The reasons for this blog: 1. To provide basic author information for students, teachers, librarians, etc. (Please see sidebar) 2. I think out loud a lot as I work through writing projects, and I'm trying to dump most of those thoughts here rather than on my friends.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Still zero time for my own writing.

Had to help son #3 study for a final on The Book Thief, which I haven't been reading like I was supposed to in case he needed help. So I read over the last 3/4 of a inch quickly, which added to the first chapter I read at the beginning of the semester and made me able to get the job done.

I had been terribly impressed, at the beginning of the semester, when I read this line about survivors:

"They have punctured hearts. They have beaten lungs."

There's some really strong stuff in the book. I don't know why I'm thinking that if an American female midlist author had written it, instead of a young Australian male, it might never have seen the light of day in this country.

I have to give my copy back to the teacher, but now I'm curious as to how Zusak decided what order to put everything in, and what to put in and what to leave out. I like the way he didn't mind breaking things up.

I'm thinking about the former GN, and what I want to do is get back to it, and look at each section and think how to make it a punch in and of itself. How to make the reader be feeling something strongly so that every time they turn over to the next title page, they hit that white space and they've still got a lingering sense of ka-WHAM! from what they just read. With every section, I want to try thinking not about the general scene and what the point is, but what about it can hit the bone--and how to do that. Is there a way to tie up each scene in the same way, to deliberately use the same pattern over and over that would help? Or would that be too much? It'd be like a picture book rhythm where you know what's coming because you know the pattern. But you don't know the exact form it's going to take this time.

However, I won't be looking at that ms any time soon. Too many things to do. And I'm probably going to take on another project that will last all summer and take many focused hours.

Probably what I'll need to do is create a daily schedule and stick to it. However, "need to" and "will do" are two different things.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Very busy. Zero time for my own writing. However, today I woke up having decided that when I go back to the former GN, I'm going to reslant it toward the idea of wanting something.

"Some say that the most beautiful thing on this dark earth is a host of horsemen; some say an army of infantry; others say a fleet of ships. But I say it is that which you desire."

I think I'm going to pull the whole thing around from not knowing what you want to not even being allowed to know what you want, to knowing, wanting, and taking it.

This ms has been niggling at the back of my mind, making me want to work on it, probably because I've been doing so much big-picture organizational thinking lately. The former GN is mostly about ultra tiny detail and it's not very practical.

No time right now, though. Off to other work.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Deadliest Warrior is having Attila the Hun vs. Alexander the Great. Oh, happy day!

Circumstances forced me to finish and send the dystopian synopsis late last week, so I did that. Otherwise, I'm just thinking about the ms at odd hours, and today a nice meaningful chunk of backstory came to me. I'm supposed to be working on getting the first few chapters, maybe 30-50 pages, together for agent (I've got about 80 pages, but they're not in order). However, I can't figure out what needs to be in the front of the book till I understand more about the middle.

As far as the end, I'm feeling more and more like I want to know the point of the book--I want to have one strong thought about how the MC changes--and I don't yet. But I probably don't have to have that, to get the first 30-50 pages. I vaguely know what's going on, and that ought to be enough for practical purposes, for a while longer at least.