Friday, April 15, 2011

Digging in.

Sometime in the next week I'm going to start some revisions on KILLER CUPCAKES.  Obviously I've done revisions before because you don't send a book out to agents without revising, but these are different and pretty important.  I'm actually really excited about digging back into that book because a) I miss those characters a lot and b) I like making my book better.  I've also been working on WIP 1 and WIP 2, but these revisions have been on my mind. A lot.

I pulled out (and dusted off) some of my old style books, read through grammar books and am trying to soak up as much information as possible to make sure that I'm ready to make these revisions count.  These are all things that I've studied before, first as a Communications major and then as a Liberal Studies major but a little refresher can't hurt.  In life, I'm not a grammar freak, (Please, don't be shocked as you read this and find errors. ha!) but I do try to find obvious issues when I read and write.  But like I said, these revisions are important.  So I'm pulling out my fine-tooth comb and referencing Grammar Girl constantly to make sure I'm doing a good job.

I've hit up the library too, just trying to find advice from other authors. I'm trying to read every blog and every tip on Twitter.  I'm also at the end of a narrative class this semester and I have LOVED that class.  I registered for that one at a good time.  As my high school English teacher would say, I'm turning into a spunge.  I'm soaking up everything I can get my hands on to make sure I'm the best writer I can be.

I've had good experiences so far with KILLER CUPCAKES.  I've gotten a lot of good feedback and have had great talks with agents about how good it is, but also how much better it can be.  So I feel good about my book, but I'm also very determined to make it one million times better.  And it's not only that, I'm working on two other books and I want them to be two million times better than KILLER CUPCAKES.  No pressure!

So I'm immersing myself in writing.  Digging in.

So, what about you?  What do the four (I joke. There might be five.) of you do to make yourselves better?  Do you have any tips and tricks that you can spare?

Oh and quickly, I'm going to actually talk about what KILLER CUPCAKES is about soon. (Hint: not a killer baked good)  I'll also talk a little bit about my other two WIPS soon as well.

Also, does anybody know where I can get a good word counter for my blog? I want one really, really bad.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

On Writing.

I've always wanted to title something "On Writing" and now I have. That's exciting!

Anyway, I've been thinking a lot lately on the different ways to write a novel... or anything, really.  I wrote for a newspaper for two years in college (for my A.S.) and I was always interested in how all of us wrote in different ways.  Some of us liked the office, some went home to write, most of us wrote in between classes on campus. (The staff was young... our editor was in her mid-twenties.  We were shaking things up in a very small town!) One of my best friends to this day was on staff with me and he would plan and plan until his article was perfect.  I, on the other hand, would pick out the best quotes and figure it out as I went.

I've noticed that a lot of authors also write in different ways as well, and it's become even more apparent since I joined Twitter.  People write at home, out in public and many different places and of course there are plotters and pantsers.  Some people keep their plots top secret, others blog about their stories as they write.  On top of that, there are critique partners, word challenges and writing groups. Tons of ways to write!

I find that I write the best at home and late at night.  My need for some sort of normalcy keeps me from writing until 4am every night.  I've stepped out of my box a lot lately and have written as much as I can during the day.  I even go to Panera sometimes to get out amongst the people!  I'm totally growing as a writer and a person, I think. 

I write pretty quickly and I'm also a pantser.  I wrote KC in a month by only scribbling down what I wanted to write about the next day.  I had no clue how the book would end, even though I did know who was responsible for everything.  I'm doing the same thing with my current WIP.  I have a friend who likes to read as I write, so she gets really bummed when she asks me questions and I don't have the answers.  I enjoy it though.  I wrote my first novel by planning out every last detail.  I was new to the whole fiction thing and tried every writing technique I came across.  I had planning boards, notebooks of character backgrounds and color coded post-its.  It was nuts.  I think I planned so much that I was tired of the book and that's what took me so long.  I should have known I would be a pantser since I don't even like figuring out what I'm going to have for dinner when I make a grocery list.

I've considered trying to find a critique partner but I'm kind of clueless on the process, so I don't know.

What about the four of you?  How do you write?  Also, what info can you give a girl on critique partners?


Monday, April 4, 2011

Getting things in order.

When I started this blog (a little more than a week ago) I had planned on having some time to tinker with it and then slowy make my way into having people read it and so on.  But then I won The Speed Date 2 Contest with The Knight Agency (yay!) and that sped up the process a little bit.  And quickly, can I just say how awesome The Knight Agency is for having contests like that? Amazing.

Anyway, I've finally gotten around to getting things how I like them, and I'm sure I'm not done yet.  I feel better though... it feels like it's mine now.  Oh and I have a blog title!  I picked Just Write because that's kind of my motto.  A lot goes into trying to get published but the most important (in my humble, unpublished opinion) thing is to make sure you're writing.  Also, it's what I yell at myself when I get stuck staring at my computer.

This week has been a little hectic in the writing department, mainly because of the contest which took up a lot of my time.  And by "took up a lot of my time" I mean checking and re-checking my e-mail, asking everyone who knows me if they thought I was good enough and then re-checking my e-mail... serious stuff.  So now I'm diving into a few small projects and continuing the work on my current WIP.

I can see the end in sight for my WIP and that's really exciting.  I'm only half way done but I have a clear path now, which is always nice.  I'm a bit of a pantser when I write but around a quarter to a half way in, I can see the path I'm going to take to the end pretty clearly.  If that doesn't happen, I know I have a problem.  Luckily I didn't run into that with this project and I'm hoping to finish the rough draft around the first week in May.

Fingers crossed.

Anyway, I hope everyone (yes, all four of you) enjoy the new look!