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Archive for January 6th, 2012

First off, sorry but there’s no word count to update you with. I’ll be starting my day’s writing shortly after finishing this though, I promise. But maybe I’ll have a short nap first. These late nights & early mornings are exhausting!

There have been a few items that have been circumnavigating my thoughts at the moment. I think the most pressing one would have to be the tenuous hold I have on this story. It’s on track to be finished and I’m actually interested and intrigued by it. I finally found another story that is working for me at the moment. Or am I experiencing this positive reaction because it’s now 2012?Perhaps it’s because I’m over the hump and on the downward slide to the last book? Or did I just need 4 months to recuperate from back-to-back success? Come to think of it, is it even worth figuring out? I know I’ve had problems in the past with over-analyzing or over-theorizing and that got me into all sorts of trouble. So for now, we’re going to let this dragon sleep.

Another thought is more of a fear. True to form I’m anticipating something that may never happen, namely publication. That wasn’t the goal when I started out last July, and unless I decide to actually end the novel-a-month project after June, I doubt publication will be on my radar. My concern is this: do I really love it as much as I hope I do or is it an infatuation that will dissolve as the stars in my eyes slowly die and fall out? Am I looking at the life or a writer through rosy glasses and is this pessimism I sometimes fear has stolen my perspective just a much-needed dose of realism? Obviously this is very definitely putting the cart before the horse but I’d rather wonder now rather than be blind-sided later on. This is another dragon that once identified, will be left alone.

I’ve struggled in the past with my style and voice and while I haven’t fully embraced them I’ve learned to accept them both. It’s hard to celebrate your uniqueness sometimes but it’s important. I’m looking forward to seeing what other genres may fit with how I write. It’s been an interesting process, painful at times, rewarding at others but each day taught me something. Most commonly though, it was a lesson I hadn’t learned the day before. I can be a little daft and confused or stubbornly set in denial sometimes.

There are a few other points that I had wanted to get off my chest but they’ve been reabsorbed into my subconscious but when they resurface I’ll do my bestest to write them down so I don’t forget again.

With none of my questions resolved, I can whole-heartedly say that I love my writing and I get so much out of the hours I spend working on a story. The months when I just go with whatever my brain comes up with and stop questioning he course I’ve taken are my favourite. For instance, this month is Literary Fiction. I was intimidated by that like a nerdy high schooler is by the most popular jock/cheerleader might be. The genre seemed to be so far out of my range of capabilities and seems to address so many heavy topics that I had no idea where or even how to start. I had paralyzed myself with doubt and built it into this gigantic Abominal Snowman, pointy teeth and all, of a genre when in fact I should have just stuck my blinders on and forged ahead.

*Grrrrrrrrrrr* I eat Literary Fiction writers for breakfast *Mmmm* (http://www.efreebackgrounds.com/jwallpapers_files/2010/1/big_thumb_3708858fdc55f835114eb1665cd9facc.jpg)

So my story begins with a character giving birth. I can see my style shining through but there is a smattering of grittiness that I think is required to create a dense, thought-provoking read. A serious topic demands the respect a bleak perspective and blunt delivery both provide. I think it’s important to balance that out so the tone doesn’t become absolutely oppressive. That is the challenge this month.

I’m 7 pages in and there have been a multitude of times already when I’m in the middle of a writing sprint and once it’s finished I sit back and think about how the story’s developed, only to realize that I took a path that I didn’t consciously pick. There are clear forks in the road I’ve had to pick for my character and even now I don’t know if my main character is going to be the mother or the child. Characters are being woven in and out of the story but are they secondary, primary or peripheral? Most are named so I assume they’re going to return but in what capacity? As soon as they show up I have an idea of what may happen later on but will that really be the case? I have no clue. All this is why I love writing. When you end up in a story that is essentially writing itself, you can’t help but be hooked. I honestly can’t tell you what’s going to happen next.

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Final Word Count: January 5, 2012- 3,080 (7 pages)

Does it ever feel amazing to be back in shape like I was at the beginning of this adventure. As I’ve gone on a following binge on Twitter, I’ve discovered a plethora of information regarding the publishing world. And now I’ve realized that I’m nowhere near ready for that giant leap. It’s not the rejection letters I fear, oh no. Pffft. In fact, I got a rejection letter from one of Canada’s most prestigious universities and it made me laugh (it also wasn’t my top choice but still), it’s all the extraneous stuff to consider. There are a lot more i’s to dot and t’s to cross than I thought. Let me list the ones I’ve realized to date:

1. format- it’s only daunting if you’re not working in the appropriate manuscript format already *cough cough* I’ve been working in 12 pt. font (ok), single spaced (yikes) lines and double space between paragraphs (double yikes) and my boarders are of undetermined width. Can we just say nightmare?!

2. grammar, spelling and proper tense & PoV usage- I’m hoping my only nemesis is tense, which is my achilles heel.

3. agent vs. no agent- I’ve heard getting an agent is like getting into Harvard- it’s only hard until you succeed. Then you’re in the clear. Which option is better for you? Winging it on your own or paying someone to go to bat for you? Tough call. Thank God I don’t have to consider it at this point.

4. query letter- I had no clue this had to be done until I read C.B. Wentworth’s blog about her experiences with writing one. Note to self- must research.

5. promoting- I think I would enjoy this part after all. Who doesn’t like talking about a major accomplishment like having your work in print? But then again I could be looking at this with starry eyes. The Hollywood version of being a writer is most likely over-glamourized (just like everything else they portray). However, I will remain optimistic that I’ll enjoy this.

I’m sure there are at least 20 other points I have yet to discover and more issues to make me realize that I am so far removed from that step I may as well just forget it. The good thing is though that I’ve recognized that fact. It’s a good sign when you realize how much you don’t know. I just have to keep doing research but at the end of the day, nothing matters if I don’t finish my stories. So until I have a stack of manuscripts to polish and prepare for submission, I’ll consider this an academic exercise. It can’t hurt, that’s for sure!

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