Friday, June 24, 2011

"... I think I'll put this play away for a while and go back to the war play."

On my way to work earlier in the week, I had a "what if" thought. It started out simple enough, but I kept thinking about it and it became more and more interesting to me. Soon I realized I had a third book on my hands. Once I was home, I started working on story and character outlines.
I have mixed feelings about this. One the one hand, I'm thrilled that I have a third book in the works. Yay, three books. Now when I have an agent and a publisher I can say, "Don't worry, I have at least three books I can give you!" "Hooray!" They'll cry as they throw their arms up in celebration and begin planning my book-signing world tour.
On the other hand, I haven't finished the other two, let alone one. This shouldn't bug the heck out of me, but it does. Of course complaining about it doesn't help matters, but I'm sure I could find a study that suggests otherwise. A couple days ago I read an article called Myths About the Future that Could Ruin Your Life . One of the myths was that those who imagine a positive future tend to have less energy to actually acheive that future, because your brain can confuse fantasy with reality and figures you're already there, I guess. Anyway, it's kind of depressing.
Another thing that occured to me as I worked on the third book is that there's probably going to be a good chunk of people who won't like my books. Not because it won't be in their favorite genre, but because they won't like what my books have to say about things like religion. My stories, the more I look at them, are very spiritual and I'm not sure how people will take to that. (Incidentally, I've written about five different sentences to follow that last one and have erased them all on account of not fully agreeing with what I wrote.)
In other news, I'm really enjoying this book, Outlander . I'm just over half way through it and it's fun. It involves time travel and Scotland, for a quick sum-up. If you've read it and care to discuss it, I'm all for that, but I don't think I'll spoil it until after I've finished reading it.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Busy, busy, busy!

My goodness! I have been so busy... not writing. I've just been working a lot, which is great for the checking account but leaves me with little time or motivation for writing.
I believe that when each of us is born, we are set with at least one official life lesson. This lesson is one we will be faced with in a number of ways all through our lives, and it's up to us to figure out how to solve it and learn from it. And even if we successfully beat it, that doesn't mean that it won't pop up again throughout the rest of our existance in this life. I think one of my official life lessons is the conflict of what I want to do verses what I need to do. Sometimes I can't always do what I want to do, because I have to do what I need to do. This is the way of the grown up, as I'm sure many of you are aware.
So this week I've worked a lot, as I mentioned previously. It doesn't seem to lighten up any time soon, either. Not that I'm complaining; I'm glad to be working. I just need to find a way to balance things. I've been spending quite a few nights at Smarty's apartment and I certainly appreciate it.
My brain has been running a marathon lately, thinking about all the things I should be doing or hope to be doing. I've been saving money for a vacation in July which I'm super excited for. This week I was going to help a friend in a complicated situation, and spent a few days psyching myself up for it. But I was unable to help and that kind of bothered me. I know the time is coming for me to move, but I have no idea how to go about it, if I can afford it or what the consequences would be. I seriously need to get my hair cut. I don't know if working on my story would calm me of any of this.
On the plus side, I've been reading a book forom Smarty's apartment. It's called Outlander and it's pretty enjoyable. It started out rather slowly, but it's pretty good once the action started coming on.
As a future note, I'm may not be able to blog next Wednesday. I'll be out of town and away from my computer, and I'm afraid my phone is not smart enough to blog from. But I will blog as soon as I can.

Monday, June 6, 2011

That Conflict Stuff

I did write last week, which felt fabulous. I love writing with a goal or an element in mind and seeing where it takes a story. Sometimes things come up that I didn't expect, but as I write, those things make perfect sense. 
I inserted that conflict I mentioned last week into one of my chapters. Being that it was the rough draft, it turned out to be a very cheesey, over-dramatic piece of crap. I loved it. The goal for the next draft of course will be to make it less crappy. I really don't think my story can handle less drama, and I adore cheese.
The problem I was having with my story was that my main characters were too passive. Things were happening to my characters, while most of them remained completely virtuous. That is something that I don't think readers would find believable. I needed to get thier hands dirty; some grey mixed in with the black and white. And while it maybe risks the readers not liking some of their choices, they'll be a little more understandable.
I had so much fun putting that bit of conflict before one character, that I brainstormed and wrote out the ways it could affect and possibly damage my other characters. While this might suggest I should look into therapy, it really breathed some life into my story. Suddenly there was a means to get from point A to point B for many of my storylines.
So this week, I'll write a few more pages and see what happens.
Also, I'm sure many of you have taken classes or read books on how to write stories, but in case you like to constantly read about it or would like some refreshers, I'd like to recommend two blogs. First is by Lynda M. Martin. This is the first in a series on writing and I love her advice, Good Writing Is... . The second is by a teacher named Aaron D. Gansky. He also provides some good information.