Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Find Yourself in the Snort.

I love to read. That is a given as a writer but i cant help love to read articles and blogs and such things by other authors giving advice. I love to take it all in and learn. Its a thrill to learn a new way of handling characters, a new way to use other forms of sensory in descriptions so on and so forth.

but something i have learned, unintentionally, from all the articles and what not i read is that you must take each bit of advice and each writers "Facts" lightly and seriously all at once. its a balancing act between them.

Some things are non-negotiable. Some things come from each writers personal experience and isnt necessarily carved in stone. some are just preferences for themselves. their style and what not.

the thing that will cripple a writer is trying to do it all. Trying to force every single "fact" that comes across their own journey will inhibit more than anything. You have to pick and choose what fits best. Now, granted, you may have to revise based on an editor or agents wishes but that comes much later and is also subjective. Not taking their advice may mean the difference between published and back on your butt with nothin but thats entirely your decision. and again, comes much later.

The best advice i have received in the almost 2 years now is from a friend author who told me to find my own voice and the voice of my characters and just go with them. the technical stuff can come later. in the beginning just be you.

the most successful authors have their own voices. they didnt try and echo someone elses that had succeeded. true, inspiration and technique can come from someone else but your particular way is unique like a fingerprint and is the best for you. write like you. simple, plain, and might not rally a crowd but thats my advice for today.

yesterday i was supposed to be editing but couldnt focus on it enough (being at work) to put myself into it right then. its easy for me to lose myself even when things are loud and chaotic around me when im writing something new, but editing takes my full attention and silence to get it right. i guess its that whole, deciding what changes i want to make and what i like the way it is.

so instead i opened up a blank word document (my favorite kind. my brain LOVES the endless possibilities that come with a blank word document) and just started writing. for the first time in my life, im just blobbin along with this scene that is just goin goodness knows where(i surely still dont at this point) and made myself snort/smirk.

i have low self-esteem. an artistic curse a lot of the time but without meaning to i was clever and its kinda weird for me to recognize that i wrote something pretty good there. lol freak phenomenon.

Why do you enjoy reading the things you like? Be it fiction, nonfiction, westerns, romance, horror, what is it you love so much about it?

Monday, June 28, 2010

If you make fun of an ex you might get blocked from his FB. XD (a lesson of insecurity. kinda)

Monday is here and i have mixed feelings about the old chap. Monday is much like an ex-boyfriend. some days i dont mind him, some days i just want him to go away and forget he exists. today, we're in that okay place.

I have quite a bit of editing to do on, we'll call it Novel 1 just to end a little confusion. Novel B is going to be put on hold until 1 is done for a while. i spend a lot of my free time pondering on B though. i have much to add to make it more personal and relevant which im excited about but its going to have to wait.

im so excited to finish the editing on 1. when its done im supposed to read it for my critique group, which i am horribly nervous about. they are very very picky about certain things, which could drive a writer mad but it all takes practice to learn to do it right i suppose.

i couldnt be more sure of wanting to do this the rest of my life. i love it. love creating, its so much fun. its work, dont ever be confused about that. it takes a lot of work and dedication and sacrifice to get it done. for me, its very hard to sacrifice my Criminal Minds marathons and naps over the weekends to do it, which i have been slacking on lately but i get punished for it. one day ill have strict deadlines to meet and cant slack off so, i just tell myself im getting in all the lazy now before then.

but seriously, if you dont push yourself to work when all you want to do is eat sour cream and cheddar chips and goof off with your husband then you suffer. for me, its not getting done and getting out there which is a huge price but sometimes i procrastinate out of fear.

i can admit im afraid to go farther than i am. what if i suck to everyone else? what if its not even close to being good enough yet for anything? what if its a jumble of crap that only makes sense to myself?

i have been reading a lot of articles about such self doubt though and am feeling a little better. everything i have read says that stopping those voices of doubt are impossible, pretty much, but learning to tune them out or have a voice that tells you not to worry that can drown out those other negative voices is key. if its something you truly want, truly love, then how can you let stupid things like your own self doubt stop you?

having someone believe in you is important too. my mom has never read anything i have written but she will be the first to tell anyone i can do it. my husband sees the work i do, though he has read none either, and asks me when im getting my big break. my best friend patiently wades through my drafts to read for me and says she loves everything. those 3 are my cheerleaders. and while i cant trust their biased judgment, i trust that they love me enough to keep me from making a fool of myself and telling me gently that i suck, should i. so my mom is going to read for me for the first time when im done editing and while its being critiqued. im just as nervous about her as i am the experienced writing group...

its hard to be judged by people. its hard to learn to take criticism without getting your feelings hurt. but what i have learned is that its not personal. your work may come from your heart. you love it like a child. but when its being ripped apart its for both your own good. if you cant get a novel passed your first reader how are you ever going to get it to an agent or publisher or even passed paying readers? if my books arent up to snuff with the line of those who read for me how can i expect to get it in shape for the critique group? if i cant get their thumbs up how can i expect to get signed? so never take it personally. if you want to get anywhere you have to be open to taking a little beating.

and if you are so good that you never get any beating from any reader. get out. ^_- this is for those of us who are not perfect.

have faith and trust that if you want to do it, love to do it, and dream of nothing else, then its worth the dirt in your face for it.

A mommy duck and one little baby crossed the road in front of me today. is that good luck? well lets just say it is. Happy Monday.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

First Draft Finished Blues

So, yesterday i said i might get a few thousand words done. This was considering i had much more of my 3rd book to finish. That afternoon i was hit with a curve ball when i finish the first draft suddenly.

I donno if its the same for every writer, if im a freak, or if its just something that happens. For me its happened twice. My book ends when i hadnt planned it to. im actually only 39,000 words into this one and that, to me, is just not enough. but there in lie the joys of first drafts.

while my book ended in a few short paragraphs where i hadnt planned it to, the whole book will undergo many many more drafts at my hands where i can add in all the detail and fill in holes and fix problems already pointed out to me by my lovely first reader.

here i am, finally have time to get started 4 hours later than i planned, and i sit down, start writing, get girl out of house and into vehicle and then. im done. and im sitting here going, "but...but...its only this long..." in all honesty i had no idea where i was going at the moment with it. im one of those dive in with little knowledge writers.

but the cool thing about writing fiction is that the characters tend to take you where theyre going without your planning. when you design a person in your book you design every bit of them. in your mind you know what they would and wouldnt do. you know what they would and wouldnt wear and you know what they would or wouldnt say. so even if you have your whole book lain(laid?) out ahead of time, how you want it to go, your characters could come in and flamboozle(its a word) the whole thing!

its crime! and a joy. mostly joy. ^_^ i love love love when i have someone i have made up out of thin air take on such a personality that they take over the story themselves. its like...magic.

so all this just to document a writing freak(or common...i donno) occurrence. characters finishing the book before the writer planned it.

now as for the blues: its a heart fluttering pleasure to finish your book for the first time (if you dont understand the "first time" part...you will) and i encourage you to enjoy that feeling as long as you can. its followed by a feeling of yuck.

because once youre done, you must go through it again and edit. some people LOVE editing. not this gal. but thats just because its hard for me to separate myself from the story and work on technical things. and once you have done it a second time you must do it again.

so thats where i am. im enjoying being done with my third book (though it will require a sequel) but i also know that i have to go through it all again and rework reword reorganize add subtract and bring more life to the first draft. and the longer i shelve it the longer it will take to be complete. This, my friends, is the First Draft Finished Blues.

the best news, my book being edited by a dear friend is getting along there. its a little over half done and im excited to have it finished and read it in my critique group in a few months. yeay!

what is your favorite tense to write/read in?

Just the start. sort of. okay thats a lie...

In the wide wide world of Blogs i have managed to keep my nose out of writing in them, simply because with all that's out there i feel i have nothing relevant to add. I also feel that some people should acknowledge that in themselves and pipe down on the blogging but hey, who am i?

I have decided to end my silence, not because i have found something to say really, but because i wanted to document my own journey into the writing world somewhere. And maybe be a help to someone else starting out. Maybe.

Its a lie because i started writing over a year ago. i have finished 2 books and am in the first draft of a third. Now the first book i wrote will never see the light of day. One person has ever read it and shes so sweet and loving i dont trust her judgment too much on its sellability. its crap. i know it.

But it was a jumping off point and though i know its crap i learned a lot of valuable information from my dribbling drabble of a book. So if you are there, with your first book and you look at it one day (when youre finished b/c lets face it, at some point we all hate our work) and you say to yourself: "self. you wrote some grade a crap there." dont be discouraged. its normal.

What you do then is ask yourself if your crap can be made amazing. if its a story thats been there done that then chances are no, you cant. but if you start off (like i have not) being a fantastic writer with an amazing story to tell then hell,
get off my blog
good for you! if not, then take the first try and get your lessons from it and move on.

Today im going to try and pump out a few thousand words but honestly, thats going to be a stretch. As a matter of fact im having a hard time getting this done.

I have a semi-full-time job as well as writing. i do have the luxury of being able to work and write at the same time but its just a bother when i have to stop suddenly to take care of the job. its hard to stop and start the creative process/ train of thought at random. but my easy going job has blessed me with two completed books (one failure) and one almost done in its first draft. so cant complain.

and if anyone wants to bitch about my typos, lack of capitalization, grammatical errors take it to someone who cares. as a writer you are constantly in a tizzy about those things. on my blog, im not.

Now i say i have completed 2 books but truthfully the second is being edited right now by a dear friend, writer, and master of all things grammatical. shes doing me a huge favor sludging through my stuff to help me make it great. for that i owe her infinite coffees. so that is advice #2. get friends who know what the heck they're doing.

Im leaving with a question: Do you think its better to outline a book before you even start with its beginning, conflict, dark moment, the light moment, and the ending or just dig in without knowing much of anything?

Off to go do some actual work and some fun work.