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Monday, February 25, 2013

Diving into Revisions

If you follow my blog you know I've been sitting on a story for over a month. I started it for my NaNo last year, and while I did crank out the WC, I didn't finish my 1st draft until the end of December, and not because it was 100K either. This had been me:

Dianne K. Salerni asked me a great question last week after my IWSG post. What about your manuscript scares you?

It was the first time I really evaluated what is scaring me about this story. Here's what I've come up with so far.

1. It's a very different book than I thought I was writing. I'm a pantser, and while I fully support pantsers and champion some of the greatest writing pantsers of all time *waves to Stephen King* I have plotter envy.

Last fall I wrote out 10 book ideas and with the help of the brilliant and talented Julia Weber, I narrowed my ideas to 3, and then settled on Gutter Girl, another light and funny YA magical realism that would be a good 2nd book to sell with LOVESENSE. Gutter Girl was going to have a bowling ball that started acting like a magic 8 ball among other things (go ahead and laugh, I am).

But as I drafted Gutter Girl in crazy fast NaNo fashion the magical bowling ball wasn't working. I wasn't feeling the story. Even to me, it wasn't believable (not a good sign). So, in my tradition I kept writing forward, but took out my magical element.

My book became straight contemporary.

And things got real.

And I said to myself, I'm not Sarah Dessen, I can't write straight comtemp. that's not who I am.

2. Because it's such a different book it needs a complete rewrite, but beyond that, I'm not even sure if it's a book worthy of tackling. Hence the writing depression.

3. I have an agent, so I'm supposed to magically become the greatest, best writer of all time. I should be churning out books at least half as fast as my CP Taryn, and at least almost as hot as my CP Ilima, with characters as powerful as my CP Emily, and words as beautiful and grammatically clean as my CP Kathryn. But although I write about magic, no magical changes came. I'm still the same messy draft, wandering through my stories, picking through the crap and finding the gems as I was before I signed with Julia.

After making this list last week I determined to read through of my MS, to take notes and find my story. I'm half-way through and it's not nearly as bad as I'd feared.

Thank you writing community for getting me back to my story, back to where I crave to be, dreaming and spinning stories and getting to know my characters.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine Reads

Today I'm sharing two of my favorite love stories (that I can't stop rereading) and the love story I'm reading right now.

Confession: I've read these books so many times I can't even count that high (and I was the class champion of Math Around the World in 3rd grade, so ...)

 1. Jacob Have I Loved

I've talked about this book before here. It's the story of an unloved twin and her struggle to find her place in the world and her own true love. Every time I read this book I cry. Every. Single. Time. Me wanting to be a doctor came in part because Wheeze became a midwife.

 2. The Blue Sword
 My obsession with horses and wishing I was 1. red headed 2. tall 3. kidnapped by a tall dark and handsome man with dangerous, fire inducing eyes, are all the fault of Robin McKinley. Also, what's better than a girl called Harry falling for Corlath, the golden-eyed king of the Free Hillfolk? Every time I read about her leaving him to warn the outpost of the oncoming attach my heart breaks knowing Harry lost her sash and that he'll find it. And every time they come together again, I ache, for their not knowing what the other is feeling, and for the moment when finally their love for each other is made clear.

 And my current read...

 Warm Bodies

 Yup, I'm reading a Zombie love story for Valentines, all thanks to the generous Ilima Todd. And zombie love, I've gotta tell you, it's getting hot. Maybe I could fall for R myself.

 2012 reads that may qualify, but I need a few years to see if I keep picking them up. The Fault in Our Stars and Code Name Verity (I know, a little different, but to me this book is a love story. Plus, when I got to the end I flipped right back to page one and read it all over again, so its already looking good in the rereading category).

 What's your Valentine read?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


The first Wednesday of every month is IWSG, a bloghop hosted by the amazing Alex J. Cavenaugh to encourage and inspire each other and a safe place to admit our writing doubts.

I drafted another book (yay, right?) But when I think about revising said first draft, I act like a groundhog seeing his shadow and jump back into my hole (to bad it's not my writing cave.)

I know I need to take the Nike swoosh to heart and JUST DO IT, push forward, have courage that it won't be as bad as I think, that I'll find a storyline worth keeping; but so far, my pep talks aren't working. Still, now that I'm agented I feel like I need to have something to show for myself. I keep imagining this conversation:

Agent: What have you done since we finished LOVESENSE revisions?
Me: Um, I drafted that book idea we talked about. (and then hid from it)
Agent: Can I read it?
Me: *throws book down the deepest abyss I can find* It's not quite ready yet.

So if you have a moment, tell me to do it. Punxsutawney Phil wasn't afraid of his shadow this year. Maybe I shouldn't be afraid of mine either.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Why I Love Groundhog Day (in video)

 "But what if there is no tomorrow? There wasn't one today."
GIFSoup Last Groundhog Day Chekhov Speech
 "It's nothing, Ma'am, I had the tire and the jack. Just be comfortable." 

 My favorite character arc, hands down. Bill Murray couldn't have played it better.