February 2011 Archive

Uh Oh…

Today, I hit a wall.

I don’t make much money.  To save I make a pb&j sandwich almost anytime I need to bring a lunch or snack somewhere.  I’ve done this for almost two years now and today I just couldn’t do it.  I choked down two bites and had to put down the rest.  It was terrible.  Mom says I should switch to bologna sandwiches…at least that would be cheap too! haha

Oof.

Major Conflict

Today I am reworking the second chapter of Rupert.  Sophia, a wonderful woman who has read/critiqued my first chapter, commented that since Rupert is a middle grade book the major conflict needs to come pretty quickly.  Geez, how did I miss that!  Here I am, writing a book where the major conflict doesn’t come in until the fourth chapter, that’s 1/4 of the way through the book (there are twelve chapters currently planned and written).

At first when I realized this I was pretty bummed and didn’t know how to rework those first few chapters as I love what I have already written.  Writing is a process of editing and knowing when to delete and change.  I have decided to write a new second chapter and introduce the conflict earlier.  Doing this, I am avoiding having to completely delete my second-fourth chapters, but I will have to change them a little.  Clever, eh?  haha

Anyways, there’s where Rupert is currently at.

Also, here’s a great piece of advice Dad gave me earlier this week.  When you are critiquing a piece of work don’t focus on content but on helping them become a better writer.

I Love To Read…

Cale reads.  He reads a lot.  He reads more books than I have ever known anyone to.  He pours through books like he’s drinking a glass of water in the desert.  And I don’t mean easy books.  I mean “The Secret History of MI6” that has 540 tiny words a page, for 752 pages (I counted).   And he is ridiculously excited to read “The Journal of Southern History” that’s published quarterly and is filled with scholarly journals.  He reads those like they’re candy and can’t get enough.  How on earth does he do it?

I love reading and I love stories, but I also love running, playing with my dogs, working, cleaning, etc. and it seems that a lot of the time I actually have to remind myself to finish books unless they’re powerfully captivating.  Is this a bad thing?  I sure hope not.

How do you guys make time to read all the books you want?

How Do You Delete?

All writers experience the need to delete entire sentences, paragraphs, and pages of work.  Thousands of words down the drain.

How do you make those necessary changes?  How do you delete writing you have fallen in love with?

The easiest way to delete is to not actually delete.  I have made the decision to re-work a big part of ‘Rupert’ even though I love what I have already written.  Instead of erasing it completely, I’ve merely moved it into another document. Maybe I’m keeping it for sentimental reasons only, but who knows, maybe I’ll be able to use it in some other piece of writing.

This is not the first document I have saved works goes along these lines.

How have I made the decision to take this part of Rupert out?  Simply put, I have to.

I’m a believer that stories tell us what happens, and what they need to say.  Characters have their own personalities that we, as the writer, have to be true to.  The story line is not something we decide on but is merely something that happens.  Either we are true to that, or not.  Either we force it to change, or not.  If we listen, it is not hard to make these changes.

When a particular part of a story doesn’t work it is easy to take out, even if I am in love with the writing or the idea behind it.  If I do love it, then it gets saved somewhere at the bottom of my documents folder. Someday, perhaps I’ll take this portion of ‘Rupert’ out and a new story will come of it.

Check List

Do you ever feel like there’s too much to do?  The funniest part about this feeling, for me, is that I’m really not that busy of a girl.  I work an average of 40 hours a week, and don’t have many responsibilities besides that.

I exercise when I want, write and read when I want, and clean when I want.  I take care of my dogs, call my family, see friends, and grocery shop when it’s convenient.  How do I fall asleep feeling like I’ve forgotten to do something, when I live such a relaxed life?

Tomorrow is my day off and I have a full day of writing (mostly), bathing my dogs, going for a run, and cleaning planned. Hopefully it all gets done. I’m going to have to make a check list to keep everything straight.

How do you get all the things done that you want to do?

Also, huge shout out to the finalists in Nathan’s contest, read them at: www.nathanbransford.com. I especially enjoyed Anonymous and Daniel Wheatley’s. I absolutely would read a book with those as the first paragraphs.