Thursday, March 31, 2016

What to write

I've written stories (short and long), poems (really bad ones), professional reports, essays, research studies, lab results, excuse letters for the kids' schools, complaints, opinion letters...

... Today I have the honour of writing an obituary. If it takes up 300 pages to write a pregnancy story, a few months in dystopia, a day in the life of high school, how do you sum up a whole person and 104 years in 200 words? (The first answer is, you don't. I cheated and tripled the target.) But still. It's one thing to make up characters and dance them through drama. It's something else entirely to do justice to a real life with all the real love, loss, happiness. There aren't enough words.


Monday, March 28, 2016

First Draft

There's this period between completing a first draft and figuring out how the fizzle to fix it. It's like shopping at Ikea - you go through their displays, get all excited about the piece of furniture you want, order it and bring it home in the box - First Draft complete!

Then you open the box and the ergonomic standing desk is in 47 pieces. It's totally not what it needs to be, though you can still picture the desk with the lamp and the cup of pens and the blotter and the coffee mug in your head. Figuring out which pieces to bang together first is daunting. Often there is crying at this stage.

(Seriously, go google 'ikea instructions' and click on 'images'. It's worth it.)

So that's where I'm at. I finished the first draft, went back and added the parts I knew needed to be added and ordered my box o' pieces (the printed hard copy to mark up with a pen). But I have yet to OPEN the box b/c I can already hear the rattling of random screws and pressed wood and I'm scared. Very scared.


Saturday, March 12, 2016

Outside the Box

The bonus of being a writer is you can sit alone at your desk or Starbucks table or library corner and talk to imaginary people. I'm sure it's a stereotype but I fit it: Authors are all introverts who shudder at the idea of public exposure and — eek! — real people. Mingling terrifies me. Strangers are scary - not in the boogyman way we're taught as kids but in the 'what if they hate me' way of middle school. (Maybe I'm mentally stuck there, and that's why I like to write YA?)

But books don't promote themselves... books are shared.  I'm not talking about sales - I will (and have) spend more money than I make to get my books 'out there'. I'm talking about reaching more readers, getting into hands and thoughts of people who will enjoy the story and think about it after the last page. That kind of promotion. They are shared from reader to reader in a way that, in a writer's greatest hopes, extends out picking up momentum as it goes. The best advocate to push that snowball is the author. (Wait, no, the best one is Oprah, but that's just a pipe dream). So... the very stereotypical nature of the author is actually counter intuitive to the very way the process needs to be done.

Since I'm not with a big time publisher who has a budget and team for marketing, the marketing team is me and the budget is el zippo. So I need to Talk To People.

This one just makes me laugh :D

#GoodDay Reviews

Charlie's Story on Wattpad

Game Plan on Wattpad

Nine on Wattpad

My other Distraction