Good Friday

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Music is a huge part of my life, so I thought I would post the playlist I listen to at Easter (I thought, we have Christmas carols, why not Easter songs?).

Deliver Us—The Prince of Egypt Soundtrack
40 Days—Third Day
Good Friday—The Passage
A Better Way—Downhere
Garden—Needtobreathe (one of my favorite all-time bands ;-) )
The Killing Tree—Paul Coleman Trio
No Greater Love—Steven Curtis Chapman
Amazing Love—The Newsboys
—The Newsboys
Sunday!—Tree63
My Redeemer Lives—Nicole C. Mullen
King of Glory—Third Day

I will post more about how music affects my writing another day. :-D

Happy Easter! He is Risen!

Running Commentary

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Who else wants to include a commentary to every scene of their story? Things like, “Here’s what’s really going on.” and “That character is actually thinking this.” I want to do that all the time. I get so excited about background stuff and hidden emotions that I want to let the reader know.

This desire for extra commentary is what led to my choosing the second POV character for Book One. When I first began writing the book (oh so long ago!), I was extremely focused on surprising the reader. I wanted the reader to be shocked by this character’s actions. I went to great lengths to tuck vital information in out of the way places that the reader wouldn’t notice.

But at times, I would want to cry at the depth of the character’s emotions. The fact that the reader would never know just what he was thinking in this highly emotional scene made me so sad. Eventually, I realized that the reader’s being surprised by the character’s actions wasn’t as important as the reader’s understanding the character’s motivations. So I threw the shock factor out the window and set out to tell the story from his POV.

I think it might work, too. After I explained the character’s motivations to my husband, he looked thoughtful a moment and said, “I don’t hate him anymore.” Yay!!! I really want my readers to understand my characters and not to hate them. :-D

Happy Writing!

Simple Terms

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One of the things people say when you’re writing a query is to compare your book to other recent titles (avoiding the wildly successful such as Harry Potter and The Hunger Games) that are similar to your story. I have yet to find a title that seems similar to my book. I think part of it is a mental block. My story is special! How could there be one like it? Part of it is that I’m not sure I read books like mine, ha ha. It’s so serious!

In an effort to figure out how to search for similar titles, I decided to get specific about my book. When I did, I actually discovered some things I had been missing and was able to focus other things, for example, characters’ motivations. Here’s what I did:

Setting: the world, neighborhood, house–wherever the story takes place. definitely not dystopian for me, which may be why I can’t find recent comp titles . . .

Protagonists: I kept this general. what kind of person features in this story? for me, it’s mostly boys in their late teens.

Motivations: external arc–what the character thinks he wants–and internal arc–what the character really wants. when I did the motivation for one of my female characters in such simple terms, what followed was an “aha!” moment.

Plot Elements: this is the framework of the story, the external events which effect the characters. for me, it’s an alien war and there might be some superheroes involved. ;-)

Antagonists: this surprised me. I would have thought it would be the aliens. makes sense, right? wrong! the antagonist is actually one of the good guys. antagonist does not equal villain.

Maybe now I can find some comp titles. Any suggestions? All I could think of was Flash Gordan, and that didn’t help . . .

It’s Finally Published!!!

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Not my book, my old roommate’s! I’ve been bugging her off and on since we graduated because I’ve been wanting to read the entire thing. She had us in stitches at her graduate reading. Well, she usually had us in stitches at all her readings. :-) I am so excited to read Hope is a Ferris Wheel.

And I was happily surprised to discover that another classmate (whom I like to call my suitemate since her room was next door to mine even though we didn’t share a bathroom) released her first book on the same day! She also had us in stitches sometimes, but other times, we were all shivering with the beautiful eeriness of her readings. I can’t wait to pick up Strange Sweet Song.

The problem now is that the local bookstore is two hours away. I’m still trying to figure out how to get copies sooner rather than later. I really want to read these books!

AWD

Manuscript Update

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So obviously, I’ve gone quite awhile without posting. Lack of Internet access coupled with some domestic adjusting to new jobs and things of that sort are my excuse. But really, I just needed a break from constantly updating this blog. :-D

But hopefully, I’m back, at least semi-regularly. And I have a new deadline! If you remember, my last deadline was to have a signed copy ready for my niece by October of 2015. Well, this new deadline is to have the manuscript ready to send out by July. O_O I’m not a nail-biter, but if I were, I would be biting my nails.

Currently, chapters 5-8 are with my critique group, chapters 9 through 15 are with my sister, and the whole of part one is with my critique partner. I have also been going over chapter 1 with a fine-tooth comb in order to submit it to the SCBWI Work-In-Progress grant. Again, a nail-biter.

So, I’m making progress. Now I have to decide—send to agents or to publishers? Is Part One its own book or do I need to go ahead and finish writing Part Two? (more nail biting) I have a lot on my plate!

Hope all is well with you! Happy Writing!

Thankfulness

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I have many things to be thankful for this year, but I will keep this list writing-related.

Completion of rough draft of Part I
I did NaNoWriMo!
Attended my first writer’s conference
Formed a critique group
Began attending freewriters’ group
Lots of encouragement
Met new writers

Yup, lots of writerly things for which to be thankful. :-D

Thank you, God!
Happy Writing!

Freewriting Together

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Last week was one of the most fun freewriting groups I’ve ever had! We laughed so much—well, I did anyway. I also received a great compliment: “I don’t think anything you’ve written wasn’t golden.” So that made my day. :-D Of course, the response to the next freewrite was a look of horror, but even that was a kind of compliment. I may post here sometime what those freewrites were, but I’m too tired to type right now.

Our prompts were interactive. Here’s one to try. Get together with a couple other people. One of you come up with a setting/place, another come up with an atmosphere/mood, and another come up with characters. Then go! We surprisingly came up with matching elements (a dock at a lake with a storm brewing and a grandfather, granddaughter, and a fisherman), but all of our results were quite different.

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