Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wednesday Weekly

The writing side:

SHARDS OF GLASS... 79,859.  I added 3,271 words this week, and typed THE END. Of course, it isn't really the end. I have a list of scenes to add in, so I expect to finish those over the next two weeks and weigh the final novel in around 85,000 words. Certainly a much more svelte document than my first draft!

I also finished my first beta reading for another writer, which was both fun and challenging! I love her comments on my novel so far, so I really wanted to do justice to her work. Editing is hard work, but it's even harder to edit well for another writer and ensure you communicate your thoughts to them in a way both helpful and considerate. More on beta reading to come -- I think it deserves its own post!

Also, this week I discovered the wonders a four-hour flight can contribute to your planning. I emerged from my Monday flight from Chicago to San Diego with five pages of outlining and character sketches for two new novels I want to begin! Not bad for being trapped in the middle seat.  ;)  Oh, Shards, you need to be finished... much as I love you, I am eager to write something new!

The reading side:

Flying is also helpful for my reading (between that, the dining out and the adorable VW Beatle I'm renting right now, you'd think I would be psyched about all this travel for work, but not so much. Especially as due to weather, I am currently stranded in San Diego). I'm now up to 20 books so far in 2010 for the 100+ Book Challenge... amazing! I'm reading a lot of books I wouldn't otherwise have due to this challenge, and loving every minute of it.

I did a short review on both The Dark Divine and Boys, Girls and Other Hazardous Materials in my Saturday book reviews post. So, I'm going to talk about the other two books a bit today.

First of all, The Hunger Games. Wow.  I know a lot of you told me to expect something awesome, and you were right. I loved this book. Suzanne Collins' world-building is incredible, and she makes the barbaric idea of The Hunger Games (where two teenagers, a boy and a girl, from each of twelve districts are gathered to fight to the death in the wild) completely credible. And terrifying.  I liked the characterization, especially the way Katniss and Peeta, the two selected from their district, stay true to themselves in their own ways throughout the book, without ever being soft.  Secondary characters, like their mentor and theirs stylist, are also beautifully drawn.  And both plot and story zip along at the perfectly quick pace that made this book impossible for me to put down (luckily, I was on an airplane, so I didn't).

In short, two things: 1) I want to be Suzanne Collins when I grow up, and 2) I need the sequel, like today. Book 3 comes out in August, and I might pre-order it  (for that matter, if you guys don't mind me reading it first, I'd love to then do a blog give-away for it, since I know how many of you loved the other books).

See Jane Write: A Girl's Guide to Writing Chick Lit was a fun little book on writing. It was written as a collaboration between a successful chick lit author and an editor for a chick lit imprint.  I felt like this book was marketed towards the woman without much past writing experience, not for someone who is already semi-knowledgable about the art and industry.  It's a primer -- the pair discuss developing ideas, POV, plot, character development, finding an agent, etc.  I used their character sketch suggestions to develop the character of Lauren Reed for a story tentatively titled THE GODESS OF VENGENCE WORE PINK GALOSHES,  and gained some good info about her.  Overall, I felt this was a cute book that didn't have a lot of new info for me, so I wouldn't add it to my writing bookshelf. However, I'd definitely buy it for a friend who was interested in writing her own chick lit but had only dabbled in writing a little.

And hey, why not... The blogging side...
On a completely separate note, I'm up to 85 followers. Does it ever get old to see that number go up? I'm excited every time (in fact, MJ could probably tell you the number too, since I talk about the blog and the writing community as a whole quite a bit).  I love it when new blogging friends find my blog. And I have an idea for a 100 Follower Giveaway that I think you're all really going to like, so I'm excited about that, too. In order to be prepared, I ordered something recently for when the big day arrives!

I know I have one of the few writing blogs with evident advertising -- like the Swagbucks search engine in the sidebar and the Amazon links in the posts to the books I check out. Eventually, though, I'm hoping these elements will fund more give-aways on my blog... I plan to put all revenue back into fun stuff for my readership. ;)  If you click on one of the book links to Amazon, and then buy something (it doesn't have to be the book I showcased), This Is Not My Day Job gets 4-6% of the item cost. If you join Swagbucks, which is a search engine with advertising, you can earn points towards gift card, and I'll receive a percentage of your points, too  (I haven't actually cashed a GC in yet, but this seems like a reputable site, and the points are slowly accruing for Amazon GCs).  So I hope the adverts aren't distracting or off-putting, especially knowing my reasoning!


Shelley Sly said...

Woo hoo! Congrats on your novel! I know the feeling about word count... my most recent novel clocked in at only 60,000 words, and I'm aiming to bring it up to at least 70,000. Yikes, hope I can pull that off.

I'm glad to read a positive review of The Hunger Games. I haven't read it yet, but I've heard mixed reviews. It's on my "to read" list, so I'll hopefully be reading it sometime this year.

Thank you for mentioning that Chick Lit guide book. I wouldn't know without looking at it if it would help me, since I'm not really a beginner writer, but I'm interested in checking it out since I do write chick lit.

And one last thing -- I hate being trapped in the middle seat on a plane! Haha.

Great post!

Summer said...

I never even noticed the advertisements, which is both good and bad, I guess.

I'm probably going to wait until the 3rd book is out before I start The Hunger Games, because I know myself too well (Fever series, anyone? Anyone?)

Kristi said...

Hey girl! Congrats on wrapping up your novel!!! What an accomplishment...not that it's over, but hey, celebrate the milestone! ;-)

I left something for you at my blog today!

Guinevere said...

Shelley, I had that happen to me quite a bit too, especially when I first started writing. Expanding my subplots helped me flesh out my work and I believe improved the primary story arch as well. But of course, I went overboard in the subplot direction at least once, as well, with the unfortunate Kudzu Subplot Incident of 2007.

I hate middle seats, but I travel a lot for business (not first class, of course, lest this sound at all romantic) so I end up in one sometimes! I prefer the window for sleeping, the aisle if I expect to stay awake through the flight.

Summer, it might be wise to wait... I know I'm feeling the Series Fever right now!

Kristi, thanks so much! Woohoo! I'm going to have to do another awards post later this week. :)

The Rejection Queen said...

I think you should finish the novel you are working on before you start another. Don't get all scatter brained like me lol

Kimberly Franklin said...

Isn't The Hunger Games like the best book ever?

And it never gets old seeing those numbers grow! ; )

Tiffany Neal said...

Yay for finishing the novel!
Yay for reading Hunger Games!!
I also enjoyed The Dark Divine!