Visualizing the Scene

When I was writing the first draft of Twenty-Five, it was so easy.  Scenes just came to me.  I knew exactly how the characters were going to act and react because I could see it.  I would visualize a scene for a couple of days and then write it down.  It was really cool because scenes from all over the book would pop into my head, so I didn’t have to write chronologically, but I knew exactly where they were going to go.

With my other attempted books, the visualization of scenes hasn’t really worked.  It’s not really something I can WILL to happen, you know?  But with The Death Effect, it’s starting to happen again.  I’m seeing scenes in my head, but they are only little moments, so I have a little less to go on.

***Spoiler Alert!*** For example, I keep picturing this one moment, at the funeral of one of the MC’s where her birth mother and her adoptive mother see each other and thank each other.  It’s just this little fragment in my head, but it keeps playing over and over again and I can’t wait to write it out.  I know one other scene that is going to result from this encounter, so the visualization is beginning to work for me again.  I just hope it keeps up, because I REALLY want to finish this book.  I’m already proud of it, and I’ve only written thirteen chapters!

I think I need to do some kind of outlining/planning for TDE because all these ideas are floating around and I have no idea where they fit into the book.  With Twenty-Five it was easy because I wrote it knowing the time-frame and knowing that I wanted each chapter to represent one month.  But TDE is only spanning a couple weeks at most and there are so many POV’s and each character is affected by different things at different times.  The timeline is very complex and I’ve only gotten a few days out in my head.

But with outlining, I’m worried about pigeon-holing myself.  I don’t want to say, THESE ARE THE SCENES THAT ARE GOING TO BE IN THE BOOK.  I want to be fluid and free to change the direction of the story.  I’m going to give it a try and hope that I don’t have to throw it in the trash in a couple of weeks!

And I’m going to hope that little scenes keep appearing in my head.  I don’t want to FORCE this book to be written.  I want it to WANT to be written.

“Wish I’d Read That” Challenge

Found this cool challenge thanks to miss Corra over at from the desk of a writer.

So for 2010, I’m going to aim to read 10 books I’ve been wanting/meaning to read for a while.  For the most part, these are all books that have been sitting untouched on my bookshelf for a while since I purchased or borrowed them.

There are four levels to the challenge:

— Curious – Read 3 books.

— Fascinated – Read 6 books.

— Addicted – Read 12 books.

— Obsessed – Read 20 books.

I’m going to aim for somewhere between Fascinated and Addicted, so here’s ten for starters:

1.) The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett (my mom has been begging me to read this FOREVER)

2.) The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

3.) Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote (my cousin bought me this for Christmas last year!)

4.) Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes (the largest book on the list- it’s DAUNTING.  No wonder I haven’t read it yet!)

5.) The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis (borrowed from my brother a LONG time ago.  He probably doesn’t know I still have it!  It’s okay though, he doesn’t really read 🙂 )

6.) The Wings of the Dove by Henry James

7.) Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray

8.) The Choice by Nicholas Sparks (a bit of a guilty pleasure, but I don’t honestly feel guilty about it… another recommended read by my mother- who has asked me not to mention her on my blog.  Hmmm… I’m not a very good daughter, I guess)

9.) The Bostonians by Henry James

10.) Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy (started this one after my semester as an English Lit semi-grad student, and couldn’t get into it.  Here’s hoping I’ll have better luck this time around!)

As always, this is probably a bit of a lofty goal for me, considering that I need to re-start querying Twenty-Five, get started at a new job (oh, I have some prospects, keep your fingers crossed for me), and finish at least one of the other five books I’ve started writing, but I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t put all kinds of crazy pressure on myself!

Who Would I Cast…

So I was watching License to Wed on TV the other day. It’s a really bad movie, actually, but I’m in love with John Krasinski, so I watched it anyways. As I was watching, I thought to myself that he would be a good actor to play Ben in the movie of my book. I know, getting ahead of myself- especially since the past couple days I’ve been thinking how terrible my writing is, but still, it struck me. Krasinski has this very sweet demeanor, he’s funny, and he’s tall. All qualities my Ben must possess. The only problem is I can’t tell what color his eyes are. I think they are hazel-ish.  I’ve looked at hundreds of pictures and can’t find one that’s close enough on his eyes to be really sure. My Ben needs blue eyes.

Mandy Moore is also in License to Wed. Again, I do not recommend this movie, but I happen to have a girl crush on Ms. Moore. I think she would make a very sweet Abby to John’s Ben. Her eye color is not nearly as important to me as Ben’s, though in the book Abby’s eyes are green and I believe Mandy’s are brown.

I think these two actors could have chemistry with the right story. Neither exactly fits the image I have in my head of my main characters, but truth is, I don’t think anyone can. I just like thinking that maybe someday there will be actors bringing them to life. Surely this is me living in fantasy land, but sometimes you’ve got to keep hope alive!

If you’ve read Twenty-Five, who would you cast as the leads?  If you haven’t, who would you cast as the leads in your own writing?

I’m having an “I Suck” day

So a while back I posted that I kept writing because I thought I was good at it.

Today I’m not so sure. Today I pretty much think I suck. I think about the very talented writers I’ve gotten to know in the past nine months and I realize how crap I am.

My book sucks. It’s never going to get published. 18 agents have seen my query letter. Only one wanted to see more. And once they saw more, they rejected it. My book sucks.

I’ve started writing five other books. They suck. And for some reason I can’t seem to finish them. My writing just sucks.

Will I ever not suck? I hope so. But if I can’t finish another book, how will I ever get to the point where I don’t suck?

I’m feeling really chicken about starting more edits on Twenty-Five. I love the story, but if the writing sucks, why bother? If no agent is ever going to be interested in it, then why spend the little free time I have trying to make it perfect? It won’t be perfect, because I’m not perfect. Because I suck.

The Look

I love romantic comedies.  I’m a chick, what can I say.  I love love stories.  I have this sorta obsession with what I call “the look.”  I’m sure that all you ladies out there know what I’m talking about.  The Look is this way that a man looks at a woman and simply makes her heart melt.

For example:

Bill Pullman in While You Were Sleeping.  Every time he looks at Lucy (Sandra Bullock), I want to cry!

Colin Firth is the master of The Look.  Bridget Jones’s Diary, Pride and Prejudice, Love Actually.  He just nails it every time!

I think Bridget Jones’s Diary is the first movie where I really fell in love with The Look.  And now I look for it in every romantic movie I watch.  Or television show.

I think there’s just something so wonderful knowing that a man can look at a woman with love reading all over his face.  Even though it’s make-believe in the movies, I have to believe that it can be real.  That there are men in real life who look at the women they love like this.

That someday, someone will look at me like that.

Maybe it’s a pipe dream.  I’ll probably never have this

But maybe…

Query Update

I’m going to hold off on sending more queries until mid-January.  I’ve just got too much on my plate right now with trying to find a new job and can’t really concentrate on revising my query letter.

The official count now stands at 18 letters sent (I know, so much for sending one every day in November).  I’ve gotten 10 rejections and haven’t heard from 8.  Of the 8 I haven’t heard from, 6 don’t respond unless they are interested in seeing more, so if I haven’t heard from them by the end of December, I’m moving them to the reject column.

I’m not discouraged completely.  I know it takes a long time to find an agent and it’s going to take a lot of rejections before I do, if I ever do.  I’m discouraged slightly because I feel like I queried some of my top choices too early.  I should have held back on one or two of the agents that I really thought would like the book until I had test-ran my query letter a bit more.  Oh well.  Maybe with the next book.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season!!


I found this quote online the other day and I have fallen in love with it: “I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.”  ~Agatha Christie.

It’s just so damn true.  I’m in the middle of probably the hardest time in my life right now.  I’m financially drowning and my social calendar has never been bleaker, but I still know that life is this precious gift I’ve been given.  Yeah, life sucks once and a while and lately it’s sucked all the time, but even days of 99% shittyness (sorry, spell check refuses to tell me how to properly spell this word) there’s always at least 1% greatness.

Take today for example.  I just logged on to my dashboard to check things out and even though I haven’t posted anything new in a while, there hasn’t been a single day in the past 2 weeks where this blog hasn’t gotten at least 6 views.  That’s pretty cool.  I know it doesn’t seem like a lot, but when I first started I’d have several days in a row with 0 views, so I feel like I’m moving up in the world.  Especially since I don’t really know how to advertise myself very well yet.  And, I checked the search terms people used to find my page and this was one of them: a give stick a pen up her virgin.  I’m TOTALLY serious about that.  Someone typed “a give stick a pen up her virgin” into google or yahoo or some other search engine and then clicked on a link to my blog.  Isn’t that just the most hilarious search term you’ve ever heard?

Makes me kind of glad that even in cyberspace I’m the first virgin people think of!

Oh, and to continue my ramblings of randomness, I’ve started work on a new project called The Death Effect.  I’ll create a page for it along with my other projects in a day or so.

And I got the nicest rejection email today.  Here’s a little snippet: “I’ve read your sample pages, and while I think you show great potential as a writer, I’m sorry to say that the project just isn’t a perfect fit with my current needs. This has less to do with your strengths as a writer and more to do with my goals as an agent and the trends of the current literary marketplace.”

Well, thank you, Ms. Super Agent.  I would have really enjoyed working with you, but how can I be upset when you tell me I have potential?  I might just print out that one sentence and stick on the wall behind my desk so I can stare at it when I’m writing.  That’s not weird, right?

OH!  And, Twenty-Five has made it to the #9 spot on the All-Time Rankings at The Next Big Writer.  I’m pretty happy about that.  I’m waiting for the administration to realize it so that my novel is given a spot on the All-Time Top Ten list.  When he does realize it, I’ll get access to a cool logo that I can use when marketing/advertising/selling my book, and you can bet I’ll be re-writing my query to include it’s shiny new status!

So, that’s what’s been going on in my life.  Oh, and I’m looking for a new job, but I may have mentioned that before.  Keep your fingers crossed for me.  I have to have one by January 1st.  Anyone out there in cyberland looking for a freelance editor?  I’m pretty kick-ass at finding grammatical errors and I can use a comma with the best of them!  I don’t have any “education” or “experience” but I can give you several references of writers on TNBW who love my editing skills!

Man, this post has really lived up to its title!