I’d just like to point out to you all that I now have over 1000 hits!!! That makes me pretty excited. Now I know there are a lot of other blogs out there with a lot more, but I’m excited to reach this marker. Hopefully this pace continues and I get more and more readers. If you look at my map, you’ll notice that people all over the world have visited. Who would have thought?
Monthly Archives: July 2008
About a month or so back, Kristen Nelson blogged about how good writing is sooooo subjective. She was specifically addressing those books that are million dollar sellers but that get a whole lot of criticism about the quality of the writing (i.e. Stephenie Meyer, Dan Brown, Christopher Paolini). Here’s a link.
Her conclusion? “Millions of readers can’t be wrong.” And I would have to agree.
Let’s face it, most people read to be entertained. I know there are those exceptions who read for good writing, who will read almost anything if it’s written beautifully. I won’t. I’d much rather have a great story, written well enough, than a beautifully written but not that captivating classic.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I do think that if you can have a combination of both: a great story and something that’s written well, then you’ve got the perfect mix.
Personally, I don’t think my writing will ever win a pulitzer prize or anything, but that’s not my goal. My goal is to entertain, to make people love my world and my characters — and my story. Still, it has to be good enough to sell to an agent and publisher, and that’s why I am working so hard still, even though the story is actually complete.
Along these lines, I have to admit I can hardly wait for Stephenie Meyer’s “Breaking Dawn” release this weekend. Say what you want, her story is fabulous. (And yes, I am a little obsessed!!) My husband will be out of town Friday night, so I’m hoping to get a copy at midnight and read a little that night and the next morning. And for those of you rolling your eyes right now, I can live with that.
Yesterday I finished editing chapter 2. There are still a few sentences I’m not completely happy with, but I can live with that until I get some brain wave telling me how they could be better.
I’ve had a great response from people who’ve read chapter 1 and the prologue, which makes me feel that maybe this is actually going to work. Thanks to everyone who’s left a comment.
Finally, I’m going out of town for the next week. We’re going to Lake Powell, and we’re so excited – and ready. One whole week of water, wave runners, houseboat, and lifejackets. I’m hoping to get through at least one chapter while I’m there, but you know how vacation goes.
So it took me longer than I thought to get chapter one revised. But…I think it’s so much better. If anyone reads it, please tell me what you think. I especially want to know a few things: Do you like Ethan? Do you care what happens next? Would you want to keep reading?
The process of writing a novel is interesting. The first thing I do is write a rough draft. I have so many ideas swirling around in my head that I want to get them all written down, even if the writing is terrible and the story isn’t quite smoothed out yet.
With my first book, I took that rough draft and fixed punctuation and the sentences that weren’t good and I had a few friends read it and like it. I figured it was good. The story might have been. The writing needed work.
After having a few beta readers go through, I realize it’s the same. The story is good. The writing, although much better than before, still needs work. However, I have leanred to notice what needs to be fixed, and things I don’t notice, the readers generally do.
The prologue I have posted is a lot better than the original. Chapter One, which I will be posting tomorrow or the next day is a lot better than what I have up there now.
What makes them better? Imagery, for one. When I first wrote the book, I was so interested in the characters and the story that I kind of forgot about their world: what it looked like, smelled like, sounded like, etc. I have gone back and added that. I don’t think it has to be much. Books with paragraphs of descriptions aren’t my favorite. A lot of time I find myself skimming over all the words. Another thing I’ve tried to change is something anyone who’s ever written fiction will know: SDT (show don’t tell). A third thing I’ve discovered I really like is to get inside the characters head. Instead of just telling the reader what they’re thinking, show their thought process. I’ve liked the changes where I’ve done this.
I know there are a number of other things I’m forgetting to mention, but as I’m going through chapter one, these are the ones I’ve really focused on, and hopefully, the ones that will make it better.
I had another one of my beta readers send me back the entire manuscript. Again, she had some suggestions and a few things that bothered her, but she liked it!!! Here are a few of my favorite comments.
“Thanks for the fun read.”
“Overall, I loved this and would buy it if I saw it.”
“I’ve actually had the past two days to get through this and haven’t stopped reading.”
I was soooo excited.
In other news, I’ve been working hard on getting the first chapter finished. I’ve read through and tried to incorporate the suggestions made by my readers. I’ve even rewritten the entire first scene, but I think it’s a lot better now. Hopefully, I’ll have it posted here within the next few days.
For anyone interested, I have posted the revised (and hopefully final) version of my prologue. It is under the “My Book” tab at the top. Then click on the link to “revised prologue.” Tell me what you think. I’ve had so many people give me suggestions and I’ve tried to address them all, even if in the end I decided to go wtih my own heart.
There’s nothing quite as rewarding as writing the first draft of a manuscript. It’s so fun to get all your ideas finally on paper, to see how they fit together, and to see the characters taking over.
When I was writing my first book, I couldn’t believe how quickly it went. I think the first, really rough draft, was done in about four months. Now I’m onto book 2, and it’s going just as well. In fact, even better. I learned a lot of things while writing the first book. I had to go back and fix a lot. With book 2, I’m trying to avoid those things as I go. Consequently, the first draft of book 2 is so much cleaner.
And now I come to the real news, and why I wanted to post in the first place. I’m up to 30,000 words in the second book. That’s over 100 pages!!! I can’t believe that scenes I thought of almost a year ago are now in print (at least kind of). Some of them are even better than I’d hoped, and a lot of them still need more work, but they’re there, waiting to be read.