Tuesday, March 27, 2012

What's the point?

I'm completely irritated with life right now so this post will be anything but positive. We all have those days, right? We wonder what the point is. We wonder if what we are doing is really worth while. For me, it's my writing. Is it good enough? Is it a complete waste of my time? Should I go out and get a real job to help out with the wants and needs of our family? I'm sure I'll get past all this anger I have inside me eventually. It doesn't help that my sister baled on me as a running partner. Or than my calves are growing to the size of my thighs, while my chest is diminishing. A trip to VS's might be in my future. How about that I still had to tell my 11-year-old to blow his nose this morning because there was a stream of clear snot running down his face? Does anyone besides me know how to change a roll of toilet paper? Hey, I'll take the dog for a walk for the 10,000th time. I'll also sweep up the mounds of dog hair she leaves behind on a daily basis. Grrrrr. I could go on and on, but I think I'll stop so that I can get some work done. As angry as I am, there is still that tiny part of me that believes I'll one day be the author people will be talking about.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

My tiny bubble

Driving my husband to the airport yesterday, it was made clear to me what a tiny bubble I've been living in lately. He wanted to talk about the latest headlines, mostly tragedies, of course, and I had no idea what he was talking about. I spend half of my day making things up, while the other half is spent wrestling with the little monster that gets off the school bus at noon each day. Current events aren't on my agenda. If it doesn't have to do with our kids, his job, or my writing I tune it out. The world might explode tomorrow and I wouldn't know it until, well, I don't know quite how I'd know besides the obvious. Don't get me wrong, I like my little bubble. It's simple and spontaneous, yet predictable.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Writing styles

I'm currently reading a book by Jonathan Kellerman and am paying close attention to his writing style, which I'm learning is very different from my own. He tends to use shorter sentences. He also adds in commas where I wouldn't, although, I'm the first to admit I use them more often than I think I should. He writes with the main character speaking in the first person while the chapters dedicated to the other characters are in the third person. In Missing Maggie, Kody is in first person, but so are Daniel and Kevin when we hear from them. That might be something I should rethink. Kellerman draws the mystery out by involving a lot of different characters, which I suppose you need when it involves detectives looking for a murderer. My plot line in Missing Maggie was slow to begin with, but then ended in a whirlwind. Kellerman has obviously had more practice with pacing. I'm not finished with the book yet so I'll be interested to see how it ends. Does he use an epilogue like I prefer so that everything gets wrapped up all nice and neat, or does he simply solve the crime and keep us wondering if the main character gets back together with his ex? 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Making progress

I finally got past the first few pages of my first draft, which is still unnamed by the way. It wasn't fun and I can barely read the original print, but I think what I've done so far will make for a better book. Like I mentioned in my last post, half of the text will be moved elsewhere so I have some empty space to fill. I can only assume more rearranging will be necessary and everything will fall into place. I've also found a few conversations that need to be prolonged. As I was reading, I wondered why Kody didn't ask her clients more questions. She was being too brief, which led me to question the relevance of their words.

I'm only a quarter of the way through my draft and it's already the 15th of March. If I'm going to meet my deadline of May 1st for a reader-ready copy, I'm going to have to hustle. This summer weather isn't helping matters. I find myself spring cleaning, playing outside with my son, and running on the trails when I should be picking up my red pen. I can't possibly get up any earlier so I'll have to come up with another plan. Hmmmmmm.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The first few pages

So far I've destroyed the first few pages of my first draft. The red pen has bled all over it and I've determined that half of the text needs to be moved elsewhere. In my head I'm thinking, "Show, don't tell." I'm also thinking about how I can grab the reader's attention within the first few paragraphs. Then, it's important to me to show the reader some of the elements he or she will experience throughout the length of the book. I'm feeling overwhelmed....

Friday, March 9, 2012

MSP book club

I had another fabulous time with a book club last night. This time I was in Minneapolis near the Mall of America. The ladies were welcoming, easy to talk to, and felt comfortable voicing their opinions, all of which were very positive. I think I even came back to Rochester with an idea for book #3. Nancy might have to reveal some secrets. Hmmm...I wonder what those will be.

I must confess, I never tire of talking about "Missing Maggie" and the various characters that live in Kody's world. This surprises me a little because I'm not necessarily the most chatty of people. I tend to be a better listener. However, the passion I feel for writing brings me right out of my shell, almost to the point where I wonder if I talk too much.

Thanks for a wonderful evening, ladies, and thanks for inviting me to join along in your discussion.

Monday, March 5, 2012

First draft complete

I should be ecstatic right now, jumping for joy, buying a round of drinks somewhere fancy to celebrate the completion of not one, but two novels. I hate to say it, but it feels rather anticlimactic.The only explanation I can come up with is that I know how much work I have yet to put into it to get it ready for publication. The first draft is a mere 20% of the final product in my eyes. And if it's anything like last time, I'll rewrite the story more than a dozen times, questioning the quality of my work every step of the way. We are all our worst critic!

Next step: Print it out, buy a new red pen, and bleed all over the paper. Sounds like fun, huh?

Next goal: By May 1st, be ready to pass out copies of the book to a small group of readers for their input.