Monday, February 28, 2011

Back from vacation, and I'm so glad.

Do you ever need a vacation after a vacation????

I do. We took our family and Mark's dad to Disneyland and Sea World last week and had a good time, but I'm sure glad it's over and I'm back home.
I tried to do some planning and thinking about my book, but every time I tried to write something down in my note book, I kept thinking I wish I had my laptop to just write the story instead of trying to plan it out. I have to have the story in front of me for it to really work.
I know the basic skeleton of my story, but I'm no good and writing down all the scenes and plot points and such on a notebook. I want to let the story develop as I go with the main end in sight.

So now that I'm home, I'm going to be catching up on some things and getting into the writing full force again.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Do the Characters dictate the story?

Time for some more deep thoughts on writing. I have been struggling lately because the story I had been so gung ho on has started to cause me problems. I have been stuck on a certain plot point that I just couldn't figure out how to over come. The kicker is, it isn't until the end of the book that my idea I had would be implemented, but since I'm in the middle working toward the end, I am afraid to work on it since I "might" not know what to do once I get there.

I had an idea the other day that will help me in my progress toward the end. Wanna know what that fantastic idea is?

I am going to write and see where it leads me. I tried that the other night and the 2 main characters did something I wasn't expecting, but loved. So I figured if I just let them get to the end, where I have a general idea where it needs to lead, I'll let them help me know what comes next and how they will solve the problem I throw at them. I know these characters well enough that when I throw that end at them, they'll handle it very well. Probably even better than I could.

Now I've heard that some people think letting your characters control where your story goes is the sign of a bad writer, but for me, I don't think so. I'm still ulitmately in charge, but I'm allowing some freedom to come since that will help me get past this stuck portion that has slowed me down for the last few months.

I'll let you know how it goes, but I would like your opinion on whether letting the characters have a say in the way your story progresses is good, bad or in between writing.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I wanna talk about books.

I just read a book and wanted to share it with you. It's called: "Wolves, Boys, and Other Things That Might Kill Me" by Kristen Chandler.

I loved it. It made my hands tingle with the emotions I was feeling on behalf of KJ. She's a 16-year-old girl living in West End Montana near Yellowstone National Park. She lives with her widowed dad who is a guide for fishermen, hunters, and rich people who want to get a feel for the park. She struggles with knowing her father wants her to do well enough in school to have a better shot at life than West End Montana can give, dyslexia, not being popular, and thinking her dad would have been better off if she'd died in the car crash that killed her mother when KJ was 3. Or thinking he'd much rather she were a son and not a daughter.

She meets a new boy that moved to town with his single mother who has come to study the wolves that had been reintroduced into the area. The ranchers, and hunters are very angry that "Washington" has brought the wolves back since they attack the sheep or cattle the ranchers raise, or have lowered the population of the Elk (even though the Elk had overgrazed the area causing problems with the vegetation, aggravating the erosion, and even effecting the fishing.)

Though KJ the Main Character has her faults and her weakness, I never felt like she was overly whiny or that she was stereotypical. She was awesome. She overcame her dyslexia by studying hard, she became the editor of the school paper, and caused a stir in the community when she began writing about the wolves and not just in a way that made the ranchers happy. She told it like it was and got a lot of crap from it, but still made friends along with her enemies.

She had guilt, but also stood up for herself and did what she thought was right. Though there were adults featured in the story, she held her own and pulled off something fantastic. Plus there is romance, even though it wasn't the happily ever after kind. It was real and fun and special, and I felt happy for what she learned and accomplished.

Kristen Chandler wrote a fantastic debut novel and I really really can't wait until she writes another one. I want to learn how to write like her and give other people the chance to feel about my characters the way I felt about hers.

If you've read it, I'd like to hear what you thought about it. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it.


Friday, February 4, 2011

Soaring with the Eagles.

Tonight my husband brought home five huge stacks of paper for work that looked a lot like a printed manuscript my kids have seen since they are in the same kind of folders. My son said to me when he saw them sitting on the table "WOW Mom, you've written a lot of books."

I smiled, actually I grinned, ear to ear wishing it was true.

When I explained they were for Dad's work he nodded his head, and said, "Well, they look a lot like your books. Some day you could write that many."

To which my daughter said, "Yeah Mom, you write a lot and are working hard on your dream. It's like you don't want to be hanging around with the chickens and you want to soar with the eagles."

Oh, the wisdom of youth. I'm excited again for the ideas I have since I know my kids are routing for me. They think it's pretty cool that I'm working on my dream and I am going to do what I can to show them hard work and perseverance can make good things happen.

Thanks kids.