Welcome! I'm Riv Re, teenager and aspiring author. I post Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Tuesdays are for book reviews; Thursdays are for a weekly meme called "Character Dolls," which showcases character depictions I made online; and on Sundays I just wing it.
This blog is for my writing misadventures, my reviews, ramblings, and rants. My favorite genre is fantasy, so expect a lot of the unusual.

Warning: I've got an awful sense of humor. Don't blame me if you keel up and die from reading the jokes I crack.
Notice: I hold no responsibility for any deaths caused by previously mentioned jokes.

Enjoy and happy reading!

Current Book Showcase-Starling by Lesley Livingston Trailer!
(What's Book Showcase? Click HERE!)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Making a Cotton-ball Bird Or: Writing a Book

Hey Blogger Buds,
This is going to be, like, my first actual WRITING advice. *pats self on back* What prompted this is a little ball of fluff sitting in front of me that looks like a bird. He's from the Animal Rescue Center. One of his wings is clipped, so he can't fly away.
But I digress get ahead of myself..
As you may know (I'm not sure if I mentioned this or not), I'm working in a day camp. A friend of mine works in the Arts and Crafts room. Two weeks, or so, ago, I took a break snuck out went to visit her on "business" and saw a cute little birdie made from those plastic feather things and colorful cotton balls. So I asked her to make me one, but there were no open feather bags. Yesterday my kids did a project with-you guessed it-cotton balls and feathers. So I got a bunch of different colored cotton balls and two orange feathers and now I have a Bird of Paradise, or so he is dubbed being ultra-colorful.
My birdie is like writing a book, though my friend glued him in about 5 seconds.
This is the barest writing process. It doesn't really even qualify as advice, in my opinion.

Note: This post is dedicated to M.B. for making me a birdie!

Step One: Plan it out. Or not. I painstakingly chose cotton balls for my birdie's head, body, tail, and feet. I didn't just grab pieces out of the bag.
You can either plan out your book carefully before making it, or you can make it up as you go along.

Step Two: Start off. Choose your fluffy yellow head for your birdie. This is a medium-sized ball.
Get it all started. Right your intro. Simple. Ease into the plot, get to know your character. Don't make it too massive. That's the plot's job, and you don't want a lopsided birdie with a head as big as its body.

Step Three: Make the body pretty. Or exciting. Or green, as my birdie's is. You have to have the Big Green Fluff to glue your Medium Yellow Head to.
Now the plot comes in. It's big. Not a stupid part of it all, like the feet or extra tail bit (more on that in a moment.)

Step Four: The Tail. Bring in a deep, dark blue bit for the tail. Use a small one. Glue it to the end of the body.
Ending. Small and neat. Tie all the bits together.

Step Five: Add wings. Get out your bright orange wings and glue them to the sides of the birdie so he can fly.
The sub-plots and the characters. Fill them out. Let them fly. Don't ground them.

Step Six: The Beak. Trim a piece of plastic from the end of one of your orange feathers. (Not the side with the feathers, the stem.) Glue it on to the front of your Yellow Face for a beak.
Use those sub-plots and characters. Take from them and bring to the beginning of the story, using foreshadowing. (That's the key word here; foreshadow.)

Step Seven (Optional): Feet. Take two tiny pink cotton balls and add them beneath your green body as feet.
The minuscule details that support the plot, make it more real for the reader.

Step Eight (Optional): Add a tip to the end. Take a third tiny ball and stick it onto the tip of the deep, dark blue one. Don't make my mistake and use brown. It makes it look wrong and no longer Rated E for Everyone.
Wrap it more tightly and neater. Just don't make a stupid mistake in the wrap-up that makes it not even worth it. Sometimes the deep, dark blue piece is better than adding brown at the end, which can ruin an awesome-sauce (I thought I was over that?) book.

Differences between books and cotton ball birdies:
Takes two minutes
Takes months/years.
Plays nice.
Doesn't want to fly off, and does as told.
Fight back and tries to fly off, but you can't clip any wings because that's inhumane.



Current Music: The Time of My Life by David Cook
Current Mood: ......Complacent.


  1. Thanks for dropping by my blog. Cute post. Here's a question from an inexperienced writer (me): If you're having a day where you feel like every word you put down is crap, should you take the day off or just keep going and fix it later? I'm curious what other people like to do.

  2. I think this is a great post. I don't know if it would only take me two minutes to make that bird --I'm not too good at projects as such. However, writing definitely does take much more time.
    Also, you asked about my editing on my blog. I don't know how to explain the editing I do every night. I wouldn't say it's anything major, but I just try to revise as much as I can on my own. I know maybe it's a bit much to be doing so early on in the book, but it will bother me like heck if I don't. Trust me, I haven't even gotten into the ugly and deep parts of editing. When I do... You'll know.
    Happy writing,

  3. I never did hear of that, but I will definitely check it out now. Thank you.
    (I mean, I'll have to because it sounds like I'm missing out)!
    Happy writing,

  4. This is really helpful, whether you've been writing forever or just started. I don't think you can ever really learn enough about the process, 'cause there's always a new way to look at it.

  5. Great job, Riv. I like the parallels you drew and especially the last bit: "... tries to fly off, but you can't clip any wings because that's inhumane."

    So true. It is all about taming the story in you heart as you release it to the wind. Cheers!


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