Fixing the First Page Winner #38!

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Quick off-schedule post post to announce the winner of the thirty-eighth fixing the first page feature giveaway!


And the thirty-eighth winner is…


Yay! Congratulations, Sioux!

Thanks again to all you wonderful entrants! If you didn't win, as always, there'll be another fixing the first page giveaway in September, so as always, keep an eye out!

Vlog: What Happened to New Adult?

What is New Adult and what's the status with the category in 2017? Today I talk about this in-between category and where we're at with it today.


What do you think? 

Twitter-sized bite: 
Want to traditionally publish your NA MS? @Ava_Jae talks your best two options: aging up or down. #vlog (Click to tweet

Discussion: How Often Do You Write?

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I've pretty frequently talked about why writing every day isn't a requirement. At the same time, because I'm a binge writer, I do tend to use pretty consistent writing spurts when I'm first drafting to maintain momentum, and use daily writing goals to keep myself on track.

But between chronic illness, work, freelancing and soon school again, I don't always get to write quite as consistently as I'd like when first drafting anymore, because there literally aren't enough hours in the day and/or I run out of energy before I can get to it.

Nowadays, I tend to aim for 2,000 words a day, six days a week when I'm first drafting. When revising, I go for the same kind of six day a week schedule, though I tend to be a little less structured about how much progress I have to make a day—I just try to get some progress in every day, tracked by items I check off as I get them done (have I mentioned lately how much I love to do lists?). Of course, life being what it is means I don't always get to have those six day a week writing/revising streaks, which is okay too, but in an ideal world, that's what I aim for.

Understandably, not everyone is able to maintain that pace—or even attempt to aim for that kind of pace—which is fine. We all work differently and have vastly different schedules, so it's fully understandable that we'd have different goals to tackle.

I'm curious, though: when first drafting or revising, how often do you write? 

Twitter-sized bite:
When first drafting or revising, how often do you write? Join the discussion on @Ava_Jae's blog. (Click to tweet

Vlog: 4 Tips for Keeping Yourself Accountable

Keeping yourself accountable is pretty essential when working on a project as a big as a book. So today I'm sharing four tips I use to keep myself on track.


What do you do to keep yourself accountable? 

Twitter-sized bite: 
Author @Ava_Jae shares 4 ways to keep yourself accountable while writing your book. #vlog (Click to tweet

Fixing the First Page Giveaway #38!

Photo credit: mr.throk on Flickr
How in the world are we nearly halfway through August? I'm honestly stunned at how quickly this summer has flown by and how I'm transitioning into an incredibly busy three weeks. But that said! The date being what it is means it's time for the next Fixing the First Page giveaway! Yay!

For those who’ve missed before, the Fixing the First Page features is a public first 250 word critique. Using the lovely rafflecopter widget, anyone interested in winning a public (as in, featured in a post on this blog) first page critique can enter.

For an example of what this critique will look like, here's the last Fixing the First Page post.


  • ONLY the first 250 words will be critiqued (up to finishing the sentence). If you win and send me more, I will crop it myself. No exceptions.

  • ONLY the first page. I don’t want 250 random words from your manuscript, or from chapter 3. If you win the critique and send me anything other than the first 250 words of your manuscript, I will choose someone else.

  • I will actually critique it. Here. On the blog. I will say things as nicely as I can, but I do tend to be a little blunt. If you’re not sure you can handle a public critique, then you may want to take some time to think about it before you enter.

  • Genre restrictions. I'm most experienced with YA & NA, but I will still accept MG and Adult. HOWEVER. If your first page has any erotic content on it, I ask that you don’t enter. I want to be able to post the critique and the first 250 in its entirety without making anyone uncomfortable, and if you win and you enter a page with erotic content, I will choose someone else.

  • You must have your first page ready. Should you win, you need to be able to submit your first page within 48 hours of my contacting you to let you know you won. If 48 hours pass and I haven’t heard from you, again, I will choose someone else.

  • You’ll get the most out of this if it isn’t a first draft. Obviously, I have no way of knowing if you’re handing me a first draft (though I will probably suspect because it’s usually not that difficult to tell). I won’t refuse your page if it’s a first draft, but you should know that this critique will likely be of more use if you’ve already had your betas/CPs look over it. Why? Because if you don’t, the critique I give you will probably contain a lot of notes that your betas & CPs could have/would have told you.

  • There will not be a round 2 (unless you win again in a future contest). I hate to have to say this, but if you win a critique, it’s NOT an invitation to send me a bunch of your revisions. I wish I had the time available to be able to look at revisions, but sadly, I don’t. If you try to break this rule, I will nicely say no, and also remember to choose someone else should you win a second contest. Which would make me sad. :(

So that’s it! If you’re okay with all of the above and would like to enter to be the thirty-seventh public critique on Writability, do the thing with the rafflecopter widget below. You have until Monday, August 21 at 11:59 PM EST to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

POV (Should) Influence Every Word

Photo credit: chefalfalfa on Flickr
While working on freelancing projects as of late, I've been thinking a lot about POV, and all the things a well-done immersive POV entails. When I first began writing, I thought POV was about focus—as in, the POV character was the character you had to focus on most in your writing, but that was about it. I knew, on paper, that you were supposed to "step into their shoes" so-to-speak, but I don't think I really knew what that meant until many years later when I began working with a critique partner who is truly excellent at writing immersive character perspectives.

When said critique partner pointed out to me, in an old work of mine, that I was using rather flowery language for an allo cishet non-artsy teen boy perspective, it sort of blew my mind. Because I realized, for the first time, that character perspective affects literally every word.

Your character perspective changes:

  • what words and phrases are used to describe things.
  • what readers know about the world, surroundings, and other characters. 
  • what readers see in any given scene. 
  • what readers think about other characters or various situations. 

The perspective, in other words, pretty much makes the story. 

That's why it's so important to really hone in on our characters' POVs. We need to understand the way they think, the way they speak, the way they feel even when they're trying to hide it, what they care about, what they look at, etc. It really does come down to asking ourselves, "would my perspective character use this word?" or "would my perspective character notice this?" There isn't a single part of the story that perspective doesn't affect in some way, and that's essential to remember. 

While it's not something I think you need to worry about too extensively while first drafting, it is definitely important to check—again, and again, and again—while revising. Because readers will notice when a perspective doesn't really fit a character, and long before that, not paying enough attention to perspective will limit your ability to deepen a story and make your characters truly feel memorable and real. 

Do you step into your characters' shoes when writing?

Twitter-sized bite:
Author @Ava_Jae says POV should influence every word in your WIPs. What do you think? (Click to tweet

Vlog: Surprise Reveal: ARCs!

A couple weeks ago when I mentioned I had an announcement, one of you asked if it was a cover reveal. And then I remembered I'd failed to post a cover reveal here. And then I got special mail... :)


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