Emily's writing blog

Musings on novel writing, books and getting published.

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[Did] I write for four or five hours of focused time, when I did not leave my desk, didn’t find some distraction to take me out of the world of the story? Was I able to stay put and commit to putting words down on the page, without deciding mid-sentence that it’s more important to check my email, or ‘research’ some question online, or clean out the science fair projects in the back for my freezer? For me, a good writing day is when I can move forward inside a story, because I take so much pleasure in tinkering with sentences that I often have to fight my own impulse to dither and revise in order to keep the momentum of the narrative going. So if I can move in a linear way through the story, and stay zipped inside the story, not jinx myself with despair or frustration or over-confidence or self-consciousness, and be basically okay with not-knowing what is going to happen from one sentence to the next, that’s a great writing day. Writers are such excellent self-saboteurs, though. I swear, I can hijack my own writing day in a hundred ways—I can eject myself from a story because I’ve decided it’s ‘going good.’ There’s this excruciating aspect of joy, I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced this, where you almost want to interrupt it. For me, the experience of losing myself in a character can feel intolerably wonderful. So I’ve decided that the trick is just to keep after it for several hours, regardless of your own vacillating assessment of how the writing is going.
Karen Russell (via mttbll)

(Source: thedailybeast.com, via writeworld)

Filed under writing writing advice writing tips writers novel writing creative writing writer problems characters plotline

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Fresh start

After about four different, unsuccessful attempts over four years to write a book based on an ever-evolving story idea, I’ve decided to put it on the back burner and start fresh with a new story - one I’ve had in my mind for a while and is much more straightforward and from my heart.

I’m just going to write it - forgetting about what’s trendy and popular in book world - and just enjoy writing fiction again. If I can write a book that I am happy with and like reading, then there’s a chance other people will too.

Filed under my writing progress writing novel writing creating writing first draft starting over new story book writing writer writers

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Recent good reads: the ‘Delirium’ series

The 'Delirium' trilogy by Lauren Oliver = total awesomeness.

These books also make me sick. For 3 reasons:

  1. Oliver’s writing. Ugh, it is so beautiful and her descriptions manage to be both original and non-draggy on the plot; a writer’s dream.
  2. The books explore concepts and plot lines similar to the ones I was already hoping to include in my story. Only better. Damn.
  3. Er, did I mention her writing? Just. too. good.

Seriously, I devoured these books. They are wonderful and intense and heartbreaking and engaging, and you will die a thousand deaths by the end of each one. I finished Pandemonium (book 2) just this week (and wailed dramatically like a teen girl to my husband at the end, once I’d stopped being all like: !!!!!!).

Book 3 - Reqiuem - is in the post and cannot get here soon enough!

Filed under good reads reading Delirium Lauren Oliver Pandemonium books book reviews books that inspire me

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When people ask me about my book and how my writing is going, I say something along the lines of, “Yeah… pretty good, thanks.” To which they respond, “So have you nearly finished then?” Er… not exactly. Well, no. Not at all.

It’s interesting that writers and non-writers seem to have different definitions of “progress”. For most non-writers, progress looks like word count. How many pages have you written, have you nearly finished the book, is it published yet, etc etc. But for those of us of the writer breed, progress can mean going from 70,000 words of a story that just wasn’t working to starting all over again, reading more books, gathering better ideas, reading even more books, tearing down characters we’ve created in order to rebuild them into more realistic ones, and so on.

And in the case of my current work, it is definitely a case of the writer’s definition of progress. ;-)

Filed under My writing progress writing Things only writers understand progress novel writers novel writing