Jennifer Pickrell

YA Writer

What’s Up Wednesday


WUWAutumnWhat’s Up Wednesday is a weekly meme started by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk that allows us to touch base with blog friends and let them know what’s up.


I read More Than Music by Liz Briggs, which was a fun NA novel about a fictional music competition.

Currently reading: Paper Towns by John Green


YAB Fall Writing Bootcamp

Before Bootcamp started, I worked on the same scene in JULES for pretty much eternity. Then I finished it and promptly cut it because it just didn’t work. But it’s like I HAD TO write it, so I could realize it didn’t work and move on.

If that makes sense.

This week I’m working on a couple new scenes and once I’m finished with those, it’s mostly just revising existing content and I can’t wait to get to that.

No more drafting, please.


I finished the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor and it was beautiful and epic and full of lovely imagery. After I finished, I dug out a fantasy novel I’d started and abandoned a long time ago. It’s an incomplete mess, but the foundation is there and I sorta love it, so I added a few pages of notes for when I get a chance to really dig in.

I like fantasy, but it’s hard for me, both to read and write, because my brain is a little too literal. If I’ve never actually seen something, my mind can’t conjure it. Like hobbits. Now that there are movies showing them to me, I get it. But before that…



I mentioned last week that I’ve been re-watching Blossom and it’s really weird when actors that are well-known for other characters show up in bit parts. In a Very Special Episode, Brian Krakow* brought a gun to school. And Ross Geller** was a 26-year-old married ex-con who dated Six (who was only 16). There is so much wrong with that scenario that I don’t even know where to begin.

I’m compiling a fall-themed music playlist, so let me know if you have any suggestions. I’ve got some of the more obvious like Harvest Moon by Neil Young and September by Earth, Wind & Fire, but I want MOAR. So please help. Thank you 🙂

*My So-Called Life (which is another show I need to rewatch at some point)



Author: Jennifer Pickrell

I write YA contemporary filled w/ romance, angst & family drama. Things I like: cats, snacks, baseball, green tea, taking pictures of trees & movies so bad, they’re good.

26 thoughts on “What’s Up Wednesday

  1. I’m stilling rooting for JULES! I totally know what you mean about needing to write a scene (or a manuscript in my case — yikes!) to know it doesn’t work. To keep myself from going crazy, I try to remember that every word makes me a better writer, whether I end up keeping all of those words or not. Have a great week, Jennifer!

  2. Wow, yeah, I know exactly what you mean about writing a scene and working it over until finally you accept it just isn’t working. I hope the revision goes well the rest of the week though! Fantasy is my life, so if you ever want to talk fantasy, hit me up!

  3. Well, if you were having the kind of fall we’re currently having, I’d say bust out some Christmas carols and call it a day lol. I’ll keep thinking of fall-themed tunes for you. 😉 My challenges with writing fantasy lay in the daunting task of world building. I have ideas for YA fantasy novels, but thinking about planning/building them just exhausts me. Though, I think this new idea I have will involve a fair chunk of world building, so I’d better get used to it! I’m currently watching Friends from the beginning and it’s hard to imagine Ross in the role you just described. He will *always* be Ross in my world. Always. Have a great week, Jennifer!

    • I struggle SO much with world-building. Even in contemp, my first drafts are always a bunch of characters talking…while seemingly in the middle of nowhere.

      I can’t even remember the character’s name on Blossom b/c I just kept saying, “Why, Ross, why? What would Monica say? What would Rachel say???”

  4. …I have a sudden need for some Earth Wind and Fire on my iPod 😀

    Good luck with the revisions!

  5. Worldbuilding for a fantasy novel can be challenging, but it’s very rewarding! 🙂 Have a great week!

  6. I have had to write so many scenes to know they don;t work, I wish I was a bit quicker about realising they don’t work, but hey ho, it’s all practise 🙂
    Daughter of Smoke and Bone is so magical, love that series and I can’t wait to see what she writes next.

  7. I looooved Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor! It is so inspiring in its amazingness. I know what you mean when you get stuck on a scene. Good luck with JULES!

  8. I hope you are loving PAPER TOWNS!

  9. I’m totally cracking up at your hobbit comment. I’m a shorty with curly hair, so maybe that’s why I could always picture them fairly easily lol. Fantasy is a HUGE challenge to write, but I’m sure you’ll do a great job on this WIP if you decide to really dive into again–especially since you love it. Good luck adding those new scenes to JULES! 🙂

    • My husband is a fan of fantasy and he has already volunteered to beta. He read it before and says it’s the best thing I’ve ever written because it’s not all teen angst lol. For some reason, it doesn’t register as YA to him if it’s not set in the real world.

  10. Brian Krakow! I always sort of thought he was one rejection away from snapping anyway, haha… And I am right with you on fantasy. It’s harrrrrd. I’ve never even attempted to write it. I already know there’s no way.

  11. SO with you on the drafting! If only stories came fully formed and all I had to do was edit it!

    Also with you on the fantasy thing–I just can’t see some of the things in my head. That’s why I like fantasy more like SHADOW AND BONE, without so many creatures and odd things. I’ve been meaning to check out the Laini Taylor books but I have to admit, seeing how huge the last book was has scared me!

    Good luck with your scenes this week–hopefully no more writing-and-deleting 🙂

  12. I love drafting but I get the feeling of wanting to be done with it already. Good luck on revisions and go JULES!

    Playlists are my life so here’s some from my fall one: Pink Moon by Nick Drake, Falling by Yuna, She Keeps Me Warm by Mary Lambert, Dead Leaves and The Dirty Ground by The White Stripes, Autumn Almanac by The Kinks, Wake Me Up When September Ends by Green Day, Autumn by Paolo Nutini, Grapevine Fires by Death Cab for Cutie.

  13. I’d like to read Liz’s book.

    I’d like to write more fantasy. It is hard for me. The first time I wrote a fantasy novel, I had to do more research and outlining than ever before.

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