Thankful Thursdaaaaayyyyy! WEEEEEE! *running around in circles*
It’s been quite the week. Let me see how I can calmly share two parts of it. *takes deep breaths*
I’ve been sitting on a lot of ideas. I think a LOT. I compartmentalize too. There are things that I want to do, things that I can do, things that I wish I could do, things that I simply won’t do, and things that I choose to do. They cross up in funny ways. There are things that I’d love to do and would absolutely rock at, but I refuse to do because my situation is not ideal. For example, I have a bunch of business ideas. I breathe, and BAM. A new one is in my brain. I know that I can plan it and make it happen. Will I? No. Why not? Depends. These days, it’s mostly because I just hate where I am, and don’t want any ties here, particularly when I’m finally able to get out of here. Crazy? Maybe. But that’s the way it is right now.
One thing that I can get going while I’m here is my WRITING. I can bang out flash fiction like nobody’s business. I wake up with three sentences, and when I write them, the rest of the story sort of tumbles out. That’s not to say that it tumbles out in perfection. They go through a process before they are perfected. Short stories take a little more, and novels take more still. My combined strength and weakness: I’m a researcher, planner, and perfectionist. I refuse to write a single word of a novel until I know where it is going. The turning points – every twist and curve. The moments of tension. And I have to know what I am up against. I read up on the craft of writing. Research cities, towns, and islands – possible settings. Their climates, populations, location in reference to other small and major cities/towns/islands, economy… I need my work to be authentic. It’s important to me. More times than not, if perfection isn’t the clear outcome, I won’t touch it.
SO. I have a bunch of short story ideas, and a handful of novels. What I’m really excited about is what will likely be my debut novel. It’s a standalone book right now and, yes, STILL in the planning stages. (See previous paragraph.) Along with that, I’m excited about two series ideas that I have. I completely LOVE the ideas. One of them came completely at random (about 3 months ago), and will likely be a YA series. The other came this week. I’ve always wanted to open a certain sort of business. I did all the planning when I was in university, then decided that I don’t want to take it on in this country. Then, I jokingly told friends that I’d open the same sort of business, but with a particular slant… Jokingly. Sort of. HA. Well, it would never work here for various reasons, but you know where it could work? In a BOOK! No, wait. A SERIES of books. So the stories in the series would be set around this particular business. Sort of like the cafe in Friends. The Max in Saved by the Bell. Now that idea won’t go to waste. EEEEEE! Exciteeeeed!
As my regular readers now, I’m taking a writing course. Writing for Children and Teenagers with ICL. I sent my first assignment around Tuesday of last week. Well, I got a letter and my assignment with notes back from my instructor yesterday. WOO! I’ll share some lines from the letter with you. All points are direct quotes from the letter.
- I enjoyed the bathtub romp with Alex and his toy friends. You’ve written an imaginative fantasy story in the 3-part structure that is familiar to young readers.
- I like the generous use of dialogue and action; you write dialogue very well, with an authentic voice for this age level. The blend of dialogue and narrative enriches both character and plot development as the reader has something to see as well as to hear.
- You’ve stayed firmly within single viewpoint, giving the reader the chance to closely identify with Alex throughout, and to build empathy for him.
- Your theme emerges nicely as a result of Alex’s actions.
- I like Alex’s actions. They are realistic, credible. And his uncertainty adds tension.
- Such lively likeable characters, and lots of action in this first story, Alicia! A great theme too.
There are two things that I can do to sharpen it up. I didn’t really have expectations for the feedback. I tried not to think about it at all. I’m really happy that she enjoyed the story, and my errors were minimal. The only things I need to do are:
- Put the main character in control. I let the mom step in to make some magic happen. Don’t know what I was thinking since I KNOW the main character has to be the hero. He had to do part of it on his own, but that was very subtle, and probably too high-level to be recognized by young readers.
- Open with dialogue. I did a good job of showing instead of telling through the story, but I did some telling right at the beginning. I shy away from opening with dialogue because it’s tough to pull off (in writing for adults), but I guess writing for children is an exception. Lesson learned!
So as you can guess, I’m thankful for new ideas and great feedback on my short story for my writing course.
What are you thankful for this week? Anything new and exciting happening? What causes you not to act on things, or make use of ideas? How do you fight back?