Saturday, January 18, 2014

Hello, Beautiful Scene

All righty, since deciding to multi-task and work on both Untitled Contemporary and Untitled Fantasy at the same time, I've kind of been using the latter as an excuse so I didn't have to get back to writing the former. I was still working on my writing, even if I was only trying to figure out my plot (an update on Untitled Fantasy will come in a bit).

I sat down tonight to work on plotting and outlining Untitled Fantasy. So I went to see if I could quickly find some advice on outlining (since I'm pretty awful at it). One thing led to another and I ended up clicking on this article by Susan Dennard with notes from Sarah J. Maas on how to maintain passion for a story. I sorely needed something to help me with Untitled Contemporary, so I decided to take a look.

And there in the article was the perfect suggestion. Long-hand. I prefer to just type things up in the main document since I hate transferring scenes from paper to screen but I also know that (for some reason) writing by hand destroys the pressure of perfectionism. It's much freer and it seems to expect less from you than that blinking cursor on the screen.

In that moment, I realized I was so caught up in getting from Point A to Point B that I didn't know what to do in between without skipping it all (can't do that) or it being the same old thing I'd written the chapter before.

So I read the last few lines I'd written, set pen to paper, and off it flew. A much more dynamic and meaningful scene unfolded before me. I only knew about one event from that scene. I knew Daisy (our protagonist) would be shoved in the cafeteria but I had no idea what her inner thoughts would be or what Adam (our friend and hero) would say.

I never would have thought that this scene I'd been struggling to write would explode across five pages of lined paper. I didn't know that Daisy would make a promise and I didn't know Adam would say as much as he did. But most importantly, I didn't know how grateful I'd be or how much I would end up loving this scene.

Every time I've thought about Untitled Contemporary, I've known what I wanted the story to be, but I didn't know until now that this also had another story within it. My deepest wish for Untitled Contemporary is for it to become not only a story of forgiveness but also a story of kindness and the power we each hold as individuals.

In honor of my breakthrough, I present my favorite line of the night.

"You have a beautiful life to live."

Monday, January 13, 2014


So if you're following me a on twitter you may have seen an important writing announcement this past Sunday. If not, allow me to say it now. I've decided to multi-task and am now writing Untitled Contemporary and Untitled Fantasy.

Untitled Fantasy is inspired by the Grimm fairy tale, Rapunzel. Before you get confused, no, this is not a retelling, this is merely inspired by the short tale. I'm particularly interested in the whole garden tended by the enchantress part of it all.

I didn't decide to start writing this on a whim though. Honestly, I had just read Rapunzel for the first time not last Sunday but the one before and there's just something about the tale that really appeals to me. The tale just wouldn't leave my mind though. I'm pretty sure it came to mind every day last week.

When I sat down to do a word sprint with Teri Brown Sunday morning, I decided to just see where my imagination took me. And nothing has really changed. I came home from church and started writing after I was settled. I got a little over 3,000 words in on Sunday and I'm now convinced that this novel is going to stick.

But I'm not putting Untitled Contemporary down. I'm still working on it. My plan is to reward myself with Untitled Fantasy after I write a certain amount in Untitled Contemporary. I have no idea how much that amount is going to be but the decision is there.

Now, Since you've all been so great, I decided to share a line from Untitled Fantasy on twitter Sunday and now here today. Enjoy!

"Things always felt more magical at night after Mother left, perhaps because the garden felt free to do as it pleased."

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Resolve and the People Responsible

I've already basically resolved that I'm really going to focus on my writing this year. I'm currently just trying to find the right balance between all of my projects (book blogging, novels, work, and school).

Firstly, I'd just like to say that I love my mom. She is awesome. We talked for about an hour this morning. She wanted to know what my plans for school were and stuff like that. As we spoke though, it turned to my writing (since I'm taking a Writing Children's Books course) and I can't say how much I love her enough. I'll be honest, I'm overwhelmed with the mere thought of school. The one college I really want to go has a tuition cost that exceeds my financial aid and it doesn't look like I'll be getting any of the scholarships I applied for. And, really, I'm not going to take out a $10,000 loan.

I was basically kind of giving up on my plans to go there this April. Of course, my amazing mother told me not to give up on my dream of going there. We talked about what I was already doing for school and she said something that really just reassured me that I am actually doing something with my life. She told me that she believed that the things this course will teach me will help me in whatever life has planned.

I shared some things with her about my novel and how it plays a part in the whole writing course shindig. Her response: Don't give up. Keep going. You can do it.

More than ever, this year I've really been battling my worries and insecurities as a writer. My mom may not know a lot about writing novels or publishing but her faith in me gives me a new resolve I didn't have before to keep going.

So, I go about my day. Do the blog commenting and all that jazz and I come across this interview with Sara B. Larson and it struck something inside of me. Sara's debut novel, Defy, just released on the 7th. I actually was able to read it over a month ago and loved it so you can imagine the fangirling she's had to endure just from me. But I found her interview so inspiring.

In the midst of marketing for Defy, she's working on the sequel (yay!), she's drafting another book, and revising an entirely different project all at the same time. Wow. Plus she's a mom too so there's all that mommy stuff she has to do in addition to the book stuff. And I can't help but be inspired by that.

I know they probably won't be reading this but thank you, Mom and thank you Sara.

Friday, January 3, 2014

January Draft? Possible Critique Partner?

I have a goal to write 1000 words a day but with rewriting my novel in an entirely different tense, this is proving difficult. I originally wrote it in first person past tense but now I believe it would be better served if I wrote it first person present.

There are a lot things to insert and the novel is changing and taking on a different tone. I feel like these changes are truer to the story I'm trying to write though so that's helpful. I'm buckling down this month though. My major goal is to finish the first draft by the end of the month.

My other goal is to read all of my ARCs but lets not think about that for a moment because as important as book blogging is to me (and trust me I LOVE it), writing is my dream. I'm excited about this novel and I want to work on it while that excitement and drive are there. Every new year we all get really ambitious. That eventually peters out as we realize that a lot of our "realistic" goals are all that realistic. Or we realize we're lazier than we thought.

So here's to hoping January is kind to me. I'm figuring a lot of things out for my novel and at this point my biggest worry is finding a critique partner. I keep telling myself that I'm a long ways from there but I also know I have a habit of putting things off for far too long.

I have one person stuck in my head. I think she might enjoy this type of story and I'm pretty sure she'd be willing to critique for me. But I also know she's been super busy lately with school. And here's the thing, I don't want to be stuck in the critique partner phase for a year because the people I choose just don't have the time. That really isn't fair to them because they'll have it hanging over them (I know how that feels). I'm not saying this person would do that. I know she'd try to help as soon as possible but I don't want to add to her load.

Other than this one person though, I'm not sure who else there is. I mean, you know when your friend asks you to do something for them and you don't really want to do it, but you don't want to hurt their feelings? Yeah, I don't want to be one of those people that makes my friends feel awkward. But I don't want to just ship this novel off to a complete stranger. I want someone I kind of know and trust for the job.

Then there's the fear that I don't write as well as I thought and the possible embarrassment that would bring.... Yeah.