updo.  We also have the burden of wearing heels for a minimum of 15 minutes.  At most dances, girls wear anything from modest to scandalous.  Thankfully, I went to a Christian dance which had a dress code. Guys have it easy and have to brush their hair and put on a suit.  At the dance I went to, most guys shed their jackets and ties/bowties by the end.

P.S. The dress I'm wearing in my new profile pic is the dress I wore.

2. There are pictures before the dance starts.

Why spend hours getting beautified and not have pictures for posterity?

3. The music is LOUD.  (And depending on the DJ, not very clean.)


I had a headache most of the night because of the loud music.  It was so loud that the floor shook...even in the bathroom.  Most of the music consisted of autotuned, electronic rap that talked about (insert something bad here).

4. Most people dance.


I didn't dance that much, mostly because the music wasn't catchy, but most people did.  Now, if you're thinking that it's ballroom dancing, you're wrong.  It's put your hands up in the air and move your hips kind of dancing.

5. Slow dances relieve your ears...but people can ask you to dance.

Slow dances have actual music, which is great.  Guys ask girls to dance and they put their arms around each other and start swaying back and forth (with enough room for Jesus in between!).

Have you ever been to a dance?  What was your experience?  I would love to listen to what you have to say!







4.03.2017

how to make a professional book cover {a comprehensive look}



I see a very sad trend in the publishing industry (mostly in indie publishing, some in traditional publishing as well) -- bad book covers.  I'm talking about the book covers that look like this: (do not fear, for these are not real book covers.  I designed them as examples, though the one for Death Like Sleep is one I made a long time ago for what is now The Clockshifter. I now hide in shame because of it.


1. Study covers around you.


Don't pick covers that you think look good, pick covers that artsy people love.  Famous bookstagrammers and designers. {Cait, Nadine, Kirk DouPonce, Seedlings Design Studio}  Books in X genre that are published by big publishing houses.  What trends in X genre do you notice?  How do the titles fit with the background?  Do the covers feature faces or people? {here's a video I did where I talked about trends in book covers}

2. "Take" ideas you like, and ditch ideas you don't.  


Do you like curly, artsy fonts?  Do you like gold text?  Do you like X color scheme?  Just remember not to copy another cover exactly.  Make it unique.


3. Pick an aesthetic for your book.


You know those artsy photo collages some really cool authors {Katie, and Aimee} make?  They all have a certain feel to them.  This is due to its color scheme and overall...well...feel.  Once you've picked an aesthetic for your book, you know what colors and style you want on the cover.  If you're still unsure of what your book's feel is, take a step back from the book and ask yourself a few questions.  (These are the questions I ask authors I design covers for.)  Read your answers as if you know nothing about the book:


  • -Back cover copy for your book.  (Brief synopsis.)
  • -Anything important to background/setting (including season story takes place)
  • - Main character Descriptions (Name, age, clothing style, eye color, hair color/length)
  • - Story conflicts
  • - Any symbols that are important to the story.
  • - A Pinterest or aesthetic board for the story, if you have it.
  • - Author name (as it will appear on the cover)
  • - Book title (as it will appear on the cover)
  • - Series name (if applicable)
  • - Any dislikes you have (color, style, font, etc.)
  • - Any other ideas/sample covers you like.


4. Find images.


This is probably one of the hardest parts of cover design.  You have to find an image that doesn't look like it came from Microsoft Word or an iPhone 2. Find images that will look good when cropped to the cover's aspect ratio,  Covers (and good art, really) follow the majestic Rule of Thirds.  This means that if you were to divide the cover into three congruent rectangles, the focus point of the image isn't in the direct center.  {a more comprehensive look at the rule of thirds}  Use images that don't violate copyright.



5. Crop the image and apply filters.


Do any photo manipulation that you need to.  Maybe add a texture as an overlay.  Now's your time to make this image fit with your book's aesthetic (if it didn't before).  Follow YouTube tutorials to learn GIMP or Photoshop.  Make your textures by using paint or your own images.


6. Add text.


This can be one of the trickiest parts of designing book covers.  A lot of designers, sadly, mess this part up.  When you do this step, remember to keep your aesthetic in mind.  Make the text readable.  Don't apply too many effects...simplicity is best.  Don't use generic Microsoft Word fonts...download cool ones (though still keep copyright in mind)!  {Behance, Dafont}  Make them the focus of the cover.  Match fonts (i.e. don't use 2 different curly fonts on the same cover) or contrast them (i.e. curly and sans serif). {a fabulous tutorial on contrasting fonts}


7. Ask people you trust for their opinions.


Family?  Friends?  Better yet, ask an artist and/or graphic designer.  See if a good bookstagrammer will give you feedback.  Be open to the criticism they may give you.  Fix what needs to be fixed.  The key thing to look for someone who is genuine.

Here's what my sister (she's an amazing artist) said about the cover I made above: I love the overall design, especially the double exposure(ish) bird. The simplicity is very appealing to the eye, and the cursive text flows with the curved outline of the bird. The only negative thing I have to say about this cover is the color of the title. It just seems a little off and doesn't pull out the colors in the flowers. Other than that... great job Alea!!!

Here's what Katie from A Writer's Faith said: Oooh, I love it! I think the main issue is the text -- I wonder if there's a way to make it pop more? My attention is drawn to the bird instead of the title, and it seems like they're fighting for the spotlight.

But the colors and background is amazing! Just a little re-formatting and I think I'll be even better.

8. If one draft doesn't work, do another and another until it's as perfect as it can get!


Have you ever made a book cover?  What was your process?  What are some of your favorite book covers?  I love to read and respond to your comments!



3.27.2017

I met one of my childhood favorite authors...

It's Harry Potter that shapes most kids' childhoods.  For me...it was Kingdom Keepers by Ridley Pearson, The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, and The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart.


On Saturday, I had the privilege of meeting Ridley Pearson at a book signing for the release of his new book, The Return.

My dad made me drive (during which I actually cried and almost hyperventilated with anxiety), but once I got there, it was totally worth the experience.  My sister and I speed walked all the way to the other side of Disney Springs (which used to be Downtown Disney, a much more fitting name).  While we waited in line, we talked with the people around us and a cast member rattled off Kingdom Keepers trivia questions.  I was surprised that I actually didn't have to wait too long.

And then we were almost there...

...

...

...

Mr. Pearson signed our books and we took a picture...and then an employee pointed out my writer shirt.  He gave me writing advice and asked me about my work.  It was such a neat experience.  Nothing can compare to talking with other writers.




My dad, sister, and I stayed a couple of days at Disney.  We just got back home today, which is why I didn't post until later.  This morning, at Animal Kingdom, I wore my writer shirt again (mostly because the Disney trip was spontaneous and I didn't plan ahead).  Savannah and I were in line for Dinosaur.  A cast member asked me how many were in my party and I said two.  Then she stopped and looked at my shirt.  Her face suddenly lit up and I thought she was going to hug me.  Then she said, "I need to frame that shirt in my room to explain to my mom why I have papers all over my room."  I kept grinning as I got on the ride.  So my tip of the day is to always wear some sort of writing/fandom shirt when you go to a theme park because you might meet someone like you!


3.22.2017

Trends In Book Covers and why we should pay attention to them

I made a video about cover design!  Let's explore some book covers and see how we can apply these when we design covers, either for real or for fun.


(As a side note, I'm super awkward in this video so...yeah...sorry...)


Indie e-Con

I also have another video up on Kendra's blog about how to use less stock photography.


Am I horribly awkward in these videos?  What are some of your favorite book cover trends?  What are some of your favorite book covers?  I would love to hear your thoughts!


3.20.2017

This Week's Blog Post will be on Wednesday

Im participating in Indie e-Con, so this week's post will go up on Wednesday.  Hint: it's a video!

3.18.2017

Promise's Prayer BLOG PARTY | Interview with Author Erika Mathews + Giveaway







Kaelan is restless for adventure and relentless in his efforts to bring the land of Taerna back to the blessings of Adon Olam and the prosperity of the days of his ancestors. Fueled by a solemn promise and his mother’s secret, he finds himself in the forefront of a desperate scheme that is crucial to Taerna’s future. Can he keep his promise? Can he save the people of Taerna from the corruption and rampant lawlessness that threaten them with extinction?
Shy and quiet Carita knows she possesses what Taerna’s people so desperately need. But how can she help them when her own soul is simultaneously tormented by witnessing unmet needs and handicapped by her own paralyzing fears?

When Kaelan and Carita come face to face with the true nature of Adon Olam’s call, will they each choose to embrace Adon Olam’s plan for Taerna—and for their own lives?




Alea: Hi Erika!  Thank you for joining me today!

Erika: Hi Alea! Thank you for having me - I'm happy to be here and so excited to be releasing Promise's Prayer!


Alea: How did your writing journey begin?

Erika: My writing journey began the day I learned to read at age 4. Much of my childhood was spent with books. So when my parents gave me three thick spiral notebooks at age 5, the next several years were spent filling the various sections with every kind of writing - Bible studies, nature studies, short stories, poems, drawings, drafts of ideas, scripture I was memorizing, made-up recipes, a violin lesson diary, sermon notes (and sermons I made up), and lists of all types. When I was 10, Jessica Greyson and I had the idea of each writing a book with the same last name for the main character, and over the next four years I wrote the first draft of my children's book Happy Days With the Lanes (which I'm currently rewriting for publication). At age 13, God called me to write books that honor and glorify Him, and through high school essays and writing courses, I discovered how much I enjoyed writing and grammar. At this point I shifted my focus towards devotional writings and poetry, though I began several fiction works as well (most of them unfinished). In 2014, I finally had a free November in which to participate in National Novel Writing Month, and Promise's Prayer was written.

**Click on photos to enlarge**


Alea: Why did you decide to write Christian books?

Erika: Life on earth is short and if our purpose is confined to this earth, everything our lives stand for will quickly pass away. My desire is to invest my life in something that will have eternal impact. As a Christian, Christ is my life - for me to live is Christ. Everything is all about Him - His desire is that He be known intimately. He's given me a passion for communicating His truth through writing and speaking. My hope and prayer is that God's kingdom on this earth will be advanced through my books and that those who read will be encouraged, challenged, or inspired to a deeper knowing of Him.

Regarding this book specifically, Promise's Prayer is Book One in my series Truth From Taerna.
Each book focuses on an aspect of spiritual truth that today's church often downplays. My desire was to demonstrate how the real, powerful, lifechanging truths of God's kingdom (the spiritual realm hidden from our physical senses) could play out in a fictional setting. My goal is that God will use this series to reveal His kingdom to my readers. My reason for writing Christian fiction can be summed up in C.S. Lewis' words: "By knowing Me here for a little, you may know Me better there."


Alea: How long does it typically take you to write a book's first draft?

Erika: Typically for a full-length novel, I write as much as I can of the first draft in 30 days and then finish/rewrite/edit/polish in several weeks at some point after that. Because Promise's Prayer benefited from detailed outlining beforehand, I was able to complete the first draft in a month. Victory's Voice (Truth From Taerna Book 2) was only about half-written in this time and Surrender's Strength (Book 3) was about 75% complete in a month - though both books will end up being significantly longer than Promise's Prayer. My non-fiction book took about three months after a year of research, study, and meditation.


Alea: Which character in Promise's Prayer gave you the hardest time?

Erika: Kaelan gave me the hardest time. He wasn't too good at coming up with ways to fulfill his promise, and he wasn't the greatest about letting me know the details of his plans ahead of time. Sometimes I managed to put him into a situation I had no idea how he would get out of. He kept insisting on figuring things out on his own. Also, I haven't been able to find a character inspiration picture that looks like him. Still, he was a fun character to write.


Alea: Thank you again for joining me today!

GIVEAWAY




First place will receive a paperback copy and second place will receive an ebook copy.

Blog Party Stops


Ellrick Character Spotlight at Reality Reflected
Carita Character Spotlight at God's Peculiar Treasure Rae
Author Interview at Seek Him First
Kaelan Character Interview and Spotlight at Random Reflections

Release Party Central at Resting Life


Erika Mathews is an author and editor who lives in the farm country of Minnesota with her husband and daughter. She’s a homeschool graduate with a Bachelor’s in Communications, a Master’s in Biblical Ministries, and a passion for sharing Jesus Christ and His truth. When she’s not working with books, she enjoys reading, outdoor activities, piano and violin, organizing, and using the Oxford comma. You can connect with Erika at restinglife.com, on her blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram.


3.13.2017

Camp NaNoWriMo April, 2017 | A Hamlet retelling set in space. (How is it almost April?)

Sorry I took a short, unannounced hiatus.  Suddenly it was Monday and I had no post ideas.  And now, apparently, we're almost 4 months into 2017.  *screams*  What is eating this year?  I must kill it and then burn its corpse.

BUT, the 4th month also means Camp NaNoWriMo (a.k.a. insanity and lots of fun).  So...here's all about my April novel.
i attempted to hand letter the title after
watching a youtube video about it.

What is this story about, you ask?

~A Hamlet retelling set in space.~


This story was born in English class while my teacher was reading Hamlet aloud to us.  I fell in love with the story from the moment I began reading it.  And so long story short, I'm writing a retelling of it.  The blog has gone through some changes.  Originally, it was going to be about a spaceship where everyone is a ghost but the dead King Hamlet figure, but that idea got trashed.  We're just going to ignore the fact that I did terrible on the Hamlet short response test.

~What No One Remembers is the backstory of 2 of the characters.~

And still, no one is going to read it...

So here's the "official" description of The Space Beyond Sanity.  (Warning: I'm the worst at descriptions.)

The crew of the SS Elias has problems. They nearly died, their captain abandoned them, and now there's a ghost haunting the ship and a possible murder.


I'm also in a lovely cabin with Savannah, Micaiah, and Bellethiel.

Are you doing Camp NaNoWriMo?  What is your April WIP?  I would love to hear about them!


3.03.2017

The Princess and I BLOG TOUR - AUTHOR INTERVIEW

*shrieks* It's release day for The Princess and I!  In honor of this occasion, I am hosting an interview with author Rebekah Eddy.




Megan is content with her life, despite her parents' death and her brother Malcolm's job that keeps him busy at the King's castle. But when she is offered the position as Princess Christine's lady-in-waiting, Megan is glad of the change in scenery and accepts it with the hope that she can spend more time with her brother. The promise from Malcolm of lessons in swordsmanship only adds to her enthusiasm.

However, helping keep an eye on the emotional and excitable young lady proves to be much harder than becoming her friend. As rumors of war circulate the castle, Megan strives to encourage her new friend even as she tries to settle the doubts and fears in her own heart when her responsibility in protecting the Princess is put to the test. Follow the unwanted adventure which serves to teach her that loyal friendship, true love, and God's amazing grace will always triumph over revenge, greed, and hate.




Alea:  Describe the moment you knew you wanted to be an author.

Rebekah: I wasn't serious about writing when I first started. I think at the beginning it was more like "writing books is cool" then "I want to be an author". It wasn't until I was twelve or thirteen when I thought that my love of writing might actually turn into something. When I self published the first edition of "The Silver Flower" and it came in the mail, I was able to hold it my hands and say "This is my book!" I think THAT was the moment I decided to really get serious about writing and become a true author. I started ordering books from the library on writing and editing, paying more attention to other writer's blogs, and joined the awesome community on here where I could connect with other Christian teens who had the same goal as me: to use our gift of writing to encourage and bless others while bringing glory to God.

Alea: What an awesome story!  Why did you choose to be an independently published author?

Rebekah: Well, it's a WHOLE lot less expensive and less time consuming then finding a publisher. :) Also, it's a bit more relaxing when you're the one deciding when you want to publish your book and then publishing it. And, as I mentioned before, I first self-published when I was twelve...so I wasn't ready to bring my story to a serious publisher yet. Maybe someday I will...but for now, I'm happy with this system. Lulu has been amazing, and I highly recommend their website if you are a writer looking for an easy (and fairly cheap) way to get your story looking professional. ;)

Alea: I've used Lulu to print my book, but never to publish.  Thanks for sharing!  Favorite writing snack?

Rebekah: I...don't usually eat while writing. Sometimes, I bring a snack over to where I'm writing and think I'm going to eat it. But then I always forget it's there. XD If I do feel peckish during a writing splurge I might try to convince a sibling to bring me something like apple slices or crackers and cheese.
I do drink a variety of hot beverages while writing though. Tea, coffee, apple cider, and hot chocolate to name a few. Do those count as a snack?

Alea: Those absolutely count.  Coffee and tea are my writing fuel.  Now I have a very evil question for you.  Who are your top 3 favorite authors?

Rebekah: Ooooohhh, you're treading dangerous ground here, Alea...but since you were kind enough to create such a fabulous cover for me...I'll let you get away with it this once. ;)
Out of ALL my favorite authors out there, it was hard to bring it down to three. I narrowed down the list to the authors that were most influential to my own writing and finally down to three ABSOLUTE favorites from them. Here they are in no particular order:
C. S. Lewis
J. R. R. Tolkien
Jane Austen
There you are. The secret is out.

Alea: Thank you so much for stopping by my blog, Rebekah!  I am stoked that your book is now released to the world!  To all of you readers out there, I encourage you to pick up your copy of The Princess and I and check out the other blog tour stops.

Rebekah grew up surrounded by family members who appreciated and read good literature. First, she fell in love with the stories her parents read aloud to her from the Bible and books like The Chronicles of Narnia, Great Expectations, The Hobbit, and Anne of Green Gables. After learning to read on her own, she discovered other fantastic books which helped to build her ever-growing imagination.

She completed her first written work at the tender age of eight and now uses it to humble herself whenever the need arises. The story did serve to show her that God had given her a desire to write, however, and from that moment on Rebekah has never looked back or regretted picking up her pencil and becoming an author.

This eighteen-year-old homeschool graduate lives in rainy Western Washington and is currently working on receiving her BA in English in order to further her passion for creating worlds on paper.

2.20.2017

How to Defeat Those Pesky, Yet Enticing, Distractions

I'm a very distracted person.  At any given time, I can simultaneously think about the 50,000,000,000 things I have to do while scrolling through Twitter for hours.  Or I can sit through chemistry class thinking about how I'm going to write 2k tonight and then go home and binge watch tv.


So how do you keep distractions away?

1. Turn off all Internet.

ALL INTERNET.  Tragic, but necessary.  (Don't do it now, of course.  Finish this post first. :D)

2. Write in a public place.


This might sound like the exact opposite of good advice, but for me, at least, it works.  I write my best during study hall.  I have a set amount of time and a page count goal (because have to hand write it).  I have to purposefully tune out the people around me and immerse myself in my storyworld.

3. Motivate yourself.


What distracts you the most?  Reading?  TV shows?  Twitter?  Instagram?  Schoolwork? (no, do your schoolwork.  Don't listen to that last one.)  Tell yourself if you write for X amount of time, you can read/watch TV/go on social media.


4. Skip this scene and go back to it later?


Are you distracted easily because you're stuck?  Skip this part and go back to it later.  For now, at least, you won't be distracted.

5. Get the stuff you have to do done before you write.


Maybe you are distracted by all of the real life stuff you have to do.  Get it done and then go back to writing.  You'll be surprised how freeing this is.

6. Un-overwhelm yourself.


Sometimes the amount of pressure we put on ourselves to get everything done in an inhuman amount of time is ridiculous.  I know it would be great to write 10k in 1 hour, but it's not realistic.  Maybe set yourself time goals instead of word count goals.  Or better yet, figure out when you want this draft to be finished.  If you need to write 50k in one month, write roughly 1800 words every day.  That's a lot easier than writing 50k in 2 days.

7. Word War


You'd be surprised how much of a motivator competition is.  Try Write Deck.


Are you a distracted writer?  What anti-distraction tips do you have?  I would love to hear your thoughts!


2.14.2017

COVER REVEAL - The Princess and I by Rebekah Eddy

It's time for another cover reveal!  *shrieks*  A few months back, Rebekah approached me and asked if I would make her a cover for her book.  I'm very excited to say that it's time to reveal her cover for The Princess and I!










..................................I'm totally going to make you wait................................................









.....................................Though not too long because I'm not a patient person..................................









....................................Still with me?............................................................................................



Megan is content with her life, despite her parents' death and her brother Malcolm's job that keeps him busy at the King's castle. But when she is offered the position as Princess Christine's lady-in-waiting, Megan is glad of the change in scenery and accepts it with the hope that she can spend more time with her brother. The promise from Malcolm of lessons in swordsmanship only adds to her enthusiasm.

However, helping keep an eye on the emotional and excitable young lady proves to be much harder than becoming her friend. As rumors of war circulate the castle, Megan strives to encourage her new friend even as she tries to settle the doubts and fears in her own heart when her responsibility in protecting the Princess is put to the test. Follow the unwanted adventure which serves to teach her that loyal friendship, true love, and God's amazing grace will always triumph over revenge, greed, and hate.





Does this book not sound amazing?  I'm extremely excited to read it! :D

The Princess and I releases on March 3, 2017, so please, mark your calenders.

Rebekah grew up surrounded by family members who appreciated and read good literature. First, she fell in love with the stories her parents read aloud to her from the Bible and books like The Chronicles of Narnia, Great Expectations, The Hobbit, and Anne of Green Gables. After learning to read on her own, she discovered other fantastic books which helped to build her ever-growing imagination.

She completed her first written work at the tender age of eight and now uses it to humble herself whenever the need arises. The story did serve to show her that God had given her a desire to write, however, and from that moment on Rebekah has never looked back or regretted picking up her pencil and becoming an author.

This eighteen-year-old homeschool graduate lives in rainy Western Washington and is currently working on receiving her BA in English in order to further her passion for creating worlds on paper.

Doesn't this book look amazing?!  (I'm not saying this just because I designed the cover, the story actually looks awesome.)  I would love to hear your thoughts!  (P.S. Happy Valentine's Day!)



2.13.2017

Writing When You're A Get-To-The-Point Person. (It's frustrating.)

I'm one of those weird writers whose novels come out 40k words short...even after the 9th draft.  I know that my plot is big enough...I've seen full-length novels where less happens.  So why aren't my novels 80k words?


I'm a very get-to-the-point person.  If I can say something in fewer words, I will.

So how do I fix this?  Well, the answer is, I don't really know.  Am I telling instead of showing?  I feel like I am showing?  Is my plot still not big enough?  Am I not torturing my precious characters enough?

This is one of the most frustrating things for me.  I write an essay 200 words short of the minimum word count, not because I don't have enough to say, but because I said it all quickly.  I write short blog posts because why make it long when you can make it short?  I write short books because I don't know how to make them long.  Like seriously, how do you magical long winded writers do it?  (Though should it be long winded if you're writing?)

Last week, I had this grand idea for this post.  I was going to embark on an epic quest to discover the secret of writing a long book.  It failed.  Epically.

And so here I am, asking for advice.  How do you write a novel?  One of those brilliant, 80k (or at least 60k) word novels.

2.06.2017

5 Lessons the Musical "Wicked" Teaches Writers

You know that feeling when you finish an amazing movie and you still feel like you're in the story world for a half hour afterward?


I had the privilege of seeing Wicked and still feel that awe and immersion...27 hours later.  (I scheduled this post a few days ago.)  This play--more like theatrical experience--has been on my mind all day.  Not convinced?

What I was thinking about during a very interesting
discussion about Hamlet.  By some miracle, I managed
to multitask. (Source)

Me during a ridiculously boring math lesson (eww).

Me attempting a watercolor painting in art.

I went to see this play with my school drama club.  At dinner, (and really for the last 27 hours), all we have really talked about was the complexity of the plot, characters, and the fabulousness of the music.  So turn up your Wicked soundtrack, and please don't mind my frank analysis.  (Warning: this post contains spoilers, even though I am trying to avoid them.  Spoilers are labeled as such.  You have been warned...)


1. There are two sides to every story.

A lot of times, the Villain of the story has 0 backstory and 0 reasons for being evil other than the fact that it is her life mission to make the Hero miserable.  That doesn't make for a very interesting story.  Why does the Villain want the hero dead?  You don't have to glorify evil by doing this, just make sure she has some sort of motive.

"The wicked's lives are lonely."

2. You can have lot's of friends and yet no friends at all.


A character (or real life person) can know everyone in Shiz, yet still be lonely.  Loneliness can happen anywhere.  I know a lot of people at my school and spend a lot of time with my family, but I still get lonely sometimes. There are hard times when I feel so alone.  Yet I still have friends.  Sometimes authors forget that people with friends can get lonely.



3.  Story threads should tie together.


**Spoiler** Let's think about how Wicked ties into the Wizard of Oz.  The Wizard set up a scenario so that Elphaba would look evil to the people of Oz.  The headmistress summons the tornado that kills Nessa (nicknamed the Wicked Witch of the East), setting off the Wizard of Oz.  Elphaba turns evil from grief over Fiyero's "death" and her sister's death.  She really just wants everything to be normal and she wants something to remember her sister by--the shoes.  The events of Wicked prepared the characters for their journeys through the Wizard of Oz.  **end spoilers**

(Source)


4. If a story ends perfectly a certain way, don't mess with it.


**Spoiler** I am one of those weird people who thinks Elphaba should have really died.  I mean, doesn't her fake death make "For Good" a little less meaningful?  Glinda told her best friend goodbye for the final time, believing that Elphaba was going to die.  And then she didn't.  I just think that the ending would have been more powerful if Elphaba really died.  So don't make this mistake in your own writing.  **end spoiler**


5. Leave room for speculation (but not too much).


After the play, my drama group spent a lot of time discussing the why and how of the play.  Like "how exactly was Elphaba green when she was born?" and  **spoiler** "Can Elphaba melt, or is that just what everyone thinks?"  **end spoiler**  I think it's neat when authors give the readers just enough information so that they understand what's going on, but not enough that they know everything there is to know.

Here are some pictures of when I went to see Wicked...
Amanda Jane Cooper (Glinda) and I.
Me and Emily Schultheis
(stand by for Elphaba).


Have you ever seen Wicked?  What did you think about it?  Are you obsessed with the music?  What did you take away from it?  I would love to hear your thoughts?