Wednesday, 29 May 2013

What's Up Wednesday

This week’s What’s Up Wednesday post is going to be short and sweet compared to my usual longwindedness. Okay, maybe not so sweet, because I’m sick. If you’d like to take part in the blog hop, you can sign up in the link widget at Jaime Morrow’s site: here.

What I’m Reading:

Yep, I’m still poking away at Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers. My tortoise-like pace isn’t due to the story, but because it’s been busy around here. Plus, when I get in the Writing Zone, I tend to read much, much less than usual. Sad, but true.

What I’m Writing:

The beginning of my current WIP was being stubborn and uncooperative, but I think I finally have it figured out. Possibly. I had all these great things I wanted to happen, and rather than gelling, they ended up forming this long, disjointed string of events that was nowhere near as cohesive as I wanted them to be. I know this is a first draft, but I feel strongly about getting off on the right foot. I’m also not a “just get the story out” kind of writer. Wish I was, but alas, that doesn’t work for me. At least not for key scenes. I’ll elaborate on that more in another post sometime. In any case, I think I’ve identified the problems and will be working on rewriting a good chunk of the beginning.

What’s Inspiring Me Right Now:

My husband’s dedication to running has been a huge source of inspiration for me this week.
Some of you may have seen the post I did on Monday in which I gushed profusely about how awesome he is. He managed to finish fourth in our provincial marathon on Sunday, even though he was sick with a nasty cold. After initially deciding not to run, he changed his mind at the last minute and ended up crossing the finish line in under three hours. For anyone not familiar with marathons, that’s great even when you’re in top form. I need to apply this same drive and determination to the writing process, because writing a novel is a marathon, not a sprint. And for the record, I did catch my cold from him. Germs be damned, there was no way I wasn’t going to kiss the guy after he did so well!

What Else I’ve Been Up To:

Other than writing and screaming myself hoarse on the sidelines of the Saskatchewan Marathon, I haven’t been doing a whole lot that’s worth posting about. That’s okay though, because I need to rest and get rid of this pesky cold.


Hope you’re all having a great week, and if you’d like to share what’s up in your corner of the writing world, feel free to join in!

40 comments:

  1. Hope you feel better soon Erin!

    I love that sentence: "Germs be damned, there was no way I wasn’t going to kiss the guy after he did so well!" :-)

    And yay for identifying issues so you can work on them, it's always a good feeling to have a breakthrough.

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    1. I figured he earned a few smooches after kicking that marathon's butt. :)

      You're right, it's a great feeling to have a breakthrough. Now if only this cold would go away so I could get back to writing! In the meantime, I'll catch up on my reading, so that's a good thing!

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  2. I'm so sad you're sick! :/

    But WOW to your hubby finishing--that's amazing! And definitely inspiring. When I'm in writing mode, I don't read either. I have to stay in my world and not be distracted by others! I hope you feel better soon, Erin. (And I love your site! It looks so good!)

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    1. Yeah, being sick stinks but it gives me an excuse to slow down and spend some time reading, so there is an up side to it at least! What you said about staying in your story's world and not being distracted by others is exactly how I feel when I'm writing. I'm always worried about disrupting my focus and feeling in the mood for something other than what I'm writing, so other books tend to get pushed aside. Thanks for the well wishes and the compliment on my site, Morgan!

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  3. I'm exactly the same when with my approach to writing. I can't write a truly crappy first draft because that's not how I operate. And then there's the whole revise as I go thing. I think we're similar in this. Somehow I still manage to get in a fair amount of reading even while I'm writing, so that's good, but it can certainly be challenging!

    Hope you're feeling better soon. Spring/summer colds are the worst. :/

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    1. You and I definitely have a similar approach. I'm glad you understand my need to mull things over and tweak the details before getting the whole story out. I always feel like every word choice can affect the rest of the story, so I try to be choosy even in a first draft. I hope I'm feeling better soon too, because this cold is rotten. I seriously don't know how Trevor ran this way, because I don't even feel like getting off the couch. (I know, I know, how is that any different than usual?)

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  4. Love is... getting sick after kissing one's spouse and not caring because spouse deserved it. :) Huge congratulations to your hubby, Erin. His drive and determination is truly inspirational.

    My reading tends to suffer when I really dig into writing, and that's not because I can't read other fiction while I'm writing my own. It's purely a matter of time, and how I'm choosing to use the precious few hours I have in a day. So I make the most of times like this, when I'm doing a lot of thinking, to read more. As I hinted in my article for today, stepping back from writing and doing more reading can help me see issues in my own work.

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    1. Someone should put that in an anniversary card! I'll pass along your congratulations to him for sure.

      The time factor is a big reason I set aside reading in favour of writing too. I write really late, so there often isn't any time to read afterward. I do tend to have difficulty venturing into books when I'm immersed in my own story though, so I guess there are a couple reasons why reading goes by the wayside. Having a cold right now isn't an entirely bad thing, because it's giving me an excuse to leave the Writer Zone and read. There are perks to barely being able to string two words together. :)

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  5. Oh, hope you feel better soon--it sucks being sick and not being able to do anything you want to! Unless, obviously, you're a person like your husband, who is putting the rest of us to shame by running a marathon and being sick at the same time!

    I'm also not a "get the story out" writer, although I wish I was. But I think that getting off on the right foot is important, and way better than forcing yourself to keep writing when you know something doesn't feel right. So good luck with fixing up that beginning :)

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    1. Oh heck, no! I'm barely getting off the couch today! I'll leave the amazing marathon feats to him. Less inspiring, but I know my limits. :)

      I tried being a "get the story out" kind of writer, but failed miserably at it. When I see a major problem in the writing, I need to fix it so it isn't nagging at the back of my mind and infringing on my creativity. Thanks for wishing me luck! Once my cold is gone, I'll give the beginning another go!

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  6. I'm glad you were able to figure out your plot! That's always a great feeling. Good luck with the rest of your draft.

    I hope your cold goes away soon!

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    1. Thanks, Ghenet! I'm glad I figured it out too, and as soon as this nasty cold is out of my system I'm going to tackle those opening chapters again. :)

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  7. Erin, I think our writing styles are similar. I'm a bit of a first draft perfectionist. There's something to be said for getting the story out and "fixing" the details later, but it's hard for me to proceed when I know something's not working. Crazy how so many diverse writing styles manage to produce so many amazing books.

    Your husband's running is inspiring to me too! His marathon time is AMAZING. Big congratulations to him!

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    1. That's exactly it. I always figure if I know something is wrong, then I should fix it and get it out of my mind so it won't distract me from the rest of the writing. I also feel like my word choices can drastically affect the atmosphere or direction of a scene, so I tend to take my time and be a little more particular. That doesn't work for everyone, of course, and I tend to envy people who can just pour the whole story out. To each her own, I guess!

      I'll pass on your congratulations to my husband, Katy! :)

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  8. LOVE THIS: "writing a novel is a marathon, not a sprint" So true! And so sorry you're not feeling well! Hope you are able to get back to writing and better health soon!

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    1. Endurance is definitely a requirement for writing a novel, and I think that's something I had to learn over years of failed attempts to finish a manuscript. Thanks for the well wishes! I'm going to kick back and read until I'm feeling up to writing again. :)

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  9. First, hi! Nice to meet you! I've been blog-friends with Jaime for a long time and now I finally meet the sister! Btw, you girls look so much alike (I bet you hear that a lot, uh?).
    I'm sorry you're sick! I hope you feel better soon!
    This is perfect: "writing a novel is a marathon, not a sprint" ... I forget that too easily and get frustrated. Thanks for the reminder ;)

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    1. Hi, and nice to meet you too! We always think it's funny when people say we look alike, because everyone seems to notice it more than we do. I think it's probably even more noticeable when you see us together and hear us talking.

      Glad you liked the writing/marathon metaphor. I think that's why it's so important to really love the stories we write, because we end up spending an awfully long time with them!

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  10. Feel better soon!

    I am one of those "GET IT OUT GET IT OUT NOW!" writers, but if it's any consolation, editing a first draft is an agonising experience because so much of what I wrote makes zero sense :P

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    1. Ha ha! I guess it's a bit of a trade off then. I always envy people like you who can just pour the story out, but I can see how revisions would be less than fun. I've tried to be a "get it out now" kind of writer, but for whatever reason I end up with writer's block more than when I sit and take my time. Either way, I usually spend a fair amount of time banging my head against the keyboard though. :D

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  11. I hope you feel better soon!

    It was really interesting hearing about your process for the beginnings of a story and how you want it to be cohesive and start off on the right foot. I feel like I usually find that the beginnings of stories are what I end up eventually revising (or deleting) the most. Looking forward to hearing more about the project!

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    1. You know, I probably feel that way because I rewrote the first chapter of my last manuscript so many times. The biggest problem with this story opening is the pacing. There's no sense of urgency and to fix it involves integrating a bunch of scenes rather than dragging everything out. I guess I want to give the rest of the story a good foundation, so I figure it's best to rework it now rather than later, especially since doing that will affect certain characters and how their story lines play out. I agree that the beginnings of stories usually require the most revising. I suppose that's because they have the hefty job of hooking the reader in on top of all the other information required to set the story up. It's exhausting just thinking about it! :)

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  12. I have the same problem when I start a new WiP. I have to start off "just right" or I'm stuck for a long time. I wish I was one of those people who could just write down anything and move on.

    Hope you feel better soon!

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    1. I had a horrible time getting the first chapter of my last manuscript right and it bothered me through the whole first draft. I'm trying to avoid that this time. I think a good foundation goes a long way in helping me build the rest of the story. Glad I'm not the only one!

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  13. Congratulations to your husband! Bet he's glad he ran.
    I need to have everything ironed out in my outline before I begin writing. The bonus is that when I am finished, it's not a big mess and revisions are fun.

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    1. He's very glad he ran! I think he surprised even himself. I'll pass along your congratulations to him.

      I prefer to have everything organized in my outline too. I thought I had this set out just right, but when I got it onto the page the pacing was much slower than I thought it would be. After some mulling though, I figured out how to integrate all the elements of the opening better. Now it should move faster. I agree that outlining saves a load of trouble in the revision process. I actually enjoy revising for the most part because of that.

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  14. I'm starting to see that I'm not the kind of writer who can just get the story out and worry about the rest later. I like having solid beginnings because , if the rest of the novel isn't solid, then I can at least have something to build off of when it's time to revise.

    I hope you feel better soon.

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    1. That's exactly how I feel too. I think that's especially true if you have a lot of plot elements to weave together. I've always heard so many people say they just write and write and get the story out as fast as they can, so I'm glad to hear a few people, such as yourself, say they don't work that way. :)

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  15. Sounds like you're making exciting progress on your WIP - yay! I had to go back and read the post on your husband's exciting race. I can't believe he ran so fast WHILE SICK. Amazing!!! And it's so cool that your son ran as well. A 10K is a BIG deal - so go him! :)

    Such a bummer that you now have the cold. :( Boo. Feel better soon!

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    1. This WIP has felt like a series of stops and starts, but I think I finally know how to get the beginning right, and I definitely count that as exciting progress!

      As for my husband, I think he's officially a crazy man. Although everyone at the marathon probably thought I was crazy too for screaming so loud when he came up the homestretch. My son is definitely following in his dad's footsteps. He's only thirteen and he has his sights set on some future marathons. Now if only I could be that motivated!

      The cold is a bummer for sure, but I'm taking advantage of the down time to get some reading done, so it isn't all bad. :)

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  16. Feel better soon and WOW totally impressed with your awesome husband. That's inspiring!

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    1. I was impressed with him too and a little shocked to be honest! I'm going to do lots of reading while I'm sick, because I figure that's the best medicine. :)

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  17. Hey Erin! Nice to meet you. Running and runners are TOTALLY inspiring! I'm terrible when it comes to running. I have to have a soccer ball in front of me or something. :)

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    1. Hello Leigh! Nice to meet you too! I'm amazed by the dedication of runners to their sport. Some of my blogger buddies are runners too, and they all put me to shame! I'm not athletic, so I'm better off just walking. :)

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  18. Hope your cold goes away. Sometimes I'm frustrated by the first draft because the writing is slow, or the scenes aren't flowing, like you said. I do think, however, that pushing forward helps in the long run. I don't like to linger too much, or too little. You'll get there!

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    1. Thanks, I hope my cold goes away too. In the meantime, I'm relaxing and getting some reading done. Like you've said here, I think there needs to be a balance in how much time is spent on the writing. Since I know how I want to change the opening, I'm going to tackle that right away (well, as soon as I feel better), but if it was still stumping me, then I agree that it would definitely be better to plow ahead and fix the problem later. I'm taking it as a challenge rather than a road block, so that always helps me stay motivated!

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  19. Oh, Erin, I'm so sorry you're not feeling well. Boo. I really hope your pesky cold goes away soon - and for your husband, too!

    And speaking of your husband - fourth place and under three hours??? He is my idol. In fact, please tell him I'd like to hang on to the hem of his t-shirt when he runs, so I can get there faster. Much faster. That is pretty fantastic - a big congrats to him for this accomplishment...AND with a cold, no less!!!

    Best of luck with the beginning of your WiP. I know exactly what you mean about getting off on the right foot, but it sounds like you're piecing it all together and are almost there. Just keep chipping away, it will all come together when you least expect it!

    Sending you a big cup of tea and perhaps even a snuggie (I love mine, don't judge. :) ). Happy Wednesday, E.

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    1. Thanks, Erin! While I'm sick I'm catching up on some reading, so that's a good thing. I'll pass on your congratulations to Trevor! I'm sure he'd be more than willing to let you tag along with him. As for my WIP, I'm eager to rework the beginning as soon as I'm feeling better. Nothing like a little sick break to make me antsy to get writing again.
      And no judgment on the snuggie--I spent yesterday evening curled up under a fleece Harry Potter blanket. :)

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  20. I hope you start feeling better soon! I wish you luck with your rewriting process.

    www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

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    1. Still feeling under the weather, but I did manage to get about 1000 words rewritten on my story last night anyway. Hopefully that means I'm on the mend. :)

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