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Monday, January 25, 2010

Inspiration

Ah, inspiration. Something that writers have very different views on. I've read numerous articles with authors who said they would never had published anything if they sat around waiting for inspiration. I have usually scoffed at those articles, refusing to believe that a person could write anything worthwhile without some sort of inspiration.
Recently, a writer friend of mine mentioned how sometimes it's best when you come back to your writing project and find that you've left yourself in a boring spot. You have to really be inventive to get the story back on track. I agreed wholeheartedly but still felt that, personally, I couldn't come out of those situations with any sort of quality writing. This all changed the last time I sat down to write.
I had, unfortunately, left myself without a cliffhanger. I had the rare opportunity to write in the late afternoon and I didn't want to squander it on Facebook. (ahhh Facebook, enemy of procrastinating writers everywhere). Anyway, as I was trying to figure out a way to get out of the story doldrums inspiration struck me a mighty blow. A scene I had crafted years before came to me in an electrified form and set my story on fire. Everything fell into place and I typed furiously for 2 glorious, uninterrupted hours, and easily completed two chapters. I would have loved to continue from there, but the baby woke up, my husband came home with our daughter, and the spark was snuffed by reality.
The experience taught me that my friend was very wise when he said the dreary scenes can lead to inventiveness, out of necessity. Of course, once the first draft is completed, I will revise and delete the dreary scenes. If they don't grab me, they certainly won't grab my readers, but that's a story for another time. For now, I have completed my writing goal for January, even managed to sneak a little ahead of the plan. 36 chapters are complete. 13 remain. This is inspiring news for sure!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Progress, progress!

After an awesome birthday, I spent the evening winding down with some writing. Chapter 34 is complete. It's on to 35 now! It would seem that I'm ahead of the 2 chapters/mo. goal for this month! The initial fire has already worn off, if you can believe it. Fizzles fast, my friends. So it's back to the grind of getting this story out of my head and heart and onto the screen. Thinking about the looming deadline of the conference, I realize how much work is left to be done. I want the draft finished, but I'd like to have something better than that to offer should anyone take interest. Some serious proofreading will need to occur. Luckily, I have a friend who is a professional proofreader to help me out there and also an awesome retired literature professor who A) believes in me and B) gives great insight. Between the two of them I'm confident I'll have a finished product that is at least worth something before the editors take a whack at it. I'm also thinking I may open up the initial reading to a very few good friends just to see what they think of it as a story. More on this as the time draws near.
Anyway, feeling good that things are moving on. Feeling great that I had a birthday massage. Things are going well all around.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Thank you!

I would be remiss if I didn't post a big THANK YOU to Mel of MimiNicole Designs for creating this awesome background for my blog! I love it!!! You are so awesome!

Well, I had great intentions to finish writing chapter 34 today. My daughter was at preschool, my mom came over early to help me out so she was putting the baby to bed. Alas and alack, the baby didn't go to sleep (no surprise with this child), so we all sat around in the dining room talking and wondering why the baby refuses to sleep. So, the farthest I got was opening up the file and then watching the computer fall asleep. Sigh. I'm taking heart in the fact that it's only January 7 so I still have the rest of the month to complete my 2 chapters to stay on target for finishing the draft by August.

Somehow I managed to score a 4 day weekend every month, which is coming up this weekend, so I'd better get some writing done then. Also, many thanks to my loving husband who indulges me in my crazy desire to write...and travel across the country for the big conference...and puts the kids to bed, when it isn't his turn, so I can get more accomplished in a day.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

And we're off!

Going to the big conference this summer!  It's a go! 

Sunday, January 3, 2010

It's the final countdown

So, last night I couldn't stand not knowing anymore and I pushed my way through outlining the rest of Dream Girl. Ladies and gentlemen, there are 16 chapters left. (give or take a little) I'm hoping I can average 2 chapters a month for the next 8 months. However, when you're the mother of two small children, you don't have the luxury of setting your own schedule, especially when you're not writing under a deadline or with a definite payout on the horizon. I'm also hoping that, worst case scenario, the first draft is completed by the end of the year. Seems so far away when we're just starting January now.
But if I do go to the huge conference in California at the end of July, I would at least be able to say that I know how many chapters are left to be written and that they're outlined. I think that would be very helpful should I meet someone powerful with even a shred of interest in the book.
I did stay up too late last night since I vowed to not go to bed until I finally finished Ch. 32. By 10, I had finally gotten my daughter to get in bed and stay there. Once I got through the chapter, which turned out to be 10 pages, I decided I needed to outline the rest of the book then and there because I couldn't stand not knowing how much is left. At this stage of the game, I need a concrete(ish) goal to work toward. So now I've got it. 16 chapters stand between me and a completed draft. It's on.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Welcome

My name is Sarah, mother of 2, part time children's librarian and author in the midst of writing a young adult novel, Dream Girl. This blog will chronicle my progress, epiphanies and general writing and literature information. My goal for 2010 is to finish the first draft of Dream Girl which started as a dream I had in 2001 and starting taking form as a novel in 2005. A wedding and two children later, I'm still writing it. I have 32 chapters under my belt and figure I have anywhere between 15-30 left. It appears that the book will need a sequel as it grows in complexity and develops plot elements that I never imagined. This is the longest I've ever stayed with a novel I've started and I still feel really good about this one. I'm so excited.
I feel that if you liked anything about Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series, you'll like Dream Girl. (move over Bella and Edward, here come Christine and Gabriel!) You should also read Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. It's beautifully written and gives you the paranormal romance that is so tastey these days.
So thank you for checking in as my journey continues. I hope you will be entertained and inspired.