Wednesday, September 23, 2009

On Writing...and Stephen King

Right Now: Listening to: Mix 96.5

I'm almost finished with Stephen King's On Writing. I can't tell you how much I have LOVED that book. When you read it, it just feels like he's right there next to you, chatting about his writing experiences, curse words and all. It's...real, ya know?

Whenever I read something like this, something instructional, I always wonder what the message is for me, because there's always a message. Well, I discovered three messages in this book. And here they are.

Message One: King says you should shut your door and just write your book with NO interruptions. Don't ask people for their opinions, don't edit as your write, don't think too much about what you're doing. Just write! Let it flow! Let your story come out! (This is exactly what I did with my book. Hooray!)

Message Two: When you're finished, seek out an independent reader who will give you some meat and potatoes feedback. You know, someone who will give you the nitty gritty, even if it hurts. And then do two edits. Make sure to cut out 10% of what you have. (Again, this is what I did, instinctively.)

I've had a few friends/family read my book, but only two of whom have served as my independent readers. First, to my awesome sister-in-law Liz, thank you for all the grammatical critique! (I really needed it!) Second, to Deborah, thank you for your critique on the story itself and some of the major scenes. You guys have definitely made me a better writer, and I can't thank you enough!!

Message Three: While working on his book, King was struck by a van and almost died. He recovered with the help of an awesome doctor, an incredible wife, and his love of writing. Which brings me to the third message. You need to write because you love it, because you find it fulfilling, because it makes you feel whole. Writing is not about the money or the fame. It's about the passion for doing something you were meant to do.

WOW. When I read that, I knew I was doing the right thing. When I started writing, I felt whole again-- fulfilled even. I felt...young. It's hard to explain, but if you do something that you really love, then you know what I mean. On the flipside, I do hope that someone will fall in love with my characters and my story as much as me. That would just be icing on the cake. But for now, I'm loving writing.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Almost Finished with My Edits!

Right Now: Editing

Listening to: Four Calendar Cafe (the entire CD) by The Cocteau Twins

I'm on page 344 of 377 for my edits. Really not bad, except I've hit the hardest part to edit--the battle scene.

In my book, two main characters have a battle. Yep, a full on, supernatural throw-down. I'm taking out all the cliche's and making it more...unusual.

After that, I'm taking a major event from my first chapter and moving it further into the book. Which means, of course, rewriting the first chapter.

I'm really excited, and I can't wait to finish!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Just thinking...

Right Now: Working on yet even more edits. I'm halfway through.

Listening to: Brothers and Sisters by Coldplay

Things I'm thinking about/needing to do:

1. When am I ever going to be finished with these edits??!!! It's never-ending. I wonder how long it takes the average writer to edit their work. Ugh... Maybe I should've hired a professional.

2. I've written about 4 query letters. Trying to figure out which one is the best. I need to run them by my critique group. We should be meeting next week. (I can't wait!)

3. Need to polish my synopsis. I want to be prepared for that agent who emails me asking for it!! (That's me being positive.)

4. I've got a great idea for a graphic novel, but I have no idea how to write one. Gotta figure that out. I already have an awesome illustrator.

5. That's it, I think, for now...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

You'll Like My Book If...

Right Now: Working on final edits following a very awesome lunch with my incredible critique group.

Listening to: Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses by U2

As usual, been thinking a lot about my story and my characters. I'm so wrapped up in them, and I can't wait to share them with the world...which got me thinking about my audience. My target readers are older YAs and beyond. (Maybe some younger, too). Is that you? I hope so, and I hope you'll love my characters as much as I do. I think you will if you like the following...

1. The Dollanganger Series by VC Andrews. You know it as the Flowers in the Attic books. I still remember being a young teenager and waiting on edge for each book to come out, wondering what each cover would look like. I was haunted by the siblings who loved each other, right or wrong. But there was something about Andrews' writing that made it all okay in a tragic and haunting way. I will never forgot those books--EVER, and I credit them for sparking my passion for reading. My book will take you to a forbidden love, and then will surprise you with a shocking truth that changes the entire course of the story.

2. The Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer. Who can deny the impact that these books have had on so many, younger and older alike? While I have to admit I was disappointed with the last book, I was completely caught up in the Bella, Edward and Jacob love triangle. Who doesn't love a messed up romance? The forbidden heat and passion? (Another reason why I love Lost so much.) Of course, my book has a love triangle that is so confusing and complex that you'll have to wait and see who, if anyone, will come out on top. (pun slightly intended).

3. The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling. To be "marked" and have some sort of higher destiny--talk about pressure. That is a theme in my book. But this person's destiny is tied to the destiny of the entire world, and beyond. You'll just have to see what I mean.

4. The TV Show Supernatural. Two hot brothers vs. Lucifer. So cool that I will say no more.

I could draw more comparisons, but will leave it at that, for now. I gotta do more edits!