Monday, June 25, 2012

And Now the Fun Really Begins

The first book of The Acada Chronicles is about half way over and I'm thrilled to say I love this book more and more each day. My main character, Emily Tate is really evolving, becoming a better version of her previous self.

This is what I love about being a writer: revisions. I know so many people who dread this stage of the game. It's like they finish the book and they can't wait to move on to the next story. But there is an old saying that goes, "Good things come to those who wait."

This phrase got me distracted enough to send me on a tangent of what I could compare the writing and revising process to. I already compared this time to poison ivy, but that might have been a little harsh.

And, since it is summer, a season of food and drinks and letting life slow down just a while, I thought I would  use that for inspiration.

1. The writing and revising process is like drinking a good wine. Writing the novel is the pulling (or in some cases, the unscrewing... hey... there are some good wines that now come with a twist top. I have a bottle in my fridge right now) of the cork. That's the grunt work. But the revision is the part where you pour the wine into the decanter, letting the fullness of the wine take effect. And of course, looking at your completely polished manuscript is like kicking back in a hammock on a cool summer evening with a glass of liquid perfection.

2.  The writing and revising process is like a good steak. In the beginning, just like writing, the first step is when everything is raw. You can see the ribbons of fat that need to be trimmed and once that's done, you are ready to marinade, letting the seasoning get absorbed into the meat/story. Next you toss it on the grill and let the flames lick at the cut, darkening it, bringing out it's natural (and marinade induced) flavor. The hard work is keeping the fire from getting too high or too. You need to find the perfect blend of heat and timing. Once you have mastered this and dropped just a tad of seasoned butter on the top, it's time to dig in and enjoy the taste of patience.

No matter how you view the writing and revising process, I hope you remember to BE PASSIONATE about everything that goes into your story. Make each word count. If you want, leave a comment comparing your writing process to anything. I'm always interested to know how other's see their work!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Having Poison Ivy is A Lot Like Being a Writer

Kidlet #1 managed to get one of the most severe cases of poison ivy I’ve ever seen. His right eye was swollen shut and walking was painful due to the rash covering the back of his legs. He missed three baseball games and a pool party. Needless to say, we’ve been home a lot the last week. Thank goodness we’re on the recovery end of this ordeal and with plans to basically kill our entire yard to ensure we don’t have a repeat occurrence in the works, I’ve been thinking about how having poison ivy is a lot like being a writer.

1.       Like poison ivy, once writing gets under your skin, it’s impossible to ignore. Even if you’re stumped on where your story goes or you’re on “hiatus”, you can’t stop thinking about it. Everything you see or experience is fodder for future works.

2.       A bad case of poison ivy requires a prescription of steroids, much in the same way that being a writer requires massive amounts of caffeine, though the delivery method varies from person to person.

3.       In order to handle the itching of poison ivy, we’ve had to apply countless layers of hydrocortisone for days on end, kinda in the same way I go about rewriting/revisions: one pass at a time until I have all the plot issues worked out.

4.       When it’s a kidlet that has poison ivy, the situation requires patience on the part of the mom… me, much like the patience I must show when waiting in alpha readers, beta readers and agents. Getting frustrated only makes the situation worse.

5.       When progress is made and the rash is finally under control, it makes me think of how I feel when I realize the book is as good as I can possibly make it: relief followed by the realization that it’s time to get back to the real world and figure out what’s next.

And that’s it. I know it’s a short post and perhaps one of my less insightful ones… did I mention I’ve been dealing with a whining, poison ivy infested six year old for a week? Did I forget to mention Kidlet #2 has complained about not getting together because of Kidlet #1 since Friday? This would be why it’s short and sweet. At least I’m posting. I count it as a win! No matter what challenges fall on your path, BE PASSIONATE about possibilities that wait for you as you make your way around them.