Though I don’t expect anyone to jump on reading this, I decided that I’m going to post the paper I wrote last year about mermaids.
This is three-chapter work compares mermaids from different cultures of the world, including Europe, Asia, Africa and America. It briefly looks at mermaids’ appearance and personality variances. It also includes my biography.
It’s in the writing section. Which, if you just happening to be popping on here and trying to figure out where to go, that is a big place you’ll want to go because there’s usually a lot of stories. Just thought I should throw that out.
What makes something good good? Obviously, if I had a simple solution to that question, I’d be a millionaire. However, if you’re one of those people who can think and analyze something, then you might like this idea.
In short, in order to what makes something good, look at what is considered good overall. Then, look at what is average. What is the differences between the good and the average; that is what actually makes something good.
I’ve found myself doing this a lot recently. The first time I did it was when I listened to Brian Regan for a couple hours. Then, it just happen that I listened to Tim Hawkins. (He’s a Christian comedian, which is probably why you haven’t heard of him.) In all reality, he wasn’t that funny. However, by seeing them so closely back-to-back, I could easily see what made Brian Regan so good, and what worked for both of them.
Same thing with comic strips. I read Pearls before Swine every so often. I like it; I think it’s pretty funny. (Now I bet that’s something you normally don’t see together. A Christian comedian reference and something as dark as Pearls.) Anyway, if you didn’t know, Lion Brand also tries to have it’s own comic strip about a silly little old lady named Lola. It’s basically pretty lame. However, I’ve been trying to compare Pearls with Lola and that gives me, not as good if an idea, but a pretty good idea how to make a decent comic strip.
This, obviously, can apply to writing too, which is why reading a bad book isn’t always a waste of your time. Just look at what made it bad and don’t do it in your own writing.
So, I’ve been working on the mermaid novel. There’s two things that make this a learning experiance for me.
1) My first novel I planned for a year before I wrote it. This one, I started planning for it about a year ago.
2) Multiple POVs.
I didn’t expect multiple POVs to make a difference. Boy, am I wrong!
The biggest one that it makes a difference in is AVi, because Avi doesn’t have a consistent appearance. I have about 45 chapters and of those, she only gets about seven. I need then to still be consistent but even when editing, I see her so inconstantly that I don’t get a good feel for her character.
Last night, I figured out the obvious solution. I edit them in order of character’s POV. As such, because I like Avi right now, I edit all of the Avi scenes. Then I move onto another character and another until I’m done.
I got this idea because while I was editing a scene involving Ronen intentionally ignoring her, I realized that when Ronen decides he’s going to actually show he likes her, he’s going to kiss her. This makes me really excited. Now, normally, I couldn’t do anything about that until I go from chapter 8 to chapter 25. Instead of having to wait that long, I now get to jump ahead and edit chapter 24 and 25 where that happens. Then I get to jump ahead to when Avi discovers that her real boyfriend betrayed her.
For once, the story doesn’t seem so completely overwhelming. And though I know that I used future scenes to motivate me to write current scenes, I have a new plan for the boring scenes. I ask myself a few questions.
This scene is boring.
1) Is this scene needed? Why? If no, delete and move on. If yes, go to question 2.
2) Would it be better to rewrite the scene how that I know the point or try to salvage what I wrote?
Typically, I find that if I’m finding a scene to be boring to edit, it’s either so badly written that I should just restart or, more likely, it isn’t even needed or can be combined with another scene. (I did that with Shad and the resulting scene was sweet!)
It’s funny, because even though I can skim the books in Barnes and Noble and say I know most of it, I can still discover things that I still need to learn. It’s partly what makes writing fun. Maybe that’s actually why I like it so much.
Subtile information in stories is good. That’s how I like giving information in fact. I hate telling the reader flat out that such-and-such is going on. It’s much more fun to make the reader guess and think that it’s happening.
However, just because I like doing it doesn’t mean I’m good at it.
Especially with it comes to romance.
In my mermaid novel, I have two possible romances. Okay. Forget possible. I have two real romances.
Romance one is between Nessa’s bad/evil/corrupt brother, Sagi, and a woman who helps him win the election, Chava. Somehow, I need to make it seem perfectly understandable both why Sagi likes Chava, when he’s avoided all other possible romances for the last twenty years, and even more importantly, why Chava likes Sagi, all by the halfway point of the book. The Sagi one is going to be particularly hard considering that he has been basically breaking the law, been a jerk to his sister, cheated on the election and poisoned his dad. (Though I don’t think the reader will know for sure that the dad is poisoned until after they get together, and Chava knows none of this.)
All this when I haven’t really had any real relationship ever. I can’t imagine it’ll seem that realistic.
Yet, that’s the easy romance.
The harder romance is between Nessa’s half sister, Avi, and a lawyer, Ronen. if you haven’t read Just Trust Me, you should, but besides that, you would know that Avi is considered a huge shame upon her family because her mother had an affair with an Adamah, what would be pretty equal with the blacks of the South in the 1950s. (Keep in mind, Nessa’s family is royal.) Ronen, on the other hand, hates Adamahs because they killed his best friend when he was younger and then basically got off the hook.
However, he starts to like Avi. He doesn’t want to like Avi so he promptly tries to be curt with her. (In the mean time, Eyal starts to woo Avi but that’s for a completely other problem I’m having, also involving hinting, but I won’t put it here so I don’t give out too many hints.) So, I need him to somehow be mean without being too mean and I don’t know what to do about that!
This all comes because I’m working on fixing up this chapter that invovles an argument with Avi and Ronen but I don’t have any basis for the argument. As such, it seems awkward and uncertain in my mind. I’m not even sure if it is needed. But if I can properly set the scene, perhaps I can make it needed.
Which sounds horrible. But I don’t think that I can just drop it. Otherwise, I do this huge jump from a debate and Sagi’s reaction to the debate to Nessa’s seating. Okay, maybe I could jump that much. But I really want to get some Avi/Ronen action.
This is why I should have properly listened to myself and sworn off love stories. Because then I wouldn’t have this issue at all.
Then again, I still would, because I have the problem with Eyal’s background, Sagi remember Gilah, Itamar changing against Nessa, and hundreds of other little things to sneak into the story.
And did I say before that I like writing novels? Maybe I should change my mind on that one. :)
This past week, I put everything together to submit something to tor.com. Then, I got sick, so I didn’t actually send the e-mail. I’m a wimp. Okay. I’m honest with that one.
Then, on Friday, I sent the e-mail out. And I already got a response–see!
Yup, that’s right. The e-mail address isn’t any good.
So, I need to find the real e-mail address, but I’ve been to tired to do that. I’ll probably do that next week actually.
Until then, it’ll wait.
But, you know, it was rather strange just sending off that e-mail. See, I sent an e-mail earlier this week that I did not really want a response to, in which I informed a parent that their child needed to behave better in Sunday School. This time, I sent it, and I don’t even expect a response. Not really. So it was rather surreal, which surprised me.
My brother pointed out that no one posts lists about the top best 11 things of 2011, which gave me the idea. Why not the top 12 things I want to write for in 2012? Okay, I don’t know if I can do that, but we’ll try.
And while I’m at it, let’s cover my writing highlights for 2011.
Top 11 things that happened to me in 2011 so far as writing goes.
1) I wrote my first synopsis. Boo-yah! And set up everything to send out a novel to a publisher.
2) I came in 3rd on the writing contest with Just Trust Me
3) I started a new novel, mermaids. Completed the pre-draft.
4) I took a creative writing class. (And got an A in it. :) )
5) Realized I know HOW to write a good story. That now I just have to WRITE the good story. (Basically, stop reading books about writing and write already.)
6) Started writing a series story for the newspaper.
7) Wrote for the school newspaper actual news articles.
8) Started a writing group. Which I had to leave because I transfered schools, but hey, it happened. Finally.
9) Kept this blog going (more or less) for two years. That’s a BIG accomplishment for me.
10) Okay. I’m getting desperate again. I almost made 10 posts in Critters in a week. (That gets me MCP, which means I jump to the front of the line.) I missed it by one.
11) Wrote poems. (I should post those, shouldn’t I?)
Okay, so here’s what I plan to accomplish in 2012. I wouldn’t go so far as saying that these are resolutions, although a few of them are. I don’t really like the idea of a new year resolution because it makes it sound like you can only turn over a new leaf on January 1.
So these are just goals I hope to do in 2012.
1.) Send out Shad. This is an easy one. And, okay. I know that was my goal for this year. And I have everything ready to go. But I need to print it at school so that won’t happen until next year.
2.) Finish mermaids/my second novel. Right now, I have the pre-draft done. (Is that confusing? It’s like a really, really, really bad first draft / rough outline. Maybe soon I should post again how i write.)
3.) Write more short stories. I like the short story format. Also, they can be sent out easier and take less time. However, I might be held back here because all of the short stories I read ended sadly. I don’t like sad stories.
4.) Get a rejection letter. Okay. I’d be nicer if I get accepted, but let’s be real. First time writer. Probably not.
5.) Does becoming editor of the school newspaper count for writing? I have that goal.
6.) Edit some of the short stories I wrote. Specifically Shay’s Tadpole and Ka’za. (I know. You don’t know what those are. But I do and that’s what I care about right now. I wrote them both last year. This way, a year from now, I can see how well I did?) Oh, and maybe see about fixing How Johnny Cash Saved my Life so I can actually do something with that.
7) Nanowrimo. Never done it. ‘nough said.
8) Submit a short story. I wanted to do that in 2011 but I keep thinking the new year starts tonight, not last night.
9) Write more consistently for here. :) (Okay. I’m getting desperate for goals. But I do want too.)
10) Write something once a week at least for novels. Okay. I totally just made up that goal. But it’s a good goal. Otherwise, I go for weeks at a time not writing anything.
11) Read more often. I don’t read as much as I should and writing is tied with writing. So I want to read.
12) Use Critters more effectively / more often. I really could have used that this semester when I was working on my story. (Maybe they would have told me that lyrics will be copyrighted early on.)
This final one is something I want to do, but it also relies on someone else, which is why it doesn’t get a number. I want to write out one of my roleplays with a friend. It’d be really awesome.