Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Another four months has gone by? Really??

Current tuneage: Honkytonk U - Toby Keith

Boy, time sure does fly when you don't blog. Not a whole lot has happened since my last post except I did start another story. This one is another YA and I'm pretty excited about it. For me, I usually come up with a story idea and then create characters who I know can wreak havoc on the plot line. This time, though, it was the other way around.

I was watching TV and out of the blue the idea for this particular character just came to me. I let her sit in my head awhile, watching to see what kind of character she'd turn out to be and trying to come up with a really good catastrophe to put her through. It took a couple weeks and even as I started writing the outline I didn't quite know the direction I was taking until about halfway through when it suddenly hit me. Even now as I'm writing the first draft I keep coming up with better ideas.

The other peculiar thing that's happened with this new story is that as I'm writing I'm already thinking about changes that I'd like to make. This may sound weird since I'm still only about a fourth of the way through the first draft, but for me it's a step in the right direction. As it turns out, I'm not a fan of editing. I'm well aware that it needs to be done and even know usually what I need to do... I just don't like the process. I think it comes down to my OCD with making sure everything is perfect and I know it never will be so... you see my conundrum.

Anyway, for example, I have five narrators. There's a main character of course, I just have other characters give their input too for things the MC can't see or doesn't know is going on. But I already don't like one of them. She's turned out to be kind of whiny and isn't developing the way I'd hoped, plus I'm 90% sure I can put her big moments in someone else's perspective, so she may get the axe in the next round.

So there you have it! I have to say, it's nice to be excited about a project again. It's been awhile, but I'm back!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I'm so ashamed...

Current tuneage: Beer on the Table - Josh Thompson

Well, it's been almost a YEAR since I've posted - which, if you had any idea what's happened those last twelve months, you wouldn't be surprised - but here I am! To sum up: I'm moved to a different state, started a new job and fallen in love with writing all over again.

And, I'm possibly certifiably insane because, after much deliberation, decided to go forward with NaNoWriMo again this year. I just couldn't help myself. Thirty anxiety-filled days where you're not sure what's real and what's not (are you sure my characters don't really exist? I seem to be spending an awful lot of real time with them...), struggling to find the right plot path (or any plot at all) and thirty nights in a row of feeling mentally exhausted after a day of thinking so hard you think your brain might pop. So, call me crazy, but I'm doing it again.

A few months ago I reread all the pieces I've written since I started over two years ago and noticed a trend that made me very happy: my writing has increasinly improved. Not by a ton, but little by little the plot flows better, the characters are deeper and there seem to be fewer amateur mistakes.

So, I promise I'll be back writing here regularly again and in the meantime, I'll leave you with my NaNo stats:

NaNoWriMo Stats:
Days in: 17
Words written: 33,206
On target? Yes!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

four weeks and counting...

Current tuneage: Throw Your Hands In the Air - Outkast

NaNoWriMo Stats:
Days in: 26

Words written: 48,390
On target? Yes! (I should be finished today!)

Working hard today to make sure that I finished those last few words so I can "win" NaNo. Although the story is coming along better than I thought (I was going crazy about 3,000 words ago) it's nowhere near what I thought it was going to turn out to be. Apparently the characters didn't like what I had planned for them and made their own story.

On the other hand, it was a lot more fun to write a story in which I wasn't quite sure where it was going. Because of this, I think I'm going to try out the same tactics for the next one I write. Instead of coming out with a fancy, VERY detailed outline of nearly every character action, I'll just do character bios and let them do their thing... it certainly makes the writing process almost as exciting as the reading process :)

More next week!


Friday, November 21, 2008

since when should the author have any say...

Current tuneage: Better As A Memory - Kenny Chesney

NaNoWriMo Stats:
Days in: 21
Words written: 41,690
On target? Ahead!

Ok, this is going to be a short entry since we're getting down to the wire here in NaNoWriMo and although I'm fabulously ahead of schedule, there's still much writing to be done before my last writing days (which is next Wednesday). That means I only have four more days, including today, to write 8,310 words... at least. I don't think my story will be finished by then. Although with the way things have been going, I don't have a clue anymore.

See, I've read about how other authors say that their characters suddenly stand up for themselves, take over and decide their own fate. I've never had that happen. Until now. Usually before I write a story I have a loose outline in place that keeps me on the track I planned (literally from first action to last action) that way my mind can't wander, writer's block stays a safe distance away and I can stay on track throughout the whole book. Of course I leave some actions open for a slight change, but nothing major. I always know what to expect from my characters. I don't let them run amok.

Fast forward to my brilliant decision to participate in this year's NaNoWriMo and what used to be such an organized process has all gone to hell. I didn't write any outline before beginning my story, just character bios. But I still had specific things in mind that my characters were supposed to do and they're not doing them! (For those of you that haven't written a novel before... or even tried... I may sound like I've gone off the deep end here, but I swear, there's nothing I can do!)

So, the perfect tidy little ending that I had in mind is no longer possible... at least I'm pretty sure it's not. But I'm kind of liking this new twist. Perhaps instead of trying to maintain a difficult hold on where this novel is going, I'll just sit back and enjoy the ride.


Friday, November 7, 2008

NaNoWriMo Baby!

Current tuneage: Your Body Is A Wonderland - John Mayer

NaNoWriMo Stats:
Days in: 7
Words written: 10,028
On target: amazingly, yes

Well, the first week of NaNoWriMo is nearly done and despite the fact that I've only actually written THREE of these past seven days, I'm still on target to have 50,000 words by November 30th. I'm honestly a little shocked that I've written 10,000+ words in just three measly days. My novel is coming along at an unusually rapid pace and it's a little scary, exhilerating and unbelievable all at once.

The problem I'm having (and knew I was going to have before even beginning this monstrosity) is that I don't write on the weekends. Perhaps some day not long from now when I can be a full-time stay at home writer I'll write for a few hours every day. But until then, weekends are mine! I'll also be going out of town for a wedding one day and then there's Thanksgiving and the day after. So instead of the 30 days that most NaNoWriMo participants are counting on, I get 17. Yup, that's right, almost HALF of the time everyone else is taking to write 50,000 words. So the very obvious strategy I've devised is that I need to write double every day.

It's quite simple, really. You need to write 1167 words a day to reach the 50,000 mark in 30 days. I need to write 2942-ish in order to make the same mark in 17 days. Eesh. Well, at least I'm still caught up. Though we are only a week in...

Lots of work to do, but the deadline is keeping me going!!

More next week (and hopefully I'll be able to report that I'm still caught up---maybe even ahead of schedule...)


Friday, October 31, 2008



Current tuneage: All I Have To Do Is Dream - The Everly Brothers

So last week I was just finishing up a short story and debating on whether or not to cut it back 700 words so I could send it in to a short story contest. Honestly, I still haven't decided. Clearly it didn't make the 10/27 deadline, but I still have several weeks for the Dec. 1st deadline. So while I'm pondering that...

I'm participating in NaNoWriMo this year!! For those of you who don't know what NaNoWriMo is, it's National Novel Writing Month and takes place every November. (I believe this year is the 10th anniversary). Starting at midnight tonight over 100,000 writers from all over the country begin writing a novel. The goal is that by midnight on November 30th you have 50,000 words written (or 175 pages). That's 1167 words a day to stay on par... I can do that, right?

It's something I actually heard about last year, but didn't have the opportunity to participate since I'd already begun novel #3. But this year, I figure what better way to get started on novel #4!? So this week I've been preparing all my material, character bios, plot outline, etc. so that I will be ready!

I'm really hoping the dicipline it's going to take to complete NaNoWriMo successfully will help me in my future deadline endeavors...

wish me luck!!


Friday, October 24, 2008

Word Counts and

Current tuneage: Getaway Car - The Jenkins

Happy Friday!! Well, this week has gone by surprisingly fast. I've FINALLY finished my short story and have almost finished editing it. There are a few contests I'd like to enter it in and one of them that I just found has a 10/27 deadline! The other has a Dec. 1st deadline and a word count limit. That's what I seem to be struggling with right now. I really like the story the way it is. Could I cut it down to 1500 words? (it's currently at around 2200) Probably. But I'm trying to decide if it's worth it just to be able to send it into this contest. Or if I just write another one that's under 1500 words. Such a dilemma.

On another note, I sent in my final follow up query letter. This particular agency has had my novel (1st) since the end of March and they are the only ones that haven't responded. It's a little sad to think this is the last chance for that novel (at least for now). I'll assume that it's either not good enough for publishing or needs some serious work before it will be ready. Either way, I think it's time to move on. There are a lot more story ideas brewing around in my head and I don't have the time or emotional capacity to get hung up on one story. On a similar note, I was reading an agent's blog a few weeks ago and she mentioned how she never likes to hear that it's a writer's first novel. She knows how rare it is for those to get published and it's not typically until a 4th or 5th novel that the writer has figured out the formula well enough to make a really great book (or at least one that's going to be able to sell).

Check out the link to that blog post here: http://bookendslitagency.blogspot.com/2008/07/how-much-to-tell.html#links

So with that in mind, I'll keep writing, not holding my breath and being patient while I get better at writing. I have all the time in the world...

In the meantime, I'll keep writing!