Off the Blocks: Getting Started
Confessions of a Closet Vampire…OK, I’ll confess straight off, I was inspired to write by Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight Saga. I’ve always been a bit on the dark side and totally into vampires since Jr. High. I even researched Vlad Tepes the 15th century warlord whose name was used for the most renowned vampire of all time, Bram Stoker’s Dracula. All this aside, after reading the Twilight series I was inspired to create an immortal of my own and place him in the world as we know it. My manuscript (hereafter MS) began on scraps of paper and receipt tape as pondered this story. I began to write and ended up with a 67 page MS. Boring. Going no where. So, I began to research and learn, conduct interviews and now after 3 years and more edits than I care to remember, I have a 97K word 179 page manuscript that’s one final edit away from submissions to agents.
Just Do It…A friend at work told me he thought about writing, even had some ideas in a notebook. Every time we talked, I used the old Nike slogan: Just Do It! All of the talk, all of the thinking about will never get you anywhere. Just Do It! It doesn’t matter if it sucks. You can make it better. Learn, research, rewrite and know that even when it gets into the hands of an agent or editor, more than likely, you’ll have to do it again. But it can’t get that far unless you start.
Know your reasons for writing. Is it because you love to write? Or because you want the next Twilight Saga with all the movies and hype? Realistically, the majority of us will never land a movie contract. We could, but not likely. And even a greater number of us will never get published unless we do it ourselves. So you have to know deep inside yourself why you write. Dreaming is great. My motto is Dare to Dream, but even in my dreaming I must remember, I write because it’s an innate part of me. It is an outlet to those dreams even if no one else ever reads a word.
Writing Styles: Story Boards or Vomit…To be honest, I don’t know a lot about story boards. I’m more of a puke it all out on the computer and sort it out from there. I did something I call a ‘skeleton’ in which I documented the action in each chapter. Then, I used that ‘skeleton’ to graph the action of my story. Agents and editors like to see a story arc, so this helped me to see if my story had an arc. With my second novel, I wrote out a summary of the story beforehand. This short summary can also serve as your synopsis when you start pitching, and querying agents.
Check out this week's book pick under 'Su's Book Picks' and quotation of the week under 'Su's Quotables.'