The 3 Golden Rules Of Writing That Nobody Talks About (And How They Will Save Your Book From Doom!)


I’ve never been one for Writing Advice™ – giving it or taking it. In fact, my best advice would be “don’t take advice” because YOU DO YOU. Nobody else can write YOUR story, only YOU. < That’s the kind of stuff you would have heard me say if you’d asked for my advice a year ago.

But! I’ve learned a thing or two since then. Not to say I now recommend taking Writing Advice™ – because I still don’t. However, what I do recommend is STUDYING THINGS in your own time.* Look at your favorite books, movies, TV shows. Study the stories and figure out why they are your favorites. How do they make you feel? Why do they make you feel? Exploration. It’s the best thing you can do for yourself as a writer.

SO THAT BEING SAID, we’re going to do a little exploring today. I’m lovingly calling the advice I have for you “the three golden rules of writing that nobody talks about!” It’s not that nobody talks about these things…but very few people do. I’ve had to search high and low for advice like this. Most of the Writing Advice™ I see is all about STRUCTURE! and CHARACTER ARCS! and STEPHEN KING’S MORNING ROUTINE! which is all fine and good…but I’ve never found it helpful. SO LET’S DO SOMETHING NEW AND DIFFERENT. Grab a waffle and some tea and probably a helmet because this anti-writing-advice might just blow your mind.

*preferably stories in this case but if you want to study water buffalo or something hey who’s stopping you

There’s something about a story, isn’t there? Whether you’re aware of it or not, your brain is literally hardwired to desire story – to connect with it, engage with it, and demand to know what happens next.*

A well-told story is powerful – and can be wholly achieved without “good writing.” Your prose might be the most beautiful thing on earth…but if you don’t have a good story (or even worse – your pretty writing is HIDING your story) then no one is going to pay attention to it. At least, very few people will – the kind of people who like complicated poetry.

This is NOT a dig at poetry. But it needs to be mentioned. Because every poet can relate to the struggle of “nobody buys poetry books!” Here’s why: because in order to understand most poetry, you have to REALLY think about it. Watch carefully. The hand is quicker than the eye. It’s like magic, see? No? READ IT AGAIN. Maybe you’re just nOT SMART ENOUGH TO GRASP THE FULL CONCEPT OF A GRECIAN URN. < In order to understand most poetry, you have to “surpass the boundaries of common intellect,” to put it…well…poetically.

This is why most poetry does not sell.** Because most readers just want a good story – actually, to be more specific, most readers just want to FEEL something. And sadly, a lot of writers follow a path that takes them in the opposite direction. They believe the myth that “in order to be a good writer…you have to be a good writer.” But that’s simply not true. In order to be a good writer, you have to be a good storyteller.

*shoutout to Wired For Story by Lisa Cron << YOU KNOW IT MUST BE A GOOD BOOK WHEN I NEVER RECOMMEND BOOKS ON WRITING. BRO. IT’S SO GOOD. READ IT.

**SIDE NOTE: take a gander at Milk And Honey by Rupi Kaur. I haven’t read this book, but I’ve seen excerpts and asdfghjkl REALLY GOOD STUFF. And it’s a bestseller. Why, though?? Because you can understand this poetry without having to THINK about it for a long time. It makes you FEEL something. We’ll talk more about that in a minute.


Now, don’t get me wrong – I believe that you can be both a good writer and a good storyteller. You can have beautiful, descriptive prose and still tell a story that is compelling and emotional to readers. But WATCH OUT: as a writer, I know firsthand how easy it is to get enraptured by your own flowery, metaphorical, romantically maladaptive language. (< LIKE THAT) But just remember this psychological truth: a confused mind always says no.

It’s science, which means you can’t help it. You do it, too – all the time. Don’t be that author you decide to try, but give up on after a few pages because they made you feel lost, dazed, and – let’s just say it – STUPID with their “good writing.”

If you’re anything like me, you’ve read New York Times bestsellers and more than once you’ve thought to yourself, “How is this book so popular? The writing is nothing special!” Cult books and right-place-right-time publishing contracts aside, this is why popular books are popular: they take the reader on an emotional journey. They make the reader FEEL SOMETHING.

Which leads us to our next golden rule…

Wow, what a bold claim! HOW DARE I. After all, plot is important. At least, that’s what most Writing Advice™ tells me. But, as I hope you’re agreeing with by now, most Writing Advice™ is not particularly helpful.

Yes, a plot can be riveting, fascinating, deep, thoughtful, even AMAZING – but without characters? A plot is nothing. Because a plot is what happens. That’s it. But characters are who what happens happens to. (lol I promise I’m a professional writer I promise.)

Characters, Plot, and Setting are all terms you hear a lot in the writing world. But right now, think of them as survival tools: water, food, and shelter. Yes, it’s nice to have all three – but if you don’t have THE WATER you WILL DIE. Harsh reality, sorry. The food and the shelter are no good if you are dead. So what do you need? Water. Think of characters as water: the first thing you look for if you’re ever stranded in the jungle.*

CHARACTERS ARE YOUR STORY’S LIFEBLOOD. Without them, the plot and the setting mean nothing. Why? Because characters are you – the skin in which the reader lives, while they experience your story. Without a pair of eyes to see your story’s world through…how can the reader feel anything? SPOILER ALERT THEY CAN’T.


Remember the words I used to describe plot? Riveting, fascinating, deep, thoughtful, amazing? Those are all emotional responses. And who feels emotions? PEOPLE. CHARACTERS.** Without characters, your story is emotionless and therefore = boring.

Now, OBVIOUSLY I’m preaching to the choir, right? OBVIOUSLY you all have characters in your books, right? If yes, then I have a question for you: why are you worried about your plot? Why are you worried about following a particular structure because “that’s what other bestselling books are like”? PLOT MATTERS, YES. But it doesn’t matter as much as your characters. If you make me connect with your character on page one, I don’t care where plot goes. My brain wants to know what happens next because I feel emotionally attached to that character. < It’s seriously as simple as that.

Remember: characters are the water, plot is the food. You can go hungry for a while, but you cannot live without water. And if you have the Most Amazing Plot Ever™ but your reader feels no emotional connection to your characters? Your book goes back on the shelf and your ex-reader walks away.

*hopefully you already knew that because if you just learned that from me what the heck go sort out your life would you
**although your characters can totally not be people too. like if you write stories about water buffalo or something then hey bro give me some of that. BUT YOU BETTER MAKE ME FEEL WHAT THOSE WATER BUFFALO ARE FEELING DANG IT.


This is something I’ve picked up simply from studying good acting* in film: the power of body language and outward emotional cues. Here’s what I mean:

Close your eyes and think of the best-acted movie/TV show you’ve ever watched. Got it? Now, think of the way the characters made you feel what they were feeling. Did they speak their thoughts out loud? No. Did they confess their innermost feelings so that everyone watching would follow along? Probably not. If a character in the scene was angry, did they simply come right out and say: “I’M ANGRY”?? Nope.

That’s the thing about good acting – it is seen and not heard.** You can FEEL the way a character is feeling simply by their posture, their facial expression, even the glint in their eyes. Never does the film have to stop everything to let you know THIS IS HOW THE CHARACTER FEELS. Why? Because it’s all visual. And I believe you can achieve the same thing in writing.

Yes, writing is very different. You have no distinct imagery or music to heighten the emotional response of your reader. But!! YOU HAVE THEIR IMAGINATION. When someone is reading your book, you have control over their mind (pretty awesome, huh?) and you’re telling them what to visualize – but here’s where it gets tricky: there’s a right and wrong way to tell them.

Remember the body language VS character blurting “I’M ANGRY”? Same thing. Show me what anger looks like. This is a movie in my head, after all. Maybe your character (or water buffalo) is shouting, throwing sharp hand gestures, and glaring. Or if you’re writing from a character’s POV, show me how anger feels. Your face is hot, your muscles are tight, and your heart is pounding.*** This is one of the most vital things because if I can’t feel what your character feels, I AM WALKING, BRO.


In order for me to care about your characters, they have to be inwardly and outwardly emotional. In other words: they have to be human like me. IT SOUNDS SO SIMPLE BUT I NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT IT LIKE THIS BEFORE.

*British acting
**LIKE ALL GOOD CHILDREN AM I RIGHT
***If you’re interested in this body language thing and you’re like “yeah that’s cool but idk what every emotion feels like and how people respond to them” PERFECT BECAUSE I HAVE ANOTHER BOOK FOR YOU: The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi. < this book is basically a reference guide to emotional reactions and IT IS BEAUTIFUL.

Have you figured out what it is? I’ll tell you: FEELS. We are emotional messes, us humans. Let’s just face it. We love stories because we get to experience unbridled joy and agonizing grief and crippling anxiety and forbidden love ALL FROM THE COMFORT OF OUR HOMES. Your brain craves story because FEELINGS. At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about.

This doesn’t mean you can’t have an intricate plot, fascinating scientific facts, deep themes, and epic world-building in your book – all of that is good. But first and foremost, you have to make me FEEL SOMETHING. And through 1) good storytelling, 2) relatable characters, and 3) real emotional responses, I have great faith you’ll do just that. GO FORTH AND WRITE.

What do you think? Do you agree with my golden rules of writing? Can you add to this list with something important you’ve learned about writing? Are you discouraged by other Writing Advice™?? I AM IN CASE I FORGOT TO MENTION. Do you aspire to be a good writer, or a good storyteller? OR BOTH?? LET’S DISCUSS THIS SHALL WE.

rock on,
abbiee

Is It Possible For Introverts To Be Confident?


A few weeks ago, I was browsing Pinterest* and I stumbled upon a Buzzfeed quiz called “Are You Confident?” Usually I don’t take quizzes like this but IDK I WAS LIKE “WHY NOT.” The questions weren’t very good, but when I reached the end of the quiz, my result was: YOU ARE NOT CONFIDENT.

Really? Really?? Now, I’m not saying that Buzzfeed quizzes actually work. Nor am I saying that Buzzfeed quizzes are always wrong. What I am saying is: I know I’m a confident person. I know that I have gained a MASSIVE amount of confidence over the past 4 years. And I also know why I got “not confident” on the Buzzfeed quiz. It was because I answered the questions like an introvert. I said no, I don’t like socializing, going to parties, talking to large groups of people. No, I don’t have a lot of friends and no I don’t like to leave my house unless it’s a life or death situation. WHY? BECAUSE SPOILER ALERT I AM AN INTROVERT.** And apparently Buzzfeed has a different definition of Introvert than I do. It’s a common mistake that a lot of people make. Let’s figure out why.

*avoiding editing
**I know it was absolutely no spoiler at all because I scream it from the rooftops enough don’t I???

“Aw, come on, don’t be shy!” < HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU HEARD IT? I guess that depends on whether or not you’re an introvert but me speaking for myself here: I’ve heard it a lot. Mostly when I was younger, and hiding behind my mother’s legs 25/8 because YES I SPENT THE FIRST HALF OF MY LIFE* AS THE “SHY KID.” I hear that term less now, but I still get picked on for being quiet (read: QUIET DOES NOT MEAN SHY) and for APPEARING less confident just because I’m not very good at conversation. (read: GOOD AT CONVERSATION DOES NOT MEAN CONFIDENT) When it comes to the nuances of personalities, the discussion could go on forever.** But for now, let’s just ask one question: why do people confuse Introverted with Shy? DON'T WORRY I'M HERE TO GIVE YOU ALL THE ANSWERS.


*Given the fact that I’m 20 years old at the moment so don’t come back to this post when I’m 72 and be like “holy smokes Abbie was hiding behind her mother’s legs even when she was 36 years old???” < no. although I can’t say for sure because I’ve yet to reach age 36 yet. Who knows. I might have a relapse or something.

**AT LEAST IT CAN WITH ME. seriously you ever want to get me to talk tell me your MBTI type then ask me what mine is then ask me to psychotype everyone in the room I won’t shut up for hours js

If this, then that. We do it all the time. “If they don’t talk much, they must be shy.” < Not always true. We make assumptions about people all the time; it’s part of our human nature. You assume everything based on past experience. You assume you won’t get hit in the head by a meteorite today because you haven’t been hit in the head by a meteorite yet. But when you do (come on it happens to all of us as one time or another) the odds will change just slightly.

The odds of a quiet person being shy are far greater than the odds of a quiet person being simply introverted. But let’s redefine a few things, okay? Because I just searched the definition of introverted and Google told me “a shy, reticent person” <<< WELL THAT’S JUST FUNNY ISN’T IT? Because “shy” and “reticent” aren’t actually synonyms. 

BECAUSE DICTIONARIES OFTEN GET THINGS WRONG. Including the proper spelling of colour and favourite. (I’m hearing a faint non-American applause in the distance…) Thus I bless you with The Abbiee Dictionary. (Now available for pre-order on Amazon...BUT NOT IN FACT.) Let’s talk about what the words Introverted and Confident mean – according to your favorite Waffle Queen™.

To me, introverted means:


• I like to be alone/with close family more than I like to be with friends/other people.

• I can stay inside for days on end and not get bored

• I bottle up my 842138465 different emotions and pretend I don’t have any! (LIVE LONG AND PROSPER.)

• I can listen to other people have a conversation and enjoy it without ever adding my two cents.

• I can articulate my thoughts 100000x better through written words than through speech.

• Socializing drains me, and I have to psych myself up to go out amongst other people.

• I get lost in my mind and I’m perfectly happy there.

• I’m more interesting than everyone I meet (oh wait maybe that’s just a self-conceited thing?? OOPS.)


SIDE NOTE: Introverted means different things to different introverts. But unless you ARE an introvert and have experienced the complexities of our psychology PLEASE DON’T STEREOTYPE US AS “SHY.”

To me, confidence means:


• I feel comfortable in my own skin.

• I ask questions without hesitation.

• I’m okay with being wrong. (But I can look like I know what I’m doing even when I have no freaking clue what I’m doing! BONUS.)

• I am aware of how cool I am. (Or at least I have a few things that I genuinely love about myself.)

• I’m not afraid to be honest with people, even if it’s difficult at times.


Disclaimer: I have a lot to learn about confidence. This is just a short list of the things I’ve come to notice in myself as I’ve grown in my own self-confidence over the past few years.

I’ll let you answer this one for yourself. I’ll give you five seconds okAY TIMES UP THE ANSWER IS NO. Introverted and Confident have two very different definitions, but that doesn’t mean they are polar opposites.

However, the opposite of confident is: unconfident. Characterized by hesitation, doubt, fear, timidity… these are obstacles that EVERYONE faces. Even me, even still today. Yes, I have grown in confidence. But it was a rocky road that brought me to the place I’m at today, and most people will have a similar experience. (Though hopefully not one as awful as mine. < Another post for another time. Oooh now you’re all really curious.)

Long story short, YES – it’s very possible to be an introvert AND be confident. I AM PROOF. Introverted does not equal shy. Yes, some introverts I know are also shy. But one doesn’t necessarily beget the other. It’s also possible for extroverts to have a lack of confidence! THAT’S A WHOLE NEW DISCUSSION HAHAHAHA. Let’s talk about all of this in the comments!

What do you think? Are you a confident introvert or an unconfident introvert? Do you get TICKED OFF when people call you “shy”? I DO IN CASE I HAVEN’T MADE THAT ABUNDANTLY CLEAR. How would you define “confidence”? Would you like a post with advice on how to be a more confident person??? Because I kind of want to write a post like that, now. SPILL UR BEAUTIFUL GUTS.

rock on,
abbiee

VLOG: What’s Up, July? (I Cut All My Hair Off + I’m Rewriting A Novel + My Life Needs To Be Reorganized)


IT’S JULY ALREADY?? I’m confused too, my friend. Summer is technically here, but it sure as heck doesn’t feel that way to me. LIFE HAS ALSO BEEN CRAZY BUSY. And I know you hate these kinds of blog posts but hey – everyone needs to blab about themselves from time to time, ammiright?? Here we go.

I cut all my hair off. YES YOU READ THAT RIGHT. If you haven’t already heard about this on Instagram and/or Twitter, SCROLL ON DOWN TO THE VIDEO AND LOOK AT MY BUTCHERED HAIR. It’s all gone and I still can’t believe it. But if you think I’m spontaneous enough to just impulse-cut my hair HAHA THINK AGAIN. I’ve been premeditating this haircut for the past 4 years and I donated all 20-something inches of my freakishly long hair to Wigs For Kids, which is a fabulous organization (and wayyyy better than Locks Of Love if you’re into donating hair – just saying.) SO YEAH THAT WAS FUN.

I’m working on a new (old?) manuscript. It’s a new project, YES, but I feel strange saying that it’s a new manuscript. BECAUSE IT’S ACTUALLY QUITE ANCIENT. Back there with dinosaurs and what-not. But!! I’m rewriting the whole thing sentence-by-sentence (HELP ME HOLY GHOST) and also implementing new STRUCTURE!! *whacks rule on hand* Because why not.

This blog is about to turn into a construction zone. But don’t worry!! Not much is going to change around here. I need to get a new template for my own solace (anxieties about code crashing lowkey KEEP ME UP AT NIGHT) and I’m going to be making a new fancy little logo thang (aw yis) so PARDON THE DUST and if my blog is down at any point this month – FEAR NOT.

My new computer is on its way!! AND I AM FREAKING OUT. AND I AM BROKE. AND I AM HAPPY. Pretty soon my home studio is going to be up and running which means = more music and videos and GASP: MUSIC VIDEOS coming your way!! Stick around, my friend.

Summer is already flying by and it’s not going to slow down at all. KIND OF LIKE EVERY YEAR??? But ugh idk I’m trying to get a grasp on my life more this month. I’m trying to come up with a system in which I can DO LITERALLY EVERYTHING yet not feel burnt out?????? < question marks because I haven’t really found a solution. BUT I’M LOOKING, FRIEND. And life is good.



What’s up with YOUR month?

rock on,
abbiee

5 Horrendous Books I Wrote As A Child And What I Learned From Them (The Early Writings TAG!)


Every writer has a dark and scary past – you know, the time of your life when your writing was absolutely horrendous. Maybe you wrote short stories or novels. Maybe you wrote one. Maybe you wrote ten. Regardless, you would NEVER want these stories to see the light of day, would you? BECAUSE THEY ARE HORRENDOUS.

I am one such writer. And today I’m CREATING MY VERY OWN TAG* dedicated to the horrendous writings of your Past Self™. Why? To poke fun at how bad we were back then?? NOOOO. NOT AT ALL. Instead, we’re going to look at (laugh at) our early writings and see what we’ve learned from them.

But first a disclaimer: not all books written by your Past Self™ are horrendous. For instance, Port Orange was a book I wrote a loooong time ago and never finished. Then I picked it up, dusted it off, re-wrote it, and finished it. Because there were GOOD BONES IN THERE. Sometimes your Past Self™ is super creative and awesome. Other times…not so much. But I’m going to talk about WHAT I LEARNED from my early writing projects. Because I’ve written approximately 700,000 words of fiction in my lifetime** and I’ve learned a thing or two. Also WHY NOT BARE MY SOUL FOR ALL THE WORLD TO SEE?? Let’s get a move on.

*YIKES what if no one else does it??? << MY INSECURITY FOR THE PAST THREE DAYS so please please please do it I’ll pay you
**Yes I calculated that number (it was actually quite fun) and YES I WAS EXPECTING IT TO BE AT LEAST A MILLION. LIKE….WHAT THE HECK. I feel older dan dis. 

Funny you should ask,* because there is definitely more than one. THERE ARE FIVE. TO BE EXACT. But I’ll call them “writing projects” instead of books because they aren’t all books. (How intriguing.) SIDENOTE: When I tag YOU at the bottom of this post, you don’t have to list 5 books – you can list as many/few as you’d like! FOR MYSELF, LET’S START AT THE BEGINNING.

Yes. I wrote fanfiction. If we’re going to be technical, I STILL WRITE FANFICTION. Because there is no age limit on who can write fanfiction THANKYOUVERYMUCH. But here’s the thing: you’ve probably never read my fanfiction because it’s very obscure. I don’t write stories based on popular books or movies…I write stories (and alternate endings) based on video games. Specifically: the Nancy Drew adventure games by Her Interactive.

NEWS FLASH: these games are incredible. I’ve been addicted to them since birth (more realistically since 8-years-old.) They're basically point-and-click video games wherein you (Nancy Drew) solve mysteries in various situations. THEY’RE SUPER FUN ACTUALLY GO RUIN YOUR LIFE AND PLAY THEM ALL. But long story short: back in ’07 there was a HUGE online community for these games and I was a part of it. And lots of people on the message board (whoa THROWBACK THURSDAY) wrote alternate endings (AEs) for the games. I JOINED IN ON THE FUN AND NEVER STOPPED.

I’ve written about 11 AEs and 3 short stories – probably adding up to about 300,000 words. YES I HAD/HAVE A PROBLEM. I still write for these games and characters (mostly because my slash is the best thing ever**) and if you’re interested in reading one of my AEs, I posted the latest one on Fanfiction.net. HAVE FUN MAKING HEADS OR TAILS OF IT.

*I know I know you didn’t actually ask I’m just talking to myself again what else is new
**Nancy Drew + Joe Hardy = HAPPINESS OK

• How to receive feedback and constructive criticism from readers

• Writing on a deadline (HUNGRY FANS WAITING)

• Stepping into the shoes of characters (other than my own) and adapting to their voices

• Mystery/thriller genre experience! (Something I would never have tried were it not for ND games. I can definitely see myself writing this genre for my own books in the future.)


Next up we have a novel called Izzy. Let’s ignore the fact that by the time I was twelve years old I had begun and trashed countless stories. None of them really CLICKED for me. Until Izzy came along.

Izzy is a book about a girl named…Izzy Morgan. (SLOW-CLAPPING FOR CREATIVITY ON THAT ONE.) She lives with her family of seven siblings in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. LITERALLY NOTHING HAPPENS. I can’t even remember what kind of filler I stuffed in this book because here’s the synopsis in the nutshell:


- Izzy is bored with lyfe

- So she starts figure skating

- Because news flash I was really into figure skating when I wrote this one

- She has a cute guy friend who clichély helps her learn how to figure skate

- In LITERALLY A FEW MONTHS she goes from knowing zilch to competing in a championship

- ???????????

- Then she gets hit by a train

- Kinda

- And hurts her ankle and can’t compete

- Because why have just one cliché when we can have two

- Izzy’s ankle MAGICALLY heals in time for the competition and she competes and SHE WINS YAY

- Because why have two clichés when we can have THREE??


This book was basically horrible. But I loved the characters and I still do. It was the first “real” novel I ever wrote. My sister actually wrote a spin-off book based on the same characters – a book following the oldest brother of the Morgan family. SO THAT WAS KIND OF COOL. And tbh I liked Kate’s book much better than my own. 

• Clichés are SO CLICHÉ

• Broken ankles don’t heal in three days

• Siblings are my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE to write

• If at first you don’t succeed, TRY TRY AGAIN

BTW I NAMED ALL MY BOOKS AFTER THE FIRST NAME OF THE MAIN CHARACTER. This is another spin-off book, about the other brother in the Morgan family: Cody. (Nicknamed Cod, but we’ll get to that later.) THE PLOT OF THIS BOOK IS ALSO: NOTHING. I seriously don’t know what I was thinking when I was younger. (We’re talking 13-years-old now. I was very much a pantser at 13.) Seriously, though. Here’s what happened:


- Mr. and Mrs. Morgan send three of their children (Cody, Izzy, and Bratty Older Sister™ Caroline) to summer camp

- Because summer camp is always a good setting for a coming-of-age MG fiction book

- Cody is a sheltered computer nerd and HATES SUMMER CAMP WITH THE FIRE OF A THOUSAND SUNS

- Which is another cliché

- Because have you ever read a book about a kid going to summer camp who’s like “OH BOY THIS IS SO GREAT I LOVE SUMMER CAMP” < no

- Cody has a troubled roommate who likes graffiti and punk rock

- I’m crying right now this is so cliché what the heck

- Cody meets a spunky girl with red hair and an unrealistic name (Electra Cole, in case you’re wondering)

- They spend ALL THEIR TIME together and DO LITERALLY NOTHING

- Caroline is mean

- Izzy is boring

- Cody gets in a fight with his roommate over something really stupid and gets punched in the eye

- Never tells Electra that he has a crush on her

- Goes home

- Is sad

- The end



It was 90k of absolute BOREDOM and I have no idea how I survived writing it. I think I probably had a fictional crush on Cody and made him 1000% like myself in every respect. BUT!! THERE IS A BRIGHT SIDE TO ALL OF THIS.

• I have no idea what summer camp is actually like

• I still love writing siblings/large families

• Filler = GOOD FOR NOTHING TRASH

• Just don’t write about this family anymore until you think of something interesting for crying out loud

DON’T ASK ME HOW I THOUGHT OF THAT TITLE. I have no idea. It’s pretty weird, and has almost nothing to do with the book. I also can't really say this was a book I wrote “when I was a child” because let’s be honest: I was 16. But still, I had no idea what I was doing when I wrote White Knuckles Are Important (which, by the way, had the working title of David. Because it was about a kid named David. #BRILLIANT) Let’s nutshell again:


- The book is kind of a modern retelling of the story of David in the Bible

- WHICH IS NOT A FEAT AT ALL NO WAY LOLOLOL

- what the heck was I thinking

- David and Abbie (cough-Abigail-cough) are friends who meet under unlikely circumstances (like Abbie’s boyfriend pummels poor David in a dark alley and leaves him for dead)

- Hashtag GREAT FIRST IMPRESSIONS

- David is a musician (because GUESS WHAT I’M A MUSICIAN) and a record label wants him to sign with them

- btw I know nothing about record labels

- but in the book I make them sound like the literal devil

- BECAUSE INDIE FOR THE WIN

- I’m so discreet please excuse me



- The book is basically copy/pasted from my sister’s idea (because come on aren’t ALL little sisters plagiarists?? No??? It’s jUST ME????) to write a fiction/non-fiction book and weave it all together into a story

- Which basically means there is a novel about hoodlum kids in San Diego + theological rants mixed in

- YEAH IT’S WEIRD

- But it gets worse

- Because I know NOTHING ABOUT HOODLUM KIDS IN SAN DIEGO

- lolololol help

- I was basically fumbling through writing about stuff I didn’t even WANT to research (because #scary) and making “hoodlum teenagers” sound like cherubs dropped from the firmament

- YES IT’S THAT BAD

- A pack of these troubled teens get together and form a band and preach the gospel and travel around in a VW bus playing music at bars and clubs

- #LIVINGTHEDREAM

- The end

- Not kidding


I learned a lot from writing this book, not gonna lie. But at the same time, I feel like this one has some good bones. I really do love all the non-fiction elements of the book (because my theological rants are actually awesome tbh) so MAYBE SOMEDAY I’ll re-write this thing into something actually good. We’ll see.


• Never copy ideas from your sister

• Never write about things/places/people you don’t understand and have no desire to research

• Light and heavy contemporary is my favorite niche


I’ve written a lot of short stories in my small life and I actually LOVE TO WRITE SHORT STORIES. Sometimes a plot bunny will smack me in the face and I realize that it doesn’t have enough meat to be a novel… but it would make an awesome 2k-3k story. In fact, a little while ago, I published one of my short stories on Wattpad. <<< An ACTUALLY GOOD short story, that is. Some of them are rubbish and some of them are cool. Here’s a sample of my mixed bag:


- Nobody Wants The Purple Cauliflower: a REALLY FREAKING WEIRD story about a boy who brings a purple cauliflower home to his mother, who gets angry and almost kills him with a bread knife.

- Three Little Maples: based on a true story about my mom when she was a teenager and got a fence installed in her backyard and three adorable trees got cut down but they didn’t actually need to get cut down and everyone was sad the end.

Yield To The Truth: based on a kinda-true story about my dad when he was little kid and wanted to jump on a train and run away into the wild west.

- A Very Odd Turn Of Events Not To Be Expected: another freaking weird story about a dysfunctional English family during WWI and a teenage boy who didn’t want to go to war and his sister who throws wine glasses at him during dinner.

- The Time I Met A Real-Live Sugar Plum Fairy: a totally fictional story about my dad when he was little kid and went to see the Nutcracker Ballet and was bored and left the theater and met a sugar plum fairy from the ballet.

- Condensed Milk: another WWI story that is basically just a conversation between a soldier and a nurse at a field hospital and asdfghjkl I REALLY LIKE THIS ONE MAYBE I’LL PUBLISH IT SOMEDAY.

- It Was All Because Of Me: a REALLY WEIRD story I wrote on a dare (via my sister of course) about a boy who makes his father trip on a Cheerio and break his leg (yes) so that his brother will get a job. Please don’t ask me to publish this one.


I have lots more short stories that I’ve written in the past, but I’m going to SHUT UP NOW because I could probably ramble on about this forever.


• I’m still learning

• About short stories and everything else

• Sometimes the best writing happens when you least expect it

In case you’ve forgotten (because the beginning of this post was approximately 200 years ago) THIS IS A TAG. And since I’m the creator of this tag I SOLEMNLY TAG YOU, MY FRIEND. YOU, READING THIS. Are you a writer?? DO THIS:

Thank the person who tagged you (that’s me!)

Copy/paste and answer these questions:
- What horrendous book did you write as a child?
- What did you learn from it?

Talk about as many books/writing projects as you like!

Tag 5 other bloggers

(Oh and PLEASE TELL ME IF YOU DO IT because I want to read all about your horrendous early writings!)



What’s the most horrendous thing you’ve ever written? What have you learned from your early writings? How have you grown as a writer over the years? Or months, if you’re a new writer! WELCOME TO THE PARTAY. Do you want to read any of those crazy short stories I talked about? If so, WHICH ONE?? ;)

rock on,
abbiee