After reading Nina Amir’s book, How to Blog a Book, I’ve decided to blog Hada’s Fog. A new scene or chapter will be posted three times a week. I’ve wanted the drafts I’ve written to be perfect before letting anyone, besides my critique group, read it, but Amir said some people blog a first or second draft of a novel or non-fiction book. When the posts are completed, they are put into manuscript form, sent to an independent editor, revised, and then made into an E-book or printed on demand, or whatever way is preferred. Amir states on p. 78, “You want to put your best words forward–up to a point. You don’t want to become a perfectionist or this will deter you from publishing posts frequently.
“Consider your blogged book your first or second draft.” On P. 79, she reassures the writer again, “The blogged version does not have to be perfect, and hopefully you’ll find that fact to be creatively freeing.” Amir gave me confidence that my Hada’s Fog posts could be a draft. She’s right, that fact is creatively freeing. After all the time I’ve spent on the novel, why not blog it?
My webmaster is on vacation, and I have questions in regard to where the novel chapters will be posted. I think Hada’s Fog will need it’s own blog site. Time to Write Now will continue to be various topics about writing, but I also can use it to let readers know when a new scene or chapter has been posted to Hada’s blog.
Amir said she maintained four blogs while she posted How to Blog a Book. She wrote and published her first draft on the internet in five months. She sent her finished, polished final version to her agent who marketed the book. After a few rejections, she sent it to Writer’s Digest Books for the second time. She was eager to get the book out quickly. “I wanted to be first to market with the idea. I told her (the agent) I would self-publish if need be…” The acquisitions editor and the publisher accepted the book if Amir would agree to write 10,000 more words. Writer’s Digest Books wanted to be first to market the concept too, so she was given a deadline of just eight weeks for the additional word count. She met the due date in spite of a busy time in her life. Her traditionally published book proved that the advice she had written in it for blogging a book “really does work.”
What kind of apple does your character like? The preference might not seem important but it adds the sense of taste and personalizes your character. It’s a detail that can add some depth.
Another point to consider is the popularity of different apple varieties over the last few decades. Red Delicious was the top choice in the 1950’s and 1960’s. If your character is living in those years, they probably would eat a Red or Golden Delicious apple. Because the Delicious flesh is often mealy or mushy, the Gala became a favorite for it’s crisper and juicier texture. After the Galas, Fuji, with its dense, crisp, and sweetly tart taste was the biggest seller. Next came the Honey Crisp with a sweeter taste that has been my favorite. Today new varieties are available such as Jazz and Envy, although harder to find, Envy is equally as good as the Honey Crisp.
I consider my characters’ ages and personalities to pick a type of apple for them. Hada and Lev in Hada’s Fog, because they are in their 70’s, would eat Red or Golden Delicious and then complain that the ones they bought were mushy, but the couple resists change to a crisper apple. Jill, in Norman in the Painting, would prefer Honey Crisp and Reggie, the antagonist, would buy Jazz apples. Arctarius, the mysterious character, might choose a Fuji.
Apples may not enter the story at all, but they are an addition that could enhance it.
What kind of apple does your character prefer?
National Novel Writing Month, known as NaNoWriMo, has started on November 1st. The goal is to write a 50,000-word novel in one month. Writers turn off the inner editor and put other projects on hold to be able to meet the word count by the ending date of 11:59 PM on November 30th. The novel is a rough draft and then months, and often years afterwards, the editing goes on and on.
I’ve participated since 2005. The last couple of years I didn’t make it to 50,000 words but previous years, I did. Some of the rough draft novels I completed in NaNoWriMo, are Eva in the Haight, Hada’s Fog, Lilli, and Norman in the Painting.
The link is below, give it a whirl, and if you have joined this year, good luck.
As we organized the stories in my anthology, Written Across the Genres, my great assistant, Linda Todd, used Scrivener. I bought a copy, took a tutorial, and realized there are several other tutorials available. How to use Scrivener looked manageable as I watched the video, but I’ve procrastinated because of the time involved with the learning curve. I haven’t put anything on it yet.
I’m a pantser, but I see the value of putting the chapters of my growing new novel into a form that would be helpful to keep track of them. I’ve had the experience of editing that got out of hand with 35 chapters in Hada’s Fog and I don’t want a repeat with Norman in the Painting.
Any insights from those of you who use it? Are you a plotter or pantser?
Lisa Cron, on page 129 in Wired for Story, talks about obstacles to block the protagonist’s goals . She states “Obstacles mean nothing unless, beneath the surface, the seeds of that conflict are present from the outset, as they begin pushing their tender shoots through the soil in search of the sun.”
I thought about my novel, Hada’s Fog, when I read that page. I have external and internal conflicts in the first couple of pages, but I’m wondering if I planted enough seeds for the underlying need. What Hada desires in the beginning, is different than what she thought she wanted or needed at the end. Hints for the reader to suspect that everything about Hada is not what it seems is something for me to keep in mind as I polish this last draft. Her complaints and internalizations might be a bigger mask than I intended.
Cron says on page 143, “The story must make complete sense without the reveal, but in light of the reveal, the story must make even more sense.”
My anthology has a new name and I’ve changed the focus. The old name was A CLASS OF MUSES. Now it’s SECRETS, SURPRISES, AND SMILES. I’m calling it a Sampler or a Collection of Genres instead of an anthology.
Progress is slow but with the help of my friend, Linda Todd, it’s coming together. We still have twenty more entries to critique and add to the Done File. The due date to the press is the end of this month if I want the book in hand by February for the S.F. Writers Conference. Not sure if that will happen since we still have so much left to do.
The book is taking most of my blog writing time and my time revising HADA’S FOG. But I know it’s well worth the effort. The submissions have been terrific and quite a variety.
Back to work, more later.
Haikuandydotcom sends a daily Haiku if you sign up for it. Today’s makes a good writing prompt.
the future manager
refills our water
Makes me wonder about the future manager. Does he/she know about the future promotion? How long will it take? What is the character like, kind or ruthless? Is there an internal struggle? Perhaps accomplishing success in a restaurant doesn’t satisfy the deep desire to do other work. What does the facial expression look like? What is revealed by the body language as the water is poured?
I sense the character emerging but I have to say “later”. I already have characters clamoring for attention. Hada wants to be published this year. Lilli wants her story completed since she’s ready to redeem herself from her deeds in Hada’s story. Jill wants to time travel, but she sits in an outline.
Maybe someone else will be inspired to write about the future restaurant manager. I’d love to read the story.
Anadiplosis is a rhetorical device that repeats the last word of one phrase, clause, or sentence at, or very near, the beginning of the next sentence. The main point of the sentence becomes clear by repeating the same word twice in succession.
An example from HADA’S FOG: “Hada’s immediate reaction to Lilli’s announcement wasn’t from shock. It was from anger. Anger at herself for denying the inevitable.”
Stella Cameron uses anadiplosis in NOW YOU SEE HIM: “It’s early, early enough the breeze through jasmine doesn’t take the edge off last night’s scents of booze, sweat, and urine.”
We avoid echo words in our writing. We attune our ears to recognize them in others’ work and in our own, especially when we read our stories aloud. However, with anadiplosis, we use echo words on purpose to create a powerful sentence.
Find a paragraph in your WIP where you want to add more impact. Select the word you want to impress upon the reader. Write it at the end of one sentence and echo it at the beginning of the next.
Do the two sentences work better as a closing to the paragraph, at the start of the paragraph, or in a paragraph on their own?
Karl Iglesias in his book, WRITING EMOTIONAL IMPACT, describes how to create reader curiosity in the present. He suggests showing the character’s unusual behavior and reactions, such as overreacting or avoiding a subject. The aim is to have the reader wonder why and to wonder what he/she is hiding.
Another idea is to have other characters react mysteriously to the main character. Make the reader think they know something that the reader doesn’t. Both techniques help to keep those pages turning.
In HADA’S FOG, fifteen-year-old Lilli is a master at acting mysteriously around Hada and Lev. By her facial expressions, dialogue implications, and body language, it’s obvious she has secrets. The reader can guess it involves Samuel, but she doesn’t reveal any specifics.
The mysterious future will be next.
My NaNoWriMo project this year is not a novel. It’s an anthology called A Class of Muses, and my ID on nanowrimo.org is JMK. I’ve written first drafts of four novels during past Novembers. My third novel, Hada’s Fog, is in its sixth and final draft.
Monday and Tuesday writing class members have submitted stories, poems, essays, blogs, and a group tag story to A Class of Muses. Writing tips will be included and some art work too.
The book probably won’t be 50,000 words, but I will use the time it takes me to write around 2000 words a day to organize the many files into a first draft. I’d like to publish it before the San Francisco Writers Conference in February.