Posted in Writing, Writing: Help

WIPMarathon Intro

So I don’t usually talk about my WIPs in depth at my blog. Mostly because I have too many of them going at once—or started, anyway—and I feel ashamed that I have nothing to show for it other than sweat and tears and some rough, uncompleted drafts that no one on earth but me has ever seen. Life gets in the way, writer’s block hits, and even well-intentioned “I’m going to write every day and finish this!” goals end in getting stuck at what seemed like the climax of the manuscript. (I’m looking at you, contemporary suspense YA manuscript. I’ve shelved you for a while now, but I swear someday I’ll dust you off and figure out what went wrong.)

Well, I’m tired of having nothing to show for it. It’s been my dream practically all my life to be a published author, and—dare I hope—an author with more than one book to her name. But I’m never going to get there until I have more than one manuscript to shop around!

So luckily, shiny new idea hit in early July. Like I needed another new idea I wouldn’t finish… But how about one I WOULD finish? What if I told myself I’d write almost every single day (I’m sorry, me, but some days I’m just too busy or tired to write even a line, and that’s okay, as long as it’s not often.) and this time, I had an outline ready so I couldn’t possibly wind up stuck at the end?

So that became my goal: write this manuscript and finish it. Stop fretting about all the things people will find wrong with it, that everyone I know will hate it and I’ll have to start another project, and just write it, just have another project in the wings ready to go.

So last week I found out about a group of bloggers devoting the month of August to accomplishing their individual goals in their WIPs, and although I’m late to the game, I’ve also been writing a lot this month (more than last month even), so I decided to join in! Learn more here if you feel like doing the same (yes, you can join late, I asked!).

So here’s my intro, soon followed by my check-in:

Marathon Goal: As close to finishing the first draft of this project as possible. I originally gave myself until the end of the year, but I feel more pumped. I’m hoping I can finish long before that. I did also have a goal of writing my outline this month after finishing the first four (long) chapters in July (I wanted to get a feel for the characters before I decided the rest of the plot), and I did that last weekend, yay.

Stage of writing: Writing the first draft of my sixth novel project. (Of the previous five, one is completely retired, one is finished and got me an agent :D, and the other three are in various stages of being on hiatus.)

What inspired my current project: It’s YA fantasy. I want to say Game of Thrones meets Marvel Comics’ Runaways, but every YA fantasy these days has the “YA version of Game of Thrones” tag already, so… yeah. Also, it’s my first project with multiple POVs. Four to be precise. Because I’m crazy like that.

What might slow down my marathon goal: Getting distracted, getting busy, and having too much work to do. I write for a living, too, and if I spend all day staring at my computer, pulling the creative juices out of my brain writing for work, sometimes I’m simply too exhausted to keep doing that for my own stuff. (Seriously, I wish I had like a Kindle screen just for typing. I get so tired of staring at a glowing screen.)

Posted in Reading

My Reads for 2012

It’s a little early, and if I find the time, I may finish the book I’m currently working on (and another… probably not, but you never know), but I thought I’d list the books I read this year! I’m a little excited because last year I barely read any books. I got a lot more gaming done, though. Sometimes it seems like I have to rotate my hobbies if I ever want to have time for it all.

This list is nothing compared to some of my friends’, who single-handedly keep the library open or the e-bookstores in business (I kid). But there are five 1000-ish-page books on this list, so that’s got to count for something, right?

2012 was a pretty awesome reading and writing year for me. I got into one of my favorite series (a few years behind most fans), which in turn inspired me to get back into serious creative writing, and I finally finished my first manuscript. (I’ve gotten close with a second one, but we’ll see if I can finish its first draft within the last few weeks of the year or not!)

This list covers novels only, no graphic novels or manga, of which I read plenty this year:

  1. Graceling by Kristin Cashore (I’d started it in 2011, though)
  2. Mr. Monk on Patrol by Lee Goldberg (I was a big fan of the show, and some of the books continue on from where the show left off–too bad they’re ending in a few weeks!)
  3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  4. Catching Fire  ditto
  5. Mockingjay ditto (this was the new favorite series–I read books 2 and 3 over a weekend)
  6. Fire by Kristin Cashore
  7. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte (because it was about time I read a work by the third Bronte sister, and I’d enjoyed the TV production)
  8. The Girl Who Was on Fire collection of essays (still obsessing about Hunger Games at the time)
  9. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin (I got into the show a year late)
  10. A Clash of Kings ditto
  11. Mr. Monk Is a Mess by Lee Goldberg
  12. The Sweet Life ebooks 1 and 2 by Francine Pascal (since I got the ebooks for review–I still haven’t finished the saga, though; as long as I wasn’t reviewing, I was waiting for the print version)
  13. Sweet Valley Confidential ditto (another book for review)
  14. A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin (my favorite of the series by far)
  15. A Feast for Crows ditto
  16. America Again: Re-Becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t by Stephen Colbert (it has pictures, but it counts, right?)
  17. A Breath of Eyre by Eve Marie Mont
  18. A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin (my least favorite of the five–it took me three months to finish, as I kept getting distracted. The others took me about a month each.)
  19. Who Could That Be at This Hour? by Lemony Snicket (yay for more Snicket!)
  20. Divergent by Veronica Roth (a really addicting read I got through in three days; I’m going to read the next one soon, I hope)
  21. Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore (still working on it–I wonder if I’ll finish by the end of the year?)

Here’s to more good reads in 2013! What did you read this year?

Posted in Geek Out, Reading

Reading the Source Material: Too Much for the Mainstream?

“Most people just don’t care that much, Amy….”

I heard that from my boyfriend the other day. No, we weren’t discussing anything of import at the time (although the quote sadly applies to those topics, too). I was in the middle of another ranting geek fit that my boyfriend puts up with. (He’s a geek, too, but since I’m the one who drags him to conventions, and I have a love for superhero comics that he simply has never shared, perhaps I flatter myself to be slightly more geeky.) The penultimate episode of Game of Thrones season two had aired, and I was telling him about some of the reactions I read online. Many people feared something had happened to a beloved character… And I knew almost as soon as I became a fan of the series what that character’s entire future (thus far) would be. Hadn’t they read the books? Or at least Googled info? It’s been online probably since the days of dial-up. I didn’t even start watching Game of Thrones until this past March, and I didn’t pick up the books until shortly thereafter. I wasn’t one of the fans who knew for years and years, but still, once I was interested enough in the series, I was dying to know more, and I devoured almost anything I could find on the topic.

I had a similar geek fit earlier this year towards the end of the second season of The Walking Dead. My own friends were the culprit this time, shocked and confounded by what happened on the screen! Meanwhile, almost as soon as I liked the TV series (a year later than most), I picked up all of the graphic novels and devoured them in a matter of a week. True, the series differentiates quite a lot from the original source material, but the particular event in question is something I braced for from the start… Seeing as how it happened almost at the start in the comics.

It could simply be a matter of time, and the fact that when you earn some free time, it’s far easier to veg out in front of a screen that does all of the entertaining for you. Sometimes going back to the source material is a pretty big commitment. (I’m now week six-ish into my vow to read all of A Song of Ice and Fire, and I’m only about 3/4 through the second book… By the way, I bet you didn’t know that’s what the Game of Thrones series is actually called, if you’re among those not interested in the source material!) Other people want to be surprised as they watch the movie/series, and they consider the originals sources of “spoilers.” (Me, on the other hand–I’ll look up spoilers before I even get that far in the reading, although I am getting better at fighting that urge…) I get it, I get that I’m probably just too much of a geek, but I can’t imagine loving a movie or a series, finding out it’s based on books, comics or even a video game, and not wanting to immerse myself further!

…And yes, I know, I probably just need to chill.

Do you read the book/comic first or are you inspired to read something after seeing an on-screen adaptation? Do you ever love a movie or TV show, learn that there are source materials and just not have the urge to check out more? (I’m looking at you, millions and millions of Avengers movie fans!)