For the Criminally Inane

For the Criminally Inane

Monday, May 24, 2010

Writing Emotionally

I read this book, "A Truth Universally Acknowledged: Why we read Jane Austen" about, imagine this, Jane Austen's writing. One of the essays really hit me. The author talked about how Austen used an emotional description in her writing. This is really more powerful than describing every little detail because it allows the reader to imagine the hero/heroine in her mind, but with the careful guidance of the writer. What does Darcy look like? Well, now he looks like Colin Firth to the majority of the people out there, but before A&E's adaptation, what did he look like? Whatever I wanted him to look like, imposing figure maybe, but it more of what I felt about him. I knew him emotionally not from a line up of guys. I knew that he needed to be respected, that his presence commanded respect. Well-groomed, perhaps because he was wealthy. We know people who are rich and how they wear their clothes, so we can imagine what he was wearing without being explicitly told.

But how to write in that powerful emotional way? Isn't that the trick. When I figure it out, I'll let you know.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

First three Chapters

I think they are finally polished enough to let them go out into the world. I wonder if mom's feel this way when they send their kids off to college? Kindergarten?

Yeah. Had to reorder my chapters yesterday on my story after my amputation of 30k words. When I'm done with this one, I think I'll start revising, reworking my humorous book about a girl heroine. Or write another one. I've got tons of ideas I'd love to start working on. I wish my hubby had the time to collaborate on a middle-grade fiction idea. He's the one with the humor!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Book Review

I've been on a reading frenzy lately. I've been writing too, don't worry, even 8.5 months pregnant, I don't neglect my writing.

Read "If I Tell You I Love You, I'd have to Kill You" by Ally Carter.

When I read the back cover, my first reaction was, "Man, I wish I'd thought of this brilliant idea!" Now that I've read it, I'm glad I didn't. Ms. Carter did an excellent job! I found her voice engaging, her characters fun and the plot hilariously outrageous. Having said that, I was a little sad that the boyfriend, Josh, was a little two-dimensional. Sure, he was a nice, sweet, forgiving boyfriend, but I'm not sure he had much personality. But really, reading back on my jr. high journals, I really didn't know the boys I had crushes on. I mostly saw that they were hot, and hoped for this ideal that couldn't possibly be expected of a young kid at that age. Anyway, I enjoyed it so much, I think I'll try submitting to her agent and see how it goes. My book is sort of the same, fast-paced, humorous, completely unlikely. Ms. Carter is way funnier, but it was the same old joke of "well, I thought of all the ways I could kill him" that after a while I wanted some other joke.

Second book:
A Curse Dark As Gold by Elizabeth Brunce
I actually met the author at my local indy book store and I owned a signed copy. Nanner, nanner. This book won all sorts of awards, hit Oprah's must read list and it deserved it. It was well written, impeccable language, wonderful imagery, bewitching use of verbs. Having met her in person, I could almost hear Ms. Brunce telling this story. But it will never be pulp fiction. It's too good. Read: it was dense, I had to think, it was inspiring. It was not a quick read. It reminds me of a blog post written by Shannon Hale, I'll see if I can post the link here, if I can find it again. She mentioned that there are several types of authors, those that are an overnight success, to everyone's surprise (think S. Meyer or Ms. Rowling), those that write beautiful prose, win awards, but nobody reads the book, those that are midlisters, meaning they write a book a year, and they do well enough that the publishers let them keep writing and keep selling their books but nobody's ever heard of them, they've never broken out. There might have been some more types, but I think it's interesting that she asks, what type of writer do you want to be? So I'm answering that question here. I'd love to write a beautifully written book that is praised by Oprah and quoted by others, but honestly, that's not my personality. I want to be a break out writer. I'm ambitious, I hope that I think big and act big and never do anything by half-measures. But how many of those midlisters also feel the same way?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Signed book collection

I've decided to work on my signed author collection. I have four books right now. I'm hoping to have another by the end of the week. This is a huge commitment right now considering our budget.

So, I went to see Holly Black of Spiderwick Chronicles and Cassandra Clare when they came to our local library. I was astounded when on the cover of Clare's paperback I saw a blurb by Stephanie Meyer. I was not surprised she blurbed it, but I was surprised that under Ms. Meyer's name was "Author of Twilight." Like we have to be told?

My husband is my preview reader. He's going to read the Clare book and let me know if it's something I would like to read. (I'm a bit of a sensitive reader. In my present condition, I cannot read anything sad or depressing. ) Anyway, he reads a good deal, too, and wrote two novels when he was 14. Completed, though not edited or revised or even rewritten, but that's still a heck of a lot more than some people can boast.

So, my first YA novel. Still reworking it. Adding layers of depth, cutting some breadth. My middle is muddled and I only have three weeks to make it as good as I can. Time is running out...