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Archive for August, 2013

Outlining isn’t my thing. It takes time from writing and why would I want to write a story if I know everything there is to know about about it? For me the fun is writing and finding out what will happen.
Now, having said that, I am embarking on an outlining adventure. This was prompted in part my Walter Dean Myer’s book Write Now! The part, and probably the only part, that I remember from this and other books I’ve read on outlining, is that it makes the story writing quicker. I can relate to that. Sometimes I get stuck and the story sits around a while until I am struck with inspiration.
The other reason I’ve decided to do this is because I’m writing a story, yet as I was driving home from my mom, a two hour drive, a story began bubbling up. Sometimes these grow up into full stories, sometimes not, not even with the initial enthusiasm I had and I always have great enthusiasm with new stories that pop up in my head.
I could write it down. And here I’m remembering my poor netbook and the file with all my collected stories in it that got lost. Or I could go further. Take a few minutes each day and outline it. When I’ve finished the story I’m writing I can then write it, all of it, from my outline.
Will I get bored? Will I flesh it out and not finish? Will a full idea develop?
That’s what I’m going to find out.
I’ll be using one of the hard cover, black and white notebooks a student left in the library and never came back for. That was last school year so I know he won’t want it back now.

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Back up, back up, back up. Always back up your work – my mantra to the teachers. I thought I backed up all my files from my late, departed, netbook, but I find myself missing one file. Over the months I had created a word document of story ideas. Guess what file I never backed up. Yep, my story idea folder and I can’t remember what I wrote. A good thing in one way because I can’t miss what I can’t remember only I do know there were some good ideas in there including one that I’d fleshed out. It was that story I meant to start working on when I finished another. Now I have no idea what I put down and I usually do. Darn.
I’m taking a different approach with my new netbook. Every five pages and my flash drive comes out and I save, save, save. So far I only have three files on my netbook. I may be taking this caution a bit too far, but it gives me peace of mind.

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As I started reading James Rollin’s new book The Eye of God, I started wondering if I’d read the book before only the library just got it in June and I’m sure I didn’t, but gosh darn, didn’t I read something about Attila the Hun and his missing tomb before? This book doesn’t have his tomb in it though, yet, and there’s something about a missing satellite that I don’t remember. I’ll have to see if I did read it.
I told my mom this and she began her rant on recycled story lines, that is, authors who use their story idea over and over again. She’s mostly noticed this with several well established authors, ones who crank out novel after novel. I think Patterson was one and there’s a woman writer as well. I don’t read those books, no time, so I’m not so familiar with her dilemma.
I suppose authors do want the money. I mean, I do, so I can’t blame people for mass producing work especially if people keep on buying them. After a while, though, readers get disgusted with shoddy stories and reading the same thing over and over again. My mother won’t read books by certain authors anymore. Since she’s a dedicated library user this doesn’t affect their sales. On the other hand, I do buy books for her and I don’t buy what she doesn’t read.
On the other hand, while wanting more money, what about one’s craft? Your name is your reputation and if you start cranking out ‘junk’ or ‘mass fodder’, your reputation goes down. I suppose in the end it’s one what one most wants – money or respect. For me it would be respect. I want what I have given my beloved authors – if my name is on the book, readers will know it is quality.

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Just this last week I read about a boy, fourteen I think, who wrote a novel and is selling it on Amazon as an e-book. It’s priced at $2.99 and he gets $2.00 for each book he sells. Unfortunately I can’t remember the title of the book or where I read this bit of information. Was it a YA book? Science fiction? I do not know, but it really gives me hope I can sell some of my work somewhere.
I also read, somewhere, that dystopic books are still selling well. Good. Then I still have hope. As long as there are high schools and teens feel alienated, I have hope. It also means that I can keep on writing these types of books although I have been wandering into the children’s area. I’ll bounce back and around though.
I’m still going to be looking for an agent. Being able to see my story as a published book, would be one of the biggest highs ever.

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