Still Here, Still Writing
If there’s an abiding theme of my blog, it probably has to do with how uneventful a writing life is most of the time. When a book comes out, there’s a bit of a hubbub, but that happens once a year or two. In between times, the work largely involves sitting on a couch with my fingers typing and deleting, sentence by sentence. The milestones are small and marked in tens of pages or small aha!s. Sometimes, after several months, I reach the end of another draft, but that… Continue reading
A Bit of Honesty about the Uncertain Path
Let me share a little secret with you. I don’t always know what I’m doing. I lack reliable systems for writing a novel or growing as an artist or taking my work to the next level. A proper path, pattern or school doesn’t exist for writers like me. I’m stuck with training myself.
What I do is get up each morning and keep working, and sometimes, it really doesn’t get me anywhere. I recently abandoned a novel I’d been working on for half a year because I simply could not… Continue reading
Minute by Minute
If I could only revise novels and never have to write a first draft again, I’d be a happy camper. As it is, I’m delving into a new novel, with new characters and new terrain, and after two tries, I’ve made it past the first 100-page milestone of my first draft. I may end up cutting much of what I’ve written, but it seems solid enough to keep going, and that’s a relief.
Every morning, I return to the spot where my characters ended the day before, read the last… Continue reading
Draft 13 and the Crunch Schedule
Since my first editor originally told me that the manuscript for my new novel was due to go to copyedits last October, and my second editor told me in early November not to worry about deadlines and take my time rewriting the last act of the novel, (about 130 pages), I assumed that my book had been bumped a season to 2015. Season bumps have happened to me before, so I didn’t think much about it.
Then, in mid-January, when I… Continue reading
Playing and Puzzling in 1st Person
A lot of current YA lit is written in 1st person and present tense for good reason. Immediacy is created when we’re living the story minute-by-minute, straight through the thought process of a teen protagonist. Best of all, knowing how she thinks helps us readers to know her well. When we can experience her fears, humor, and loneliness right along with her, it’s easy to sympathize with her.… Continue reading
If you’ve driven on a road trip, you know the calculation of time into mileage. A minute equals a mile. An hour on the freeway will take you sixty miles, and a day will take you four hundred miles or more. It’s a fair exchange of time for distance. That’s progress.
For writing a novel, I wish I could say that time transformed into pages, and pages added up to chapters, and enough chapters made a book. It doesn’t feel that way to me, though,… Continue reading