I hope you are all doing fabulously ;o)
I’ve recently completed my 2nd MS since THE ONE. You know, the one that got me my amazing agent, the one that made me feel like *maybe* I’m not a total hack (jury’s still out on that one). Yeah. That one.
The one that makes you feel like this.
BUT. I was SO paranoid that my 2nd MS would not be as good as THE ONE. In fact, I completely switched sub-genres so I wouldn’t have to compare them. So there was THAT. Did I mention I also had a few half-finished drafts looming in the background? I felt guilty about leaving them behind, but I had this idea. It was emotional and wretchedly beautiful. And I was obsessed, just like I was with THE ONE.
My journey to MS #2 was fast.
I literally started it at 1:30am on a Thursday (a work night) and the words just FLOWED. I mean it was like I opened a vein and the blood was the words and they were dripping onto the computer without my brain getting involved at all.
Ew. That sounds weird. Moving on.
As I bled words onto the page, I wondered… will my agent like it? Will anyone like it? How did I write THE ONE the first time? Oh, man. It took me 2 years to get THE ONE into shape, how am I going to do this again? Someone put me out of my misery. Okay, that’s dramatic. But in my defense I was writing a depressing story, listening to The Fray and Florence + The Machine on repeat.
I wrote the first draft in 1 week. YES. 1 week. My first drafts are short, so don’t think it was like 80k or anything, more like 40k. I received a new job and had a week between the old one and the new one and it just worked out. The stars aligned, Saturn was in my house–yeah, you get the picture.
This is what I looked like at the end of my 1 week sprint o’ blood.
Kidding. I just wanted an excuse to show Ryan Gosling. Actually, it was more like this.
Bua ha ha ha. Okay. Seriously.
Do I love this new MS as much as THE ONE? That’s the real question. YES, I do. I know how crazy that sounds. But I really do. THE ONE will always be THE ONE. But you can have more than one THE ONE. Uh, what?
Don’t let the fear get to you. Just keep doing what you love. WRITING. I have no pearls of wisdom to get you to love that dreaded second MS. But one of them has to be the second. It’s inevitable. I think my best advice would be not to compare your second MS to THE ONE. We have it in our heads that that first MS is our baby. At least I did. But once I left her in the capable hands of my agent, I was free to write. Did I have some failed 2nd MS’s Yes. All those half drafts I was talking about? They took a backseat to my new idea. Will I go back to the half drafts? Maybe. That’s yet to be determined.
I have no regrets. I knew when I started writing this MS that it was going to be #2 officially.
Okay, how many times did I type THE ONE? LOL!
Have you written MS #2? How did YOU feel?
Have a great week, everyone!!
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I hope you are all having a great week! I’m currently editing my MS to go out on submission. Scary. I know.
Hard to believe?
My current quandary is how to get several emotions to show in a character at once. Easy, right? Often, this is the hardest thing for me, but it’s the one thing that has the greatest pay-off for the reader. So I spend a lot of time on it.
So I thought I’d name some of the ways that help me get the emotion down on the screen.
Let’s start with a guy who does something bad to someone he loves.
Pretty generic, right?
Well, what if this person doesn’t feel bad about what he did? What if what he did was for self preservation? What if he really doesn’t love that person, but he’s faking it? How do you show all that?
For me, the real emotion, the raw, burrow-down-into-your-soul emotion comes from a different place than setting, action, and plot.
I’ve used several things to portray emotion in my characters, some work, some don’t–depends on the day and my mood. There really is no right or wrong way, just what works for the story and for you.
These are a few of the things that work for me… usually ;o)
- Compare the character’s situation to another (ie. simile) *winks at Leigh Ann*
- Repetition of words
- Forget about the grammar and just let it flow
- Dig into that awkward place inside you to bring it out. That place that you don’t really access all the time because what it brings out is not something you want expressed all the time. For emotion to be authentic, it’s important to access this place
- Search your soul and your memory for experiences in the past and how you felt at the time, and how you expressed those feelings at that time
- Listen to a good song and let those minor notes create the words you need
- Use empathy to try and figure out what the other character is feeling then work with/against that
- Paying attention to the rhythm of a sentence can illicit emotion in a reader too. Read it out-loud.
- Use the poignant details that were established early in the story in a scene where that one detail will cause the reader to associate that with the emotion you are trying to express. Huh? What? Yeah, it’s hard to explain that one. For example: You have a character with a memorable t-shirt or crazy hair or something. At the time it was introduced it didn’t seem that important, but let’s say that character dies and you have to watch that hair or t-shirt get buried under piles of dirt. It becomes emotional (or it should), because you’ve associated that t-shirt and hair with that person and watching that character get buried should be an emotional moment in the story.
Lots of excitement in the mosh pit!!
Have a wonderful rest of the week and holiday weekend (for the Americans)
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Lions lose, but they shouldn’t have, cause the call was crap. Wanna see it happen? Check it out Here
What have you learned from emotional moments in your life? Any of you football fans?
Stay tuned for the 200 followers contest. I’ve bought some fun stuff for it!! Have a wonderful week ;o)
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So I was writing. Like ya do… and it was one of those scenes where you’re like on the verge of crying and you keep pushing repeat on the crazy song that brings out all of those feelings you keep bottled up in the places you don’t talk about at parties (A Few Good Men Anyone?)
I had a thought. What if I didn’t have this song blaring in my ear. What if I just wrote it when I was like really happy… would I be able to tap into that same area of my psyche again? Is it the way the notes blend together that brings it out, or is it what I feel that does the job?
So. Here’s what it takes for me… *ahem*
1. Has to be late at night, it’s hard for me to conjure emotional scenes during the day.
2. I must have a powerful song playing, usually Decode, by Paramore. I don’t know what it is about that song… Metric (acoustic) works too.
3. No one can be in the room, just in case I start bawling like the baby I am. Seriously, it’s a sad sight.
4. I need to write the whole scene in one sitting. No coming back to it, unless I’m writing the whole thing again. Strange. I know. That will change, I’m sure.
What about you? Do you have a certain song/place you have to go to write those emotional scenes? What is it you do to get into the emotional state? Or. Is it always on the surface for you.
On a personal note. I’ve begun the South Beach diet, er the oh-my-god-what-have-I-done-I-miss-cookies-so-much-I-could-eat-my-friggen-hand-with-ketchup-diet. And. it’s going well… LOL I’m actually really pumped about changing the way I eat, so you may see some wayward posts about cookies and cakes and how much I want to eat them… hey, I gave you fair warning.
Enjoy the rest of the week!! I’ll be stopping by more blogs this week, I’ve been pretty busy as of late ;o)
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No not fear in the writing itself, but fear of writing. But, Erica, you’re afraid to write, that’s absurd.
It is. I agree. Here’s the thing. I don’t know what I’m afraid of… maybe I do. Here are my theories.
Yeah that about covers it. You know what the crazy thing is though? I love the story, I love writing it and I have no idea why I put it off sometimes, but I’m guessing it’s one of those reasons above.
Now, I’m not going to ask you if you feel fear, I mean, come on… we all have those moments. I do know that. What I’d like to know, is how you deal with it. Do you put things off like ole Ms. procrastination over here? Or do you fight those thoughts off and plow through?
So… I couldn’t have a post without mentioning the great news buzzing in the blogisphere! The awesome, sweet and talented Shannon Messenger over at Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe has acquired an agent!! Not just any agent the fabulous Laura Rennert with Andrea Brown Lit. *Squeeeeeeee* If you haven’t already, go on over and congratulate her!!
What fabulous news! *throws confetti*
Well that’s my time!
Have a great rest of the week – see you on Friday for the featured blog ;o)