One Thing I Wish I Knew When I Started Writing

Today I’m participating in the Teens Can Write Too blog chain for July.

 

The title is a lie, people. I’m going to talk about more than one thing because I’m just multi-talented like that. Here we go.

 

First drafts suck.

No, really, take it from me. I am the Supreme Goddess of Writing. If I had known this when I was a tiny young writer, I would have been a lot less arrogant. No, you are not the exception to the rule. Your first draft will not be perfect. Like the rest of us mere mortals, you have to rewrite. For me, that usually means the whole novel *whimpers quietly*. Even if your first drafts are less of a mess than mine, they will need extensive revision.

 

Teen writing does not suck. Beginning writing does.

Just realised I’ve used “sucks” in the first two of these. Oh well. Anyway, there is this misconception that teen writers suck at writing, which is just untrue. Any beginning writing sucks. Like anything, it takes practise. Sure, some may be better at it than others to begin with, but even those people need determination and perseverence in order to…not suck.

 

There is a whole community of writers out there on the interwebs.

Twitter is your best friend. Seriously. There are SO MANY writers on Twitter it’s not even funny. And I’ve learnt a bunch from other writers. Whether it’s from pitch contests, blog posts or Tweet-sized tips on writing, there’s so much there that’s helpful. I wish I’d had Twitter when I first started writing.

 

Writing is hard. But that’s no excuse.

You may not want to write every day. You may want to cry. Frequently. You may blame writer’s block as the excuse for not writing, but you just have to push through it. The only way to defeat writer’s block is to write. Or to write a different scene. But if you keep making excuses for not writing, you’ll never do it.

 

It’s all worth it.

I wish I had known this as well – that no matter how hard it gets, no matter how bad you think your writing is, there will come a day when you read back some of your work and you think…hey, that’s not too bad. And you think…hey, I wrote that. If you can read back your writing and not want to scratch your eyeballs out, then that’s pretty awesome.

And for me, it’s all worth it.

 

And here are the rest of the lovely people participating in the blog chain! You should definitely check them all out. And tell me in the comments: if you’re a writer, what’s one thing you wish you knew when you started out?

5th – http://unikkelyfe.wordpress.com/

6th – http://thelittleenginethatcouldnt.wordpress.com/

7th – http://nasrielsfanfics.wordpress.com/

8th – http://miriamjoywrites.com/

9th – http://lillianmwoodall.wordpress.com/

10th – http://www.brookeharrison.com/

11th – http://musingsfromnevillesnavel.wordpress.com/

12th – http://erinkenobi2893.wordpress.com/

13th – http://theweirdystation.blogspot.com/

14th – http://taratherese.wordpress.com/

15th – http://sammitalk.wordpress.com/

16th – http://eighthundredninety.blogspot.com/

17th – http://insideliamsbrain.wordpress.com/

18th – http://novelexemplar.wordpress.com/

19th – http://thelonglifeofalifelongfangirl.wordpress.com/

20th – https://butterfliesoftheimagination.wordpress.com/

21st – https://theloonyteenwriter.wordpress.com/

22nd – http://roomble.wordpress.com/

23rd – http://thependanttrilogy.wordpress.com/

24th – http://teenscanwritetoo.wordpress.com/ – The topic for August’s blog chain will be announced.

Loony’s Musings: What am I writing and what’s my process?

So this is a writer’s blog hop. I was tagged by Ami Allen Vath right here. Normally I don’t participate in these kinds of things, but this one sounded fun. Are you excited?

Okay, guys, you can at least try and be excited.

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Better. I suppose.

Here are the questions!

1. What are you working on?

I am working on my YA contemporary, The Daisy List. It’s taking me longer than I thought, since I’m in year 11 this year and it’s getting kinda hard. I wrote the first draft during Camp NaNoWriMo in July last year, so it’s been…a while. I’ve only been working on the second draft for a few months, but it seems like forever. It’s about a girl, whose mum has cancer. They move to England so the mum can die in her home country, and the girl (Daisy) starts completing the things her mum never got to do.

2. How does your work differ from others in your genre?

Oh goodness, I already feel narcissistic answering this one.

Anyway, I guess my writing’s different in that I don’t write about usual relationships. Usually my girl/guy relationships are platonic, at least eventually. And if they are romantic, they’re not between a white guy and a white girl. Because diversity FTW. A couple of my WIPs don’t feature romantic relationships at all. Weird, huh?

3. Why do you write what you write?

You mean YA? Well, because I’m a young adult, I guess. I figure even if my writing isn’t that great yet, having written so much stuff as a teen will give me a lot of content to look back on when I’m ancient 😛 I write YA because I want people to read it and love it. I write it because I want to share an idea I had, or because it’s something I’d love to read. I write to escape, because I need to, because I love it, because I can’t stop, because reading back what I’ve written is a really lovely experience (aaaaand we’re back to the narcissism. But seriously, sometimes I really like reading what I’ve written)

4. How does your writing process work?

Fantastic question. How do I answer it?

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Yeah, so, my process is weird. There are some definite things I do, and some things that vary.

Definite things: 

– When I have an idea, I put it into a Scrivener document. I have tabs for “titles,” “character quirks,” “images,” “beginnings,” “writing dares” and “general ideas.” Here are some examples.

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JELLYFISH MERMAIDS, AMIRITE. I’ve always wanted to write a story about mermaids.

Title: 

Strawberries and Sausages

Writing dares (these are from the NaNoWriMo forums): 

  • Have a character with a T-shirt that says “my parents went to save the world and all they brought me back was this lousy T-shirt.” Points if it’s true

So that’s ideas. I’ll probably go into ideas in more depth later on, because I have some COOL PICTURES that could do with sharing. And Tumblr posts. Tumblr is great for writing ideas.

Other definites in my writing process: 

– I always have an outline. I hardly ever stick to it, but I find that if I don’t have my scenes listed out, the story goes nowhere.

– I like to write first drafts quickly. The process is painful enough as it is without prolonging it.

– Sending to CPs! Cait from Notebook Sisters is one of these awesome CPS *waves* It is literally impossible to write something good without CPs/betas.

Things that vary

– How long it takes me to write a second draft. Okay, so I’ve only done this like, twice, but I can imagine it will be different every time.

– How long I rest a manuscript before writing the second draft. For Mutual Weirdness, it was about a month. For The Daisy List, it was about six months. And my NaNo novel from last year might not even be rewritten.

– The process of turning it from an idea into a novel. Sometimes I jot things down instantaneously, but most of the time I finish my current project before starting another.

So that’s my writing process! It’s a bit of a jumble, but it’s worked for me so far. See, bloggers, we’re a mess. But you should know that by now. And writers, you figured that out long ago. What’s your writing process? Or if you’re a reader, are there any misconceptions you’ve had about the writing process? 

Write Life Saturdays: Short Stories

Write Life Saturday is where I share what I’ve been working on lately. Some of you may know that I’m in high school. More specifically, I’m in year 11. Even MORE specifically, I do both advanced English and extension English, and we have a write a short story for both.

I mean, technically I could just write one short story and submit it twice (it’s allowed, I checked) but being a perfectionist and all, I didn’t like the first story I wrote. I set out to write another one and you know what?

Short stories are REALLY HARD.

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No joke, I would rather write a 60-70,000 word novel than a short story. I have ideas that work for novels. What kind of ideas do you need for short stories? I HAVE NO IDEA.

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Here’s what my two short stories are about:

The Goldfish Shower

(oh gosh, I’ve forgotten the main character in this story. What was it? Oh yeah! Lilly!)

Okay, so Lilly’s Mum asks her to feed the goldfish. She realises she doesn’t have a goldfish, only to step into the bathroom and come across a whole shower full of them. The story follows the weird happenings of her house, including talking goldfish, a talking lawnmower and a floating dining table.

And seriously, I started this story expecting it to be serious. It was not.

Strawberries and Sausages

If you’ve seen the page on my blog talking about my upcoming writing projects, this was one of the ideas. I’ve used it loosely for my short story, but I still want to use it for a novel! My main character (forgotten HER name as well…maybe I haven’t given her one yet) talks to Tessie, who is like an Aussie version of the Loch Ness Monster. They’re both lonely, and they both have no family left, because MC’s father was given the death penalty.

I think the trick with short stories is not to have too much going on. There’s only so much you can develop (in terms of character, plot, world-building etc.) in a short space. Creating a huge epic is not viable, and often a single moment in time is enough for a whole short story.

Another thing that helps is keeping a document with ideas. I have a Scrivener file full of photos and Tumblr posts and little snippets of writing, just waiting to inspire me. It’s often the really odd things that inspire me (but then I’m a bit of an oddball). Writing a short story really has taught me the value of every word, sticking to a limit, and developing character quickly.

Do you write short stories? If you find them easy I NEED YOUR TIPS!

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Yours loonily,

Emily.

Loony’s Musings (2): 5 Best Things About Part-Time Jobs

I’m in year 11 at school. And I’m a big fan of money. School means I can’t work too often, but wanting money means that last year I did in fact get a job. I work two days a week for a total of 10 hours, and it’s one of the best things that’s ever happened to me, both as a person in general and as a writer. So here are my favourite things about my job (which, BTW, is as a waitress at a Thai restaurant):

1) Awesome People

Working at a Thai restaurant means that most people working there are…well, Thai. But the wait staff I work with are a mixture of Indonesian, Chinese and Indian – there is also a chef from New Zealand. The diverse cultures and experiences they bring with they are really amazing to hear about, and I feel so privileged to know them! There are so many things they’ve told me where I’ve thought, hmm, that could go into a story somewhere…

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2) Unintentional eavesdropping is great

UNINTENTIONAL. I SWEAR.

(maybe sometimes I accidentally-on-purpose listen to conversations that are really interesting, but only because I’m about to take their order and I HAVE to stand there)

People talk about really odd things, sometimes. Once I overheard the single phrase “strawberries and sausages” and I thought, DUDE, that’s an awesome name for a title. I spent the rest of my shift thinking up a plot to go with it (if you’re curious, MC’s father is on death row and his last meal is strawberries and sausages). In that shift I also broke a few wineglasses but that’s another story.

Unintentional eavesdropping is a great part of my job.

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3) Money to buy books!

You may have noticed that people work in exchange for money, which they use to purchase items. This money can be used to buy BOOKS from my local DYMOCKS, which is AWESOME.

Books-matilda

4) I get to use my Irish accent to confuse people

There’s a story behind this one. If you’ve been reading my blog, you’ll know that I’m doing Irish accents for drama at school. Occasionally I use this accent on new customers to see if they’ll think it’s legit. Unfortunately, I used it on a regular customer last week and they were like, “how did you turn Irish?”

But at least they thought I was Irish, right?

5) Doing something different

Often as a writer things can get alarmingly…well, not boring, but something like that. If you’re just sitting down to write every day, what are you going to write about? You’re experiencing nothing. That’s not to say that you have to experience everything you’re writing about, but certainly there is a LOT of influence from “the outside world” in my writing.

I mean, I’m not a big fan of the outside world. I’m a big fan of what Neil Gaiman says:

Neil Gaiman my people we stay indoors we have keyboards we have darkness

But, you know, sometimes the outside world has good things to offer. Things that inspire and influence your writing.

For all those reasons and more, my part-time job is great, and I love it.

What about you? Teens, do you have a part time job you love…or hate? Adults, do you have a day job to support your writing? Does it help you?

Writing Excerpt Saturday – The Daisy List

Old followers of my blog may remember that I used to have a blog page for all my WIPs. Since I don’t work on some of them anymore, I deleted the pages. Soon I’ll make just one page describing all my works in progress, and you can read all about my crazy imagination.

The novel I’m working on at the moment is a YA contemporary. But I’ve been having a bit of trouble with it, and having trouble finding the time to write.

My expectation:

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Reality:

Hopefully, posting tidbits of my writing every Saturday will 1) encourage me to write more and 2) give you guys some idea of what I write about.

Anyway, The Daisy List is about this girl called Daisy. She finds out that her mum (who is kind of a bitch) has terminal cancer. She and her family move to England, where the mum was born, so that her mum can die in her home country. Meanwhile Daisy finds this list of her mum’s, a kind of “bucket list.” Except it’s called a “daisy list,” after the euphemism “pushing up daisies.” Anyway, Daisy starts to complete the list on her mum’s behalf.

That’s an awful description, but I’ll think of a proper one later. For now, here’s the excerpt:

Daisy’s thinking about her mum, and how she always wears either a Turban Scarf Thingy or a wig.

I’ve learnt to tell her mood by those Turban Scarf Things (hereafter known as TSTs, which is a lot of fun to say, like the word sixths. Try it, future Daisy. I’ll wait). So Mum had two TSTs, and three wigs. Here we go. We’ll start with the wigs.

1)      Roaring 20’s Blonde Bob wig

Mum wore this wig when she was feeling nostalgic. This was generally a good thing, because it meant Mum would feel dreamy for days at a time and grant your every wish. For example, if hypothetically you wanted a Barbie doll for your birthday and you were actually much too old for Barbie dolls, ask for one when the Roaring 20’s Blonde Bob Wig is installed (not that I did this, Future Daisy).

2)      Black Medusa wig

It went down to her waist and was usually paired by thick black eyeliner and black lipstick and wow, Mum must have been an emo in her youth. Maybe “emo” is politically incorrect. I’ll just call her a Sun Deflector, but anyway, with the Black Medusa wig, Mum’s bitchiness was at a high, and teenager-like tantrums were to be expected.

3)      The Office-Ish But Slightly Sexy Wig

This one was a nice brown number, with blonde highlights, just grazing Mum’s chin suggestively. She wore this one while in work mode, and if you interrupted her, bam, “shouting-at-telemarketers” mode.

4)      The red TST

The picture of adoring Mum. She’d make afternoon snacks for us, cook dinner and maybe even comment on how nice you looked. Red Turban Scarf Thingy Mum was my favourite Mum.

5)      The blue TST

Look out. Seriously, RUN. This isn’t a drill. The blue TST turned Mum into some sort of bald Death Eater with nail polish and a side dish of Pissed-Off Pasta. Which was lucky for me on report day, that’s for sure.

So there you have it! That’s from the first chapter of the story.

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To all my writing friends: what are you working on at the moment?

Emily’s Top Teen Writer Tips

Adults, you can read along too if you want – don’t worry, I won’t tell. But basically, these are my tips to teen writers that I wish I’d known a few years ago. Come and join me in my exclusive teen club!

Nah, I’m kidding. We all know YA writers are kids at heart. Also my Nanna – she plays Nintendogs on her DSi, which I think is pretty cool.

So. My tips. Here we go:

1) Get Twitter!

Chances are most people reading this post have Twitter already. But in you’ve stumbled onto this post through the Googles (welcome!), I’m telling you this right now: Twitter is possibly the best thing that has happened to me in my time as a writer. There is a huge community of writers on Twitter, a million ways to learn more about the craft, and a bazillion opportunities that pop up all the time. Without Twitter, I never would have become part of Aussie Owned and Read. I never would have met my awesome CPs. Which brings me to:

2) Get some CPs

For those of you not “up wif da lingo,” as it were, a CP is a critique partner. That is, a person made entirely of awesome without whom writers would be tearing their hair out.

CPs look at your writing. They tell you what’s working and what sucks. I’ll probably make a post devoted entirely to critique partners sooner or later, but in essence, you don’t want your best friend, and you don’t want someone who will trash your writing completely. Twitter is great for finding quality critique partners. Just make sure you find someone your own level, otherwise the relationship becomes one-sided.

3) Participate in NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo was the second-best writing decision I ever made (after Twitter). Before NaNoWriMo 2012, my first year, I really struggled with finishing stories. Four and a half novels later, I’ve learnt a lot about commitment and dedication. And typing fast.

Maybe not quite that fast. But seriously, even if you write the WORST first draft ever during NaNoWriMo, it’s a lot of words that you didn’t have before. And as my motto goes, “words is words.”

4) Don’t pressure yourself

Chances are, you’re not going to be published or agented as a teenager. This is NOT me saying that teens aren’t good writers – I think that’s a silly statement and not true by any means. But it IS me saying that all new writers are going to suck, not matter how old they are. It may take two years of suckage before your writing is good; it might take twenty. Everyone’s road is different, so don’t beat yourself up for not being a NYT Bestseller before you hit 18.

5) Try to get into a habit

Yeah, about that…

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I know there’s the whole “don’t preach what you don’t practice,” thing, because honestly I don’t follow this one very well. Life gets in the way occasionally, but whenever I’ve stuck to a writing goal, it’s been so much easier.

6) Learn that first drafts suck

This is not open to interpretation. Your first draft WILL suck. It might suck less than someone else’s first draft, but it will by no means be anywhere near finished. I saw somewhere that a first draft is just the end of a brainstorm. When I first heard this I was all:

Rewriting didn’t compute in my brain. My reasoning was, “but I’ve already written all these words, and I’m just expected to DELETE most of them?” Yes. Yes, and it is awful and wonderful and lonely and joyful and the best and worst thing about writing.

So there you go. Those are my top teen writer tips.

If you’re a teen, what tips would you share with other teen writers? Or if you’re an adult, what do you wish you’d known as a teen?

Interview: Stephanie Morrill

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Hello, people! Today I am very excited to share this interview with Stephanie Morrill, who is a twenty-something living in Overland Park, Kansas with her husband and two kids. She is the author of The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series, Go Teen Writers: How to Turn Your First Draft Into a Published Book, and the Ellie Sweet series. She enjoys encouraging and teaching teen writers on her blog, www.GoTeenWriters.com. To connect with Stephanie and read samples of her books, check out www.StephanieMorrill.com

On with the interview!

1) First of all, tell us a bit about your book, The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet

 My book is about a teenage girl who is being squeezed out of her group of friends. For fun, she writes a story about them, only she discovers that she loves writing and loves the story. She works hard to get it published, not really thinking that it’ll happen when she’s still in high school, and then her friends find out about what she did and … well, it gets pretty messy for poor Ellie.
 
You know, the back cover copy explains it a lot better than I just did. Here’s a proper summary of The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet:
 
Ellie Sweet is a lot of things—good girl, novelist, silent adorer of the new boy at school, Palmer. But when “outcast” gets added to the list, she decides it’s time to take reality into her own hands … and tweak it as needed.
 
In the pages of her book, she’s Lady Gabrielle, favorite of the medieval Italian court. Her once-friends are reduced to catty ladies-in-waiting, and the too-charming Palmer—who in real life never spares her a second word—gets to be nothing more than a rake wracked by unrequited love for her. She even has a perfect real-life villain in the brooding Chase, who hails from the wrong side of town.
 
But just when she’s getting along great in her fictional world, the real one throws her a few curves. With Chase pursuing her, Palmer wanting to date her—but in secret—and the details of her manuscript going public, Ellie suddenly receives more attention than she ever really wanted. And when her former-friends discover what she’s been writing, they’re determined to teach Ellie a lesson about the severe consequences of using her pen as her sword.
 
2) What’s your favourite part of writing?
 
I’m crazy about all of it, honestly. From brainstorming to writing to having a box of freshly printed books land on my doorstep. I love it all! Though if I had to pick one favorite, I would probably say the brainstorming. I often get exhausted or burned out during writing or edits, but I always deeply enjoy the brainstorming.
 
3) What inspired you to create a blog aimed at teen writers?
 
I started Go Teen Writers because most of the reader mail I received when my first novel came out were people who loved the book, but who wanted to talk to me about writing. I was a teen writer, and I didn’t know anybody else who wrote, so it was really fun for me to be able to talk to these teens since I understood what they were feeling. The blog was born out of that!
 
4) Also, what would you encourage teen writers (like me) to do?
 
There are lots of ways to go about the writing life, but I think you can’t go wrong if you focus on the stories that you – and only you – can tell. Focus on writing a first draft, editing it, and doing it again. This is how you’ll get better and become a great writer, is by practicing.
 
5) How did you come up with the idea for The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet?
 
Ellie didn’t start out being a teen writer. The story actually started being about Ellie and this boy she liked, Palmer. Palmer likes Ellie, but he’s embarrassed that he does (he’s cool, she’s not) so he starts dating her in secret. It actually wasn’t until I wrote the first draft that I realized Ellie was a writer. And then that part of the story kind of took over!
 
6) And finally, what has surprised you most about the world of publishing?
 
That there’s no finish line. I used to think that getting my contract was the finish line. Only to figure out that then I had all this other work ahead of me (marketing and promotions and more books to write.) Then it seemed like selling well was another finish line to cross. But even if one book sells well, that doesn’t guarantee your next one does. Being published is a unique journey for each writer, not a destination. That really shocked me.

Love discovering new teen fiction? Download this FREE ebook sampler from Amazon! (no seriously, you should)

Featuring some of today’s strongest indie author voices, this fall teen reads sampler is sure to connect you with your next page-turning read. Perfect for fans of Sara Zarr, Meg Cabot, Jennifer Hubbard, Melody Carlson, and more. (no, really, seriously, you should do this)

 Download the drama before it’s too late! Offer expires September 17. (for us Aussies, that’s tomorrow! Get in before it’s too late!)

 For even more of today’s best indie teen fiction, visit PlaylistFiction.com.

Thanks for letting my interview you, Stephanie. And to all my readers, you should definitely download the ebook sampler.

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My Top Ten Favourite Under-Appreciated Books

10. The Divide

So the “Divide” is this place where the Pacific and Atlantic oceans separate. I can’t remember how exactly, but Felix crosses the Divide and ends up in a place where magic is real and science (as well as humans) are imaginary. The world-building is fantastic.

9. Ingo

I have read this series countless times, both as a kid and as a tween. I probably should get it out again some time. But when I ask people whether they’ve read it, all I get are blank stares. It’s got mermaids and sibling relationships, and it’s very eerie and awesome. Definitely would recommend.

8. Triskellion

I remember being really scared by this book when I read it a few years ago. Maybe I was just a creepy child or something. But all the same, it’s a very cool book: an old English village with dark secrets, archaeological thingies, mystery. A great read.

7. The Goddess Test

I read this book maybe two months ago after borrowing it from a library. I decided to take a chance and get something that wasn’t contemporary. I’m a sucker for things that seem linear – do this, get this. I love things with steps in them. The plot is great and I certainly didn’t expect the ending.

6. Ruby Rosemount

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this series. I read it when I was probably nine or ten, and it inspired me enough to pretty much steal the idea and start writing about the same thing myself. All you need to know is that it involves a magic carpet with attitude, genies and really awesome Arabian folk-lore type stuff. I was amazed to find that it only has 7 reviews on Goodreads. It deserves many more.

5. Children of the Lamp

Obviously I had a thing for genies as a younger kid, because this involves them as well. John and Philippa are descended from djinn, basically. In the second book of the series, which is awesome, we’re introduced to this kind of omnipotent person who is neither good nor evil, and Philippa is dragged to become the new one. Very awesome.

4. Clarice Bean

This is a really cute book. Well, actually there are a few of them – there are three on my bookshelf right now. It’s kind of contemporary aimed at a middle grade audience, and was just a very fun read. 

3. North Child

It has come to my attention that this book isn’t all that under-appreciated, but I’m putting it here anyway because I think it deserves more attention. Even though there’s more telling than showing, it feels alright because of the fairy tale nature of it. It’s a retelling of “east of the sun and west of the moon,” and I really enjoy it.

2. The Solitaire Mystery

I first enjoyed this book as a pretentious 11-year-old, when I was discovering the joys of philosophy. I read it again this year and still loved it. It’s just so magical, with all the cards and the fish and the sticky bun book. The world Jostein Gaarder creates is incredible. I’d read this many more times.

1. Jamintha

I’ve made Jamintha number one based on under-appreciated-ness and awesomeness. This book terrified me when I picked it up about five years ago. I won’t spoil it (the twist is AMAZING) but basically it’s weird, and it involves memory loss, and it’s creepy. I think I’m going to go put it on my ever-increasing list of books I need to read.

IDEAS AREN’T JUST FOR FIRST DRAFTS

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Ideas are always occurring to me. They might never make it onto paper. They might become part of a single paragraph, or be the basis for a whole novel. But ideas are not limited to first drafts.

Take, for example, my work in progress MUTUAL WEIRDNESS. The initial idea for it was a girl that eats capsicums like a fruit. She just munches on them. This doesn’t sound like a promising beginning for a story, but I built on it and built on it until an entire novel came out of that tiny idea.

In the five drafts since then, I’ve kept adding things. I’ve kept an eye out for new ideas that I could apply to MUTUAL WEIRDNESS and make it better.

I keep track of ideas in a Scrivener folder, but you can just as easily do it in a Microsoft Word document. Anything that appeals to you at all? Write it in your ideas folder. Some of my ideas are ridiculous things like “Carrots in the Ocean, about three fake-tanned teenagers who find themselves marooned at sea” and “The red brick road (Wizard of Aus).” Some are more sensible, like “A pencil case takes over the world” and “girl has sewage artist for a dad.”

I’m joking, by the way. None of those are very serious. I looked through my ideas folder and discovered that not many of them were genuine ideas. But that doesn’t matter. The things you write down might one day appeal to you in the weirdest way possible. Save the interesting pictures you find on Tumblr, and the weird facts you see.

Save anything that might be useful. And when you’re finished your first draft, keep looking for ideas. A first draft is like the end of the brainstorming, the base of what will one day be something amazing. Your ideas might change drastically to get it there. But it will be worth it.

EXCERPT FROM MY WIP

So I started a new WIP about…a month ago now? Maybe a bit less? The idea started in June when I caught a train and saw two guide dogs sitting next to each other. One thing led to another and before I knew it I was writing this story from the dual POV of two disabled teens: William, who is blind, and Ashley, who is deaf. It’s kind of a romance-y type thing and centres around the perception of disabilities. I’m very much enjoying writing it.

And because I am impulsive, I skipped ahead a bit, to a part I really wanted to write. Here is that bit (I hope I won’t regret this later):

WILLIAM

 I can’t see her, but I can feel her in front of me. Like a magnet, drawing me closer. I’m crying by now – I didn’t even know that I still could cry. ‘Don’t you fucking get it, Ashley? You are valuable – to me, and George, and Pam, and a million other people that don’t even know it yet, because you haven’t even met them. So don’t you dare say that nobody likes you, because you know what?

            ‘You know what?’ I say, and I grab her hands, and I continue to cry. ‘Because I love you, Ashley, and you will never get to hear me say it.’

            I drop her hands and face away, towards the stupid pond. ‘She will never get to hear me say it!’ I scream.

            I cling to her hands again. They’re warm, and beautiful, just from the touch. ‘Because Ashley, you are a terrible singer, and you are beautiful even though I’ve never seen you, and you play the most amazing piano piece I have ever heard, and because you are so much better at this than I am. You are so much better at being disabled.’

            But she can’t hear it, will never hear these words. Something catches in my chest, in my throat, in my heart, and now I’m sobbing, and she is too.

            Once upon a time, I could only hear her when she laughed.

            Now I can only hear her when she cries.

            We collapse into each other, falling to the ground, my arms cradling her. And as we sit there, I repeat the words to her a million million times: I love you, I love you, I love you

            Who knows if I do or not? All I know is that I have never wanted to love a person more.

            I have never wanted to be loved by a person more.

 

Hope you enjoyed! I probably won’t post any more of the first draft, since most of it sucked. But maybe if I go any further with it, I’ll post some more. I haven’t thought of a title yet. I’ve chucked around a few, like ANYTHING BUT SENSELESS, BLIND SPOT and THE DEAF LEADING THE BLIND. But none of them stand out to me. I’ll keep thinking.

In the meantime, happy writing/reading/whatever it is you do!