Ending

So, I’ve been having a really hard time coming up with an ending for my novel. I basically just kept adding scenes and being like, “well, then this could happen, and then this …”, but I couldn’t come up with a way to resolve things.

Well, I think I’ve figured it out. I’m just … not going to resolve everything, if that makes sense. I’ll just leave it kinda open-ended.

And the craziest thing about my plan? The guy does not get the girl. Which is not really all that crazy, but for me, my characters always get together. So for them to not get together? Unresolved tension? What is this nonsense?

Anyway, this ending may not work. The open-ended ones are always kinda frustrating. Did you ever read Monster Blood Tattoo by D.M. Cornish? It’s a trilogy, and sooo good. But the ending? It just sorta … ends. I was like NO I WANT MOAR. It was also a really good series, so of course I want more, but you know what I mean.

On the other hand, sometimes it’s better to have things left open to the imagination.

Well, I guess I’ll put this ending in, and then if my beta readers hate it, I’ll change it. Somehow.

I guess it’s back to work for now!

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Published in: on July 31, 2012 at 10:46 pm  Comments (2)  

Editing

I was getting a bit bored with the scene that I’m writing right now, so today I decided to do a little editing. I went through and tried to figure out what words I use too much and should try to cut back on.

Note, the file that I’m working on is about 70,300ish words.

I have used the word “said” 268 times.

I have used the word “suddenly” 58 times. Which I guess isn’t terrible, but I can still cut some of that out.

I used the word “back” 367 times. I don’t know how. This is consistently a word that I overuse. Of course, doing a ctrl+f for “back” will also count things like backwards and backhoe (have not used that word, but you get the idea). Still. That’s like … over 3 “back”s per page.

I’ve used the word “some” 124 times. Eh…

And I’ve used the word “then” 268 times. As in, they did this, then they did that. Whoops.

So I’m starting with suddenly, cause there aren’t too many of them. To fix all the “said”s I think I’m gonna just have to reread it and go through line by line and start changing things.

Back … will probably still be everywhere, let’s be honest.

Published in: on July 25, 2012 at 11:58 am  Leave a Comment  

Road Trip No. 2

So, I realized that we still haven’t talked about ourEpic Road Trip of Doom 2: The Sequel. Um … I don’t have any photos. And I don’t really feel like blogging tonight. So! In the future days, look forward to learning all about the classiest McDonald’s I’ve ever seen (it had a chandelier), carrying a kayak upstairs and into our hotel room, 4th of July, Myriad harassing a McDonald’s employee about gendered toys, Tanqueray and Tonic, me almost killing us while driving through a construction site (NOT MY FAULT), me almost killing us while driving sandwiched between an SUV and a 18 wheeler (REALLY NOT MY FAULT), Dad almost killing us all with fireworks … hmm … I can’t really think of anything else super exciting right now. Well, eventually we’ll write it all up.

Published in: on July 23, 2012 at 11:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

Goals

So I have some goals, a sort of timeline for the rest of the year.

By August 15th, I would like to have a finished draft of my novel. Hopefully, it will be done even earlier.

At that point, I will send it out to beta readers. Dea and Myriad, this means you. Hopefully it won’t take you too long to read it. Now, Dea is going to be busy, I know, and then school is going to start back up, but I would like to get comments back as soon as possible.

Then, I will edit it. And edit it. And edit it. And I may send more snippets back to my betas … (betai? it is greek…) and then when I hear back from the βήται I’ll edit even more.

My main goal is to have a good solid manuscript by the end of the year. And then, I’m going to start querying.

So, while my βήται are reading and making snarky comments in the margins (which I do hope they do), I will still be working.

First, I need to write a query letter. Now, since I intend to adjust the letter for each agent that I send it to, the main part that I’ll have to focus on then is the book description, the opening that will hopefully grab their attention.

Then, I need to do some major research into which agents I want to query. Depending on how long it takes to hear back from my βήται and in between editing and things like that, I’ll probably do some agent-y research in September, and then do more right before I start submitting, to make sure that no one’s guidelines have changed and to check that I didn’t miss any new agents.

So October will hopefully be editing. Hopefully at least one βήτα will have gotten back to me by then (that’ll be like a month and a half, and I’ve only got like what, 80K words right now?). If you haven’t gotten back to me by then … doom on you. (cue the dodo birds from Ice Age.)

November will be nanowrimo. I think. I may decide that it would be better for me to just hold off and finish up the novel that I’ve got. But I do love nano, so I’ll probably give it a shot. Came up with an awesome idea for some characters while on a lovely jetski ride with Myriad. Of course, I don’t really have  a plot for those characters, but who needs a plot? (I’m kidding guys, really.)

December will be finishing up my manuscript. Hopefully I can get some querys … queries? … queries sent out before the new year. (At times like this, I realize that I should just go back and delete the typo, but … nah.)

Of course, I will be taking two seminars and a class and sitting in on another class and working 20 hours a week, so this may not work out quite as well as I hope. But I’m gonna try to keep to my schedule. I swear!

Then of course, I’m sure all of January and February will be querying and waiting to hear back. March too. I don’t expect my first novel to be picked up right away. But wouldn’t that be AWESOME?

Anyway. Then we roll around to April, which is Script Frenzy. As Myriad knows, I’ll be writing the script for a musical based on the music of Jeffery Straker (like how Mamma Mia is ABBA music). I’ve basically got it all planned out, I just need to come up with a good ending. His new album comes out this fall, hopefully there will be the PERFECT song to tie up my musical. And if not, well … whatever it’ll be more Jeffery Straker music so all will be well.

So here’s my basic writing timeline for the next … few months … 9 months. That’s a long time. And a lot to get done!

Let me know what you think!

And βήται, get ready.

Published in: on July 23, 2012 at 1:11 pm  Comments (1)  

Word Count

Hey guys, just checking in real quick. My novel, which I started for Nanowrimo last year and which I totally failed at Camp Nanowrimo with this year, is currently at 73,435 words (117 pages). Still not done yet.

Published in: on July 20, 2012 at 9:59 pm  Comments (1)  

PHOTOS

Ah, isn’t the city beautiful at night? The buildings all lit up, silhouetted against a dark ceiling, and … wait a minute. Ceiling?

Yes. Ceiling. Because unlike Columbus, OH which just looks like legos but really is a real city, this is just a model. And where might you find such an astounding piece of work?

Why, EnterTRAINment Junction, of course!

Now, those of you who haven’t spoken to me in like a month probably have no idea what the heck EnterTRAINment Junction is. Those of you who have spoken to me probably know too much. But let me explain. No, it’s too much. Let me sum up. (EDIT: this is not a summary, let’s be honest. This is an explanation)

EnterTRAINment Junction is the world’s largest indoor train display (according to the pamphlet hanging on my wall right now). “Over 25,000 square feet [of model train tracks] – almost half a football field!” It’s pretty huge. There’s a scenic overlook where you can look down on the whole thing and it’s really enormous. It’s located in West Chester, OH, which is just outside of Cincinnati.

The whole thing was built in 2006 by a bunch of volunteers (oh if only I had known!), and volunteers still work to update the model.

They do different themed events. Currently going on is Christmas in July. There’s a smaller Christmas themed model with a fun scavenger hunt (with rhyming clues, like the Spruce Moose, below), and a full scale Christmas walk-through that will lead you to Santa. And Mrs. Claus bakes chocolate chip cookies and leaves them out for you while you wait to meet the Big Guy. We didn’t see Santa, but we got some delicious cookies.

There’s also a kid’s play area (train themed, of course), that we didn’t check out, a railroading museum, and kids rides, like a Thomas train that they can ride on. There’s a gift shop (where I bought a nice tshirt and Myriad bought some train shaped cookie cutters) and a hobby shop where you can buy minitures and stuff for making dioramas and lego-type toys (I bought a Roman guy Playmobil thing. One of the Latin quotes on his scroll is nunc est bibendum – now is the time for drinking).

Now, you’re probably thinking, why would I want to go to EnterTRAINment Junction? Well, obviously, go if you like trains. “90 large scale computerized locomotives” the pamphlet says. And they move at scale speeds.

Reason number 2: go if you like miniatures, models, dioramas, etc. “Hundreds of scratch built bridges, trestles, tunnels, mountains, and … hand crafted and amazingly detailed cities, industrial areas, farm lands, and coal mining towns.” And when they say amazingly detailed, they mean amazingly detailed. This was my main reason for wanting to go. And let me tell you, it didn’t disappoint. Extra detail: the lights in the building are on a timer, so that there’s a cycle of days and nights while you’re walking through.

Reason number 3: go if you like history. The walk through is set up chronologically. “Meander through three distinct eras in U.S. history, from the earliest days of steam-engine railroading up through today’s modern diesel locomotives.”

Reason number 4: go if you like scavenger hunts. They had five scavenger hunts there (Myriad took 2, and I took 3), which help you focus in and see all the little details in the models. And don’t forget to find the bonus dinosaurs hidden around the building!

Reason number 5: go if you like funhouses! The pamphlet calls it “the GREATEST FUNHOUSE on Earth!” (their caps, not mine) and it really was an awesome funhouse. There’s a curtain maze, a spectacular mirror maze (which could have gone on for miles for all we know, really, there was no way to tell, see photo), and a couple different funhouses, like the one with the crazy tilt room (so dizzying!).

Really, I think if you’re ever in the area, you definitely need to go to EnterTRAINment Junction. No matter your age or interests, you will enjoy yourself. I was so psyched about this place, that for basically the entire week that Myriad and I were in NY, I kept talking about it, and working myself up to be even MORE excited. Which normally, that’s a recipe for disaster. I was really worried that it wouldn’t meet my super high expectations. But trust me: it EXCEEDED them. I keep telling everyone about this. I took 90+ photos, and put the best 79(!) of them on facebook. There is so much fantastic detail that you just want to see everything and take a picture of everything.

We were there for about three hours, bought a pretzel (YUM) at the cafe, and then headed back home (we still had six hours to drive, I could have stayed longer.) AND IT WAS SO AWESOME I JUST CAN’T STRESS THAT ENOUGH. Really, mind-boggling details went into the models. They are fantastic. I thoroughly recommend this place to ANYONE AND EVERYONE.

Although next time, Myriad, we’re taking the VIP backstage tour.

Published in: on July 14, 2012 at 7:50 pm  Comments (6)  

Quotes from Myriad and Mitu!

You know you love these!!

So, while you all sit around and wait impatiently for my way too long photodump post about the most magical place on earth (and no, I’m not talking about Disney, I mean the BETTER one … ok so Disney is probably better. But this place is awesome), enjoy some quotes from the car, starring Myriad and Mitu!

M(yriad): But knitting can be done in front of … that box.
K(agome): I assume you mean the television?

M: Fruit … and nut of my loins.

M: A piece of lettuce stuck itself to my wrist I’m-not-sure-how-long ago.

K: If someone steals it before I get a chance to use it, I will kill someone.
M: *laughs*. Wait … I’ll be the only person in proximity.
K: Just sayin’.

K: THE THING THE THING THE THING.
(Note: this was accompanied by frantic window tapping with both hands on my part.)
(Note 2: I was the driver.)

K: Nothin’ straight about me. Except for the fact that I like boys.

M: It’s one of those half-electric … hybrids! That’s what they call those things.

K: OH MY GOD IT USED TO BE A HAMSTER. (see previous quote about THE THING THE THING THE THING)

M: Which begs the question … why would the aliens want you to think you were in Columbus, OH?

BONUS TEXT MESSAGE AFTER MYRIAD LEFT
K: I’m pretty sure it’s illegal to kidnap minors.
M: Um …

Published in: on July 13, 2012 at 11:48 pm  Comments (2)