Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Dark Unwinding Tour: 10 Pieces of Advice that Worked for Sharon Cameron

First off, thank you to Hannah for allowing me to participate in the blog tour for The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron.  I would also like to thank the amazing people at Scholastic for giving me the chance to read this unique young adult novel, and you can check out my review here.  Now, please welcome Sharon Cameron!

What are the top ten pieces of advice you can offer to aspiring writers?

Every writer is different, Amy, so much so that I always hesitate to say “go do this!” or “do that!” Writing is not a “one size fits all” business, you know? So instead of advice to aspiring writers, I think I’ll call this “The Top Ten Things That Worked for Sharon When She Was an Aspiring Writer.” (And yes, since I totally cheated, it’s really more like twelve things.)

So without further ado, here are the top ten (or twelve) pieces of advice that worked for me:

1. Read books, tons of books, in and out of your genre, new and not so newly published. And when you really, really love a book, read it again, this time with the eye of a writer.

2. Discover what is about that favorite book that truly moves you. Is it word choices, character development, setting, theme, or a certain issue? Delve deep, and know what lights your own inner fire. (For me, it was grim, gloomy houses and secret passages. Who knew?)

3. Experiment. Find your own unique way to incorporate that “inner fire” and write about things that make you passionate. If you are moved by what you’re writing, then there’s a good chance someone else will be, too.

4. Finish your project, especially when you’re uninspired, tired of it, hate it, and wonder why you ever started the thing in the first place!

5. When it’s complete, read your story start to finish, this time with the eye of a reader. (Yuck. Painful!) Revise.

6. Find a committed, professional, and honest critique group of writers working in your genre. A wonderful critique group (like mine!) is pure, unadulterated gold.

7. Give constructive critique on the work of others (and note the emphasis on “constructive!”). Critiquing constructively was hands down the best writing education I ever got.

8. Consider each and every criticism without taking offence, weigh it in the balance, and then learn to filter out the advice that doesn’t resonate.

9. Revise. Set your story aside and help others revise. Then revise your story again. (Yuck again. Painful!)

10. Treat yourself as a professional long before you make any money. Join organizations like Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, go to conferences and workshops and network, network, network! There’s nothing like the love and support of your book tribe.

Thank you, Sharon!  As you said, while there is no set way for a writer to become an author, it's always fascinating to see what works for each individual writer.  I'm sure your advice is a great boon to some aspiring writers.  (I know it is for me!)

About the Author:

Sharon Cameron was awarded the 2009 Sue Alexander Most Promising New Work Award by the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators for her debut novel, The Dark Unwinding. When not writing, Sharon can be found thumbing dusty tomes, shooting her longbow, or indulging in her lifelong search for secret passages.

Find Sharon On:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
{Photo credit to Rusty Russell 2011}

About the Book:

The Dark Unwinding begins when seventeen year old Katharine Tulman is sent to her uncle's remote and bizarre estate to have him committed to an asylum. But instead of a lunatic, she finds a child-like, genius inventor with his own set of rules, employing a village of nine hundred people rescued from the workhouses of London. Katharine is torn between protecting her own inheritance and preserving her uncle's peculiar world that she has come to care for deeply, a choice made complicated by a gray-eyed apprentice, and the strange visions and nightmares that have her secretly fearing for her own sanity. 

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Visit other Tour stops!

 August 26 Hannah @ The Book Vortex
Guest Post - Introduction

August 27 Marielle @ Book Thoughts by Marielle
Interview with Sharon

August 28 Marla @ Starting the Next Chapter
Guest Post: Favorite Real Life Mystery

August 29 Amy @ Denim Jacket Librarian
List: 10 Pieces of Advice

August 30 Lauren @ The Housework Can Wait
Interview with Sharon

August 31 Tirzah @ The Compulsive Reader
Character Interview: Mary

September 1: RELEASE DAY!

September 2 Alli @ Magnet 4 Books' Reviews
Guest Post

September 3 Emily @ The Ninja Librarian
Interview with Sharon

September 4 Christina @ A Reader of Fictions
Character Interview: TBA

September 5 Jessica @ Wastepaper Prose
Guest Post

September 6 Sara @ Through the Looking Glass
Interview with Sharon

September 7 Katie @ Katie's Book Blog
Character Interview: Lane

September 8 Jessica K @ The Cozy Reader
Guest Post: A Discussion on the Novel's Setting

September 9 Linda @ Mission to Read
Interview with Sharon


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