Monthly Archives: May 2012

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Reading: May 2012

I don’t review books, but I rate them on my GoodReads profile.

It had been a while since I last read a craft book, so I decided to start the month reading one.


The Fire in Fiction by Donald Maass


The Strange Case of Finley Jayne by Kady Cross


All I Want For Christmas by Ros Clarke


No Dress Required by Cari Quinn


The Darkest Night by Gena Showalter


Traitor by Rachel Morgan


Switched by Amanda Hocking



Links about Writing – part 3

Here are more links of posts (old and recent) about writing that I found pretty helpful or/and good or/and interesting.

You can see my other posts like this one: Part 1, Part 2, and also the Links About Inspiration.


Twelve writers woes and the books to cure them. 

Developmental and Structural editing.

Writing toward your midpoint.

Save the Snyder: The Blake Snyder Beat Sheet.

Making depressing character likable.

Ten things you should know about endings.

Reasons agents stop.

25 Reasons I hate your main character.

Writing advice from C.S. Lewis.

Stress Less, Write More.

Man up! Writing male POV.

What about characters who don’t match stereotypical male and female qualities.

Women are from Venus, Men are annoying.

Male POV.

What if our story idea has already been done.

What’s my motivation tips on showing. 

Re-write Wednesday: First look at first.

Basics dorky dialogue.

Show don’t tell, what the hell!

Why show don’t tell.

Standing on my skyscraper. 

Editing Tips on Tightening.

That’s so annoying: Adding small problems to the plot.

What’s at stake? Who do you make readers care for your story?

Using 12 stages of physical intimacy to build tension. 

12 steps of Intimacy.

How to wow the editor with your first 3 chapters.

Common query problem, also Kung Fu Panda.

Before fingers touch Keyboard, my 6 pre-writing steps. 

Save the cat!

Screenplay structure.

4 ways to hook your readers and keep them.

5 ways novelists can benefit from watching movies and tv-shows.

Does every scene need a goal?

Delete, delete, delete!

Oh, what now? Fixing a stalled scene.

How to dish out backstory in digestible bites.

How to write a perfect first draft.

9 squares to plotting fiction.

How to write a 1 page synopsis.

The hero’s journey.

Katy’s Upperman writing process.

On passive voice.

Secret trick. 

4 tips on plotting your novel.

25 things to know about writing the first chapter.

Query Series: April Tucholke and Joanna Volpe. 


Hope they are useful to you too!


Holy Cauldron-bats, is it the caped crusader…Merlin? by Priya Ardis

Today I have Priya Ardis on the blog talking about her new book MY MERLIN AWAKENING.

A young Merlin has woken and must manipulate a high school girl so he can wield Excalibur to stop a devastating natural disaster, but then falls in love with her.

Take it away, Priya:

Holy Cauldron-bats, is it the caped crusader…Merlin?

You’ve heard the legends. His name pops up everywhere. Merlin. He’s some old dude with a long white beard, pointy hat, and robes. But does the most powerful wizard in the world really have to be a cartoon character? Well, I thought, why not trade in the robe for…tights?

While the Legend of Arthur is a classic story and the underlying themes of brotherhood, nobility, and the infamous love triangle still appeal today, when was the last time you looked at them through a more modern lens? If you think about it, Merlin has always been the Arthurian superhero. In the My Merlin Series, I sharpened the focus on this idea.

So, how to modernize Merlin as a superhero?

First, every superhero needs an alter-ego. Okay, no tights I promise. Actually I prefer jeans and a biker jacket. That’s what Clark Kent wore when he was being badass—under the influence of red kryptonite, of course. The classic struggle for the superhero is his dual identity. Is he really Clark Kent/Peter Parker/BruceWayne? Or is he really the superhero? Which one does he want to be? In My Merlin, Merlin’s alter-ego is Matt. This is a huge struggle in the book for Merlin…does he want to be the “Most Powerful Wizard in the World” or does he want to be plain-old Matt?

Second, every superhero needs an equally powerful super-villain. Yeah, there are minion bad guys but there is only one we truly love to hate. Batman had the Joker. Superman vs. Lex Luthor. When you think about the legends, Merlin didn’t really have one. The legends say that Merlin was tricked into defeat by a witch/nymph/girl called Viviane/Nimue. In My Merlin, Merlin has one very powerful and contentious relationship—his brother Vivane, aka Vane. After all, brothers can make the best friends but as archenemies they can be truly devastating.

Third, every superhero needs a super-power. Well, this was a no brainer. Merlin is the most powerful wizard in the world and all that. But his true super-power lies in being able to tell the future. (Not that he can necessarily stop the visions from happening!)

Fourth, every superhero needs to obsess over—the girl. Calling Lois Lane. In My Merlin, Arriane, aka Ryan, gives our hero a run for his magic. Since the story is told from her point of view, it’s interesting to see what our hero looks like from her perspective. Also she’s the tipping point…leading us into the last superhero modernization of Merlin…

Fifth, every superhero needs a cause in the here and now. Batman saves the city. Superman saves the world. I think Thor saved the galaxy. In My Merlin, the sword and stone crashes out of nowhere into the middle of London. Why is it here? What does it mean?  It can’t be good. Turn on the Merlin-signal, commissioner. We need a hero!

Want more Merlin? Watch the “If you can’t trust your boyfriend, who can you trust?” trailer:


My Boyfriend Merlin, Book 1, is available through most major book retailers. My Merlin Awakening, Book 2, is now available in limited release at Barnes and Noble. It will be out in full release in mid-June 2012.  Ever My Merlin, Book 3, will be available in late 2012. Add it to-read on Goodreads (

Read Reviews and Excerpts at: Author WebsiteAmazonB&N and Goodreads.


About the Author: I love stories of all kinds–but especially the gooey ones that make your nose leak and let your latte go cold. I started my first novel at sixteen, writing in notebooks on a long train ride in India during a hot summer vacation. My favorite Arthurian piece is the poem The Lady of Shalott by Lord Alfred Tennyson and a gorgeous song by Loreena McKennitt. A hopeless romantic, I’m a longtime member of the Romance Writer’s of America.

Connect with Priya Ardis at: Website, Blog,  Facebook, Goodreads and Twitter.


a Rafflecopter giveaway



#ROW80 and NTS Check-in 05/27

If you’re here for my entry for the Curiosity Quills contest, click here.

Hello friends!

Here are my goals and how I’m doing:

  • Organize my new home and my new schedule. Done.
  • Once my life is normal again (or almost), find a gym and exercise 3 times per week. Done.
  • Participate on Crafting the Sensual Novella Workshop from April 9th to May 6th. Done.
  • Finish revising my novel, DESTINY GIFT. Done. BUT IT’LL COME BACK NEXT WEEK!
  • Start a new novel or novella and get as far as I can with it. I finished the novelette, revised it, sent it off to betas and CPs (got back from one already). This week I plotted, outlined, revised and revised again, and also wrote a total of 4800 words toward a new novella. I had planned writing another 2k to 3k on Friday, but I was assaulted by a migraine late morning, and, when I went to bed, it was still going strong. It was a terrible day … it had been a while since I last had a  migraine like that. Hope it stays away for a long while this time too lol
  • In June, participate of the JuNoWriMo. Waiting for June.
  • Read 5 books each month (year total = 60). On track.
  • Social network: blog at least once a week (not counting #ROW80 checkins), comment on blogs every other day, and tweet a little everyday. Done.

And the revisions of DESTINY GIFT are back, yes. Next week, you’ll see me tackling into it ;)

Peeps from the afternoon #ROW80 sprints: I’ll try to continue participating, but I’ll be leading sprints through the JuNoWriMo twitter account from 1pm to 4pm on weekdays (EST) during the month of June … so, I’ll be online in 2 accounts and try to do sprints on both lol Let’s see if I can … if I can’t, I’ll drop our sprints, because I compromised with the JuNoWriMo event and I won’t start by doing something wrong with it ;)

And that’s it for now.

Don’t forget to check out the other members of ROW80 here.

Happy Holiday!


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Hi! I'm Juliana Haygert,

USA Today Bestselling Author.

Welcome to my blog!

To learn more about me, click here.

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