Writing Can Be Murder

July 30, 2010

I love it!! now change it

Filed under: Uncategorized — love2wryte @ 7:02 pm

This week my Southern Sister (not my real sister, but she’s really Southern) got a glimpse into a world I know all too well, a hellish world fraught with fear and self-doubt.

Being the incredibly supportive friend I am, I laughed at her.

Southern Sister is an incredibly talented nature photographer. For a while now I’ve been encouraging her to sell her stuff and she’s begun to do so. Perhaps I should have done a better job about warning her of the pitfalls of the intersection of art and commerce….

For the first time someone has asked her to “revise” her work and, understandably, she was a bit freaked out by the prospect.

This was when I laughed at her (as someone stuck in requested revision hell, I was delighted that someone else was feeling just as miserable) but then, because I value her friendship I tried to point out the positive side of things. The store owner who asked for the changes really likes her work and wants to carry it in the store.

And that’s the lesson to be learned when someone asks you to change something….they like the base product…they’re just asking for some finetuning.

How do you feel when someone asks you to change/fix/correct/revise your work?


July 28, 2010

Reading, listening, watching, writing 7/28/10

Filed under: Uncategorized — love2wryte @ 6:26 pm

Reading — Just finished a soon-to-be-published psychological thriller. Awesome. Will tell you all about it when the time comes.

Finished listening to Revenge of the Spellmans…not sure if this didn’t work for me as well as the first two because I listened to it, instead of reading it, or if it was the book itself. Loved the first two Lisa Lutz books, only liked this one.

Trying to get into a dark headspace to finish up revisions of a manuscript which means I’m back to the Torchwood: Children of Earth soundtrack. Can’t seem to get myself depressed enough….

My email obsessively

-Requested revisions for a dark thriller
-First chapter and synopsis of comedic crime novel I want to write next
-Non-fiction pieces for an upcoming project

What are you R,L, W, and/or W–ing?

July 27, 2010

What’s cookin’ — 7/27/10

Filed under: Uncategorized — love2wryte @ 5:39 pm

My pal Jennifer Colgan has a great post on her blog titled “The Kebox Paradox” about the wonders, trials, and tribulations of the produce aisle. Check it out!

And then come on back and tell me whether you’ve ever had anything similiar to kebox.

July 26, 2010

Catcher in the Rye — Why?

Filed under: Uncategorized — love2wryte @ 5:50 pm

The other day I was talking to a 15-yr-old who mentioned that she was reading Catcher in the Rye as schoolwork. (Note — have you ever met anyone who went to public school in the US in the past 30 or 40 years who wasn’t made to read it?)

This poor kid hates the book.

So did I when I had to read it at about the same age. I hated it enough that I’ve never bothered to try it again. I hated it for the same reasons this girl does: “Holden Caufield is a rich kid who whines. I just want to slap him.”

By the time I was assigned the task of reading Catcher, I’d already read (on my own) coming-of-age books that I’d loved — Huckleberry Finn in particular comes to mind. And I kept hoping the boys from The Outsiders would show up and kick Caufield’s “phony” ass.

And yet, Catcher in the Rye endures as a “classic”.

So where do you stand on Salinger’s assigned reading? Yay or nay?

July 23, 2010

What the %^&* is a “thriller”?

Filed under: Uncategorized — love2wryte @ 5:25 pm

Just last week I was having this very conversation with a writer friend (fortunately we both share a pretty liberal view of what a thriller can be) so I was amused when I found that NPR is inviting folks to vote on the best thrillers ever.

The list they provide to choose from illustrates exactly how inclusive the thriller label can be.

When I think thriller I think Robert Ludlum…not Stephen King’s Pet Sematary, or I think Ken Follet….not Scott Turrow’s Presumed Innocent.

And I don’t think I’d put Agatha Christie or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle at the top of my thriller writer’s list, but maybe you would.

So tell me, when you hear “thriller” who or what do you think of?

(be I’ll smack the first person who says Michael Jackson)

July 22, 2010

Character motivation and stray dogs…what they have in common

Filed under: Uncategorized — love2wryte @ 6:50 pm

I’m extraordinarily lucky. My writing office has two windows. I spend an inordinate amount of time looking out them as I puzzle through various writing-related dilemmas.

I was doing just that the other day when a brown flash zipped through my field of vision. For a moment, I thought it was the local fox that I spot with some regularity, but it was too big for that. I considered the possibility that maybe it had been a young deer, it was the right color for that.

And then I forgot about it as I returned my attention to my writing-issue-du-jour…which was basically, “Why the hell is this character doing this?”

A couple minutes later I heard a squeal of brakes, which made me look out the window again.

That’s when I spotted him. A stray dog running loose.

I have a thing about stray dogs…specifically, an almost compulsive need to catch them. I jumped up, grabbed a handful of dog biscuits, and ran outside. Long story short, I caught the dog and ten minutes later his owner, who’d been driving around searching for him, pulled up.

So why do I have this need to catch stray dogs? The easy answer would be I’m a dog lover, but since I’d been in the middle of examining the depths of my character’s motivations, I thought about my own.

I associate a dog running loose with death.

When I was five my dog Prince got loose and ran out into the street, where he was promptly run over by our next door neighbor. I can still hear the squeal of brakes, the sickening thud, and Prince’s yelp of pain. Since I was such a young kid, this was my first experience with death and it affected me deeply. To this day, the sight of a dog running loose sends me into a full-blown panic, which is why I’m always running about trying to catch them.

Understanding my own motivation for doing something, helped me to figure out that of my character…(hers was not so nearly dramatic).

As a writer, how do you figure out what’s motivating your characters?

As a reader, do you need to “understand” why a character behaves a certain way or are you willing to just go along for the ride?

July 21, 2010

Reading, Watching, Listening – 7/21/10

Filed under: Uncategorized — love2wryte @ 6:34 pm

Reading — Not a damn thing. Seriously, if it isn’t a page I’ve written, I havent’ had time to read anything in the past week. It’s killing me because I’ve got a book I’m dying to read. 😦

Watching — Again on the nada.

Listening — I’ve gotten hooked on Pandora radio

I’m alternating between three stations: Fatboy Slim, James Horner, and Julie Andrews. (evidence I’ve lost my mind?)

Tell me what you’re reading, watching and listening to.

July 20, 2010

What’s cookin’ Tuesday — 7/20/10

Filed under: Uncategorized — love2wryte @ 4:00 pm

Made a perfectly poached egg yesterday for dinner. (this is a big deal because I usually can’t get them “perfect”) Unfortunately the only “toast” we had in the house were sandwich rounds…for the record – not the best with poached eggs.

My own fault. I didn’t bake bread this week.

Much thanks goes out to those that shared the bounty of their gardens. Yum!

Did you have anything good this week?

July 19, 2010

Makeup free Monday

Filed under: Uncategorized — love2wryte @ 5:33 am

Have you heard about Makeup free Monday?

I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately because I realized that one of my manuscripts opens with a character applying lipgloss while in the car. (not exactly an earthshaking moment I know)

More importantly I realized that she doesn’t apply any other cosmetics for the rest of the book. (I know, I know, you’re wondering why the hell I thought this deserves its own blog post…hang in there, I’m getting to it)

Here’s the thing about novels…they’re about inner journeys. Sure, external events move the story along, but in order for a book to feel satisfying to me, I need the main character to have undergone some sort of internal transformation.

This particular character of mine encounters a string of challenges along her journey (yeah, yeah, yeah all characters do) and she meets them all…because of her internal growth.

Which is one of the reasons she has a makeup free manuscript.

For the record, I’m undertaking the Makeup Free Monday experiment in real life…consider yourself warned!

July 15, 2010

Calm or Crazy Villians

Filed under: Uncategorized — love2wryte @ 5:53 pm

Okay, so I think we’re all agreed that Mel Gibson has lost his freaking mind, BUT is anyone else freaked out by the woman on the tapes?

Something about her calm detachment while he spews vitriol puts me on edge.

She’d make a perfect villian.

She sort of reminds me of Kevin Spacey’s “John Doe” in Se7en — the ultimate puppetmaster.

I’ve always been more frightened by calm bad guys, than over-the-top crazy ones…sorry but Hannibal Lecter was WAY scarier than Buffalo Bill, imho.

I just mentioned Kiss the Girls in my comments of the last post. Without giving anything away, I’ll say that one of the reasons I think that particular book works so well is that the bad guy, Casanova, never loses his cool. He’s always in control and he wields that control over his victims with precision.

What about you? Who do you find scarier? “Crazy” villians or “Calm”?

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