Friday, January 7, 2011

Meet Diana!

Hello All, Diana here. Since this is my first post, I figured I would give you a little background.

I was born on a drizzly spring morning in April...well, maybe not that much background...I'll start by telling you about when I started writing.

Every summer when I was growing up, my family would take a vacation in our motor home. Renee and I spent countless hours on our bunk beds writing, reading, and drawing. Now let's have this understood from the beginning; Renee was always a few steps ahead. For example, the summer I read The Baby-sitters Club Super Special #7 She polished off the entire works of Shakespeare. And although Renee threatened that if I gushed about her she would just go in and delete it, I must say that she truly is a naturally exceptional writer and always has been. But we both loved to create.

My first attempt at a novel was Rosaline a fairly shameless copy of Gone with the Wind, only set in England. After that dismal failure, I turned my focus to painting and theatre. After finishing college, getting married, and having two absolutely adorable kids, I cautiously returned to writing. Right now I am working on a fantasy novel, but I am also very interested in writing screenplays and plays for the stage. I have a million ideas and characters in my head, but I just need to commit to sticking with one idea. Every time I start to write, I either get a new "better" idea or I begin to loathe the idea I am working on. Any tips on getting past this stage?

Well now that I have bored you all to tears, I will throw in a cute picture of my kids and hope to win you all over with that.
Cute, eh? Well, I look forward to sharing my writing journey with you!


Candice said...

Super cute kids! I love your sister and since twins are basically copies of each other (right?) I'm sure I'll love you too. But really, the babysitters club was awesome! I was going to say something smart and welcoming, but then I forgot it while typing all the previous nonsense. But hey I'm your first comment!

C. N. Nevets said...

I have a computer and several notebooks full of scraps of stories that for one moment seemed like they were going to be the best thing ever, only for me to realize later that they didn't really work for one reason or another.

I don't think there's anything wrong with that, and I think it's a natural part of being a writer, rather like a musician noodling on her guitar.

At the same time, when I start to feel like I've abandoned far too many to be rational, I sometimes take the time to reflect on them and try to see if there's a pattern in why I'm left them behind. Sometimes that lets me see how I can tweak them rather than abandon them.

And, from time to time, I just grit my teeth, jot enough notes so I don't forget the new one, and then make myself push through it.

The writers' equivalent of eating a hated vegetable.

Charlotte Tidwell said...

Hi Diana! Bet you didn't expect to see little ole me here! I think your children are very cute, by the way.

Anyway, to address the finishing a project issue, I decided to just finish a novel no matter what. Even if it wasn't going to be a very good one, at least I'd have one finished and then I'd have all the wisdom and experience that comes with finishing a novel. Then I could move on with my life to become a real (as in, fabulous) writer.

It seems to be working well for me, I'm closer to finishing my current project than I've ever gotten before. And it might not be that bad after all . . . Here's hoping!

Diana said...

Candice- Yay! First comment! Thanks:)

C.N.Nevets- Good idea. I am sure there is a pattern and it would be helpful to find it. Ps. I love the comparison to vegetables:)ha ha :)So true!

Charlotte-hey!!good advice, as always. I am so impressed with people like you who have the discipline to finish, or even get close to finishing a novel. Not an easy task.

Stephanie said...

Every time I start to write, I either get a new "better" idea or I begin to loathe the idea I am working on. Any tips on getting past this stage?

Oh, I hate that. ;) Whenever it happens to me, it's after I've done about five months worth of planning, so I end up abandoning a five-month-old baby somewhere along the side of the road of my mind.

What I try to do is, when I'm faced with an onslaught of ideas, I'll sort through them for about an hour. If I'm lucky, I find one that really drags me in, hook, line and sinker. Then I spend a while planning the characters and a vague idea of the plot.

But what I find works very well is if you start writing at the first chance you get. After you get a feel for the story, just write it. I tend to delete everything that I've written the first time around, but for me it usually lands a barb in the idea that'll stick for some time.

Another thing I do is rewrite. If you do find that idea that you love and want to give to the world, then (at least for me) rewriting a scene keeps my interest. It's frustrating, but worth it because you'll finally end up with that shiny, awesome scene (and manuscript) that climbs above your wildest expectations.

Anyways. Some silly philosophical-esque stuff from me. ;//) Your kids are adorable! Good luck with your writing!

Jessie Oliveros said...

Your kids look the same ages as my kids! I have a four year-old boy (with messy, long blonde hair too!) and a one year-old girl. Anyway, very cute! And distracting. What were we talking about? Oh yes, writing. I, like Candice, loved the Babysitters Club but I don't have a competitive streak like Candice and therefore am happy with being the sixth comment. Thank you very much. I wrote one book and am halfway-ish through the rewrite, and somedays the idea sounds awful and I'm sure I have better ideas. But I have to stick it out, even if it takes my whole life and I'm a crazy, osteoporotic woman with an unfinished manuscript.

Candice said...

I have no idea why you would call me competitive...
P.S. I left a comment on Kasie's madlib blog regarding your comment which almost made me spew animal crackers out of my nose from laughing.

Diana, Please forgive the rude intrusion into your comment section.

Renee Collins said...

For the record, Rosaline was a very good book for a twelve year old!

(Too bad you were sixteen. Ba-dum-CH)

(Seriously, she was twelve.)

(And it was good.)

Renee Collins said...

Also, Candice, Jessie, can't we all just get along?! There are pictures of children present.

Renee Collins said...

And with that last lame joke, I shall exit my blog.

Diana said...

Renee, if only I had been twelve. You forget. You must have thought by what you remembered of the awful writing and abundant cliches that I was twelve, but alas, I was FIFTEEN *sobs*

Renee Collins said...

Diana-haha, no, no. The summer I read Shakespeare was not the summer you wrote Rosaline. That was the year before, thus you were only 14.

But either way, don't forget how that summer I wrote the shameless wannabe of Uncle Tom's Cabin. :)

storyqueen said...

Your kids are adorable.

And I wish I had advice for deciding which is the right idea to follow....but it is hit or miss sometimes.

And it is impressive that you wrote a novel so first novel was in my thirties...and I bet Rosaline was better.



Jessie Oliveros said...

I agree, writing a novel at age 14 (or 12 or 15 or whatever) is pretty amazing. I was just writing journal entries of very important things like boys and ... well, just boys. Anyway, Renee, your joke wasn't THAT bad, and in the interest of cute children I will only gently remind Candice that I HAVE MORE FOLLOWERS THAN YOU.

Candice said...

ahem... And I'm the competitive one? I was feeling bad that you had to move cross country, but then I remember that I moved cross country twice last year. So basically I suffered twice as much. Not that that makes me better than you...okay, maybe a little.

Renee Collins said...

I moved FIVE times between the summer of '08 and the summer of '09.


Kasie West said...

Oh no, there has been fighting going on without me present. Please no longer have lengthy comment section fights without me. Now, I moved across country zero times in the last thirty years.....I won!

Diana, welcome. I'm so excited to get to know you better. And I think you're on the fast track to the inside what with your sister paving the way. (sometimes being a few steps behind is better--she has to do all the work and you get to reap all the benefits.) As far as sticking with one story and set of characters, I can be of no help to you there. I have story ADD, I write several at once until one takes over. :)

Miriam S. Forster said...

Welcome Diana!

I'm of the push-through-it crowd myself, though I have found that if a book dies on me it's because I haven't done enough pre-planning.

Think of it as practice, like learning to play the violin. You're going to hate the noises you make for a while, but that stage doesn't last forever.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Welcome Diana!
As far as keeping an idea, try taking a break and working on a short story or something for a day or two. Then come back to your WIP. A fresh look at your novel can sometimes help.

Diana said...

Thank you to everyone for the warm welcome and the advice!

Stephanie- I think doing some rewriting could be a very effective tool. I will try that.

Jessie- Gotta love little boys with messy hair :) It must be a prerequisite or something :)

Story Queen- Thanks! But you must know...the "novel" was handwritten and filled a composition book. So typed it probably would have been twenty pages or so. So I don't really count it as my first novel.

Kasie- Thank you! I have always enjoyed riding Ren's coattails! Especially in the social scene. She introduced me to many a cute nerd in our high school days ;)

Miriam- I love the violin analogy! So true! It is misguided to want to be "awesome" without clocking the necessary hours.

Anonymous- great idea! I think a short story may really help.

Natalie said...

Hi Diana! I have sisters that are twins and I'm always so jealous of their super tight bond. I think it's awesome that you and Renee share a love of writing and reading.

I have a problem finishing projects too! It's so frustrating! Especially when you have friends (or twin sisters) who make it through ten projects in the time it takes you to write one.

I've tried to force myself to finish stories I don't love, but I'm never happy with the result. So I say, move on. Write some short things. When you find something you love and are excited about, see it through to the end.

lora96 said...

Beautiful kids. But now I kinda want to read Rosaline. I admit it.