The prose is stripped clean of excess, going down so smooth it injects the story right into your bloodstream. And hot damn, it’s a good one.
I haven’t read a lot of YA, but this is the first one I enjoyed, start to finish.
Three things I learned about writing:
- First-person, step-by-step, can be brutal: by sitting right inside the character’s head, it’s easy to get sucked in, and then when the shit goes down, you feel every victory and defeat like they’re happening to you.
- Every group has a jerk. Every group in fiction needs a jerk.
- One way to handle writing a large group, where each person needs their own personality, is to write scenes in which the group rotates through different configurations. The numbers stay manageable, but the composition of the group in the scene changes, giving each member a chance to shine.
1,761 words written this week.
Really glad I went to the Writers Coffeehouse last Sunday. Between the holiday, my wife and I closing on our new house (!), and the struggles I was having with the current novel, I might not have gotten anything done this week. But the group gave me a great solution to my problem (to keep writing as if I’d made the changes to earlier scenes that I’m planning, but without stopping to make those changes right now), and inspired me to keep pushing through.
I feel a little freer to experiment with this draft, now. Like I can try something out to make things more interesting or dramatic, without worrying that it matches up exactly to what came before. I know it’ll create a mess of a draft for me to clean up in later edits, but at least I’ll finish it. Easier to see the shape of the story once I’ve written it.
Made it back to the Writer’s Coffeehouse this month. It was a smaller crowd than usual, but that just meant we had more time to go in-depth on everyone’s questions 🙂
My notes are below. Many thanks to Mysterious Galaxy for the space, and to Henry Herz for hosting!
- publishers and writers of san diego: meet once a month in carlsbad about the business of self-publishing
- henry: doing a triple-launch in october at mysterious galaxy
- orange county children’s book festival is in october
- san diego union tribune book festival is in august
- san diego state univ writers conference is in january 2019
- la jolla writers conference is in november
- snowflake pro: really good software for building a book pitch
- question: seeing problems with story in current first draft; go back and fixit now? or keep writing as-is?
- answer: write it as if it’s fixed, but keep going; leave notes to go back and fix the earlier bits in later drafts
- new market: future-sf.com
- bootstrapping social media?
- henry: when he was getting started, interviewed successful authors and posted them on his blog
- whatever you do, try to find something that relates to writing and do that
- a way to kick-start the conversation on social media: ask people for recommendations (taco places, procedural movies, etc)