Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Work in Progress Wednesday


It's a week of firsts for me here on the blog. :) Yesterday was my first attempt at a decent summary for Teaser Tuesday and today, as you're all well aware, is WiP Wednesday.

This week, last night in particular was huge for me. My WiP, Rise of the Phoenix broke 40k! I started the summer with less than 20k and with less than a month to go before move-in day and the beginning of classes, I'm super excited at all the progress I've made.

Yesterday I wrote 2000 words, most after 9PM. I'm still trying not to do a happy dance. :P Especially considering the large amount of time and energy I put in to rearranging the living room. *sigh*

My goal is to get 50k or finish the 1st draft before Aug. 17th; I'll keep you posted on how it goes. Editing is fairly nonexistent right now, I'm focusing on getting the whole thing out before I rip it to shreds. So, naturally, I have a list of things that pop into my head that I need to fix or add or delete.

My friend Brooke is working on her own project and my super-excited Facebook status updates have been motivating her to write; she broke 11k last night! We keep cheering each other on, it's great to have writing friends!

What have you accomplished this week? Did you set any new goals this week?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Teaser Tuesday (?)

This is my first Teaser Tuesday, and I'm not even finished with my absolutely terrible 1st draft. So, since I haven't even told you lovely readers what my WiP is about, I think I'll do that this week, and let you in on a bit of the story starting next week. ;) That work with all of you? Well, it doesn't really matter because that's what you're getting hehehe. But hopefully you'll be happy wit today's post.

Also, this is my first attempt at a summary, so thoughts and opinions would be much appreciated. Even if you hate it. :)

Rise of the Phoenix - YA SciFi

Tom was on a family vacation when a bright flash of red light landed him on board a spaceship full of hideous creatures, lytuha, whose very presence causes him unbearable pain. In his attempt to escape, Tom wanders into a computer program of a marble city and meets Shiani, a beautiful humanoid with blue skin and golden brown eyes, whom Tom is immediately drawn to.

The truth of who, and what, he really is is revealed and Tom finds it difficult to accept the fact that he is an immortal fynx, more commonly known as a phoenix, something he thought was just a myth. Knowing the truth of his origins paves the way to rediscovering his past, and all the pain that goes with it.

On board The Phoenix, the ship named after his kind, Tom learns that there is more to life in space than humans had ever dreamed. In a universe where planets have hearts and myths are real, anything is possible.

When Shiani is stolen away by a violent and destructive race called the Jetan, Tom must learn to use his newly discovered abilities to save her. Should he fail, the Jetan will use Shiani, the heart of her homeplanet, to take over her world and consume every resource until it is an uninhabitable, desolate land.

But Shiani's world is not the only planet whose future rests in Tom's hands, with his friends at his side, Tom must return to an Earth in turmoil. This time saving the world won't be nearly as easy as fighting a war, Tom must face his own sister, who has been possessed by the heart of Earth herself, and stop her from anihalating the only planet he's ever known.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Procrastination, Progress, and Goals

I keep sitting down in front of my WiP and staring at the screen blankly, an hour goes by and I've managed to write five whole lines. Wow, go me! Something's better than nothing, right? Except that it's bad, like really, really bad, and will probably get cut later any way. Fail.

So then the internet is calling me and it's like,
"Hey, you know you wanna blog. Do it. DO. IT." And I cave. The next hour or more (usually more) is spent reading every new post of every blog I follow. I think there's like fifty of them. No lie. And then if it's a weekend and no one is updating, I twitter and I facebook. But there isn't ever much going on on either of those networks and I rarely myspace. *sigh* So I return to staring at my WiP.

I know where it is and what needs to happen next and where it needs to go but for some reason I just can't write it. I try. It's crap. I don't try. I feel bad because I know I should be writing, that's the only way I'm ever going to get done. Grr. GRR.

So I decided to take a little break from trying to write on the WiP and revisited the flash fiction I wrote that one night I couldn't sleep. It was a 650 word scene. Now it's 2350. I think I can get back to the WiP now that I've been productive at something else.

Do you ever feel like you need to work on something else in order to get back to making progress on your WiP? I mean, I know everyone takes breaks were they just don't work on it, But do you ever just say "screw it" for a day or two and write something else? Is that why some of you have more than one WiP? Does splitting your focus help you out?

Since the 6th I've added about 10k, and I haven't touched it at all in a few days. I do believe it's time to get back to writing. School starts in less than a month, what d'you thinks a good goal to set? 50k before Aug. 19? I think I'll try.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Writing, Rambling, and A Good Book.

It's raining outside. Not pouring just a light rain with thunder making the puppy growl, this is her first bit of rain :), and the cat run for cover, she's not a big fun of rain :(. But it's a good day. The sky is full of clouds and, even though it's still warm, it's almost perfect.

I read Scott Westerfeld's Uglies recently and although I liked it, I'm not really compelled to go out and find the next book in the series. It makes me a little sad, actually. The book was good, predictable, but good. I just didn't connect enough to the main character, Tally, to wonder what happened to her. Actually, I could probably figure it out for my self, which is probably why I don't really care if I ever read the rest of it. Sad. :(

I did, however, absolutely LOVE Graceling. It was fantastic and I really hope to see more of Katsa, Po, and Bitterblue. Kristin Cashore wrote a fantastic debut. I want to track her down and hug her. Or maybe I'll just go to her blog and tell her how AMAZING I think it was. *sigh* Really though, if you haven't read it yet you should. Go. Read it now. Hehe.

As for my own writing, I haven't touched the WiP in a few days. In fact I haven't written anything except for the random flash fiction in the middle of the night. I need to get back on it but I've had books to read :), and reading everyone else's blogs, and now trying to get ready for a weekend trip to see my grandpa and go dig for diamonds. I know, they're just excuses. Even now I could be writing or editing but I'm here writing a blog. So now that I've pointed that out, I guess I'll go be productive and actually do some writing.

What excuses do you have for not writing?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Writing in the AM

Alright, so I posted this morning about not being able to sleep and ending up with 600 words on a page. Well, I read back over it this morning and only made a few changes - mostly adding a line or word here and there - but for the most part I wanted it to stay the same. So here it is, now 50 words longer but still virtually the same, I didn't do any real editing - I wanted it to remain true to it's 1 AM quality haha. Let me know what you all think.

P.S. - I usually only write fantasy/sci-fi so this was pretty new to me and caught me off gaurd so I dunno how well it turned out...


MISTAKES

She sat on the edge of her four poster bed staring at the blank screen on her cell phone. He hadn’t called in over a month; she’d asked him not to, so that was a good thing. Right? A sign that he respected her wishes. Respected her.

Damn him.

Damn him for not calling. Damn him for caring. And damn her for missing him.

She was married now. She had a life. She was happy. Wasn’t she? Her husband was a great man, kind and understanding. Her son was the most adorable child she’d ever seen, and smarter than she could’ve ever hoped.

So what was the problem?

Tears welled in her eyes and her cell phone went blurry. She sniffled, trying to hold them back. She’d asked him to stop calling, and he had. And she hated him for it. She wiped the tears away from her eyes and scrolled through the phonebook on her cell. She stopped at his name. Should she call him? What would she say?

Her finger slipped, pressing the call button; she panicked. She hit the end call button a dozen times, tears running freely down her face. She hated him for doing this to her. For making her feel this way.

He was the one who left. Him. Not her. He was the one who abandoned her. And she’d moved on his absence, but things were never quite the same. She hadn’t been the same. Her smiles never reached the corners of her eyes, her laughs were never totally genuine, and she’d never looked at anyone the way she’d looked at him. Even after she’d met her husband, after they’d gotten married. It was only after her son was born that she’d started getting back to the way she’d been before. But everyone knew why, even if her husband had been too na├»ve to see it. They knew.

She jumped up off the bed and threw the phone at the wall; it shattered into a handful of pieces and fell scattered on the floor. She collapsed to the floor in a fit of fresh tears. She lay crumpled on the floor, sobs wracking her body.

The door closed downstairs, marking the return of her husband. She pulled herself into a standing position with the help of the bed and leaned against the post at the end near the window, her arm wrapped around it for support.

“Hello?” His voice rang through the house. She couldn’t bring herself to answer.

She stared out the thin curtain at the crisp, clean yards of her neighbors and she wished it hadn’t come to this. His footsteps made dull “thumps” as he climbed the carpeted stairs. The door creaked open and he stopped in the doorway, taking note of the scattered remains of her phone.

She felt his eyes on her back and she went stiff. She held her head up and her shoulders back to hide the tears flowing from the corners of her eyes. She let out a shaky breath.

“I see.” He said; his voice was hollow. “Is that it then? You’re just going to give up?”

What could she say? That she was sorry. That she should have never married him. That she was weak. No. She couldn’t, wouldn’t do that to him.

“You took a vow, Sara! And you’re just going to throw it away? That should mean something to you. Your family? What about Charlie? Huh? He’s my son too! Are you just going to throw away everything we had?” He was angry. He had every right to be, but he had a right to the truth. If she didn’t do it now, she’d never forgive herself.

“That’s just it, Paul, he’s not your son.” Sara croaked, fresh tears spilling down her splotchy cheeks. She turned around and locked her bloodshot eyes with his, “And I don’t think you ever had me.”


1 o'clock in the morning. Yay.

It's past my bed time. I crawled in bed tired and ready for sleep about an hour ago. It didn't stick. My bladder decided it needed a trip to the bathroom before I could even consider getting some rest, so I walked across the hall and when I got back to my room I realized I was wide awake. At 1:14 in the morning. Yay life.

I got my laptop out and checked facebook and twitter before stopping on here to see if anyone had published a new post. They had. And I read them. And I was still wide awake. *sigh*

I'd been thinking earlier about taking a small break form the WiP to try writing a short story (something I've never really been good at), and a scene had popped into my head while I'd been trying to get to sleep ( don't you just LOVE it when that happens?). So, I opened a new Word document and tried to call it back.

It flowed out fairly quickly and with only a few pauses to stop and think over a detail. And half an hour later I'm updating my facebook status because I've just written a 600-word short story and am still wide awake.

May post the short story on here tomorrow, er- later today and see what you all think about it considering that it will more than likely get little to no editing and was written in the wee hours of the morning.


P.S. - I never say "wee" but it felt so right I couldn't resist. It always bring an image of a woman standing over a baby going "Aww! Look at its wee little toesies! Oh you're so cute! Yes, you are!" Yea... I don't need sleep at all. I think I might go give that another try here in a minute.

Goodnight All!

Monday, July 13, 2009

First 5 pages

It's a nice hot day in Arkansas today, not that I'd know, I only stepped outside to get the mail at 11 this morning. :)

So, today I finished re-writing my first chapter in 3rd person. It told me it wanted to be in 1st but I guess it lied because everything that was wrong seemed to start falling into place. Hmph. First chapter has grown about 6 pages - from 18 to having a line and a half (haha) on p.25 - and am now contemplating cutting in two because it's now the longest chapter at 6,300 words exactly. Should I? Or should I wait and see what happens? Yea, I should probably be wait. It's all going to have to be re-written in 3rd anyway....

Anyway, my point, or question rather, for today's post is on the first 5 pages of a MS. A lot of agents ask for the first 5 pages when querying and upon looking at mine I wondered if they really want the first 5 pages as is. My WiP is formatted with Chapter headings roughly a third of the way down the page and text starts another couple of lines down. So half of my first page is really blank.

My fifth page doesn't stop perfectly at the end of a paragraph, or even a sentence, so what do I do? Do I send the first five pages as-is? Do I send a rough 1500 words? Do they care if you really send 6 pages? Hmph.

Am I just over analyzing everything again? Right now, I've got a little less than 1500 words on 6 pages set aside - without skipping down a third of the page to put my chapter title - is that ok?


How are your projects coming along? Any questions driving you crazy today?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Word count.

Alright, it's Friday. I know TGIF. We can finally enjoy the weekend. Except, I'm a college student without a job so I just sit around all week anyway. But for those of you who actually work and do things, it's the weekend- enjoy yourself. Cuddle up with a good book, hang out with a friend, watch a new movie. (HP6 comes out soon, you know you're excited. Haha.)

Anyway, I'm sitting here working on my WiP, again, and I keep thinking about word count. Again. I keep reading that you should do the 25o words per page thing but that tells you that you've got more words than you really do, because you never fill every single line of every single page. So why do agents like to have the inflated word count? It's silly and I've read it a dozen times but for some reason it still just bugs me.

If I use the word count in Microsoft Word it gives me 31,350-ish but if I do the multiplying using the 250 words per page I get 34,250. That's a big difference. Do agents just not care? Are they really just wanting to know how many pages you've got?

Am I thinking about this way too much? Ok, ok, stop nodding your heads at me. I know, I know. Word count isn't a huge deal, it's the story that matters. I'm just curious about these things.

Do you have a gap between the word count in Word and the 250 rule?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Books, blogs, and ...boxes? Oh my!

Hello, hello,

It's Wednesday, I bet you didn't know that! Just kidding... Anyways I found Lisa Dale's blog this morning and thought I'd share it with you all. She had a fun little French food idioms quiz I thought I'd pass on - take some time out and go check out her site. She seems pretty down to Earth and I can't wait to read her books, I really need to stop writing and read some more soon....

Speaking of reading, the last book I got read was Dreamhunter by Elizabeth Knox. It was fantastic, I loved it and I can't wait to get my hands on the second one, Dreamquake! :D So many books to read... *sigh* don't you just love being nerdy? Haha.

I've realized that I want to try and intern at a literary agency or something after I graduate, that way no matter what happens with my writing career, I'll still be around books. :)

So, I went to sleep last night having hit 121 pages on my manuscript, I'm up to 27,400 words. It makes me feel fantastic, even though some of my writing yesterday was complete poop. :( But hey, it happens, you just have to keep on writing and go back and fix the bad stuff later.

Now, since I put boxes in my title I guess I'll talk about something to with a box.... Oh! I need one, haha. I knitted a baby blanket and a bunny blanket/toy for my cousin who is expecting her second child, a baby girl named Lilly, soon. I also crocheted a giraffe for her son Jonah so he wouldn't feel left out. I'm quite proud of the blanket and the giraffe, but the bunny blanket didn't turn out the way it should have, oh well. Oh, and surprise! I knit and crochet, well attempt to crochet most of the time haha. I know, I know, you're thinking 'Man, that girl does everything!' but really, I don't. I just like to try new things sometimes, and knitting is very relaxing - until you screw up your project....

Alright, well now that you're done here, go check out Lisa Dale's blog or any of the ones I'm subscribed to, they're all pretty amazing and rather informative for newbie authors like me. :P Or you could always go read a book! I hear they're lots of fun.

Well, it's back to writing for me. Later 'gators.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Random?

Alright, it's a new day and I'm gonna try to make the best of it. I've already done some dishes, read through my Twitter feed and a few blogs, and now it's time to write.

My book is coming along a little slower than I'd like right now but a lot faster than I thought it would at the beginning of the summer. I came home from school with around 45 pages; I'm starting this morning with 111. Like I said, it's coming along. :) I'm hoping I can get a lot done over break since I'm thinking I won't have much time once the next semester starts- I'll be taking 21 hrs and hopefully be working a few at the library too.

My goal is to have this thing done and ready to start querying by graduation in 2011. My dream, however, is to be done and querying by senior year and going through the publishing process by graduation. In reality, who knows what will happen between now and May, 2011 haha.

Well, I'm going to go write so that I'll be one step closer to my goal and my dream.

TTFN- that's Ta Ta For Now for those of you not raised on Tigger and Winnie the Pooh- you poor souls....

Amanda

Monday, July 6, 2009

I need a break from writing

...so I'll just write on here instead! :P

I've spent this wonderful afternoon reading some fantastic blogs on publishing and queries, listening to The Fellowship of the Ring playing in the background, and writing some on what will hopefully be a totally awesome breakout novel for me.

Unfortunately, my head is starting to hurt because I've been staring at a computer screen for about 5 hours now and I'm really just not used to that. =/ So, anyway, I've been working on this manuscript which this morning before I started was sitting on 22,600+ words on 100 pages and has since grown to 24,300+ ad 108 pages. Which brings me to wordcount/number of pages.

If you format your manuscript the way everyone says, then the 250 w/p doesn't really work because every time you start a new chapter, you're losing half a page to blank space. According to the 250 w/p rule, I should be sitting at 27K. That's a little over 2500 words that I don't have, 2500 words that I should have but don't. HMPH.

Why do I care that it's 2500 words off? Because when you query an agent you send in a lovely word count , and while it's just supposed to be a rough idea of how long your manuscript is, 2500 is a lot of words....

Honestly, I don't really know why I'm dedicating an entire blog post to this. I think my head's just a little too full right now to argue this out to a rational conclusion, that and I really needed something else to do and this was at the front of my mind. :)

Any thoughts on word count? Is your 250 words-per-page off a little?

And on an unrelated note, cats or dogs? Are you really a one animal only type of person? O.o

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

YA or adult?

I lied, I'm back.

So, I took a YA Lit. class last semester and one of the major points of discussion was that the author doesn't necessarily get to choose what their book is published as. There have been many books over the years that were written for adults but published as young adult and vice versa. There have been books written and published as adult but were extremely popular with kids and teenagers, so my question is: when you're submitting a query to an agent and your book could be YA or adult, what do you do?

The agent may take queries for YA but not for the genre if it could be an adult book, what happens if you think it's YA and the agent thinks it's adult SciFi? I'm sure somebody's had this problem, I mean, does the agent just send a rejection and get annoyed that you sent them something they aren't interested in when you thought it was something they'd like?

Hmph. Just wondering what everyone thinks, not that anyone's there yet....

Goodmorning Starshine, the Earth says hello!! or something like that.... =/

Hello all of you non-existent followers!!

So, this is my first blog. I've never known what to do with one so I never bothered... wait, does Xanga count? I dunno, but I'm sure I didn't do that right either haha. Anyway, new blogger, that was the point....

I don't know what to with one of these but I'm sure I'll figure something out. What do you guys do with yours? Did you just create one to follow somebody else's? That's what I did and then I figured hey, if I've got one, I might as well make use of it!

Alright, it's the Fourth of July weekend! Woot! Everybody make sure to wear your sunblock, eat lots of food, and have a ton of fun!! After all, it's a celebration, is it not? I'll be in Jonesboro, AR visiting my brother who happens to be a tattoo artist. I know, it's pretty awesome. It actually makes me feel sorry for my mom, she spawned two creative children and raised them alone. My brother was determined and very artistic and now has a fiance, 3 dogs, and a career inking people - myself and my mom included lol.

Me on the other hand, I'm a student and a writer and a musician. Some days I think I'm screwed. I mean, I write fanfics most of the time, or at least I used to, now I'm trying to focus on my book. That's my dream, to be a published author and play my horn or cello - or both- in a soundtrack orchestra for some amazing movie. *Sigh* dreams.... Without them, what are we?

Well, I think that's enough for today. I should get back to my Facebook now haha. Have a great rest of the week and a fantastic holiday!! :D

Amanda

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