Order. Chaos. Oblivion. (Midweek Novel Update #5)


Science is weird.

There’s an entire theory about how the universe favors chaos over order, abstractly—the exact opposite of how some of us (cough cough) prefer to steer our own lives in said universe.

Entropy has unintentionally become a motif throughout the still-less-than 30,000 words that make up the most current draft of my novel. (By the way—my 30,000-word-slump theory? Still going strong.) However, my characters view the concept a bit differently than a chemist or physicist might.

As a writer will often do, I have taken a scientific theory and twisted it to coincide with the plot. Which I can do, because the book is set in the future and theories change shape over time IRL.

There is a character, we’ll call him a psychologist though it doesn’t mean quite the same thing in this context. He has a theory about behavior—specifically that the reason people act out and misbehave is because what people thrive on to sustain themselves isn’t order at all, but instead, disorder.

Which would explain why Character Q is in a detention facility but has dedicated his life to helping other people. Why the one former leader of their society, best known for her faults, has impacted the course of the political system more than anyone before her.

The book as a whole has three parts: order, chaos and oblivion.

I’ve worked my way well through Order and have mapped out most of Oblivion. It’s Chaos that’s making this project … well. Chaotic.

It doesn’t help that my to-do list feels chaotic, even though it really isn’t, and I haven’t been putting as much time into writing as I would have liked to over the past week. I don’t just post #WriterProblems for the fun of it, you know. I have them too. Sometimes I try to prioritize and novel-ing just doesn’t make it close enough to the top of the stack.

The thing about my 30,000-word slump theory (that when you’re writing, Wrimo or not, you hit a wall around 30,000 words—it happens to me every time, I wish I were exaggerating) is that it’s almost like the very top of the world’s largest roller coaster. Once you make it past that point, you can potentially knock out 20,000 more words in a week without really trying.

It’s not a real theory. I’m only going off my own experiences, but give a shout-out (comment) if you’ve ever experienced this. I hope I’m not the only one.

That sudden rush of thoughts and ideas and words, that’s the only kind of chaos I can handle. It’s the kind of chaos you can barely even call chaos, because it’s so thrilling and freeing and wild, you can’t help but just run with it.

This would be the worst possible time for this kind of thing to happen to me. I have an exam next week and other commitments I need to be ready to tackle, and while I can continue to make sure I write at least a little every day, I can’t guarantee to myself that I’ll be able to write thousands of words per day until after next Wednesday.

Yet I yearn for it. That chaos. That moment my ideas and my words are in sync and I don’t have to think, I just have to write.

Maybe it’s not science that’s weird. Maybe it’s just our brains.

I suppose, if good stories are the product of weirdness, I shouldn’t complain.

Love&hugs, Meg<3

Image courtesy of Novelty Revisions.

A recent graduate with a B.A. in English and a completed major in nutrition, currently seeking a graduate degree in health communication, Meg is a twenty-something workaholic with a passion for writing, coffee and dietetics. In addition to her status as an aspiring novelist and Grammar Nazi (and the mastermind behind this site), Meg is an editor for College Lifestyles magazine and a guest blogger for Food & Nutrition Magazine’s Stone Soup.  She is a seven-time NaNoWriMo winner and has written several creative pieces for Teen Ink magazine. Follow Meg on Twitter.

Three Things Stopping You from Finishing Your Book (and How to Handle Them)


You’re almost done. You’re working on it. You’re just taking a little break is all.

Excuses. We all dish them out to our family, followers and friends in an attempt to explain why that book we keep claiming to be writing isn’t finished yet.

There are all kinds of barriers to clear thought and creative productivity. Don’t let them keep you from achieving your biggest literary ambitions.

Here are three common struggles—and how to continue writing anyway. 

The pieces aren’t coming together 

Not everyone writes their stories in chronological order, but even if you do, sometimes loose ends just refuse to be tied up. You might feel like your story is almost finished, but those tiny plot holes scrape at the back of your mind constantly. The frustration can be enough to make you want to quit.

Please, don’t give up. Not when you’ve already come so far. The thing about first drafts is, they’re drafts. No writer’s first draft is flawless. You’ll go back in for revisions and find errors you never noticed before anyway. If there are plot holes, you are allowed to fill them in later. Let the satisfaction of having finished writing a book—technically—have a chance to lift your spirits first.

You keep starting on other projects

Often, when ideas arrive, they’re here to stay. Even after writing them down and trying to walk away, it isn’t always easy to keep them out of mind. Sometimes we have to set aside what we’re doing and put just enough work into a new idea to satisfy the craving for a while. But sometimes, we get caught up in it. It becomes impossible to pull away, and before we know it, that first project becomes an abandoned stream of thought.

The best way to handle this problem is to train yourself to be able to work on multiple projects at once. Think of your day job (if applicable—school works too), and how you (hopefully) focus large chunks of time on those projects, come home to your ideas and type away the second you get the chance. You can do the same with multiple larger writing projects. Try splitting your time evenly between them. Even just a few sentences here and there still counts.

You’re afraid to say goodbye

This is an odd one, but it happens more often than you might think. We spend months, maybe even years watching our plots develop and our characters change and grow. We fall in love with our art—it’s completely normal. But when the end draws near, reality hits: in some cases, when you finish writing, end of story (literally). Your characters go on to live out their adventures without you.

There will be other stories, and other characters to bond with. If you know it’s going to be an emotional occasion—yes, writers have cried after finishing books—look at it as a good thing. If you’re attached to your story and your characters, it means you’re doing something right. If they feel real to you, they’ll feel real to your future readers, too. It’s okay to want to hold on. But before a book can thrive on its own, you need to let it go. And before you can let it go, you need to finish it. No matter how emotionally draining the experience.

No matter your struggle, never forget what you’ve accomplished already. You’ve started writing a book! That’s quite a feat, friend. (If you’re having trouble starting one, that post is coming soon.) The joy that comes with typing that last word, with saving that first draft for the last time and putting it to rest for a while, it’s worth it.

If writing a book were easy, we’d get bored. A bored writer is a dangerous creature. Avoid close contact at all costs.

Image courtesy of Novelty Revisions.

Five Reminders that Writing Is Still Worth It


Sometimes you get tired.

Sometimes you just want to give up.

Sometimes you wonder why you keep writing, even when it never seems to pay off.

Here are five moments to help remind you it’s still worth it. Every single word.

1. Brain Rush

The term “brain crack” has already been coined, but brain rush is my own take on the same concept. I don’t know about you, but when I get an idea, I don’t just get one idea. Ideas come to me one right after the other, in a rush (the inspiration for my post about idea insomnia). Sometimes I have to stop what I’m doing and get them down in the Notes app on my phone just to slow my heart rate.

I don’t know about you, but this feeling is what I live for. It reminds me that creativity is part ambition, part experience. But mostly, creativity is latching onto ideas as they spontaneously form inside your head and refusing to let go.

2. Writing Something You’re Proud Of

A lot of the time I’m hesitant to promote my own work. I still do it, because I love being able to share my work with others with the hope they’ll gain something from reading what I have to say. But every once in a while I’ll write a sentence or a paragraph or even a whole chapter, and sit back and let myself be proud.

It’s a difficult thing for “down-to-earth” writers to do. But I think part of the process is learning that the more confident you are in your accomplishments, and the more you’re willing to recognize that you can do good work and it’s for a good reason, that’s when you know your career is far from over, even if it hasn’t really started yet. 

3. Solving a Mystery

I’m going to do an entire post on this concept, because I pulled a quote from yesterday’s post and sort of fell in love with it (see? Learning to appreciate my own words, and hoping I’m not coming off the wrong way in doing so). The idea is that to come up with a way to work backwards. You know the ending; you have to figure out how to lead your readers up to that ending. In doing this, you have to solve your own mysteries, figure out the internal complexities, make it all work somehow.

There’s this moment, every now and then: you’ve either inserted a small detail but are debating removing it or you have a good ending but don’t know how your characters get from point A to point B. Every once in awhile, the solution just clicks. “I figured it out,” you say to yourself. It’s hard to explain, but the sense of achievement is almost tangible.

4. Compliments and Criticism

You’re never going to please everyone, no matter how diverse you make your characters, themes, genres or motifs. There are always going to be readers who enjoy your work and those who don’t. Some will tell you how they feel. Some won’t.

I appreciate both. I appreciate when someone lets me know I’m doing a good job and when someone says “I wish you would do this.” To me, any commentary is constructive. It means I’m saying something that moves people to respond. I don’t write to gain followers. (It’s nice, but if I only had 10, I’d be just as content as I am right now.) I write to build community. To start conversations. No matter the type of feedback, knowing I’m reaching someone and it means something, that’s more rewarding than any number of subscribers could ever be.

5. Completing a Finished Draft

If you’ve experienced the combined relief and anticipation that accompanies finishing the first draft of a writing project, you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, let that be your motivation to keep going. It’s the moment you sit back and realize all your hard work wasn’t all for nothing. It’s the moment you decide, “Well, I’ve made it this far. I want to see how much further I can take it.”

It’s not the same as finishing a big paper for school or a long-term assignment at work. If writing isn’t your full-time job, no one is forcing you to do it. That means every word you write is your choice. And knowing you’ve put in maybe years worth of an effort toward something you’ve motivated yourself to complete … I can honestly say that’s one of the most rewarding parts of writing stories on my own.

It’s been along time since I’ve experienced #5. But I can’t wait to experience it again.

Writing is your passion.

You were born to do this.

It’s still worth it. Your words still matter.

Love&hugs, Meg<3

Image courtesy of Novelty Revisions.

A recent graduate with a B.A. in English and a completed major in nutrition, currently seeking a graduate degree in health communication, Meg is a twenty-something workaholic with a passion for writing, coffee and dietetics. In addition to her status as an aspiring novelist and Grammar Nazi (and the mastermind behind this site), Meg is an editor for College Lifestyles magazine and a guest blogger for Food & Nutrition Magazine’s Stone Soup.  She is a seven-time NaNoWriMo winner and has written several creative pieces for Teen Ink magazine. Follow Meg on Twitter.

Is Your Idea Good Enough?


Everyone gets ideas, even if we don’t always carry them through. One barrier to turning an idea into a reality is the question we’ve all asked ourselves at least once: “I like my idea, but is it actually good enough?”

Good enough for someone else? Good enough to get noticed? “Good enough” can mean a lot of different things. What it all comes down to is, we’re always going to be a little hesitant about our own ideas. We want them to appeal to a potential audience. We want to make a difference. Say something important. Promote some kind of change through our “brain crack” (not my terminology, I can’t take credit for that).

So. How do you know if your idea can do any of that?

Here are a few important questions to ask yourself.

Could You Explain It in Detail to Someone Else?

The best ideas are thought out and detailed. You could have a whole plan, an entire outline for a book, for example, an entire idea unfolded out on a page. The real test is to approach someone else and translate it.

If you’ve done enough planning, if you know your idea in its full form—even if you don’t yet know how exactly you want to implement it—for example, whether you want it to be a full-length book, short story, T.V. series or short film script—if you can explain it well enough so someone else can understand it, your idea is already more tangible than you probably realize, and maturing quickly, still, inside your head.

Are You Willing to Give It Your All? 

Sometimes ideas are more demanding than we’re willing to admit. Especially writing your first book, it’s not likely (or practical) you’ll feel the urge to drop everything, quit your day job and give yourself over completely to cranking out the prose.

But if you had to, would you?

There’s something gratifying about knowing you have enough faith in your idea to stop your life for the sake of its growth, if that was what you needed to do. If you’re not that into it, if you like it but don’t feel obliged to give it any attention, maybe your idea isn’t good enough. Not that the idea itself isn’t good, but it’s not good for your current lifestyle, not the right place, not the right time. That’s okay, too. Maybe, over time, it will be. Maybe it won’t. If you’re not willing to nurture it, it’s probably not going to work.

Which, of course, brings us to our third point. 

How Excited Are You?

You’re not going to stick with something you don’t connect with for very long. It’s kind of like that full time job you took just to be able to pay for basic living expenses. You don’t really like it, so you know (or hope) you won’t be stuck with it forever.

Good ideas—ideas that influence, that resonate—are long-term commitments. Those of you who have written full-length novels, even those who are still trying to cross that goal off the master bucket list, know how time-consuming it can be—and that’s after an idea has formed and has had time to come together. If you’re excited about it, if you fear you’ll scare all your friends away by talking about it too much, you’re going to be successful.

Even if you never finish it out—it was an idea that ignited your passion for something. That feeling cannot be replaced.

Truthfully, if you have an idea, you’ve thought it through and you’re excited about it, that’s more than good enough. If you put all your faith and effort into it, and it doesn’t work out, that’s okay. We learn from every failed attempt we make.

Never forget, you really are your worst critic. The one idea you almost let die but don’t could become your biggest success story—literally.

Image courtesy of Novelty Revisions.

Flashbacks are Invading My Prose (Midweek Novel Update #2)


The past is inevitable. And it’s not even mine.

When I started rewriting this book (again), I was pretty sure I could keep most of the past off the page. At least in Part One. I get tired of flashbacks, to be honest. Yet I can’t think of a book off the top of my head that doesn’t involve characters looking back at where they’ve been to help them realize how far they’ve come.

I suppose I didn’t realize until recently how important my main character’s past is to the shape of the story. I thought I could get away with a few references and pack the prologue as full as I could with background info, then keep the rest in the present.

As usual, I tried to take too much control over my story, and proved myself so, so wrong.


Once again I’ve let one of my own Rules of Writing smack me hard in the face. You have to let a story go where it wants to go, the way it wants to get there. It’s like a golden rule. I avoided giving into it as long as I could. Then I scrolled over a few paragraphs of a scene I’d written a month or so ago.

It was all exposition, the MC of the present looking back on something significant that happened when she was a little younger. Necessary; the reader needs to know. The entire scene was pretty much watered down and summarized into a short paragraph before the MC moved on to talking about how it affected her.

I didn’t like it. Not the event itself, but the fact that something so significant was trimmed down and glossed over so simplistically. I read it again, and once more. Then I realized I had to take those few vague paragraphs and transform it into a memory, and this memory being so important, of course the character would remember it in great detail.

This is what resulted:

No one believed I was smart until my exam scores came back. I was just as promising of a student as anyone else in my class up to that point. Nothing special. But I remember the day the headmistress—the headmistress!—kept me after school for a “chat.”
That’s what she said. “Ollia, how about a chat. My office, five o’clock?” Like we were meeting for tea. She said it right in front of Aron Wright and my former best friend Hana. They both laughed, thinking I had done something wrong.
When I got to the headmistress’s office later, there were two teacups on the desk. Before I gathered up the courage to knock, I watched her pick up the one closest to me and switch it with the one sitting on the other side. She turned around before I could raise my fist, like she’d sensed I was standing there watching.
“Come in, don’t be shy,” she said, waving a hand for me to enter. Her office smelled familiar, like ink and books and paper. My father’s study. “Sit, sit. Do you like tea? I thought so. Cream or sugar in it, too?”
“Just cream.”
She poured tea into both of our cups and set her matching tea pot over on the other side of her desk. When she picked hers up, I noticed a chip in the ceramic on the side of the rim facing me. I looked down at my own cup. No chip.
“Relieved that exams are over?” the headmistress asked, setting down her cup. “Almost time for upper-level. I bet you’re … looking forward to it.”
“I am.” I looked around. There were books all over the place, floor to ceiling, just like home. Turning my head to face her again, I swallowed. My heart wouldn’t slow down. “Did I … did I do something wrong?”
“Oh, sweetheart of course not.” She gave me that look I hated, the one people always gave me when they first met me and realized who I was, or rather, who my mother was. “It’s good news. Exceptionally good news. Do you want to hear it?”
I gripped the handle of my teacup. “Yes, please.”

And it continues. But I won’t give away any more. Yet.

There’s a reason we can’t give up on stories, even when that seems like the easiest thing to do. I didn’t really want the character of Kathyrine to be as important to the plot line as she is now, but because I didn’t want to, that eventually became what made the most sense. The entire adventure that unfolds in Part Two, Kathyrine is there. Not in a physical sense. But in thought. In memory.

Everything I don’t want to happen in my stories, happens anyway.

I need to have more faith in my thoughts. I’m wrong a lot. But not all the time.

Love&hugs, Meg<3

Image courtesy of Novelty Revisions.

A recent graduate with a B.A. in English and a completed major in nutrition, currently seeking a graduate degree in health communication, Meg is a twenty-something workaholic with a passion for writing, coffee and dietetics. In addition to her status as an aspiring novelist and Grammar Nazi (and the mastermind behind this site), Meg is an editor for College Lifestyles magazine and a guest blogger for Food & Nutrition Magazine’s Stone Soup.  She is a seven-time NaNoWriMo winner and has written several creative pieces for Teen Ink magazine. Follow Meg on Twitter.


10 Lessons I’ve Learned in 10 Years of Storytelling


I’ve been writing for a long time. I’ve come a long way since my first “book.” I have yet to publish anything for real, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t learned from my experiences. Writing is hard, but I like a good challenge. I also love learning. Put the two together and there’s something magical about the process.

I want to share with you 10 important lessons I’ve learned in the decade since my love for writing really blossomed. I hope you can relate to, or learn from, some of them.

1. As important as your readers are, when you’re writing, it’s not about them. 

While a thought may cross your mind every now and then—“Will readers get this? How might they react to this?”—the journey you take from the first words to the final revisions of your story is your own. What your readers think about the final product really can’t take priority over creating the product first.

2. You can trust some people to give helpful feedback. Some people. Not everybody.

I would personally rather a stranger critique my work than a close friend, for two reasons: one, I want my work critiqued. Not how my story relates to my life or myself as a person. I want someone to focus on its quality as a piece of writing, not base that quality on something I as a person came up with. Two, I have close friends who are very loving and kind. Who would never want to “hurt my feelings.” So as much as I love them and would appreciate the help, if my writing sucks, I need to know!

3. There is no right or wrong way to tell a love story.

No two people look at love the same way. Not even two people in love with each other: there will always be points about love which two people disagree on. That’s part of being human. In the same way, telling a love story does not, and should never, have a formula. You can put a completely new spin on the “boy meets girl/loses girl/finds girl” plotline. It can end happily ever after or in tragedy. In real life, no two people have the same story. There’s no right or wrong way to do it. All you can do is follow your heart and go for it.

4. Ten words is still 10 words closer to finishing.

The smallest steps toward progress are still progress. Even on days I don’t feel like writing, I still try to get down at least a sentence or two. It’s something. I’m always afraid if I go too long without writing, I won’t ever get back to it. Keep going. Struggle if you have to, but don’t stop.

5. If you don’t like your story, change it. 

Sometimes we get an idea in our head and convince ourselves it’s set in stone before we even pick up a pen. A lot of times we’ll give up on a story because we honestly decide we don’t like it. What’s easy to forget is we’re the ones who come up with stories in the first place. If we’re not happy with them, all we have to do is change them. There’s no law that says an outline can never shift. We need to be fully engaged in our work, or our readers never will be. We need to love our stories. We need to do whatever it takes to feel comfortable with what we’re writing, even if it means starting over from the beginning.

6. No one should put a letter grade on someone else’s baby.

Let’s take my book for example. I spent my entire creative writing portfolio working on a very early draft. The professor gave me an A, but very little feedback on the actual writing or story. The A meant nothing to me: I would have rather failed and begged him to explain why. But a letter grade, A or F or something in between, doesn’t say anything about the hours of work I put into developing my characters. I don’t want a letter grade. I want to know what my first reader, ever, thought. For real.

7. And if someone does, you should never take it personally.

If he’d given me a “bad” grade, I wouldn’t have taken it the wrong way. What you have to understand about me is I love feedback. I will never be offended if someone tells me something I’ve written isn’t good. I need to know that, so I can take suggestions, go back and improve what I’ve already done. Your telling me I’m a bad writer doesn’t make me feel like less of a person. It just means I have a lot to work on before I’m ready to show it to other people. What’s important is that I put a lot of time and effort into doing my best work. If my best work isn’t great, well, that’s okay. It will get better.

8. Living vicariously through your characters doesn’t work.

A very wise, much missed mentor of mine once told me life experience is the difference between a good writer and a great one. If you never get out and experience the world—go for a walk, visit places you want to write about, see places you can’t see the same way from a computer screen—your words will never be as authentic as they could be. You have to get out there, do crazy things, go everywhere, be brave. Because then you come back with stories in your head you never would have picked up otherwise. You can’t send your characters on any kind of adventure without having gone on one yourself. Big or small, even if it’s just a simple walk in the park, your characters can’t do all the experiencing for you.

9. The best ideas are the ones you wait patiently to develop.

The idea that sparked the book I’ve been working on for three years started out as any other book does—a fleeting thought in my head. One that came back to me, over and over again. I honestly don’t remember the exact time span between when I first had the idea and when I sat down to write the first sentences. But since then it has transformed into something amazing, hopefully, maybe, something good enough that you’ll get to read it someday. Fingers crossed, but obviously no promises. I’ve started many stories on a whim before, and most always fizzle out eventually. An idea needs time in your head to get its footing before it’s ready to unfold.

10. The work of a writer never ends.

You write a book, you rewire a book, revise a book, submit a book, re-revise, publish. Then your readers read that book, start talking about the book, crying about the book, criticizing the book, praising it, and you have to be there to join the conversation. Just because you finish something, publish something, change someone’s life, even, doesn’t mean your work is done. You’re committing to a life of literary saturation when you decide to become a writer. Once you start, it never really leaves you.

I still have a lot to learn. But having learned this much in just a decade, I can only imagine what words still have tot each me in the rest of a lifetime.

Love&hugs, Meg<3

Image courtesy of Novelty Revisions.

A recent graduate with a B.A. in English and a completed major in nutrition, currently seeking a graduate degree in health communication, Meg is a twenty-something workaholic with a passion for writing, coffee and dietetics. In addition to her status as an aspiring novelist and Grammar Nazi (and the mastermind behind this site), Meg is an editor for College Lifestyles magazine and a guest blogger for Food & Nutrition Magazine’s Stone Soup.  She is a seven-time NaNoWriMo winner and has written several creative pieces for Teen Ink magazine. Follow Meg on Twitter.

I Told My Characters Not to Fall in Love and They Did It Anyway (Midweek Novel Update #1)


Since first starting my book in 2012, I’ve learned a lot about the creative process. I’ve learned a lot about how an idea transforms over time, if you give it the chance to grow. I’ve learned a lot about what it means to fall in love with a story, so much so that you’re willing to let that story shift and change so it can become, well, better, even if it’s nothing even resembling your original plot.

Kind of funny, considering the story of the book-that-currently-has-no-title started out in a setting that (is this cliché enough for you?) did not allow people to fall in love. At all. Ever. Punishable by death? Eh. Sort of.

Actually, technically, the story started out as a semi-utopian sci-fi something-or-other with no plot structure and cringe-worthy dialogue, but what book doesn’t?

For the record, I don’t consider myself a particularly talented (or accomplished) writer. That’s why I spend most of my time with NR giving you all writing advice instead of talking about my own work.

But I’ve done some stats reviews recently, and it turns out you all (trying to stop myself from y’alling, it’s hard) apparently like reading about my novel-writing shenanigans. So I’ve made a decision.

Once a week, on Wednesdays, you get a novel update on our blog. So from now on, you can celebrate Hump Day with a blog post about my book, even if I haven’t made any progress, even if I am fighting with it, even if it kills me. You’re welcome.

So where am I now in the novel-conquering process? Struggling, big time. I like to be as transparent as possible when I do talk about my book (aside from giving away major plot points, in case a miracle happens and you someday get to read it in print). I think that’s important, for authors, for aspiring writers, anybody. Writing can be fun, it can be very rewarding, and everyone deserves praise for at least trying. But it’s hard.

Some days even I don’t feel like writing. I spend more time disliking my work than I do being proud of it. But that’s part of the process, I think. At some point you get past that, and you have a finished product and all that struggling seems worth it by then.

I’m not past that yet, though. I’m far from finishing my product, and as a Wrimo veteran, this is difficult for me. This book has gone through three Wrimos now (July 2014, November 2014, April 2015) and it’s still in fragments and shards. I know where I’m going with it. I’m just taking my time in filling the gaps.

What’s hardest for me isn’t the actual writing; it’s the story. If you’ve been following me for at least the past few months, you know I’ve made a lot of changes recently. In January I decided to start the book over completely … and again last month. This most recent change is, I’m certain, headed in the right direction. But I’m worried. Why?

Because two characters end up falling in love. And that’s not what I wanted them to do.

Characters have minds of their own, they really do. The narrator literally starts off telling the story with the line, “This is not a love story.” It’s not, I guess. I think every story has to have a little romance of some kind or readers get bored, or it doesn’t seem realistic. But that wasn’t my plan for my main characters. Nothing ever goes according to plan when you’re trying to write a book.

The way these characters express their love to each other is a bit out of the ordinary, because these kids are trained and manipulated not to register their own emotions (they’re too distracting, or so they are told). So love is confusing and, while not forbidden (thank God) widely misunderstood. Imagine two people feeling attracted to each other but never having felt that way about anybody before. Sort of like that.

Companionship in this society is complicated. A group of characters end up having to work as a team to overcome a few obstacles (we’re talking literal obstacles, more specifically, fire, darkness, trees) which obviously won’t go well at first, since they’re students, the best of the best, only accustomed to working alone. What are friends? No one has any clue what’s going on and I kind of like that. But I’ve been fighting this whole time to keep character A and character B apart, and they’re just not having it.

No, it’s not a love story. Because our narrator has read a lot of love stories, and hers isn’t anything like those books.

Too bad she doesn’t have a mom to help her sort out all these confusing feelings. Her dad may or may not have sent her away on behalf of “curious circumstances” and, despite prodding over the years, has never explained the details.

Love is confusing. You have been warned.

Love&hugs, Meg<3

A recent graduate with a B.A. in English and a completed major in nutrition, currently seeking a graduate degree in health communication, Meg is a twenty-something workaholic with a passion for writing, coffee and dietetics. In addition to her status as an aspiring novelist and Grammar Nazi (and the mastermind behind this site), Meg is an editor for College Lifestyles magazine and a guest blogger for Food & Nutrition Magazine’s Stone Soup.  She is a seven-time NaNoWriMo winner and has written several creative pieces for Teen Ink magazine. Follow Meg on Twitter.

This Is the Most Terrifying Moment In a Writer’s Life


Sometimes when we write, we throw caution aside without a second thought. In that moment, we are invincible, our minds immersed in a world no one else can invade or criticize. We are the gods of our own literary universes, creating exactly what we want, when and why we want it.

Sometimes we sit back and realize what we once thought was a brilliant string of narratives, which we hoped would eventually form at least a mediocre masterpiece, is actually a disaster. One you can’t fix just by changing a few thousand words.

That’s why I’m starting over. Continue reading “This Is the Most Terrifying Moment In a Writer’s Life”