Monday, October 20, 2014

October #wipmadness – Week 3

Congratulations on the book releases to Denise, Shari, and LisaAnn. A new book is a truly amazing experience, and one that I sincerely hope each of us experiences one day.
Books like most works of art start with an idea. An idea can be big or it can be small. An idea is simply that: an idea. It is a spark to something more, something truly great, something truly yours. It is something that you take from your imagination and mind and combine it with hard work and dedication and sweat and maybe just a little too much caffeine. It’s amazing what a simple idea can become.

I spent Saturday rewatching the first two seasons of the web series, Video Game High School in order to prepare for the third and final season. (The second episode of the third season drops today: check YouTube.) As a backer of the final season, I received access to the entire season before the public release, so this afternoon I watched the first episode, and told myself I’d watch the second episode and then write this check-in post. I made myself stop after the fourth episode, because I wanted to say something about that fourth episode and ideas and art and creating something that is just wow worthy.

Without giving too much away, that fourth episode is a YA novel in itself. Now I feel what book reviewers must feel like when they open a package and find an ARC or a review copy to read and review. I just need someone to talk about that episode with. To talk about that moment and that moment. That scene and this one.

I've felt that many times while reading YA literature. I could tell you the page numbers of books that stopped me in my tracks. Moments where I had to stop reading to regroup, but at the same time wanting to turn the page and keep reading. Scenes where I wanted to stop and write the author a note declaring him or her to be an awesomely cool genius whose shopping lists should be published daily. (That so should be a genre!)

Moments and scenes like these are what drives me to create. They are also what truly makes storytelling such an amazingly awesome art. Recognizing these moments are important both as a reader and a writer.

As I glance at my bookcases that hold about 500 YA books, I can think of the moments and scenes within each book that made me want to keep or buy my own copy of it. (And in some cases, own multiple copies of. I have at least two copies of John Green’s Looking for Alaska and plan to buy the 10th anniversary edition in January.) The same is with movies and specific TV show episodes.

There are scenes that I will never forget and there are scenes that I will never not react to. These are the scenes that I strive toward and the scenes I treasure. These are the scenes that make writing the epitome of art and craft.

To avoid spoilers, I’ll only list the titles of a few of these amazing moments and scenes, but I’m sure if you’ve read the book or watched the movie/episode, you’ll know which one I’m talking about.

YA Books

See You at Harry’s by Jo Knowles
Boy Toy by Barry Lyga
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Winger by Andrew Smith (I haven’t read an Andrew Smith book yet that doesn't include such an impactful scene, but the one in Winger is king.)

Movies/TV Show episodes

Abyssinia, Henry (M*A*S*H, Season 3, Episode 24.)
The Body (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 5, Episode 16.)
Toy Story 3
The Shawshank Redemption

What are some of yours? Those scenes and moments that made you realize that “this is a really good book/movie/episode?” In order to avoid spoilers, please just include the title.

Oh, BTW: If you want to be entered into the giveaway of the bracelet (see pictures on the final September #wipmadness post), please include these words in your comment: “This is my contest entry.” I just want to make sure everyone who wants a chance to win Jenn's awesome bracelet has a chance to win.

See you next week for the final edition of October #wipmadness!!!

Have a great writing week!


  1. Thanks, Chris!

    Great idea and great list! I can quote plenty of lines and remember almost every scene from The Princess Bride and When Harry Met Sally. As for highly affecting books, I'd say Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins and The Fault in our Stars by John Green make the top of my list.

  2. I've read so many YA books that it's really hard to pinpoint one that had an 'ah ha' moment.

    Here's a few:


    THESE BROKEN STARS by Meagon Spooner & Amie Kaufman
    MORTAL HEART by Robin Lafevers

    TV shows

    Star Crossed
    Grimm series
    The 100

    "This is my contest entry"

  3. Until recently I thought YA books were just for YA readers, and I had no reason to read them. Now I've discovered several great YA authors and have expanded my horizons. A good story is good regardless of its genre. I've just finished Shari's YA, FOLLOWING CHELSEA, and love both the MC's voice and the unique idea around which the plot is skillfully built ... and I don't think it's because I have a personal bias at all! LOL!

    1. No bias at all. Haha! (But thank you for reading it and saying nice things about it!)

  4. Thanks, Chris!

    Aren't those stop-you-in-your-tracks, blow-your-mind moments/scenes THE BEST! With the titles you mentioned, I'm picturing some pretty awesome scenes. My brain is mush right now, so I'm not going to try coming up with more for the list (sorry!). Heh.

    I think I might've missed last week's check-in. Oops. What a month this has been, between PitchWars and the book launch. All good, though! I'm off track with my WIP, for sure, but should be able to get back at it soon. Thanks for the check-in, Chris!