Friday, April 16, 2010
I had an AHA! moment yesterday, and not the pop/rock group a-ha kind of moment either. It hit me out of the blue and while I was sitting there at work I literally said 'AHA!' got out of my chair, because I was excited and made my way to the break room so I could celebrate with a soda. My co-workers looked at me like I'd just lost it and I didn't quite want to explain why I was so excited so I said... "I have to go potty." Seeing as how I'm the clown of the office, they thought I was just being silly, which I was, and dismissed my odd behavior as nothing new.
So, what was the AHA about anyway?
I'm glad you asked.
I had a breakthrough on the direction of my WIP. I've been stuck with a character and what exactly she is doing. I know where I want her, but I didn't know how to get her there and I finally figured it out. I broke through the "writer's block" so to speak and now I know where to go. I have to backtrack for a bit of a re-write and drop a good 4,000 words or so, but since I'm so new into the novel anyway, I don't mind. At least I have a solid path now. Then again this morning, I had a total plot twist slap me in the face after I woke up.
How about you? Any AHA! moments?
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Well, here it is! My 100th post!
I jumped back into the blogger game about 11-17-2009 and since then so much has happened.
It's been 149 days. Since then there's been 100 posts, 66 new followers, 1 new marriage, 4 new step-kids, very few death threats, even fewer cute stalkers and a new health care bill. I've also had the privilege of watching a handful of you get picked up by agents/publishers and even seen some of you get published!
In celebration of all these things, I've decided to quit my job, go on welfare and abuse the system as long as possible while I finish my novels. Oh wait... that's my backup plan if I get fired.
Hmmm...How else to celebrate? Whatcha thinkz?
Oh, I do remember how lonesome it was in the beginning. Any of you out there that like wine, beer, spirits or liquor, please feel free to check out my wife's new blog. She is a former wine teacher and bartender, so she's blogging about the educational aspect of alcohol. Go check it out.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
(no that's not me lol)
So, I thought it was a bit unfair that I always ask where you guys are at with your WIPs and never fully detail what I'm up to, so here's your chance to catch up on my WIP.
As some of you know, I'd been working on a novel called Trueborn, off and on for the last 2 or so years. Since I have such a busy schedule, it's been tough to sit down and knock out large chunks of writing, but I'd manage to get a page or two done every to often. After a review and some major changes, I was brought back down to about 40,000 word count. Unfortunately, for me anyway, the big vampire boom hit the shelves (thanks to Twilight) and many authors jumped on board the success-train by writing TONS of vampire novels. Since I started this blog, I found that editors and publishers were getting soooooo sick and tired of seeing vampire novels and the market just seemed overrun with them. I decided to put that novel on hold, since it had a vampire element and I was stuck in a re-write plot rut.
Since setting aside Trueborn, I took up another novel as my current WIP, that I'm tentatively calling "The Watchers: Awakening." It falls under the YA Paranormal genre, which I know is already saturated anyway, but at least it's not vampire or werewolf themed. (for the record, I LOVE vamps and were-creatures, but I do agree that it is getting ridiculous)
I'm just about 10,000 words in and have some pretty solid characters I'm working with. The theme is a set in the spirit world, revolving around spirits who deal in prevention and facilitation of death in the human world. The main character is a teenage boy who questions the system as he is forced to make the hardest decision of his spirit-life. In his trail of choices, he not only struggles with the morality of his role, but also struggles with his spirit enemies, called drifters, who forcefully intervene in his situation and struggles.
The novel has such a fun element to it and really hits home with me on the 'entertainment of reading' factor. Whether or not it ends up being publishable material is yet to be seen, but in the end, I'm learning as a writer and enjoying the ride.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Many of you already know that I recently finished a novel by Neil Gaiman called Neverwhere, which I felt was incredible. As mentioned in my own review of the book, I stated that I was so impressed with Gaiman's writing that I was compelled to pickup another book by him, SOLELY on the fact that I felt his writing was good enough to impress me, no matter what the story was about. My choice: American Gods.
Let me first start out by saying that the characters in this story are great. The writing style is still nothing shy of awesome and the main plot line was intriguing. Here's where I have beef though, I never actually finished the book. I got about 400 pages into the nearly 600 page novel and felt like I was reading WAY too much unnecessary stuff. While it was still very well written, it was still unnecessary. I found myself skipping parts saying to myself, "does this really matter?" I skipped so many little sections, hoping to get back to the main plot and story, that I felt like it was distracting from my enjoyment of the book. Eventually, I closed it and decided I wouldn't finish it.
I blame the editors. In my opinion, an author has to tell a story. They use every skill possible and every trick to give us as best a picture of the story as we can imagine. Many times though, in our pursuit to tell the story, we give more information that really doesn't HAVE to be there. That's where the beta readers, critique groups and ultimately editor(s) come in. It's their job to find that unnecessary stuff and shave it until the best story is told without wasting any one's time. I feel like the editor banked on the fact that Gaiman's previous success was enough and that his story needed to be there in its entirety to achieve success.
Who knows... Maybe his original was 800 pages and the editor did cut it down, but if you ask me, I feel like the same story could have been told by cutting out 200 pages or so and it would have been so much more than what it is.
In the end, Gaiman's success as a writer cannot be denied. He has multiple novels and stories published, some of which have great literary awards attached, and I have nothing but respect for the guy. He definitely inspires me. If I could write half as well as him and sell even half as many novels, I'd consider myself a huge success, but I cannot give American Gods the recommendation that I gave Neverwhere. I blame those people involved in not catching Gaiman's over use of the human language! :P