"Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia." ~E.L. Doctorow

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Dialogue Critique

Miss Snark's First Victim is one my favorite writer's blog to follow. They have monthly contests called "Am I hooked?" where secret agents (real literary agents) will critique a 250 word submission from your manuscript. And they also have great community for writers to talk to their peers.

This month they are holding a "Talkin' Heads" critique, where you can submit a 250 word sample of dialogue. And this is particularly great because it is open to incomplete manuscripts!!!

Head on over and have critquing some of the submissions! Just remember to do Number 26 which is mine!!! :D

Letting Go

So since today is a snow day, I decided to take some time to write about letting go. I think one of the hardest things for me was letting go of the characters and world I created in my first manuscript. They were so real and I had their voices so clearly in my head that I worried if I let them go I wouldn't be able to get them back when I wanted to write the other books in the series (which I still fully intend on doing).

However, one piece of advice Janet Reid from FinePrint and many of the other blogging agents I follow have given is keep writing. You simply can't rest on your laurels.

There's a lot of waiting in the query stage. You send out your queries and then you have to wait. Weeks at first. Then if someone requests more it can lead to 3 - 6 months (that's right months) of more waiting. Then if your lucky enough to land an agent, you're going to have to wait even longer while he/she tries to sell your manuscript to the publishing houses. Like I said, there's a lot of waiting so why not do something productive in the mean time.

Another reason to keep writing is Publishers and Agents are not looking for a one trick pony. They want someone who intends to build a career out of writing - which means more than one book. Saying you have a series attached to the submitted manuscript is far more juicy to them than a stand alone. Or having more than one story under your belt shows prospects for the future. In the end, they want clients that are going to produce.

And in truth, I haven't had a chance to go back and work on Purgatory or any of the other stories but I'm not really concerned anymore about losing them. When my mind drifts back to that world, the characters are right there waiting and the world is just as vivid as ever. I'm not saying the voice won't take sometime to get perfect again. I'm sure it will. But the components are still there. And in the mean time, I keep learning.

My writing evolves and continually improves. I find better ways, stronger ways of writing things. So when do finally go back to my first story, the rewrites are sure to be superior to the first. And that, I suppose, is the moral to the story. Keep writing. Keep practicing because that's the only way you'll get better.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Change in Perspectives

Today's blog is about a change in perspective. With my first work in progress - Purgatory - it was in the first person. It wasn't until I had written and multiply submitted my manuscript that I found out 1st person perspectives are very rarely successful.

I will admit it is a harder way to write. The first person POV severly limits how you can tell your story. You can only show what the main character precieves about the other characters, not what they are actually thinking. You can only show how certain events effect the main character personally and not how the others around them are effected on the inside.

However it also opens up a whole new aspect that you simply don't get into writing in the 3rd person. You delve deeper into the main characters feelings. You see exactly how they relate to the other characters and exactly how they see themselves. It is a more personal, inside their head story. And I truly loved writing that way.

With my second WIP (work in progress) I've decided to take it from the 3rd person's POV. It is a huge change for me, but one I have thoroughly enjoyed. The thing I like most about it is the more writing techniques I explore, the more developed I feel as an author, even if I haven't had a manuscript published yet. I love feeling of the evolution of my craft.

Oh and for the record, I will return to writing in the first person again. I love the intimacy of it.

But until then...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A New Beginning

Hi There!

Welcome to my author's page. This blog is going to be dedicated to my adventures in writing. You see my dream is to become a published author one day, and it's a relatively new dream. When I was in college I minored in writing, not because I saw the possibility of becoming a novelist in my future but because I loved to write just for the fun of it.

It wasn't until my senior year while taking a creative writing class that the thought that I might actually be somewhat good at it occured to me. Every week, our assignment was to write a new story to be shared and critiqued by our classmates. One week I decided to write a chapter. It was just a beginning, a sample of the story yet to come but it was enough to spark something inside of me.

Everyone, including my professor, wanted to know more - wanted to see how it played out because they were hooked. That was when the thought occured to me that I just might have some talent in writing.

After college, life continued on. I was married, had two children, and a part time job. There was a pattern to my everyday life. A monotony I guess you could say. Not that I didn't love being a wife and a mother, but I wished for a little more. Something that was just for me. So I started writing. At first Fanfictions - as embarrassing as that is to say outloud. But its true. And it was fun. Other people online seemed to enjoy my stories. Again the spark hit and this time I listened.

I started writing my first manuscript -The Plains of Purgatory - a YA Paranormal Romance that was to be the first in a series. It took about a year to finish , then another 9 months of edits. Not a shocking thing since most writers revise their manuscripts a handful of times before they take the leap.

After that I started to query. The process was not a kind but that is life in the world of getting published. Sometimes your work takes off and sometimes it falls flat. Mine did the later.
So now I'm continuing on trying for something new. I'm in the midst of my second manuscript - The Bearers of Life (still not sure about that title but I digress). This one is like night and day compared to my last novel. The dialogue comes a 1000 times easier then it did with Purgatory but the world surrounding it has been taking a back seat to the two main characters. That is going to be something I need to flush out the first round of edits.

For those of you who are new to writing, the first round is pretty much going to be 2 demensional. It won't be until the editing process when the whole thing starts to get some definintion. I know it is weird - all you hear in online writers community is how much people loath the editing process, but I love it. I love it because that is when my story really comes alive.

Alright I think this is just about enough for my first post. I doubt anyone is going to get through the whole thing anyway. The posts in the furture are probably not going to be this long so don't worry.
I hope this blog has a long, and happy life....something will grow along with my dreams as they are realized.

But until then...