Tuesday, November 30, 2010

ANOTHER BITTER SWEET END

I have officially finished working as a temporary receptionist today. The new lady will start working tomorrow. It was a bitter sweet ending. There were a few nice people that I will really miss. I had gotten use to a certain routine and I will surely miss the income, but I am also glad to be finished. That job was just not meant for me.

I am not worried about future prospect though. It is hard to explain, but somehow I feel as if there is something better waiting for me. I will be looking for a new job, but I am not going to make myself sick if something doesn't come along as quickly as I want it to. I have discovered that nothing in my life happens in the time frame in which I want it. So why worry about something I can't control?

What this means is that I now have more time to finish scaling down my first manuscript and even getting to work on the third. Can't wait.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

SWEET TASTE OF FREEDOM

It has been a few days since my bold declaration of freedom. I must say I am rather enjoying doing things because I want too. It is a whole new experience. Saying what I mean and just saying what is on my mind is a long sought after relief. The need to constantly censor myself was overwhelming and it drove me crazy.

I am blushing even less now when ever I have to write a intimate scene. I can allow my written word to become a little erotic without feeling guilty.

My brother tried to have another talk with me but I just told him that this is who I am. I am not going to change. I am done changing for anyone. Only changes I will make will be for myself. So mentally I am as free as I have always dreamt of being. Finally...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

CUTTING BACK ON THE BULK

As I have mentioned in one of my previous posts, an agent gave me some wonderful advice that I just can't pass up on. She mentioned that one of the biggest problems she had with my sample chapters was the very high word count. It was about 145 000 words. The other problem was that certain scenes read as if though I am just dumping information on the reader.

To me that is nothing but good news. A bulky manuscript I can fix, but if she mentioned that I lacked imagination and execution of my idea then I would have been screwed. I have to go back to my first novel and see what I can omit from my manuscript. That is always the hard part for me. Because I think every scene should be in there. As I have mentioned before, my first novel is the first of a planned series, so one solution is ending the book at an earlier chapter and adding the remaining chapters to the second book, which by the way I finished last week. Second option is removing selected scenes from the book.

I originally labeled my book as paranormal romance, but I am even considering including or changing it to the Urban Fantasy genre. I am also aiming to scale it down to at least 115 000-120 000 words. It is still a bit high I know but it is an improvement over the original 145 000 words. I have no idea how I would make my novel work with only 100 000 words. So I have to make those changes before I start querying again.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Inspiration by the bucket loads

Every so often, like now, I am overwhelmed by an idea for a potential project. So much so that I sort of become obsessed with it. I have been doing the necessary novel planning which is part of my creative process. I am doing research and writing down tons of ideas for possible scenes.

How do I know a project is worth writing about? Well, I know a project is worth writing about when it is all I think about in my spare time. When I am doing one thing, like doing the dishes, and my mind just starts thinking up all sorts of possible scenes and dialogue for that project. When I feel as if though I am going to jump out of my skin if I don't get the words on paper. Those are the projects I write about. The ones that beg me to be written.

Passion also plays a very big part for me. I have to be passionate about a project. If the idea sounds good but I don't get excited about it then I won't write about it.

My current project is making me really excited. I just can't seem to do enough research or plan enough. I love the story and I just hope I can make it sound as wonderful on paper as I see things playing out in my head. As I am spending more time creating the characters and their unique personalities, I seem to be getting more and more attached to them.

I have not started typing it out on the computer yet. I tend to do the rough drafts on paper, in long hand. Crazy I know, but somehow it just works for me.

Well, I am off to do some writing on my story.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Who am I supposed to be?

Yesterday I had a interesting talk with my brother. It was about knowing when to change yourself to fit into the world. About being someone else when in public and only being myself when at home. But last night I had officially had it with being told what to do and pretending to be someone else for other's sake.

Today at work I let my true colors show and people didn't talk to me half as much as they used to and I was rather happy about it. My work contract expires the 30th of November 2010 and to be honest I can't wait. I am counting down the days.

So what brought on this talk with my brother? Well, it was about me being unemployed. He thinks that I have a bad attitude, which I don't agree with. When at work I am always professional and courteous and to be honest, being all smiles and crap just got me trampled on. The real me usually tells people what I think when I am thinking it. And apparently being like that won't get me employed. But pretending to be this happy and bubbly person has done nothing but make me unhappy and get me low paying jobs. Pretending to be a weak and fragile person is not in my nature and I refuse to be like that for any bodies sake. Not anymore anyway. So I told him to stop trying to change me.

Thinking and writing as I am now would probably get me in trouble with my family but I don't care. Being happy to me is more important than anything. Having the freedom to say what I think is priceless to me. And my family doesn't get it. Though I know writing does not pay my bills it keeps me content. I know who I am as a person and I know what I want out of life. How many people can say that? Some people go on many life changing journey's without having ever discovered what their life is all about or who they really are.

I have faith that I will find another job soon and this time I will make sure it is a job I can actually making a living on. I am done working for minimum wages. I have a degree after all, even though it has not helped me much this far. But I just can't do something just for the sake of doing it. It ruins me as a person. I have to see purpose in it.

I might never become a published writer, this much I know, but I will damn well try. Even if I have to do it under a pen name, it makes no matter to me. As long as my work gets read. You may have noticed I took all the advertisements off my blog. I think it gives people the wrong impression of me. Because I can promise you that it is not all about the money. Never was. But that is in the past. I am moving on.

I am done changing. If people don't like me for who I am than tough shit.Honestly, I am done worrying about it. Life is too short to worry about living up to any bodies expectations. So if people have a problem with me being fat as well , than it is their problem. I am who I am and I am damn proud of it. When I exercise, it will be because I want to do it. Not because someone tells me to.

Monday, November 22, 2010

FIRST DRAFT OF BOOK TWO IS DONE!

I am so glad that I have finally finished the first draft of book two. I have a word count of 104 000. Though, I am not sure how I am going to allow myself to give the novel a resting period. To me it is always hard to distance myself for the necessary break.

I already have another writing project in the works. It is very different from my other two novels. It is a stand alone novel about the lives of a Viking-like race. What they do and shining more light on their behaviors. Of course I will have to weave a love story in there somewhere, but like I say it is in the works. All the details are yet to be sorted out.

I am reading Fires Of Winter by Johanna Lindsey at the moment and thus far I am loving every moment of it. I love her writing style and she just had me hooked from the first page. So loving her. And I am learning a lot about the viking way of living.

Got a brilliant rejection letter today. It has been my best rejection letter to date. It was very encouraging, the agent gave me some wonderful advice that I will definitely be taking.

Oh, and I gave my letter of resignation at work. It was only a temporary job and they had the job interviews for the position and didn't even invite me, even though I applied. so I decided, seeing that they will be employing a new person soon anyway, I will resign and be free of their ridiculous demands once and for all. I will be an unemployed aspiring writer again soon, but rather that than making myself sick over a job I hate.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

NEW PROSPECT

My brother has given me a new possible prospect to consider. He has suggested that I apply for a postgraduate degree. I didn't consider it at first but now, after it has been marinading in my thoughts for days, I am actually considering it.

I am not sure which faculty I would like to apply to or what I would like to do my postgraduate study in, but I will figure that out. I am not sure how much time I will spend on my writing then. It sort of sounds like a bad case of dejavu. I gave up writing when I started on my Bachelors degree program a few years back. But this time I don't want to give it up no matter what. I will just have to get a lot better at juggling my priorities.

It is not a definite thing yet and there is still the funding to consider so maybe it is not as much of a prospect as I am thinking. But just the thought makes me feel a little happy.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Decisions...Decisions

Today is a better day for me. The pity party is finally over. So I am finished crying over things I can't do or control and rather focus on that which I can.

Like I said yesterday, I haven't been doing any writing on my second novel lately, but I am eager to get back to it again soon. Hopefully this weekend. I have to start figuring out how I want this couples story to end. I already made notes on how I want it to end but it just doesn't sound right. This novel is a bit darker than the first and the couple has been through so much. So I am wondering whether or not to give them a sweet, yet simple ending. The other option of course is to add another troublesome twist. Decisions....Decisions.

I am trying to motivate myself to send away more query letters. I must say I am not as enthusiastic about it as I was a few weeks ago. No matter how strong you are as a person, when nobody seems to believe in your work the way you do, it can be a bit disheartening. But I can't give up. At least not yet. I have to keep trying. I just have to.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bit of a slump

Every now and then one tends to experience a bit of a slump in one's life, whether it be professional or personal. At the moment I am experiencing one of those much hated slumps. I can't seem to get myself to look on the positive side at the moment.

Today at work I was having another one of my bad days and I was asking myself what is the point? Why do I still keep writing? It doesn't change anything about my life. Yes, it makes me feel good for a while but as I have had pointed out to me by various people; writing doesn't pay bills, put food on the table or provide safety. So what is the point? Today I don't have that answer. But yesterday I was sure to think of something.

I don't know why I am in such a horrid mood at the moment. Maybe because I am still not 100% healthy yet or maybe it is the fact that I have a huge cold soar the size of a human head on my top lip. It could also be because I haven't written anything accept a few blog posts for the past month or maybe it is the fact that my whole family now knows about my unsuccessful pursuit towards representation.

All my rejection letters are accounted for now. I sent out 7 query letters, gotten back 4 ''no thank you'' letters and the other three said that they would let me know if they were interested. The time that they gave me, in which to expect a response, is far past the deadline. So I think it is safe to say that those three are a NO too or even a HELL NO!

I have already gotten the next batch of agents email addresses lined up for the next set of queries. But that little devil that sometimes sits on my shoulder and whispers nothing but little evil taunts is having a very busy day today. I am experiencing nothing but doubt. I am not sure if I am a talented writer or if my project is good enough. I know thoughts like that is a sure way to fail but that is truly what I am thinking and how I feel.

Monday, November 15, 2010

THEME SONG

I don't know if any of you who have ever visited facebook had ever been sent the quiz ''Theme song to your life''. I had and it was some happy song which I didn't agree with. Anyway, so I was thinking, if you...an aspiring writer, would have to choose one song or a music style to represent your style of writing or the essence of your current writing project what would it be?

I thought about this a lot yesterday and I couldn't really choose one specific song but...I would say that my style of writing (when it comes to novels) would fall in the Linkin Park category. Sometimes things are calm and other times there is just so much going on that you could say my characters are definitely rocking it. However, my love scenes itself tend to be more on the folk music side.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

FEELING BETTER

Firstly, thank you for the well wishes that I received while I was a bit ill. I really appreciated it. It made my day.

I am feeling a bit better. My head finally stopped spinning and my stomach isn't burning as fiery hot as it used to. It is just smouldering at the moment. But I went for the scope (where they stick a camera down your throat) and we finally got a diagnoses. Yay! I have Gastritis, aka, inflammation in the stomach lining. I got some new medication which I think is helping but only time will tell. Hopefully this is the end of my medical drama and I can get back to my writing.

While I was lying in my bed, waiting for my head to stop swimming I thought of something. I am currently writing a series! Which I think is sort of career suicide for an unpublished writer. I didn't intend on writing a series, but I couldn't just end the first book like that. I wasn't finished with those two characters and seeing as I am close to finishing the second one (which is a follow up of the first) I suddenly got an idea for new characters for the third book but one or two characters from the first two books making a small appearance here and there.

But getting back to it being career suicide...I now face the dilemma that if I don't get an agent to take on my first book then there is no use querying the second because you need to have read the first one to comprehend the second. So yes, I didn't quite think this through. Maybe I need to write a stand alone book. But my head is not really focused on that. It still wants to add to my unintentional series.

I honestly can't worry about any of that right now. I am going back to bed. Happy writing.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

WHEN EVERYTHING JUST COMES TO A SUDDEN HALT

My life feels like one big surprise party. To some people that might sound like mind blowing fun but to me it is just scary. I hate surprises and one thing I hate even more than being caught off guard is being surrounded by too many people. I hate crowds. I can't stand it!

Yesterday I got sick at work and my big brother came to the rescue. After seeing me first hand he rushed me to our Doctor. I asked him not to tell our mother, because she would lose her mind as she stressed herself into oblivion. Anyway, after the doctor examined me, he too was worried. So I was sent for another sonar, but this time for all my organs and at another doctors office than the one I used before.

After being there for hours and hours we went back to my doctor who all but jumped in the air because the sonar couldn't pick something up meaning it is nothing life threatening. So he diagnosed me (drum role please) with an Ulcer. But he is not sure till I go for that test where they send a scope down your throat. Big brother is sorting that out and making sure I get an appointment as soon as possible.

Anyway, when I got home my mother was already waiting for me like a lion on the prowl in the Serengeti. Getting ready to make her kill. Because one of my brother's work colleagues called home to ask if I was doing better, remember my mom didn't know yet, because he heard I got sick at work. So much for not telling her. So my whole home environment is awkward and tense. It makes me feel even sicker. My head is killing me and my stomach is burning as if it is on fire, literally. My mom threw a tantrum as she always does and is giving all of us the silent treatment, after she scolded me of course.

My writing is put on hold yet again. My mother hates it when I write and if I write while I am sick she will just be even angrier. She quickly stopped out that's why I snuck to the computer room to write this post.

Oh, and I got my fourth rejection letter yesterday too. It was hiding in my brother's inbox. He said he didn't read it but I know the fact that I started querying agents isn't going to be a secret anymore.

See you when I see you.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

WRITING IN FIRST PERSON

I personally find it easy and natural to write in the first person. In fact the very first time I started writing I started off in the first person. All my projects are written from a first person perspective. I tried writing in the third person but I found it to be quite difficult and hard to tap into my characters. So I just decided that I just can't do it.

Because I am such an over emotional person it just feels so natural when I write about how my point of view character (POV) is feeling or what she is thinking. I love putting myself in her shoes. Letting myself feel what she feels, seeing things the way she does and finding the best way to describe her reaction to everyday situations.

To me it's like acting. I put myself in her shoes without ever forcing her to be in mine. I don't write about myself though I am the one playing around in my own head. What I also like about writing in the first person is that the reader discovers each new character the same way the POV character does and gets to know them just as she does. If I don't make sense I apologize. It's just hard for me to explain exactly in words how I do it. Ironic, I know, considering that I want to be a writer and that is what writers do.

For those of you that don't know what I am talking about well her is a simplified explanation:

First person narrative: the writer uses ''I said'', ''I thought'' or ''I felt'', etc.

Second person narrative: the writer uses ''you knocked on the door'' or ''you feel'', etc.

Third person narrative: the writer uses ''she/he said'' or ''she/he thought'' and so on .

There are also further sub-categories of each of the above types of narrative which I will not dare get into but you are welcome to do further research about on http://www.google.com/

So my question for you today, my lovely blog readers is ''Which point of view do you prefer when writing and why?''

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

LOSING YOUR VOICE AS A WRITER

I started working on my second book, which follows on the first one, and I felt as if my narrative voice completely changed. I have previously written it more than halfway and left it to edit my first manuscript. Now I can't get myself to write the second novel with the same or at least similar outlook. I am now stuck with a novel which is half me of 6 months ago and another half that is me at the present time.

I read a lot of books, fiction and nonfiction a like, the past few months and I thoroughly enjoyed most of them. But now I am not the same writer I was just a few months ago. I know that you are supposed to read as many books in your genre and of your favorite authors, pick up on their style, see what makes their writing brilliant, while still maintaining that essential thing that makes you...you.

Well I screwed up big time. My whole attitude and style of writing has changed. Which I suppose can be a good thing. Growing as a writer is necessary. In all the books I read, about helping one write better, the authors always talk about growing and your writing evolving. So maybe that is what I am experiencing.

But is there a chance that one can lose oneself in all those books? Can it be that reading so much about rules, do's and don'ts and what ever others offer as wisdom, make you lose your originality, writing personality or in my case, writing voice?

I think I just have to read through my book and try to recapture the essence of the novel. Make myself understand why I wrote what I did, when I did.

So what do you think? Can one lose one's voice as a writer or is that just nonsense?