Amanda Kenney's Notebook This is where my creations and I hang out.

Camp NaNoWriMo! April Edition

March 17

Don’t forget Camp NaNoWriMo is coming up!  It’s just around the corner in April!  I highly recommend you try it!


I don’t know if I’m going to do it again this year, what with college and all, but I sure want to!

Chapter One- a snippet

February 20

As promised, here is a small taste of Chapter One.  Be advised that I will probably change a lot of even this tiny part here, but I hope you enjoy nonetheless.  Post your comments below!


‘Minkhoy ran her finger over the browned map, tracing the distance between Chemyss and Port Kho-Ju’ctar. “Roughly fifty miles,” she muttered to herself, tapping her pencil on her chin. “Let’s see, that would get us there about…oh, an hour before sunset.” She scribbled that onto the pad of paper beside her. “And that would complete our third day of travel. What do you think, Red?”

She looked over at the viper leopard stretched out in a ray of the afternoon sunlight streaming from the window onto the dusty floor of the depot. She and Red were hanging out on the floor in the corner behind the counter. Minkhoy had her back to a mound of paperwork, as if ignoring it meant it wasn’t really there. The ceiling fan above them hummed lazily, the only noise in the empty depot except Red’s muffled purring.

“I said, what do you think, Red?” Minkhoy repeated.

Red squeezed open her deep red eyes and flicked her tail once.

“Why do I get the feeling you don’t really care?”

Red yawned, showing off her long, barbed fangs, and rolled over onto her back, exposing her soft underbelly. Minkhoy smirked and ran her hand through the thick tabby fur a few times.

“You know what I think? I think you don’t care where you are so long as you have a puddle of sunlight to sleep in. Maybe when I finally break out of this place I’ll just leave you behind.” She scratched between the small horns on the top of Red’s head absentmindedly. She frowned as her parents’ words echoed in her head.

‘Around here you’re safe, no one notices you, everyone understands. But out there, you wouldn’t last five minutes.’

‘They would see your scar immediately. And the minute they find out you don’t have parole papers, it’ll really get dangerous.’

‘Do you think they would believe you? They wouldn’t even listen; they would just lock you up forever, at best, and we would probably never see you again.’

‘Like it or not, you have to stay here.’

Heads Up!

February 17

This past weekend I worked out a rough draft of chapter one.  I’ll be polishing it up this week and I’ll post a short clip of it on Friday!  So keep an eye out for it!

Season of Betrayal  |  Comments Off

New Beginnings

February 10

So, I don’t know quite how to say this, but I’ve finally come to grips with the fact that my novel-in-the-works, Season of Betrayal, needs a complete rewrite.  Like, blank-page, start-over-new rewrite.  I’ve moved all my files, all the drafts, all the outlines, all the character sheets, and all miscellany into a folder and moved it onto two flash-drives.  This week I will start as fresh as the blank page I’ll be writing on.  I’ll write the whole thing new with absolutely nothing from the old manuscript.  That’s just the way it’s got to be.  I’ve already got some exciting new ideas to hopefully move this book to the next level (whatever that means), and don’t worry, I’ll be sharing every exciting step with you.  February has a lot of significant anniversaries in my writing career, so I am planning to party with those a little bit.  Tally-ho!

An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered, right?

Character Character

January 7

Right off the bat, it’s important to give your character, well, character.  Give them little quirks and habits to make them more realistic.  You know, like pushing their hair behind their ear when they’re nervous, or pushing their glasses up the bridge of their nose, rubbing their hands together, tapping their fingers on the table, etc.  Try not to just arbitrarily assign habits to a character; try to have them make sense with the character’s personality and back-story.  For instance, rubbing their hands together suggests a nervous or anxious-to-please personality, and if your character is more confident, that particular quirk might not fit well.  Or, if they used to be a musical performer, maybe they tap their feet and hum while they work.  You get the idea.

Tips and tricks  |  Comments Off

Your Thoughts?

January 5

According to Saul Bellow, ‘You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.’  Do you agree?  Disagree?  And is it just me, or do the best writing ideas come after you’ve gone to bed and are trying to sleep?

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Happy New Year!

January 1

Happy New Year to you all!  More posts to come…

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Merry Christmas!

December 25

Merry Christmas to you all!  I hope you got plenty of books for Christmas (particularly mine!)!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

November 27

Happy Thanksgiving, faithful readers!  I hope you enjoy a bountiful Thanksgiving with family and friends!

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Adverbs: Use Wisely

October 17

You may notice that this week’s quotation is: “The road to hell is paved with adverbs.”  I like using adverbs like a machine gun: I just spray-fire them all over the page.  But they’re really more like sniper rifles: one quick, powerful shot should suffice.  I would suggest one or two a page at most.  Instead of saying, ‘he walked confidently’, say ‘he strode’ or ‘he strolled’ or ‘he sauntered’.  This gives an even clearer picture of the character’s attitude and personality, and the mood of the action.  So save those adverbs for when you really need them.

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