Thursday, July 29, 2010

This Just In

So I'm taking some of my editor’s advice this week and reading: Writing the breakout Novel. She felt it would help me tighten up some of the loose ends in my story and boy was she right. In the first couple of chapters along I could recognize the parts of my premise that I needed to dial up and questions like: What if? That builds the conflict to that "holding your breath" moments.

It's also addresses my largest concern, which is taking the larger than life world of True that I see so vividly in my head and putting it on the page. This book and a stack of others will be the focus of my blogs from the coming weeks. It feels a little backwards to have written three novels before even studying the craft.

It's like being assigned to major surgery for the first time and instead of researching how the procedure is conducted you browse through a bunch of success stories and tell yourself "All right I think I know enough to get the job done." Then your patient flat lines within the first five minutes and you stand back scratching your head like you don't know what went wrong.

"I’ve read a hundred books, why isn't mine as good as theirs?" The answer for me isn't the story, it's the presentation. So in a way the steps I have taken aren't in vain. Knowing that I could start and finish a novel was motivation enough for me to decide this something I not only want to do, but that I'm capable of doing. At this point in my writing life, I'm hooked, and willing to do whatever it takes, even if that means reading more books about writing novels, than I did my entire college experience, even if it means starting from scratch with the novels I've already written. Writing might not be as important as surgery, but the two are required to generate a pulse, which is exactly what I plan to do with True.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Half Way There

So as I posted last weekend I am in the process of writing a new YA Paranormal titled UNDISTURBED, and I've just reached the half way mark. Yippie! Okay, so it's not the worlds largest hurdle. The book is only clocking in at about 50,000 words, but 25K in one week is still something to smile about.

I'm just happy to have something to occupy my brain from reading my editorial review of True Beginnings: Genesis for the hundredth time, but that's a post for another day.

My new project is really sucking me in, this character Deyan (Love her name) is so damaged in ways that she doesn't even know, it makes me sad, but gives me that "standing on a crate" moment were I yell at the monitor "Kick his A$$". Which I never had to do with True (She always kicked butt in a major way). Deyan's younger (Only by a year, but it feels like more), fragile, and at some points weak.

I guess the real difference is that True is a kick butt action heroine, strong in every sense of the word, while Deyan is a girl, with an amazing story, but still just a girl.

Official Theme Song For UNDISTURBED:

Bombay Bicycle Club-How can you swallow so much sleep

Yes! Also from the Twilight: Eclipse Soundtrack, what can I say they really know how to pick um.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Moving on.

So in my stages of grieving here's what I've learned:

I love my story just as it is. I wrote it for me and it will always be for me, no matter if it sells, if it's repped, or if it's rejected. It's easy to get caught up in the ideal's of being a published author. You get so worked up about it that you're almost willing to sell your soul to see your words bound and sitting on a birch wood shelf. If it were any other project I would nod and comply "Yes, whatever you like I'll change and change again." But not True, every writer has that story that's just their own and True is mine. It's the story that motivates me and encourages me, it's the story that brought me here and I can never dismantle and tear it to shreds just to call myself an author.

So I've decided to write a story that Agents will gladly rep, that fits the cookie cutter mode of YA. My new MC, Deyan is a 17 year old high school senior and her story is amazing, comparable, and absolutely unique. I'm so excited to have a project to work on again. Unfortunately, that means that Soul Stones will have to take a back seat for a couple of weeks while I knock out the first draft for UNDISTURBED, my new title.

As for True, I hope that one day there is a genre for her story, but until then, I will not yield. (Except on the word count)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Stages of Literary Grief: Day 4 (Disheveled)

So after the shock of Day one, Day two was pure (Avoidance) it was a day to put all idea's and concerns out of my head for my own sanity. Sort of like the peace before the storm. I sat calmly and quietly and didn't say a word.

Day three was (Acceptance), I know a quick jump from "What the F*#k!" to "Okay I get it." so I made a choice that I would do whatever it takes to share my story with the world, even if that meant aging it down, hell even if that meant uploading it to a website for the world to read it for free, an option that's looking a lot more like a possibility with the responses I've gotten back about New Adult, the nonexistent genre that everyone is writing for but no one is repping or publishing.

I did a work up, got to writing a new first half to my novel, placing my character in high school, making her younger, and I was starting to think it might work, sure there would need some re-working of scenes and characters, but that's nothing, I could do that in my sleep.

Then I get to today. I've got 15,000words into my new story and I step back from the computer and find myself at a huge fork in the road. I realized that if I did a "find and replace" on my document and change this character name from True to [Insert name here] I would have an entirely new, stand alone novel underway. Then I ask myself: Did this story just grow it's on legs? or did I subconsciously veer off course for the preservation of my first novel? The answers, I'm not so sure of at this moment, but once I find them I'll let you know.

In the mean time it looks like a have a new novel on my hands. I have no title and no character name, but the story has got me hooked.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Stages of Literary Grief: Day 1 (Flabbergasted)

If you listen closely you can actually hear the crack in my universe as I opened my email this morning to read an email from my editor that basically said "Oh yeah I forgot to mention that the story you've written isn't ever going to make it to the YA shelf, because your character's in college. Either set your story in high school, or pick a new genre." My choices: Women's Fiction or Contemporary Fiction, Not NA (New Adult), because apparently it's so new that no one's looking for it.

When I began this journey I asked myself "Why are there no stories being published like mine? Is there no one out there like me who loves YA to death, but gets tired of reading about 15 and 16 year olds after a while.?" Two novels later and I've guess I just found my answer.

So today is the day where I feel like my brains have been exposed on the sidewalk as I contemplate my choices.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Chop & Change

Not only am I in love with the new Twilight: Eclipse soundtrack, but the title of this song fits all to well with this stage of my writing journey.

Under the strong suggestion of my editor, I’ve decided to whack my 116,000 Word MS down to a nice, nonthreatening, 100K. *I know my fellow writers are gasping at the knot growing in your stomach* I had the same reaction at first, but I think I’ve found a painless way to go about it.

40WPP (40 Words, or roughly 2 sentences per page)

I re-read my draft, after about a two week breather, with fresh eyes, I started going page by page looking for words or sentences’ that I could remove while maintaining the tone and clarity of the story. It’s been working out well so far, and I’m already down 4,000 words. Man if only my diet could go so smoothly.

I’ll also be evaluating dialogue where I know I’ve gotten carried away. Once the characters get to talking, who am I to shut them up?

Monday, July 12, 2010

I've got to get better at this blogging thing

OMG! Has it really been a month since my last post. Please forgive me. I'm but a wee babe in the blogger world.

I have been working so hard to get my entry ready for a big, huge, scratch that humongous screenwriting contest.
This will be my first time entering and I'm totally nervous about everything except my story, which I can't post about, but let's just say it's my anthem of Kiss A$$ Heroines.

I finished the first draft of my script in recording timing (1 Month) hence my month long hiatus from blogging. Now that it's taking a breather, before edits, I'm back and ready for the next project.

Okay so during the past month:

  • I've been working hard on Soul Stones: Cure 25% complete.
  • I've been pulling my hair out waiting for Eclipse premier and now that I've seen it I can get back to my normal life again, until next year.
  • I finally got to visit Charlotte, NC, and loved the architecture downtown, so very modern.
  • And I know I said I would post about what I ate, but OMG! my girlfriend and I happened upon a devils talisman named "Red Velvet Cake" Curse her and her seductive frosting.