Uglies Is Free in the UK

If you live in the United Kingdom, you can acquire the e-book of Uglies for the low cost of FREE from iTunes.

[Alas, this offer is no longer.]

Hope all your NaNoWriMoings are going well. Today’s NaNo hint is: Don’t forget that visual aids can help you organize your novel!

Here’s my Action/Tension plot from the first few chapters of Behemoth. Each index card represents one chapter. I add the chapter description, the Action/Tension labels, and the color-coded POV pushpins (red for Deryn, blue for Alek). This is all really easy in Scrivener:

Screen Shot 2013-07-12 at 9.35.27 PM

Rather than software, some writers use physical objects to help organize their novels. Here is Lauren Beukes’ “murder wall,” which she used to keep the serial killings in The Shining Girls straight:

photo credit: Morne van Zyl

Image ganked from this interview in Zola Books.

I can just imagine the South African police busting into Lauren’s home on an unrelated matter, seeing this murder wall, and being all, “Check the basement.”

Diana Peterfreund also uses a physical medium for plot tracking, color-coded sticky notes!


Her blog post about this “plot board” is here. This one is for the book Rampant, which I blurbed.

Those of you with more monochromatic tastes should check out Justine’s post about How to Write a Novel, which includes this spreadsheet for word-count and POV tracking:


Of course, it doesn’t matter what combination of yarn/software/post-its you employ. Whatever helps you visualize your novel’s structure, and gets your eyes out the trees so you can see the forest, is awesome.

Just remember, a good novel isn’t just a piece of text; it’s a terrain, a country, even a world. As its ruler, you should probably have a map.

29 thoughts on “Uglies Is Free in the UK

  1. I should pripobably do this for my book. I think one of the characters is getting way more POV time than the other…

  2. Geez, those are some intense timelines (and timeline-type things)…
    I don’t really have too much stuff like that (though I probably should), but I am happy to say that I do have one meta-document for my book, which I made before I read your tip on it! So, go me! šŸ™‚

  3. I made a simple outline that wasn’t divided by chapter, but by major event.

    It’s really neat to see how far different authors are willing to go for a novel. It shows their passion for the book!

  4. I LOVE these action shots. Drafting and planning are such beautiful processes. It looks actually fun.

    Scott, may I please quote you in the last sentence of your post?

  5. I heard about NaNo from one of my friends and since I am so pathetic about finding things, I relied on her for the website link. Annnnnd, I never got the link *sob sob*

  6. Is anyone going to apply to Alpha this year? I assume Midshipman K and Middy Miles are (although I can’t be sure because both seem to have disappeared!), but anyone else?
    Scott will probably post about in like January or something, but I thought I’d bring it up.




    Roxanne: I think I’m applying to Alpha again? But I’m not sure because there was some talk of joining my sister’s French class on a tour of France (which may or may not be happening) even though I’ve taken Spanish for eight years, and then I’m supposed to look good for colleges and go do stuff with them, or a bunch of other stuff I don’t want to do as much as Alpha, but at this point I just don’t know. I’ll probably apply though.

    (And I haven’t been here as much because I made this really awful decision of taking three APs, one honors, and two college prep classes that may as well be honors. Those are the math ones, haha. Although I took Physics with the promise of aerodynamics, before finding out that we’re not even going to do that. The closest I’ll get is projectile motion. šŸ™
    School websites actually dropped this blog from most visited, and I can’t have that. Plus I heard “The Aviators” recently and I remembered those long conversations we used to have and how someone linked to that song one time and I got really sad that I’m hardly here anymore, so.)

    For good news, I get to write a short story in English class!!!! But no genre. šŸ™ My English teacher’s definition of believability is weird. Genre can be believable, as long as it’s believable within the fictional universe you created. šŸ™ And today was the first time I’ve ever been made fun of in high school??? For liking writing?????? I was kind of just like “You guys are all idiots” because it was such a stupid thing to make fun of. Don’t you agree?

    Anyway, I vow to try to be better at coming on here, because I miss everyone. šŸ™

  8. @15: Sometimes I’ll check out your tumblr…you always post the best stuff (it makes me want to watch Supernatural).

    Anyway, you should totally apply, even if you can’t go (although if we both get in then you HAVE to go. Period). The application deadline’s still over three months away, but I’m already stressing out about what to write for my story! I have lots of novel ideas, not so much short story ones (and adapting from one to the other is harder than one might think).

    Not being able to write genre sucks! It’s kind of funny, everyone assumes that because I’m a writer, I like writing as a subject, but it’s actually one of my least favorites, ’cause it’s mostly essays and the like. I much prefer creative writing; no themes, no rules, just me and whatever world I feel like writing about.
    As for getting bullied, you should feel lucky it’s only happened once. I myself have never been bullied/made fun of either, but I’ve heard horror stories.

    And I’m going to go ahead and breach the subject: WHO’S EXCITED FOR CATCHING FIRE?!?! I’m seeing it on Wednesday! šŸ˜€

  9. @Roxanne – me! Me! I’ve been looking forward to that movie since the first one came out, even though that one was a bit of a disappointment…but judging from the trailers, this one looks a lot better. I was going to go today, but I have a basketball game and I can’t miss it, so I’ll probably go tomorrow. I can’t wait! šŸ™‚

    Oh, and @Roxanne and Mid K – I guess not being able to write genre is kind of frustrating, but I enjoy it whenever I can write at school, I guess. It is boring, but I still prefer essays to not writing at all…

  10. I definitely prefer nothing to essay-writing. It’s just not enjoyable for me unless it’s my story.
    Speaking of story… Since I am now writing a novel (14 chapters and 81,000 words and counting!), I’m finding it really hard to take a break and write a 6000 or less short story. I really want to go to Alpha, but I REALLY don’t want to apply for it.
    The whole word-count aspect is kinda funny too. I remember when I applied in 2012, I was like “Two to six THOUSAND words?!? I don’t know if I can write that much…” And now I’m like “ONLY six thousand words?!? I don’t know if I can write a whole story with so little…” šŸ˜€

    Middy Me: You thought THG was a disappointment?? I loved that movie! (But suddenly I get the feeling we’ve discussed this already…) I am really excited for CF! And it may or may not be mostly because of Finnick… šŸ˜‰

  11. @Roxanne – Well it’s just that I’ve always been a book-is-better-than-movie person, and well, I really really love THG books, but not so much the movie. I got the feeling it was only aimed at people who didn’t read the book. I don’t know, but still, I think Catching Fire will be way better, and well…Finnick, of course.

  12. I’ve only read the series once just before or right after Mockingjay came out, so it was nearly four years ago. I don’t remember too much detail, especially as they went on. But as far as I do remember, I think they made a pretty faithful adaptation. I do think the PG-13 rating made it a bit more tame though. I feel like they should have gone the extra mile, made it R, and made all the killing and stuff more gruesome, graphic, and horrific, to really show how truly disgusting the Games are. But they still did well.
    Finnick! <3 <3 <3

  13. HI! I’ve finished my exaaaaaaaaaams šŸ˜€ speaking of essays… I actually preferred my Geo exam to my English exam for some reason even though I love writing…

    All you lucky people contemplating whether to enter Alpha! PLEASE ENTER! You’ll probably all get in, and could actually all go! I’m way out in the Pacific and have ZERO chance of going :'(

    CATCHING FIRE!!!!!! I’m seeing it today!!!!!!!!! I was so annoyed because all my friends went to see it on Thursday and Friday but I had work and couldn’t go :'(
    I read somewhere that apparently you don’t actually see anyone die onscreen in this movie? And they DID tone down the violence in the first film and it wasn’t very graphic, BUT the whole concept of children being forced to kill each other makes up for it. We’ve kind of got used to it now but to someone who hasn’t read the books, they might find that gruesome (which it is obviously). Also, I think the director (and probably Suzanne Collins) wanted to avoid any glorification of violence in the film. I they had shown all these slo-mo scenes of bloody fights it nearly would have made them as bad as the Capitol, right?

  14. Okay, I’m going to do this by conversation because I’m on my phone and it’s super difficult to reply to individuals. I’m sure the people who do this on their phones understand what I mean. Scrolling and stuff. ANYWAY.

    @Alpha: I have no ideas for short stories and I really should start….Roxanne, I’ve seen your questions on the Alpha crits thread (I always read the emails) but I just haven’t replied, sorry. Zac-la, this past Alpha we had someone from Australia, so you could totally come! You should definitely apply at least.

    @writing: I have not written in a while…. Actually, I have, but it’s awful poems/little fanfics for Supernatural during Pre-Calc because it is just so hard to follow lectures on math. šŸ™ (Hence my grades barely hanging on in that class, urgh. Mea culpa.) I feel like I had a bunch of ideas over the summer, but school started, I lost time, and now I can hardly write anything over 1,000 words. As for my short story for English, I was going to set it at an asylum in 1860-1900 England where a doctor has to get to the personality of a girl who has multiple personalities because this personality did something awful. But I’m not sure what she did…. Since it wasn’t genre, I didn’t say anything on Alpha Crits. What do you guys think? And any ideas for the awful thing she did? I thought murder might be too expected….

    @Catching Fire: I haven’t seen it yet, but I’m super excited! However, the reviewer for the San Francisco Chronicle who always hates the movies we love liked it, so I’m sort if worried. He also liked The Book Thief, if anyone’s seen that. I haven’t yet; I’m so busy. I’d like to say that it’s because The Book Thief is impossible to dislike, but it still worries me when he likes stuff I was looking forward to. Also, I’m one of those people who liked THG movie better, please don’t torch me!!! I loved the books, but of which I’d prefer (reread or rewatch) I’d rewatch. Mostly because I prefered third to first for Katniss. And I just really love Jennifer Lawrence’s portrayal of her. But the books were still very good.

    @my blog that Roxanne randomly mentioned for a second: Yes, lots of Supernatural, hehe. Mostly because I watched all eight seasons over the summer and am now on season nine. Which I will not talk about because the Supernatural fandom is in a civil war and I wish every fandom was like the LBG fandom. šŸ™ Technically though my blog is multifandom (doesn’t show most if the time >__<] Maybe I have; I didn't reread my comment. I'm rather scatter-brained right now.)

    ANYWAY. My blog is actually why I came over here.

    I was blogging about Dalek feelings to do with "Set Fire to the Rain" by Adele and I had to clarify that Dalek was a ship, not the alien race, because Doctor Who, you know. (Also, Doctor Who's 50th anniversary was today and I missed it! Because we're driving to Oregon and I don't even get the channel because I don't have cable, ugh.) ANYWAY. I realized that this alien race is actually kind of like our ship: it's a biological creature inside a machine. And with Deryn as a Darwinist and Alek as a Clanker, I kind of freaked out and I just wanted to share. ^^ Maybe this has already been pointed out, but there you go.

    HAPPY 50TH!!!!

    AND MERLIN FANS: Go read The Student Prince NOW if you haven't. It's a modern AU, kind of reincarnation-y but no spoilers for season five if you haven't seen it. No spoilers for anything other than the premise, actually. It's cute and funny and brilliant. I guess if you don't like Merthur don't read it? Because it's a Merthur fic….but it's really brilliant. I love that canonverse Merlin had Arthur and Gwen actually IN LOVE because they were adorable and everything else always portrays Gwen as awful or amazing and focuses only on her and Lancelot and I hate that. But I have a soft spot for good Merthur, so if anyone else does, THIS FIC. It's slow-build and hilarious and really in character and well-written and yeah. It's amazing. It's on Archive of Our Own.

    (Hint: I'm scatter-brained because my fandoms and homework and writing is kind of exploding around me and all vying for my attention. I shall end this atrociously long comment now.)



    *dances, spins, twirls–

    –falls on face*

    And now let us scavenge for writing time…. Ah, yes, I see the 3:00-5:00 am time block is available.

    I really love this idea, too….

  16. @Alpha/writing: Yeah, definitely apply even if you can’t go. Just getting in is a major self esteem boost.
    I can’t believe I missed an Aussie at Alpha! šŸ™ I love that accent!
    Also, MidK, as you probably found out reading the loop, you can always revise and use the story you wrote during Alpha if you liked it. But what’s this new idea? You must share! As for the other idea, I think you can probably discuss it on the loop even if it’s not genre.

    @Movies: AGH! I need to read The Book Thief! And then watch it! *looks over mile-long reading list*

    @MidK’sBlog: I know you have a bunch of different fandoms, you just post a LOT of Supernatural gifs. šŸ˜‰
    I was never really into Merthur (totally Team Arwen), but I did seriously respect their epic bromance. Every time some spell or other came between them I was like, “The bromance is too strong!” ….gosh, I hate the series finale. šŸ™
    Random question: Why was Sir “Muscles” Percival’s chain-mail so different from everyone else’s? Ripped off at the shoulders and weird buckles along the stomach…it was like ghetto armor they never replaced once he was an official Knight of the Round Table.

  17. @Alpha/writing: My new idea has to do with my nerdy obsession with Shakespeare, yay. And I’m in Ashland, Oregon, too, which is brilliant for Shakespeare. šŸ˜€

    @books to read: Ah! Tell me about it! My list of books to read is in a notebook (over 500 books), and it doesn’t help that it’s fall, with a bunch of awesome books coming out. House of Hades, The Iron Traitor, Untold, Champion, The Shadowhunter Codex. AHHHH And school. šŸ™

    @My blog/Merthur: Yeah, it’s mostly Supernatural, but then I read The Studet Prince and went on the Merthur tag, and then I watched Day of the Doctor at 11 on BBC America last night so now it looks all Doctor Who. As for the chainmail, I have never understood that either. (I totally love Arwen too, but soft spots ahhh. I actually didn’t think about Merthur until season five, because my friend told me, and then I was like, “Hmm, I can see where they’re coming from.” Like Johnlock and Finny x Gene in A Separate Peace. They’re ships that have a strong basis, but I don’t care about platonic or romantic, I just love the characters together.)


    And now I’m just watching BBC America. They’re doing Eleven reruns. I’ve never seen any….shhh. A lot of what I know about DW comes from tumblr, because I got scared of losing Rose so I didn’t finish season two and fled to Supernatural instead…. BUT YEAH DOCTOR WHO IS JUST PLAYING AND PLAYING RIGHT NOW AND THIS IS FUN.

    And sometimes it doesn’t matter if you watch Doctor Who out of order because time isn’t linear and all that yackum. I love Doctor Who….

  18. I really really really wanted to watch the 50th Anniversary, but as I never could finish the second part of Series 7……..I don’t know anything about Clara, or what else happens to the Doctor, so I can’t watch it yet šŸ™

    But I am absolutely in love with Doctor Who šŸ™‚

  19. I probably need to start watching Dr. Who also. I have about a million unwatched shows as well as unread books.
    A big problem with me is that I start a bunch of different book lists, so I have like five of them in various forms. I really need to compile.

    Does anybody watch the sitcom Baby Daddy? I think it’s pretty funny, but the reason I brought it up was because OH MY GOSH DANNY! <333 šŸ˜€

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