What's Up Wednesday is for anyone interested in keeping in touch with other writers, a meme hosted by writing sisters Erin Funk and Jaime Morrow
What I'm reading
Seraphina's sequel, ShadowScale, by Rachel Hartman. Seraphina is in my all-time favorites list, and it's wonderful to be back in this richly developed world with dragons and half dragons and a whole host of new characters. What I love most about these books: everyone is odd. It's a celebration of oddness, out-of-placeness, quirkiness, downright LOL uniqueness.
Recently finished When Reason Breaks by Cindy L. Rodriguez which features Emily Dickinson’s poetry as a guide to two girls struggling with depression and anger. Highly recommend!
What I'm writing
I shared the first six chapters of Refuge, my MG fantasy that I'm re-writing, with my CP of 15 years (she's a champ!) - she read the original version of this story, the one that was so far over 100,000 words that I'm not even going to 'fess up how long it was, and how rambling. But the brave dear soul was not only willing to read my re-write, she was excited to!
She right away caught a major problem though: I'd totally failed to develop my antagonist. (I have two antogonists: one is a human, one is a unicorn. I concentrated on developing my human antagonist but forgot about the other guy). The unicorn was a generic mu ha ha ha antagonist without any motivation or depth at all, just basically there to mess up the good guys' lives. It's been so much evil fun developing him.
What else I've been up to
We celebrated Valentines with the whole family at the Denver Aquarium, and scored a dinner table right next to the giant tank full of giant fish and stingrays, and a mermaid show. Writer friends, let it be known, my dream house would be a giant aquarium, with glass tube like rooms. (Even the library would have one wall of watery fish-filled glass. The other three walls would be books).
What works for me
First thing-in-the morning writing exercise/free write. I am so NOT a morning person, which is why I think free-writing in the morning actually works for me: my brain is still in a fog, so my subconcious has more free rein, and it comes up with some unfettered off-the-wall stuff. I used this method to develop my antagonist, using these prompts from this great writing tool (thank you, Emily, for sharing it), the Pyramid Approach to Novel Writing by Jess Loury:
A well-written, believable and sympathetic antagonist spells the difference between a toss-away novel and a cinematic novel. Imagine you are your antagonist’s biographer... ask these questions:
• What’s your name? Nickname?
• Anyone ever tell you that you look like someone famous?
• Of all your qualities, which are you most proud of? Where do you think youacquired this quality?
• What do people seem to like the least about you? How does it make you feel?
• Which habit of yours would you most like to change?
• If someone looked in your bathroom garbage right now, what would they find?
• What scent do you enjoy the most, and what does it remind you of?
• If you could go back in time and change one day of your life, what day would it be, and why?
• What three goals do you want to accomplish in the next year? What challengesdo you have to overcome to reach them?
• Whom do you love most in this world and why?
• What scares you?
Looking forward to seeing what works for everyone else this week...