31 December 2009
24 December 2009
22 December 2009
13 December 2009
07 December 2009
Clayton is my writing partner as well as my emotional support. He's dyslexic and can't read, but he loves books as much as I do. I read most things aloud to him, including blogs, and, with the rise of text-to-speech software and audiobooks, which he can listen to while painting, he's becoming more well-read than me. I still haven't gotten to the Time Traveller's Wife.
He doesn't understand the first thing about punctuation, but he has an ear for the sound of words, and he's insanely creative. We brainstorm ideas off each other, discuss characters, backstory... Sometimes he comes up with the inciting idea or a plot point, or vice versa. We both realize when something isn't working, and he'll often wake up from a dream with a solution for me. I do the nitty gritty work of putting words on the page, but he helps make them something better. I haven't joined a critique group yet, but I'm not writing alone, and that helps get me through the tough spots.
What about you? Do you work with a writing partner? Or, is there someone in your life who supports and inspires you? How do they affect your writing?
03 December 2009
- 1. I was once socially oblivious. For years, whenever someone asked me about my weekend, I'd tell them. After much practice, I learned to ask, "And how was your weekend?" I've improved so much that now I can listen to my friends, offer support, and not bring up my own self-involved worries until asked.
- I like to use Lorel Clayton as my writing identity rather than Lorel Colgin, because if you google my real name you get 10 pages of mostly science-related mumbo-jumbo.
- I've lived in Idaho, Nevada, California, Oregon, Washington and Sydney Australia.
- I have 2 passports, which is very 'James Bond' and cool.
- I'm almost ambidextrous (can do everything except write with my left)
- I'm not afraid of heights, love 'em actually. But boats make me nauseous and eventually comatose.
- I audited Ancient Greek as a break from molecular biology in grad school (does that put me at the top of every nerd-ometer or what?)
- I'm a sucker for romance and action movies, though I usually don't like the subjects mixed. Also, I played with both Barbie and GI Joe as a child. I wonder if this is related to my pseudo-ambidexterity?
- I have a level 80 human rogue in World of Warcraft and not by choice. It's the only way I've been able to stay in touch with my video-game obsessed brother over the last couple of years.
- I own a monographed pool cue :)
Now, the hard part. Who can I pass the award along to that doesn't already have it (I'm thinking of you Elizabeth)? I need to get out there in cyberspace more.
- Justine Larbalestier's blog--She writes YA, but she's honest, entertaining and her book 'Liar' is so good I wish I'd written it.
- The Kill Zone--The musings of these thriller writers can be educational and make you paranoid about a career in writing, even if you're on the NY Times Bestseller list.
- Terry's Place--Interesting anecdotes, writing advice, and her storyboards are awesome. She's inspired me to give it a try.
- John August--It's screenplays and not novels, but there are some great thoughts about storytelling in general. It's also where I heard about Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (I think. My brain is melting so I'm not sure)
- Query Shark--THE place to learn about writing queries. It's enough to frighten you away from ever approaching an agent.
That's it. Like I said, I need to read more blogs and make more cyber-friends...and ask them about their weekend :)
- I'm less patient. Once able to endure chapters of description, I now prefer stuff to happen!
- Character is key. The books I remember decades later are the ones with unique, powerful characters. I identify with different aspects of them now, but I still identify.
- My interests have broadened. Used to be I had obsessions where I'd read only Nancy Drew, or Dean Koontz, or only sci-fi or fantasy. Now I'm willing to read anything that's good.
- Story isn't as important. I used to equate 'good' with an interesting story, but that's only part of it. I want the experience along the way to be enjoyable, every word, every scene. I want it to draw me in.
What does this mean for my own writing? I'm reading more and maturing faster. And I get harder on myself everyday. I thought my first manuscript was great. I had outside readers who loved it, and I gave myself a few weeks to cool off before editing. Voila done! Right. Another finished manuscript later, I go back to the first and cringe. I can do so much better than even a year ago. Fiddling and improving could go on forever, I know. So, I'm setting a deadline. Once I've written 5 'practice' manuscripts, I'm going to actively push the best towards publication and keep 'practicing' in the mean time. Two down, three to go.
Now, how have your tastes changed and what's your Bachelor Party?
01 December 2009
“You have to be careful, Shawn. You remember what I said? You’re special.”