Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Is it wise to take a break from your novel?

I've decided to take a little hiatus from working on my YA novel, and I'm quite hesitant about doing so.

I'm at that point in my editing where I feel like my novel is horrid and so far from everything I want it to be that its not salvageable.  Of course, no novel is beyond the point of saving.  It just feels that way.  (If you didn't get it, I'm at the "dark night of the soul" part.)

You can probably relate.  You don't connect with your protagonist (or any of your characters, really).  You wonder why you're writing the thing in the first place.  You lack drive to see it through.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Necessary Evil of Small Talk

Sometimes I dread going to the salon to get my haircut.  You're in there for a good hour and a half, and its understood by all parties involved that you will make the necessary small talk the entire time as to eliminate any awkward silences.

So, I prep myself ahead of time.  I think of things to talk about with the lady who washes my hair.  The weather, my new house, and oh, how is her boyfriend doing?  My hair stylist, luckily, cuts the hair of a dozen people in my family, so family news updates are encouraged.  I can talk about my grandma and my sisters and my mom, and she'll be in the "know" already.

Still, there are times I run out of things to say, and I'll sit there awkwardly as the music is pumping and the scissors snip to the beat.  Then, my stylists will say, "So, how's work?"

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

We're Addicted to Stories

As readers, we've all been there.  We're reading this amazing book and we are drowning in it.  You just can't put that stack of paper down.

After you finish, there is a bittersweet moment.  The ending was so good, but its over!  Why does it have to be over?

So, you go off in search of another book just as fabulous.  You either search the shelves, read reviews on Amazon, or type frantically, just waiting to get that "high" again.

But it doesn't come.

So you spend hours upon hours looking for something else that will give you that same high.

Okay, you're starting to see my analogy.  No, books are not as dangerous as drugs, but I think something needs to be said about story addiction.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

What's Your Character's Love Language?

In my opinion, the key to great books is solid characters.

The key to solid characters is understanding what makes your characters tick, knowing their priorities and what drives them.

The key to gaining that sort of intimate understanding of these fictional people you've created in your brain is to study the real people and the relationships around you.

The best real person to start with is yourself.

So, let's start asking a few questions about your characters.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Strength in Words

My eyes were red and swollen from crying.  I hadn't sobbed during the funeral service; I had only released a steady stream of compassionate tears.  Uncle Bill had lived a good life, a long one.  He had left behind a legacy of children, grandchildren, brothers and sisters.  He had escaped a future of battling brain cancer.  Death is not often a good thing, but in this case, there was not much to darken the shadow.

Still, he was gone, and he left behind a hole.  I cried silently for that hole.

Now at the interment, we stood in a long line, waiting to pay our respects to the family with a red rose in our hand for the casket.  The family assembled in a row, all of them people whom I knew by name and had spent time with.  I squinted in the sun to hide the redness in my eyes.