Monday, May 27, 2013

Good News and Bad News

After a year or so of not looking at my finished teen manuscript, I finally decided to pick it up and read it last month. I got about 3/4 through and couldn't finish it. I hated it! The romantic scenes made me cringe and the characters were flat. It just didn't read well. I felt like I'd picked up a stranger's amateur novel. I was incredibly disappointed in my work. I wrote this book for about six years, and there I was, hoping no one (aside from my sister) would ever read it.

I think I know what the problems are. Firstly, I have grown a lot and worked hard to make my writing better, so I can understand why something I started writing six years ago seems so terrible now. Secondly, I've come to realize that it was a story I didn't really want to tell. My passion lies in fantasy, but this story was a realistic story. I know now that I was forcing myself to write a story I didn't really care about.

The majority of the books I read are fantasy: Harry Potter, The Shifter's Series, The Hunger Games... the list goes on and on. So you see, it didn't make sense for me to write a book about a subject I usually don't read myself.

However, I'm in the third chapter of my new fantasy book, an adult series, about two people with extraordinary talents. I'm very excited about it! It's a story that's been in my head and dreams for a very long time now, and it's exciting to get the characters onto paper.

I'm also taking a different path in the actual writing process. My last book was all about getting the words onto paper and editing them later, but this was messy and I don't think it was a process that worked for me. This time, every time I sit down to write, I reread and edit the last day's work before I begin the next chapter. It's a slower process, but the manuscript reads clean and looks polished.

In other news, I was rooting around some of my old writing binders and found two complete handwritten novels that I wrote from around age 12-15. I'd forgotten all about them! Maybe someday I'll revisit them.

Till next time!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

First Person, Past Tense: Good or Bad?

I wrote one of my short stories in first person, past tense. That means that it went something like this: I walked down the hall and saw a man there... etc. Personally, this is my favorite tense for first person narrative. I really dislike first person, present tense, i.e., I walk down the hall and see a man. It seems so stilted and uncomfortable to me. It just doesn't read well!

However, in my creative writing class, my professor said, "Writing the first person account in the past tense suggests she is retelling the story." There were other comments that suggested he wasn't a fan of this tense because of the effect it has: that it leads the reader to expect the character narrating has survived and is recounting the story.

I'm not sure I agree.

One of my favorite authors, Rachel Vincent, writes in the first person, past tense. Her Shifters series and Blood Bound series are written this way, and not once while I was reading them did I say to myself: Oh, look at that. It's written in first person, present tense. Therefore she must be successful by the end of the story! I didn't feel that Rachel's characters were retelling their stories. I felt that I was right there with them, every step of the way.

I'd like to hear some other opinions on this, so please feel free to comment, fellow writers and readers! Do you agree that this viewpoint leads the reader to believe the narrator has survived and is retelling the story?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Life Keeps Me Busy!

Well, it's been too long since my last post, but in my defense, I have a lot going on! I'm in my fourth year of university and the light is at the end of the tunnel. I'm so excited to be finished school and get busy with editing and writing.

A lot has happened since my post in January. I've joined the Editor's Association of Canada, and doing so has given me a leg up into the world of editing. My business is up and running, so I've been doing small projects here and there in between the homework I have to do. It feels good to be doing a job that I love!

I also got into a Creative Writing Class at the U of S with Guy Vanderhaeghe and so far, it's been really helpful. I've written a lot of short stuff that has potential with more work. It's really nice that some of the homework I have to do is writing assignments, especially since some classes seem to be especially dull this year.

As for my novel, it's been sitting here on my desk for a while since I finished writing it. I'm going to edit it myself one last time and then I'm going to send it to another editor to look it over. I know it might be a weird concept, because after all, I should be able to do all the edits myself, right? Wrong! My manuscript is my baby and I'm extremely bias, so I'm unlikely to see the flaws. Every author needs an editor! Even the authors who are also editors.

Till next time (which hopefully won't be a year from now)!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Computer Crash

So unfortunately, I had the bad luck to have my computer crash on me. It was devastating, to say the least. I lost numerous short stories, all of my copy editing stuff and other important documents that I had saved for future reference. But the biggest hit of all was the loss of my most recent manuscript. Thank goodness that I have a hardcopy that I can retype. Despite this setback, I’m confident that I can try to rewrite a few of the short stories from memory, and I have come up with an idea for the second book in what I’m calling my Saskatoon series. I also seem to have to find things out the hard way, but at least I’ve learned that things need to be backed up frequently! I have my writing stuff now saved on an external hard drive, another computer AND on a jump drive. I think I may be slightly paranoid, now!

Well, I have to hit the books. I gotta say, in my third year of university, I’m tired of reading textbooks and writing essays! It’s been really difficult to get back on the school horse after the holidays.

Talk soon :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

And life has gotten in the way of yet another post... Sorry folks!

It has been so long that I've posted that I feel thoroughly ashamed! Well, I'm here now, so I'll let you know what I've been up to.
I'm currently registered in a copy editing class, which is helping me on my way to becoming an editor. I love it so far. It's nice to finally be doing something that has to do with my career choice. I've also applied for a creative writing class next term and I'm hoping they'll love the stories I attached to the application because I really want to take the class.
The short fiction class I'm currently in has definitely inspired me in my own writing. Thanks to studying the likes of Poe, Gilman and Faulkner, I've learned what it takes to write a great short story. I wrote a new story that I entered into the Canada Writes contest and I feel like it's good enough to win. I also entered the Writer's Digest Horror Competition with an older story of mine that I spiced up after I read Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher".
As for my novel, I haven't had time to sit down and do the last edits due to the 12 papers -- yes 12 papers!-- that I've had to work on this term. Six down, six to go! I'll be doing that at Christmas. I also decided that I might as well send it to a professional editor so I can see what he/she does in the field and get some experience there and also to get all the stuff I've missed myself.
Well, that's about whats new with me when it comes to writing. Speaking of writing, I have an essay to work on.
What's new with all of you? I'd like to hear how your writing is going.

Saturday, August 6, 2011


So I have some good news! I've finished the serious edits to my book! As much as I want to hit it again with the small edits, I've given it to family members to read, which is probably best. I hear all the time that it's a good idea to set the manuscript aside for a while before you go back to it, so that's the plan. However, I'm itching to get back at it. What I will do for the rest of the summer is look for potential publishers. I'm thinking about going with an agent, but that's something I need to do a bit more research on. If you have any experience with agents, I'd love to hear about it! Other plans for the summer are as follows: beach, read, party, fair, and other various fun things, not necessarily in that order!

OH by the way, I have picked a new title. I'm calling it "For the Love of You." What do you think?

till next time!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Who's been published? ME, that's who!

I just wanted to brag a little bit. I've been published in the spring/summer issue of In Medias Res, a liberal arts magazine at St. Thomas More, which is an affiliate of the University of Saskatchewan. I'm very excited because this publication adds some meat to my Author's resume and people finally get to read my story, 'The Pope and the Joker.' Click HERE to see the magazine and read my story. I hope you enjoy it!