Two weeks ago was the end of the Spring semester of school which means it is time for Summer FUN! Or a chance to have more time to spend with my family and work on my novel. The last semester was a tough one but I got thru it with semi-flying colors. Of course, all I want to do sleep and play video games but instead I am forcing myself to open my computer and get back to work on my current book.
It has not been easy since it has been months since I have had a chance to write anything but papers for school or assignments for my writing class and I fell into the trap that happens often when you have to leave a story for a period of time — memory lapse. Yep, I have found that since I am not just writing but have decided to continue the editing from Chapter One and when I found a gap that needed to fill in I forgot several of the names of my characters. This made me glad that a few weeks ago I had printed out all of my information I had written up for the book. Background notes, plans, character profiles, etc. I had been told to write everything down in the past and I am glad I followed this advice not just because it is helping me with organization but also for event such as this. When you know the character but you forget a detail now all I have to do is flip to the book bible.
I will say the other issue for me at the moment is my desire to start a new story. Often inspiration is like lightning sometimes and that is what happened for me. I was researching a paper for school and inspiration hit me, as it usually does when I was reading something fascinating, for a story series. I just don’t want to get carried away with it though because I would end up abandoning my current work and I am determined to finish it. This has been issue for me in the past. I would jump from one story to the next one when I found a new story I wanted to tell. Instead, I am just working on the notes, writing down a few passages as I become inspired when I need a break from my current work.
At least the one thing I got done in the last few months is work on the prologue for my book. I had signed up for a writing class this past semester at school (plus to being an English major) and for our fiction piece I decided to work on this short section instead of writing something new. It turned out well. It helped me focus that aspect of the story and flesh out the history of the book more. I am proud of what it became and the response I received from it. I also signed up for some writing groups – one for mommy writers – people in similar position as me. Trying to balance writing with mothering. It isn’t easy. A lot of my free time this summer is being taken up by taking my son to soccer, swimming, and art lessons, as well as travel. It so incredibly worth it… and it makes my son happy as well.
And now, back to work. kiddo is sleeping and I only have an hour left to work on this chapter.
To get an agent, sell your book to a publishing house… leading to success is often the main dream of most writers. I know it is mine and I don’t even call myself a writer at this point. I consider myself to be someone who is attempting to become a writer. Mainly because I am unable to make writing a priority in my life due to attempting to gain my bachelors (hoping for Spring 2015!) and being a wife-n-mom. Sleep is necessary as well. In truth, I have only had the minimum amount of time to work on my novel because of my work load over the past few months.
I have been playing with the idea of going the self-publish route with publishing some of my poetry as I work on my novel. In my office is a box full of old journals, loose sheets of paper, old works that have piled up over the years. I have published a few in small contests while in school over the years. I believe in that pile, somewhere, is the first poem I ever had selected for an anthology when I was in 6th grade. Maybe it is time to sit down and rework those poem with the mind of a more mature me?
When I think about the idea of publishing my poetry, it is scary. I rarely let anyone hear or read my poems. They are extremely personal and the few times I attempted to gain entry into the poetic culture I was often met with scathing looks before I even had a chance to share my work. But now, I am to the age I am not sure I care about the reaction. I have wanted to publish something since I was a child. I wanted to create work that would be enjoyed by others. The idea of putting something out there for others to read is one of the scariest things I will probably ever do with my life.
But do it I must. Yes, one day I may finish my science fiction series and get to publish it. But why not grab the bull by the horns to finally put my words to print with my poetry. Now I can stop playing with the idea and instead actually do it. Focus and get it done.
While I do that, I am working on revising my draft so far on my book in between writing my papers for school.
As we are on the verge of another NaNoWriMo – I look at those that are going to do it and wish them luck. I have never had the time to do it. I can look at my schedule and know there is no way I could have the time to get it all done. Currently, I am in my 4th month of working on my novel and only about a 1/3rd of the way through. With school, I am lucky if I get a few nights a week. Of course, it doesn’t help that sometimes I need to just zone out and end up falling back into the world of Sims just to get away from it all (cheaper than a vacation).
I am writing though, and that is the important thing. I have added several new chapters to my novel and have fleshed out the story so damned much its beautiful to me. I recently went to a Writers Conference and loved it, I was surrounded by all these people who had achieved the same dream I had. When I had gone, I was kind of trudging through the swamp of my novel but by the end I had become re-inspired to keep going. I even spent several sessions working on background for my story. I love taking this story and making it realistic to the reader. Going over details with my husband because he is a wonderful sounding board for me. I am also feeling more confident in my writing and the story, having had a chance to talk about it to other people outside of my small group of family and friends.
I would recommend conferences to anyone wanting to write because it is a wonderful experience. Maybe one day I can get into a writers group.
What is going on with my story? I have gone from a single person view-point to multiple… 3 females and 1 male. I do feel bad because out of all them, she is having the worst time ever in a story of some really bad times but it is really interesting to write her story. It is interesting fitting the different stories together, making sure the timeline matches up and that you have the details right. You can’t have someone seeing something happen that hasn’t happened yet or too far in the future – I have done this a few times already.
I have also found that some of my characters are unnecessary to put into the foreground and have gone to very minor roles, whereas a minor character that I thought was a throw away one and I thought I would delete now has a major role that is becoming very vocal in the story.
That right there is why I am enjoying this story, because it feels like it has a life of its own sometimes. But I have learned that giving everyone a distinct voice is WAY more difficult than it sounds but it can be fun trying to figure out their personalities.
All in all, it is still going and will finish one day. I really hope so because I have about 10 more ideas for stories I want to work on; including several non-fiction pieces and scripts. I just want to write and maybe something will happen. 😀
October is my favorite month of the year. Not just because the smell of Pumpkin Spice is in the air, though that is an added bonus. I truly can not pinpoint the exact reason why I get giddy each time October rolls around but I do. I start counting down to it as soon as September starts. Each time I see a beautiful orange-red leaf fall to the grass and a cool breeze gives me a shiver, I smile and become a happier person. Even the smell of fall is something that I can not help but love, its crisp and fresh.
As the month progresses, I know it will end in fun a happiness as I begin to get ready to decorate my house for Halloween. A night when strangers come to your home and you give them a gift. Even though it is just a piece or two of candy there is something bonding in the action of saying hello, see a smile on a child’s face as they watch you drop something so small and seemingly insignificant into their bag. Then in just another moment you watch them skip or run off into the night, with their parents in tow, as they visit the next house.
Yes, they are in costume but why not. You get to for one single night pretend to be anyone or anything you want. A dark mysterious creature or a hero – anything. Let your imagination run wild and it is to just have fun. There is no one looking at what you got and judging to see if it measures up to what is popular or telling you that you are celebrating it wrong. Whether you decorate and dress up or not… its your call.
This is also the month where we usher in a period of time that is supposed to be about family, sharing, and togetherness. I adore the time from now until January (minus my finals of course).
We are a good way into the month and I am loving the cold, crisp days but right now I just want to go read a scary story while I sip hot apple cider while sitting under a pile of blankets.
Recently, I took a mini-vacation from the world and just existed within my small realm of life. My computer was broken so I couldn’t use it to distance myself from reality.
I really enjoyed it but it gave me too much time to think and blank out. I became a bit unfocused because I felt like a weight was lifted off of me. The constant flood of whats going on the world ever single day is so incredibly stressful. For this, I am glad I shut down my Facebook and the longer I go without it, the less I want it. Yes, I can’t submit to some contests because you have to do it thru the companies Facebook and I am out of touch with many old friends because I’m not on there anymore. Now, though I have more time, I don’t spend hours upon hours a day reading up on other people’s lives instead of living my own.
This helps in many ways with writing and school. I can only do so much and I had a wonderful brother who reminded me of that. Instead of sitting and watching life go by, I should go out and live it. Now my writing time and my homework time goes by much faster because I am not spending most of it on Facebook playing games and getting into stupid debates about Ben Affleck as Batman (that was my breaking point). Kind of reminds me of that car commercial – with the daughter sitting at home on her computer with all her friends while the parents go out and ride bikes. Since I am planning on getting rid of my smart phone as well, I am going to be even more disconnected and I can not wait. Though I should probably do it soon since it is becoming harder and harder to find a phone that is NOT a smart phone. Let’s come back to that later though because that just stresses me out.
Right now in my life, there is much going on but it all feels like it is happening for a reason. I am sorting through my life and finding those things that matter to me. This is helping me cope better day-to-day. Not knowing everything in the world? It is nice. I don’t need to know everything. I don’t need to get upset about everything. I don’t want to do either of those and I feel like if I keep doing it, I will die much earlier then I want to because the stress will kill me. I am trying to find better things to do with my time, such as sitting on the floor building towers of blocks with my son or reading to him, even if that book is a school book. Maybe soon I will do some of that exercising I keep talking about and keep putting off. I still have run a marathon and/or do a triathlon on my bucket-list.
And here you thought you were going to get a blog post on writing… that is coming, I promise
A few weeks back I came to a stopping point in my original rough draft and I decided it was time to work on editing as well as a possible rewrite. I ended up going with a rewrite and I am rewriting my story into a whole new creation. It is amazingly free and I am very happy with the direction it is going, it feels more in line with what I always wanted to write. The words feel like they are pouring out and all I want to do is sit at the computer to work on it.
Tonight though was a break-thru because I came up with the working title for my story, I can only hope it works out well because I love the idea of what it evokes when you hear the word. No, I am not telling you just yet because I don’t want to leak too much information now. I like to keep my work close to the chest. Which I know doesn’t always work for a writer but I just want to focus on getting it all together.
I can give hints though:
- One of my characters is named and designed after a favorite comic book villain… but he is much nicer in my story.
- Everyone is shaving their heads for science.
- Love still plays into the story.
- Bad guys are fun to write… and so are whole new worlds.
Good night everyone!
Here is the deal with
trying to writing, it is a never-ending process. I had an outline of my story when I began: start here – go here – end here. I am almost to the end of my first draft, a very rough first draft and I am just over a month out with my 15 minutes with an agent to pitch it. Now I have to decide what I am going to do with it. Do I revise it, change the story completely while keeping the cast of characters, or do I “pitch it” to the side. This last idea is not something I want to do but I am not happy with the way the story has come out. The end has been a struggle to put together and find the right words to type.
I have been made to believe by some that my story doesn’t have enough conflict or will come off “lectury” because of the story I want to tell. I want to… NEED TO finish this story, this book. I haven’t finished anything in the past and I can’t keep quitting when it becomes a struggle to write my stories. Like my reading pile, I also have a pile of stories I want to write as they constantly come to mind, creating new files with documents with the basics of the story that comes up. In the last month, I have written down the basic ideas for eight different stories. They keep coming to my mind but I can’t let myself be distracted. It would be so easy to just change over to one of those other ideas without finishing this one. But then nothing gets done, does it?
I can blame these delays on writer’s block, but I am not really blocked just stuck. I want to write, I attempt to get something out each day but I have skipped a few in the past few weeks because of personal events. One day was to spend an entire day with my family; which we haven’t been able to do because of schedule conflicts and a lot of different big chores going on. Another was because my mind was elsewhere because of having to get a biopsy done on my back – which is probably nothing. And the last was because I sat there for two hours and couldn’t come up with a single thing to put down on paper. Making me wish that I had someone to “snap me out of it” at these moments.
Part of these doubts come from whether it will be good enough. Who wants to write something they put everything into then have it slammed by reviewers? I have spent my life reading amazing novels, watching incredible stories on the screen and I wonder at the end of the night how I could even attempt to put my work in the same category as these. It’s not that my writing sucks but it is the intimidation of the amazing things I have read because no matter what someone says… they want their book to be a success. You don’t write and publish something just for yourself. Stories are written and created to be enjoyed by others. Others who aren’t the creator. I want my stories to be read and enjoyed… not for fame but because that is why it exists in the first place. That is its job – to be read. Without being read it’s just words on a page, ignored and forgotten.
So, my story will one day be finished but not anytime soon. It’s still incubating in my head.
ETA: I just realized that on July 6 I had around 30K words. Today I broke 50K. Pretty dang good.
Well, I did it. I broke the halfway mark on my word count goal for my book. Now I just have to write 35,000 more words in the next month before school starts. That will give me a month to work on and finish the proofing and editing before my pitch meeting in September. I also need to find people to read it and bounce it off of. Maybe I will leave some pages on the couch when the babysitter comes this week and see if she reads it.
I am still trying to come up with ideas for a title of the series as well as the book.
My fav book in the series. Learned I could be a new me by dying my hair and wearing new belts.
There is also the issue of edge for the book. Is it edgy enough? Will YA readers connect with the story and the characters? Why do I ask this? Sadly, I read some reviews on Amazon.com about the Babysitters Club and was shocked that 13 year olds were disappointed that they girls in the book didn’t deal with real issues like doing drugs and having sex as well as who cares about babysitting at that age when partying is so much more important for teens to be doing? For me when I was younger, around 10 The Babysitters Club was the shiznit and I did deal with problems like that when I was 13. I babysat. Didn’t really get invited to parties. Wasn’t into drugs or drinking at 13. Wasn’t having sex. Hell, I didn’t even have my first kiss at that point. By the time I was 13-15, I was reading The Thorn Birds and Clan of the Cave Bear along with some Sweet Valley High and trashy romance novels thrown in for balance.
Yes, some of those issues may come up but my stories are more about the internal struggles girls have with themselves and their friends. Teen girls trying to find their own way, trying to not get lost in the crap of teen drama that so many of us end up getting stuck in. Something I wish I could have read when I was younger. Cause no matter how hard I tried – I never looked like Jessica Wakefield (but I did get some fashion tips from her :p).
…Never Surrender – especially to your own self-doubts.
I almost did this the other night but I am lucky to be married to an amazing man who won’t let me do this to myself anymore. What was I doubting? My ability to be a writer and should I continue. My husband listened to me and told me to not give up. To believe in myself more, because he doesn’t understand why I don’t more.
The doubts – oh, there are so many.
My writing probably sucks
What if I never find an agent?
What if I get panned by reviewers?
What if I just fail?
So, after spending a month attempting to edit at the same time of doing major work on the house, vacationing as well as visiting family… I haven’t had a chance to get a word written. Tonight, instead of continuing my work on the editing I am getting back to writing. I will be spending time each day working on getting my edits done then in the evenings I will work on continuing my novel. In truth, when I was reading it as I edited it I actually enjoyed it. Is it a classic? No, but it is enjoyable.
I do need to find a title for what I am working on. Right now I have a working title of The Bank but it doesn’t really fit the story anymore. I also need to come up with a title for the series it will hopefully be the start of, a series about a group of girlfriends. Kind of like American Girl meets Sweet Valley High meets… am I boring you yet?
Now, it is time for me to get back to it. I ended up finally breaking 30K with the editing of four chapters and fleshing out parts of the story; I am getting ready to finish writing Chapter Eleven then onto Twelve. My end goal is about 70K.