Archive for January, 2012

For the last week, I’ve been digging through my old chapters and re-writing them. My first two chapters were over 7000 words each, and quite frankly, I don’t need even half of what I had written. I trimmed away the fat, fixed some scenes, and have moved on. The first chunk of my novel is almost rewritten, and I’m still not happy with it.

I know the first few chapters of the pages should accomplish several things:

  • Introduce the plot.
  • Introduce the protagonist and her personality.
  • Give the readers the setting, tone, and overall mood.
  • Start with a catalyst that immediately changes the character and forces her to work.

So far, the only thing I’ve accomplished is the plot. I’m writing a novel about changing, being narrated by a control-freak who refuses to acknolwedge change. Naturally, she should change right from the start of chapter one. Cross that off the list.

I think I hate my main character. I hated her before, and then she and I got along for a little while, and then I hated her again. I feel like she’s too stagnant and too boring, and as a result she’s not very realistic. She’s in denial about everything- she’s the sort of person who will be in a sinking submarine with water spewing in, but completely calm. “It’s all under control,” even when everything is clearly not okay. She intentionally isolates herself because she can’t control what other people do and she does a good job of pretending she’s not lonely.

How the hell is anyone going to relate to her?

Sure, when she changes she opens up, discovers that it’s okay to care about other people, that it’s okay to ask for help when things go out of hand, and maybe admitting she’s wrong isn’t such a bad thing.

I worry that no one is even going to get to the point-of-change. It happens pretty quickly; by the end of chapter 5, her personality has already shifted while she copes with the events of the plot. Act 1 is mostly action- this happens, then this, then this, now BOOM DEAL WITH IT- but the changes feel a little too subtle. Protagonist in Chapter 1 and Protagonist in Chapter 4 are different, but only barely. Protagonist in Chapter 1 isn’t very likable. Protagonist in chapter 4 isn’t very likable, either.

I don’t always want a likable character narrating a story when I read, but I do want someone relatable. I guess she isn’t struggling enough, but it’s hard to acknolwedge a struggle when she won’t acknowledge anything else.

It’s also hard to scrap her and get a completely new character when it’s her voice I hear telling the story.

Even though it’s a re-write, these are still technically rough drafts. I don’t expect them to be perfect, but it doesn’t stop me from wanting.


The 2011 Favorite List

Favorite Book Read in 2011:

I thought for sure Maggie Steifvater’s conclusion to the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy would have been my favorite. Instead, this riveting story of races, choices, and the ocean kept me awake at night and lingered in my thoughts for weeks. Image is linked to my goodreads review.

Favorite Game Played in 2011:

I usually have the choice between sleeping and playing video-games. 99.9% of times, I will choose sleep. Skyrim is the exception. This is my favorite game of 2011 even though I’m still technically playing it. I have never been so excited to chase butterflies and fight dragons.

Favorite Moments of 2011:

I met the author of Blood and Chocolate. This is Annette Curtis Klause, ambushed at an escalator at fairiecon.

Yes, that is a dead fox around my neck. No, I do not have any photos of myself dressed normally while meeting authors.

I have read Blood and Chocolate at least once a year for the last 12 years of my life. Whatever ‘it” is, she gets it.

Favorite Song of 2011:

The Calendar Hung itself Youtube

I’m cheating a bit here, because this isn’t my favorite song of 2011. It wasn’t even released in 2011. This is really the most listened to song of 2011, because this is the song that sums up The Project the most. It was stuck in my head every time I wrote. I listen to metal and alternative rock- this shouldn’t be what I focus my novel on.

Biggest Accomplishment of 2011:

I finished my novel.

It was hard to pick one considering I’ve accomplished quite a bit this past year. But on a blog focusing on my attempt to write a novel, I think this should come as a given.