Ok- Where do I start?
Writing Class. Like my teacher. I think he is really good at giving us helpful nuggets and examples of how to incorporate into our writing. I think he is making me a better writer. His critiques are well thought out and reasonable. I think this was a great choice. He has explored how to use techniques to get the story moving, and to use details that enhance the characters. setting and plot instead of distracting from them. He has also helped me look for errant adverbs and adjectives which can make the writing clunky. I’m writing tighter sentences now that are more impactful.
I presented my work this week. I’m forming many ideas in my head as to what is critique versus what is opinion. When I presented the prologue and revised first chapter of my book, I was told my characters sounded too old. Another classmate told me my characters sounded too young. The critic who complained too old is in her twenties. The critic complaining too young is in his eighties. My characters are in their fifties, like me. You tell me? Valid criticism or opinion?
I also got a criticism that I introduce the conflict too late in the book. For the record, the conflict gets introduced about 15 pages in, in the beginning of the second chapter. Pacing wise, I think this is the right time to introduce the “story”. How much do you want thrown into the first chapter? Should a little of the scene be set before the plot line starts to focus in?
But that being said, I still struggle with chapters/sections that rely too heavily on scene setting and what is known in my head as &^%$# description. This frustration is especially apparent in the first section where I am describing the setting. Though I have revised chapters one and three, they are still the bane of my existence. It took my three days to rewrite chapter three and I still hate it. I feel that the final version of my novel will contain the plot, but i can’t imagine the exact wording to make it in. The words, sentiments and ideas don’t flow organically. I am trying to describe the neighborhood in which these women live, yet it comes across as a generic laundry list. It’s boring and inane. I am happiest when I am writing dialogue heavy chapters, because that’s how I like to get my story across. I find conversations between people very telling, and it’s where I do my best work. The extremely necessary conversation in this part is being overshadowed by trees and cars and neighbors. I have to figure out how to describe the scene without describing it. Ughhhhhh.
I know my goal this month was to find an agent. Guess what I didn’t do? I have been researching writing query letters, so I’m getting some ideas. I found one agent who I think would be a good fit, so I will work on that this coming month. I’m actually struggling with finding an agent that would be a good fit for what I write. I’m working on it.
So there you go. I’m almost halfway through with second draft. I’m liking the majority of my work. I’m still meeting with my writing group which is awesome. I made some great women writer friends. My class ends at the end of the month, and I think I’m taking Novel Writing Three next semester, a class which focuses on revising your draft. There is so much to learn about writing.
On a side not_ I am very behind on my blog related activities. My sister and niece were in from Seattle, so the majority of Friday, Saturday and Sunday were consumed by them. (ahhh…family……there will be posts about this in the future) Will be catching up this week!!