Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Write On Wednesday: I have so much to learn...

Alright, so I used to have themes for different days on my blog. And then I gave those up. That's kind of how I am.  I love to come up with new ideas. And then I get bored or busy and let them go. (You should see my basement. Or better yet, not.)

But I think I'll try picking up the writing one again.  Although I'm thinking of changing it to Write Now Wednesday.

What do you think? Hmmmmm....

I know. This is a really important decision.

So, anyhoodles. I'm planning on posting different writing info, author interviews (oooooh! I have a fun one in the works!), and maybe some lovely rambling posts that have something to do with writing. Like about my favorite kind of pen (which is basically whichever pen I can find....well now. That would be a short post.)

One thing I think I'll do often is post about what I've learned about writing from the week before. Now I know some of you come to this blog looking for crafty ideas. Or maybe just to laugh at me. I mean...with me. Right? You're laughing with me?

But I am going to talk about writing sometimes. And vice-versa applies here. Writers, I can't blog about writing all the time. I love glue guns. And paint. And thrift store shopping. Sure, I'd probably have already gotten a million book deal by now if I'd locked my sewing machine away (sometimes it's nice to live in a dreamland...won't you join me?). But I'm a creative person. I like to create in many many ways (have you seen how many kids I have?)

Alright, moving on.

Here are some things I've learned about writing this week....

#1: Sometimes you need to give your main character a great big somethin' to keep them truckin' along. A reason they don't just lie right down on the road and give up.

This is something we discussed in my critique group last week. It came up because in one of our books there is a character we felt needed a bigger reason why she didn't just give up.

She has some major problems. Some really bad people are after her. Some really bad stuff could happen. Besides just wanting to stay alive for self-preservation reasons, we felt she needed something or someone to keep her moving forward and trying to win.

Like, what if there is a younger sister who counts on her for her survival? Ala Hunger Games. Kat is often thinking of her sister and what will become of her if she dies. It motivates her to keep going. Right? (I can't be entirely certain of this since it's been quite a few years since I read it)

I hope I'm making sense. If not....well. I should probably work on my writing skills!

And, of course, if I described my friend's book and plot that would help. She probably wouldn't be too happy with me though.

#2: If your main character isn't experiencing any wonder at their surroundings, your reader won't either.

So, this came up because my main character, Jasper, is being a big wet blanket. He's a Gloomy Gus. And I need him to be this way to a certain degree. I mean, he's had a rough time. But when the magic starts coming along, he needs to be a bit (a lot) more excited and not be such a lame-o. Thankfully Lana and Emmalee pointed this out very nicely.

#3: Hook! Hook! Hook!

Ok. So, I know. I've heard how important your hook is. Over and over. Have a great hook to pull your reader in. I know! And I've worried my first chapter doesn't do this good enough.

And then I reread my first chapter from a couple years ago. And I had a crisis. I liked it better!  Had I just wasted all this time rewriting a book and turning it into something that was worse? Maybe I'd taken a wrong path somewhere? Maybe I should have stuck with my original vision of the book instead of continually trying to improve it!

But then I think I realized why I liked it so much better. Things happened faster. There was an immediate hook. Something bad happens to the MC right away. So, no, I realize I didn't waste all that time.....ok. Maybe the time I spent on Pinterest. Yep. That was a waste. But the writing? No.

I did see I need to work on spiffing up that first chapter though. And pull my readers in faster. Into my crazy crazy world! So they can never escape. Mwhahahahahahaha!

#4: I shouldn't wait until 12:15 at night to try rewriting an entire chapter. This does not end well. The chapter gets worse.

Although....wait. That's not always true. I've written some funny lines at one or two in the morning. It must be because I let go of my inhibitions and stop caring if what I write is good or not. I stop self-editing. And ignore that voice in my head that says, "Well, that's kind of dumb."

So, sometimes it works.

Sometimes I just end up with a cruddy chapter.

Either way, the kids end up with a cruddy mom the next day. So, I need to stop doing that. I also need to stop blogging so late.....

And here we have my charming work space.

My handsome cowboy finished a room in the basement just for me. It's my sewing room/office.
He's the sweetest right? But I usually end up typing on my laptop while curled up in a blanket on the couch.
Or at the kitchen table. Which is not normally covered in this lovely paint splattered tablecloth.
The kids are I were busy crafting tonight.  And I haven't cleaned it all up yet.
Big surprise. Oh, and you might notice the remains of my writing fuel there to the side of the laptop.
Nope, not the water. The candy wrappers. Chocolate is essential for late night writing.

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