Thursday, January 13, 2011

(S)he got that ambition baby, look in her eyes

I attended my first Gotham writing workshop last night (it was free) and LOVED it. It was focused specifically on fiction writing, and though it was only a tease into the full 10-week course, we did go through some character development exercises which resulted in almost 2 hours of writing last night. It also prompted some thinking today regarding the plot, which I am considering rejiggering! I can't wait to get back to writing tonight and this weekend - I'm like a new mother, I gotta nurse! <-- My apologies for that, kinda gross.

Oh, also, it didn't hurt that my teacher last night was extremely cute. Maybe I need a writer for a man. Just a thought.

In other news, I have also started a timeline of writing goals I'm going to attempt to reach. Here's a rough layout, and I suppose I will adjust as I needed:

May/June: Finish complete draft of Lie in Our Graves
June-July: Work with Roomie to edit, revise as neccesary
July: Begin shopping for a literary agent
August: Begin writing Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday (working title)
Nov. 12: Receive, at minimum, interest from a publisher (I realize this is overly ambitious, but hey, no harm in that)

We shall see what goes on with that. Expect lots this weekend - my mind is going 100 mph right now, but work is kind of getting in the way at the moment.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

iCan. iWill. iPad

So my writing trials and tribulations just got a whole lot easier. Why? Mama just got herself iPad!

And how did I get an iPad you may be asking yourself, especially since I'm Captain Brokes-A-Lot? Well funny you should ask...

See about two months ago my company opened up an internal writing contest to which I felt compelled to enter. To be honest, the prize could've been a bag of M&Ms and I still would've entered because well, I'm a dork. But lucky for me, the prize was an iPad AND even better, a trip to another office, anywhere in the world. And guess who won? Well, I suppose I wouldn't be going on about an iPad if I hadn't, now would I?

On the trip side, because that is the most exciting, I of course selected London because my second book (Ruby Tuesday) will be set there. Well that and that whole "I've been obsessed with England since I heard my first Beatles' song" and the whole "I want to live in London" thing...yes, suppose those came into play as well. But I digress. More to come on London soon. For now, the iPad has just been handed to me.

So now I have Addie (yes I am naming it since it is my new best friend) to take to the park and write. EEEEEKKK! Do you understand how huge this is? Lie In Our Graves (working title) is mostly set in Central Park. How cool is it that I can now sit in Strawberry Fields, while writing about Harper and Oscar in Strawberry Fields? Or walk about the Great Lawn as I write about them walking around the Great Lawn? You get the idea! And while I would love to the listen the Beatles considering the locale, I will be listening to the song of the current chapter I'm writing about. Are you excited because you should be! See I couldn't do all of this before because the computer I currently use is extremely wonky.

There is an, um, eh, "love" scene I should say that takes place in the park as well. Probably won't reenact that one, but I can sit where I say it happens and think about how it'll all play out. And the climax of the book, #41? All in the park.

Bottom Line: Non-wonky iPad will excel the writing Lie in Our Graves.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

When Harper met Oscar

Today served as the first of my "writing sessions," so I used it to rewrite the introduction between Oscar and Harper and guess what - it's 20 times better that the original - bam!

Seriously though, it really was a bit of a breakthrough. As obvious as it may sound, the style guide Mama Mac bought me discusses how writers should not talk about a character, but rather show their personality through dialogue and action. So, obsessing over this duh moment, I decided to rewrite most of the second chapter (and consequently many sections of the rest of the book). Instead of a random run-in where Harper falls head over heels for Oscar, she now brushes him off until he charms her otherwise. I think this new version shows a side to Harper that was missing, and I hope will set up the rest of the story more appropriately. I also included a bit of!

Bottom Line: Foreshadowing through beer? True confirmation that this is what I'm supposed to do with my life!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Back to the Future

A bit excited about today because I'm on a bit of a roll. I promised I'd dedicate some time to writing today, and so I spent most of it worrying about how I can jump back and forth from past to present in the book. The story is told through a series of flashbacks which recount how Harper's relationship with ex-boyfriend Oscar went awry. I'm still tinkering with this, and because I couldn't reach a decision, I took a break to read a technique guide on fiction writing from the Gotham Writers' Workshop. For whatever reason, it opened up some thoughts for me and helped me to rethink and rewrite a few chapters. I think the changes provide more depth - help to tell a more real story.

The book also suggests I begin a writing schedule, which makes sense. I must dedicate several days out of the week to write this bad boy if this is really going to happen. It's go time and Harper is never going to tell Oscar what's up if she is never written to do so.

So yes, I'm going to start with Tuesday and Thursday nights, after work, spending at least 1-2 hours to just writing, and not at home. I love writing at home, but after work, know I won't. I still need to decide where to write, but probably Central Park once it warms up, and in the meantime, a coffee shop. I know, original right?

I'm also going to spend 2-3 hours on either Saturday or Sunday (pending the prior night's events). So that's an average of 4-7 hours a week of just writing. That may not sound like a lot, but until I see how my work schedule may affect this, it's all I feel I can really do at this time honestly.

But I must say, this whole process is so bizarre, and I'm already placing some key learnings on the backburner for next go around. First off, I'm not writing in order whatsoever, so I find myself having to keep going back to other chapters to ensure consistency and flow of story. It made me realize that I only thought about the shell of the story before I actually started writing. It's only now that I'm going back to fill in the holes, the details, the events and thread them together. I think with Ruby Tuesday, much of this will have already been thought through. Or at least I hope.

Another dedicated day tomorrow - if only for an hour. Wish me luck.