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Sunday, November 29, 2009

But I Don't Want To!

How many of you have every heard your kids say this? You tell them to do something and immediately they say (in a high-pitched, whiny voice), "But I don't want to!" My kids could recite this line in their sleep.

There's a lot of things I don't want to do right now. Putting up the Christmas tree is one. I have a tradition where I always get my husband to drag the Christmas decorations out of the attic and the kids and I deck out the house in holiday splendor on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Why on that day? I don't know, that's just what I've always done. But it probably has something to do with my mad shopping sprees on Black Friday and Saturday:) Anyway, I usually love doing this, but this year, well, I don't. My youngest has been sick with a nasty cold all week, so I'm extremely sleep deprived, I missed my shopping this week because of said sick child, and now I have the stupid cold. I don't feel like doing anything. Not cooking, not cleaning, and yes, that includes writing.

You may be thinking What! You're a writer. And writers write no matter what! Well, you are absolutely correct to be thinking this (if you are). There's a lot of things in life that people don't feel like doing, but they have to get done. Otherwise, they won't get done. If I don't put up the tree, the kids can't help with the decorating (Please don't ask why doesn't the husband help with the tree....that's not his thing). And I will have some very disappointed kids to deal with. Even though I feel like crap right now, I did manage to get the tree assembled and the decorations out. And you know what? It looks great. It even put me in a semi-cheerful mood to see the house like this. The kids are very happy, which in turn, makes me happy because they're no longer complaining.

The same is true for my writing. Even though I don't feel like writing right now, I'm still gonna do it tonight. I'm just over the 25,000 word mark, but I know I should be a lot further along than this. I stayed up late last night to finish a chapter and I posted it for my crit group even though the bed was calling my name. Tonight, it's on to the next chapter. I would love to get the whole chapter typed tonight, but that probably won't happen. I'll settle for at least half of it being completed. And all because I'm a writer. And writers write, even when they don't feel like it.

What's something you didn't want to do lately, but you did it anyway?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My Wonderful WIP

I love writing. It has made me realize things that I've never dreamed. First, I never imagined I could actually write anything worth reading. I've been talking about wanting to write for over ten years, but I just got around to doing it a few months ago. I could kick myself for wasting so much precious time. Sure, it's hard work, but I LOVE it.

And my WIP. Well, what can I say? I adore it. Now I know some of you may be thinking Don't get too attached to it...first novels usually suck. But I can't help it. This book is my baby. And the characters....they are like real, live, flesh-and-blood people to me now. I can see them and hear the things they say. They have told me things I never thought they would do. One character even showed up unexpectedly. I blogged once about how I came up with my characters and created sketches for each one, but one just waltzed in and has become a pretty major player.

Another thing about my characters is that they have started taking over the story. I have a very general outline to help me remember where I want the characters to be at certain points of the story, but the chapter I've been working on for the past few days has tripped me up. I keep wanting the characters to go one way, but they want to go in the opposite direction. And you know what, it looks like they are going to win. Something about this particular chapter has been bothering me, but the more I think about it, the more I see how the characters are right again. So tonight, when I log off the Internet, I'm going to just listen to them and see where they take me. And I can't wait.

How has your WIP surprised you? Do you control your characters, or have they taken over your story?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The New Barbie and Ken?

I must have been hiding under a rock, because I swear I did not know there were Bella and Edward dolls. I found out a few days ago when I was blog surfing and found this hilarious post. As I was reading, I thought Where can I find these things? My kids would love them.


The next day, I mentioned the doll to my oldest. She proceeded to roll her eyes and tell me how dumb that was. (She's in 6th grade, therefore too cool for dolls). However, the middle child was thrilled. She said that they were going to be added to her Christmas wish list. (Along with the 37 other things already on there.)

Anyway, we went shopping yesterday and had to make the usual stop at Wally World (er, Walmart). Since the kids were behaving relatively well, I let them take me on a stroll through the electronics and toy departments to show me all the things they simply must have this year.

We ended up at the Barbie section, and wouldn't you know it, we found Edward. Bella was sold out, but three Edwards were sitting there. Let me tell you, they were ugly. Really creeped me out just looking at them, and the $25 price tag didn't help either. The oldest child started snickering and picking on the middle child for even liking the doll. Of course, the middle child started whining that it was not ugly and that she wanted the doll. Right Now!


A lady was standing near us and gave me that look. You know the look. It can be interpreted to mean I feel so sorry for you because you have to put up with that crap or I'm so glad that's not MY child acting like that. And when she heard the middle child moan "I want the Edward dollllllllll," she actually started laughing. I just smiled and got out of there as fast as I could.

So that little adventure didn't turn out like I thought it would, but I can say for certain my child won't have the evil little Edward doll. Now if they come out with a Jacob, I may reconsider:)
Oh wait, they did!


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Anyone Twitter?

I've heard a lot about Twitter. Some good, some bad. But I've never signed up for it. Why? Well, because I have a lot going on in my life right now. In between taking care of my family, feeding said family, trying to make sure my house doesn't completely fall apart, blogging, critiquing, and writing, I have very little time for anything else. I am sooooo afraid that if I get a Twitter account now, I will want to spend way more time on that than I should.

Now, I'm nowhere near the querying stage right now. But...I found a link to this blog. Go ahead, check it out. I'll wait:)

Now, this blew my mind. I mean, who would ever dream of an agent having interest in your work because of Twitter? Wow!

So, for those of you who do Twitter....what are the benefits? Even if you're like me (remember, I'm still working on the first draft), do you think Twitter is helpful to you now? Or if you don't Twitter, why not? I'm on the fence about getting an account now or waiting until I'm done with my WIP. What do you think?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Writing Through Distractions

I'm the type of person who has to have absolute silence before I can work on my book. The kids have to be tucked in bed, the husband has to be entrenched in front of the T.V. or sound asleep, and no noise can be present. No, not even music. That would be too distracting.

But I'm slowly getting over it. I have three kids. Three kids who actually make noise. Three kids who fight constantly. (Yes, even the baby gets in there with them. She has learned rather quickly how to defend herself.) Three kids and a husband who demand to be fed every night.

If I wait until every single one of them goes to bed, I usually have about two, maybe three hours to myself. But I'm greedy. That's not enough time. I mean, I have to blog! I have to read other blogs. I have chapters to critique. And I have my own book to work on. Two or three hours is just not enough time.

So I have learned to steal time during the day when (gasp!) the kids are awake. You may think No way, that's impossible! But it's not. I actually did it yesterday. Inspiration struck early and I had to write. In between being a referee, homework coach, and chef, I managed to turn out about a thousand words. And I cranked out another thousand last night when everyone was in bed.

Will I be able to do this amazing feat again? I don't know, but I'll try. I've never even attempted to write with them around, but I want to get the first draft finished. At the rate I'm going just working late at night, it'll be well into 2010 until that happens. So no more complaining from me about not having enough writing time! From now on, I'll be stealing bits of time at all hours of the day to get my writing done.

My question: When do you write? Early morning, late at night, or whenever you can? Do you have a set schedule, or do you write whenever you feel like it?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

It's That Time Again!

Yes, folks, it's time to pass on some wonderful awards that I've received. I've been keeping them all to myself for far too long. First up is the Superior Scribbler Award that the lovely Kasie West gave to me way back in the middle of October.

Here are the rules:

1. Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy friends.

2. Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she received The Award.

3. Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to this post, which explains the award.

4. Each blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we'll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!

5. Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

Now for my nominations:

1. Megan Rebekah at Megan Rebekah Blogs

2. Julie at Diary of an Unpublished Wanna-be Writer

3. Tina Lynn at Sweet Niblets

4. Erica at Laugh. Write. Play.

5. Mariah at Constantly Risking Absurdity

These ladies rock! I promise, you will always find something worthwhile to read when you visit them. Next, up for grabs is the Best Blog Award. The super-fabulous Roni at Fiction Groupie honored me with this award a few weeks ago.

The rules for The Best Blog Award are:

1. To accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and his/her blog link.

2. Pass the award to other bloggers that you recently discovered and think are great! Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

My lovely nominees are:

1. Sara at The Babbling Flow of a Fledgling Scribbler

2. Annissa at Off the Record

3. Morgan at The Fire in Her Eyes

And that's all for now! More awards to come later.

Oh, and for the word count update: 2,697 words since Monday. YAY!!!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Itching to Edit

Sorry if the title of my post gives you a bad visual, but I want to edit my MS soooooooo bad right now. I've got some great feedback on my first few chapters, and I want to go back and fix them. Right now. But I made a promise to myself....no editing unless I have something major that has to be fixed before I can move on.

My head feels like it could explode. It's that perfectionist personality that I have. The thought of having those pesky little things just sitting there, begging to be tweaked, is driving me insane.

But on the other hand, my characters are starting to whisper to me now. When are you going to finish the story??!! We're waiting....

When I started writing, I had no idea how much I would like the revising part. I just figured I would be so excited to write the story, that the editing would be a pain. And I probably will feel like that when the first draft is done. But a part of me feels that I can't do a good job if I leave a mess behind me. It's like an addiction!

Now, I have made a little progress this weekend. I got 1100 new words in, but I need to do better. I'm thinking of setting a daily word count goal. I resisted doing that before because I figured it would kill all creativity, but I've got to do something. Or else this book may never be finished!

How do you resist the urge to go back and edit your MS to death before it's finished?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sharing

I'm curious. How many of you read books to help you with the craft of writing? I have a few. Some I've skimmed through, some I've devoured in a few days. My favorite one so far is simply titled Characters & Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card. I read it entirely before I started working on my character sketches. Now, many of you may be pros at creating characters, but remember, I'm brand new at this. So, for a beginner, this book is a great resource to have.

This book really got me thinking out of the box. It forces you to dig below the surface with your characters, to really examine what makes them tick. It brought up things I had never considered. The section on constructing characters has great tips to help you on your quest to create a character that everyone will love (or hate if it's the villain). I also liked the fact that Card used examples from books and movies in addition to making up his own examples to help you "see" what he's talking about.

So, do any of you have writing books that are helpful? Please share in the comments!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Name Trouble

I have a problem. I have a name for a character in my WIP that I love. Now, this character is not the main character...she's the six-year-old sister of my main character. However, she plays a major role in my story. Anyway, I named this character way back in the summer when I was still in the brainstorming stage. I completed a character sketch of her. I even went online and found a picture of an adorable little girl that looked like her, printed it out, and stapled it to the sketch.

Now months later, I just finished an awesome book (Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick) and, wouldn't you know it, the MC in that book has a name similar to my character's name. The main character in Hush, Hush is named Nora Gray. My character is named Noren Grayson. Hmmm. What to do. I know, it would probably be easier to just change her first or last name, but my problem is that I already think of her as Noren Grayson. That's her name, and I hate the thought of changing it. But, I don't want people (readers, potential agents and editors) to think I just copied the name from Hush, Hush. I didn't. I never even heard of Hush, Hush until a two months ago when I read a review of it on another blog. I've known about this conflict since then, but I've been putting off making a decision.

So, what do you think? Should I keep the name or change it? I would love to hear your opinion!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Questioned

So, I was working on my WIP a couple of days ago, and my oldest daughter came up behind me and tried to read some of it over my shoulder. Now, I HATE it when anybody does that. I turned around and gave her THE LOOK, meaning please leave the room and give me some peace and quiet. She just ignored me, like she usually does, and proceeded to ask me some questions.

Child: Whacha doin?

Me: What am I doing?

Child: Yeah.

Me: I'm working on my book.

Child: You're still working on it? I thought you'd be done by now.

Me: (starting to get a little impatient) Yes, it takes a while to do these things, and I've never done it before.

Child: (looking thoughtful) When you finish, are you going to be rich?

Me: (looking startled) No, probably not.

Child: (looking at me like I have grown horns or something) Are you going to make any money?

Me: Well, if I sell it I could.

Child: How much are you gonna make?

Me: (sighing) I have NO idea.

Child: Well, when you do, can I have a new cell phone?

Got to love kids. Even though she really doesn't have a clue about how publishing really works, at least she believes in me.