Wednesday, 26 March 2014

What's Up Wednesday


In case you’re new to WUW, it’s a blog hop created by my sister Jaime and me, intended to help writers keep in touch with one another. If you’d like to participate, please sign up on the linky below, and be sure to spread some writerly encouragement around to at least a few other people taking part.

What I’m Reading:

I’m only a few chapters into Unhinged by A.G. Howard. This wasn’t a huge reading week for me, so hopefully I’ll get to sit down soon and really delve into this story.

What I’m Writing:

Jaime and I had two Skype writing sessions this week, during which I continued my first round of revisions. I’m still incorporating my notes into my ms, and I’m also chopping bits and rewriting certain scenes as I go. I’m not paying (much) attention to prose this time through. My strategy is to work from big to small, hammer out the plot and find the overall shape of the story before worrying too much about how things sound or about nitpicky details. It’s hard not to get distracted by all the little things I want to tweak now.

I'm currently working on a section of scenes that plateaus in the middle of the story by attempting to integrate them better so the pacing doesn’t slow too much. This WIP is a sequel, and I’m trying my darndest to make sure it doesn’t have “diaper bum”—as in totally saggy and droopy. Middle books are notorious for that, as I’m sure you know. I'm fairly certain enough happens in this book, so once things are tightened up, it should be fine. What a challenge sequels are! I feel like I’m learning a lot from the experience though.

What Inspires Me Right Now:

Authors like Marissa Meyer and Rae Carson who write series that get better as they progress. Obviously, I’d never compare myself to them, but it gives one something to strive for, doesn’t it?

Ozzy the three-legged pug
being adorable
What Else I’m Up To:

Other than watching Veronica Mars and doing my Roswell Challenge on the treadmill, I haven’t been doing much besides revisions and normal day to day stuff. I switched out an episode of Roswell to watch Epic while exercising the other day. It had a redheaded protagonist, a three-legged pug, and Leafmen that looked like miniature Mirkwood elves, so naturally I loved it. I didn’t know until recently that it’s very loosely based on a picture book by William Joyce called The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs, which I used to read to my son. William Joyce is a god in our house, considering my son’s obsession with Rolie Polie Olie when he was little. He actually went through a phase where he insisted everyone call him Olie, so this movie made me a tad nostalgic for those days.

Well that’s my severely uneventful week. What’s up with you?

36 comments:

  1. Good luck with your revisions. I'm always inspired by authors whose work I love; it really does motivate you to try harder to make your writing the best it can be.

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    1. Thanks! It's been slow going, but I'm making progress, so that's good. There are some stellar authors out there that set the bar so high for the rest of us. It's both inspiring and daunting at the same time!

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  2. I thought EPIC was really cute. Though, as far as tiny people who live in the trees go, I'd choose FernGully. :-) Sounds like you've been really productive in your revising -- way to go! And I'm with you: series that continue to improve are the *best.* I just preordered the last book in the DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE trilogy and I'm sincerely hoping it lives up to its predecessors. Have a great week, Erin!

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    1. Oh gosh, I haven't seen Ferngully in years! I'm tempted to buy a copy of Epic after watching it on Netflix, because it's one I just might watch again.

      I got a nice chunk of revising done this week, but somehow it still feels like slow going to me. Maybe that's just because it's hard work and I'll notice a bigger difference on this next read through? Not sure. I'm looking forward to the last book in Laini Taylor's trilogy too. This is such a big year for trilogy endings! Hope your week is great too!

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  3. Ha! "Diaper bum" is a good term. I think I'm a rare middle book lover. I don't read too many series but the ones I have committed to often have decent middle books. I've never read anything by Marissa Meyer although I do own Cinder. I'll have to try and get to it soon. Have a good week and best of luck with your revisions!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the diaper metaphor :D

      I highly recommend CINDER and the latest two books in the Lunar Chronicles. You should definitely treat yourself and read it soon. Have a great week yourself!

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  4. Saggy middles are difficult, but then writing a sequel sounds hard to me.
    Good luck with those revisions!

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    1. Writing a sequel is a way bigger challenge than I thought it would be. Turns out it involves so much more than just continuing the story (which I knew going into it, but reality has definitely kicked in on that). I'm sure the third book will have it's own unique challenges too. Thanks for wishing me luck!

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  5. Aww....Ozzy is cute :) I haven't seen EPIC, but I'll probably eventually catch it on cable. Some of my friends with kids have recently recommended FROZEN, so there's another one I need to watch at some point.

    Good luck with your revisions!

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    1. Isn't he adorable? Pugs are my favourite kind of dog, so I actually squealed out loud a few times while watching Epic. I haven't seen Frozen yet either. The trailer didn't especially catch my interest, but seeing as everyone's raving about it, I feel like I'm missing out now. :)

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  6. Sequels are tricky! But I'm sure if you know what you're looking for, you can avoid the middle book syndrome. Sounds like you have a great plan in mind! Good luck!

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    1. They're SO tough! I went into this book with a thorough outline (understatement--I'm an obsessive outliner lol), so that's helped, but it's much more difficult than just continuing the story: recapping book one, setting up book three, then making sure the story stands in it's own right. My head is spinning just thinking about it! Thanks for wishing me luck! :)

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  7. So, I'm watching Veronica Mars too, as we have already discussed on Twitter. LOVE IT! Occasionally, I pull my Roswell DVDs out to give them another look as well. Between those shows, and Psych, you and I have (awesome) similar taste! The series slum can be overcome, as the authors you mentioned, and so many others, have proven. You CAN do it! Every book I write somehow becomes a series, maybe because I write fantasy, maybe because I'm a glutton for punishment, and so I feel your fear that I'll bomb my sequels. Determination and planning hopefully will help. Also, listening to your characters, I think, is the most important thing as a writer.

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    1. I honestly can't believe it took me so long to get around to watching it. I think it's one of my favourite shows ever now. You're a Roswell fan too? Very cool. We do have awesome taste, don't we? Once I'm done VM, it's back to Psych again, so Shawn and Gus will help me work through my sadness over that ;)

      Thanks for the encouragement on writing my sequel. I think my biggest complaint with second books is that it often feels like nothing is happening, like it's just a bridge between book one and two without much real purpose. I've made sure this sequel has it's own story line (outlined to death), with it's own plot twists, plenty of action, and character development, so that's a start. I think once I hack out a ton of words and tighten things up, that will help with the pacing a lot. It always feels worse when you're up to your neck in those first revisions. And yes, determination is key!

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  8. Good luck with your revisions. A sequel or second book can be hard if you haven't planned it out carefully in advance, as I found out when writing an unplanned sequel (now hiatused) to the book I'm now editing and revising. My Russian novel sequel, in comparison, flew out of me since it had been memorized backwards and forwards in my head for about half of my life, and had an outline and chapter by chapter notes from when I originally started it in 2001.

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    1. I'm definitely a planner. I outline and keep copious amounts of notes, so I agree about that being essential. I can't imagine attempting a sequel any other way!

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  9. We absolutely cannot have diaper bum. ;-) I know what you mean, though. I don't know if I could write a saggy sequel. It would just be too darn boring and I wouldn't even be able to get through it. From what you've told me, I really don't think you have to worry. I'm definitely inspired by these authors who hit it right out of the park (ugh, I hate baseball) with their entire series. Nothing saggy anywhere.

    I'm so happy you liked EPIC. I pretty much knew you would, especially with a three-legged pug in it. I might have to pick up a copy of that on blu-ray sometime. I've decided that anything William Joyce is something I'm going to love. And, of course, I'm thrilled that you're enjoying VMars too. Between that and recently watching the movie, I'm starting to crave a rewatch myself.

    Can't wait to 'hang out' and write again tomorrow! :-)

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    1. Diaper bum is bad in any circumstance. I sometimes wonder how certain authors got through their saggy sequel without realizing how boring it was. I mean, didn't they hate working on it enough to clue in? I'm pretty sure there's enough happening in my sequel, so that's good. I suspect the pacing issue will be helped a lot by trimming out a ton of words, which will start to happen in my next pass through.

      I might have to get a copy of Epic on bluray too. I think the guys would get a kick out of it, and it would be a welcome addition to our William Joyce collection. I actually reread THE LEAF MEN AND THE BRAVE GOOD BUGS after I finished watching Epic on Monday. They're pretty different, but like you said, it's so obvious that Epic is the work of William Joyce too. As for VMars, I think it's one of my favourite shows ever now. I can't believe I've been missing out on a show that good all this time. Trev & I mentioned getting Mars bars sometime while we watch (just what I need). Maybe for the movie.

      Talk to you tomorrow!

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  10. oh diaper bum, that made me laugh! Glad to hear your googles revision sessions are going well. Happy Writing!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed that metaphor! I was pretty sure the parents in this group would get what I meant. Jaime and I are having another online writing session tomorrow, which I'm looking forward to. It seems that Thursdays might become a regular day for that. :)

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  11. I LOVED Epic. My husband thought it was going to be lame, but I could tell from the trailers it was definitely worth watching. He agreed afterwards, and I think I might even be able to convince him we should own it. =)

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    1. I love anything William Joyce creates, so it wasn't a big surprise that I enjoyed it. My husband and son haven't watched it yet, but I think we may need to buy a copy so they can see it too. It's a keeper!

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  12. I really liked the movie Epic! The animation was gorgeous. I'll have to check out that picture book.

    Good luck with your revisions!

    Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

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    1. Wasn't it colourful and cute? I think all of William Joyce's work is wonderful. The picture book is very different than the movie, but I enjoyed both. Thanks for wishing me luck on my revisions!

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  13. Good luck with your revisions! :) Good ol' Marissa Meyer - I do love The Lunar Chronicles, I can't wait for the release of Winter. If only we didn't have to wait a year!

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    1. Thank you! It's slow going, but they're coming along. I can't wait for WINTER either. Okay, it feels really weird saying that seeing as I'm desperately waiting for the snow to melt and for actual spring to get here lol. Waiting a whole year is going to be torture!

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  14. Diaper bum made me laugh. Good luck with your revisions. Have a great weekend!

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    1. Glad you got a kick out of that, and thanks for wishing me luck with my revisions! :D

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  15. It doesn't sound like your week was "severely uneventful" at all! You exercised, you wrote/revised, you connected with your sis, all awesome! Sometimes uneventful weeks are just what we need. Sounds like you are doing well on your Book 2 revisions. Keep up the great work!

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    1. Uneventful other than the usual things, but I'm okay with that! I totally agree that uneventful weeks are necessary. Once the weather gets nicer around here it gets so much busier, so I guess I should enjoy it while I can. Revisions are going slowly but surely. That's to be expected on the first pass through my ms though, and I'm looking forward to getting into polishing the prose. That's the fun part! :)

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  16. Some weeks are definitely more eventful and exciting than others. Ebb and flow. Ying and yang. It just means you have some excitement coming ;)

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    1. Very true, and I sometimes prefer uneventful weeks to be honest. They don't necessarily make the most interesting WUW posts, but a break from the busyness is often a welcome thing!

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  17. We love Epic! And my daughter was all over Rolie Polie Olie when she was little. Fun!

    So awesome you and Jaime can Skype/brainstorm together about your stories. Good luck this week with your revisions!

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    1. We like to joke that Rolie Polie Olie was my son's introduction to sci-fi, seeing as the Olie is a robot. Cutest show ever! Jaime and I have been working on Skype a lot together lately. It's good for the accountability. Thanks for wishing me luck!

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  18. I haven't written any sequels yet (though FR is the first in a planned trilogy), but I'm already intimidated by the thought. Good for you for going for it!! Good luck!!

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