Monthly Archives: February 2013
1. Today while I was washing the dishes I had this thought: I am pregnant with forty two children. Then I thought: What if I really was. What if I had to make the announcement and I would be on TV and Cam and I would be crying and hugging? Would we? Not sure. Then I thought about what would happen if I shaved my head and when Cam got back from the library with the boys I acted like nothing was weird. What? What are you talking about? These are my thoughts all day. Big announcements and shaving my head.
2. I want to say that recently I’ve realized that everything is okay. No matter how I manage to do it, it’s fine. What I mean is, I think too often I compare myself to others or maybe I don’t even do that, but I compare myself to the person I think I should be. I should be doing this more, I should be writing that more, I should be wearing clothes more.
I worry about my kids. Are they happy? Do they have friends? Are they being bullied? Are they bullies?
I worry about my writing. Do I take enough time to write? Too much time? Is it worth it? Why isn’t more happening? And faster?! It should all be quicker!
I worry about our house. Why don’t I have cool paintings up? Why don’t stay on top of laundry like a normal person? Why does my room, no matter how hard I try, always pile up with clothes and toys and books and candy wrappers? Why do I eat so much candy? Why is there no good candy in the house right now?
I worry worry worry. Those are just the tip of the iceberg.
So, here’s what I’ve decided: To Stop. I am done with it. I am going to be enough. That’s my goal.
Who else wants to goal with me? You don’t have to. I will not feel badly if no one wants to because I am going to be enough.
3. Finally, these past few months I have been watching this show. Don’t watch it. It’s dumb. And it got canceled. And I WAS SO MAD AT THE ENDING. But secretly I loved it. Cam wouldn’t watch it with me because he is very picky and I am too but I still loved this show. There are many reasons why. Here’s one: it’s about a girl who is finally feeling like an adult. She finished med school! She has a job! Her own apartment! But then everything comes crashing down when she realizes she is the same person on the inside despite these grown up things that she had accomplished. I don’t know why I’m telling you this other than to say these two things:
A. I am a grown up but I feel like a kid on the inside.
B. I HATED the ending of this show. I already said this but I keep thinking about why I hated it. It also made me think about how I end my own books/stories. I wonder if I make people mad? I wonder if the writers of the show were right and made the most logical decision but my heart was somewhere else OR if I AM RIGHT!
Endings are so important because they are the last thing the reader remembers from their experience. It’s important not to tie a bow on it, but it’s also important not to leave things hanging and even more important to make sure the ending feels right in regards to what has come before. I am a big advocate of not only trying many different endings, but getting a lot a lot of help in choosing what is the best way to leave things off. With a novel, this is a big big deal.
Next week, I will post some endings that I loved and some maybe that I didn’t love so much. Does anyone have any examples of either of those right off the bat?
I think that’s all for now.
Have too much to do.
Final read-through of this novel, then work on two books with Cheri–also finals–and then the non-fiction final I’m doing with Laura. Not to mention the non-fiction with Melanie.
So I am behind.
But I have been thinking of everyone.
And I have three questions for you to answer about your own writing.
1. If your character ran a newspaper what would the name of that newspaper be?
What would three articles be about? Name them and write one of the articles.
2. If you couldn’t stop coughing, and had been coughing since October-ish (or maybe even earlier) and the doctor gave you an inhaler that didn’t seem to work and neither did the antibiotic and the herbs weren’t helping, what would you do?
3. Write several haiku, one per chapter, about your novel. Yes, I know haiku is about nature. But not today. Each haiku should be a little powerhouse. THINK!
I’d love to see a couple of those, so please post.
Now I am off. But before I go, don’t you think Jennifer Lawrence looked great falling down at the Oscars? Wish I had seen that live. Her dress was amazing and she didn’t roll down the stairs like I would have, or show her bosoms like I would have and she didn’t even tip the bodice her dress off the way I would have. She done good!
I want to thank my lovely friend Carol for giving me the opportunity to guest-post on this fabulous blog.
Something that has been on my mind lately as I’ve been writing my historical young-adult novel is not restricting my first draft. The first draft is the time to throw everything at the page even if it’s total cheeseball because my writing tends to swing in that direction—I’m writing romance, you know how cheesy writing romance can get.
Oftentimes when I write the first draft of a scene, I delete about half of it in dismay. It’s not working! Wow, that line sucked! That dialogue was ridiculous. I should quit now because this story will never become what it is in my mind.
I know you do this too. We all do this. The solution is simple: stop it. Never restrain the first draft. Put the editor to rest and the creator to work.
I’ve been trying this new approach to first draft writing and it is the most freeing feeling. It’s like not wearing your bra all day long even when you’re out in public. Give your first draft all the cheesiness it can handle and bombard it with the goods. Restraint comes with revision.
Annie Dillard, who is one of the best writers of all time, says it best: “One of the things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. The impulse to save something good for a better place later is the signal to spend it now. Something more will arise for later, something better.”
Give the first draft anything and everything; give it all that you are.
Thank you, Miss Victoria. Even her name is the name of a romance writer, huh?
All right–just checking in with you all.
How’s the writing going? Are you getting to your goals?
I just finished one book that needed a final look-see.
Now I have another book to do a strong rewrite on. This always takes me longer than I think it will. Today I have to work like crazy because I told my agent I’d be done this week.
That means I haven’t had a chance to write any of my One-Legged Rooster book. Boo!
That book is nearing completion and I am anxious to finish a first draft.
I love my job.
What about the rest of you? What’s going on with your goals?
How did you do?
Did writing go well? Was it harder than you expected? Easier this week?
Let us know and have a happy writing weekend.
By the way, I have several friends who check in with me and tell me how they did with their writing. I share my goals with them, too. This is a nice way to be accountable. Please feel free to use this site as the place where you talk about your successes–whatever they are (they don’t have to be only writing) and failures. Knowing you should report will make you write more and sharing may help you through a difficult part of your story.