Saturday, June 30, 2007

End of month

With all of the distractions that came with June, not to mention the discouragement and mini-meltdowns, I still managed 9,000 words. Not too shabby. I am making nice progress and getting a little excited with what's taking shape.

I do need to come up with some conflict to help smooth the time period between two upcoming chapters. I have learned one thing. (Oh, I hope I've learned more than one thing.) Anyway, no more expectant mothers for awhile. You have to be so careful with timelines when you do that. I see why so many authors toss that twist in at the end. Cowards. (s)

Of course, since I never like to read that, naturally, I wasn't about to follow suite. (Lip thrust forward and hands on hips.) That's the lazy way. Woohoo, taxi. Follow that bus. I'm ready to climb on board--and step on it.

Isn't it amazing what it takes to humble some people. I always did have to learn things the hard way.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Scratching head

I'm trying to figure something out. I read a book yesterday and actually enjoyed it. I know, leave it there and move on. Not to be so. As I thought about the story today, I got to thinking about it from a technical aspect. The plot was basic. Would the mc choose A or B? From page one, we knew what her choice would be. Hey, when a hot guy is choice A, how do you think the story will end? So no surprises, no twists, no gasp moments, just a very simple plot. I'm okay with that. Sometimes, I actually prefer it. These types of stories are what I consider "comfort reads". You know the kind where they don't have you on the edge of your seat. You aren't anxious for the next chapter. Instead, they leave you with an 'ahhh' feeling all the way through. For my money, I'm glad to have the option.

Anyway, I say all this to make this observation. Having been down the submission road more times than a large crit group, I started wondering. What did this author's query letter look like? Boy stumbles across misplaced girl. He takes her home and makes her decide if she will stay or leave. Hmm, I doubt it, but really, what could have been the hook that made this agent say yes? Not that I mind, but it's all too subjective for me.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Jane

First, YYEEEAAAA!!!!!!

Sorry, I just had to get that out of the way. My friend, Jane, has received a contract for her ms, A Different Kind of Honesty. Not to gloat, but I knew this would happen. She is a fantastic writer with an incredible story. WOW!!! I'm so excited for you, Jane!

If anyone would like to see a snip of her ms, there is one in my archives (April 9, Do I have talented friends or what!)

*Applause* Applause* Confetti* Champagne Corks Popping*

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Admit it, you do it too.

I was reading over a scene that had been resting. I became so engrossed in the story that as I turned the page, I found myself getting excited to know what was to happen next. Scrolling down, the words ended. Ugh, I was so disappointed. I forgot I was the author and needed to finish the scene. It read so well, I felt as though I was the reader enjoying the story. Mmmm, what a great feeling. I love it when that happens. This helped remind me that I might be onto something.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Mediocre Blues.

We all go through it. I'm curious as to your methods of pulling yourself from it. I refer to self-doubt. To overcome this, do you revert back to the reason you write--because you love it? Do you partner yourself with inferior writers to make yourself look better--hey! Do you compare yourself to already published material, scoff, and audibly declare that you write better than this drivel? (My personal favorite.) Or, do you avoid your laptop for a few days until the mood passes? Of course, this could be a bad week and I will be full of vim and vigor in a few days. But until then...what about you?

Monday, June 18, 2007

We survived.

The house is quiet, eerily so. The commotion of early June has faded to ghostly echoes. There is no longer a trail of clutter to make appearances known, nor do trunk loads of groceries mysteriously disappear. When more than one bag boy has to be mandated to assist your cashier, something is amiss. These anomalies are to be pondered in the vacuum of time. So distraught by the disruption, the family pup struggles for normality and seeks solace with the master's increased attention. The invaders have gone back to where they came but with the promise to return, and most likely be even more rejuvenated for their next attack. The current inhabitants smile, wipe a tear from their eye, but vow to have a better strategy in play for next time.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Quick check-in.

I thought any progress this month would be futile, but so far I've racked up 4,000 words. That's surprising to me since both of my children were home for two weeks. (They leave tomorrow.)

My daughter is nonstop energy. She is the type of woman who (and does this daily) wears out one group of friends by dinner and then will call several more to pick up the slack. Then out she goes again.

My son is the opposite who relies on one-on-one attention. Since he has been away for a couple of years and his friends have moved on, his activities are limited.

So...as far as my writing accomplishments for the month have gone, I'd say it's been successful. Oh, and if you're wondering which one of them takes after me...I'm heading out the door for a three day conference but will probably be a wall flower who barely socializes. I guess they both do.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Sometimes, you gotta let off a little steam.

I'm starting to think my blog reads like a roller coaster ride. I see why writing is a solitary profession. I won't go into details, if you're a writer, I'm sure you have it figured out.

As a writer, I try to stick to the kiss method. I can weave all the intricate plot points and twists I want, but basically, if I don't keep it simple stupid, as far as writing style goes, it's gibberish. Have you ever read something that left you scratching your head? Sure you have. Now I'm not suggesting we lower our skills to a lower reading level. That would be ludicrous. What I am saying is:

Know your audience. Be honest. If your material is for a certain age or demographic, write it accordingly. Don't force your wip on the wrong group.

Know your story. If you can't be consistent, why do you expect it from your characters? Nothing irks me more than when reading a piece and something in it just doesn't fit. Your characters need to be true to the setting, plot, and period. Don't make them look and sound like ninnies.
Know your capabilities. First, I am all for continuing to grow and learn. However, don't force things on others that they don't want, especially when you've camouflaged it in an attempt to impress.

And know yourself. You may have aspirations of being the next best______. Why? She's filled that spot, but there is room for you. Don't be a cheap imitation. Be genuine. Let the world see what you can do. You might surprise yourself at what that is.

Sorry to get a little preachy there, but come on, people. Have some pride.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Thank you!

I want to take a minute to thank those of you who have faithfully critiqued my wips. You have suffered through everything from serious head hopping to shattered confidence. I can see so much improvement in my writing and it is all due to you. I can never thank you enough. One of the great things that has come from this experience is (This should be the part where I shout, I signed a contract. sorry, no...hrm, not yet, (wink)) The best thing is...because of your patience and diligence with me, I am able to pass this information on to others. You'll note that I didn't say knowledge. I can't. Although I try to do my best and remember everything I've learned, it isn't a part of me in the way that I can claim it as knowledge. I, and my wips, are works in progress. But what a gift to have you who care to help me get better. Oh, just so you know, don't go far. This in no way lets you off the hook. I still have much more to learn and need you guys as much as ever. Just know, I am very grateful. Thank you, Carol.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

I think this is a good thing.

Does this happen to anyone else? It seems like the scenes that give me the greatest struggle are the ones that people enjoy the most. I don't know why that it is , but it does seem to work out like that. I had a scene that I thought was a dud. When it was critiqued, I got great comments. Go figure. The good part is, I have a scene that I'm currently working on that is taking quite a bit of effort. I find great comfort in hoping this will follow suite and be a favorite scene.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

This is such torture.

I am at work and have absolutely nothing to do. This happens frequently during this time of year. I am so tempted to go get my memory stick and type away on my story. The thing is, my boss pops out of the classroom without notice. Grrr.

It wouldn't be so bad if I was still constructing the initial layout of the story, I could scribble notes on paper and have done that many times. But all the bones are in place, and I need to flesh it out. I have to look at the screen and fiddle with it to make it happen.

To occupy myself, I have caught up on crits for other people, haunted the forum, workshop, and visited any, and all, blogs I can find. You're welcome for the increased hits, btw. Since Yahoo IMing is off limits on this computer, I generally busy myself with emails, but someone got a temp. job for the week. *smile*

Big sigh. If anyone needs a crit--gimme. I would love the chance to be productive.

Monday, June 4, 2007

All warm and gushy.

Ohhhh, I just love it when I write a scene and think it's good. For me, this is the test. When I return to a passage several different times throughout the day. I'll reread it slowly, savor each word, and each time, my heart melts. Oh, it doesn't get any better. Sigh.

So, what is it for you that makes you know, 'Yes, this will get 'em."

Saturday, June 2, 2007

I know what I want.

I read a book last week that has stayed with me. Not that the story was memorable, but because of the thoughts I had when I finished it. I really liked the premise for the story. The concept and the characters were completely believable.

However, I felt what the author had written was only half of the story. The book was one dimensional with no subplot and very little conflict. She had two minor characters who popped up only three times in the entire book and lasted for 2-3 pages per appearance. Their existence seemed forced and this left me annoyed and irritated. Then, when she had one character blurt out a secret that could have easily created more depth to her tale, she never brought the subject up again.

Since finishing the book, in 2 hours, I keep thinking, if she had developed the characters and the story more, built the conflict (had conflict), put the character's happiness in jeopardy, it would have made for a really good book. As it stands, it's okay, barely.

I think it is staying with me so well because I realize, I want my writing to be more than okay. I want people to read it and think about it afterward with a completely satisfied feeling. You know the kind of feeling I'm talking about. That warm cozy, hot chocolate by the fire feeling. The kind that makes them see your book in the stores and pick it up with eagerness. They don't even have to read the back cover but race to devour the content. All because they know they can trust you to bring them to that place where the adventure and the ride will be nothing short of complete.