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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Just Keep Drafting

I love drafting way more than revising. It's exciting to create something from nothing. But to be completely honest, there are times when I feel like I should burn my manuscript because it sucks and anyone who reads it could suffer permanent eye damage. And that makes me want to revise while I draft. It happened while I was working on my first WiP (which is why it took me soooo long to finish that). I've been told over and over and over again to ignore the Evil Inner Editor and just keep writing. Embrace the sucky first draft. But y'all, that's hard! I want it to be good now. :D

So I'm trying something new this time. I use the track changes feature in Microsoft Word when I'm doing critiques, and I thought why not use it for my writing? When I'm working and I realize I need to change a scene or add something, I go back and hit the New Comment tab and make a note of what I want to fix. Then the comment is there for me to use when I'm DONE with the first draft. So far, I have tons of colorful little bubbles out to the side, waiting for me to make my book all sparkly. It's really helping me to resist the urge to edit as I go.

So do you have any tricks to make yourself keep writing during the first draft and not edit as you go?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Characters You Care About - Finding Nemo

I don't know about you, but I love the movie Finding Nemo. My youngest daughter got the dvd as a birthday present, and she's watched it something like a million times since then (yes, I'm exaggerating...but not by much :D) Anyway, I've watched it again and again with her more times than I can count, and I'm always surprised that I'm not tired of it.

That got me to thinking. Why do I like watching Finding Nemo so much even though I could probably recite the lines from memory? The answer, for me at least, was obvious. It has some wonderful characters. All of the main characters are full of personality, quirkiness, and seem so real.

Take for instance Marlin. He's a neurotic, overprotective father who obsesses about keeping his son Nemo safe. We saw why he was like that during the first few minutes of the movie (which always makes me teary-eyed) and we can connect to that desire to protect our loved ones. No matter how grumpy or impatient Marlin is, we can relate to him because of that need.

His son, Nemo, is the one we want to protect. He has a defect and he's been sheltered by Marlin his whole life, but he longs for the freedom to be his own person. Something we all can relate to.

Then there is Dory. Oh, how I LOVE Dory! Scatter-brained, funny, and lovable, Dory drives Marlin crazy on his quest to rescue Nemo. She's also the catalyst for most of the conflict during the journey. Yet despite these flaws, she embodies the longing we have for true friendship.

As writers, we strive to create characters like these. Characters who live, have feelings, have goals, desires, and flaws. It's hard to do, but if done well, your readers will come back to your books over and over again.

So what do you think? Do you find it hard to create characters that you can care about? Who are some of your favorite characters?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Reviving the Blog

Hey everybody! So...my hiatus went on a little longer than I planned. Okay, a lot longer:) I could say that I've been busy traveling the world and fun stuff like that, but that's not the case. I guess I just needed a break. Anyway, I'm excited to jump back into the blogosphere, and I'm really looking forward to catching up with you.

After a year and a half of working on my dystopian, I'm finally working on a new WiP.  I was completely burned out with the dystopian. It didn't even resemble the idea I started with (the idea I fell in love with), plus I felt like I was trying to make changes to please the market. Big mistake. So I figured it was time to shelve it. That was harder than I thought it would be. Way back in March, I toyed with  the idea of putting it aside for a while, but I was too stubborn to let go. Fast forward to June. After a little over a month of absolutely no writing, a wonderful thing happened. I had one of those Shiny New Ideas (got it from listening to the song If I Die Young by The Band Perry). Anyway, I made an outline, character sketches, found some inspiration pictures, and now I'm drafting again. I'd forgotten how much fun that could be! Currently, the new WiP is at a little over 13,000 words.

Also I'm not sure if you noticed, but my blog address now matches my pen name. It's been aggravating changing my fb page, twitter, and a few forums I visit, but I figured I needed to make the changes now rather than later.

So how have YOU been? I look forward to hearing from you!