Development & Growth

03/31/2011 at 9:44 pm (Writing) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Not all that long ago, my critique group ripped apart…I mean gave some nice, helpful suggestions for chapters 7 and 8 of my novel.  The main suggestion that I took away from the whole thing was that my main character should have undergone more character growth and development by that point.  So I went home afterwards, shed a few tears over the fact that my novel is not perfect, YET, then I sat down and started thinking about character growth in other stories I’ve read and loved, and how I should show it in my novel.

One of the books I’ve read that I feel has some good character development is “Alanna: the First Adventure” by Tamora Pierce.  In this book, Alanna has to develop confidence in her abilities as a warrior, and face off with the bully who torments her throughout most of the beginning of it.  A little later in the book, she has to face her fear of her own magic in order to save a friend.

It doesn’t sound too complicated until I start thinking about how I should do something similar in my novel.  Also, on a side note, if you have not read the Alanna series (“Lioness Quartet”) you are really missing out.  I loved those books along with her “Wild Magic” books as I know I’ve mentioned before.

Now for character growth in my book, I would say that the biggest fault that my main character has is her inability to get close to people and develop real relationships.  Sure she gets along with everyone all right, but there’s no one she would actually call a friend.  So, I guess the easiest way to show growth is maybe have her admit to having developing feelings for the guy she works for.

Another option would be to give her some sort of fear or weakness to overcome towards the beginning of my novel, but I’m not sure I really want to go and do that since I like my main character the way she is and that may take a whole lot more reworking than is probably necessary.  I might take another look at my beginning later to see what faults she has to work with though, but I do think having her develop a real relationship with someone would be the way to go.  Has anyone else run into this problem while working on their novels too?

Just a quick side note to all my potential readers, I did not actually cry after my critique…ninja assassins don’t cry.  And another note, my critique group is really great, and I appreciate all the help and advise they have given me.

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The New Kid on the Blog

03/31/2011 at 3:16 am (Blogging, Social Media, Writing) (, , , , , , , , , , )

As you all know, I am really, very new at this whole social media thing.  So, pretty much anything anyone has to teach me about the blogging world is much appreciated.

Earlier today I was doing my little, daily drunken stumble from blog post to blog post (although I wasn’t really drinking, so it was more like a sober stumble), and I came across Kristen Lamb’s blog post “Go Hard or Go Home – Blogging & Branding.”  Reading this post was very helpful, but I wasn’t much more than a tenth of the way through when I started thinking, “crap!  I’m doing something totally wrong!”

It might be common sense to a lot of people, but I was not aware that my writing blog’s name should have my actual name in it.  I would have saved myself a lot of time and trouble just calling it “Kati Bartkowski’s Blog” rather than fretting over what I felt might be the ideal name.  Since I am, as I mentioned earlier, new at this, I won’t kick myself too hard over it.

Fixing this little issue should be easy enough.  When I am through writing this post, I will go ahead and put my name in my blog and my user name, and from this day forth, all my posts will have Kati Bartkowski listed in all the tabs.

The goal here is to see if I can get my blog seen before all my old Judo tournament results and slow race times when anyone tries to google my name.  Wish me luck on this venture, because I’m definitely going to need it.

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03/30/2011 at 1:39 am (Writing) (, , , , )

I’m sure if you’ve stumbled across my new blog, that you have read some sort of book at some point that had totally blown you away, and made you go “gee, I want to write like that!”

Maybe that book had some stellar characters like in Patricia Wrede’s “Mairelon the Magician,” or maybe that book had developed a world that you could completely see yourself living in like Harry Potter, or maybe the book was just a fantastic read in every sense of the word, like in Elizabeth Bunce’s “Starcrossed,” (granted, both “Mairelon the Magician” and Harry Potter are fantastic reads in every sense of the word too) it doesn’t matter though, what matters is that you were inspired to write!

I’ve read tons of great books through out my life, and some of them I’ve even read obsessively over and over again.  But if I had to name one author that inspired me to write, that author would have to be Tamora Pierce.  It was after reading her “Lioness Quartet” and “Wild Magic” series’ that I wanted to try and create a world of my own.

Granted, when I first started writing stories I just did it to pass the time and entertain myself.  I never imagined that I’d someday be taking writing as seriously as I do my drawing.  But now that I do, I’m thankful for all the books that took me to far off lands, on adventures, and I know that the experiences are what are helping to inspire me to write today.

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Schedule of Events

03/29/2011 at 12:34 am (Schedule, Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Since this is only my second blog post ever, I’m thinking I should come up with some sort of schedule or plan for this blog.  Now I’m not like my sister who likes to send intricately detailed plans in epic long emails.  I’m one of those people who like to make one or two plans then let my mood at the time decide the rest.

So even though I’m writing out a fairly intricate weekly blogging schedule here, it can and will be changed by events as minor as the weather/my mood/I saw a really cute puppy and feel like talking about it, or as major as I got exciting new writing news/the zombie apocalypse has arrived/a comet has crashed into the moon sending it closer to Earth and causing some major natural disasters.  By the way, if you have not read “Life as We Knew it” I highly recommend that you do.

Now, without further babbling or stalling on my part, here is my weekly blogging schedule:

Mondays:  This favorite day to all who work office jobs will be devoted to me just checking in.  I’ll talk a little about what step of the writing process I’m on, or maybe about whatever book I’m reading at the time.  Sound exciting?

Tuesdays:  This day will be all about different writing topic I’ve come across while either writing or reading.

Wednesdays:  Will be about new stuff I have learned while writing my novel(s) or researching the publishing market.  (This is the day that will most likely be dropped it I find writing a blog 5 days a week is too much for me).

Thursdays:  Nothing too exciting about Thursdays.  They’ll be pretty much the same as Tuesdays.

Fridays:  This day will be all about book recommendations.  Pretty plain and simple, huh?

Well, that is my extensive blog schedule.  Hope you all enjoy it.

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Feeling Like a Writer

03/28/2011 at 3:11 am (Writing) (, , , , )

The day has finally come.  I’ve completed what feels like 10,012 drafts and am now holding onto a printed manuscript of my novel.  So I flip it open to a random page, and what do I see?  A typo.  (Sigh) Oh well.  Looks like I still have a little work to do before beginning the complicated and nerve racking querying process.  But even still, holding onto a printed copy of my 88,000-word story, I feel for the first time like a real writer.

I never expected to be a writer when I was young.  Sure, I liked to write, and I loved to read, but I had always visualized myself illustrating the covers of books, not writing the interior of them.  My idols were Michael Whelan and Brom, not Mercedes Lackey and Tamora Pierce.

That’s not to say that I didn’t respect my favorite authors and their art of creating whole worlds with words alone, I just didn’t expect to be doing that kind of art myself.  But now that I have almost a complete novel I have written at my fingertips, I feel in some ways more excited and proud than I have after drawing one of my master pieces, and I only hope to get a chance to share my novel with everyone who would be interested in reading it.

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Hello world!

03/26/2011 at 10:08 pm (Uncategorized)

Welcome to This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

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