Monday, January 25, 2010

"Why, I Do Believe It is That Peter Again!"

This semester, I am taking a lot of amazing acting classes, but the one I love most right now is Children's Theatre. Besides being taught by one of my favorite teachers ever, we're learning about adapting stories for the stage, among other things. Right now we're working on Peter Pan.

First of all, we read the novel and it was my first time reading... wow. How have I never read it before? It's wonderful! If I ever have kids, it will be a story I return to again and again, because it's written so elegantly that both children and adults can enjoy. If you haven't read it, please do so.

Today in class, we presented scenes adapted from the first chapter and then we had a free write, during which we wrote one character's secret, from that character's point of view. I have become very intrigued by Mrs. Darling, so I wrote from her POV:

As I sat holding my newborn daughter, listening to my husband talk about the expense of having a child, I felt my arms tighten around her instinctively. Though it was certainly because of my love for her, there was another reason that I could never use to plead my case: if Wendy was taken away, how would I ever meet Peter Pan again? I could never tell Mr. Darling of the strange boy that had alighted on the window of my childhood, Mr. Darling being a man of sums and reason. I was thankful when he reached a conclusion without much pleading from me.

When Wendy began to mention seeing Peter, I was at first overjoyed. But when she asked me if I had ever known the boy, I was unable to tell her the truth. She was as enchanted by the lad as I was - am - and I could not bring myself to tell her what I had done. That had it not been for quick thinking on Peter's part, he would not have been able to visit anyone at all.

I shut my eyes against the memory of that day, many years ago, when, frightened, I had told Hook of Peter's whereabouts. I couldn't tell her this, so I bit my tongue and said instead, "Silly child. It was only a dream."

Last night I also began jotting down some ideas for another story.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Fly Away, Little Birdies!

Well, it's done- this afternoon, I sent the edited draft of Remembrance to my two NaNo editors. I am really nervous about what they'll say, but it's out of my hands now... just like the audition I'm waiting to hear back from.

Friday, January 15, 2010

A Hello From the Theatre Festival!

I'm sitting in the library at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania while waiting to leave for a theatre talkback. This festival has been quite the experience, but on the most basic level, this college is HUGE. It's known to be quite large, but my school, despite the castle on campus, is extremely tiny, a fact I appreciate if I'm late for class.

I brought some of the most troublesome excerpts here with me, thinking I could work on them. Unfortunately, I have found it quite hard to work from just those snippets. I feel terrible because I told the NaNoers who are editing my novel that I'd have it to them, like, two weeks ago, and I still have a whole bunch of editing to do. However, I get back to school in about two days, so hopefully I'll be able to finish quickly once I'm back with my computer.

Monday, January 11, 2010

I Can See the Light... Waaaay Down There

A few days ago, I finished the preliminary edits on Remembrance. By preliminary, however, I mean "just the beginning and there is still so much freaking work to do." These edits corrected typos, grammar, and small things here and there that were easily fixable. Now comes the much harder part- tending to plot holes, character development, bigger fact checking (though much of that was done in the prelims), stuff like that. There are some things that just need a good rewording, or slowing down. But there are other major, major things that I'm having trouble with.

For example, my MC, Ruthie, goes into this crazy old couple's house to rescue her friend. The whole point of her going in is so she can know to look for communication efforts from the people she knows outside the house. So here's the problem: I only have, like, two messages pass between Ruthie and her helpers. Over about two weeks. Not. Good. So more notes need to be scattered around almost the entire novel.

Also noticed: Annie, Ruthie's other best friend, seems to disappear from the story as soon as Ruthie enters the house. In a way, this makes sense because Annie is on the outside of the house, which Ruthie doesn't leave until the very, very end of the book. But Annie is also one of the people Ruthie is communicating with, so her presence is still there, even if we never physically see her. And besides her not being there during that part, Ruthie gets out of the house (finally) and goes home with her parents. No mention of her helpers who ultimately save her. Not even a quick glane around for her BEST FRIEND. Hello, Problems. I can see we will be spending some quality time together.

So tonight I leave for a theatre festival and while I would love to have my computer with me, I am not bringing it along. I've printed out the parts that need the most work so I can work on them while I'm there. Then on the 17th, it's back to school and the real novel work will begin.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Writing Meme

I've been seeing this meme on other writers' blogs and wanted to try it out myself. It was actually quite hard because while I think about my writing all the time, I guess I never looked at it from these angles.

1.) What's the last thing you wrote?

A few pages of a story idea I got from the Adopt a Plot section on the NaNo boards. While I really like the idea, another girl saw that I had remarked that I liked it and was worried that I'd write the story, as she had "claimed" it first, so I was forced to abandon it. I might return to it here and there, though, just because it's been fun to write.

2)What's the first thing you wrote that you still have?

I have a "story" from first grade about how much I "lyke ladebugs". You can't deny my writing talent from the start :p

3) Write poetry?

No, never. I've never really enjoyed poetry- writing or reading it.

4)Angsty poetry?


5)Favorite genre of writing?

Young adult, historical, mystery... or all three combined!

6)Most annoying character you've ever created?

Ooh, wow... probably Angelina from an untitled story about summer camp. She was based on someone I had actually gone to camp with previously, and it didn't take much embellishment to up her annoying factor.

7) Best plot you've ever created?

Probably Remembrance. It still needs some work, but I really do love it.

8) Coolest plot twist you've ever created?

Hm... I quite like Gloria's double-crossing in Remembrance.

9) How often do you get writer's block?

Quite, but I try to work through it, especially since I think it's caused by lack of confidence as opposed to lack of ideas.

10) Write fan fiction?

I guess I have, in a sense. I used to do written role-playing online, which I suppose is a form of fan fiction. However, I've never sat down with the goal to write about characters already in existence; even my RPs involved characters that rarely met the people from the original story.

11) Do you type or write by hand?

Both. Ultimately I type, but when I'm without a computer, which is about 50% of my writing time, I get it all down by hand, and then transfer it onto the computer.

12) Do you save everything you write?

Yes, including different drafts. I like to see the evolution.

13) Do you ever go back to an idea after you've abandoned it?

I don't think I ever really abandon ideas, but I do return to writings I've left for a long time. I enjoy the changes I'm able to make as I change as a person and a writer.

14)What's your favorite thing you've ever written?

Ooh, tough. Probably the comedy screenplay I've been co-writing with my friend Katie since the tenth grade.

15) What's everyone else's favorite story you've written?

Well, I don't write strictly stories, and I don't show my stories to anyone... But out of the rest of my writing, people seem to really enjoy the aforementioned screenplay, Crosse's Time.

16)Ever written romance or angsty teen drama?

I'm not very good at writing romance, but I've tried to integrate it here and there. I hope to God I've never written angsty teen drama, as I don't enjoy reading it.

17) What's your favorite setting for your characters?

I seem to write them outside a lot. There's a lot of freedom outside.

18) How many writing projects are you working on right now?

About 5. I'm editing Remembrance and Crosse's Time, still writing Caroline's Story and Q/Quarantined, and a screenplay of mine (Requited) is being produced by my friends and I, so I'm sure I'll have tweaks for that too.

19)Have you ever won an award for your writing?

Yeah, I got an award in eleventh grade for a screenplay I wrote... the work is embarassingly bad, though. I can't even look at it now.

20) What are your five favorite words?

Quintessential, deplorable, serious, melodious, deign.

21) What character have you created that is most like yourself?

Lexa Harris from my NaNo attempt last year, For the Stage. Basically the Victorian me.

22) Where do you get your ideas for your characters?

People I know, other characters I like, names, songs... everywhere, I suppose.

23)Do you ever write based on your dreams?

Yeah! There is one in particular, an untitled comtemporary YA that was my first and only venture into the supernatural, that I had dreamed the ending to. However, because those were my days of writing linearly, I never got the the end.

24) Do you favor happy endings?

No, not exactly. If it fits, I won't fight it, but both as a reader and a writer, I like endings that make you think, which usually aren't the happy ones.

25) Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write?

Yes, definitely. I don't know how you can't be.

26) Does music help you write?

Yes, most definitely. I do need it to be the proper mood/time period, though, and preferably just intrumental or I tend to write the lyrics.

27) Quote something you've written. Whatever pops in your head.

To choose something randomly from Q/uarantined:

Eliza stopped and looked behind her. She couldn’t see the headlights yet, but she was certain a car was coming. Sure enough, a few seconds later, twin lights crested the hill. When the car got nearer, Eliza waved her arms, hoping to catch the driver’s attention. It worked, and the car slowed.
“You need help, honey?” The bearded man behind the steering wheel leaned over to talk to her through the passenger seat window.
“Could you give me a ride to St. Claire’s Hospital?” Eliza asked, widening her eyes and hoping she looked innocent.
“Of course. Are you sick? Should I call an ambulance?”
“No, it’s not me,” Eliza lied. “My mom was just rushed there and my aunt and uncle are out of town. There’s no one to take me to see her. I’ll pay you for gas, if that’s what you want.”
“No, no, don’t worry about it. Hop in. I’ll get you there as fast as I can,” the man said, reaching across to unlatch the door.
“Thank you so much.” The gratitude in Eliza’s voice was real as she climbed into the car. She closed the door and put on her seatbelt. As she secured the buckle with a snap, she heard a second click behind her. She turned her head and froze at the sight of a gun aimed straight at her head.
“Don’t move,” Abigail commanded, placing her finger on the trigger.

And now I must go figure out how my brown hair dye turned my hair black...