Thursday, May 2, 2013

Forward Progress

Since my declaration of who I am I have been working diligently on my rewrite of my rewrite. Well, I started a little before that but, you know, I really have been setting some time to actually work on it instead of just writing when I have the time. I'll tell you what that really makes a difference. It helps keep the flow and I don't have to think quite as hard to figure out where I'm going. And when my brain is so tired after working all day it really is a great thing, not having to think much.

Setting aside this time has also allowed me to actually move forward in my story line. Instead of just doing a couple paragraphs here and there I've written two entire chapters. Considering I'm doing a complete overhaul I'm pretty impressed with what I'm doing. (Sometimes you need to toot your own horn.) Plus, I was able to salvage a part from the original that I really like that I didn't know where I would put it in this draft. Woot!

I finally joined a critique group as well. First meeting for me is a week from Saturday. Some other writerly people in my life are already members and enjoy the feedback they receive from other people. Surprisingly, I'm not all that nervous for what the others have to say. I think I have really turned a switch in my brain as just the thought of showing people my work would send me into a panic attack. If I ever publish people are going to read it best to start with someone I trust.

Until my meeting it's writing, writing, and more writing for me. Hopefully I'll be able to continue my forward progress and nothing but.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

I Am A Writer

I spent the weekend at my first convention. I know, I know, I'm really behind the times. While it was mainly a sci-fi event there was a small writing track. I spent the majority of my time bouncing from one panel to another listening, gathering ideas, and taking in some advice. And somewhere along the line I realized something very important about the way they all talked about their lives. First and foremost they were authors. A couple of them had day jobs but that came secondary to their writing.

So many times we, in general, allow ourselves to be defined by the work that we do instead of our passion or dreams. For some people they are doing what they love but others, like me, not so much. If you had asked me prior to this weekend what I do I would have told you I'm an administrative assistant who likes to write, take pictures, and bake. I need to change my focus. My job does not define who I am. My job pays the bills until my writing affords me the luxury of staying home. And I'm hoping that comes sooner rather than later. I think a mental shift in my attitude towards my writing will help immensely.

There's so many times that I have been too tired to write or too irritated with work stuff that I bring home. My novel was something that I worked on when I got around to it or when I just needed a break from real life. I have let my not so great job rule a lot of aspects of my life and that needs to stop. And it stops now. I can't get to where I want to be if I'm not able to get on the right track. So from here on out I'm not longer an admin who likes to write. I am a writer who has moonlights (daylights?) as an admin.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Holy Beans It's Been a Long Time!

So many times I have been sitting around thinking about posting on here. Then, like normal, I see something shiny and away I go, never taking the time to follow through.

I find it funny that the line above was sitting in a draft from 1/29/13. At that point it had been six months since my last post and now I'm up to 10. If only I could tell you everything that has happened in the last almost year. However, I value your time and know that you probably don't want to know quite that much about me. So how about some highlights? I found out I don't have a genetic heart condition, Hubby Fantastic and I bought our first house, we spent a week in Ireland, adopted a new dog, and I got a new job. It's been a busy year for us!

And, in one of the most exciting happenings, I solved a nagging plot point in my WIP! It was a tough little nut to crack and it is central to the entire storyline. I just wrote around it forever (it's been almost 4 years since I started this baby) and was never able to end the story. I'm not kidding when I say this was an essential part. It was the motivation for the antagonist! A very central point to story writing, in my humble opinion. So thanks to some reading, a lot of television, and a random conversation with a friend and the idea smacked me in the face. I felt like it was something I shoud have known all along. It just made perfect sense.

Of course, it came to me about a half an hour before I had to be somewhere. I sat down at my computer and I typed as fast as my little fingers would go, just so I could get it all down before I left. Needless to say I was a little late to my date. Oh well, the things writers and friends of writers sacrifice right? I still get chills when I read what I wrote that day. It just all makes sense. I love it!

Sadly, said plot point requires the death of a character. A fairly important secondary charcter to be specific. And we all know what that means. Total re-write. That's what I'm doing. Slowly. And painfully. I have no idea how authors kill characters in series. I can't even write one out without immense guilt and sadness. Keeping her just doesn't make sense and would totally demolish my antagonists reason for antagonizing. With her alive there is no story.

So that's where I am in life and writing. Hopefully, I'll get my new office together soon so I can have back a dedicated space to write. Which means more words and more posts!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Finding the Excitement Again

I know it has been quite some time since I last posted. I was definitely going through a rough patch (six months) and not feeling anything. I wasn't creative, I wasn't happy, I wasn't sad, I just was. For weeks I tried to tell myself that if I just sat down and started doing something, anything, it would all come back to me. So that's what I did.

It totally backfired. After about a week of forcing myself to write/edit I wound up with a whole bunch of X's and black lines through my work. Everything I touched turned to crap. I got so frustrated that I just shut down. My personal life was taking the brunt of my misery. And my characters? Heaven forbid they tried to get in contact with me. I seriously wrote one of my main characters out of Chapter 1 of the novel she was in just because I was annoyed that I was thinking of her. It really was that bad. And then something crazy happened.

I had an idea. The next day another one came to me. Then a third. I met with my writing group and we talked about Camp NaNo. All of a sudden plots, characters, sub-plots, and dialog started flooding my brain. Within a couple days I had a fully fleshed out idea (which NEVER happens to me), a great jumping off point, and one of the best first lines I feel I have ever written. And I was excited!

Camp was about a week away so I decided just to jot down a few errant thoughts so as not to "cheat". A thought became a few lines, a few lines a paragraph, and before I knew it I was almost a full chapter into what I was working on. I couldn't believe it, still can't. It's like a door that was inside of me unlocked and everything behind it just tore it off the hinges. I love what I'm working on.

Now all I have to do is gather all the notes I've taken in various places and put it all together. I remember why I started all this insanity in the first place. And it is awesome!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Side Project

I haven't been getting very far in my projects in process. I'm actually quite good at procrastinating and finding other things to do. One example, I decided to learn how to sew. I got a really great deal on a good machine and it has been sitting in my living room in the box just waiting for me to open it. This weekend I did. And I'll tell you what, it's a lot of fun!

But I digress. (Told you I'm good) I have decided that I'm going to try and get back into my creative writing endeavors, but I'm not going to pick up my current works. I'm going to dig deep into the world of Script Frenzy! So for the month of April, even though I'm starting a few days behind, I'm going to try my hand at writing a script.

I'm taking one of my failed NaNo projects and am going to try and translate it into a 100 page script. Yikes! We'll see how it goes.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

To Dream or Not to Dream

That is the question I'm facing right now in my revisions. Chapter 1 starts off with a (somewhat) dream sequence. I say somewhat because it is an actual event that happens but Victoria (my MC) believes it to be a dream and her Dad assures her that it is. The event is revisited in a different way later in the work so it fits. I've revised the chapter so it can start either way, with the "dream" or without. And either way works. It may lose a bit of the foreshadowing but it isn't something that would be greatly missed if left off.

Why would I write two separate beginnings to my novel? My research shows starting with a dream sequence is a big no-no. Agents, editors, fellow writers and readers seem to poo-poo the idea. Many of them say that it turns them off. I find the majority of people think this way and I get it. It is a element that is often overused and to no real benefit to the story.

Granted I haven't sent it out to my critique partners yet so I haven't gotten any feed back. I would just hate to make a full set of revisions and then get it back and hear it needs to go. I have been going back and forth on this for weeks. I've completely stalled out.

So what do you think? Should the sequence stay in? Would a YA starting with a dream cause you to put it down?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Somewhat on Track with Goals

It's been a little while since I last posted and there is a very good reason for it. One, I've been overwhelmed trying to get all my ducks in a row so I didn't stress for my (short) trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. My wonderful Mom surprised me with a trip for Christmas. Just the two of us. And this past weekend we went. It was AMAZING!! And such a great mother/daughter trip. Even if I am over (cough)30(cough).

And reason number 2? I have been hard at work with revisions on Harvest Moon. Once I gave myself the permission to move on from The Guardian things just clicked into place. It took less than an hour to fix what I had messed up on my last pass revision (trying to go from 1st to 3rd POV is hard and it didn't work for my ms). I am happy to say that I'm well into this draft and I'm having a ton of fun incorporating notes I've been taking for the last few months. I've really found the joy in my writing again.

This post is going to be short and sweet as I have a lot of work to be done. Not touching my ms for 4 days has put a kink in my flow but I'm getting back into a rhythm. Now if only I could get caught up on sleep!