Thursday, October 29, 2009

Keeping the flow

Today's Mood: excited. Today's Music: Was listening to shuffle most of the day--am looking forward to listening to Sting's new album (heard about it at book club last night--the source of many good things). Today's Writing: Black Dragon--1st chapter (again...) Today's Quote:
I've been busy lately. Way busier than I've wanted to be, although maybe that doesn't say much. Sick kids, sick husband, furiously scrubbing the house to prevent sick me, doctors, dentists, work, book club--it all takes time. And being busy and stressed means I don't have much time to write but I really need to write. So I got to thinking about how I can still spend quality time with my novel-in-progress even though we cannot always be together (in the flesh (leer)).

I like to spend some time every day at least thinking about the story or characters. Usually this is in the shower since that may be the only time I don't get interrupted--or at least rarely interrupted. But driving in my car is another place I do deliberate, purposeful daydreaming about my story.

Does anyone else have any great ideas on how to stay in touch with your writing project when you don't have time to actually write?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Promises, promises

Today's Mood: Hmmm, tired but relaxed. Today's Music: Coldplay--Parachutes. Today's Writing: IFFY. Today's Quote:
Let's talk about the promise of the first page or the first paragraph. At the SCBWI conference, one of the speakers talked about the promise that the first page--paragraph--made to the reader. Stories can start in many, many different ways, but they all make some sort of promise to the reader. As writers we need to be aware of what promises our stories are making. Does the book fulfill those promises?

So maybe the way you start your story promises it will be dark and scary, or maybe it promises it will be educational, or funny. The agent who critiqued my novel thought the first chapter promised that it was going to be a fantasy--and it really isn't. As a writer, I need to do something with that chapter to make sure it makes a promise it can fulfill. I need to change the chapter to make it clear it is realistic fiction story or problem/solution.

But I do wonder where the line is. I mean, don't you want to leave a little mystery? A little I- wonder-what-this-is-about-so-I'd-better-keep-reading-to-find-out? So it's a matter of setting it up but not giving it all away. Guess I've got a little work to do.

What promise does you first page/paragraph make?