Posts tagged writing
Posts tagged writing
Being an indie writer has it ups (creative control) and downs (being in charge). Like many other writers, I have to finance my books myself.
So I got a little creative and have started a Kickstarter project. Kickstarter is a site that matches patrons with projects. People can pledge whatever amount they wish and only have to pay if the project reaches its funding goal.
My project is to help offset the cost of the cover and design of the second book in my Sensitives Trilogy. Covers are one of the most important parts of the book selling process and I’d love to have something as beautiful as the Larkstorm cover for book 2.
Anyway, here’s the link. Even if you choose not to pledge (and get some fabulous rewards for doing so), I’d appreciate if you help me spread the word about my project.
I had the opportunity to sit in on an acting workshop this weekend. Admittedly, I was none-to-happy about having to sit through nine hours of watching young children learn to act. It sounded agonizing, but my son really wanted to do it.
And I’m so happy I did.
For the past week or two, I’ve struggled with my WIP. I’d been writing, rearranging, cutting, pasting, editing and re-writing the same 15,000 words. I was stuck.
Then, on Friday night, I sat through the first two hours of the workshop. The teacher, Winnie Hiller, was a well-known LA-based acting coach, who made a name for herself in the 80’s playing ditzy commercial characters.
The first part of the night was dedicated to what to expect during auditions. Practical stuff. I took few notes and messed around with my iPhone.
But then, Winnie began discussing the process of getting into character. Of thinking like the character and allowing yourself to feel their feelings. Now she was speaking my language – but one I had forgotten. While writing my first book, I immersed myself in my character’s emotions – I knew her inside and out. I understood why she made the decisions she did and could predict with accuracy how she’d react to things. Often, when writing an emotional scene, I’d find myself crying.
My experience with the characters in my WIP has been completely different. I knew what I wanted them to do and have spent hours and hours fighting against what they want to do. All because I felt like the story needed to go in one direction – even if that direction wasn’t allowing my characters to grow.
I went home that night and let my characters – especially my male character – speak to me. Like Winnie Hiller suggested, I examined his motivation and tried to understand what his realistic reaction would be. And wouldn’t you know it - whole scenes started pouring out of me. Scenes that I would never have considered before because they didn’t fit my vision of the story.
Another great piece I took away from the workshop is the importance of reading dialogue out loud. This is something I tend to do already. However, I never understood how the dialogue could completely change the way I viewed a scene.
For example: “I could give it to her.”
When you read it out loud, where do you place the emphasis? Are you saying it more like a question? Is it a snotty comeback? By reading it out loud, you could possibly open a whole new direction in the manuscript. What you thought was a sweet sentiment, may come out sounding snarky when you read it as the love interest.
I spent last night reading back key pieces of dialogue and I’m happy to report, I found many new story lines I didn’t know existed – plots about sweaters, skateboards and the desire to fit in. Things my characters knew the whole time, but I was too stubborn to listen.
So go on, act out with your characters. You’ll be happy you did.
P.S. Special thanks to Jaime Reed, unofficial writing psychologist, for getting me to see I need to make it honest.
Hiding. Yup. Curled up in my hole, hiding and revising. In less than a week, I added 10,000 words to my manuscript and made changes to the plot, as well as added tiny details that altered the story in small, but significant ways.
I’m a fast writer, in that I can turn something around quickly. However, this doesn’t mean I rush my revisions. On the contrary, I do nothing but revise until I’m done. I have been known to work twelve hours straight, wake up and jump right back in. I simply can’t stop - my mind won’t let me.
I’d love to be a writer who can step back, write a little, have a life and then write some more, but I know I never will be. I’m an all-or-nothing type in everything I do. I’m also impatient and a slight workaholic - I thrive on intense work sessions and deadlines. If I don’t have a tight turnaround goal, I find myself procrastinating (hello Twiiter, AW and a host of other distracting sites).
Oddly, when I revise or edit, I can’t listen to music, unlike when I’m writing the first draft. I need absolute silence and banish my family from our house for hours on end. And heaven help them if they return, and I’m in the middle of a complicated scene.
You know, maybe it’s a good thing I revise fast - I don’t think the boys or Bug could take it if I revised over weeks instead of days. See that? I’m saving my family from a life of misery :)
What other revising styles are there? What method works for you - power through, slow and steady, or some other version?
P.S. Part of the reason I’ve been MIA, is Finn has been on a shoot with Pottery Barn Kids in Napa, this week and last. For those unfamiliar, Napa is a 1 1/2 drive from our home. It’s been fun - he’s been shooting the Halloween catalog, so keep your eyes peeled for a cute little shark come October.