Wednesday, December 31, 2008

So Long ’08! Welcome ’09!

Each New Years Eve, I usually look forward to the next year and plan what I’d like to do, make resolutions, etc, but I’ve never really taken a good hard look back at the year that passed. Several of the blogs I follow have taken this approach, so I decided I’d like to try it.

In 2008:
-I spent the first half of the year developing several dozen new friendships in Tacoma, reveling in the social light.
-I made a spontaneous decision to move to central Washington and followed through with it a mere six weeks later. This was huge for me because 1) spontaneity is not my strong suit (I’m a meticulous planner) and 2) I see it as the first big life choice I’ve made. Going to college and graduating college and moving back to Washington and getting a job were all things I felt I had to do. This move was the first thing I did just because I really wanted to. *pats self on back*
-I spent the second half of the year developing relationships with an aunt, uncle, and three cousins who I’ve known and loved my whole life, but never got to be close to.
-I started and finished the first two drafts of my first book. Although I don’t foresee publishing it, I am extremely grateful for the experience and look forward to developing my writing skills further. I’ve found writing to be both passion and hobby and I feel it enriches my life even if I never sell a book. Also I got 30K into my second novel’s rough draft.

Smaller events of 2008:
-driving a loop around the Olympic Peninsula and seeing the cool temperate rainforest there
-reviving my love of reading (which lessened somewhat in college sadly)
-(re)learning to snowboard and loving it
-getting my substitute teaching license and subbing grades preschool to twelve

Looking forward to 2009:
-I plan to finish my second book and hopefully write my third. By the end of 2009, I hope to have at least one manuscript that I feel is ready to start querying.
-I plan to get outside more. Snowboarding, hiking, biking, camping, whatever… part of the reason I moved out here was to be away from gray concrete and near nature, so I plan to make a more active lifestyle out here
-(hopefully) find a love interest. Hey, what’s a 23 year old girl to do, right?
-generally live life without much of a plan. I’m working on that whole spontaneity thing.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Crazy Days

Well, school finished up last week and I've decided I'm not going back. I would feel bad for "quitting" if I didn't already have a bachelor's, but I feel I've paid my time. So a big hip hip horray for freedom and free time!

In other news, I've joined Critique Circle. I must say I like it very much so already. It's proven to be very helpful. Due to this connection, I'm taking Page Me Petite down since it serves the same function as CC, except with fewer critiquers. :-)

Winter has officially settled in here in Eastern Washington. The snow has been coming down for the past two days and the roads are slick. My job has given us optional overtime hours (which it never does) and my cousin lent me Warcraft III, thus I've had little to do with writing outside of critiquing for others. I've decided to let myself play this holiday season, so writing in earnest will settle in once more come January. I will continue to update Page Me Choice each Monday, read others' blogs, play on CC, and probably edit a prologue based on what others have given me in feedback.

That is the short of all the updates in my life. Hope they didn't bore you too terribly.

Tata from Anette

Friday, December 5, 2008

Are You Pulling or Pushing Your Plot?

I’ve been noticing this contrast in many books I read and then compared my own work. As a writer, I’m more of a puller, whereas I like to read plots that are pushed.

Allow me to explain my thinking here.

Whether a story is propelled forward by characters or events, whether it’s a mystery, adventure, or love story, it is either being pulled or pushed. What I mean by this is that the reader is either being dragged through a series of events (pulled) without really understanding where its going or they are shoved through it (pushed) where you feel like you’re standing right next to the character as an active decision maker in the story.

The former situation tends to happen more with action oriented plots, where the character(s) have to respond to whatever is happening around them, while the latter usually occurs in character driven plots, where the character(s) make decisions that set events into motion. Mysteries can run either way, but I prefer the pushed ones, because then I feel that the character is being proactive and has some control over the situation. I would argue that no genre or category of stories is exclusively pulling or pushing, though they certainly tend to lean one way or the other,

I wouldn’t say that pushing is better than pulling, though I imagine some publishers and editors might. What about you? Do you have a preference as a reader? Do you find your writing falling steadily into one of these categories? Or – and it must be asked – is my rambling making no sense whatsoever? Haha.

In any case, it’s a thought that’s run through my weeble wobble head lately, along with methods of choosing which perspective each story ought to be told from (first, third, omniscient, limited…). But that’s a topic for another day…

For a quick update, I finished Ch 7 of Book B two nights ago, hacked and slashed a short story into prologue form (For Book C - OTS) last night, and outlined Book 2 (AUT) tonight. That’s what’s going on in my wonderful world of writing. I found the F2S round over at Miss Snark’s First Victim to be very helpful. If you haven’t been to Authoress’s blog, stumble on over there the next chance you get.

Okies, that’s enough for this girl. Time for bed.
(Don’t give me that strange look, I’m nocturnal!) :-)


Monday, December 1, 2008

Page Me Choice

Howdy everyone!

Just a couple quick updates to usher in the new month. Yes, it's December already. Scary huh?

Update 1: I've changed the goal wordcount of Book B to 80,000 since NaNo is over and a more realistic length is in order. On a sad note, that makes me much further from that goal. But I must reach it, because my cousin will kill me if I don't finish Book B. He loves it.

Update 2: I've spent a couple days tinkering around with children's books. Yes, I totally realize this is distracting me from my main goal - that being publishing YA fantasy novels - but it was interesting. My grandmother really wants to write kiddie stories and I think it would be fantasmic to make online "read alongs" for little kids, since they are supposed to read 20 minutes a day and many, if not most, parents don't have the time or inclination to do that with them. 'Tis a project to play with.

Update 3: I've created two new blogs, neither of which will be as active as my main one here (I think). The first, Page Me Petite, is a place where I will post flash fiction, short stories, and kiddie fiction I write. Since my main interest is novels, I feel comfortable sharing my shorter work with others under a Creative Commons license. The blog is by invitation only, though so if you want in, you'll have to ask. The second new blog, Page Me Choice, is my personal writing gym. I get to exercise my skills whilst entertaining whoever would like to read along. "Choice" is an open blog, in which I write little episodes and then ask the readers to make a decision, which I base the next post on. Sound fun? Read along...

Anyway, I know that probably sounds like I've loaded my plate too full, but I'll manage, I promise! I've decided to stop taking classes at the college seeing as I already have one degree and I'd really rather focus on writing. It's what bring joy and satisfaction into my life anyway and it would be nice to just live life to live life rather than planning to live life.

If you find you enjoy Page Me Choice, please do invite your friends to read too. The more decision makers there are, the more fun it can be!