Saturday, July 16, 2011

I am that mother.

I am the mother who constantly gushes about her children, saying how lovely they are, how well-behaved and polite. I am the shouting mother that sits in the bleachers, waving like a madman at my kid, screaming words of encouragement. I am the mom who buys all of the bumper stickers for her car, with cheeky slogans like, "My kid is on the honor roll!" and "Question authority, but never question your mother."

I'm sure at least one person that reads this post will be confused at that statement. I'm a fourteen year old girl. Surely I don't have kids.

Of course I don't. *Shakes head* Let me finish.

Recently, I've realized that I can find my characters in nearly everything. I find myself thinking, "Oh, this song really reminds me of Laina and her problem with that and how she need to do this," and "I bet Aaron would've loved this book. I bet he would've really, really adored it."

Am I the only one who does this? I'm genuinely curious. Every time I so much as mention my characters or book, before the words roll off my tongue, I wonder, "Am I seriously talking about this again? I bet it bugs this person."

I can't decide if this is normal or if I'm conceited when it comes to my books. I'm fairly sure it's not the latter, because, and you can ask people who know how I am when I write, really fond of deleting things and not having backups, because I honestly think it won't matter later. I'm not overly confident when it comes to my writing, so is this normal?

Is this good or bad? Honestly, I can see both ways.

If it's good, then I'm making progress. I can easily be inspired and there's nearly always something to inspire me.

If it's bad, then maybe music and books and TV and all of the things that inspire me will have too much influence on me.

Guys. I don't know. I honestly don't know how these things work. I'm just weird. Ahhhh.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A quote (and a question)

I have no clue who you people are, that are following this blog, but I kind of adore you. Just wanted to say that. :)

But, along with that, I have a question. Most of the time, when people have blogs dedicated to writing, they include small excerpts of their writing. I'm not stupid, and I know that putting your work online isn't always a good idea, but I don't plan on just putting entire chapters on here. A few sentences that I like, maybe. I'll do it today and if you guys don't care, just leave a comment and say that you don't want to read anything. I'll stop doing it if none of you want to see it.

So, here we go.

"A weak breeze pushes a few strands of my hair into the air and the contrast nearly makes me smile, looking like spilled ink over purple paper. I imagine, for a moment, that it's why the sky looks like darkened lavender, that someone spilled ink across it and now it's mixing and fading into it."

Alright, guys. Let me know if you guys want me to keep doing this or not.

Monday, July 11, 2011

An announcement...

If you follow me on twitter and were around yesterday night, you probably already know about this, but I wanted to share it here, too.

I hit 10,000 words on my first draft.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

On Being Stuck (Or: In which I show you how crazy I am.)

Last night, I had a conversation with my friend Ali, who's having some problems with being stuck. I decided to do a post on that, today.

Being stuck's not one of those things I'm unfamiliar with. I never outline as deeply as some writers do. I write as I go. I do, of course, have some ideas stored away for future writing. But mainly I just sit down and let the characters tell me what to type. Sometimes I don't like what they're saying, but I totally have permission to change some of the stuff. ;)

But I started thinking, "what did I do when I was stuck?" What did I do when I was stuck? When the characters refused to speak? When the plot refuses to budge?

I feel like, in those situations, the characters have realized how little we know each other. You wouldn't tell your life story to a complete stranger, would you? So get to know them, figure things out.

Now, before someone says, "Brielle, these people are in my head. How do I get to know them. They aren't even real!" I have to say...

Not yet.

Even though you have to decide what kind of car they drive and what color their eyes are and how they like their coffee (or if they like it at all!), you still need to get to know them. It's like learning about people you want to be friends with, except this is probably a bit more on the stalkerish side.

The thing I've learned is that you don't have to use all the info you get. It's just there if you need it. But just because you know that she has a scar on her knee from falling when she played soccer, you don't have to add that to the story. Because, honestly, people don't care. If it's not important to the story, then they won't be interested. No fluff!

So, get together some forms and questionnaires and character profiling sheets, and interview your character. Write everything down in a notebook, so you'll have it later.

After that, maybe you'll understand your characters more. While doing this, I always end up weaving together ideas and writing down things like, "Lost necklace" just so I can do something with that later. With all of this new information, I find it hard not to get to a computer and WRITE. The characters are usually pretty happy to oblige and run their mouths.

If that doesn't work, then I take a few days off to mull over the plot in my head. What's wrong with it? What needs to be changed? What could I make different so that this will be a stronger story?

Usually, after that, I'll find a plot hole, which is fairly important. In my current WIP, I got about seven chapters in before I started over. I had only sent 4 chapters off to my critique partner, and the next three were too horrible to send.

A sign that the story isn't going so well: The first chapter(s) are over a thousand words, and they slowly dwindle. Now, a slight difference in word counts per chapter isn't bad. It's when your word count end up looking like this that it becomes a problem:


So, guys, what do you do when you're stuck? Tell me in the comments!