Tuesday, July 22, 2014

RSW Week 7, Camp NaNo Week 3, and Goals

So how is everyone else's writing going?

(That's my way of trying to distract you from how mine is going.)

The first two weeks went so well, but now that it's actually time for me to sit down and write in the changes I outlined earlier, I just can't. Or won't. Probably the latter, but the block in my brain feels reals enough for me to say that I can't.

I've watched so many episodes of Friends. And I'm almost finished with a completely new design for the blog that I like a lot better. But I'm not reading any books, because that would remind me of the writing I'm supposed to be doing. Oh, hey, look at all of the things they added to Netflix this week!

Plus I got a new computer and it's so prettyyyyy and once I get that last thing (or two or three) installed, I can sit down and really get to work.

Do you believe me yet?

I'm not buying it either, but it's gone on for long enough that I worry I might have to re-evaluate my goals, which sucks worse than most things. What I really need is some great motivation. Luckily, fellow WordNerd Erica had an amazing motivation video for today:

Friday, July 18, 2014

Stress and Amazing Opportunities

I have another cool announcement... I got an internship. At The Bent Agency, which is just, you know, ONE OF MY FAVORITE AGENCIES.

I've been officially on for almost two weeks, and I am loving it so so much. I'm learning a ton, and it's giving me a peek into what it's like being an agent (something I've wanted to learn more about), and is the perfect first step toward actually doing cool, agent-y things in the still-kind-of-distant future. I'm SO SO excited and thrilled that I have this opportunity.

But like any new job, I want to do great. I want to impress everyone and do ALL THE THINGS, and because of that, it's adding a little stress.

I'm in a writing group, so I'm used to critiquing people's work. But on the agent's intern side of things, it's a little different. I don't know these authors, and it's hard not to relate to them since I'm also a writer who will be querying in the next few months (!!!) and just wants an agent to like me enough to offer representation. And what if I give my feedback and it's not what the agent was thinking and she hates my ideas and I never have a future in agenting because I have poor taste in books which actually means I'm not qualified to write books either and I'm going to end up living in a refrigerator box and feeding my dog food scraps stolen from a grocery store dumpster?

I know I'm just giving my input alongside a few other interns, but it's still a weird feeling. But the more manuscripts I look at, and the more queries I read, the more I love it and the more I hope I'm doing well at it. And most of all, I am just so, so happy that this is happening. After almost a full year of craziness, it's nice to have things working out.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

When Revisions Get Experimental

So today my revisions looked a little something like this. I decided to try something new, to see if it would help me notice problems with plot and character arcs. I took different colored yarn, and had each color represent a different plot line. In this picture, pink was the immediate antagonist, light purple was the overarching antagonist, and dark purple was the romantic subplot. I was hoping that being able to see these plots (plus a few more) intertwine and see where there were gaping holes, would help me get down to those revisions. And did it?

Well yes. And, no.

Yarn is pretty difficult to work with. It got tangled more times than I'm willing to admit, and the worst feeling ever was looking down the line of index cards and seeing that I missed one that needed to be included (and that happened probably four or five times).

But something else cool did happen. I noticed a huge gap in my main villain's arc, and figured out a way to fix it while untangling the yarn. I realized I hadn't budgeted enough actual romance for my subplot to be romantic, and I figured out some perfect, tension-filled scenes while readjusting the yarn line.

So actually seeing it was nice, and helped a little bit. But I think the best part was thinking about my story in a  different way. Working through knots gave me tons of time to think, and something about seeing all of those lines threading through my scenes really made my creative juices flow.

How do you look at your stories in new, exciting ways?

Monday, July 7, 2014


Okay, I confess, I skipped a week.
But I have a great excuse.
JKJK. No such thing as a great excuse to not write. 

But I did take an entire week off from my novel before diving into revisions. If you remember, the goal is to have my first round of revisions finished by August 2nd, and so far I'm feeling pretty good! I just need to keep kicking it into gear. My in-laws were in town last week, so it was difficult to keep everything balanced (work + writing + applying for an intense internship + fun in-laws = a sleep deprived Meghan).

Revision Wall of Glory!
 My favorite part of the last two weeks has been  watching my revisions wall take shape. Right now  it looks like the image to the left, but it should be  evolving just a little bit more as I work through  the next couple of days. I'm at the hard part--  making sure all of the character/plot/relationship  arcs all  make sense in the context of the scenes I  want to add/remove.

I also love this wall because it's got a copy of the map that I made (which I'll probably be doing a YouTube tutorial on in the next few weeks), and a letter from my fictional dream fan (to give me something awesome to look to, and to help me see the big picture for how I want my novel to feel).

But how can you say no to that face?
It's also Camp NaNoWriMo time, and I'm in a cabin with a bunch of WordNerds, which is SO fun. Doing writing sprints and chatting with them gives me so much drive to keep working, even when I'd rather do critically important things like take a nap or play with the dog.

This month is giving me all kinds of awesome ideas for this coming November!

Hope everyone else's writing goals are being met! What are you working on?