A whole day’s worth. Despite backing them up 3 ways. Much hair tearing until I realized it was a good thing. The chapter sucked and was unnecessary. So I cut it. Take that, evil revision-eating demon.
Brian Ross. We worked on the school newspaper. He became a famous journalist. I didn’t. In the old days* he was afraid of snakes. Now he’s not even afraid of the Mafia. Go figure.
*Speaking of which, now you know how old I am, unless you’ve been gracious enough not to look it up.
So my two truly wonderful critque groups sometimes** give me suggestions so dramatic that they would involve total rewrites. And then I start ‘shredding’ and discover I’ve “lost my way” to quote the wonderful Rebecca Stead, because I’m not sure where the characters and story have disappeared to. Sometimes I do have an epiphany, and I say “That suggestion is the key to everything.”*** But when that doesn’t happen, as Ricky Nelson said in the immortal song, “Garden Party,”
You see, ya can’t please everyone, so ya got to please yourself
*If you’re old enough to remember who he is you probably refer to your CD player as a phonograph.
**As in ‘currently’
Do I actually write better on five hours of sleep, or is it that I think the words I just wrote are great because I’ve had five hours of sleep?*
*I’m not going to show you those words, because I deal very poorly with rejection.**
**And that’s why writing and acting are such perfect choices for me.***
Nor flooded coffee place shall keep me from writing. No, seriously, a mini-hurricane flooded my coffee/writing place. The water stopped inches from my feet. I kept writing anyway. In fairness (to me), so did everybody else. Nothing distracts me from my laptop and my latte.
A Capoeira demo in the middle of my favorite coffee place. Seriously? And I kept writing anyway.*
*I haven’t read what I wrote that day. It might be, uh, a bit aggressive.
I am going to finish the trilogy. Why, you might ask?* I read a spoiler-filled interview with the author and decided I liked the ending. Yes, that’s counterintuitive. So shoot me.
*Though you probably won’t
Not going to finish the trilogy, after all. It took this kind of soap opera turn where the plot kept going back and forth, and the obstacles were mostly all the same, and characters kept changing their minds and never moving forward, and, well I think I’m relieved of my commitment.*
*It’s not me, it’s you, trilogy.
Decided to read an earlier work of an author I love.* It’s not as nuanced, imaginative or original as the later stuff, but it’s an EARLIER WORK, people. It’s not supposed to be. I mean, it would be really sad if it had been all downhill from here.
So here’s why I’m going to finish it: I care what happens to the characters. One of the worst things I can imagine hearing as a writer is “Your writing is terrific, but who cares.”
*not going to tell you the name of either.
**Let’s be honest. I have heard it.
When you* write YA people tell you a lot of rules you’re supposed to follow. For example, “never introduce a lot of named characters in the first few pages.” I tested that premise by checking out a bunch of my very favorite YA books. Guess what!** The number of named characters in the first 3 pages varied from 3-8.
So I believe ‘rules’ should be called ‘guidelines,’ except when the books you love don’t follow them, in which case you shouldn’t call them anything.
**I know you already guessed. Play along with me.