Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Plotting from the salon chair.

Looks like another good news - bad news moment. Although last time wasn't really bad news. Some might've called it bad news. My ankle is really feeling much better already.

Well, the good news is that I finally finished rereading Wizards at War by the ever awing Diane Duane! It was even more beautiful than I remembered (but my memory is poor, which works well in this case.) The humor was spot on, the plot was brilliant if complex. The characters, even the ones with royal-pain-in-the-butt attitude, had me falling in love with them. And once again, DD shows her knowledge of astronomy in ways I only wish I could. My series on Fictionpress has my protagonists, who are totally nothing like Nita and Kit, bouncing to every corner of the universe. I now understand the universe is, to say the least, pretty darn big and complicated. Way to go, sixteen year old me!

The bad news is that when I was totally inspired to go back to my WIP as I always am after reading a good book, it felt so very...inadequate. I know I shouldn't compare my amateur writing style to a great like that, but I can't help it. When you aspire to a certain standard of excellence and it's clear you're not there (yet), it gets to be a bit disheartening for us beginners. It makes me wonder, "How much time do published authors spend on their MS before it becomes the gold that agents want to represent?" and "What did the MS look like as a first draft? Am I on the right track or am I doing this all wrong?"

We just need to avoid the dangerous pitfall of, "Why should I bother?" I'll tell you why I bother. Writing is slowly bumping theatre out of the top place in my heart, which is a HUGE deal because I absolutely adore performing, assisting, and watching theatre. It's my major! But writing is fun while keeping me entirely in my comfort zone. As I've said, I'm not a socialite, so having fun writing by myself in my room with a snack sounds like the ideal day for me.

Back to the point, now I just want to plot until I get my confidence back. I hope to bolster myself to the point where I was before when I was flying through the chapters and loving every word of them. The prose felt colorful, but not purple, and the dialogue to narrative ratio was in perfect balance. And I used the word "sequester"! I was really proud of that. Haha!

After reading a few articles thanks to Twitter forcing them into my home page feed, I thought of some great ideas that will liven my characters, and give them a stronger persuasive argument to get you to read about them. Less doomsday plot dominating the story, and more down to earth problems screwed up by the doomsday plot as we slowly sink into the heart of the matter. That sounds more enticing. I read that readers are more interested in a close to home problem than a universe in danger because they can relate more. How often is our universe in danger by the forces of evil that we know of? Now how often do you have a crush on an unavailable someone? Thought so. I really should bookmark these articles and link to them. I won't plagiarize these tips.

Of course, this could all just be a ploy to avoid writing further while I feel like my writing could only ever be read and enjoyed on a poorly maintained fiction site. This blog entry could be one big procrastination device. Hmmm...

But I don't blame DD for her wonderful writing affecting my confidence. I'm a novice writer working to better myself. I'm writing these entries in hopes that other novice writers don't feel alone, and so more accomplished writers can look back and smile that I-was-there-once smile because they have already bettered themselves. Congratulations! I thank DD with all of my heart for giving me something to which I can aspire. Maybe one day my WIP will share a shelf with her I sound obsessed enough? I can do more. ;)

Anyway, that's what was on my mind while I was sitting in the hair salon today getting fabulous. Back to the MSWord futon!

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