Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sometimes it's best to step away

The last few days I've been brainstorming different plots for my next book and have learned that I work best in short spurts. I'll type out an idea and then wander around the house, possibly clean something, although I've gotten to where I'm just not all that particular anymore. When I sit back down, I'll write down another spin on what I previously wrote. I'll step away. I waste a lot of time this way, but for some reason if I sit for too long thinking about things, I'll start thinking about things I don't need to think about. Not what I want to do. My mornings alone are numbered as it is. In less than two weeks, the little creatures I created will be milling around the house complaining that we have no food and that they're bored. I swear they wake up bored. I wish I remember feeling that way when I was their age. Now I'm just an "old woman" as they like to say. Grrr!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I've almost got it

I think I might have the main character for my next book! I was originally wanting to write a book with Nancy, the ex-Las Vegas stripper, as the lead character because she is such a woman of mystery, and because she was a favorite character of the Minneapolis book club I met with. However, I've been struggling to come up with a good plot for her to lead. All the ones that pop into my head have been done before. Nancy might need more time before she's ready to unveil a few secrets.

This other character, Evelyn, is going to be interesting to say the least. I'll need to hash out my plan with my husband or mom before I go any further. Sometimes my ideas need a little tweaking. And even though I may not always take their advice, I love the creativity that is spawned from the conversation. Who wants to talk about reality when the mind is able to create great fiction?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Writing styles

I'm reading Shadow Tag by Louise Erdrich and am in awe of the thought that was put into each and every sentence. This book isn't your typical quick read for a captivating story. It is instead one you must take your time with to grab each little detail the author has so delicately included. I've read several of Erdrich's books because my English professor at NDSU was a huge fan of hers. I think he even wrote papers about her work. That is how amazing this author is. I have a long way to go before someone can study my writing. Like I tell my husband, I'm a surface-level type person. I'm way too laid back to have such depth, which is good and bad.

Erdrich, like Kent Haruf, the author of Plainsong, doesn't use quotation marks in her dialogue. This ommitance gives the words on the page a more poetic feel. If you're wondering, it isn't confusing to read either. It's important for writers to read as much as they can, and in my opinion, reading books outside of one's genre is very beneficial. I'm not writing with Erdrich quality quite yet, but you never know what the future might hold.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

First reader comments are in

I received my first comments on the draft copy of book #2 from a friend yesterday. For the most part, he seemed to enjoy the story and was satisfied with the ending. He had one issue with Kody's response, or lack of response, to an issue, which didn't really surprise me because while writing that part I wondered the same thing. I apparently thought I could get away with it. I'll be interested to hear if the other readers feel the same way. If this review is anything like Missing Maggie, the readers will have a lot of the same comments. However, this time it will be even more interesting to compare the male vs female aspect. I'm not sure it will really make a difference, but we'll see.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Social media

I didn't quite make it up Monday morning since we didn't get home from the final ballet recital until almost ten o'clock. So, here I am Tuesday morning moderately updating the Facebook pages I created and my Goodreads author page. I didn't do much because I really don't know what to write. I don't want to bombard my Facebook friends with status updates like I was doing for awhile. I don't want to just post random thoughts for all to see either. That's what this blog is for! Tomorrow morning I'll stick to book stuff to work on, especially the dreaded book description. Oh, my mom has started writing her portion of the Christmas book. I'm very proud of her. Now, I just have to figure out where Kody and I fit in.

Friday, May 11, 2012

I'm awake, so...

Since I'm naturally awake at 5:15 every morning now, I miss having something to write about. This break I'm on isn't all it's cracked up to be. I honestly enjoy writing so when I have nothing to write about I'm kind of bored. Instead of enjoying a hot cup of coffee alone with my computer, I'm instead being irritated by the cats wanting breakfast, and then lately a woodpecker has decided to peck at the siding of our house right outside our window. I hate waking up angry. I'm a much nicer person when I wake up on my own and have at least a half hour before anyone else talks to me. Sooooo, starting next week I'm going to work on my Facebook pages, website, a book description, a summary for book #3, and possibly a summary for a Christmas book my mom wants her and I to co-write. This last item intrigues me and I'll elaborate on it further once we are able to discuss more of the details. This weekend is probably out since my Mother's Day will be spent watching and chaperoning ballet. Who would have thought I'd give birth to a little ballerina!

Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A book description

The hardest part of finishing up a novel is writing a five or six sentence paragraph about that novel. I struggled for weeks to get the wording just right for the book description for Missing Maggie. I'd honestly almost rather write another book. How can I put everything that happens in the story in one paragraph? How can I get the attention of as many readers as possible from the words I choose for the back of the book? It's stressful, I tell you. One word can turn some readers away. One word can hook them immediately. During my break from the story, I'm going to slowly work on this small masterpiece. I have other writing plans for the break too. I hope to share those very soon.

Friday, May 4, 2012

It's all coming together

My select group of readers have signed on to the challenge of reading and critiquing book #2. I'm so excited they are willing to do this. I'm essentially asking them to go to bed with a book and a red pen. I also love the fact that, like last time, my group is pretty diverse. However, regardless of age, sex, and reading preferences, my readers for "Missing Maggie" picked up on a lot of the same things. When reworking the story I chose to work on those areas first. I'm expecting similar results with this book. That reminds me, I really need to pick a title for this one. It's getting old calling it book #2 all the time. That is going to have to wait though. While the book is in other reader's hands, I'm taking a much needed break from the story.