Quote of the Day -5/5/09

"I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity."
— Edgar Allan Poe

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

It Works for Me!

I've been trying hard to figure out what to do to improve the pacing in my book. Yesterday when I got in my car, the "Writing Excuses" podcast CD had just gotten to the episode on pacing and tension. The podcast emphasized planning, outlining, and making sure each scene had more than one objective.

I must admit my outline was a sheet of notebook paper in my spiral from the workshop with ten vague plot points scribbled on it. I decided that before I tackle draft four I had better make a real scene by scene outline.

My, that was revealing!

Chapter by chapter, I titled each scene, wrote a one or two sentence synopsis, and then made note of the objectives. I discovered several scenes that had no reason to exist, other than that they had popped up in my imagination and so I wrote them down. That's great for draft one, but by draft three?

I was wondering why no one under the age of 13 had been able to finish the book. The first four chapters are fine, but then comes a great morass of world-building and wandering about with no apparent progress. The plot doesn't pick up again until chapter 8! Something must be done!

So, fellow writers, I highly recommend this exercise. Especially on a day when you don't feel like drafting anything new. You may learn things about your manuscript that you never suspected.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Fun at the Book Signing

We went to Brandon Sanderson's book signing and Q&A at the Las Vegas Barnes and Noble last Tuesday. It was fun to see him again. He told me that he's not planning to do the BYU conference next year due to the immense pressure he's under to finish the Wheel of Time book, but he hopes to be back the year after that.

His new Alcatraz book isn't due out until Nov 1, but happily he's not so famous that there's a strict release date. My husband spotted one sitting on the wrong shelf so we snatched it up and took it to the register before it was too late. My 9-year-old son just finished reading it so I've got to go now and finish it myself because my son is just bursting to spoil it for me.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Filling the Well

When you feel drained as a writer, what do you do to fill up your well?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

All Done! (Sigh)

I finished the third draft of Earthcrosser on Friday morning. Nothing left to do now but a little proof-reading. Today I took down all my reference maps and research materials and put them away. It surprised me how sad I felt, almost like packing up to move out of an apartment where I enjoyed living.

On Tuesday, Brandon Sanderson is doing a book signing here in Las Vegas! I get to go and tell him I'm almost ready to go to the post office.

Agh! Argh! Eeek! Now I get to find out if the editor wants it! Urp! Igh! Gasp! For the next three months, every time I go to the mail box I will be on the verge of a heart attack.


Hooray! It's finally time to start thinking about that time of the year! The frenzied preparations, the hurried working behind closed doors. Secrecy and the anticipation before revelation. that's right! It's Coming! National Novel Writing Month! I think it's fantastic and am sending a link so that you can all sign up too!
It'll be great fun, and I hope you all will let us read what you write.
Until then!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Writing Excuses Podcast

Did you guys know that Brandon Sanderson (along with two other awesome guys) do a weekly podcast about writing?

Did you know that they just released a CD with the first season of it? 35 episodes!

I heard about it from Brandon's blog and purchased a copy, and have been listening to it all week long at work. It's fantastic! All sorts of great tips and information. It's kind of like being at the writing conference again, only much cheaper and without as much hard work. :) I recommend it to all of you!!!

Go here for more info: http://www.writingexcuses.com/