Theater Masks

Theater Masks

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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Further proof

I confirmed for myself that I have the "idea bank" to be a writer. I finished the last book so quickly, I began panicking that I didn't have something on deck to start writing.

Yesterday an Idea came to me (yes, the capital is intentional). Whether or not it goes anywhere remains to be seen - after all, my mystery crashed and burned - but so far I think it's pretty solid. It's a little more mature than my other books - I was going back and forth between whether or not to approach it as an adult book or a YA, and Caitie persuaded me to go with YA. It's semi-dystopian, with a definite influence from one of my favorite writers, Stephen King. I find when I go into many details early on I dilute the idea too much, so I don't want to say much more than that right now.

As for the other book - Caitie is going to look it over next week and then out it goes. Fingers crossed!

Friday, March 25, 2011


I started on 2/11/11 -- and finished tonight - 3/25/11. I wrote an entire book in 42 days (it's a Lost number and the meaning of life, coincidence?).

Let me get this straight - I didn't intend a rush job - nor do I think it is one. I didn't think, when I began, I would EVER get a book written in a little over a month. And I have to say (sort of echoing one of my characters and not without a bit of shameless self-promotion), it's pretty darn good. I'm pretty critical of myself, and I think this is some of the best stuff I've written. I know for sure it is the most FUN I've ever had writing a book.

There are authors out there, at least so I've read, who have talked about books spilling out of them - writing themselves almost. I never experienced that before - but that's kind of what happened with this one. Despite working full time teaching, I managed to average a little under 1,000 words a day - a number which is pretty good for me. I tend to write in spurts - 2,000 one day, 100 another. That's pretty normal for me. Somehow, this book just was there.

I learned something about my writing from this book. With Before White I had a vague idea of where I was going. Although that book was densely plotted, it took a lot of time outside of writing to sort through my thoughts. For something like that, it worked. Goodson took me ten years to fully develop. It's hard to measure that one. Sparks took me several months to write. I had an even vaguer idea of where that was going than Before White (I had the concept, but the actual plot was kind of made up as I went). This book, which, by the way, I'm tentatively calling Bye, Bye Connie, came to me almost fully formed. I knew the characters, I knew the basic plot, I knew what the final scene would be almost immediately. Sure, details changed, but the basic plot stayed the course. The jokes and humor came as I wrote - and not to toot my own horn, but I think the book is funny - and that was more fun than almost anything else to write.

Caitie's making me wait a week to revise. I'm so gung-ho on this book, I want to jump in and do it now, but she's right. I have been penpals with a pretty well known theater columnist for years now - even met him twice - and I asked him to read the book for me when I finished. He VERY enthusiastically agreed, so the impetus to get this out is even stronger. I know of an agent already who is looking for a book along these lines.

Maybe I'm overreaching my hopes - but unlike Han Solo, I kind of have a good feeling about this.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Writing writing writing

I've been flying through my new book. I'm closing in on 25,000 words, and my goal is to keep it at a solid middle grade level of about 30-35,000. The thing that has made me happiest with it at this point is that I've been able to keep the voice light and humorous pretty much throughout. Certain chapters are a little "heavier" I suppose, but the humor has to be forsaken for plot at some point. Even then, the story itself never gets too heavy. I just hope that as I head towards the finish line I can keep that tone up. Since a lot of the humor is reliant on allusions that come naturally in dialogue (not trying to give too much away yet), when the characters are actively involved in the plot the jokes are much harder to write naturally.

It makes me admire the likes of Christopher Moore that much more.

Anyway, this book is the reason I haven't been blogging much. Between having a ton of papers to grade lately and trying to concentrate writing time on the book, I'm afraid I've neglected the blog. Sorry :)

As a side note, I've been reading "Publish This Book" by Stephen Markley. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in publishing -it's very funny and very well written. I'll probably have more to say when I finish it...

Monday, March 7, 2011


They're gearing up again - woohoo!

Writeoncon is a free writing conference given over the summer - tons of agents and writers meet virtually to discuss and share all aspects of writing and publishing. It was a great experience last year, and I'm looking forward to this year's as well!

If you haven't already (and I know several of my followers are already from writeoncon!), check out

It's worth your time!