Sunday, September 12, 2010

When the dust settles....

So it's been almost a week, since I finished draft 1 and in that time I've made some intense discoveries, bigger than the edit problems from the last post. Mostly I'm just excited to dive back into the story, but this time I wanted more of a game plan. Don't get me wrong, there was something totally and completely freeing about writing without a plan, but it shows. The draft shows there was a no real plan except this thing called a Blue Light and it's important--sort of.

First drafts to me seem to be the messiest forms. They are just me putting pen to paper or perhaps pounding out words on a keyboard. Its a time for my imagination to say, here go for it, take me somewhere new. Explain the world around me. Ready, set, go!

There are portions that are fabulous I want to keep them just as they are, but there are more sections where I am like "dear God what was I thinking!" Before I jump head long into a semester of intense edits I wanted to see what I had come up with. Where were my characters, the setting, and how about that thing called plot?

I tore into the 79 page document without the use of a red pen. That's right no editing, I wanted to know exactly where I stood. Six pages of outline later I know that I am knee deep in mud. It's better than being chest deep, but still problematic. I see the potholes and can start to fill them in and the places where characters sort of re-hash conversations, which two of them I think will just continue to do otherwise they wouldn't talk to one another.

I feel tat now I understand some of my characters journeys better. At least where they go emotionally, and how to pick those up. Some scenes to flesh out and others that most definitely need to be added in the next draft. Now onto the post-its to start to fill in those gaps!

Any editing suggestions? Red pens, colored ink, post-its, hard copy, computer docs?

Monday, September 6, 2010

I will END you.

Well maybe not you personally, but my story yes. Let me be the first to shout this, well not shout as that would disturb my roommate, but story you are finished. Well okay that's a lie to, sort of. First draft you are done. Ahhhh it feels amazing!

Official completion time was 12:24. Yes done last word typed. Sentence finished. Story you are now officially a baby and no longer an embryo.

Let me be the first to admit this novel is only the second one that I have finished. For my own sake, I will not tell you how many I've started. The first draft has so many problems I don't even want to think about it. That ending. This missing scene. That part where it is all narrated by one person for like ten pages (there are three). Oops. But I pull my art teachers words close: the first line you draw will be wrong, so get over it and draw that line. So my first draft well there's a lot of wrong but it's written.

Now my favorite part: editing! I know but I am so excited to get back into the novel that it's crazy. I took most of the afternoon off--at least off from writing--I still had to get my room ready for school and stuff. Had dinner with a friend and then back to the grind stone.

Editing problem number one: where is this going? That is the biggest question, I wrote so much of this story in chunks the flow is like a bad headache. I feel sorry for my crit partner some days. It's just so, well it is the numero uno problem and it will be fixed. I sat down and started to jot down each scene in the novel, whose POV, what happens, what do the readers learn about others about the world, and what about plot?

I'm about 30 pages in with that and notice there needs to be soooo much more but it will come, I'm making some notes to self and getting down to it.

Editing problem number two: did someone say voice? Cause I'm pretty sure while I have three voices and they are all extremely distinct in the beginning they sort of mesh together somewhere in the middle. So, looking through and fixing those pesky problems

Can I say, dreading dreading dreading?

Editing problem number three: teen angst. Enough said.


Okay now that that's out of my system....I'm off to bed which is good because school starts tomorrow and the craziness that is my life will ensue once more.


Monday, August 23, 2010

Is that a schedule I see....

Whoa, yes I know schedule and sticking to it? Who would have thunk?

Currently moving and packing for two trips. The main part of the move is going well but I am down to the all of the little pieces that don't seem to go anywhere (because they are too small to have their own box) but I can't live without them. Like my box of super strong mint tea--> aka what keeps the candle burning at both ends. Duct Tape, because it's like the Force...enough said. Chap stick, when all else fails apply a layer it will make you feel better...or at least make your lips feel moisturized.

Anyway this all comes back to writing, when you are getting near the end. Of course you're wrapping up the big stuff, also known as plot but what about the little stuff? That stuff can be some of the most important things to a novel, especially a series. Mostly I believe the small things set the ground work for where you're going.

Fleshing out all of the small things and putting them into your plot or at least partially I think can take your book from okay to super fabulous.

I'm not totally there yet but as I keep getting closer to writing that highest point of action I can't help but get caught up on the small things. Where are characters going, what's running through their minds about other things like school, or friends, you know the stuff that really shouldn't be occupying their time when they are fighting for their lives. But what am I supposed to tell them?
Shut up? Tried that, it didn't work.

They seem important to me and I feel like my character can't live without them, but they don't fit in a box. So I guess that's what they mean by re-write, write it all down and then go back and see where there's space.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Pieces of Me....

So while furiously writing to meet a deadline that is fast approaching I had some very strange realizations. This might take a little bit of explication so bear with me until this post gets to its hook.

One of three main characters is a boy, entitled, he pretty much thinks the world would not spin if he did not give his opinion, and I am pretty sure he's never heard the word feminism. As I list out these descriptions, I really can't believe I came up with this character, I mean damn. I don't know how to relate to him. Frankly, I sort of hate him. Like complete and total LOATHING. Writing his voice some days are like pulling finger nails slowly.

Enter epiphanous moment.

Currently, I'm writing in big chunks, just sitting in a character's mind and running wild. Then it hits me, how I understand and write Cade. His journey/road through the story is to come to terms with and hopefully--though some days I am doubtful--not want to kill his former best friend. Possibly, and I am not holding my breath, actually become acquaintances with his former friend.

I have had this exact feeling. Last year, I had a huge falling out with a friend, and since I've been trying very hard to move on. Because a) I feel like I still need her in my life and b) I'm not ready to give up on our friendship. While chunking out Cade's parts it hit me like a load of bricks (such a bad cliche but my writing brilliance is sort of on a burn out), we share the SAME story.

I believe I should put a little of myself in every character. This can create problems I mean hello, I am one person who is creating three. They can't all the same, but at the same time I need to relate to them. So little bits of Gretchen go into each one, so that we have some common ground on which I can talk to them about. Tessa has my zest for life and Jax has a similar lens at looking at the world as I do, but Cade I was at a loss of what we shared.

Thus my books are littered with little pieces of me.... :D

Friday, August 13, 2010

Write on....

So I am sure if you are a writer you've heard of all the conferences you can attend. Well this weekend I attended my first one, no it wasn't at some fancy hotel and no I didn't even have to step outside of my bedroom door. That's right, I went to writeoncon.

After a girl from my writing class gave me the website I really couldn't help myself but jump into this crazy thing. Now, the cool thing about this conference is that you can still sort of attend. All of the talks are online and you can still go to the website and view them. I'm not sure about the forums but the nuts and bolts of the thing is still there out in cyberspace.

What did I learn from my first conference?

1)How about the difference between Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, and Paranormal. To me these all seem like they should be the same thing. I mean it's all fantasy....really it is. Now we have so many sub-genres it's impossible to keep them all straight.

2)I posted some work and got some feed back.

3) I found that there are so many people out there who are like me. They live, they write, and they hope to see their books on the shelves.

There's so much more, and I think you should check it out:
Go, explore, create!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Music and Reading

I know it's Wednesday and the schedule says something new....breaking it.

Like I haven't already done that?

Anyway last night I had my weekly writing class and we discussed the Hunger Games (which if you haven't read I highly suggest you close your computer and hurry off to the nearest book store/library and pick up a copy). While I could totally divulge into the merits of the book and how Katniss is totally bad ass. I won't because this is about my reading experience.

I know that the "big" thing in writing these days is to write to music. How many times do you flip to the back of the book and see the "author's playlist" for the novel? I see it all the time. Mostly I've never heard of the stuff and I make my own playlist--which is actually more like one song than a list.

Like I will always associate Fields of Gold with The Plain Truth by Jodi Piccoult
and Frou Frou's Let Go will always be Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr.

My brain refuses to read in silence. It absolutely cannot stand it and refuses to read with nothing in the air. So I pick one song and put it on repeat for the entirety of the book. I have to be careful because once a song is locked with a book I can't use it to write. Or it takes extreme effort to disassociate the song with the book. So I am extremely careful. Typically I use songs that I enjoy but could never see myself writing to. They are the songs that I would sing along to in the car or listen to to make me feel better.

My pick for the Hunger Games? Well is started out as Pony (It's Okay) by Erin McCarley, who I LOVE LOVE LOVE, but it wasn't working. The song still great, the book to die for, but together it was one hot mess.

This may account for my distaste of the first fifty pages of the book. Then I switched. To the most random song ever. Jar of Hearts by Christina Perri. And it clicked. Like everything made sense and I flew through the book on the wings of a mocking jay.......


Now for those of you who have read the book, no it was not for the long distance love triangle in the making. But the more I go back and listen to this song the more I realize I don't associate it with Katniss and Peeta or Katniss and Gale. Well at sometimes I do, like I can't take one more step towards you, cause all that's waiting is regret Totally a K/P line. But I have grown too strong to ever fall back in your arms for some reason, and no I have not read the second one, this says K/G.

But the bulk of the song, has nothing to do with those pesky little things called boys.

I associate this song with Katniss and the Capital.

Totally weird but it totally works.

"I've learned to live half a live
and now you want me one more time"

Every time, I hear these words I think of Katniss and her will to survive. We discussed in class how Katniss is in survival mode. She's shut down the part of her that dreams or thinks beyond her next meal. Thus the half alive part and then the State which has up to this point left her alone wants something more from her.

I won't reveal what, but it forces Katniss's hand. And it is fabulous, so when I tell you to get your hands on the book, do it.

The point I think I am getting at is how does your reading experience affect your take on a book. I'm curious to go back and read the first part of the book to Jar of Hearts and see if I enjoy it more. Are there books where your reading experience has marred the book?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Getting stuck....

There are tons of ways I have found over the years to get unstuck. To banish the writer's block and bring on the words. The best one however is critique. And I don't mean the "oh I love it, it was soooooo original. Give me more!" Those are great and I could probably live on a steady diet of those. It wouldn't be good for me but it would certainly make me happy....

So I am currently investing sometime taking some classes at a local Literary Center. I took this class specifically because I was looking for critiques. The kind that sucker punch you right in the gut, that force you to see the flaws in your writing. Because I've read this stuff so long, and have imagined it so deeply I'm not sure what is making it onto the page.

Over all the critique was great. There was just enough, we like this and this and oh I love that to balance out the I think this isn't working and I'm not sure I understand that.

So what's the problem? I'm on a deadline and have spent the weekend perfecting my intro. That's the problem. How many days until Sept 6th??


and my middle is still lost and in no way connecting to the end! How am I going to slog through this? The critique lit my fire to write but on my beginning not my MIDDLE! Problem.

Hmmmm.... I must find another person to help me with the middle. Or I could simply stop procrastinating and you know write. But that wouldn't make any sense.

Stop that. Stop looking at me like that. Okay fine. Off to write, ta-ta!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Day 1 Part 2

Alright so I had no idea what to write about and now I think I have something that's better than hey look at this an introduction....


Normally I don't put much stock in it. I know then why am I dedicating a whole day/post to it? Because I feel the need to share my opinions with cyberspace.

What makes a good book? That's a question for reviewers for me I have one scale that for me is fool proof.

(I should warn you I am an end reader. Judge if you want to, go on.)

At the bottom there are books that I read halfway through and put down.

Middle are books that I read half way through then skip to the end and read. If I'm satisfied the book ends up on the I can live without reading the last 200 pages pile

Middle Top: I read to the half way and then flip to the end go "HOLY COW" and go back and finish the book.

Top I don't skip to the end because I am too engrossed in what is going on on that page at that specific time.

That is the scale for those of you who may or may not read on....

Day 1

I'm not sure what to say, but I want to throw my hand in at this thing called blogging. I'm probably behind on the times and lord knows I've always been a day late and a dollar short. Then again, it's never too late to try something new.

Enough with the cliche
s, there are already enough of those lurking around.

So upon rereading this post I decided that it was time to tell you a little about myself because you know that's how this thing works. I'm a twenty-one year old, who goes to college in the land of the cold and the north, no not Alaska, try Minnesota. I hail from the state of Kansas, and please hold the Dorothy jokes.

While trying to answer the great question of what I want to be when I grow up, (though I don't believe I will ever officially be grown up) I cam up with three options: pediatric oncologist, writer, television producer. Two out of three of those have stuck.

I wanted to be a doctor I really did. But my love affair with chemistry ended about the time we started in on gases. Don't get me wrong I loved the sections we spent of organic (which is sort of a sacrilegious in the world of chemistry I find) and I absolutely adored anatomy and physiology, but that darn intro chem class. There's a reason they call them weed out classes.

So now with two choices left I find myself pursuing both my dream of writing and my dream of making television. Who knows someday I might just be producing my own book. Which would be kind of awesome.

While I have taken tons of film classes and feel that my knowledge and prowess are more digital than written I simply can't let go of writing stories. And don't let anyone tell you stories for books and stories for films/TV are the same. Completely different, but that is my humble opinion.

So I decided to take some classes and write. And make some film. And watch some movies. And read some books. My story is a mash up of things that I love: science, folklore, tattoos, questions about who we are?

It's been swirling around my head for about a year and my friend has me on a deadline: September 6th. I'm afraid of what will happen if I don't give her a full manuscript by then. Luckily I'm about halfway through.

The problem. I'm an edit as you go kind of girl so I have been working on the intro so much that the middle just isn't getting closer to the end. Middles, blargh. If there is one piece of writing I hate it's middles.

Here's hoping I can get through it!

Now, because I demand a little structure, and a few's my plan for Scribbles and Notes.

This is day one. So what does that mean for you? A boring post about me and what I want to do. So here's the set up:

Monday: all about me and my struggles as I attempt to write my never ending story...(it will end someday, I promise) I must say that at some point we all must be the tiniest bit selfish. And Mondays while they are meant for strong coffee and cursing at alarm clocks are also going to be about me.

Wednesday: I have this crazy notion that at some point we--I--writers have to let go and simply break away from their--our work and come up with something new. So every Wednesday will be drabble Wednesdays. For fifteen minutes I will put on music and set fingers to the key board and probably post whatever I come up with. Or summarize my lame attempts...

Fridays (Probably will be dropped to the last Friday in the month once school starts) will be about reviews. Books or movies who knows, it'll depend on what goes on in my life. Because as a writer we should maybe look at the world around us and that includes writing. I should warn you I read least once. I watch everything, even the crap and then I go back for seconds. So Fridays could get a little hectic.

That's the goes this thing again.