Thursday, April 9, 2009

14 week novel - week five: process, progress, and inspiration

When I started the 14 week novel posts, it was all about process, specifically tackling novel writing in a way I hadn’t tried before, and hoping that it might be useful to others at the same time. So far, I’ve found that:

- Trying to do a detailed outline brings out the evil inner editor in me Big Time, and totally shuts down my creativity … at least for now. Maybe outlining will work for me in the future though.

- Planning out the story did work. (Where do I start? What are a few things that might happen? Possible endings?) I know that seems like outlining, but it wasn’t anything formal, mostly thinking, with a few scribbled notes.

- Picking one project helped me focus. However, when that project went back to the original idea of making it a graphic novel, I needed to pick another story for this project (not to mention figure out how to write/illustrate a graphic novel – I’m taking classes for that – the writing one started Monday and the art one is in a few months).

- Finding the right fit for my idea helped. My second idea was supposed to be an edgy, dark YA, but I couldn’t get it going. After rethinking it, I have a new plot and a younger age group (young YA or older MG – basically tween).

- I’m making progress! I’ve written 2600 words since yesterday, and I’m still going! Yay!

- And I have a new sketch of my MC, Lexi (looking shell-shocked for a specific scene - I haven’t added in the other characters or background yet). What do you think? (It’s not a graphic novel; I want to write it as a text novel first.)

Goals for week #5: Set your own goals and keep writing! This is all about process, and you have to find a process that works for you. My goal is to try to write a bit on this story every day, even if it’s only a few sentences, and not focus so much on word count. What are your goals?
[Note: I changed it from assignments to goals so it doesn’t seem like I’m telling you what to do. :) ]

Quotes for this week: (for inspiration)
“Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first.” – Ernestine Ulmer

"I wrote, because I could not dance.” - Karen Cushman 2004

“Your internal critic exists to keep you from telling the truth. Writing is about taking risks, taking chances, feeling it down to your toes, conflict, loss, growth, believable characters.” – Libba Bray 2004

“I have not failed; I’ve found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison

“You are the boss of the project – do the illustrations how you think they should look.” – Robert Sabuda 2004 (I think it applies to writing too – write the book you want to write.)

“A story should contain at least: 1 belly laugh, 1 honest tear, and 1 gasp.” – Bruce Coville 2004

“A clean house is the sign of a wasted life.” - Donna Jo Napoli 2004

“Any kind of writing is writing, and you don’t know what it will lead to.” – Christopher Paul Curtis 2005

“Don’t worry about being funny for others, be funny for yourself.” - Gennifer Choldenko 2005

“Girls are interested in more than just fashion and boys.” - Wendelin Van Draanen 2006

“Don’t believe anyone’s rules. The only one that really counts is ‘write the damn book.’” – Jane Yolen 2006

“Books allow us to eavesdrop on another person’s soul.” – Katherine Patterson 2007