Friday, January 28, 2011

99th Page Blogfest

So here is my 99th page... (with minimal editing, which makes me realize I need to edit like this... take it out of context and it's easier to look at the mechanics of writing).  For whatever reason the format is really weird and it's not cooperating, so sorry.  :) 

After feeding the horses, I found a brush hanging on the wall and tried to keep myself content by grooming the large animals.  I cleaned Mr. Birdwell's blood off my coat with handfuls of water from MadPlay’s stall and an old rag.  Duke’s paw prints changed into red and brown smears.  I took a ragged breath, fighting the tears.  How long had it been?  How much longer would it be until I knew anything?
            When I had resorted to pacing the length of the barn, the light started to fade.  If Mr. Birdwell had died Jack would have found me by now and if he were still waiting for news he wouldn’t leave--not that I could blame him.  I didn’t want to spend the night in the barn again.  But where was Camille?  When would she show up again?  Her disappearance left me uneasy, I wasn’t sure what had happened in the woods—but she had vanished.  And with her went my chances of getting home.  I started to panic thinking of the photograph, wouldn’t it have to be one of Jack and his father hunting?  I pulled the image from my pocket, it was blurry, nothing like it had been before, I couldn’t make out people or anything in the background, just swirls of dark and light.
            I shivered.  If I hadn’t come things would have been different.  Camille would have taken the picture.  Instead, I made the stupid duck call to distract them, guilt consumed me.  The barn door creaked open and I squinted through the twilight at the figure coming through it. 
            “Oh Jack! How is he?”  I ran to him, noticing the deep circles underneath his eyes.  He smiled at me and held out his arms, wrapping me in his embrace.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Really? Another contest...

Oh yes it is...

Here are a couple of things I just found out about:

Y(A)? Cuz We Write is holding a contest for having 100 followers, there are four chances to win something--all really great prizes including 2, 10pg. critics from agented writers.

And this sounds really fun:

It's a 99th page blogfest  if you don't know what that's cool, I had no idea either.  So basically you post your 99th page of your current WIP on your blog tomorrow, sign up on their list and then go to the other blogs on the list and tell them three things:

1. Would you turn to page 100?
2. Why or why not would you keep reading
3. Based off what you read how likely would you be to buy the book?

(Hmmm...I'm not sure I could really ever answer nicely on the third one, I don't buy books unless I LOVE LOVE LOVE THEM.  That's why I have a library card, so I can read them and then if I ever think about re-reading them, that's when I consider buying.  I'm frugal what can I say?)

Anyway it sounds like fun...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Contests are in the air...

Do you want a query critique?  Um, I do, so maybe you shouldn't go enter (jk).  I love bloggy writer's so fun when you win them, I've won two in my blogging career and both were super helpful.

Fiction Groupie Contest

Go check it out, it never hurts to enter...

And if you still haven't entered Nathan Bransford's Contest you have until tomorrow.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Nathan Bransford's 1st Paragraph Contest...

Go enter:

I'm still debating what to enter...but I've had a lot of insight reading the entries (first paragraphs) and what makes them good and what makes them lame.  

It's giving me a headache, because while I want to enter my stupid WIP that I've been working on forever and ever and ever and is probably my worst first paragraph--which is really sad to realize because it means I really need to change that first paragraph/first chapter again... what the crap?

So I'm thinking about entering this other paragraph from something that doesn't even have 5k of it written yet...  um yeah I'll let you know how that goes.

Anyway go enter, because really what do you have to lose?

Good luck.

Monday, January 17, 2011

S-words (stakes, sequencing, sequels)

I thought I had pretty good stakes* when I wrote my project...(and I'm not going to lie, I still think they're great) but the problem was the sequencing.

By placing some events in the wrong order I eliminated the highest stakes too early and as soon as those stakes were gone/resolved the book should have ended.  Um, the problem was there were like still 80 pages.

Now I am re-sequencing and reevaluating the stakes throughout my novel, along with about a million other things that need to be fixed.

This has lead me to another topic.


Can I just say I am so SO SO glad I've haven't ever developed that kernel of an idea that could have been the sequel to this MS.

Seriously.  This project has so many problems.  But they are problems that can be fixed.  Had I based 250 more pages on the faulty project...I probably would have had an entire MS that didn't work.  AT ALL.  

And just because you can make something have a sequel...doesn't mean you should.

I've read some really lame sequels lately and for me, what it boils down the stakes.  In these crappy sequels the stakes are never as high as the were in the first book, and that's a problem.  A big one, you don't feel the same draw to the problem, to the characters, to anything that's going on.

So my advice is don't write the sequel, I know you want to but don't do it...

Unless you are an amazing writer with a three-book deal and an overarching story line that is really awesome, then be my guest.

*stakes:  what the character has to lose throughout the book...whether it's personal, or will effect others, or the entire world depends on them.  You can read about raising the stakes in a writer's digest article or Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maas (he has an awesome section on stakes :) )

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Taking down Christmas

I was really done with Christmas this year, I got in all my cocoa and chocolate and singing and presents and shopping and reflecting on the true meaning of Christmas... I did it all and then I felt it was time to move on.

I packed up everything, the ornaments, the lights, the little weird knickknacks--but everything felt so empty.  Like I just washed the color off the walls or something...It just felt bare.

So I started celebrating Valentine's day.  I made a heart garland and hung it over the fireplace got out the two other Valentine's day decorations I have...and I felt better.

My daughter and I went to see Tangled for the second time and my favorite part of the movie is when Tangled (that's what my daughter calls Rapunzel) is sitting on the boat with Eugene and is talking about how it's been a dream her whole life to see the floating lights...and she asks What if it's not everything I hoped it to be?

It will be--Eugene tells her.

And then she says:

And what if it is? 

I love this, because it's so true.  Sometimes I haven't been able to fully enjoy something because I knew it would end.  (Isn't that kind of weird?) What happens when this magical thing is over?  Even if it was perfect--it's over.

Eugene looks at her and says:  You get a new dream.

So Valentine's Day is my new dream--At least decoration wise :)

But really in life sometimes we just need to realize even when amazing things are over, there can always be a new dream.

So in light of a new dream, I have some New Years Resolutions...okay I have a lot of them, but I'm only sharing two:

1. Finish revising my WIP (by March 3rd) and get rejected at least 100 times before I file it away :)
2. Write one of my new brain children :)  By writing 500 words/day 5x's a week (Starting March 4th)

My bloggy-nod to Valentine's Day:

Thought of You from Ryan J Woodward on Vimeo.