Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Package with My Name on It

I recently watched an unauthorized biography of how Harry Potter came to be. I am sure there were embellishments throughout the movie but the core of the movie was simple.Writing was part of her life from the time she could pick up a crayon but it took a back seat to "life" and "conformity" that settles around us all. Eventually, she listened to the voices in her head, spewed out a book and left it again and again and again. Somewhere along the way she gained the courage to devote more time to the completion of the book, found an agent and they went on the hunt for a publisher... then it happened.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

November Waits

November waits in the shadows just 3 short months away. Why do I mention it? November brings me to one year since completing the draft of "Bleak" and it also brings me to another "NaNoWriMo" just waiting to take over my life. I'm feeling the pressure to get this manuscript into shape. I'm feeling the need to have at least a second or third or fourth draft underway before starting a new project. Am I writing this year for NaNo? Sure (that was weak). There's no reason I shouldn't write for NaNo this year. I have the same drama (or lack thereof) going on as last year.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Missing

I miss my story. I miss the characters and their lives. I miss being wrapped up in the "what ifs" and "what nows" of every movement. I miss word counting and page numbering.

I feel like they've taken on lives of their own and gone on without me. If I met them today, I'd hardly know them. Would I recognize them? Not sure they'd recognize me. I'd like to think we would all come running together in slow motion, embrace and live happily ever after. I'd like to think that anyway.

The story waits in a box. I packed it up with hopes of moving to a new home. I'm not moving and the story still waits in a box. I hope it misses me too. I hope it remembers me when I find it again.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Books for Revision and the Gifts in Dreams

Still on the hunt for help with revising this first draft. I checked out Holly Lisle's site. Very interesting information though the courses are not doable for me right now. Saving that one for a later date. I've dropped "Weekend Novelist Rewrites the Novel..."  and "Revision and Self Editing" in my cart on the Writer's Digest site. They are pretty well priced and free shipping is always nice. I used "The Weekend Novelist" quite a few years ago and am hoping for the same from the rewrite version. I'll let you know what I think.

Have you used any of these books previously? What did you think? What did you use and what did you pass by? Did you reach the goals you set by using the books? What other books have you used for writing or revision?

Now on to a completely different topic....

I've been having very odd dreams as of late. Some horrifying (severed head on the picnic table during cookout) and some just plain odd (forced to sell cookies because I wouldn't eat my dinner). The dream I had last night was both horrifying and just plain odd. Either way, I've jotted this one down as a possible story line. It has just enough sanity and just enough impossibility to make it a perfectly good story.

Wish I could realize when I'm dreaming like "Inception". If I could realize I was dreaming, I think I could do so much more in the dream. Like the dream I had last night. I remember thinking in one part that something wasn't right and trying to figure out why that would have happened... never realizing I was dreaming.

Have you ever been able to control your dreams? Ever written a story based on them? How do you keep from losing the dream the moment you wake?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Breaking Down the Forest

Working on revision today. I've not been successful in finding a guide for revision of a novel. I divided the novel into 12 chapters a long time ago and am further breaking them down today. I've tabbed each location change with colored sticky-notes that will correspond to the colored note cards I have. I want to use the note cards to break down the scenes. Just breaking down the locations has shown me where I need to expand and where I need to cut out some information. I'm hoping once I get the scenes down on note cards I will then break it down further by what characters are present in the scenes.

My goal is to have this revision complete by the end of February and reprint for another review. The story is only 50K and only about 150 pages. Much more is needed to beef this up. I'm sure there are areas that need more details and information. I remember typing so quickly that I left out detail which may leave the reader confused. I have to remember that the reader cannot see the world the way I do in my mind unless I describe and show them.

For the most part the chapters / events are solid. The ending needs a bit of tweeking and one entire section needs to be reworked. I'm excited about that piece. I still want to somehow incorporate something online for one of the characters. I'm letting that piece simmer a bit more.

Back to breaking down the forest to take a look at the trees, the branches and some leaves...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Reading to Write

I don't read enough. I know it. Anyone that knows me knows it. My dog even knows it. So.. I'm reading. Presently, I'm reading "Writing Great Books for Young Adults" by Regina Brooks. Ok, so I've only read the introduction. Even so, it's already got me doubting if my novel is actually a YA or something just beyond. Guess, I'll have to read the whole book to figure it out. It's fairly short so if I don't make a big fuss about it and actually read it... I'll get back to you on that.

The only reason I bought this book was because I was yet again trying to find a book that clues me in to the next step in this novel process. I'm so very tired of seeing books on the shelf about writing the novel, getting the idea and finishing the first draft. I did that! Next!! This book appears to have a few "what to do next" suggestions. We'll see.

There are books that will take you from idea to publisher in 12 easy steps but there's always a step missing. Revision and self-editing are either mentioned on two pages or skipped all together. Is editing/revision one of those "feel your way through it" processes? Ugh.

In the meantime, my novel waits for me to make up my mind about the future of it's 156 pages.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Simmer Down...

I've touch my stack of drafted novel chapters several times. I've lovingly grazed my fingers over the words and picked up a pencil now and again only to set it back down. It's not ready for me yet or I'm not ready for it. Something is keeping me from directing my energy towards the revision of this story I adore. I do not intend to change much, just refine what I have. Sure there's a useless chapter and at least one chapter that is yet to be created, but the sum of the parts will be the same in the end. Ah... the end. I love the ending.

So what's keeping my pencil at bay? What's pushing me towards other tasks that need to be done but could certainly wait an hour or three? Any number of distractions or excuses would answer those questions I suppose.

Part of me is still reveling in the sheer fact that I finished writing the first draft. I completed the story. I gave the characters a beginning (which wasn't too hard), a middle (which caused eye twitching) and an end (which brought about arguing with non-existent people). When I look to my shelf of books about writing, the majority of them address the issue of actually writing the novel from beginning to end. I've done that now haven't I? I browsed my local book store for books on revision and what to do next. I came up empty. But this is just another excuse to put the draft aside and wait.

Wait for what? For it to simmer just under a boil, to brown to a golden hue or to blacken to a crisp? Well none of that will happen without some heat. The heat... that is where I come in. I and my 0.5 mechanical pencil (two clicks, please) at the ready.