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Friday, January 7, 2011

Happy New Year; or, My First Rookie Writing Mistake

Happy New Year 2011! Yeah, I know I'm late. I've been too busy trying to keep up with my already too-extensive list of New Year's resolutions. Maybe that's why I never actually achieve any of my goals--every year, I always have too many!

One of our new resolutions--me and the Iceman--is to stick to a tight-wad budget so we can start really making a dent in our student loans. (If you didn't already know, dentists have a load of debt the size of my resolutions list. No, actually, way more than that.) Ice has always been anti-budgets,and I've been pro-clueless about money in general, but we finally gave in. It's been really good so far. We even have a calendar whiteboard that we record every purchase onto. Nerdy, perhaps? Is it even more nerdy to tell you that it's hung up right next to our bed? Well, at least we are cheap nerds.

Another one of my resolutions is to write an entire first draft of a novel. Said novel is one that I have been working on for umm....over two years. I got the idea for it about the time that I was newly pregnant with my baby girl who is now 19 months old. I've thought about it relentlessly, but when I'd sit down to write, I just couldn't get past the first chapter. Finally, last fall I went to my writing group and shared a short story I had written. The ladies told me it was good but that the beginning was slow. Apparently I was boring them with too many background details leading up to the action. (ME? Boring? Pshaw. Okay they were right.) But I learned some great rookie writing advice: You HAVE to start a story where the action begins. Then you can go back and fill in *needed* background details later.

I realized that I had been doing that same thing with my novel. I was boring MYSELF with all the background details leading up to the action, to the point that I didn't even want to keep writing! (You can laugh at me, it's okay.) So I started over, right where I thought the action would begin. And BAM! I wrote three chapters in just a few weeks.

Now I am stuck again. So you see, this finishing the rough draft business is going to take me a while. But I had a great thought today that I think will get me out of the rut. Also, the belated Christmas present my parents got me arrived in the mail yesterday, and I think it will definitely make my writing easier. How do you like this little beauty?

Yes, it's even pink! I cried when I got it. Thanks Mom and Dad!

1 comment:

  1. I might be a little jealous, although I always think that pink things looks like they went through the dryer with something red. I've busted two laptops, and I'm stuck with this desktop which is black and boring.

    You'll get there with that first draft! What really helped me get through my first draft was knowing and accepting that it was going to be awful. And it was. And I never look at it now as I rewrite the book.