Yeah, I know. I haven’t posted in a while. So here’s an update.
I have my 10 readers all lined up and now they all have the manuscript too. Easter, Amanda, Janet, Caitlin, Jessica, Emily, Jenn, Tracy, Liz, and Britt–you all rock! So now instead of twiddling my thumbs until I hear the feedback…I’ve started writing something else. I forgot how difficult it is to start a new novel. I’m trying my hand at historical fiction, which is kind of strange since I absolutely HATED history class in school. I’m trying to write something about famous 16th century Irish Pirate Queen Grace O’Malley and her daughter Margaret. It’s slow going right now and I’ve only written about two pages (and outlined about five chapters), but I’m trying. At least it’s keeping me entertained for a while.
Yesterday, I finished with the initial edits on my full first draft. This was a painstaking and painful process, let me tell you. There were many times that I wondered what I was on when I typed certain parts. Hopefully, I managed to catch most of my really stupid mistakes and clear up some parts that were weird. Now it’s on to my first batch of readers for this full manuscript. I love my friends so much, because they all were very enthusiastic about being an extra pair of eyes. Hopefully, with their help, I’ll be able to really tighten the whole thing down. So here’s a grand shout-out to my wonderful friends and readers who I emailed with the manuscript today (more will hopefully be coming later): Amanda, Janet, Jessica, Emmy, Jenn, Liz, and Britt. Love you girls!
I’ve begun editing “Nor the Battle.” It amazes me how much things have changed since I last looked at the opening chapters, which was actually only about six or seven months ago. Sometimes I read a sentence and wonder how on earth I ever though it made sense.
Yesterday, while procrastinating, I got on Facebook and typed in “writer” for the Pieces of Flair keyword. I then proceeded to write down all my favorite quotes that popped up from that search. Just for giggles, I thought I’d share my list here. Enjoy!
–I write because I’d rather deal with people who don’t exist!
–Conform, go crazy, or become a writer.
–My characters write the story. I just try to keep up.
–If I stare at you, it’s not because you look good. It’s because you just helped me figure out how to off my villain.
–Writer’s Block: When friends and family decide you shouldn’t be screwing around on the computer.
–I’d love to, but I’m working on my novel.
–Sometimes I have to tell my characters “I’m sorry…this hurts me more than you…”
–Whether you like it or not, you’ll be in my novel. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
–Please do not annoy the writer. She may put you in a book and kill you.
–I wish I had writer’s block so I could actually sleep.
–“Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.” ~E.L. Doctorow
–There is nothing more annoying to a writer than a pen without ink.
–Fiction writers think of six wore-case scenarios before breakfast, all involving death, mutilation, or global catastrophe.
–I’m a writer because real life is boring.
–Don’t get it right the first time, just get it written.
–“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.” ~Robert Frost
–Shhh…I’m working on my novel.
–I write, therefore I embrace insanity.
–You ever seen an author that’s SANE?
–There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
–Sometimes I have to remind myself that the characters I write about don’t actually exist.
–Can’t sleep. Must write.
–Plot. It builds character.
–I shall write a NOVEL and when it is deemed to be PUBLISHED thou shalt see me go SQUEEEE!
–Warning: Anything you say or do may end up in my next novel.
–I prefer to think of myself as “pre-published.”
–Do unto your characters the most deranged things humanly possible.
–If you could see my Google history, you’d think I was nuts…unless you’re a writer. Then you’d understand.
–I write to cope with life.
–I’m a writer. What’s your superpower?
–You don’t scare me. I write fiction.
–If you look at a crawlspace and think “Great place to hide a body”…you might be a writer.
–The pen is mightier than the sword. Never piss off a writer!
–Paper? Check. Pencil? Check. Idea? Ummm…
–If one wasn’t an author, one would be a really boring person filled with peculiar bits of trivia.
–“I write for the same reason I breathe, because if I didn’t I would die.” ~Isaac Asimov
–Leave me alone. I’m writing. *five hours later* Leave me alone! I’m writing!!! *stabs with pencil*
–Happily, we appear to have acheived coffee.
–The voices in my head won’t shut up until I write. The really annoying ones end up dead.
–Writer’s Block: When characters get fed up with all you put them through and go on strike.
–Freelance writer–will write for coffee.
–Because I’m the AUTHOR, that’s why!
–You’re going in my next novel.
–All hail the power of the pen!
–“Remember, writers are the only adults who get to spend all day in their pajamas playing with their imaginary friends.” ~Unknown
–Fuck off! I’m writing! Don’t fuck with a writer when they’re writing!
–I’m writing a book. A clever book. A scary book. A book that will be better than Twilight. And there’s nothing you can do to stop me.
–My characters hate it when I kill them.
–Writer. I.e. God of your own universe. Whee!
–Just keep authoring things or you will be eaten by flowers.
–You know you’re a writer when…you’ve thought all the flair quotes before you ever found them.
–Being a writer is great! Don’t like someone, eh, kill them off.
–There is no greater agony than bearing an unwritten story in you.
–Of course I live in my head…I’m a writer.
I’m done! I have officially finished the first draft of “Nor the Battle.” And now I don’t know what to do with myself, because this has been a big part of my life (and brain) for, well, two and a half years. I know the revisions are next and my friends had better be prepared to become my readers so I have more pairs of eyes to make sure everything I said MAKES SENSE, but…it’s done. The words are all there, and now I just need to make sure all the words can be followed.
So how do I feel? I really don’t know. I’m shaking, I feel a little like a weight has been lifted. I think I like how it turned out…I think it all makes sense…I think it’s a good ending for the story. But I really don’t know…I don’t know anything right now, that’s what I’ve decided. There are no. words. for how this feels.
I’m so rewarding myself with ice cream tonight.
One of the things I love about be a writer…if you walk into someplace like, say, a jewelry store, explain you’re working on a novel, and then ask them a really random question that they’ve probably never been asked before, people are usually pretty understanding. That’s what I did yesterday. I went to Fred Meyer Jewelers and Kay Jewelers to get a couple very specific questions I had about sterling silver jewelry. One question wasn’t that big of a deal…but the second question was kind of for a key plot point in my novel and I really needed to know. This was only after I bothered my friends on Facebook, Twitter, AND the girls that post over on the Blockhead boards. Anyway, I got my answer and all is right with the world.
Another thing I thought of recently is how many random things I’ve been looking up on Google over the past week or two. The Internet must think I’ve finally lost it. In the last two days, I’ve looked up information on twisted wrists, at-home pregnancy tests in the early ’90s, stomach bruising, the melting temperature of sterling silver, and the temperature of an average bonfire. Now all of these things make complete sense in my head, but they probably sound a little insane here.
In other news, I’m on the second-to-last chapter of my novel. I’m at 155 typed single-spaced pages (about 100 more than I had at senior presentation). And you know what I’m realizing? Writing the last couple chapters is comletely excruciating. For the life of me, I can’t keep myself focused. I’ve been working on this chapter for two days and barely anything has been accomplished. I think this is happening because I’m already past the climax of the story (or, at least, of the “past” portion)…now it’s just a matter of ending it…explaining what happens after that makes the stuff in the “present” sections make more sense.
It’s surreal to think than in another chapter and a half, I’ll be done. I’ve worked on this first draft for two and a half years, but in a chapter and a half I’ll be done with the first draft. That’s a little wild.
Yesterday, I officially broke out of the “teens” of my novel when I finished Chapter Nineteen. And today I wrote the excruciating Chapter Twenty…the chapter that I’ve both looked forward to and dreaded writing for several months. Allow me to explain.
In “Nor the Battle,” Liz (my main character) gets put through a lot of crap. And I mean A LOT of crap. For the most part, I’ve enjoyed putting Liz through this, just so I can see how she’ll respond…how much she’ll take before she starts beating my brain. But the crap that occurs in Chapter Twenty, in particular, is the worst so far. I knew she’d make it through, because she has to, but it was still hard to write. I think she tried to beat my brain a little bit, but my brain won, and the chapter got finished.
THIS chapter in particular is the one where a certain musical kept singing a certain song in my head. “Die Vampire Die” from [title of show], to be exact. Just so you know, in the show a “vampire” is “any person or thought or feeling that stands between you and your creative self-expression.” Here’s the vampire that kept sticking its head up while I was writing this chapter:
“Brothers and sisters, next up is the air freshener vampire. She might look like your mama or your old fat-ass, fat aunt Fanny. She smells something unpleasant in what you’re creating. She’ll urge you to pssssssst it with some pine-fresh smell-em-ups. The air freshener vampire doesn’t want you to write about bad language, blood, or blow jobs. She wants you to clean it up and clean it out which will leave your work toothless, gutless, and crotchless, but you’ll be left with two tight paragraphs on kittens that your grandma will be so proud of.”
Anyway, that’s where I am now. I finished writing the painful Chapter Twenty and I now know that Liz can pretty much take anything else I might dole out to her over the last few chapters. Because, yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am now on Chapter Twenty-one out of TWENTY-FIVE! And if Liz could survive Chapter Twenty, then these last few chapters will be a breeze…