April 26, 2011

What I SHOULD be doing

I've subscribed to a number of blogs with writing advice and I'm always happy to read them, half make me respond: Yes! I'm doing that! I need to keep doing that.
The other half fall into two camps: Hmmm, I could do that, I'll make sure to remember it. AND Oh, I don't think that would work with my WIP. Which is fine, not every technique works with everything.

This brings me to this long weekend, in which I did... nothing. Okay, I wrote 400 words and posted some fanfiction that's been hanging around on my harddrive. Not my best showing ever. To my defense, I got a NASTY stomach bug that has me out of work today (that's why I'm posting on Tuesday instead of Wednesday), but that doesn't excuse Friday, when I felt fine, or Saturday, when all I did was drive. Driving is usually PRIME writing time! Why my 'day job' is perfect. I spend all winter working part time (using Wednesdays and Fridays for my housekeeping and writing) and in the summer we drive five hours to Fort McMurray every other week, plus an hour to or between sites. Tons of time to daydream, imagine plot lines, flesh out characters.

So you would think, a three hour drive to Calgary, I would get something going on one of my two Works In Progress. Nope. Instead, I have started creating a new fantasy world and explored situations and characters there. pbbbbblllt on me. Two stories at the 1/2 and 1/3 mark, and I'm off chasing new ideas.

Here's a blog shout out to Haley Whitehall (@haleywhitehall) Deadre Krieger (@dfkrieger) and B (@burdenedThunder). They've each taken a look at my writing/ideas in the last week and given me advice on where to take the WIP that isn't budging. I really appreciate it, ladies!

Here's the sych. One WIP is a High School Ghost story. It has a nice premise, rocking characters, but I didn't really outline a resolution, so... I'm looking at what I thought the resolution would be and second and third guessing it. I'm also a little worried that I'm hitting it too hard, too fast. That I'm going to wrap up the story too quickly and neatly. The SAME promblem is coming in the sequel to Cargon. Here I thank Kristin Lamb (@kristinlambTX) for my complex. The antagonist is elusive. Society is the antagonist. That should be fine, I should be able to make that work, except... how do you resolve society?!?! Again, my tendancy toward discovery writing, rather than regimented plotting, is kicking my rear. I know what they're going to discover, I know how she's going to find an 'out', but I'm still uncertain on how to get there, how fast is too fast. etc.

So what am I doing? Writing a new fantasy where humans are cattle. Oh yea, that's a great idea, Kim. *facepalm* I will be working more with these WIP at set intervals, and hoping that 400-1000 words at a time, the ideas will mull in my quirky head long enough that I feel more confident in where I'm taking them and how I'm getting there. In the meantime, any alpha readers/writing groups out there looking for a YA writer to join? *wink wink nudge nudge*

April 20, 2011

Letting the Baby Go.

I listened to the Writing Excuses podcast this week about Alpha readers as I'm doing final copyedits to the Galley pages of Cargon. I wish I'd gotten more people to read the full manuscript. Several people read the 10K word excerpt that I entered in Jennifer McBay Barry's Keys to the Kingdom Contest, and I received great response on it, but as I put the final touches on it, I feel tentative.

I imagine this is probably common among writers. You fuss and muss and pull here, push there, never quite finishing with that document. Yet, the time comes when you can't make major changes anymore.

I'm flashing back to my high school days where I could edit the point right out of my essay. Tack enough bells and whistles onto my science project that the experiment got lost. Change enough that nothing of the base remains and the house of cards falls.

I have to step back and let it stand - wobbly, but standing - and let it go. I'm nearly there. I'm still second-guessing myself, but I'm nearly there. She's shaking less than I expected.

Anyone else have this problem? Am I right that it's not uncommon? Or am I the only author who wonders if they're cutting the cord too soon?

April 13, 2011

Martin Sisters Publishing

Seems fitting that my first post should be to recognize the Martin Sisters. If it weren't for their experience and assistance, I would still be passing my query and sitting in slush piles. There are a lot of people lauding self-publication, but as someone who knows how little she knows, I'm grateful for having my hand held and being led into the world of publishers, booksellers and promotion.

I am like my own main character, standing among the writers as she stood among the elite, wondering how I got here and what I am supposed to do next! Denise and Melissa are my Adam, leading me and prompting me, guiding me through. We have a little way further to go, but my story will soon be available to everyone who wants to read it, and I couldn't be more thrilled about that.

Many of you know I write fanfiction, and Cargon, like so many of my stories on FanFiction.net, I wrote because I wanted to tell that story. Unlike those first forays into writing, I'm not happy enough to write for myself anymore. I want to produce something that other people enjoy as well.

If you haven't been to their website yet, head to http://www.martinsisterspublishing.com/ and follow them on Twitter (@martinsisterspublish). I am only one of several great books coming from them, just this year. More will follow, don't be left behind.