July 2011 Archive

Too Many Questions?

Cale said this to me earlier today: Sometimes, you remind me of a small child. You ask too many open ended questions.

To my credit, we were at the pier watching fisherman bring in their catch of the day and watching the seals swim through the water, waiting for fish to accidentally fall overboard. I mean, there are a lot of open-ended questions to ask when you’re watching that.

But don’t you all think that it’s a requirement of a writer to ask all those questions?

I took a nap today and before I fell asleep I thought, What would happen if everybody was connected to someone else and could only die once that other person died. If you got sick or were injured you could survive because you were spiritually attached to someone else? Overpopulation of the world, that’s what would happen. But that’s not the point. The point is that we ask ourselves these weird questions, file them away, and write books answering them later.

And it’s totally okay! No one can say our questions are annoying because frankly, it’s just a consequence of our job.

Job Hazard Zone: too many questions.

My teachers in middle school were right after all, there are no such things as stupid questions, and even if there are, those stupid questions lead to really interesting answers, which lead to even more really interesting questions.

Moral of this post, it’s not possible to ask too many questions. Our curiosity drives our imaginations and surely that’s a good thing.

Because seriously, have you ever wondered if seals accidentally breath in water like people sometimes do when they’re swimming? Or why a Dogfish is called a Dogfish? I know I have!

Story Chain

For the Gearin’ Up to Get an Agent blogfest, week two is all about creation and the story chain.  If you’d like to read the post before mine, check out Deana‘s blog.

Tony plopped a bag down in front of Dio and she fell to her knees, digging through it, unable to wrap her mind around her parents death and…Europe? Suddenly, she hated Europe too.

Dio chucked out an old bottle of shampoo out of the bag and her old stuffed weasel from when she was little. Surely, she wouldn’t need those.

“Come on, Dio. We need to leave.” Sandy waved and Dio reluctantly dragged her bag toward the taxi. Dio sat down and began to cry when her fingers touched dried boogers on the seat.

Life is so unfair.

To follow the story, go to Frost Lord’s blog.

The Ultra Shuffle

There is a moment when the ultra marathon shuffle is appropriate.

The Badwater Ultramarathon is 135 miles long from Death Valley to Mount Whitney and it’s claimed to be one the hottest races with temperatures ranging to 120 degrees (Fahrenheit). Racers run on the white lines on the road because they’re shoes tend to melt when they run on the black. They also dress completely in white to try to reflect as much heat as possible.

Yes sir, if ever there’s a time when the ultra shuffle is appropriate it’s when you’re running Badwater.

What is the ultra shuffle? Basically, it’s when you’re so tired you can’t run. Your mind has shifted into neutral and your body goes on autopiolet. Instead of running, you shuffle, trying to run as best you can because you don’t want to walk.

Sad to say, I did the ultra shuffle in my marathon and that wasn’t even an ultra. *sigh* haha :)

But I have been doing the ultra shuffle for the past week in writerville, sloughing through my work. Trying to write and edit even though the motivation isn’t there.

Not until the past couple days have I felt the energy to write come back. I must give that credit to my critters. They’ve sent some amazing critiques my way that has motivated me to open the laptop, sit my butt in the chair and actually get work done.

I’m crossing my fingers I’ve moved past my ultra shuffle phase and have moved back into running. The only thing that’s making me pause now, and I can’t decide if this is good or bad, is that this isn’t a 135 mile run. The writing race is never going to end! Good thing? Probably. :)

Have you ever done the ultra shuffle, either in real life or in writerville?

Judgy Juliana?

Gasp! I realized last night that I’ve been snidely looking down my nose a group of writers.

Pantsers.

I’m a natural plotter. I love plotting and knowing where my story is going.

The ironic thing is, it turns out I really enjoy pantsing. Another gasp! *sigh*

I’m in the midst of editing Guardians and don’t have the focus to plot out a whole new book. So instead, I’m completely winging it with my new WIP. And it’s been great! I’m discovering the characters as I write and am realizing I don’t have to agonize over plot, structure, and pre-fabricated ideas over what the WIP should be.

Simply amazing.

So I apologize all of you wonderful people who are pantsers. It seems I’ve learned a thing or two in the past week and have been completely proven wrong.

Two amazing writers have helped me realize the benefits of pantsing and you all should go check out their blogs: Misty and Kate. You guys are the best :)

Are you a pantser or plotter? Or do you find you enjoy doing a bit of both?

(Thanks everyone who’s stopped by for Deana’s blogfest! I’ve had a blast stopping by all your sites and can’t wait to get to know y’all better. :) )

Get an Agent Blogfest

I’ve been looking forward to Deana’s Get an Agent Blogfest all month and now Week 1 is finally here!! Eep!

Everyone should go and sign up because it’s awesome.

So, here’s my question! Are you a character driven writer (or reader if you prefer) or are you plot driven?

If the plot is weak but the character is strong then I will absolutely keep reading. This applies to my writing, although hopefully this doesn’t mean I have weak plots, lol. I try to have fully developed characters who are flawed, as we are in real life, but also are able to overcome their weaknesses.

What kind of writer are you? Do you think there’s a happy medium we can reach between character and plot?

(Btw, I’ve been driving across country for the past couple days and completely forgot to post yesterday for Sentence Sunday. Sorry guys! I’ll catch up next week. :) )