Friday, July 6, 2012

Introducing my version of the Magic 8 Ball - Writer's Style

Since my Lucky 7 Meme pretty much went viral in the blogosphere, I knew I wanted to do another one - this one with my name on it!  Hey, you live and learn, right?  Call this my campaign to get more exposure and followers. And once I reach 250 followers, anyone who follows me will be entered to win a $20 gift card from or a $25 credit to any of the design services I provide at Sweet 'N Spicy Designs.

Most of us have shaken a Magic 8 ball at one time or another while pondering a vital question such as: "Does so-and-so like me?" or "Am I going to win the lottery?" or, maybe as writers: "Will I ever get a publishing contract?" 

Short, unfulfilling answers popped up into the view finder: "Outlook not so good," or "My reply is no." And, if you're at all like me (it's been 20+ years) you shook that baby again until you got an answer you liked.

In the spirit of this fun novelty, I have created the The Magic 8 meme.  And while it won't tell us our fortunes, it will hopefully provide some valuable advice. 

With so many blog fests and memes we post excerpts we're proud of, work that has been polished within an inch of its life and really shines.  But what about the work we're not so sure about?  A line that feels clunky and awkward? A paragraph where we just convey what we want to say?

That's what this meme is all about.  Post a paragraph or excerpt from a current WIP, or maybe a query you just can't nail, and ask your blog readers to be your Magic 8 Balls.  Hopefully, they'll be willing to give you some advice  - something more fulfilling than a "yes" or "no."

In short, here are the rules:

1. Post the button and link to (following would be nice, but not required).2.  Share an excerpt from your current WIP, perhaps something you're struggling with, are stuck on, or just can't "get right."
3.  Ask a question about your excerpt.  It can be something easy such as "What do you think?" or something more in-depth, such as "Can you suggest a better way to word such-and-such," or "How can I make the emotions in this scene more realistic?"
4.  Tag 8 people.

To kick things off, I'm going to post my query/blurb from my The Truths About Dating and Mating tab.  I received a lot of positive responses to it and felt pretty solid that I'd done good, but that was when it was written in third person and hopped back and forth between Ivy and Ian's POV's.  Now that it's in first person from only Ivy's POV, I'm not sure if the second paragraph works.  Can I still use it, even though we're never in his head?  Or are there just small changes I can make so that I can keep it in there?  Help!

Spunky Italian girl Ivy Rossini loves to talk and push the boundaries. She gets to do both alongside her best friend, reputed bad boy, Ian Hollister, as they host The Truths about Dating and Mating, a sex-edutainment program for Riordan College's radio station. For Ivy, Ian has always been like an overprotective big brother - but that's about to change with a near kiss. With the memory of the moment fresh in her mind, she finds herself aroused by his slightest touch and fantasizing about finding out for herself what those girls on campus mean when they say he's an "intense lover." 

Ivy has always been Ian's one ray of sunshine, the only girl who really sees beyond his bad boy reputation. It's only fair he protect her from the typical jerks around campus, or so he tells himself. But when he sees her in a steamy embrace with another guy, he's forced to reconcile the sexy, confident woman she's become, with the "little-sister" he's always looked out for. 

With their friendship hanging in the balance, can they follow the advice they give their listeners to communicate, be honest, and trust in themselves - and each other - or will foolish pride ruin their fledgling relationship before it even gets off the ground?

Advice is much appreciated!

I'm gonna tag more than eight people to get this in motion - and no one is under any obligation to participate.

Victoria Smith
Juliana Haygert
Summer Lane
Carrie A. Butler
L.G. Kelso
Bailey Kelsey
Cassie Mae
Hope Roberson
Jaye Robin Brown
Kelley Lynn 
Emily R. King
Danielle B
Tara Tyler
Kyra Lennon
A.J. Locke
Theresa Paolo
Scribbles From Jenn
Miranda Hardy
Courtney Pearson
Elizabeth Seckman
Catherine Stein
and I better stop before I tag everyone I follow...:D


  1. Really great idea for a meme, I'll keep it in mind if I ever need input on something.

    Can anyone offer advice or only those you've tagged?

    1. Okee. in that case, agreeing with all who are suggesting the second paragraph makes it seem like it's from dual POV (which is never a bad thing), but if your story isn't, that might be a little confusing.

      I'm sure some of it can be turned around to be from Ivy's POV though, especially this part: the only girl who really sees beyond his bad boy reputation, and perhaps you can still tell us about Ian's protectiveness, but from Ivy's POV, making it sound like he's her big brother.

      Perhaps something like:

      Being the only girl who really sees beyond his bad boy reputation has it's advantages, when he protects her from the typical jerks around campus, but now that she's seen Ian as more than a "big-brother" he's always looked out for, how can she reconcile the two.

      Or, you know ... something less awful that what I wrote!

      Sorry I couldn't be much help, but good luck.

  2. That's a fun idea. Always hated those stupid Magic 8 Balls.

  3. I think if it's only written in one POV, it makes sense for the query to only be from one POV too. But I am so not an expert in this area!

  4. If it were me, I would probably change it. It makes me think it's going to be a dual pov.

    I don't have too many suggestions though. I guess I'd focus on the kiss (with the other guy) that makes their relationship change. Does he start treating her differently then? Does she see that or is she clueless at first to how his feelings changed?

    Sorry I can't be more help.

  5. I'm not a query expert, at all, since all of my attempts suck it. But I agree with Suzy, about readers thinking it would be a dual POV novel. And it's not. So I would probably change that.

    I hope you get more followers, as you already know how brilliant I think you are! :) And I am going to try to take this Meme on, in the next couple of days. Thanks for tagging me!

  6. What a fun idea!!! I like your query, and I don't think it sounds like dual POV's. It lays out the stakes and all that good stuff, which is what's needed. But if your gut is saying to switch it up, then that's the way to go.
    Thanks for tagging me! ^_^

  7. Can I hit the snooze button on this tag? Just five more days.


    My only suggestion is that the last paragraph is a long run-on. Perhaps chopping it up into several questions? Something like this:

    "With their friendship hanging in the balance, can they follow the advice they give their listeners to communicate? Can they be honest and trust in themselves and each other? Or will foolish pride ruin their fledgling relationship before it even gets off the ground?"

    ...but better.

  8. Yeah, the second paragraph would probably suggest dual POV. Believe me, I feel your pain. It's hard cranking out these queries!

    Can you reword it so we see the same situation through Ivy's eyes? Maybe you can introduce the other male--by circumstance, not name--and then go into the rest. Does Ivy know Ian saw them? Can she speculate about how his view of her might change? Just guessing here, since I haven't read the book. Good luck! :)

    Oh, and thanks for the tag!

  9. love the he said, she said advice given & can they follow it, story line!
    and for a query, if the book is all her, so should the query be. thats quite a task to change pov! good luck and thanks for this great ew meme!

  10. I really enjoyed the 2nd paragraph, but I'd have to agree that if it's in first person, that 2nd paragraph should be omitted or replaced.

    Thanks for the tag. I'm not sure I have anything to post at the moment. I'll check at the end of the week to see if I have something to post I may need feedback on.

  11. I think it's all right because you are sending the query...not Ivy. You're explaining what the book is about in the most concise way possible.

    And thanks for the tag! I have an opening paragraph that is kicking my butt!

  12. That was great! I think that if it's in the first person, you'll have to get rid of the second paragraph. Good luck!

    I was tagged by jaybird, so I'll have my Magic 8 post up hopefully this week some time. :)

  13. I didn't really bother me reading is as a blurb, but I agree with another commenter that it could cause the reader to expect a dual POV book. Hmmm. Maybe you could tweak it to read from her POV and work part of it in - whatever part of it she's aware of.

    I got tagged with this meme, too. I'll probably be posting mine this Friday. Great idea! Maybe we need to rename you the Meme Queen. :)

  14. Thanks for thinking of me for this. I'll try to do it, because it's a good idea! I have a couple of posts I've got to do first. Will let you know when I post, m'kay? As far as your query, I like the radio show idea! Yes, I do think you need to tweak that 2nd paragraph if it's now in her POV. Shouldn't be too hard to do.