Hi Everyone, I'm so excited to be part of this blog tour for Chloe Snow's Diary: Confessions of a High School Disaster! This is an amazing book and you should read it if you love Geek Girl, Waiting for Callback or if your older a Bridget Jones's Diary for Teens. I posted my review of this book yesterday so click here if you want to take a look. Before I continue with my blog tour piece, here is a little bit more on the book...
Fourteen-year-old Chloe Snow is about to start ninth grade when her mum announces she can’t create art in suburban Massachusetts, and goes to Mexico to work on her novel. As she is left with only her (socially awkward) dad as company, Chloe faces multiple new challenges as she begins high school.
Told in hilarious, heart-warming and awkwardly honest diary entries, this is Bridget Jones’s Diary for a new generation. and is set to make you laugh, cringe, and possibly cry throughout!
I’ve wanted to write a book since I was in first grade, but for three and a half decades, I didn’t. Below, I’ve listed the six things that helped me finally get off my butt and do it. I’m an internet-addicted lazybones, and the tactics I used might not be relevant for more organized, motivated writers, but if you’ve ever found yourself watching videos of otters holding hands when you’re supposed to be working, one or more items on the below list might be useful. I hope so!
How to Write a Novel in 6 Easy Steps
1. Write the book you want to read yourself. Every writing teacher tells you this, but it took me a long time to grasp the profound wisdom of the advice. For a long time, I felt I should write a searing, slightly dour work of literary fiction. Finally it dawned on me that the books I love, the books I read and reread, are comic epistolary novels narrated by well-meaning but completely clueless characters (to name just a few: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes; Diary of a Nobody; I Capture the Castle; Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging; Bridget Jones’s Diary), and that I wanted to write something that would fit on a shelf with these books.
2. Outline. Have you started umpteen novels, only to abandon them 1,000 or 10,000 words in because you have no idea where you’re going or what the story is? Me too! Plenty of writers can feel their way along, seeing only as far as their headlights, but I can’t. I need Waze.
3. Write a little bit every day. My goal is to write for 20 minutes a day. Twenty minutes is nothing, obviously—I could spend that long editing a tweet, or tweezing a single eyebrow. But I make the goal tiny on purpose, so that I’ll feel embarrassed if I can’t pull it off. Sometimes I write for 20 minutes, sometimes I write for two hours, but I never write for long. I think most people (including me) underestimate how much work they can get done in small increments. The every-dayness is important, too. If I stay away from my manuscript for longer than a day, I start to lose my intimate knowledge of it, and my interest in it.
4. While you’re writing, write. When I have my Word doc open, I don’t let myself open tabs, eat, listen to music, or even stand up. If I need to Google something, I make a note so I’ll remember to do it later. When I get a little stuck and feel the familiar urge to escape by looking at my phone, I don’t let myself. I force myself to be uncomfortable and work out whatever small problem I’m facing. Maybe you have better self-control than I do, and can glance at Twitter for a minute and then get back to your manuscript. I have zero self-control, so I have to abstain completely.
5. Leave yourself instructions. When I’m done writing, I jot down a quick note about where to start the next day (“keep figuring out Halloween dance,” “fix fight scene on p. 132”). You think you’ll remember where you were and what you were doing, but you won’t.
6. Give up things you enjoy. If you have kids or a job or school commitments and you want to write a book, you’re probably going to have to stop doing stuff you like to do or feel you should do. I don’t watch TV or movies anymore, and I don’t exercise. And I hate it! I desperately want to binge “Big Little Lies,” and I desperately want to feel like I’m a human being with muscles and not a quivering mass of Jell-O wearing yoga pants. But writing is more important to me than doing that stuff, so for now, I’m a gelatinous non-human who has not seen Nicole Kidman breaking down in her therapist’s office (does she break down, or is she icily composed? I have no idea!).
Emma Chastain is a graduate of Barnard College, Columbia University, and the Creative Writing Program at Boston University. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and children.
My #DailyConfession is this book is ingeniously funny and every teen girl should read it! - Check out my review here and be sure to check out the rest of the tour this week.