Saturday, June 30, 2012

On Quotes

I've been amusing myself this morning by looking through quotes by writers on writing. It a pastime one degree away from being productive, while still mimicking the feeling. Plus, there's a lot of really great nuggets of wisdom in those authors' off-the-cuff (or perhaps well-thought-out) words.

Such as this quote:

“Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now.”
—Annie Dillard

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Page 69 of Eva

I recently learned about The Page 69 Test, a blog that, to the best of my understanding, believes that page 69 of a book can give you a micro-view of the greater themes and characters of the book.

I immediately wanted to see if this held true for Eva.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Great Minds...On Different Pages

As part of a challenge, my husband and I both wrote a paragraph to the theme "I love this bar." Cody wrote his in about five minutes in his head while we folded clothes and made the bed. (Wait, who's the wannabe author in this house?) I took forty-five minutes of dithering over tone and word choice, mentally building the follow-up scenes, learning who my character was, etc., before I was happy with my paragraph (and, yes, I edited it again just now).

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Where Are All the Tall Buildings?

Photo from Hispanically Speaking News
I spent most of today's editing session pouring over one of the best LA resources a friend gave me. Early in the character-building process, I decided that Eva would live in the Culver City/Palms area of greater Los Angeles. I've been there, I like the neighborhoods, and it's close to several key locations in the novel that can't be moved (it's really hard to move the coast line of the Pacific Ocean inland without harming a lot of people). 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Sneak Peek: Eva's Take on Love

I pulled this three-page snippet from my novel, Eva. (Much better title to come.) Things you need to know for this to make sense: 
  • Sofie is Eva's aunt. 
  • Kyoko is a baby elephant. 
  • Eva and Sofie both see paranormal apparitional personality divinations, or, in layman's terms, random objects around people that reflect their emotional state. 
“He’s a handsome man, your Hudson,” Sofie said.
Source: lalootka's attic
            “He’s not my Hudson,” I said.
            I eyed the finger puppets on her hands and considered picking my book back up, but I was too curious about what she’d seen on Hudson, so I was going to have to put up with the meddling, too.
            “Just tell me what you saw. I know you want to.”

Monday, June 11, 2012

How I Write a Novel

I think I've finally found the novel-writing method that works for me. It's a hodgepodge of organization I learned from screenwriting, advice from other writers, and my own experience. If you'd like to give my approach a try or pick and choose the tasty bits, here it is in eleven "simple" steps:

Hudson, male lead
Story build. Grab a piece of paper or a blank Word file and write down everything you want in the story, in a bullet-point fashion. For me, the list included everything from "Eva sees personality divinations" and "Hudson is cynical" to "Eva has to face her fear of men" and "Ninjas!" There are no limitations here, no plotting that needs to be done, and no censoring yourself. Anything and everything that sounds like fun to write about, slap it down.

This story was forming in my head for two years or more, so I had a lot of my bullet points ready to go. I liked this method of keeping track of ideas so much, I already have four pages of bullet points for the next novel in a completely different series and a few bullets for the story after that. It's an easy way to keep track of new ideas for projects that are next in line, or five projects down the queue.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Fingers and Toes Counted: It's a Whole Book

Photo courtesy of Teri Chastain
Whew! I just finished a grueling workweek. (Yes, I know it's only four o'clock on a Thursday, but I already worked more hours this week than during a normal five-day workweek, and I'm done!)

Despite the demands of work, this week I also read Eva, the novel I just finished writing. It was long, and there were a few specific scenes that felt long in themselves. There were amusing typos (I wish I could remember what now), and some repetitious information.