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Showing posts with label aspiring author. Show all posts
Showing posts with label aspiring author. Show all posts

Thursday, March 26, 2015

No More Time to Think or Work on my WIP

I'm writing this post for Thursday, which means I'll be back in the trenches with no more time to think. That may not be a bad thing after the last two Thursday posts. I had a wonderful and relaxing Spring Break, spending much of my time either at the dog park with my best friends or writing. 

Although I've written five novels, there is one that is dearest to my heart, and I keep coming back to her after seven years. That baby has seen more rejection than Rodney Dangerfield; she's been around the block more times that Miley Cyrus, and she's received the reception of a president during a depression.  However, I think I've finally tweaked her to a new level . . . or I'm setting myself up for a huge disappointment. 

Last fall, I attended the SCBWI conference in Nashville. At the conference, I met a book editor who had a way of ticking everyone off with her quick NOs to our first pages. By the end of the conference, I was so angry that I didn't even bother to write down her submission requirements. But now that I've had time to cool and think, I realize that she gave me some of the most valuable information I'd ever gotten. I'd like to thank her.

I attended her session on dialogue. I always felt like dialogue was my strength, and maybe it is, but perhaps I have looked at dialogue all wrong. This editor told us that dialogue should not be what's moving the story. In fact, one should be able to remove the dialogue completely and still have a solid plot in place that the reader can follow. So, dialogue's job is to enhance what is already on the page. With that in mind, I revisited my baby looking for ways to tell Ben's story without too much dialogue. What I've noticed is a much deeper voice with a true insight as to what's in his head.

I believe this has taken my book to a new level and has given me the confidence to fork
over $30 to the Claymore Award competition. As a rule, I typically only enter free contests, so that when I lose, I chip away at my pride and not my pocketbook. However, I've taken a leap of faith. What makes this contest so appealing is knowing that those reading my first fifty pages are junkies of my genre. Furthermore, one does not have to win to win with Claymore. Any manuscript deemed ready for publication, winner or not, will be suggested to an appropriate editor. So, I hope someone sees what I see in my work. 

Now that I've passed my manuscript on, I've gone back to revising book two. Yes, I have a completed sequel to my book that's never been published and half of a third book. I quit working on these after someone suggested that writers not work on sequels to unpublished books.

For those who are interested, here is my first paragraph to that book that will one day become a best seller and a major motion picture. Oh, how I wish.

            I tried to focus on Ms. Link’s history review, but it was pointless once I’d spotted the fat guy outside my classroom window. He had stood under a tree less than twenty feet away for the past half-hour with his bug eyes aimed straight at me. I rubbed my hand over my stiff neck and noticed that my shoulders had inched upwards. Knowing I had to stop this stare down, I got out of my chair and headed toward the window. Maybe if I closed the smudged thing, he wouldn’t be able to see inside.


Saturday, October 18, 2014

WeWriWa - Slater to the Rescue

Weekend Writing Warriors


Check this fun hop out at: 


Those who tuned in last week learned about my little guy being blamed for Slater's fart in class. Things weren't as glum as they looked because Slater came to Knob's rescue.


“I confess!” He [Slater] dramatically flung his hands in the air and then slapped his head on both sides. Ignoring Ms. Benson’s squinting eyes, he said, “It was me and those Country Bean’s sausages my mom cooks. Completely nutritious and delicious, but oh, the consequences of eating them.”

Everyone broke out laughing. Even Ms. Benson cracked a slight smile for a moment before returning to her business-like tone. “Slater, class time.”
Sorry, Ms. Benson. I promise not to eat any more sausages before school.” 



Saturday, October 11, 2014

WeWrWa Presents, "Who Cut the Cheese?"

Weekend Writing Warriors


Check this fun hop out at: 
wewriwa.com


Read as my little friend gets caught in a blame game of Who Cut the Cheese? Bruce Coville said something to the effect that, "In order to be successful in writing for children, you need at least one of five words: fart, poop, burp, butt," and I can't remember the last one. Any suggestions?


During Social Studies, Slater let out a loud fart then laughed about it. His eyes widened, he slapped his hand over his mouth, and whispered, “Pardon moi.”
Randy waved his hand over his nose and pointed at me. You’d think he’d know I don’t fart, since we’d been in the same class since the third grade. I’d provided enough gas-free space that I could’ve charged admission to have kids sit by my desk for a respite from Randy’s stink.
“Was that your fart or Will’s?” Randy asked Slater, as if he’d never cut the cheese. Even Harrison was ready to blame me for what I’d never done. Well, at least in school. 


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Weekend Writing Warriors : September 14

Weekend Writing Warriors



Check out more posts at:
http://www.wewriwa.com

After last weeks post, I figured I'd jump ahead to this snippet from chapter two where Ben is curious as to why some stranger would call him "Benito." And yes, you missed it, but the weird dude and friend chased Ben.


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       I debated about how much to tell my worry wart mom who'd freak if she knew about the guys who chased me, yet curiosity and fear bugged the shit out of me. I took two steps away from her and then spun around to head back. “Is my real name Ben, or is it short for something else?”
       “Why you ask?”
       “Someone called me, Benito.”
       The color drained from Mom's face as her eyes widened and she covered her mouth with her shaking fingers. Our conversation was cut short when the doorbell chimed and was followed by a loud pounding sound. I stared at the door without moving.

      
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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Weekend Writing Warriors 8/31/14

It's time for another Weekend Writing Warriors!



Check out eight line snippets at: http://www.wewriwa.


Here's another snippet from my YA manuscript, BEING BENITO CARLEFFA.


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I swung my backpack over one shoulder and then noticed Bryson shoving Austin. The big guy towered a full foot over little Austin and could have easily fit his victim into one of his pant legs.
“Leave him alone, Bryson.” I stepped close enough to see three blackheads surrounding a red splotch on Bryson’s cheek. He must have picked something open, again.
            Bryson’s chest rose and fell as he curled his hands into tight fists. “Always snooping in other people’s business, aren’t you, tool?”
            “Just looking out for my friend, douche.” 

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Saturday, August 2, 2014

Weekend Writing Warriors 8/3


Weekend Writing Warriors / #8 Sunday
08/03/14






Richard Peck said that he likes to end a novel where he started. Although I didn't quite do that, this passage is close to the end of my YA manuscript. Ben finds himself back in class talking about the robber barons, just like the very first sentence of BEING BENITO CARLEFFA, which I posted last week. Although this is not eight lines, some of the sentences are short and quick, so I decided to include the entire scene. 

Although just about every hand in the room is up, except Ben's, the teacher calls on him and asks, "Who were the robber barons?"



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     “Famous dead guys who ripped dudes off to get rich,” I said, but then blurted, “No. They aren’t all dead.”

     “Who are you talking about, Ben? Are we turning class into a political discussion?” Ms. Link smiled as if she were waiting for her compare and contrast moment. She’d always said, “History repeats itself” and now she was hoping I’d prove it true. 

     I shook my head, but she refused to move to another student. 

     “Can I use the bathroom?”

     “You may after you answer my question.”

     I stood and dragged my feet to the door. Before heading out, I grit my teeth and said, “My father.” 


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