Monday, October 31, 2011

ROW80 Late Check In for Sunday

“Drama, instead of telling us the whole of a man's life, must place him in such a situation, tie such a knot, that when it is untied, the whole man is visible.” - Leo Tolstoy

If you read a lot of agent blogs, then you’ll notice that they tell you to start your story, not at the beginning, but just before a major event or change is about to take place in your characters’ lives.

I think it is an essential part of every story, even Tolstoy’s, to follow this rule because it shows and does a lot of different things. It gives your reader an idea of what is to come, or what your character is like, or how your character deals with whatever comes.

It also keeps things interesting because, as a reader, I wouldn’t be too thrilled if I were reading mundane, everyday tasks a character did. I want to get right into the action. I want to see how the characters deal with conflict in their lives.

You don’t need to say, “My character is smart, kind and deals well under pressure.” This needs to be shown throughout your book based on how your character reacts to conflict which will show the reader what they are really like.

So, my question for all the ROW80 participants is: Does the first chapter of your story place your character in a position that makes the reader want to know more?

Next week, I will post the first paragraph from chapter 1 of my story for feedback. I would love, love, love it if next week you guys also posted a teaser from the first chapter of your WIP. It doesn’t have to be very long or very polished but it just gives you a chance to get feedback from other ROW80 participants. Remember, that’s next week so you still have time!

Now, onto my accomplishments for the week:

Monday - 0
Tuesday - 1715
Wednesday - 1613
Thursday - 0
Friday - 302
Saturday - 401
Sunday - 1799

Total - 5830

As strange as it sounds, it didn’t feel like I wrote so much this week but I’m really glad I did. My goals for the new week are the same: 5400 plus the 3663 words I want to catch up on, bringing my goals to 9063 for the week.

Also, good luck to everyone taking part in NaNo this year. I’m not brave enough to do it but I’ll be cheering you all on!

Monday, October 24, 2011

In my house, writing isn't an option because...

...Every time I get up to do something, Kiara steals my spot and then gives me "the look" if I dare ask her to get up.

Better Late than Never - Sunday Check In

“If I fall asleep with a pen in my hand, don’t remove it - I might be writing in my dreams.” - Terry Guillemets

This quote is so great; I think it might become one of my favourites! However, for the modern author it would be something along the lines of: “If I fall asleep with my head on my keyboard…”

So, does anyone actually do this? Do you find yourself so immersed in the world and characters that you’ve created that you take them into your dreams? I’ve never actually had a dream about my characters but last night I couldn’t get to sleep because I kept thinking about my story. My mind would not stop working and all I wanted to do was write. That can only be a good thing.

Sometimes I wish I could write in my dreams because life can get very hectic when you least expect it. For me, I had a bustling week filled with school, work and doctors - I had to see three different doctors and next week I have to see more. *sad face*

So, due to my busy week, I did not reach my goals. I didn’t even get close which really bothers me because it makes me feel unaccomplished and doubt my abilities as a writer. I mean, shouldn’t I be able to push through the tiredness and write? Don’t plenty of other writers have busy lives, work, school and children and they still manage to write? I really need to push myself more.

I aimed to write 5400 words a week and about 770 words a day. Here is a breakdown of what I wrote this week:

Monday - 263
Tuesday - 0
Wednesday - 0
Thursday - 203
Friday - 161
Saturday - 528
Sunday - 152

Total - 1307

So 5400 minus 1307 is 4093 words that I didn’t write. I’m going to add that to my goal for this week, so 5400 plus 4093, and you get my writing goal for this week: 9493 words. It’s a big task but I’m determined to make it!

(Also, I’ve had a slow start to the week so I’ll be visiting fellow ROW80 participants’ blogs for the Wednesday check in.)

Also, tell me how relevant you think the above quote is to you. I’m curious about everyone’s writing process.

Hope everyone else had a good week!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

ROW80 Sunday Check In

“Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” - George Orwell

I think most writers can relate to this quote, and if this is what an amazing writer like George Orwell thinks about writing, then it makes me feel substantially better.

There is no doubt in my mind that writing is a lonely and arduous job but I think that it would be exponentially worse if, we, writers did not go through the struggle.

Having writer’s block is an illness that we never want to get but then there are the voices in our heads, of people who we want to meet and get to know better and of stories we need to tell, that is the driving force behind a writer and I think it’s moments like these when you can capture those conversations and stories into words that the struggle becomes worth it.

In saying that, I did struggle a little this week but I managed to write consistently. As a reminder, I aimed to write 770 words a day and about 5400 words for the week. Here is a breakdown of what I achieved this week:

Monday - 1680
Tuesday - 750
Wednesday - 894
Thursday - 0
Friday - 870
Saturday - 0
Sunday - 1418

Total - 5612

I actually went over my goal by 200 words so I’m hoping to keep up the pace this week with with the same goals. Hope everyone else reached their goals for the week!

I would also like to know what drives you to write and achieve your goals.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Plot Holes

So, I'm currently working on the first draft of my YA novel which is sitting somewhere around the 30,000 words mark and you would think that I have my entire plot sorted out....well, not exactly.

To be clear, I do have a plot but for some reason it's not working. I don't know if it's because of the way I'm writing it or if I haven't thought it well enough but something's just not right. Then I began to panic. "Oh, no! I have to start my story again for the third time! I'm never going to get this finished! My life is over!" Ok, so maybe not that last bit but the rest was true. I honestly felt that the only way to save my story was to destroy it.

Then I remembered Holly Lisle and her courses so I went on her website and I found her "FREE Plot Outline Mini-Course" which is divided into 7 weekly lessons. The first lesson had several exercises in it which I needed to do to figure out my character, her motivations and what to keep in the plot and what to get rid of.

This was what helped me. I was so attached to my story that I didn't want to get rid of anything that didn't work. Instead I tried to make everything work and that's why nothing was working. The first lesson also helped me loosely plan out what was going to happen in the beginning, middle and end and gave me a fresh perspective on my story.

I'm really looking forward to getting my next lesson because sometimes you do need help! For the struggling writer, here is where you can find your own free copy of the course: Holly Lisle's Free Plot Course

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Joining up ROW80 and my Goals!

Hello, everyone! I’m joining up for ROW80 in this check in. I joined up for ROW80 the last round but due to my illness I wasn’t feeling too well and went into a writing slump as I was preoccupied with doctors and hospitals - the latter being something I don’t enjoy very much.

Anyway, I initially thought that my goals for this round would be something quite vague - write something, anything - but I thought I could do much better than that. Recently, I’ve been writing a lot more so I decided to challenge myself.

I’ve written about 30, 000 words for my YA WIP Runaway Mortal and I need to write about 40, 000 more words to complete it. So I decided that I would attempt to complete the 40, 000 words by November 30. So that would mean I need to write about 770 words a day and 5400 words a week. (I’m just rounding up all the numbers)

This is a big goal for me but I know with everyone’s support I can get it done! I will be checking in every Sunday with my efforts and also with what I’ve learnt that week about writing.

I look forward to getting to know the participants this round. Good luck to everyone!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

My Trip to Fiji!!

So last month I finally went on my long-awaited trip to Fiji! For those of you who aren't aware, I was actually born in Fiji and I make a habit of going over to visit my friends and family every couple of years. Well, this time I hadn't been for SIX years so things were a bit different...but not much.

It was a great holiday but it didn't start that way. I was supposed to go to my uncle's house from Nadi Airport and the guy who came to pick us up was VERY drunk. We almost got into so many accidents on the way to my uncle's house and I was so relieved when we got there! Then, in another driver-related stroke of bad luck, my fiance's bag was "forgotten" in the taxi. The driver brought it back - a little lighter and with a few less things in it - and denied that he had taken anything.

So, not a great start but the rest of the trip was awesome! I turned 21 last month so I celebrated my birthday in Fiji with my friends and family. It was such a great experience and I can't wait to go back.

Now, prepare to be blinded by tropical-style photos, hehe!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Falling Into Books Giveaway Winners!

I have some exciting news for everyone that entered my giveaway - I have the names of the winners! I liked everyone's answers so much that I put everyone's names into a hat - actually, it was an ice cream container because we have a lack of hats in our house - and came up with three winners.

So, congratulations to:



Lady Vampire

You each have one choice from the following: Passion by Lauren Kate, Bloodlines by Richelle Mead, Supernaturally by Kiersten White or City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare.

I will be emailing winners and if I don't hear from them in 48 hours then I will draw new names.

I will be having a huge giveaway at 75 followers so spread the word and stay tuned!