(Skip down a bit for the Wannabe Writers part).
My Dad has never thought much of my fiction writing (fantasy? women's fiction? -- he reads mostly biographies about famous and powerful men).
But regardless of what I write, or if I ever get published, my Dad still thinks I'm the greatest person in the world (well, maybe after my mom. I don't have any brothers or sisters, but my kids - his grandkids - might be close to trumping me).
The best thing about my Dad is how he always made me feel like a princess when I was growing up. Little did he know that he was feeding my fantasy worlds! The other cool thing about my Dad was he saved every single card I ever made him (he always asked for home-made Father's day and birthday cards). One day he got out a shoebox and let me see all the cards I'd made for him over the years. Some of them made me grimace, some of them made me perk up my eyebrows and say "hey, not bad for a twelve year old" and some of them made me laugh out loud. But more than the cards themselves, it was the idea that he cared enough to save them all.
An update on writing: The good news is I've been busy writing - the bad news is I've been neglecting this blog. I haven't been able to think of any interesting topics to blog about, and didn't want to take time away from my WIP to really brainstorm for this blog. But ah, isn't that the beauty of memes? So today I am revisiting Sarah's wonderful Wannabe Writers meme.
Where I am in the writing process: Four chapters into at least the fifth re-write (I've actually lost track of the number of revisions) of my first novel which I just can't seem to let go. With a couple of excellent new crit partners, I really feel like I can get this story tightened up by cutting some slow chapters and rewriting with more action, more attitude, and more angst. Well, that's the plan, at any rate.
My current problems: My story is told from the point of view of two main characters, kind of like how Shiver (by Maggie Stiefvater) is written, switching chapters between Grace and Sam. Grace and Sam were both written in first person. One of my characters sounds great in first person. The other MC sounds weird in first person. So I changed her back to third person, but I feel like for a middle grade novel it's going to be too jarring for kids to not only have to switch back and forth between characters, but also between first and third. What do you guys think?
This week's question (from Sarah): Do you carry a writing journal around? Do you believe jotting down the ideas as they come is the best way? I used to be so good about doing this. After reading Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird, I fell in love with her advice to ALWAYS carry an index card or two and a pencil in your back pocket. Just the very act of sticking those cards into my pocket made me remember it was my RESPONSIBILITY as a writer to observe details of settings, dialogue I overhear, idiosyncrasies of people. Not to mention jotting down ideas. I need to get back into the habit.
These days, I have to keep track of so much family business (four kids and a very disorganized husband) that I only notice really odd or funny things. Then I freak because I don't have a notebook to write them in and if I write it on a receipt chances is are I'll forget and throw it away. But I'll NEVER remember if I don't write it down. So I have everything from the play date for my daughter to the grocery list to the key word of a writing idea jotted down on the back of my hands.
Do you carry around a writing journal or are you the kind that scribbles on napkins, receipts, the back of your hand?
Wannabe Writers is a writing group for the un-published and anyone is welcome to join. It's a place where future authors can ask questions, share stories, and get feedback. Click (here) to find more about how it works.
Real Life Diagnostics: Is This an Engaging Middle Grade Voice? - *Critique By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy * Real Life Diagnostics is a weekly column that studies a snippet of a work in progress for specific issues. Read...
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