Thursday, October 21, 2010

Monthly Update

Wow...has it really been a month since my last post? I suppose the date stamp doesn't lie, but just wow! Time really does fly!

If it would only just fly to May I'd be super ecstatic!

This past month has been the epitome of crazy. Crazy for breakfast, crazy for lunch, crazy for dinner, crazy day by day. I'm currently in a Masters of Arts in Teaching program and, as professors are wont to do, have had about five different huge projects all due in the same week. Some I was able to get an extension on, others I've been forced to write over 50 pages worth of work. Unfortunately that writing wasn't designated to my current writing project. I can't wait until I'm able to get back into that.

So much to do...

However, 6,000+ words into the novel is a great start! I'm working on chapter 4 at the moment and, thankfully, have managed to work my way through the drudgery that is exposition. Introducing characters and settings without being absolutely dull is difficult at best! For a first draft, though, I feel as if I've done a pretty good job. Hopefully that means that during re-write and editing I'll be able to make it "freaking awesome," hahaha.

Speaking of exposition, my 6th graders are currently learning about Point of View and the Stages of Plot. Because of this, I've gone through my story outline and added labels to when each stage begins and end. I've labeled the exposition (introduction of setting and characters), rising action (introduction and evolution of the conflict), climax (most exciting part of the conflict, usually right before the problem is solved), falling action (coming down from the climax), and the resolution (the end! Conflict solved!). I know, I know, who does that?

I do!

Maybe I'll be able to make my work into a teachable moment in the classroom :)

Now, although school is very time consuming, you might be thinking that it's not nearly a big enough issue to warrant little to no writing of the novel! Well, you are absolutely right! To be completely honest, I've been doing other things as well that have taken up a nice chunk of my time!

What, you might ask?

The Baltimore Half-Marathon!

Thanks right, folks! I am a 13.1 finisher as of October 16th, 2010! I've been training for this race since about May of this year (I've been running for a few years now, but never anything much more than a 5k) and finally was able to go out and defeat it! I finished in 2 hours, 31 minutes, and 40 seconds and now I'm hoping to run another this coming summer in Seattle, Washington with a close friend! I've become addicted! I have a few pictures of the race, but this one is by far my favorite! It's the last half mile of the race on Eutaw Street through Camden Yards. Absolutely amazing :)

Now, of course, I don't have a race anytime soon to take up my time so hopefully I'll get back to writing. Ha! What am I saying? Of course I'll write!

Maybe I'll post up the first chapter. I'd love the feedback!

Until next time!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Making a Come Back

One thing I should probably emphasize is my inability to stay on task. That, coupled with my desire to always be too busy to think, leads to a large bout of complete and utter absentmindedness.

Of course, I've always considered it a good thing for potential, and current, writers/authors to be quirky. I feel as if that makes them more accessible to the public. And isn't that really what we all want? To see ourselves in our role models?

Unfortunately, and possible fortunately, with my absentminded nature comes the ability to sit on a work-in-progress for a long time and then go back and read it. The fortunate part is getting a completely new perspective on it, the unfortunate is that it's not always a good one. In fact, the story that I was all excited about nearly a year ago...well....turns out I feel as if I was a smidgen too ambitious with it. At a whomping 55,000 words I realized that I hadn't even reached a half-way point and, often unless you're a) very luck b) a freaking genius, ridiculously long epic-fantasy novels don't get published.

And that's what I'm hoping for right?

So, alas, my 55,000 words have been placed into my ever-growing pile of "hopefuls" and "wishful thinkings" (this particular one falling into the latter category).

It's not all bad though! It actually got me to thinking.

Why does a novel need to be complex? And I mean complex as in main plot + sub plot + sub plot of the sub plot +sub sub sub SUB plot all just becomes a jumbled mush and instead of being innovated and awesome it just sucks. No other words for it. So yes, I admit, my last attempt sucked. Maybe only to me, maybe someone out there really would enjoy it, but I didn't and thus couldn't really continue writing it.

I also realized that I kept trying to force myself into a writing style that was uncomfortable to me. I love reading young adult and juvenile literature. I love how the simplicity of the plot makes way for such complex and unforgettable characters and I thought, "Self, stop trying to write adult fantasy novels. It's not your thing!"

And thus was born my next "great idea."

This time, I approached things quite a bit differently. The entire novel is planned. I have a three page outline of all the events that are going to take place, a two page list of characters and places (which are ever changing. I'm a stickler for character names and tend to change them at least once every few weeks) and even a simple sketch of the world map. I have built societies, cities, keeps, wildernesses, castles and thrown my characters into this new world. "O brave new world that has such people in it!"

A simple plot that gives-way to a complex world.

I like this new idea. Let's roll with it.

Oh! And did I mention? Guild Wars. Yes. When I should be writing I'm usually blowing off steam from the day running around on Guild Wars. It keeps me sane, really! And probably keeps me securely in the "big dork" life category as well.

I've also decided to end each post from now on with a word count :)

Word Count: 4,047