The Point of View

First person? Third person? Male? Female? Multiple?

There's so many ways to work a novels point of view. It's one of the first decisions an author makes before beginning a story, whether it's a conscious decision or not. And, POV ultimately defines your story, whether it's for the better or the worst. Though, a lot of it has to do with personal preference.

For me, I totally prefer first person over third. I love actually getting inside the characters head, and really feel what they're feeling. Third limited puts a barrier up. It puts distance between you and the MC in my opinion.

I've tried experimenting with third person. Dabbled with it on a short story or two. But any major project I've ever done has been in first person. It's just my natural story-telling voice. It's my way of really connecting with my character. Third person just makes things awkward.

A couple of books in particular come to mind when I think of the stories I read that in my opinion should've been written in first person. Two are 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson and The Maze Runner by James Dashner. I never felt like I could really connect with Ginny in 13 and for The Maze Runner, I guess I just don't get why it's in third.

Am I racist against POVs? Maybe. But I'm sorry, I just don't see why third limited is necessary.

Touching on the boy/girl POVs... there's nothing I love more than a book with a strong male POV. I've seen plenty of failed attempts, but there's nothing better than when a female author nails the male POV. One of the best ones I've ever read was Adam in Where She Went. It was so raw and honest and real, I loved it.

YA seems to be generally marketed to girls. But I truly feel like more guys would read if there were more books geared toward them. I have a lot of guy friends, and while one has a Kindle (Ew) another one claims that "fiction books are stupid" (I almost smacked him). I know that whatever I say to try to convince him otherwise won't matter, until he finds a book he can connect with, he'll continue to feel that way. (Idiot :P)

And, on a final note, when MULTIPLE point of view is done well, that's like !!!!!

I LOVE getting into more than one characters head and learning both sides of the story. While I admit, sometimes this is unnecessary and doesn't work, when it does work, it's awesome. Some fantastic multiple POV reads are Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles and She's so Dead to Us by Kieran Scott. My WIP, Dancing Through Life is a multiple POV, and I really believe that's one of the key aspects of my MS. I've written up partial drafts w/out Jake's POV, and all my critique partners/betas have told me it just isn't the same. I think one time I got a 'What the heck are you doing! Put him back in! Now!' Haha!

So yeah, that's my take on a book's point of view.

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Obsessed

I'm the kind of person who gets obsessed with things. Books, TV shows, movies, music it doesn't matter. If I'm passionate about something, it's all to easy for me to cross that line into obsession.

I've always been this way. My first big obsession was The Little Mermaid. I wanted to be Arial, and as far as I was concerned, Prince Eric was my husband. I had every doll, every book, the computer game, you name it. In fact, one of my earliest memories is when my parents had to go to a wedding and left me with a sitter. I wasn't even three years old at the time. And I made her watch The Little Mermaid with me. Eight times.

Yep.

I get this way about a lot of things. When I first discovered RENT two years ago, I watched that obsessively. I can quote 10 Things I Hate About You. I was one of those Twilight fan girls in the very beginning (oh, admit it. You were too!) I'm a hardcore Gleek. I'm still obsessed with Vampire Academy... man, those books are due for a good reread. When I get into a musical, I have the soundtrack on repeat for weeks.

Right now though, this obsession is bad. And way too consuming.

Grey's Anatomy.

Oh my gahh I love that show. At the end of May, I was bored and I found that the first season was on Hulu. I thought why not? I love medical shows, and I'll probably end up somewhere in the medical field job wise (unless/until I become a bestselling author :P). I always wanted to watch that show, but by the time I actually could it was already too far in, and I hate starting shows 3-4 seasons in.

Anyways I watched the first season in like three days. Though it was only, nine episodes long. Then, because I was dying to see more, I convinced my parents to get Netflix, where they have seasons 1-6. We bought it the last weekend of May. I just started season 6.

I know it's ridiculous, but I just can't help myself! It's just SO EASY to get lost in the story and end up watching four/five episodes at a time. I think of the characters as real people. I love all the medical stuff I learn through it. Hell, if I watch it right before I go to bed, I dream about the show. It's bad.

And now I'm like, what am I going to do when I'm finished? Well, naturally I'll have to watchPrivate Practice, Grey's Anatomy's spin-off series. Because I want to know what happened with Addison and all...

So yeah, I easily get obsessed.

What do you obsess over?



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Dancing Through Real Life

This weekend was recital madness. Dress rehearsal Friday, and four shows between Saturday and Sunday. I love, love, finally getting to showcase my hard work for the year on stage, but it can get stressful. And sleepless... I think I just finally caught up on my sleep.

Both of Saturday's shows went well. I was only in four numbers in each one, just my competition dances and the opening. Sunday's shows were crazy! I had seven numbers in the day show, and eight in the night show. I pretty much lived in the backstage room between the opening and intermission between all the quick changes... there was no time to run back to the dressing rooms!

Sunday night I only had ONE SONG to change from my hip hop costumes to my lyrical one. It was soooo scary, I thought I wasn't going to make it. I literally changed behind the curtain. And one of my friends helped me, so it was okay. But still. Scary.

The Michael Jackson medley we did for the opening number was SICK. It's possibly my favorite dance ever, and I was so lucky to get to be a part of it. It was five minutes long and had parts of Billy Jean, Bad, Black or White, The Way You Make Me Feel, P.Y.T, Don't Stop Til You Get Enough, and Beat It. The senior and junior comp classes did it, and learned it in three classes. It came out AMAZING. I'm getting the video, so when it comes in, I'll try to post.

There's nothing I love more than being on that stage. And it's something I tend to forget until i'm back up there, ya know? Suddenly, it's like I get this shot of adrenaline that makes everything better. My kicks are higher, my leaps are stronger. And this insta-smile just kind of forms on my face without even trying. I love it.

With dance recital being over, that means summer has officially started! I just know it's going to fly by.

Hopefully this past weekend will give me inspiration to continue on more with Dancing Through Life's rewrite. :)



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Book Review: Amy and Roger's Epic Detour



Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew—just in time for Amy's senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she's always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy's mother's old friend. Amy hasn’t seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she's surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she’s coming to terms with her father’s death and how to put her own life back together after the accident. Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road—diner napkins, motel receipts, postcards—this is the story of one girl's journey to find herself.

Lately I've only doing book reviews for what are in my opinion noteworthy books. This book goes to the top of my list as one of the best books I've ever read.

First of all, the road trip setting was fantastic. I've been dying to go on cross-country road trip for as long as I remember, and reading about Amy & Roger's journey was just so much fun! Also, throughout the book are these little inserts--diary entries, playlists, receipts, (real) photographs--that made me feel like that I was on the journey with them. The writing was already wonderful, these tidbits were just an added bonus that worked so well for the story!

Then there was the emotional story that was written so beautifully and realistically. I loved watching a broken Amy heal and put herself back together. I loved how she was into musicals. I loved how she wasn't this perfect and innocent character, but a flawed one who did make mistakes yet still came out strong.

And Roger. I thought he was adorable. Though he had his own problems, he was one of the most likable guys I've ever read about. I fell in love with him with Amy. He was sweet and supportive, caring yet not overbearing. He's one of those genuinely nice guys that do exist out there, yet YA seems to show a lot arrogant, possessive, or sickly romantic ones lately. It was just so refreshing to read.

All the minor characters were very well-defined too. I don't want to say too much, because I don't want to give anything away... but everyone has to read this!

I've been DYING to go on a cross-country road trip for FOREVER. One day, it WILL happen! Especially since I have so many friends throughout the US that I've made through writing that it'd be awesome to stop by and meet. It's amazing how different other parts of this country are, and I'm dying to get out into the world and see it. This book really accessed that longing from within even further.

It's definitely a MUST read! I loved every part of it!














My *Pass It On* Post!


This is a Writing Meme hosted by Paige over at The 828. I'm so glad I got to be a part of it! I love the way the story is falling into place, and how the girls left me with so much potential. I hope you all like what I did with it. :)

So you all aren't super confused, I'll post the whole thing that's been written so far. Mine part is the last one :)

Paige’s part-

I walked though the large doors of the auditorium, with my hands shaking and sweat beating on my forehead. This audition meant the world to me, it could change my life forever. I wouldn't just be an ordinary girl anymore, I'd be a star. Those horrible girls wouldn't be able to tease me any longer. I was tired of it. Tired of those girls thinking they're better than me and everyone else in the school. Well newsflash, they're wrong. And after this audition, I would be able to prove it.

I made my way onto the enormous stage, trying to act confident and sophisticated, but it seemed that the judges could see right through me.

"What is your name, dear?" asked judge number three. She was small and young with short brown hair and green eyes. Her voice was soothing, and helped me to calm myself so I could answer her question.

"Emma Taylor," I responded, trying to prevent my words from shaking.

"Okay, Emma. Now it says here on the application you are trying out for the lead in our new Broadway musical. So with that, you'll have to show us a dance combination and sing for us," ordered judge number two, an older man with glasses and spiky grey hair.

"Yes, sir," I answered. I hoped that all those months of preparing would pay off. It was my time to shine.

Qui's part-

"I'll be singing No Good Deed from Wicked." I said nervously. Judge number three (who was a gigantic, scary looking man) raised an eye brow and scribbled something in this notebook. I took that as a cue to start.

I know my song was a really bold choice, and that's all I was thinking about as I began singing it. I'm almost positive that I looked like a mad woman up there, but I always felt like it was such a powerful song that showed so many emotions: anger, confusion, sadness. I wanted the judges to see how broad I can be with my acting. "Nessa....Doctor Dillamond....Fiyero..." Here was the big note. What if I mess up? Would they just stop me right there and tell me to go away? Oh God, help me. I didn't have anything to worry about. I hit it, and I hit it good.

When I finished, I was practically panting, and it took me a moment to calm down. The first judge, the woman, applauded lightly. The second just smiled a little bit, but the huge one made no sign that he had enjoyed it.

I was dancing to I Can't Do It Alone from Chicago. I've been a dancer since I was two years old, and I had never been this nervous about it. Somehow I managed to get through it. All the while, the judges were scribbling in their little notebooks. I finished my dance number and smiled a huge jazz smile at them until I finally got some applause from all three.

Nova's part-

After my bold choice in dance, and even bolder choice in song, I decided to tone it down and keep quiet for a few minutes while they debated. After moments of agonizing silence, I heard a small cough from the female judge.

"Emma, you are dismissed," she spoke those words with so much contempt; it was obvious to me that I had not even had a chance from the start. I felt like screaming, but, as I walked calmly off the stage, the second judge, an older woman with dramatic black hair and red nails, winked at me. Confused, I walked into the railing of the orchestra pit, not paying attention. She smirked slightly, and I was even more confused. Walking into the arms of my mother, I glanced back at the woman, but she and the other judges were already enrapt watching the next audition.

Hours later, back at my house, I heard my mom scream. Rushing through the elegant halls of the lavish mansion my dad funded post-divorce, I sprinted downstairs. My mom happened to be very accident-prone and the last time she had screamed, she had nearly cut her finger off with a knife while making dinner.

Instead of bleeding, I found her clutching the back of the couch while holding her mini-laptop. She saw me and ran over, holding me to her chest. "You made it, Emmie! You made it! You got cast as Elena! You got the lead!"


Endor's part-

I froze, my legs suddenly feeling weak. I pulled away from my mom and stared at her, not sure I had heard right. "I got cast?" I asked feebly. There was no way this was happening. I mean, this was what I had dreamed about for years—getting the role. Sure, I had been cast in some spots, but they were always minor characters. To hear my mom pronounce me being cast in the main role... it was amazing.

"Yes!" My mom shrieked. "I’ve got to call Gramma and Aunt Judy and—" She noticed right about then that I was standing there, my mouth wide open. "Emma, aren’t you excited?"

Those words knocked me out of my daze and I started bouncing up and down. "This has GOT to be a dream! Pinch me! Pinch me!"

My mom laughingly pinched my arm and after that, chaos broke out. I went running around the first floor, screaming and giggling. There were a couple of times when I bounced onto one of the couches, but for the first time in my life, my mom didn’t shout at me to get off. She was too busy calling people to tell them about my role.

Later on, my mom and I sat in the kitchen with bowls of pistachio ice cream—my favorite. My mom leaned forward. "Emma, I’m so incredibly proud of you."

I smiled tiredly and scraped my bowl to try to get the last bit out. "Thanks."

"I think your dad would be proud of you, too. Have you told him yet?"

I froze. It was an amazing occurrence for my mom to ever mention my dad. I was getting ready for the world to end then and there. "No….."I said slowly. "I haven’t called him yet." I wasn’t sure that I wanted to call him, but I didn’t tell her that.

"I think you should," she said quietly.

After saying good night, I walked upstairs to my room and flopped onto my four-poster bed. I stared at the ceiling for a little bit and then rolled over onto my stomach and stared at the phone.

Taylor Lynn's part-

Then, after a few minutes of simply staring at it, I suddenly lunged forward, grabbed the phone and dialed Dad's cell phone number. I knew that unless I did it now I would never make the call.

The phone rang five times, six times, and I was about to hang up when someone picked up on the other end.

"Hello?" my dad said.

"Dad? It's me. Emma," I replied.

"Emma! Hey, honey, how's everything going?" he exclaimed.

"Everything's going great, Dad," I answered. "I wanted to- Mom thought I should-"

"How is your mother, anyway?" he asked, full of energy. As always.

"She's fine," I said, uncomfortable. He didn't seem to notice.

"That's great, honey, just great. Hey, you'll never guess where I am now!"

Dad was a photographer for a travel magazine, and he was always in a new place. In the beginning, Mom had fallen in love and married him because she loved how adventurous and energetic he was, but they ended up divorced for the same reason. Dad couldn't stay in one place, and he was always traveling to new locations for his work. Mom just couldn't keep up, especially with a baby. Me.

Dad hardly ever called, but it wasn't that he didn't love me; it was because he got so caught up in his work that he didn't remember to. Or so we told ourselves.

"Guess, Emma. Guess where I am."

"Um... I don't know, Dad."

"I'm in Paris! Paris, France. Isn't that great?"

"Um, yeah. Sure."

"Hey, so, what's going on with you? What have you been up to?"

"That's actually why I was calling. I... I was cast as the lead in a new Broadway musical." Saying the words made me giddy all over again. I still couldn't believe it.

"Emma, that's fantastic!" Dad practically shouted. "Congratulations!"

"Thanks," I said, smiling a little.

"So, when should I fly in for the performance?"

I sat stunned for a minute. This was not what I expected to hear. Dad wanted to fly in for my performance?

What was I supposed to say?

Hana C’s part

“I-I'm not exactly sure when it is,” I answered.

“Oh, well that's okay!” Dad said, not losing a bit of his energy. “I'll be done in Paris in a week or so, why don't I make reservations at the hotel near home, and I'll stay till your performance is done.” I sat, stunned. There was little doubt in my mind that Dad had completely changed. I had expected him to be happy for me, but definitely not to come down here and see my performance.

“I, uh. . .” I mumbled, unsure of what to say. He didn't seem to notice.

“Great, I'll see you in a couple of weeks!” The phone went silent, letting me know he had hung up. I turned off the phone and plopped onto the bed, facing the stars my mom had helped me put on the ceiling so long ago. The ceiling was indigo, contrasting with the silver stars. My eyes widened, and my heart nearly stopped. I lay there frozen, staring at what was in front of me.

My Part

Well, not what I saw, more like what I heard. A voice I kept telling myself I never wanted to hear again.

“Emma?”

I shot up, suddenly aware of the guy who was leaning against my doorframe. A thousand memories came rushing back with one look at his disheveled brown hair and clear blue eyes. That lopsided grin that used to seem reserved only for me. I wanted to melt away, right then and there. What was he doing here? He had absolutely no right.

“James? What are you doing here?” I said, my tone sharp.

“I heard through the grapevine that you’ve been cast as Elena. I just wanted to say congratulations,” he said, his voice still smiling.

“Why do you care? We haven’t talked in months.”

“That’s not exactly my fault,” he said, narrowing his eyes at me.

I swallowed the impact of those words. True, I fled, even though James was one of the greatest persons I’ve ever known. From the way he always cared, right down to his amazing voice. But I was scared of getting hurt. So I broke up with him, for no good reason whatsoever. And now he’s dating Lani Samuels, a dance major at our performing arts school, and it’s too late fix what I messed up.

“I know.” My words came out as a whisper.

“Anyways, I just thought I’d stop by and say congrats. And to let you know that I’ve been cast in the show as well. I’m Ethan.”

At first I thought I misunderstood. But then the words sunk in. Ethan is the male lead of the show.

I was starring in a Broadway musical, opposite my ex.


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Hello, Past Me


This is the funniest thing ever! Last year, on June 2nd 2010, I found futureme.org, a website where you can write a letter to yourself, and they'll email you on a specified date. I totally forgot about this! I thought it'd be fun to post and respond to.

Dear FutureMe,  Hey there future me! I'll bet you that a year from now when you open this,  you'll be all confused 
and totally forget all about me.
 
Yes, I totally did. 
 
I hope you had an awesome summer '10 filled with beaches, friends, and burning  to a crisp 
(we both know you don't tan well.) 
Just remember you're sunscreen, we  do NOT want to get skin cancer someday! 
 
Mission accomplished.
 
So you're finishing up freshman year. I hope it's been awesome. Has the amount of homework killed you yet? 
Probably. Did you make it through alive reading the  hobbit last summer? Probably not. 
Did you totally figure out your science fair  project and ace it? I hope.
Were the honors classes as difficult as people said  they were. Hopefully not. 
 
Though The Hobbit was horrific, I'm still alive. Science fair was a success... Classes not TOO bad. 
 
How was dance this year? Did competition go well? Are you student teaching? 
I hope you made the high school dance team!
 
Competition rocked! Not student teaching... it's a sore subject :\
 
Hopefully chorus for you is better than it was for me this year. 
I really hope  you made concert choir and went to New York. I bet you had a blast if you did!
 
No concert choir. It's cool though because it's mostly an upperclassmen thing. 
But chorus rocked. New York was amazing! It was a great show and just a great time overall!
 
You were in the musical, right? You better have been. I didn't expect you to get  a lead or anything, 
considering you're only a freshman year. But every small  part counts! And I bet you had a blast with 
all your old friends.
 
No, I wasn't. Don't get mad at me! Rehearsals were everyday, and it just didn't fit in with dance.
 
I hope this year you found a best friend. You know, someone who you're always  with, and you can tell 
everything to. They alway said high school is where you make your best friends, so that better be true 
for you! I hate being in this  weird friend funk - where like I talk to all these people, and they seem 
like  they're your best friend at school. But you barely ever do anything outside of  the school. I hope 
you're more social then I am.
 
Mission accomplished. It was a solid year.
 
How's Dancing Through Life doing? By now it'll be close to two year since you've  started it! Crazy, eh? Congrats 
on being an Inkpop top pick! (as I'm assuming  you are by now.) I hope you're HarperCollins review was fantastic! 
I wonder if  you're finished by now. I hope WTPOL get's developed further, it seems  promising.
 
I did make top pick wahoo! I got a harsh, but semi-helpful review. It made realize that I totally needed to rework the 
story, so now I'm in rewrite mode, and I changed a ton of things!
 
I know you have plenty of time to decide what you want to do, but writing does seem to be your niche, eh? It's funny, 
remember how we used to groan over the  meer mention of a five paragraph essay? Now we're writing 57,000 word and 
counting novels. It's crazy.  On your fifteenth birthday, you BETTER have walked around all day singing  fifteen by Taylor Swift. 
If not, your fifteen and a half is coming up soon, so  do it then.
 
Oh, I did :P
 
Did you accomplish your goal of reading 100 books in 2010? You dork!
 
Nope, I only hit 74. But I will make it this year! 
 
You better have gotten in shape last summer! That was my goal for you. Bike  rides every day. Maybe a jog once in awhile. 
Hopefully Mom will finally let me  use the tredmill. (I don't know why she thinks I'll break it. If anything,  Vanessa would.)
 
Haha, right....
 
Are there any cute boys that you're crushing on? There must be. In high school  you're not limited to the stupid boys you've 
known since Kindergarten. Who is  it?
 
Pshhhh... no ;P
 
Whatever you do, DO NOT, and I repeat DO NOT overwhealm yourself. I know you  want to do everything, but the fact is, you can't. 
Pick and choose. You need  some down time, you know.  In fact, you probably won't listen to me and you're probably stressed out as 
we  speak. With finals and recital coming up, things are always crazy during this  part of the year. Just stay calm, future me. Deep 
breaths. It's okay! In conclusion, you better have kicked some butt this year, and are tentatively  awaiting Summer 2011.   
 
Your friend, Past me :]

It's crazy to look at this and see how much I've changed as a person this past year. I lol'd quite a few times. I love this program, and I think I'm going to have to make it an annual thing!

Costume Time!

We're going to take a break for the normal Wednesday post today, for a little costume time!

Since I know that many readers of my blog are dancers as well, (I'm convinced that there's some secret connection with dancing and writing) I thought you might like to see my costumes. I know I love seeing other's costumes!


This is my competition jazz costume, and definitely one of my favorites this year. It's so pretty, and in real life it's sparkly too! We also have this pretty pink flower that goes in our hair. The song is "Let's Get Loud" by Jennifer Lopez

This is my advanced intermediate jazz costume. The hat is my favorite part! The song is a Brittany Spears Medley that includes the songs "Hit Me Baby One More Time",
"Oops I did it Again", "Stronger", and "Crazy".

I LOVE this costume! It's my competition tap, and the song is "I Saw Her Standing There" by the Beatles. It's one of my favorite dances that I'm in as well.



This is the tap costume for my other class. It's to "Stuff Like That There" by Bette Midler. HOLY SHORT, I know. And tight. And orange. I just really wish it wasn't orange....


This is lyrical, for "I Want it that Way" by the Backstreet Boys. It's so flowy and pretty, and it looks wicked awesome when we to turns.


This is competition hip hop, to an 80s remix. It's pretty basic, a bright red sweatsuit. But it looks good and keeps things uniform on stage. And you need that when there's close to 40 girls in one dance!


And this is another hip hop costume. I'm sorry, but I just don't like it at all. It's so unflattering and uncomfortable. But there's always going to be that ONE COSTUME I suppose...

Recital weekend for me is June 18th & 19th. I practically live at the school where the recital is that weekend, as I'm in multiple numbers in all four shows. I'm most excited for the opening number. It's a five minute long Michael Jackson Medley with the competition kids. It's the sickest dance ever. I love it!


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