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    Wattpad brings you a guest post from Dianne Venetta, author of “Lust On The Rocks” and “Jennifer’s Garden”:

    Mixing garden with romance is no easy task. Born from the garden, my tag line: “A woman will bloom in time; her own sweet time!” is a play on words that epitomizes my core belief: women are unique and beautiful and follow a life path unlike any other. Comparing ourselves to others is a waste of time, because we don’t walk in their shoes. We borrow them, but we don’t own them.

    However, spend enough time in the garden and plants begin to resemble men and kids (in my world, anyway). Think I’m crazy? Answer me this: “If my man were a plant, he’d be a…?”

    Watermelon – This well-rounded fun-loving guy is always welcome at a summer barbecue and usually proves a big hit with the kids. Prone to balding, his colorful personality distracts one from notice. However, take heed. If left to his own device, this one can grow wild and get quite out of hand!

    Garlic – This fellow is somewhat distant, as he spends long periods of time out of sight, only to emerge when conditions improve. Strong and distinct, he’s not for everyone, but given the right environment, he can show great depth, even mellow his pungent tone with time. A worthy peer, indeed.

    Corn – Tall and slender with silken hair, this man provides well and yields a harvest of golden treasure. While pleasing to look at, beware: he also tends to be needy; easily blown over by the slightest of breezes—not the man for you hardier types!

    And kids?

    Chili Pepper – These kids will keep you hopping, skipping AND jumping! Firecrackers for sure, these kiddos are sharp-minded and rambunctious—definite hands-full that add zing to your life. Many a day you may question your sanity, but never your luck. While spicy and hard to handle, you wouldn’t trade them for the world. Not for a second.

    Pumpkin – As the name entails, these kids are cuter than pumpkins, round and merry and oh-so-ready for fall. Apple pie and haystacks are what lure these kids (not to mention a great goblin costume). But watch your back! These mischievous critters are practical jokesters, known to spook a time or two.

    For the complete list, head to my garden blog, BloominThyme.com! It’s where I mix the two together in a journey of trial and error, something my character Jennifer doesn’t have to face. After all, she has Jackson! He’s my ace landscaper hero and once you read the book, you’ll find you need one of your own. 

    Read “Jennifer’s Garden” on Wattpad!

    Jennifer’s Garden epitomizes the showdown between a career woman’s criteria for the perfect husband and what true love means.

    Recently won Best in Romance from IndieReader.com Discovery Awards!!

    In a race against time, cardiologist Jennifer Hamilton is caught between her mother’s dying wish and taking the risk of a lifetime with Jackson Montgomery. He’s the man hired to complete the landscaping for her new home; the venue for her upcoming wedding.

    Jackson’s everything she never wanted in a man, but as the job progresses, his lure pulls strong. It’s an attraction she cannot deny. And one that puts her career on the line.


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  • 10/19/12--13:00: Hide Your Wieners!!
  • Margaret Atwood & Naomi Alderman are unwrapping a gory surprise on Wattpad this Halloween. Click here to find out more!


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    Blow to Scroll on Wattpad:

    Watch this sneak peek of a cool little feature we’re adding to the Wattpad app soon! 


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    KICKSTART YOUR WRITING: TRYING NEW THINGS TO FUEL YOUR WRITING

    Welcome to the Wattpad Workshop Series!

    Start anytime.

    These are free workshops for Wattpad writers who want to be inspired and challenged. You’ll come away with new ideas, new techniques and, most importantly, you’ll generate lots of new writing. The workshops run every Monday on the Wattpad Blog.

    To join in: read the post and get writing – post your writing on the Weekly Workshop Series Discussion Thread!

    The workshops are run by Alice Kuipers, bestselling author of Life on the Refrigerator Door, The Worst Thing She Ever Did and 40 Things I Want To Tell You. Visit her at www.alicekuipers.com:

    Week 22 (Missed the earlier writer’s workshop? Join in with this week, then go back to check out the previous weeks, starting with Week 1, or Week 21)

    Share your work on the Weekly Workshop Series Discussion Thread!

    Last week we added line breaks to original texts while making our own found poems. This week we’re going in the opposite direction, removing line breaks and turning a ‘poem’ into something that resembles prose. The technical term is PROSE POETRY.

    Here’s a link that explains prose poetry in full, and here’s a definition (from this site) for you that’s easy and quick to incorporate into your writing repertoire.

    A prose poem essentially appears as prose, but reads as poetry.

    There’s an example of a prose poem on this website: http://www.prose-poems.com/edson.html by an author called Russell Edson. Here’s the opening to give you an idea of his wonderful voice and ease with language:

    We went upstairs in a canoe. I kept catching my paddle in the banisters.
     

    We met several salmon passing us, flipping step by step; no doubt to find the remembered bedroom. And they were like the slippered feet of someone falling down the stairs, played backward as in a movie.

    As you can see, a prose poem has the potential to bring out the strengths and weaknesses of poets and fiction writers alike. You may notice as you attempt this that you struggle with the language of poetry, or you may find removing line breaks feels strange. I’d suggest there is something for every type of writer to learn from this form. Perhaps you’ll discover that focusing on language helps you find your story, or perhaps you’ll find that making something look like prose opens up new possibilities in your work.

    I never anticipated that I’d ever be able to use the prose poems I’ve written but one of my characters (from my second novel) ended up interested in prose poetry so I got to use a couple of my own prose poem creations in my fiction. You’ll be surprised how fun, challenging, addictive and useful prose poems can be.

    This week’s writing prompt:

    This week we’re writing prose poems. Using up to 300 words write a prose poem using this line: life is but a dream.

    The line is from a nursery rhyme and a poem is by John Keats. I’ve added the poem below to inspire you:

    On Death

    1.


    Can death be sleep, when life is but a dream,

    
And scenes of bliss pass as a phantom by?


    The transient pleasures as a vision seem,


    And yet we think the greatest pain’s to die.



    2.


    How strange it is that man on earth should roam,


    And lead a life of woe, but not forsake


    His rugged path; nor dare he view alone


    His future doom which is but to awake.

    John Keats

    Post your responses here at the Weekly Workshop Series Discussion Thread! I’ll read and give feedback as often as I can. As a final note, here’s a place to submit your prose poem if you feel like braving the world: http://www.prose-poems.com/submit.html There’s no financial compensation, but it sure can feel good to see your work out there. (If you decide to submit, I suggest waiting for feedback from me and the other writers on the thread first just so you can make your work as good as it can be).


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    Wattpad brings you a guest post by Tara West, author of “Sophie’s Secret”:

    Before the twentieth century, witches in literature were portrayed as devil-worshipping, ugly old women with warts on their hook noses and sinister cackles. They liked to eat little children, worship the devil and cast horrific spells.

    Only in modern day literature, as superstition has been replaced by facts, has the perception of witches changed. 

    So why did Medieval and Renaissance literature portray witches as satanic hags?

    Disease and ignorance.

    A widespread witch-hunt took place between around 1450-1750 in Christian Western Europe. No witch or suspected witch was safe from bigoted persecution. With epidemics such as The Plague on the rise, the people who suffered these diseases looked to superstition, rather than science, as the reason for their suffering.  They accused witches of being in league with the devil and plotting to harm good Christians. Many accused witches, children included, were tortured and killed in a religious cleansing that eventually spread to The American Colonies.

    At times, it was simply a neighbor accusing another of witchcraft with little to no proof. From 1645-1663, thirteen women and two men were executed in New England’s witch-hunt, and over 80 more were accused of witchcraft. The Crucible, a 1952 play, dramatized the events of the Salem Massachusetts Witch Trials, exposing the ignorance and injustice inflicted on the accused witches.

    We now know that the spread of The Plague was not due to witchcraft, but to unsanitary living conditions. Likewise, miscarriages and other maladies, once blamed on witchcraft, have since been explained by science.

    And so, too, literature has changed. Thanks to JK Rowling and countless other authors, witches are no longer portrayed solely as evil hags, but as heroes and heroines.

    Some movies and books still represent witches as evil hags (such as the soon-to-be released movie, Hansel and Gretel, Witch Hunters.) Still, we’ve come a long way from the time when witches were solely sinister characters, such as Shakespeare’s Macbeth in which three witches, or ‘weird sisters’, each represented  darkness, chaos, and conflict.

    In book four of my Whispers Series, Spirit of the Witch (2013), Sophie, AJ, and Krysta all learn that they are descended from a long line of witches. My writing partner for this novel, Heather Marie Adkins, is a practising Wiccan and has published novels with witches as the heroines.

    In my recent YA Fantasy, Curse of the Ice Dragon, the Goddess, Madhea, is portrayed as an evil witch, but without giving any spoilers, there are good witches in the fantasy saga as well.

    And let’s not forget one of my favorite fantasy SAGAs of all time. I own every Harry Potter book and every movie, and I have recently introduced my young daughter to the world of Hogwarts as well. Imagine if we were still living in the days of ignorance and superstition. Imagine a literary world without Harry, Hermoine and Ron defending muggles and witches against evil.  What a boring world that would be.

    Read “Sophie’s Secret” by Tara West on Wattpad:

    After shedding 30 pounds of baby fat, Sophie Sinora has grown into a pretty, but insecure, teen in bloom. To make her life more complicated, Sophie can sometimes read minds.

    Sophie’s BFFs, AJ and Krysta, are also ‘gifted’ with paranormal abilities. Keeping their gifts secret proves difficult, as their powers are strengthening, making them feel more and more like freaks.

    When Sophie falls for Jacob, she hopes he’ll ask her out to the Freshman Formal. But when she’s forced to cheat and lie for him, she wonders how far she’ll have to go to make him like her. Add to her growing list of problems - her teacher’s suicidal thoughts, a locker bully who wants to kick her butt, the hot school flirt who won’t stop teasing her, her pregnant sister who boots Sophie out of her room, and the growing tension between Sophie and her best friends.

    Sophie’s got issues. Hopefully, she can fix them in time to save her teacher’s life and her social life.

     


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    Wattpad brings you a guest post from Sandra Corton, author of “Reflections Beyond,” a fantasy adventure currently in our Featured Stories list:

    Hello fellow Wattpadians,

    My name is Sandra Corton from the land down under. I love reading and writing which I guess is how everyone feels on this site.

     

    This is me I the snow on Mount Wellington, Hobart, Tasmania last year.

    I’ve been writing stories for practically as long as I could write!

    I drive trains in the wonderful city of Sydney, Australia and live on the Central Coast of New South Wales. I live with my model train-obsessed husband and my Himalayan cat Scruffy.

    This is my cat Scruffy, of course.

    I must say a huge thanks to Wattpad for helping me finish my stories. From all the great comments to all of my votes I received and my wonderful fans. You guys make me want to write my stories! Without you I would be nothing.

    Favourite Wattpad Stories

    I have read so many awesome books on Wattpad and I thought I might share my favourites with you. They are all romance because that’s what I like to read.

    Rickola by Kate-Dimka – At first I loved this because it described Sydney so very well. Then I was hooked once Nicola had convinced Rick to go to the airport after yelling at him. Seeing their relationship develop has definitely kept me interested and as soon as Kate uploads I read. I am completely hooked!

    Continue below for more reading suggestions!

    I Sold Myself to the Devil for Vinyl….Pitiful I Know by DarknessAndLight – Who doesn’t love Lexi! She is so wonderfully clueless but so awesomely feisty. At first Blake comes across as a massive jerk but as the story develops you can’t help but fall for him. He is in fact this great, sensitive guy that has had tragedy in his past but has always loved Lexi.

    One Night With the Prince by Mamie1990 - I loved Anna’s character but add in a hot prince and a rather intriguing chance to spend time with him makes this great.  Who goes on a holiday and ends up with a prince? Only Anna! It’s great to follow all the twists and turns of this story.

    The Warflower by HaydenGray - What happens when an alien is kicked off his planet for something he didn’t even do?  Well he meets and falls in love with the girl of his dreams who accepts him for all his alien differences.  I loved Hayden and Damien, this story kept me interested from start to finish on their adventure to save both their worlds.

    The Horse in the Prince’s Stables by Firecat057I loved the adventure, excitement and even the secrets withheld in this story. Katelyn is wonderful as the girl who is a horse due to a dastardly spell put on her. While the completely oblivious Prince Philip rides the beautiful black mare not knowing the truth. A fantastic read for keeping you on the edge of your seat.

    Childhood Best Friends with Hollywood’s Golden Boy by Smile024Best friends becoming a couple, who could resist such a great story? Isabel is sweet and loves her best friend Aaron Fox who is the latest Hollywood movie great.  This is another one that I can’t wait for the next upload because the characters are just wonderful and you want to be involved in their lives.

    Freaks of Greenfield High by MareeAndersonThis is so great that I bought a copy for my Kindle!  It’s all about a cyborg named Jay and how she sees life. How she falls for Tyler the ex-popular guy and has to escape the deadly people that are after her. This is jam-packed awesome! It’s no wonder to me why she has won so many awards, she’s an excellent writer.  Go New Zealand!

    He Was Looking For A Princess, Instead He Found Me by flying-person - Hilarious, crazy, silly and slightly nuts is the only words to describe Emilee! I loved this for all of its craziness, and all the times Chris got duped by Emilee. This is the funniest read ever plus there are vampires in case I need to lure you in anymore.

    All these books are awesome and I recommend them for a good couple of hours of solid reading.

    My Story

    I started writing my story “Reflections Beyond” years ago but I had only got through writing the first two chapters. It is all about a girl named Charlie. She thinks she is an average girl until the day she disappears. Upon her return everyone is different but she has no memories of where she has been.

    Everything truly becomes confusing when a gorgeous guy named Caden appears on the scene. He only has eyes for Charlie and seems to know an awful lot of stuff about her.

    An elaborate mirror leads to a world named Argonia where an evil man is seeking her out. He stole her memories of her previous life and keeps them within a crystal goblet.

    A prophecy revolves around Charlie saving the world. She discovers she is not only Ambassador to this strange world but also the Goddess Incarnate which shocks her.

    Could she possibly be a saviour of a world she has never even heard of?

    Thanks for taking the time to read about my story! I really appreciate it.

    Read Sandra Corton’s “Reflections Beyond” on Wattpad:

    Charlie was an average girl who hated being average. But that all changed the summer she turned 15. The holidays had rolled around and she was forced to visit her grandparents, which sounds innocent enough, until she disappeared.

    She returns two years later not knowing that time had lapsed in her absence, with no memories of what had happened, looking the same as the day she left. Things get mighty confused. There is talk of a world called Argonia that she has never heard of. An evil man seeking her out that stole her memories and still keeps them in a crystal goblet. Then a prophecy that revolves around saving the world. While everything seems to involve an elaborate mirror that leads to a mystery world.

    When a gorgeous guy named Caden appears on the scene, he only has eyes for her, and seems to hold the answer to her mysteries. Can he help her solve the riddle of her life before it’s too late? And could she really be the saviour of a world she had never even heard of?


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  • 10/23/12--21:01: Zombies!
  • If you need a good Halloween read, check out “The Happy Zombie Sunrise Home,” exclusively on Wattpad!

    Starting October 24th, co-writers Margaret Atwood and Naomi Alderman are uploading weekly chapters of their zombie story and you can read it all for free. Start with the first three chapters here!


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    A new twist on the zombie tale is now on Wattpad! Margaret Atwood and Naomi Alderman have partnered up to bring readers their delicious take on the undead. Check out “The Happy Zombie Sunrise Home,” exclusively on Wattpad.

    Want more zombie love? Find out what Margaret Atwood and Naomi Alderman have to say about the walking dead in our Q&A below:

    Q: What is your favorite zombie virtue?
    Naomi Alderman : They are tenacious. Very admirable.
    Margaret Atwood: They don’t prattle at the breakfast table when one is trying to read the paper.

    Q: What are your favorite qualities in a zombie?
    Alderman: Other than tenacity? I suppose the moaning. It’s considerate of them to let us know they’re coming.
    Atwood: They will never say, “I love you” and not mean it. (In fact they will never say, “I love you” at all, but that’s a different issue.)



    Q: What are your least favorite qualities in a zombie?
    Alderman: Some might say the consumption of human flesh. I’m going to have to go with their tendency to show off. Constantly overexposed, can’t turn down a movie deal, barely ever off our screens.
    Atwood: You can’t take them anywhere. They’ll absolutely ruin a chic penthouse drinks event.

    Q: Faced with death, would you opt to become a zombie?
    Alderman: Faced with death I would definitely opt to not die.
    Atwood: Not if I had werewolf or vampire options. Or even corpse options.

    Q: Which zombies in fiction stand out for you?
    Alderman: I love the man turning into a zombie in Zombie Haiku. Very poignant.
    Atwood: Do movies count? The Night of the Living Dead (the original) is still outstanding.

    Q: What is your favorite zombie food?
    Alderman:  Some people might find this a bit “hippy” and “new age” of me, but I do not eat human flesh. But I do enjoy a nice hug with a human being. So my favourite zombie food is hugs.
    Atwood: Cerveaux Bradbury, façon patte de singe. Barring that, whatever’s lying around.

    Q: Is the world a better or worse place with zombies?
    Alderman:  I’m going to have to say worse. I know that’s controversial, but I have to stick with it. Even though they bring families together, and improve cardio fitness among those who survive their initial attacks, I am solidly anti-zombie.
    Atwood: If you’re a rat, better. If you’re anyone else, worse.

    Q: What would you do if a loved one turned into a zombie?
    Alderman:  I would shoot them in the head or club them to death. Out of respect.
    Atwood: Get the pruning hook.

    Q: How do you most resemble a zombie?
    Alderman:  In my love of other people’s brains.
    Atwood: Wait ten years and see. (The loss of memory? The drooling? The vacant stare?)

    Q: What zombie characteristic would you most like to have?
    Alderman: I guess the immortality would be good? Although maybe not forever. Temporary immortality.
    Atwood: None of them, to be truthful. But elves, now: that’s a different story.

    Read “The Happy Zombie Sunrise Home” on Wattpad. A new chapter will be uploaded every week!

    Okie’s fifteen. She lives in New York. She’s got a few problems: she’s failing geography, her dad’s a wimp, and her mother, Sumatra, is a stone cold bitch. But things get a lot worse when Sumatra turns into a zombie and eats Okie’s dad.

    Clio, Okie’s grandmother, lives in Toronto; but since the zombie apocalypse, Toronto’s a lot further away than it used to be. Clio suggests that Okie transport Sumatra across the border, because family is family. But coaching Okie by cellphone isn’t easy, and Clio has some zombies of her own to contend with. Luckily she has some garden tools.

    Naomi Alderman and Margaret Atwood team up for this unusual two-hander. Encompassing love, death, sex, and the meaning of family, The Happy Zombie Sunrise Home will surprise, delight, and convince you of the vital importance of keeping ready supplies of rhubarb and mini-wieners in your freezer at all times.


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    Wattpad brings you a guest post from Abbie Gibbs, author of “The Dark Heroine: Dinner With A Vampire.

    The paperback copy of Abbie’s new novel published by HarperCollins is available in the UK! Below, she shares with us the intense editing process for her book:

    Frantic studying, taking your last exams, going to prom, gaining a boyfriend – pretty familiar summer territory for many teenagers. How about sitting in your local library in the blistering heat with an editor, about to edit your manuscript because you had been offered a publishing contract a month after you left school? Sound a bit like something out of a book?

    Oh no. This was actually happening to me.

    Signing a six-figure, two book deal with HarperCollins for my book The Dark Heroine: Dinner With A Vampire certainly turned my summer upside-down, though it didn’t completely come as a surprise. I had been writing on Wattpad for roughly three years under the alias Canse12, gaining 17 million reads and what I believe is the best fan base a girl could have – the Wattpad kind, of course. That brought me to the attention of my awesome agent, Scott, and I knew that at some point I was going to have to face the editing process.

    So what is the edit? Simply put, the edit is comprised of three steps: a structural edit (usually a list of revisions to do with plot, characterisation, etc. sent to the author), a line edit (word changes), and a copy edit (spelling, grammar and punctuation). The first two are the stuff of nightmares for writers. Being told you have to cut, add to and alter your precious, precious story (think Gollum from Lord of the Rings here) is something none of us want to do, but inevitably have to. And for me, it was going to be really, really hard, because:

    A) The turnaround for my book, from acceptance to eBook publication, was two months. (To put this in context, contract to print, it usually takes years).

    B) My manuscript was 200,000 words long. Yes, you read that correctly.

    Therefore, things were going to be done a little differently: instead of an edit letter containing revisions, I got my actual editor, Amy from HarperVoyager UK. Together, in my beautiful home country of Devon, we spent two days looking over her suggestions for the structural and line edit, drinking coffee and emailing revisions to each other at midnight. A week and an all-nighter on my part later, 50,000 words had been cut from The Dark Heroine. It made my history exam look like a piece of cake, but having your editor in person has its perks: when in a local bookstore, Amy pointed out several books featuring a cover model she knew, and showed me a published book she had rejected some time before – a moment that certainly made me reflect on rejection.

    I’m told I’m going to find editing my second book a slow process, though I prefer to think it will be more relaxed. Whether an intense, in-person edit is the better process? I’ll let you read The Dark Heroine and decide for yourselves. 

    Read the first 20 chapters of Abbie’s original manuscript for The Dark Heroine on Wattpad!

    Get a copy of Abbie’s published novel “The Dark Heroine: Dinner With A Vampire”:

    Kindle UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Dark-Heroine-Vampire-ebook/dp/B008ZU6B3C

    Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-dark-heroine-abigail-gibbs/1112757135?ean=9780062248749

    Paperback: available in the UK


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    Which version of “The Happy Zombie Sunrise Home” by Naomi Alderman & Margaret Atwood do you like better - left or right?

    Read this quirky horror story on Wattpad! A new chapter will be uploaded every Wednesday until the story is completed in January.


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  • 10/26/12--06:00: Discovering Ultima
  • Wattpad brings you a guest post from Tim McFarlane, author of the science fiction “Utima”. He talks about the video games that influenced and inspired him to write his galactic adventure novel:

    When you first begin writing, it can be like a speed dating ring. You sit down with each genre and get to know it better until you meet one you want to continue to see. It was during this carousel of sampling that I met an old friend from my movie and video game days.

    Science Fiction.

    With the promise of imaginative space ships, futuristic technologies and exotic humanoid creatures, a story idea had developed. I quickly searched through my library of books, games and movies for influences to help shape not only the story but how to write it.

    First off was Freelancer, the “space trader and combat simulator” computer game from Microsoft Game Studios.

     

    This contributed a lot of the practical elements of the story like the space battles and travel systems. Its use of wormhole travel, I felt, was the most ‘realistic’ way we could travel from star system to star system if we were still new to the galactic scale. The idea of a Warp Drive that could transport ships from system to system would only come after the discovery of something that could create the necessary power.

    Next was Mass Effect, Bioware’s space adventure RPG.

    Playing a Bioware RPG always reminds you that no matter how strong your character is and no matter how big your mission is, secondary characters play a big, if not equal, role in the story. The right supporting cast can define who your main character is as a person AND strike a cord in the reader’s heart should the inevitabilities of war come to light.

    And lastly, Spore, the creature evolution game by Electronic Arts.

    That’s right. Spore. Because there is nothing like creating a six legged creature with a body like a horse, head like a bird, and a tail like a scorpion to help you understand the art of creating believable aliens for your story. (As well as why you have no future as an architect.)

    Creature creation is as much about practicality as it is about looks.

    To say ‘less is more’ is an understatement.

    With the universe and creatures coming into their own I needed a main character to stand and take whatever I could throw at him. Thus, with a small cackle of madness on my part, Jason Richardson rose to the challenge.

    Jason is a small town, colonial world, escort pilot working for his dad’s freighter company. Growing up close to his father, a charismatic, hard working trader, and his dad’s best friend, a Rynec ex-holy man, Jason grows into the modest and strong leader needed for the upcoming war.

    This brings us to the final step needed for the story; something so mysterious and fantastic that it catches the reader’s curiosity with its name alone:

    Ultima.

    Aside from being named after a car, it is an element with strange and mysterious properties. It is black as it is white, as up as it is down, as unbelievable as it is wonderful and perhaps the most important…

    As deadly as it is helpful.

    Indeed the whole story revolves around the possibility of what it could do while I worked on just being able to define it. As a writing tool, I couldn’t have found anything better.

    Its possibilities are as endless as the universe, and this story was only the beginning…

    Read Tim McFarlane’s “Ultima” on Wattpad:

    (Sci-Fi Adventure) BOOK 1 IN AGE OF ULTIMA UNIVERSE.

    After the dangerous and mysterious element Ultima is stolen from a top secret government science facility, the galaxy erupts in a panic to find it. The races blame each other while the Ultima is transferred to waiting hands right under their noses. Will anyone rise to the challenge and prevent the destruction of the known universe…?


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    KICKSTART YOUR WRITING: TRYING NEW THINGS TO FUEL YOUR WRITING

    Welcome to the Wattpad Workshop Series!

    Start anytime.

    These are free workshops for Wattpad writers who want to be inspired and challenged. You’ll come away with new ideas, new techniques and, most importantly, you’ll generate lots of new writing. The workshops run every Monday on the Wattpad Blog.

    To join in: read the post and get writing – post your writing on the Weekly Workshop Series Discussion Thread!

    The workshops are run by Alice Kuipers, bestselling author of Life on the Refrigerator Door, The Worst Thing She Ever Did and 40 Things I Want To Tell You. Visit her at www.alicekuipers.com:

    Week 23 (Missed the earlier writer’s workshop? Check the links at the end for every single one!)

    With Halloween upon us, this week’s workshop has to be all about the spooky night. It’ll help us remember that writing is fun. Sometimes as writers we focus too much on end goals, such as publication, or finally finishing the project we’re writing. But writing should be, above all, fun. Enjoying getting words on the page is the first step in a very long, challenging process. So, we’re going to have a little fun with writing this week by looking at writing a Half-Minute Horror story!

    This is a project I took part in a couple of years ago, as did a bunch of very cool and brilliant authors including Lemony Snicket, Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman and Joyce Carol Oates. The weblink is here if you’re interested in sharing your final result or reading some other half-minute horrors. 

    The idea is that you write a story that is spooky, scary, (totally in the Halloween mode, hey), that can be read in half a minute. You’d be amazed at how tricky it can be to get down a whole story, hopefully with a spine-tingling twist, so it takes up less than a page or two. Taken from their website, here’s a Half-Minute Horror by the wonderful Margaret Atwood. As you can see, it’s brilliant, swift, and chilling. A whole story using hardly any words at all. I’ve included it here so you can see what can be done with this idea:

      

    This week’s writing prompt:

    Now it’s your turn: I’d love to see what you come up with if you dare this week. Write your own Half-Minute Horror.

    Post your responses here at the Weekly Workshop Series Discussion Thread! I’ll read and give feedback as often as I can.

    Here are the links to the first 22 workshops if you want to check those out too:

    1: http://blog.wattpad.com/post/23941414637/welcome-to-the-wattpad-workshop-series

    2: http://blog.wattpad.com/post/24410490610/wattpad-workshop-series-week-2

    3: http://blog.wattpad.com/post/24901511492/wattpad-workshop-series-week-3

    4: http://blog.wattpad.com/post/25371027489/wattpad-workshop-series-week-4

    5: http://blog.wattpad.com/post/25857539960/wattpad-workshop-series-week-5

    6: http://blog.wattpad.com/post/26345198488/wattpad-workshop-series-week-6

    7: http://blog.wattpad.com/post/26846380786/wattpad-workshop-series-week-7

    8: http://blog.wattpad.com/post/27328608969/wattpad-workshop-week-8

    9: http://blog.wattpad.com/post/27831588118/wattpad-workshop-series-week-9

    10: http://blog.wattpad.com/post/28342515943/wattpad-workshop-series-week-10

    11: http://blog.wattpad.com/post/28871090569/wattpad-workshop-series-week-11

    12: http://blog.wattpad.com/post/29338336595/wattpad-workshop-series-week-12

    13: http://blog.wattpad.com/post/29825511068/wattpad-workshop-series-week-13

    14: http://blog.wattpad.com/post/30313037021/wattpad-workshop-series-week-14

    15: http://blog.wattpad.com/post/30795446512/wattpad-workshop-series-week-15

    16: http://blog.wattpad.com/post/31268153721/wattpad-workshop-series-week-16

    17: http://blog.wattpad.com/post/31749168226/wattpad-workshop-series-week-17

    18: http://blog.wattpad.com/post/32212063112/wattpad-workshop-series-week-18

    19: http://blog.wattpad.com/post/32683217752/wattpad-workshop-series-week-19

    20: http://blog.wattpad.com/post/33233512028/wattpad-workshop-series-week-20

    21: http://blog.wattpad.com/post/33639444606/wattpad-workshop-series-week-21

    22: http://blog.wattpad.com/post/34095858667/wattpad-workshop-series-week-22


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    It’s almost November, and a ton of contests are set to end this week on Wattpad! Submit your entries before it’s too late. Entries that do not follow contest rules will be disqualified, so double-check your work before the deadline.

    Watty Awards - closes October 31st at 11:59 PM (Pacific Standard Time).

    The Watty Awards is our annual celebration of the most loved stories by the community. Over $20,000 will be given out in prizes!

    Can you finish a story within a year? Take the challenge and enter the 2012 Watty Awards, everyone has a chance to win as long as you participate! All showcase finalists plus 50 lucky winners (that do not become finalists) will receive prizes.

    The Attys: Wattpad Poetry Awards - closes October 31st.

    Celebrate poetry with us! Legendary author Margaret Atwood, along with  our esteemed judging panel, will be reading top entries in our first ever Attys poetry contest.

    Vanessa Rose Lee’s Cover Design Contest - closes October 31st.

    Do you LOVE cover design? Have you ever dreamed of seeing your artwork on an actual print copy of a book?

    Well then I, Vanessa Rose Lee, may be able to use your help! I am looking for talented Wattpadders to help design the front and back cover of my new book Beach Party Girls, the sequel to The Beauty Queen and the School Nerd! 

    Aisling Diary’s Fan Fiction Writing Contest - closes October 30th (11:59 p.m. GMT).

    Now it’s your turn to write Aisling’s Diary! That’s right, I want YOU to write my next story!

    If you win, your story will be published as an extra chapter on the upcoming publishing of Aisling’s Summer Diary! I kid you not.

    Do you want to get published? All you have to do is enter the competition and do your best.


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    Horror & Spiritual Fiction: Writing, Publishing “God’s Will Blood Line

    Listen to our podcast with Eric Gardner, author of “God’s Will Blood Line” on Wattpad, the first book in “The Thirteenth Legion” series. “God’s Will Blood Line” is an action-packed story that combines elements of spiritual fiction and horror.

    We talk about publishing, the difficulty of gaining an audience as a spiritual writer, keeping gory horror scenes balanced, and more!

    Read his stories for free on Wattpad!


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  • 11/01/12--13:00: Cover-Off: "Cloud Atlas"
  • Which version of “Cloud Atlas” by David Mitchell do you like better -1, 2, or 3?


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  • 11/02/12--06:00: Why I Love a Happy Ending
  • Wattpad brings you a guest post from Talli Roland, author of “Miracle at the Museum of Broken Hearts”:

    Let’s face it, happy endings in real life are never guaranteed. Sadly, reality isn’t wrapped up in a neat little package with a shiny, jaunty bow. The randomness of our world is the reason I love romantic comedies: you know that whatever tragedies befall the main character, everything will turn out fine in the end. It’s like reading (and writing!) with a safety net.

    Although many deride romance for its predictability, I believe readers don’t devour this genre because they want an accurate reflection of day-to-day life. Who wants to listen to a couple arguing about taking out the garbage, or see a wife kicking her husband to stop his nightly snores? Readers want to escape; to be transported to another place where emotions are heightened and drama is high, yet a positive outcome is assured.

    In my novel Miracle at the Museum of Broken Hearts, heroine Rose has an unfailing belief in happy endings – often to her detriment. She strives to heal every situation she comes across, even if solving the problem isn’t the best for all parties involved. When she takes a job at London’s newest attraction, a museum chock full of artifacts donated by the broken hearted, Rose is faced with the realization that real life hurts. Still, she can’t help meddling in her boss’ affairs, trying to bridge the rift between him and his mother … and upsetting both in the process.  When her deadbeat boyfriend shows up at the door after sticking her with months of unpaid rent and bills, Rose must decide if she actually wants this ending – and if it is happy, after all.

    It’s probably clear by now that Miracle, like all my novels, ends on a positive note. I couldn’t bring myself to write it otherwise! But for me, the key to a real happy ending is giving the heroine the outcome she – and the rest of characters – now deserves, after learning and growing throughout the novel.

    Will it be what they expected at the start? Maybe, maybe not. You’ll have to read and find out!

    Talli Roland writes fun, romantic fiction. Born and raised in Canada, Talli now lives in London, where she savours the great cultural life (coffee and wine). Despite training as a journalist, Talli soon found she preferred making up her own stories—complete with happy endings. Talli’s debut novel The Hating Game was short-listed for Best Romantic Read at the UK’s Festival of Romance, while her second, Watching Willow Watts, was selected as an Amazon Customer Favourite. Her novels have also been chosen as top books of the year by industry review websites and have been bestsellers in Britain and the United States. Construct A Couple is her latest release. To learn more about Talli, go to www.talliroland.com or follow Talli on Twitter: @talliroland. Talli blogs at talliroland.blogspot.com.


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    Wattpad brings you a guest post from Margaret Atwood. She’s sharing on Wattpad 5 poems from a collection of her poetry released by House of Anansi Press today.


    Margaret Atwood’s Authors Note in “Speeches for Dr. Frankenstein”:

    “This thing of darkness I acknowledge mine,” says Prospero of the witch-born and malevolent Caliban in The Tempest. What does he mean? That he owns Caliban? That he takes responsibility for him? That he has given occasion for Caliban’s resentment and bad behaviour? Or that Caliban is his emanation — the outward form of Prospero’s own inner darkness?

    Our literary and artistic monsters are ours, especially in the fourth sense of Prospero’s acknowledgement. A giant squid has a being apart from us, but Grendel and Dracula and Dr. Frankenstein’s monster do not: they are what we make them, they mean what we say they mean. They are emanations of our human nature, which includes our uniquely human ability to tell imagined tales.

    The monstrous quasi-human being created by Mary Shelley in her astonishing 1818 novel, Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus, has had many lives since his advent — particularly in films, where he’s been reduced to a malevolent ghoul of scant intellect. And he has had a great many meanings ascribed to him, from the socio-political to the psychosexual.

    My poem cycle, Speeches For Doctor Frankenstein, sticks to the original novel. Doctor Frankenstein, in the throes of scientific discovery, obsessed with the idea that he can create human life and make a new-and-improved version of man, calls down fire from heaven (like Prometheus) in the form of electricity, thus animating dead matter (like God). His frightening creation  is at first innocent and well-meaning, but it finds itself rejected, not only by everyone it meets but also by its creator, who refuses to make it a mate of its own kind. Out of revenge and lonely despair, it goes on the rampage and murders Doctor Frankenstein’s bride and also his best friend. Frankenstein then pursues the monster into the frozen Arctic, bent on destroying his handiwork, but he perishes in the attempt.

    The poems chart the process of the monster’s creation as it emerges from the mind and through the hands of Frankenstein. In the last poem, set in a polar landscape, the monster escapes from Frankenstein and defies him. The two of them — as in Mary Shelley’s novel — are joined in a chilling love/hate twinship. They areaspects of each other:both things of darkness that must be acknowledged by the other.

    I wrote this poem cycle in the mid-1960s, when I was immersed in the study of nineteenth-century literature, including various modes of the Gothic. My friend, Charles Pachter, illustrated and printed it in an edition of fifteen copies in 1966. It also appeared in the poetry collection, The Animals In That Country, 1968.

    Margaret Atwood, 2012.

    Read “Speeches for Dr. Frankenstein” on Wattpad!

    In 1966, before they were international sensations, Margaret Atwood and Charles Pachter teamed up to create Speeches for Doctor Frankenstein — now a unique piece of cultural history.

    In a book that has only existed as an artist book of fifteen copies Charles Pachter set the poetry of Margaret Atwood to his beautiful and whimsical artwork. Produced originally on handmade paper made with materials found around his house, this is a rare work of art that should be read by anyone interested in the origins of these two great artists. This is exclusively available as an enhanced ebook for iPad and features an introduction by Margaret Atwood, a video interview with the artist, and audio of Margaret Atwood reading the poems.


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    KICKSTART YOUR WRITING: TRYING NEW THINGS TO FUEL YOUR WRITING

    Welcome to the Wattpad Workshop Series!

    Start anytime.

    These are free workshops for Wattpad writers who want to be inspired and challenged. You’ll come away with new ideas, new techniques and, most importantly, you’ll generate lots of new writing. The workshops run every Monday on the Wattpad Blog.

    To join in: read the post and get writing – post your writing on the Weekly Workshop Series Discussion Thread!

    The workshops are run by Alice Kuipers, bestselling author of Life on the Refrigerator Door, The Worst Thing She Ever Did and 40 Things I Want To Tell You. Visit her at www.alicekuipers.com:

    Week 24 (Missed the earlier writer’s workshop? Check the links at the end for every single one!)

    Since having small children, I’ve been immersed in picture books. Even before then, I admired the way that with almost no words, writers managed to tell stories with depth, humour, great characters and brilliant insights. My first picture book is coming out with Little, Brown Books for Young Readers in 2014 and the process of writing this book, and rewriting it, and rewriting it again, has taught me more about writing than anything else I’ve ever done. This week, I’m going to introduce you to the idea of trying a picture book to see if you can learn from it the way I did.

    First of all, I should point out that when I’ve taught children’s picture book writing before, I’ve taken weeks and months to go over the things I’ve learned. Here on Wattpad I’m only going to use this one workshop space.

    Let’s plunge in.

    Key things you need to know before you write a picture book:

    Length: the closer to 500 words the better, if it’s longer than 1000 words then it’s way, way, way too long. Most children’s picture books fit onto 32 pages. See this weblink from my site for guidance on how to make a dummy picture book.

    Characters: children like to read about other children, often. Careful with soppy animal names and twee, unrealistic characterization. Just because you’re writing for children, doesn’t mean you should undermine your readers. If anything, kids are the smartest of readers as they are so attentive and often want a picture book read to them a thousand times. Your characters need to hold up to this scrutiny.

    Readers: remember with a picture book that you’re actually writing for more than one reader – the child AND the adult reading the book to them.

    Language: remember too that children’s picture books are nearly always read aloud. Focus on great language, interesting words, poetry, rhythm and cadence.

    Morals: just as with your other writing, if you moralize you’ll lose your readers. Give space for the imagination to find hidden messages.

    Illustrations: I’m not an illustrator. But I can still write picture books. How? In the picture book industry, if you can’t illustrate, a publisher will find you an illustrator to work with. If you’re one of those super talented author/illustrator folk then you are welcome to illustrate your own picture books to submit to publishers, but if you can’t illustrate, don’t worry. Just make your text shine.

    Advice: here’s the wonderful Mem Fox with the best advice ever. Make the time to read it before you do the prompt this week!

    This week’s writing prompt

    Write the complete text of a children’s picture book – use between 500 and 1000 words. Ah, it sounds so very, very easy. This is just about the text, so please don’t try and include illustrations – the discussion thread won’t let you anyway. Just 500-1000 words of the pure, unadulterated text.

    Post your responses here at the Weekly Workshop Series Discussion Thread! I’ll read and give feedback as often as I can.

    Here are the links to the first 23 workshops if you want to check those out too:

    1: http://blog.wattpad.com/post/23941414637/welcome-to-the-wattpad-workshop-series

    2: http://blog.wattpad.com/post/24410490610/wattpad-workshop-series-week-2

    3: http://blog.wattpad.com/post/24901511492/wattpad-workshop-series-week-3

    4: http://blog.wattpad.com/post/25371027489/wattpad-workshop-series-week-4

    5: http://blog.wattpad.com/post/25857539960/wattpad-workshop-series-week-5

    6: http://blog.wattpad.com/post/26345198488/wattpad-workshop-series-week-6

    7: http://blog.wattpad.com/post/26846380786/wattpad-workshop-series-week-7

    8: http://blog.wattpad.com/post/27328608969/wattpad-workshop-week-8

    9: http://blog.wattpad.com/post/27831588118/wattpad-workshop-series-week-9

    10: http://blog.wattpad.com/post/28342515943/wattpad-workshop-series-week-10

    11: http://blog.wattpad.com/post/28871090569/wattpad-workshop-series-week-11

    12: http://blog.wattpad.com/post/29338336595/wattpad-workshop-series-week-12

    13: http://blog.wattpad.com/post/29825511068/wattpad-workshop-series-week-13

    14: http://blog.wattpad.com/post/30313037021/wattpad-workshop-series-week-14

    15: http://blog.wattpad.com/post/30795446512/wattpad-workshop-series-week-15

    16: http://blog.wattpad.com/post/31268153721/wattpad-workshop-series-week-16

    17: http://blog.wattpad.com/post/31749168226/wattpad-workshop-series-week-17

    18: http://blog.wattpad.com/post/32212063112/wattpad-workshop-series-week-18

    19: http://blog.wattpad.com/post/32683217752/wattpad-workshop-series-week-19

    20: http://blog.wattpad.com/post/33233512028/wattpad-workshop-series-week-20

    21: http://blog.wattpad.com/post/33639444606/wattpad-workshop-series-week-21

    22: http://blog.wattpad.com/post/34095858667/wattpad-workshop-series-week-22

    23: http://blog.wattpad.com/post/34561699850/wattpad-workshop-series-week-23


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    Sigma/Star Goliath Garage Contest:

    Are you an artist, or do you have lots of creative ideas to share? Here’s a contest just for you on Wattpad!

    As anyone who reads Sigma/Star might know, wars are fought with the assistance of giant mechanized robots known as Goliaths, which people control from the inside. I’m always in need of more of these things and different designs in order to impress readers and make things exciting but my garage is looking a bit dull these days. So I’d like to ask for your help in designing a new Goliath for Sigma/Star!

    The contest is simple: design me a new Goliath, either by describing it, drawing it, or doing both and send it to me in a private message here on Wattpad. Winner will be judged on creativity and usefulness of the Goliath by myself and my editor (coolness is also a factor!).

    Contest is open to absolutely anyone, no matter what country you live in, so long as you send in your submission between November 5th and December 5th. There is just one prize up for grabs: the winner will receive a signed copy of Sigma/Star: Volumes 1 & 2, as well as have their Goliath appear in at least one chapter of Sigma/Star!


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    Hello, Wattpadders!

    I can’t believe that I’m saying this, but my first published novel, What the Spell, is out in its entirety TODAY! It’s been such an amazing journey to get here, and now that I am, it’s beyond my wildest dreams! But let me start from the beginning.

    If you haven’t heard about how Wattpad changed my life, let me give you the long story short. I’ve wanted to be an author since I was 15. After writing six books (five young adult and one adult novel) and a stint with an agent, I found myself facing rejection after rejection and wondered whether I should give up on my dream. That’s when I found Wattpad.

    I decided to write something exclusive for the site and thus, Life’s a Witch was born. Loosely based on the Salem Witch trials but set in modern day, LAW was about a twitch (teen witch) who was a direct descendant of Bridget Bishop, the first person hanged in the trials.

    After a year of LAW being up on the site and 18 million reads later, I decided to self-publish the book for my fans who were asking for it. This caught the attention of Publisher’s Weekly who wrote a story on me and then the publishing industry began calling, and before I knew it, I had a 3-book deal with publishing powerhouse, Simon & Schuster!

    So, back to the reason I’m writing this post…all three sections of the e-book version of the first book in my Life’s a Witch series, What the Spell?, are officially available today for just .99 cents each [Ebook Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 here]! That’s under $3 for the whole book! This whole experience has been a dream come true and I can’t wait for everyone to read What the Spell?! Be sure to snag your copy now, before the price goes up for the full e-book and hardback release January 29, 2013.

    I also wanted to let you know about a really cool promotion we’re doing for the book. In What the Spell?, Brooklyn is a teenager who feels completely invisible at her school. So, when she comes into her witchy powers on her 16th birthday, the first thing she does is give herself a magical makeover. In honor of my upcoming book, we got together with an Emmy Award-winning makeup artist who’s helping us create our own Magical Makeovers! Head over to my YouTube channel and check out how to get the looks of my four main characters, as well as celebrities Khloe Kardashian and Ke$ha. You can also enter to win a $100 gift certificate to Sephora or (if you live in the NYC area) a makeover day with me! Watch the video below for more info:

    [

    Thank you all so much for your support and be sure to buy your copy of What the Spell?today!

    Website:http://www.brittanygeragotelis.com

    Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/brittanygeragotelis

    Twitter:http://www.twitter.com/thebookslayer

    YouTube:http://www.youtube.com/thebookslayer

    Pinterest:http://www.pinterest.com/thebookslayer

    Buy the Book:http://bit.ly/LifesAWitch


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