Friday, August 21, 2009

News and Stuff

I've been blog silent for a bit for a few reasons. The first I went to the beach and the second I was really driving to the end of my rewrite. I'm pleased to say that I've finished. Yeah!

While I was at the beach, I spent a lot of time thinking about things. My novel, the vastness of the ocean and possible analogies to writing. Something about the beach makes me reflect on things. It is such a peaceful and happy place. So as I was building sand castles with my kids I had a few thoughts about the writing process.

One of the castles we built kept falling apart. We would get it built up really high and then it would fall apart. It kept splitting in the same spot. Then I realized that the foundation was cracked. It couldn't hold the castle together from the bottom. I realized that a good story is like that. You've got to have the basics, or foundation of a good story or it just won't hold together. There are several things you need, but the most important is your plot and conflict. It doesn't matter how beautiful your writing is or how compelling your characters are if your plot is cracked and just doesn't work.

The next thought came to me as my son was building a sand castle right in front of the incoming tide. Every few minutes a huge wave would come and wash away the castle completely. Although I encouraged him to move a bit further in, he kept telling me it was okay we could just begin again. This made me think about the importance of revision and finding the right way to tell your story. It's okay to start again and again, as long as you keep building. Eventually you'll find the right spot and be able to tell a great story.

So happiness I finally finished my rewrite. And I realized something that is going to help my revision process from now on. For this revision I rewrote the entire story. I literally retyped the entire thing. This let me fix things and see things I hadn't before. I tightened up my dialogue, got rid of passive voice and added a lot of pertinent details, In fact I add 5,000 words. Some of that was a new chapter, but that new chapter was created out of a chapter I split in two. The entire time I was writing I kept cutting this out and that out and I was worried that I'd end up with a shorter novel, but I didn't. I know it is a much stronger novel than it was.

Now I just need to perfect my query letter and rework my synopsis, since yeah, my story has changed slightly.

I've also thought about how to boost my blog's interest level. Mostly it's just been complaining and frustration. So I'm going to do a few things.

One post a week on the writing process. Some fun analogy or such. I"ll also include my word count and goals, since I"m ready finally to get going on my new novel. I'm so excited!

One post a week on a book I've read. Generally this will be a new book that I've read that week. I'll talk about what worked and why, and such.

One post a week on randomness. Everyone needs random every now and then right. I might do a Friday Five or something like that.

Plus I'll post the random contest or trailer.

So many good books coming out in the next few months. Personally I'm looking forward to Fire by Kristin Cashore, and Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater.

(Catching Fire would be up there too, but I've already read that awesomeness--but I'm excited for everyone else!)


Jessie Oliveros said...

Great analogies. When are you planning on submitting your book?

Patti said...

I agree, plot and conflict are the base of any story. It's amazing how much there is to do to get a book ready to be sent off and be judged. Not unlike sending our kids to school.

L.T. Elliot said...

Perhaps it's the vastness of the sea that makes all creativity feel limitless. I love the sea too.