Hey everyone! So excited–logging on today, I see that my blog just rounded 800 followers! I’m feeling guilty because I haven’t been on as often lately, but I’ve been working on a couple of projects that make my heart siiiiiiing!
BENEATH US took second place in the YA division of the Golden Claddagh Contest. 🙂 I had an amazing time building this book’s dark world and tangling my quirky characters in its problems. I’ve got my fingers crossed that maybe this book will be “the one.”
I recently began revisions on my New Adult WIP, and I don’t know how I ever lived without Scrivener! I don’t compose in the program, but it helped me to plan much more carefully so that the revision of this book will go faster than any of my previous projects. I also incorporated Michael Hauge’s story structure and other planning tips I’ve picked up over the years into the pre-writing stage. In drafting, I owe a lot to Margie Lawson’s workshops which helped me to tune up the visceral and literary elements. I’m holding back on details about the book itself (the title is still eluding me!) and thought it was completely nuts while writing it. But now, as I’m looking back, I’m feeling like: Yesssssss. This.
I’ve also been catching up on my reading, the most amazing of which in the past few weeks has been: Shatter Me, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, and Isla and the Happily Ever After. Reviews to come!
What have you been up to??
Michelle Joyce Bond
Yes I do imagine my muse to be a tiny Woodstock-sounding thing, buzzing about my shoulders, and she won’t shut up. Just before NJRW’s February writing challenge, she ripped me away from a speculative WIP to write my first contemporary YA since high school. I won’t give specifics now, but I’m feeling very good about this one and thus owe a lot to that buzz in my ear.
Usually, I will take months to plan a book, but with the writing challenge so close and the muse so insistent (swatting the air over my shoulder), I decided to take the plunge and just write. With only two days of intense planning under my belt, I wrote, mapping out scenes as I came upon them and then drafting in earnest. This was how this book wanted to be written and written fast.
My last WIP, in contrast, felt like a long push uphill. For this paranormal romance, I spent a long time mapping out characters, plotting, re-plotting, creating scene cards, etc., so when it came to the actual writing I felt constrained by that structure. I had to tear everything down more than once and even started the manuscript over, dumping 15,000 words in the process. Currently, I feel very good about this quirky paranormal, but it was a long haul.
Lesson learned? Some books will be a push no matter what, but it helps to leave more breathing room than I’ve been as of late. My characters will always find a way to undermine my best-laid plans because they want to drive the plot, and more power to ’em.
How insistent is your muse? Is she monotone or melodic–does she push you in the same manner through every book?
Michelle Joyce Bond
Somewhere between grading, lesson plans, curriculum, and the general pull-my-hair-out stress that comes with the beginning of the school year, I lost myself.
All that was left of me dissolved into my job. Still–and I hold true to this–never a day without a word! I crawl into bed exhausted, cuddle up with a notebook, and write, write, write because there is no therapy like word therapy. I have literally been sleeping with notebooks.
But today…I got to wear my writer’s hat in the daylight.
The expertise and enthusiasm of the presenters at our workshops gave me the little kick I needed to get back on the book train. There are too many “best parts” to count, but Roxanne St. Claire’s workshop on scene revision definitely resonated with me. We share a similar revision process which I won’t go into detail about, but it was good to hear that I’m not the only one who stops in the middle of her first draft and goes back to rewrite it from the top.
On that note, I’m returning to my latest WIP, mid-draft revising it for the second time and writing (finally!) to the end. So here’s to finding myself again, buried deep in the words.
Have you ever been to a writing conference? If so, what’s the best piece of advice you learned there?
Michelle Joyce Bond