Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Deep Sigh of Relief

Last night I finished my first draft.  I feel like a weight has been lifted from me.  Scratch that, a boulder.  I was having such trouble getting through the ending because I knew that some of the earlier chapters wouldn't really make sense since the novel morphed some time around chapter 8.  But I've been avoiding fixing anything just so I could get through to the end.  Now I get to go back and fix it all.  So exciting!!  Let the revision process begin!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Scaredy Cat

I am really trying to be brave.  Daytime Anna is much braver, or at least she thinks so.  I don't have nearly as much problem arguing with the big wigs, albeit cautiously.  There I take chances, I push my agenda when needed.  When it comes to my writing, I am so much more closeted.  I wrote for a year before I told anyone besides my husband.  Then a year and a half before I let my sisters read it.  The stories are posted online for a bunch of strangers, but no one in my personal life.  Because how embarrassed would I be if they were awful?  I've been trying though, I told a couple of my co-workers that I was writing a novel and I got mostly positive reactions.  Still, I am waiting for someone to laugh in my face.  I guess that's for the agents to do when I try to sell this thing.

Now I think my fear is starting to affect my writing.  I am two chapters away from being done.  Two chapters left, light at the end of the tunnel, setting up the fireworks display as we speak.  So why can I not get through these last two chapters.  I am doing everything else in the sun, I've been reading up on editing, querying, critiquing, the publishing process; everything except for putting these last two chapters on paper.

So now I'm going to stop my useless whining and put these last two chapters down so I can move on to the next step and let that good old left brain take a crack at it.

Story update: The main characters now have names- Mirea and Trystan

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Who needs school anyways? Part I

So I should mention I love to learn.  After graduating high school I have been back to school 3 times.  I really like to learn.  And now I have three very odd degrees that don't exactly fit together, but they pretty perfectly describe the daytime me.  The first was a bachelors degree in Health Administration, the second is a graduate certificate as a Healthcare Program Analyst with a concentration in Lean Six Sigma, and I just finished my second bachelors in Dietetics in August.  I was convinced that I wanted to be a dietitian because that's a realistic goal.  It's the practical thing to do.  I'm tired of being practical.

Back in high school, which seems like forever ago, I remember taking their personality testing to see what options look best for you.  I will never forget my scores, highest in the Arts, second in Science, third is Business.  So I look back at my degrees and what do I see?  Two science degrees and one business.  I never saw the arts as a career option because that wasn't a rational thing to do and I wanted to be able to support my family.  I loved to sing and I was in the band in high school, but I was okay at the first and not so great at the second.  But I loved to do them.  And writing... I loved writing so much.  But it wasn't practical as a career choice.  I mean, what are the chances I will ever actually get published?  So I pushed myself into those fields that I liked and hoped that I could live with them.

Somewhere around the time of my second chemistry class in dietetics, I realized that I missed writing.  I would push off my homework so that I could finish up a last chapter.  It took me an entire year to finish organic chemistry because I avoided those modules at all costs.  I finished my first story before I finished the class!  So after two months of being out of school, I wanted to try my hand at writing for real.  I don't know if I will succeed or if I'll be crying into a glass of wine after my hundredth rejection notice.  But I'm tired of hiding behind my science sided brain.  I want to let the artist out, I miss her so much.

And if all else fails, I can always fall back into one of those two jobs that my high school personality test told me would be ideal for me: tattoo artist or ballerina

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Repeat... Repeat... Repeat...

My husband kills movies for me.  He gets on a kick and watches the same movie over and over and over.  Not like he pulls it out every year and watches it.  Every night for ten days straight he will watch the same movie and fall asleep five minutes in.  Then the next night he picks it up five minutes in and falls asleep after 5 minutes.  So you can imagine how long it takes to actually get through the movie.  There is a long list of movies that I now can't stand.

This movie is now dead to me
What possibly annoys me the most is that I do it too.  But on a much less obnoxious to the people around me way.  I will read and re-read and re-read the same scenes in a book.  The cave scene in Hunger Games... I have read it so many times I probably have it memorized.

This ends up creeping into my writing as well.  I think that over the past 10 years I have accumulated at least 10 stories that I have created.  They occasionally make an appearance and I run through the same couple of scenes.  Those pivotal scenes that make you feel the goose bumps.  So the rest of the story is formed around these scenes, but they are what keep me up at night playing them on a continuous loop until I finally pass out.  Sometimes I write them out first because they set the tone for everything else.  But for this last final scene, I am just banging my head against a wall.

I know I have four chapters left, and the next two chapters are that scene.  I have played it out different ways, different words, different positions in the room.  It's driving me crazy.  I have written and crossed out and re-written the words so many times.  And with the other chapters I can let it go, I'll fix it on revision.  But this is it.  It's that scene.  And I want it to be just right.  So I'm putting down the laptop and going to bed.  Once my head hits that pillow, it will all come to me and it will be beautiful and I will see it in Technicolor.  I just hope that when I wake up I remember how to put it into words.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Snowstorm, Writer's Block, and Research

So it's looking like 30 below here in Indy which is apparently the coldest it's been in a few years.  Not to mention the 15 inches of snow out back.  I like to consider it all research as it is the basis for book #2.  But basically it's two children, a cranky husband, and an obnoxious puppy cramped in way too small of a space with no chance of getting out.  Lucky for me I am feeling crappy so I got to sit and write for most of the day.  It felt good to get a chapter done in pretty much a day.

Writing so much was especially helpful due to my little bout of writer's block.  I have all kinds of ideas when I'm laying in bed trying to sleep and then I wake up and poof, they're gone.  So I did something different which was actually kind of fun.  I did some backstory work which I actually found pretty fun because I got to make up character names and places, I drew a very terrible and crude map, and outlined the entire rest of the novel.  It helped, so I think.  I am so excited now about moving forward and revising and querying it's hard to sit and just plug out those last couple of chapters.  Which now that I've hammered out the outline is 6 chapters left to go.

And if you happened to be following the story, here is my very crude map.  And a little hint for the novelization, the heroine will be named Mirea.