By keeping up with blogs, not only do I keep up with the zeitgeist, but I also learn what readers love and love to hate (insta-love, red-headed best friends, inaccurate college application timelines to name a few) as well as a ton about craft and how to improve my storytelling.
Let me give you one example of a blog event that directly impacted LEVEL 2. Frankie Diane Mallis (writer, blogger and member of The First Novels Club) puts on an event in January called the No-Kiss Blogfest, where participants are challenged to find or write an "almost kiss-- the rising, crushing, excruciating, longing, tension that comes when two characters get oh-so-close to kissing that you can just feel it, want it, NEED it....and then...they don't!"
Well, it just so happens that in January 2011, I was about to sit down to revise chapter 1 of LEVEL 2 when I stumbled upon Frankie’s post. My first draft of LEVEL 2 had my main character reliving one of her favorite memories with her boyfriend and it involved a kiss. But Frankie got me thinking … could the scene be even better with an almost kiss? So I tried it out. And guess what? It upped the excitement factor tenfold – and had a profound effect on the plot going forward too.
So thank you Frankie, and thank you book bloggers and writing bloggers who continually inspire me with your insights, passion and love of literature. I am proud to be a part of the conversation.
PS: For more tales of blogger love, check out YA Fusion.