Monday, February 20, 2012
When I reach the "read it out loud" portion of revising, I find myself equally looking forward to it and dreading it. With my manuscripts, I usually revise one round on the computer, and then print it out and attack it with the red pen. I read it once before I print it out, then two more times before I go through the second draft.
That sounds like a lot, doesn't it? Well, it is, but I take it a chapter at a time, and I don't do all the reading at once (tried that, it did NOT work for me). I have always found mistakes that I doubt I would have had I not read out loud. So, it's kind of a pain, but it's made my work better too.
How many times do you read your manuscript out loud before you're satisfied?
Friday, February 10, 2012
If a book has a great first line, I'm instantly drawn in. As a writer, I obsessively re-write my first line until I think it's fitting. I've re-written the first line in my current WiP about seven times. As a reader, I obsess over really great first lines.
Some of my current favorites:
Maggie Stiefvater, Forever:
"I can be so, so quiet."
Why it works: I could write a several paragraphs gushing about Maggie's writing and why she does so many things very well. In this instance, this line works because it's beautiful. But beyond being beautiful, it's intriguing. Why exactly is the character being quiet? You have to read on to find out.
David Levithan, Love is the Higher Law
"My first thought is: My mother is dead."
Why it works: This is a novel about 9/11, so this line introduces you to the aspect of loss that's center to the story. Spoiler: it also ends up not being true, which is intriguing. End spoiler.
Gayle Forman, If I Stay
"Everyone thinks it was because of the snow."
Why it works: Since this novel is about the aftermath of a horrible car crash, Mia is introducing us to the possible cause of the accident. This line caused me to keep reading and not put this book down until I'd finished it, which is pretty damn rare for me.
What are some of your favorite first lines? Do you obsess over them in your own writing?
Monday, February 6, 2012
About a week ago, I opened up my Scrivener document on my primary computer, expecting to see the changes I'd made the night previous on my laptop. I looked at my Dropbox file, and according to them, everything was synced nice and proper, but my changes were nowhere to be seen.
Ohhkay, I closed out of the document went to my laptop and opened the file. I got the rainbow circle of death (the equivalent to the spinning circle on Windows if you're not familiar) and Scrivener crashed. I re-opened, and my changes were gone again. Cue: freak-out.
I looked about how to find it, and came to the conclusion that I didn't give Scrivener time to open before letting Dropbox sync. It was my bad. I decided to just cut my losses and try to re-write. I recreated the file, and I KID YOU NOT, the words just magically appeared again, as though my fairy writing godmother appeared over my shoulder and recreated the words for me.
Do you have any back-up horror stories?
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
I'm not reviewing books anymore, but I still want to talk about my favorite reads, and other favorite things in the month that passed.
Falling in Love With English Boys by Melissa Jensen
If you love Stephanie Perkins' books, you should give Falling in Love a shot. Cat moves to London for the summer with her mother and finds the diary of Katherine, who lived 200 years ago.
This book is funny and sweet and I really enjoyed it.
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
This one had a lot of hype surrounding it when it came out last year, and I'm happy to say it lives up to it. It's pretty rare for me to think about a book when I'm not reading it, for it to capture my imagination that way. This is one of those books!
I love how it's high fantasy, but different from any other high fantasy I've ever read. If you haven't read this one, you should definitely add it to the TBR ASAP!
A Brush of Darkness-Allison Pang
If you're in the mood for urban fantasy, pick this book up! It was funny (seriously, she has a miniature unicorn living in her underwear drawer) and it's also sexy. This is one of the best urban fantasy books I've read in years, and I can't wait to read the next in the series.
January was a great month for TV.
The second series of Sherlock aired (in the UK, American version airs in May, I believe?) This is one of the most brilliant shows on television. If you haven't seen it, series one is on Netflix instant. You won't regret it, I promise!
If you're not familiar, it's essentially a well-written historical soap opera. I have yet to meet one person who didn't watch it and fall in love. Series 1 is also on Netflix!
Even though (spoiler, mouse over to see) they killed off my favorite character, the hotty McHotson Sheriff Graham, I still love this show a lot.
Spartacus Blood & Sand
My husband watched the entirety of the season while I was gone for a few days earlier in the month. He raved about it, and I thought it wouldn't be my thing. Oh, how wrong I was. This show has it all. Humor, imaginative profanity, and romance. I look forward to the new season of Spartacus, although it won't be quite the same without the great Andy Whitfield in the lead role.
What were your favorite things in January?