Sunday, July 24, 2011

Moving Mayhem!

Short short post.  I'm sorry I've been MIA for the last week.  Last Sunday I made the drive from Colorado to Idaho and have since been bouncing from relative to relative's house trying not to wear out my welcome while frantically searching for a place for my little family to lay their heads permanently (or at least a year).  And success!  But now comes the unpacking. UGH!  Hopefully I'll be back next week so I can flit from blog to blog like a butterfly and sip the nectar of your words (how was that for a sappy and over the top simile?), but seriously I can't wait for things to settle down so I can see what all of you have been up to while I've been moving.

And welcome to all my new followers, all five of you!  I'm so happy to see you here!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Life gets in the way

You know those times when the universe itself seems to conspire against your writing goals?  Yeah, well, I'm there.  I'm trying to get through the first round of revisions on my WIP which I finished last JUNE!  Over a year ago and I'm still revising it.

Lots of life happened between then and now.  I had a baby.  I moved across two states.  I revised another novel and sent it to an agent (still waiting for word on that by the way, but that's okay by me because life is a little crazy right now). I had a good two months where I was getting in some quality writing time. And now I'm moving back to the state that I moved away from nine months ago, but really that's the best thing that's happened to me and my family in a long time.  In fact, I'm so excited to be moving back I (almost) don't mind the packing.

Once again, however, this poor WIP that can't seem to get off the ground is just going to have a wait a little longer, which is frustrating to me.  I feel like my writing muscles are getting all weak and flabby.  I'm hoping once the move is done I'll have a chance to really work them out and get this WIP revised already.

How about you guys?  Any big changes that are keeping you from working out those writing muscles?

P.S. 100 Followers!!!!! Hooray!  Welcome to all you new folks.  Thanks for helping me get to 100!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Can you have glory without the guts?

I'm always on the lookout for a good horror novel.  What can I say? I love that tingle up my spine, that freaked out, walking down a dark hall and something's behind me feeling.  A few months ago I stumbled on a new horror novelist and I was so excited.  I checked out all of her books and read them one right after another bam, bam, bam. 

I liked the books. I was entertained and suitably freaked out by them, but I felt like there was something lacking.  I couldn't figure it out.  They had all the makings of a good book, a sympathetic and relatable protagonist, quirky or interesting supporting characters, great setting, high stakes, a no holds barred climax and a good ending. Somehow, though, they still left me feeling flat.

Recently, I came across this horror author's blog.  After reading some of her posts I realized what it was that was missing from her writing.  Technically, her books are near perfect, written to an exact formula (literally, she has the formula on her blog) to give her readers the most bang for their buck.  I could tell this woman had spent a great deal of time studying the science of crafting a good story.  However, I think in her search for writing glory she left the guts of her books by the side of the road.  By corseting her writing into this formula for literary success, there was no spontaneity in her plot, no room for the characters to become their own person and take the story to new and interesting places, no place where she allowed her creativity to take her and the reader off the beaten path.  Doing those things takes guts because it's scary not to know precisely where your book is going to go, whether it's going to come out right or if you're going to have to go back and delete 75 pages (and waste countless hours of writing effort) because you allowed a secondary character to rip the plot out of your hands and run with it.  It takes courage and a touch of insanity to allow that to happen, but I think those moments are the ones that have the potential to make a book shine.

This was my take on the whole situation, but I'd be interested to know what you guys think.  Have any of you had a similar experience? Or do you think following a formula is the best way to write a book?