"Writing can be messy; full of pointless breakdowns, yelling at the computer, banging your forehead against the keyboard, and hiding under the table."
-Rachel Sammons

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Drama, Storms, Driving...and the Desire to Write! EXCLUSIVE: Letters to Stories


There is just so much going on! I didn't know how long it would take me to get back to a blog! That, and I haven't known what to blog about but it just feels so good to be back!

So on the topic of not knowing when I was going to back, life has been busy. Busier than I ever remember it being and I'm not even in school anymore. Okay, fine maybe not busier than I ever remember, but you get the emphasis.

Drama? Check.
Storms? Check.
Reading? Check. (A movie for a book is coming out soon, so naturally, I had to reread it.)
Driver's Ed? Check.
Writing? Sadly, not yet. How depressing! I have not had any time to work on my book at all. This summer was supposed to be all about writing! What happened? Life. It got in the way. I don't imagine that I will be able to do rewrites and more drafts until perhaps mid-July at best. If not, probably the start of August.
But I WILL be working on it, hopefully sooner rather than later!

On a completely unrelated, moot, I-just-want-to-blab note, I finally saw Letters to Juliet! I know, I know. It has been out for over a month. But I just saw it Sunday. So shush. It was SO good! I have truly been missing movies that amazing for some time. Sure, I'll admit it was a predictable, chick-flick type deal, but I've always been a sucker for that kind of stuff. And any girl looking for a fairytale ending with her handsome prince (like Ember!) would love the movie, no matter the cliches it fits into. That doesn't make it any less amazing. Stories (movies and books alike) are never entirely different from any other thing made. Sure, things can be predictable! There is no question about that! My English teacher helped my classmates and I to appreciate this: Every story has been told a thousand times before. That's why you don't read or watch movies just to see the ending. The part you have to enjoy is the execution, the way it's done. That's why people tolerate the same things over and over. Sure, there are exceptions, but essentially, every story has been told before. You just have to appreciated the differences in the way it's told.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

It's Hard Being A Writer

So, I just wanted to give one little quick update.

I have talked on this blog before about Poetry Magazine and how I submitted my work to it. Well, I got a notification today that they didn't want to publish any of my poems that I had sent. Inevitably, I am kind of sad now, but I won't give up. I've already submitted three more, but I don't know how much hope these three have.

Guess we'll just have to wait and see...

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Writers Don't Control The Story and Other Things To Learn

Prepare for a long, somewhat random rambling.

So, while I was in school the other day, (yes, I am still in school, unfortunately) we were having a discussion about a book we had read. The book: Oedipus The King. The Author: Sophocles. As we were discussing this amazingly twisted play, we had to discuss the question of Oedipus having any "freewill" in the story. Well, someone pointed out that Oedipus "doesn't have any freewill because Sophocles is controlling the story and could do whatever he wants with him." Wrong! I cringed when I heard this! It actually made me angry, and this person has obviously never tried writing.

Almost any author will agree with me here. Yes, the author does have some control over the story. I'll give you that much. However, almost any author will agree that the characters take on a whole persona, a whole person and sometimes they take this on without the author intending for it! To the author and hopefully to the readers, they're real! You can't force a real person to do and say whatever you want, can you? Yeah, I didn't think so.  Same with characters.  If they become real, you can't force them to do something.

Stephanie Meyer (whose new book came out today, and yes, of course I already have my copy, why'd you have to ask?) once said in an interview how a character had suddenly unveiled a side of their personality to her. She hadn't known that this character wouldn't like Bella, but all of a sudden she hated her. Stephanie didn't just make that happen. It was in the characters makeup, something slightly beyond all author control. Out of nowhere, it just happened. Once she knew that this character didn't like Bella, she couldn't just leave it out of the story because she would be betraying that characters true nature.

Shannon Hale has had many encounters of this sort with her characters. She writes them so realistically that they are real, they have to be real.  I don't like to think that there is a possibility that they're just a figment of imagination.  Because they're not, to me, at least. One of her most notable and most amazing characters wasn't even in first drafts. He just popped up. All of a sudden, there was this character that she had to write in. After being a side character in two books, he demanded his own! This is how she will explain it when you hear her speak or read her blog. She said she was done with that set of characters and story ideas, but he weaseled his way into her mind, planted his story right in front of her and forced her to give him his own book!

Honestly, how can you say that the author always controls the characters? People!

Okay. Rambling done. For now.

Also, I was at Borders yesterday and today. Yes, I realize that might sound quite nerdy. Whatever. Anyhow, I was looking at the new issue of Poetry Magazine, which I bought, and I was thinking of how little poetry I have read and how I don't understand a lot of poems most of the time. So, I've decided to expand my horizons! This summer I will also add to my list a lot of poetry books. I plan to explore different poets work and expand my knowledge in this area. I am rather excited about reading poems and getting to know different poets and their style of writing. Perhaps this can help me to become a better poet. Speaking of which, my English teacher liked the poem I had published in Facets! I was very happy about that. I also really hope at least one of my poems will make it into Poetry Magazine. That would be so thrilling! I should know if the ones I submitted will make it in by July.