Jennifer Pickrell

YA Writer

What’s Up Wednesday


WUWMaple2What’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.


Since I last blogged (weeks ago), here are a few of the books I’ve read:

THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS by Sarah Ockler. So many feels. I love a good family-centric YA story.

THE DISENCHANTMENTS by Nina LaCour. I didn’t really relate to any of the characters, but I could relate to that overall feeling of being fresh out of high school and on the cusp of something. Of EVERYTHING. Some great moments, especially if you’ve ever taken a road trip with friends or if you’ve ever crammed into a random person’s basement to listen to a crummy, but charismatic band. I found myself nodding many times as I was hit by wave after wave of nostalgia.

WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart. Cool concept, but I figured out the twist ending way in advance, so that took away a lot of the WOW factor. It’s also hard for me to connect/relate/sympathize with the issues of super rich people. 

I just started reading CHARM AND STRANGE by Stephanie Kuehn. Good tension so far.


I finished my JULES revision/rewrite/millionth draft! Now I’m incorporating some reader notes and doing the most tedious thing of all: cutting filler words.

Words Like: like, like, like, like

Oh, and LIKE


While everyone else is drafting 50,000 words next month for NaNo, I shall be getting rid of 5,000. Or that’s the hope through slashing filler and doing general sentence tightening, etc.

So far I’ve cut: 651 words


After a round or two of revisions, I paste random chunks of my WIP into Wordle. It’s usually a few chapters at a time, so I have a decent enough sample size to be accurate (statistics FTW). I already know I use “like” and “just” way too much, but this helps me spot other overused words and some are surprising; I use “time” way more than I would ever think.

After I’ve got a list, I scan my document using the “find” function to count the number of times (hah, there I go again) each word appears. I make a chart with the info because I enjoy seeing the numbers drop.

Scanning for filler also helps me spot overused phrases and extraneous sentences and redundancy.


I watched (part of) a college rugby match and didn’t know what was happening at all. And I didn’t realize until later I was cheering for the wrong team. Yeah, I’m brilliant. To be fair, only the names of the team’s sponsors were on the uniforms.

I went to two book sales. Before the second one, my husband asked, “How is your to-be-read shelf looking?”

I said, “There’s still room, damnit!”

So I added a new stack, precariously balanced, which my cat promptly knocked over with his big bushy tail.



The tail in question


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.

14 thoughts on “What’s Up Wednesday

  1. Your cat’s tail is kind of epic!

    I’d much rather cut words from a complete draft that try to draft new words. Ugh… Best of luck with it. (I have all the faith in you!)

    I adored THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS and THE DISENCHANTMENTS! WE WERE LIARS was pretty fabulous too, though there was so much hype and so many people yammering about The Twist, the fun of experiencing it was kind of lost. Still, I recommended it to my mom and she HATED it. Funny how subjective reading can be!

    Have a great week, Jennifer!

    • Out of the three I gave my mom BROKEN HEARTS b/c I knew she probably wouldn’t like the others. LIARS isn’t her style and DISENCHANTMENTS would just worry her about what I used to do when I was young and out on the town 🙂

  2. I really loved WE WERE LIARS. I haven’t read THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS but I love family centric stories so I’ll have to check it out. I loved Ockler’s TWENTY BOY SUMMER. Have you read that one? Good luck cutting your words and revising. I’m also NOT NaNo-ing and revising in November too.

  3. I use Word’s “find” function to seek out overused words, too! I’ve made a list of about 20 of the worst ones, including “just”, “that”, “really”… so many adverbs!

    Good luck cutting those filler words! 🙂

  4. Rugby is so much fun ^_^ I love watching it. Haven’t played it in a while.

    Cutting filler words will bring your word count waaaaaay down. Good luck!

  5. Your cat is awesome!
    I had similar reading reactions to both THE DISENCHANTMENTS and WE WERE LIARS. I loved the way the authors created the mood/atmosphere in both.
    LIKE, JUST, and ALMOST are problem words for me. Everybody’s almost doing something almost all the time. 🙂

  6. Thanks for the link to wordle. Hadn’t seen that one and am having fun with it. Happy Halloweeen!

  7. I’ll be right with you doing some editing and fine-tuning over the course of November. It feels good to carve up a completed manuscript and shape it into something better!

    And I looooved THE DISENCHANTMENTS and WE WERE LIARS. It’s so funny how different reactions can be. And I don’t think I guessed the twist in WWL too far in advance, but I think it’s because I knew there was a twist and I tried really hard not to spoil myself by thinking too hard about it, haha…

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