Thursday, March 10, 2011

Writer-Blogger Thursdays

Okay, so first things first:

As I've already thanked and linked my awarders, I have to say seven things about myself and award other bloggers.  So, without further ado:

1. I'm an only child.  Either because of or as a result of this, I learned to make friends with adults than with people my own age.  It's something I'm still learning how to do.  If you consider yourself a good friend of mine, it's very likely you have at least five years on me.

2. I still like Avril Lavigne.

3. I'm messy, in both a figurative and literal sense.

4.  I am the queen of one-woman dance parties.

5. I have an obsessive habit of pacing that began when I was about eleven.  I try to channel it in a healthy way by walking on the track.  Somehow circles soothe me.

6. I do not know how to drive.  (I'm from a large city where cars are a waste of time and money.  Not my fault.)

7. I'm on a lifelong quest to find the perfect slice of pizza.  If you know any pizza places that are any good where you are, let me know.

Ten Bloggers who are Stylish:
Missing Link in Writing
The Serial Killer Files
Surrounded by Books
Cacy Duncan
An Alleged Author
iggi and gabbi
Mia Hayson
Nothing Cannot Happen Today
The Blogger Formerly Known As
My First Book

Secondly:  Writing Stuff.
So I mentioned before I'm working on a longer piece of fiction.  Last weekend I had a bit of a breakthrough.  I wrote an opening that felt different that anything I've written before.  It felt alive.  Charged.  I gave it to my mom to read, and instead of her usual, "I love to see you writing!" reaction (which she always does, no matter how awful or angst-filled), she wrote back she had to take a nap after she read it and that I had her attention from the start.  My mom has a way of being objective with both criticism and praise, and I trust her judgement when I ask her advice.  I also knew in my gut that I was onto something.  Something good.

What changed?

Stakes.  I raised them.

A lot.

Like, we're talking T-Bone.

I think my initial premise was interesting, but I was missing motivation in too many places.  I kept running into a wall--why would my protagonist choose to investigate the roots of his deceased father?  Closure?  I guess...but closure's really subjective.

I'm writing a piece about a dysfunctional family, and I placed the dead father in the center of it, which didn't really work. I then wrote a character sketch of the sister in relation to the father, which I liked better.

And then it hit me.

Put the protagonist in the center.


After that, the stakes kind of raised themselves.

And now ENTIRE direction of my novel has changed. Roughly 6,000 words are going to be cut; I'm starting over.

But it wasn't a waste of time.  If I hadn't written those 6,000 words, I probably never would have hit this sudden point of clarity.

I've been stewing over the love interest this week, and a JUICY DELICIOUS plot point has dropped into my lap.  I can't wait to spend this weekend reconfiguring this novel and watching these characters, who are each at the end of their respective ropes, make one last mad dash for sanity, normalcy, and--if they dare hope--love.

Happy Weekend and Happy Writing!


  1. Wow. Sounds like you're really happy with the direction your work in progress is going and I can't wait to hear more (and see it published).

    I did have one thing to add on the pizza thing but it may be irrelevant for quite some time in today's climate. I read in a book when I was thinking of going to Egypt to see all the sites (prior to civil war in their country of course) that the best place to have a slice of pizza in their country was at the pizza hut across the street from the pyramids of giza. They said for a small tip, the owner of the restaurant would let you go to the roof and eat there where they have tables and you get a view that is out of this world. How good would that be? Pizza with the pyramids as a backdrop?

  2. Congrats on getting that one piece of the puzzle to fall just right!

  3. If it helps you with the driving thing, I flunked my driver's ed training TWICE! I should have decided not to drive. Thank you so much for the award!

  4. That's awesome about your story! Good luck writing it., if you do find that perfect slice, please share. :)

    And, thank you so much for the award!

  5. Congrats on the breakthrough! You're so totally right about those 6000 words. Even if something doesn't make it into the final product, everything you write is valuable because you're learning from it and discovering the character and the story.

    Here's to many more breakthroughs like that!
    Also, thank you for the award! So sweet of you to think of me (and iggi). :)

  6. Thanks for the award!

    And congrats on the breakthrough. I know how exciting those are! And congrats on being able to let go of 6,000 words. Not everyone can let go so easily...not that I'm speaking from experience or anything (casual glance away).

  7. Thank you for the award! I enjoyed getting to know you a little. Me, I'm still searching for the perfect Chinese dumpling. I don't know if it's to be found here in Seattle...

    And I envy that you don't need a car. I get so tired of driving.

  8. Thankeeees for the award dear!! And yayyyy for delicious plot points!


  9. Congratulations on your award, Marjorie. And, thank you much for mine.

  10. 1. well i consider you MY good friend. even tho i'm not 5 years older than you.
    2. YAY for the book breakthough!! i can't WAIT to read it!!
    3. come to chicago and i will blow your mind with a good slice of pizza. tho i'm not sure it'll be counted into your lifelong quest; chicago deep dish is a whole different ballpark from the pizza you're used to. ;)

  11. Thanks for the award!

    I'm so glad to hear about your breakthrough. It sounds like you found the spark you need to get through the rough draft. :-)

    PS Sorry I didn't reply to your chat on Saturday, I was manning phones at the time.