Published by BenBella Books on January 20th 2015
Life and death, light and dark, spirit and flesh-on Wormwood Island, the lines are always blurred. For Anne Merchant, who has been thrust back into this eerily secretive world, crossing the line seems inevitable, inescapable, destined.
Now, as Ben finds himself battling for the Big V and Teddy reveals the celestial plan in which Anne is entwined, Anne must choose: embrace her darkly powerful connection to a woman known as Lilith and, in doing so, save the boy she loves...or follow a safer path that is sure to lead to Ben's destruction at the hands of dark leaders. Hoping the ends will justify the means, Anne starts down the slippery slope into the underworld, intent on exploring the dark to find the light. But as the lure of Lilith proves powerfully strong, will Anne save others-only to lose herself?
Yesterday, The Wicked Awakening of Anne Merchant released, and I am SO excited! The book was phenomenal, and I am dreading waiting for the final book! ( Hurry up book 3! )
I am REALLY excited to share with you my guest post from the author, Joanna Wiebe, who shares how she gets over the a big pain in writing: Writers block.
How to Take a Sledgehammer to Writer’s Block:
The Simple Rule I’ve Followed for The V Trilogy
If you’ve read either of the first two books in The V Trilogy, you’ll know this: any girl who dons a ball gown when the sun sets is unlikely to finish the night in it.
It’s far more likely that she’ll end the night having been publicly humiliated, having been scorned by her love interest, and having taken a terrible tumble down a hill, narrowly avoiding a broken back in the process…
…but let me be clear about this: there was a time, in my writing, when the girl wore the ball gown, danced with the charming fellow and, that evening, flopped delightedly onto her bed only to… only to… only to what?
That was writer’s block.
For me, writer’s block strikes every time I put my characters in situations where they:
- Get what they wanted
- Do something expected
- Don’t face a conflict
- Are happy (on the page) for more than four sentences
To escape writer’s block, then, it’s only natural to do the opposite: take away or withhold the thing a likable character wants. She’s running to save the boy? Sorry, the ground just fell in. The cool girl said something nice to her and it’s the perfect time for them to become friends? Whoops, nope – it’s actually the perfect time for the dorky mom to come racing down the school hall. She wants to go to Brown? Nope, far better for her to die and be vivified by a devil.
The best stories are the ones filled with conflict.
The best characters are the ones that keep getting in trouble – in spite of their best intentions – and that disappoint you in one breath only to make you gasp in the next.
Writer’s block is the muse’s way of stopping you from writing a boring story with boring characters that will leave the reader feeling nothing whatsoever.
To prevent writer’s block, we need to placate the muse. We need to give her something that’s hard to write and potentially hard to read.
In The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant, Anne is running home in the middle of the night when, instead of simply darting up the stairs of Gigi Malone’s house, she hears noises in the woods. What’s happening? Nothing much – just fellow student Harper Otto exchanging certain favors for points that will get her closer to winning The Big V.
And in The Wicked Awakening, I knew Anne needed to be punished for doing something Villicus would not approve of. He needed to punish her. But with what? With the thing that made me and my early readers so uncomfortable, I nearly cut it. …What was it? Read the book to find out. 🙂
So that’s my trick: when writer’s block enters the scene, I cut the scene and start a new scene with at least one big, unexpected challenge for the main character to face.
What’s your trick for battling writer’s block?
Joanna Wiebe is the author of The Wicked Awakening of Anne Merchant, the second book in the V Trilogy, published by BenBella Books. You should connect with her on Twitter (@jruthwiebe) or on her website: joannawiebefiction.com