If you’ve been around here a while, you probably know that I’m working on a novel about mermaids. At least, that was my plan. Just Trust Me is the prelude to this novel and I started writing it this month.
However… I’m running into some problems. Mainly, mermaids are *2!%!%!%^! hard to write about!
This leads me to question if I should write it on mermaids. The reasons are as follows.
Why I want to write Mermaids:
- Mermaids are awesome.
- I’ve discovered a few twists with mermaids that I’d like to play along with.
- One of the main components of my story is the fact that the mermaids are “rescuing” humans, and the humans are living under the sea as mermaids. I can’t figure out a situation that involves that.
- All of my houses and town arrangements involve a 3D layout of the towns. I’m not sure how to change that (besides making them able to fly.)
- I have heard rumors of mermaids possibly being the next thing after vampires.
Why I don’t want to write mermaids:
- One of my components is the fact that mermaids and humans can produce offspring. I can’t figure out how they could do reconstructive surgery and still keep the private areas in tack enough.
- I can’t figure out how or what they can eat or drink. Particularly eat. And while I’m on that, what about smoking?
- Movement is difficult to describe. Sitting, standing, walking, ect.
- I can’t figure out how to do furniture either.
- Sometimes too unique of an environment throws readers. I’m here to tell a good story, not show how good I am at creating an environment.
So, I have three options.
A) Keep it as it is and figure all this out. After all, I’m a writer. I should be able to.
B) Create an air pocket under the sea, so they generally walk around on two legs, like the Irish mermaids can, add extra buoyancy which not only allows them to have a 3D movement but then they can jump up, and, if desired, they can swim through the water well and rescue humans. Then also, they can eat easier.
C) Create a world that involves flying “mermaids,” so I maintain the 3D movement aspect, make it easier for them to eat, keep the legs, so we have no problem with reproducing, and movement is the best. The problem with this is: what are the humans in this scenario?
I realized today that I have actually started three separate books. I’m stunned. And worse, I don’t know what to write.
- Mermaids: This story revolves around a political turmoil in a mermaid world. Nessa is the youngest daughter of the king but wants to be queen. Under their government, she can be elected as queen. However, it is only through the Adamahs, humans who have been changed to mermaids, that she can do this. In this I have the election, and the result afterwards, and it’s really awesome. :)
- Intentional Accidents: This story revolves around two characters, a pirate and an assassin. They’re stories interweaves into smiliar threads and storylines but I only know about the pirate. She is feeling lonely, hurt and wants off the pirate ship but doesn’t see a way to get off. A police man unknowingly gets on the pirate ship and encourages her to find her own way. The assassin is also tired of her life, wants out, but doesn’t know how to leave. I haven’t dealt with the assassin much, focusing on developing the pirate story, then the assassin, then merging them at the end.
- Mindskill: In mindskill, a doctor develops telepathy as an implant. He implanted his daughter without her knowledge, understanding that soon it would be a necessary skill to survive. He dies though before he can tell her, in an “accident” and she must discover the truth for herself, along with a plot to take over the world and a plan to keep those with this skill safe. This was going to be my shot at writing a trilogy (Which is a huge task, let me tell you.)
I’ve written 36 words of Intentional Accidents (9,455 words), 93 pages of mindskill (25,000) and 61 pages (16,000 words) of mermaids.
Here’s the problem: I like them all. I stopped mindskill because I needed to develop it more. I stopped Intentional Accidents because I needed to skim and I didn’t know how to. (I’m playing around writing the ending scene to that.) And I’m currently writing mermaids (which may not end up being mermaids, which makes me sad, but that is fact.)
I have every intention of finishing all of these. All of them are probably good. But how? I’m mean, seriously, I probably have enough to write about for three years (at least), not to mention that I need to write synopses to send these books out, and I want to write Sagi’s tragedy (short story), and I’d really like to write one of the stories my friend and I write out (novel), and I’d like to edit Hope (or at least make a logical decision whether to toss it), and edit Giant’s Wife and–
*stops for breath*
I just have too many ideas I think. How do I choose?
As I work on my first draft of my mermaid story, I’m find myself having to remind myself about how to write. As this is only my second or third novel, I want it to be just like the novel I already finished. So here is a list of things to remind myself as I write.
- This will not be perfect.
- Write first; edit later.
- Your characters talk to you more while you write than when you plan. So write already.
- Facebook and wordpress are only there to distract you.
- As related to number four, facebook and wordpress do not need to be checked every five minutes. They can live without you.
- Mail doesn’t need to be checked either.
- Facts about how much caffeine a dog can intake doesn’t need to be looked at.
- It’s just ones and zeros. Ones and zeros are cheap and easy to change, so keep writing.
- Your perceptions of how good a section is aren’t reliable. Just because you think it’s boring doesn’t mean that it’s boring. Wait a little bit.
- Sometimes character histories have to change.
- Sometimes it’s best to wait until later to look up a small bit of factual information. After all, the internet will then distract you.
- Be open to change.
That’s all I have at the moment. Do you have anything to add?
So here’s today’s fun survey. How do you write? And by that, I mean do you write one book the whole way, edit it, and then move on to the next? Do you write more than one? Do you write in forward motion or do you write each section as they come to you?
Moreover, why do you do it that way?
Personally, I write in chronological order, but much of me thinks that I shouldn’t be doing that all the time. I always gets stuck when I need to move from March to April, and nothing really happens. So then I postpone the writing. I think if I realize that the things I want to write are the really interesting things, well, then, the things I don’t want to write are obviously boring. Maybe?
Don’t know. Just a thought. The one time I did write out of order, the characters were completely different and I kept very little of it. I’m having a harder time deciding how to balance everything that I want to write.
I had this thought recently and I am using this as motivation to submit my work. Basically, I can tell in a second what book will never make the New York Times bestseller list: the one not submitted.
I know, duh, but I think we still need a reminder. We may have written the best novel ever, but the fact comes down to it that if it just stays on our computer and we do nothing with it, nothing happens. We never become that famous person.
I’m thinking, as motivation, I need to make this into a poster and frame it, because I’m much too slow at doing anything so far.
So my school last a writing contest every year. The first year, I really bombed it. My story wasn’t really that great (I didn’t realize that at the time.) and much too long.
This year I worked even harder, because I wanted to win something. I submitted Just Trust Me into the contest.
And I came in third.
Now, you may think that, “Abigail, seriously, that’s just third. That’s–$50. If you’re lucky.”
I’m thinking, “Abigail. You got in third. That’s better than last year. And you still have a couple more chances.”
Moreover, I suspect Ariel, who won, is actually a more detailed writer than I am. Not sure if that’s good or not. Just a fact.
Anyway, that’s my life. This is awesome! Now you have a reason to go read it.
Oh, right, and this is the prelude (I think) to my new novel that I wrote 40 (font size 18) over spring break.
What no wife of a writer can ever understand is that a writer is working when he’s staring out of the window. ~Burton Rascoe
Almost always, I find inspiration at bookstores. I walk through one, browsing the numerous titles, thinking about how much I’d love to see my own book(s) there, and eventually end up at the writing books. There, I pick up some books, browse through them, and find some glimmer of wisdom to enhance my writing and motivate me to write on the way home.
For the first time in several months, I finally had a chance to go to the bookstore today. No, it’s not for lack of not trying to; I live an hour away from anything decent. And don’t get me wrong–I found several good books–but I also came out rather depressed. Why?
Because every mistake writers make or every “rule” of writing that I read today, I either know about and follow, or haven’t written anything that requires me to followed them. Basically, I know a lot of it.
Worse, one of the “rules” I wasn’t sure about, the author says she doesn’t need to explain it. Moreover, she skips possibly the most important “rule” in that all chapters should end with a question. (That I consider to be a practical explanation of how to build tension and suspense, but that’s another post all together)
I was reading Thanks but This Isn’t for Us, and as i went through each of the suggestions, I found some interesting things. (Like with romance stories it is good to have at least one character who has some reason why he/she can’t be in love.) But almost all of her common goofs, I sat there and explained to my sister that yeah, I know this is a problem for this and this and this.
So here it comes down to it: I apparently know how to write. I need to just sit down and write. After eight years of skimming writing books (I only own two.), writing a few stories, editing my few stories, working through problems and everything else involved with writing, I realize that I know enough I can practically write a writing book.
So in the end, it all comes back to the fact that to be a writer, a real writer, I need to write. Starting tomorrow.
As part of a critiquing website that I occasionally take part in, we are told to make recommendations. Dont’ slam the person in the critique and realize that grammar rules are meant to be broken. They are more guidelines .
That is all fine and good, until I critiqued a story for a guy who could not get his quotations right. It drove me insane. He sometimes had the punctuation on the inside, sometimes on the outside, sometimes he didn’t even close it.
Because of time, I edited one chapter, sent that to him, and then edited the other two later on in the week. In the between time, he made a comment that caused me to think he is still maybe late highschool or early college. He writes a lot–yes!–but I think I misjudged his age.
As such, at the end of my critique, I sent him a quick summary of quotation rules, and phrased it as, If you didn’t know these, well, here go. Soon afterwards, I wrote a post about quotations as an FYI.
This may seem like a side note, but my brother is going to school for graphic design. He is so good at what he does that he is making things like videos and ecards for the school. He gets frustrated though with video tutorials that say something along the lines of, “Here’s the rule of thirds. But you know what? This is art. Be creative.”
This is his opinion, and as such, I think it very much applies to writing.
Follow the rules of grammar, unless you can give me a good reason why you aren’t.
So I’m not saying that you can’t be creative with how you present information. Writing is creativity. But make sure you have a good reason why you don’t follow that rule before you decide to break it.