You know you’re a writer when…

September 21, 2009

#1 …you take a vacation and find yourself taking notes and dreaming about paragraphs.

Since I finished those hardcore edits, I treated myself to a trip out to Atlanta to see the Aquarium on Saturday and visit Japanfest on Sunday. It was supposed to be a relaxing, writing-free weekend with the boyfriend (who occasionally gets neglected in favor of the keyboard ^^; ).

Then I ran across electric eels…. HMM, note to self, go home and research how their electricity works in order to make sure that Analee’s ability is fleshed out. I’m sure I researched that back when I first gave her the lightning but just in case. Then I found some adorable garden eels that absolutely must make an appearance in Deep Within. I can see Bones playing among them šŸ˜‰

Then at Japanfest we got to see a demo of Paro, the therapeutic robot seal and I can’t help but branch off from that into the robots of the future in Sierra’s unnamed story (oy, I need a title because I don’t think her name is even going to be Sierra)

#2…. (added after a long day) you’re so engrossed in writing that you forget to eat. Again. ‘Just one more word…’


You want more? Really?

July 25, 2009

Yesterday was the deadline to post a chapter for the upcoming critique meeting. Standard practice is if you want a critique, you’ve got to critique everyone else’s and show up to the meeting. If you’re not planning to go to the meeting you have no obligations.

After I posted, I got an email from one of the members saying she’d been looking forward to reading the next chapter but wouldn’t be at the meeting and wanted to critique it anyway!

Score! šŸ˜€

Although there’s no accounting for taste… I do have a few hardcore fans of Lightning Spliced who originally read it 2-3 major MAJOR rewrites ago. I’m kind of afraid to look back at what they read šŸ˜› And oh man… the fanfiction. OH THE HORROR! I wrote Zelda fanfics in high school and shared them with the kids at the after care program I worked at. I remember Jillian’s father coming to pick her up and telling me how she read them daily–had him read them to her at breakfast. I hadn’t really thought of writing seriously but he told me I should look into getting published. Yikkkkkkkkes….those fanfics are now an embarressment!

I’m hoping though, that that speaks of the quality of my imagination…that no matter how poor the writing, the ideas are coming through and catching people’s attention. Then the more I learn, the more effectively I communicate my ideas….. great writing + great ideas = career writer, yes yes? šŸ˜€

10 hours, methinks it’s time to stop

July 24, 2009

I’ve been working on CH3 of Deep Within since 1pm…it’s about 10pm…had a break for dinner and bellydance via youtube (well, dinner was not via youtube but might have tasted better had it been).

I kinda knew it was too ambitious to finish the chapter in a day. I did get up to the last few pages but still have to do those and do a review. I was hoping to submit it to critique group tonight but oh well it can wait until tomorrow.

I don’t want to stop. I still have ideas churning. But my brain is soo fried…nothing is coming out of my fingers except “He looked up. She looked up too. Then Bones ran over to Jadziya.”

Interesting what changes happen from draft to draft… Zoe’s been cut, Tiber is now a townsperson instead of a gypsy, and oh no I cut the firelizards too ): I kinda want to change Jadziya’s name and use it as an MC somewhere down the road. But there’s something about three syllables that just feels too much for an MC’s name. Despite (or because? šŸ˜› ) BOTH my MCs in this story have 3 syllable names.

I wonder how I can write this and yet I can’t get the rest of the chapter out! šŸ˜›

I have some FF7 to beat!

Hooked on Critiques

July 15, 2009

Yay, three hour critique meeting! B&N staff had to drag us out kicking and screaming ;p It’s been awesome to see Tammy’s writing utterly transform from “nice” to “WOW!”

I think critiques are not necessarily about changing the heart of a story….but about how to get the heart across to the reader in a more clear, exciting way.

I’m more excited about the first few chapters of Deep Within now. I was definitely waiting for the axe of ‘It just doesn’t hook me’ to drop as it has done so many times with The Resistance. But I’ve learned so much working on The Resistance, that I’ve avoided a lot of mistakes.

Jess mentioned something interesting – ‘Publishers scan for white space’ – they look for dialog. There’s so much about writing style, character, setting, etc that you can get across through good dialog and honestly, I do the same thing. When I check a book to see if I want to read it, I’m not looking at the narrative. I look at the interplay between characters.

So I want to get into the dialog a lot faster in DW. I also noticed when editing Shannon’s that she starts out setting the scene and background then goes into the dialog. It was only a paragraph but that paragraph felt LONG compared to the dialog that was so instant and so GOOD that it would have made a great first sentence, the scene-setting just got in the way. It’s also fascinating how much backstory can be in a snippet of dialog… as The Fire and Fiction has for an example: “I hope you’ll enjoy some tea?” vs “Do you want cream for your tea? Nevermind. Of course you do. Your kind always does.”

We’ll see though, I have to balance that with description since people usually complain that’s where I’m lacking.

I need to make Mayuri more likable still–aiming for hilariously snarky– But it was fun for me that Mayuri wasn’t the first positive thing mentioned. The first thing the first critiquer mentioned mentioned was about Bones and EVERYONE lit up: ‘please tell me he’s okay!’ ‘he can’t die!’ ‘I LOVED him!’ I think it says something good that there was something in the first chapter that had so many people excited. There was that instant connection with everyone present. Plus there were some other very distinct emotional reactions people were having–positive and negative and I’d take that over lukewarm any day! Lukewarm has definitely been my bane with The Resistance.

So I need to sit down and read the detail critiques, maybe write CH2, then use what I want to of the detail critiques, theeeen send it to Karen & Co. my buddies.

The critique meeting was based around the book “Hooked” which I’ve heard good and bad reviews of. Once it gets back to the library I want to check it out ^_^

Writer’s Block

June 25, 2009

I always have something to write. The problem is that it’s not always good and that frustrates me. Especially when I can pinpoint the reasons why something sucks but can’t seem to fix it. I know I’m just drafting right now and that it’s going to suck but I feel like, geez, if all that’s coming out is crap why am I wasting my time doing it? I need some diamonds in the rough to bounce off! Not that I don’t have any, but I’ve been working for four hours and not getting as many as I’d like.

The pacing is slow, I’ve outlined my goals yet it still seems to wander and feel directionless, without emotional impact. The emotions are outlined but they aren’t translating powerfully in the narration. Grr, arrg, can’t wait for critique meeting šŸ˜‰

Once upon a time (again)

June 4, 2009

I’ve started several writing-themed blogs over the years but I always seem to revert back to posting in my super secret diary.Ā  But I love reading Works in Progress so I feel like I ought to contribute my own.Ā  Here I am again.Ā  This time, I’m combining my writing blog and adventure blog.Ā  Writing is totally an adventure (and also I don’t get to dance around the world on a daily basis T_T)

My current status is:Ā  I hate twitter.

Okay, I don’t hate it.Ā  It’s useful and probably great for honing my query skills but I want depth when I read something, I want MEAT.Ā  I want a full course meal, none of this snacky stuff on the side.


I’ve got seven betas helping me with The Resistance aka Judgment aka Lightning Spliced.Ā  Either I’m very smart or very masochistic.
I’ve got two very, very brave betas reading the rough draft of The Deep Within.

Due to the economy collapsing around us, the Grooming Business book is being put on hold.

I’m brainstorming aka daydreaming a delicious urban fantasy set in Savannah. Because Savannah is delicious. Ā  Untitled but the main character’s name is Sierra.Ā  Maybe.

I’m beta-ing four stories and a chapter here and there of four others.

And I’m teaching myself Japanese.