Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday Five: Birthdays

1. First, as I was perusing the blogs I follow, this article really stood out to me. Here's What Plotting and Pantsing Both Miss: The Real Story. And it got to the heart of the matter with what I'm struggling with in my next novel. Steve's internal conflict. I've got Aimee's down. I know what she needs to do and how she needs to change. But not Steve. He's broken---he has to be for the book I'm writing. I know what happened to break him. But I don't get how exactly he's broken. I don't know exactly what he needs to do to change yet. I've got a lot of the surface detail ideas, but the story won't work without the bigger conflict for him. Hopefully, I'll figure it out this weekend.

2. Tomorrow is my birthday. I hate getting older. I certainly don't feel old, but I look at the big personal goals I have for myself, and I wonder if I'm getting any closer to actually reaching them. Am I improving myself and putting in the time that I need to in order to do it?  So that's where I'm at on that. I'm not giving up.

3. This week I've been thinking a lot about showing versus telling. I've read several books where it was tell, tell, tell. And hardly any showing. Oh!  I liked the story line, but there was always this distance between the main character and me. And I liked the plot lines. Then I started thinking about my writing, do I do this? Have I fixed the parts of my novels that slip into this? How do I handle flashbacks?

4. On the other hand, I've been really looking at the books that make it work, and draw me in. There are some really gifted authors out there that manage to pull you into a story and make it really work. I love picking apart a book and listing the things the author nails to get it right. Then I can look at my own writing and see what I can learn to improve it.

5. So this is a pretty random thing, but my daughter is reading some book on the Titanic for middle school.  I don't know why they are reading the book in sixth grade. It's boring, it was written fifty years ago and it feels like it. None of the teachers actually read the book before they chose it. And it's making the kids hate reading. Which is just stupid because there are SO MANY good books out there. They need to read something historical. Considering I taught sixth grade language arts for awhile, I could march in there and hand them a freaking list of better books.

But that is not what I was going to talk about--ironically there was a novel written about a big boat sinking because it was hit by an iceberg called the The Wreck of the Titan, and it came out about fourteen years before the Titanic happened. And I feel like we are watching a real life Lost unfold with the missing plane. How do you lose an entire plane?

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