Sunday, May 31, 2009

First CHANGE UP Reader Reaction and Revision Lessons

I'm in the middle of watching some exciting World Series softball right now on ESPN2. Wow, Florida just hit a walk off grand slam to send the Gators to their first final. Great stuff. 

The fabulous Lauren, a fan of the SCREWBALL series and local high school and ASA softball player, contacted me via MySpace a few months ago to tell me how much she loved SCREWBALL. I love, love, love hearing from readers and Lauren absolutely made my day. A few honest teens help me to authenticate plot, character, and dialogue and Lauren recently volunteered to be part of the crew. After I received my ARCs last Friday, I immediately sent a copy of CHANGE UP Lauren's way to thank her for her help with SCREWBALL 3 and the prequel. 

Here's what she said: 

I got CHANGE UP in the mail today! I got home at like 1 and could not stop reading it! I didn't put it down until I finished five minutes ago. I haven't read a book this great in so long. Ashley never failed to surprise me! (I can't post the rest because it's full of spoilers. :))

Thanks, Lauren!!!!

Recent Revision Lessons: 

1. Grab is my fave word. Recently, I used the word 'grab' 127 times in a 300 page manuscript. That's almost once every two pages. Yikes. Nevertheless, if anyone needs help with using another word besides grab, feel free to email me, since I spent last weekend coming up with one hundred ways to describe scenes without using the word, grab. :)
2. I also tend to overuse the word 'seriously'. This particular word I only used 54 times, but sometimes, I used it twice on one page. Then, I realized I overuse this word in real life too. Seriously. :) 

What words do you tend to overuse?? 

Just for Fun: My bud, Justin the Teen Librarian, blogged about this the other day. How many days old are you? Find out here.  

Happy Monday! 


PJ Hoover said...

Congrats on the great feedback! Now that makes you feel good, doesn't it!

I'm right there with you on Seriously. And Probably. And Okay.

Barrie said...

What a great fan letter! My favorite word is and. Also, I like have my characters smile a lot. :)

Meredith said...

I really overuse the words, totally, seriously, really, like, and probably um.


One time, I was at a Mutual when I was in Beehives. We went to visit some elderly women in our ward and my best friend and I got a little distracted by one of our leaders. She would constanly use these 2 phrases (I cannot remember what one of them was since that was like 8 years ago; I do know that one of the phrases was "Oh, Wow."). So while we were listening to stories from this cute little old lady, we would each keep track of one of the phrases that our leader said. We counted up to, maybe, 30 each before we stopped counting! It was really kind of fun to do. Now, I catch myself doing that every once in awhile when talking with people.


Wrighty said...

Congrats! I haven't read your books yet but I will be. They sound great and I love that it's about womens' sports. My hubby and I played sports all through high school. Now that I have three teenage boys it's all about their sports (soccer, basketball and baseball). We're in the middle of sectionals for varsity baseball. I miss the days when I played but I love watching my kids now.

We have been watching the college games on TV this weekend too. It made me think of you and your recent posts. Excellent games and great plays! Especially the walkoff grandslam. Possible ideas for your next book? :) Best wishes!

Big Plain V said...

Your posts are always so upbeat and fun, Keri.

So anyway, my overused list is stuff like: 'sort of', 'kind of', 'freaking', 'whatever', and 'so anyway'.

adrienne said...

Congrats on the really good news.
I really should stop using the word really so much.

Keri Mikulski said...

Thanks, PJ! I'm glad I'm not the only one. :)

Hi, Barrie! Thanks. Me too..

Hi, Meredith! LOL! I used to do that in college with some of my professors.. Especially, in classes I wasn't that interested in. :)

Hi, Wrighty! Yay! Another softball fan!! :) Thanks for thinking of me. Hmm.. Like the walk off grand slam idea - it was an amazing moment. :)

Thanks, Big Plain V! Yes, I definitely overuse freaking.. :)

LOL, Adrienne! ;) Thanks.

Kelly H-Y said...

What fantastic feedback ... doesn't that make you feel so good!!!! I'm so excited to read it (and for my nieces to read it too!).
Didn't get much done outside this weekend because I couldn't tear myself away from watching our Northwest representative - U of Washington - in the NCAA Softball World Series! :-) SO excited we're headed to the finals after last night's exciting elimination game!
The finals against Florida should be good!

Justin The Teen Librarian said...

You rule. Thanks for the signed ARC of "Change Up". I hope my music doesn't make your ears bleed.

purplg8r said...

I tend to use the word "seriously?" too much. And I say it to my kindergartners too much...this was proven to me today when I asked one of my students to do something and she looked at me and said "Seriously?" in the same tone that I always use :)

Sheri said...

I blame the 'seriously' phenomenonon Grey's Anatomy. They say this at least 5 times an episode.

I start sentences with And and But a lot! I need to stop that!

Sarita Leone said...

What a great reader response! It must have made your day. :)

Anonymous said...

I overuse "just", especially in dialogue, and then wind up cutting it out in revisions. My YA characters tend to have more definitive words they use frequently in dialogue than my adult characters. Actually, it was your post that made me realize it.

Kelly said...

How wonderful to get such valuable feedback from your teen readers!
I think I use really and great too much! Really!

Carrie Harris said...

I really overuse the word really. :)

Keri Mikulski said...

Hey, Kelly! You're probably super happy since Washington won Game 1. I can't wait to watch tonight.. :) Thanks!!

Hi, Justin!! Of course not.. :) Don't forget to check the acknowledgements and as always, thanks! :)

Too cute, purplg8r! :)

Hi, Sheri! Seriously?? JK. :)

It did, Sarita! Thanks. :)

Wow, thanks, Devon. I agree. Teen's speak in a much more distinct way then adults do in some cases. :)

Hi, Kelly! Thanks.. LOL. :)

Love it, Carrie!! :)

Casey said...

Congrats on the fab feedback!

Suddenly and seriously used to be bad ones for me. I've learned to avoid using them most of the time!

Word veri: arcing

: )