Monday, January 30, 2012

Phone a friend

This past Saturday I spent several hours in the library typing away on book #2. I spent half of my time in the children's section, which is weird because I was escaping my children, but at the same time that's where I felt the most comfortable. I had to make a move upstairs though when the woman behind me started teaching the bible to a student. No whispering for her. So annoying. Anyway, while I was hard at work, I found the need to text my husband for some help. Kody did something bad and thought she'd feel better if someone other than herself called her names. Who's better at name calling than my kids? My assumption was correct because my husband and two boys came up with more synonyms for idiot than I really needed. I was such a proud mother and wife. It's always nice to know that they're there for me when I need the hard questions answered!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Some of my favorite reads

Some books stick with you. You gain something by reading them. For whatever reason, I thoroughly enjoyed the following books and their titles have stuck with me.

Rainwater by Sandra Brown
The Yellow Wallpaper (short story) by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson
The Christmas Sweater by Glenn Beck
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
A Painted House by John Grisham
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb
Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
Love by Toni Morrison
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

What happens next?

I've created a love triangle for my main character, Kody Burkoff, and can't decide who should win her heart. Is it the guy from high school who moved back home or the man from her not so distant past? From what I've read and from talking with other writers, I've learned that many writers create a very detailed outline of the entire novel they are about to write before sitting down to type out chapter one. There must be some writers like me though who type out a somewhat sketchy outline of the general premise before diving right in. In some aspects it would be nice to know what I'm going to write on any given day, however, I think what I enjoy most about writing is how unpredictable it can be. I like not knowing how Kody will react to certain events. I like brainstorming with my husband to create those often off-the-wall events. Life can be so predictable at times that it's nice to have this outlet to create whatever I want. Now, if I only knew what I wanted.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Hunger Games

I loved it! I've been so against reading "The Hunger Games" for some reason, but with my 11-year-old son having finished all three of the books with rave reviews, I figured it was time to give it a try. I'm really glad I did too. The characters were believable, the plot was incredibly creative, and I didn't want to stop reading. Even though I dedicate a lot of time to writing, I also know how important it is to keep reading, especially books that have been on the best seller's list for over a year. With this one, I learned how important it is to set the scene. I can picture in my head what the forest looked like in the Hunger Games. I can see Rue swinging through the trees. I can envision the cave where Peeta and Katniss recuperated from their injuries. This is one quality I hope to bring to my writing as well.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Wait for it...

Pacing is a struggle for me. My first draft of Missing Maggie was written like I was trying to finish two different races. The beginning was slow like a marathon (for me, at least) and the ending was like a 100-yard dash. It's partly because it took me three years to write, so by the time I figured out how the story was going to end I just wanted to get it over with. Now with this second novel, I'm about at the point where I can take off with it and finish the race in a dead sprint. That's not what I'm going to do though. I'm holding back. I'm using all the patience I can to refrain from speeding up my pace. I don't want to make the same mistake twice because it took me countless revisions to try to balance the story out. I still think Missing Maggie reads much quicker the second half. I guess I'd rather have that than the other way around.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

More than just friends

Having sold more than 250 copies of Missing Maggie, I can only assume that more than my friends are making the purchases because let's face it, I don't have that many friends. Now I'm just waiting for those people to write reviews. The more reviews I have on the various websites, the better. My mom says she only purchases a book for her Nook after reading other reader's reviews. That totally makes sense. When I make an online purchase, whatever it may be, I typically peruse the reviews too. So, if you're reading this and feel comfortable writing a quick review of Missing Maggie, I'd really appreciate it.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The characters surprise even me

I know this might sound crazy, but I was shocked by what one of my characters did this morning. Yes, that definitely sounds crazy. Crazy, yet wonderful! If I'm surprised, then my reader will almost surely be surprised. The key is to make it believable though, which is what I'll have to look into during the first revision. For now, I'll just keep plugging away, creating and waiting for surprises.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Writing groups

Writing groups. You either love 'em or hate 'em. I really can't make a statement either way because I'm not sure I gave our local group a fair chance. I went to a couple of the informal meetings and loved listening to the advice the other writers had to offer. They were also great listeners, and most could even finish my sentences. So, why do I no longer attend the meetings? Too much talk, not enough action. I found that the more I talked about writing, the less I actually wrote. Also, being with a group of writers that appeared to know what they were doing intimidated me. I scared myself into thinking that my writing wasn't good enough. I started to question all the time I had spent writing a book that perhaps no one but me might enjoy. After a stern talking to from my husband and a quick phone call to my mother, I "quit" the group and set myself back on the path that I had started. It turns out all I needed was the support of my family and friends. Go figure.