Thursday, February 28, 2008

My Beloved Moleskine

Do any of you writers out there have a notebook? Something that you tote around with you at all times and scribble into it memos for your story, ideas for new stories, and random thoughts? If not, I highly recommend it.

For the longest time, I jotted notes in those huge spiral notebooks. They fulfilled my needs for a blank sheet of lined paper, but that's about it. Pages always tore out, sometimes even got lost as a result. It was aggravating.

Then, my mother-in-law (with whom I have an excellent relationship) gave me my first Moleskine for my birthday. Small, elegant, black, with a ribbon page marker and a smart piece of elastic to keep it together. I love it. I use mine on a daily basis.

A few simple tips for using your notebook:

-Always date your entry, even if it is one line. I find that it is very enlightening to the whole process of writing to be able to have a clear timeline to see how your story unfolded.

-I use an asterisk to indicate a change in the existing text that I need to go back and make. When the time comes for the 2nd Draft, they will be very easy to find.

-I make regular lists of things that I can't forget to include in upcoming scenes. I am fan of the bullet point, as you can see here.

-I make regular checks with my characters. Little notes to make sure that they aren't getting lose in the story. I might even write a tiny little scene in my notebook, to either weave into the story later or just to have for character building.

Well, I hope those helped. I think organization is a very important part of writing. And what better place for it all then in one sleek little book? At the very least, it makes for a good laugh to go back and read what your story looked like five months ago. It's amusing, and encouraging as well.

A Quick Disclaimer

Bear in mind, all who happen upon this post (because I assume that at this point, my readership probably amounts to people who happen here by chance, with perhaps the two or three repeat visitors. My husband doesn't even regularly read my blog. Pretty pathetic, I know.)
At any rate, to any and all who chance upon this site, I offer my apologies for the rough beginnings. I was glancing at this blog and noticed that I am writing the kind of posts that no one wants to read, long winded and no interesting pictures.
Sorry. This whole site it still a work in progress. I promise it will get better as I play around with themes and such.
Anyway, I just had to say that. Moving on to a brighter, better blog!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

On nearing the end

As I said in my first post, the novel that I am currently working on will be the first that I have ever completed. It is a thrill to me. To tell you the honest truth, up until I hit page 250 I had real doubts as to whether I was capable of finishing a whole novel. And while I suppose I am not actually finished yet, there is no doubt of it. I will complete this novel, hopefully by the birthday which is coming up in about a month.

At any rate, I thought I'd share a bit about how I finally made it past the 40 page barrier. I would attribute it to one very important thing. As a way of introduction, let me say that I do not consider myself to have wild dreams of fame. I write, by far majority for the love of the art. For the joy I feel in creating the images that fly around in my imagination. That said, what aspiring writer doesn't want to be published? To be well received? Even, dare I say it, famous? I have discovered, however to save those dreams of book signings and movie deals to fanciful visions as I drift off to sleep or bask in a hot shower.

I am (though it may not seem like it) quite realistic when it come to this matter. However, a desire to write a book that could be well received plagued my mind and affected my writing in a negative way. At every turn I found myself changing my stories to make them more marketable. It effected every decision I made about my stories. For the first novel I attempted, I changed the setting three times. Each time having to go back and rewrite the whole thing. I would eventually grow to despise my stories, and then give them up all together.

For my current book, I knew I needed a change. So this time, I stood my ground. I banished all thoughts about trying to make my story have mass appeal or commercial elements, and I wrote the story that I wanted to write. It was difficult at times, but I put faith in myself and went forward.

And now, the results are clear. I absolutely love my novel. I love writing it. I think about my characters during the day, as if they were real people and I can't wait to run down to the little office in my basement and start writing. I think it has made all the difference, and I don't plan to ever go back. I am going to write only the stories that I truly love and want to write. How could I have seen it any other way?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I suppose an introductory post is in order

I begin this blog with a greeting. Welcome! Thanks to any and all who wander onto this site. I plan on not boring you all to tears with my ramblings, but I make no guarantees.

A little about myself. I am a mother of two small children: a smart, dramatic, charming three and a half year old daughter and a rough and tumble 10 month old boy. Adorable pictures of them will undoubtedly appear on this blog from time to time. I can't help it, they are my greatest joy in life.

My greatest passion in life is writing. I have written stories all my life, as far back as I can remember. In my childhood, my writings were usually bad imitations of whatever book I had just read. I believe that has changed, I certainly hope so.

I am currently nearing completion of my first novel. It is YA Fantasy , and brilliant. Kidding. But in actuality, I am really excited about it. It's been so fun to write, and quite thrilling to be nearing completion. This is big for me. I have started two or three novels, but never actually gotten much past 40 pages or so. This book is different. Not only will I finish, but I am going to see this novel all the way through to publication. And I plan to bring any along who wants to join. It should be a unique study on the process of trying to become a published author. It will all be a huge learning experience for me, and I hope that others might learn something from watching me go through it all.

That is why I started this blog. To document for posterity's sake, the journey to publication. So, stick around. I am looking forward to sharing this all with you.