Monday, August 31, 2015

Last Week #41 - Semi-Colons

Looking at a few early pages of my WIP and I wondered, what's with all the semi-colons? I took them out. Like a lot.  What was I thinking?  Seriously, like 5 on one page?  Who need 5 semi-colons on one page?  It's all much better now, of course.  In general, I don't think fiction needs a lot of semi-colons. Maybe 5 in an entire novel, not on a single page.  Maybe I hadn't learned that when I wrote that page.  I wonder what else I have to learn.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Random #58 - First Sentences

I recently changed the entire first page of my work-in-progress and that got me thinking of first sentences. The first one that popped into my head was from Pride and Prejudice, "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." While I enjoyed Jane Austen's most famous work, part of the reason I thought of this quote was because that line gets a lot of air play. Then I wondered, what were the first sentences of some of my favourite books...

The story had held us, round the fire, sufficiently breathless, but except the obvious remark that it was gruesome, as, on Christmas Eve in an old house, a strange tale should essentially be, I remember no comment uttered till somebody happened to say that it was the only case he had met in which such a visitation had fallen on a child. – The Turn of the Screw, Henry James

Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show. – David Copperfield, Charles Dickens

We slept in what had once been the gymnasium. – The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood

When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold. – The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins

The servants called them malenchki, little ghosts, because they were the smallest and the youngest, and because they haunted the Duke’s house like giggling phantoms, darting in and out of rooms, hiding in cupboards to eavesdrop, sneaking into the kitchen to steal the last of the summer peaches. – Shadow and Bone, Leigh Bardugo

There was once, in the country of Alifbay, a sad city, the saddest of cities, a city so ruinously sad that it had forgotten its name. – Haroun and the Sea of Stories, Salman Rusdie

The day I died started out bad and got worse in a hurry. – Undead and Unwed, MaryJanice Davidson

The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed. – The Gunslinger, Stephen King

Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board. – Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston

Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself. – Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf

A few years ago it dawned on me that everybody past a certain age – regardless of how they look on the outside – pretty much constantly dreams of being able to escape from their lives. - The Gum Thief, Douglas Coupland

My mother thinks I'm dead. - Legend, Marie Lu

All this happened, more of less. - Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Across genres and eras, the first sentence of a novel is important. It can captures a reader's interest or make them roll their eyes in annoyance. I've learned that not all first lines hold mystery, sometimes it takes the first paragraph or first page. I have a lot of respect though, for writers that can take you away, pull you in, grab and never let go, with that first sentence.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Last Week #40 - A Whole New First Page

I was reading the first page of my current work-in-progress and decided to rewrite the whole thing.  I just read it and thought, this is awful. So I started changing it.  At first, I was just making changes on the actual page (I've printed out a hard copy of what is finished so far), but there just wasn't enough space and I was slashing through paragraphs. I got out my notebook and just started writing. The old first page became basically an outline of what I wanted to happen to the character, but now I was using the words that would convey her indifference, fear, and worry. I wrote it out by hand, which always makes me feel good. I'm happy with the work I've done this week. I wish it were more, but I'm going to look at the quality instead of the quantity.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Quote #43 - Bruce Lee

If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you'll never get it done.
- Bruce Lee

Monday, August 17, 2015

Last Week #39 - Real Life Was Busy

Work was busy, as I had to cover for someone who was on vacation.

My cousin got married.

My Hubby has been helping friends build a deck, which often means we end up at their place for dinner. Not that I'm complaining.  They're great people, with great kids, and excellent taste in beer and wine.

Two play dates.


I've been reading Mansfield Park, though, and that's been really great.

A little bit of writing, mostly notes about things, not actual creation of scenes or anything.

You think you're going to have more free time in the summer, but that's never the case for me.  I'm always busy in the summer and can't wait for the Fall (sorry summer people).

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Random #57 - Katniss & Superman

So, I have totally been distracted by the internet for the past couple days (procrastinating?) and I read that Jennifer Lawrence auditioned for the part of Bella Swan and Henry Cavill auditioned for the part of Edward Cullen (he also auditioned for Cedric Diggory).  Could you imagine Twilight with the two of them?  Though it may have been disappointing at the time, I think it was good for their careers. Because we got:


Sunday, August 9, 2015

Last Week #38 - What Happens When I'm Left Alone

I did some writing this weekend and it was great.  It only took being left completely alone for more than a day.  I would have liked to get more done, but I was still at home and there was still housework.  Oh well.  I liked what I did.  I'm not sure how much of it will get kept, but I like this snippet:

        “Did you know they were bad?” I asked his reflection.

He raised his head, I could see him follow my gaze to the television. He looked back up at the side of my head. “I’m not sure how to answer that.”

“Because of your job or because you don’t want to hurt me?” I sat down in the armchair, putting some space between us.

He looked at me, seemed to be taking everything in, from the shine of my hair to the wool socks on my feet.  He furrowed his brow, “Yes.”

“Ah.” I lean back and tucked my feet underneath myself. I gazed down at my hands, folded in my lap, “Too bad we couldn’t have met sooner, or differently.”

“I was just thinking the same thing.”

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Quote #42 - Quentin Tarantino

A writer should have this little voice inside of you saying, Tell the truth. Reveal a few secrets here.
- Quentin Tarantino

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Random #56 - More Social Media Thoughts

I've recently been thinking about social media again since I've come to learn that Instagram has just about as many users as Twitter. Right now my social media consists of Twitter, two blogs and a sprinkling of Pinterest (I use Pinterest for myself, but I also post things I hope others will enjoy.) I know people who own their own businesses and use social media very actively. They have commented about how much work being active on social media can actually be when you're trying to promote your presence or product, while still being interesting and engaging. I also feel that using social media should be at least in some part fun. I think the possibility for fun exists with using Instagram and since I have recently purchased a new phone, the idea has become more attractive. But still I resist. How much time would using Instagram consume, when I often feel that I don't ever have enough. I am totally over-thinking it, aren't I?  If I want to use Instagram, I should just use it and post when I feel like it. Am I right?

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Last Week #37 - Just A Few More Sentences

It was another busy week family-wise. Lots of playdates and appointments.  Oh, real life.... Today is also my mother's birthday. I'm sneaking in a little writing time before more family time starts. I did happily get started on a new scene, written by hand, otherwise I'd post a little tidbit here.  It made me feel good though, just to get those few pages done.  Okay, well, time to get going.  I'm taking my notebook with me for the car rides though, so I'll hopefully be squeezing out a couple more sentences.