Three Things Thursday

From Me:

1. Kyra is off to FL, waiting still to hear from her agent and an editor who is interested in her novel.

2. The Haven was picked up as a Scholastic book! I just found out yesterday.

3. Cheri and I are off to meet a couple of editors for lunch. Should be fun. And it will be very safe because I’m driving.

From Me Again:

4. Writing Exercise #1–Your character has to get away, fast. Why is she leaving? Is this expected or not? Is someone after her? What is her first reaction to keeping herself safe?

5. Writing Exercise #2–Your character has to tell a significant other (best friend, boyfriend, parent) about something terrible she has done. What is it? Why did she do this? How does she do the telling?

6. Writing Exercise #3– Every day for 21 days take ten minutes–at the same time and the same place–to brainstorm writing ideas. I’m going to start tomorrow. Same time. Same place. Pad and pencil in hand. Train your brain. Let’s see if something good comes of this exercise. End date will be October 9, 2014.

From Cheryl Van Eck:

For some people, the hardest part of a first draft is the beginning. For others, the murky middle. And for some it’s the climax. 
For me, it’s that part right toward the end of the murky middle, the point of no return that catapults you into the climax. 
It’s not because I don’t know what to do or how to write it. The problem is that it’s the point where I really start to get afraid. 
Novels in my head are beautiful, perfect. When I begin, I’m so excited that the beginning passes in a fantastic oblivion. It’s not until I’m nearly finished with the middle that reality hits–first drafts are terrible. 
Suddenly, I don’t want to finish anymore. My perfect novel had a perfect climax and if I write it, it’ll become like everything else in the first draft. Awful. 
The only thing I can do is sit and write anyway, wincing the whole time. 
What is the hardest part for you to write? Why? And how do you push through? 




Filed under CLW, Exercises, Kyra

8 responses to “Three Things Thursday

  1. Congratulations on the Haven for Scholastic. Is there a sequel? Good luck to Kyra. That is SO exciting. How old were you when your first novel was published?

  2. CLW

    I think I sold my first book when i was going on 30. But I can’t remember. That was five years ago.

  3. Carol, I didn’t know you sold your first book at that age! That means I still have time to publish as many books as you??? For some reason I thought you were famous at 21 or something and I was way behind. No idea why. You need a blog post about this.

    I guess people in their twenties always feel like this, though…like everyone else is accomplishing things and you’re falling behind. If you’ve focused on your career, it seems like everyone else has had four kids, and if you’ve focused on starting a family, it seems like everyone else has a doctorate and is just moments away from reaching all their career goals. I think most of us fall somewhere in the middle, though.

    • CLW

      I actually had a seven year dry spell, when I couldn’t sell anything. I had 17-ish books out. At the end of that 7 yrs, I used my books as an undergraduate degree and went to Vermont College and got my MFA in writing for Children and Adolescents.

      The most important part of my life, Cheryl, has been my girls. I homeschooled them and what a terrific time that was! Each day I wrote for one hour–about 1000 words. And during the dry spell, I still wrote every day. I think it’s about consistency.

      And Cheryl–29 isn’t that old! (that age!)

      • Lol, I didn’t mean “that age,” I just meant “my” age! It just means I can still be like you, which is all I want anyway. 🙂

        Did I tell you that homeschooling is our most attractive option right now? We’ve looked into the local private and charter schools, and they both don’t feel right for different reasons. And of course, the public schools in California are some of the worst in the country. I’ve already been doing a little ten minute “learning time” on weekdays with Elizabeth where we sing songs and choose a color, animal, letter of the day etc, and it’s her favorite part of the day. She’s always asking to do it again. It makes me hopeful that it could work out.


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