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Showing posts from August, 2004

Cheryl's Pitch

8/29/04 I helped my friend Squirl (Cheryl Wyatt) with her pitch last night. It was a lot of fun. There's something about figuring out her setup, 3 disasters and ending that's like a puzzle or a game. I think I really enjoy teaching writing, which is strange since I'm not a great teacher, and had no inclination to teach when I was in college. Figuring out her 5-sentence pitch turned out to be rather simple, because she had three very natural disasters happening in her wip. She also had a good spiritual epiphany for her main character right at the climax, requiring a crucial decision toward the end events. She basically IM'd her storyline to me, and I pasted it onto a Word document. The only difference was that I made a separate line for each sentence, to see her story progress at a glance. I went through her story events and picked out the moment the hero made his goal (to protect the heroine, find the stalker). Then I went through to find the disasters that hindered

Pitch article

8/28/04 Cool writing tip for the day: I was using Randy Ingerman's Snowflake method for my new wip, and I realized that the 5-sentence summary in step 2 is an easy, painless way of creating a 30-second verbal pitch. The 5-sentence summary consists of story setup, three plot disasters and lastly the ending/resolution. It made me break the storyline down into basic components, made sure I have those crucial three disasters, and also helped me to look at the pacing of those disasters. I'm pretty stoked. When I took Jan Coleman's pitch workshop at Mt. Hermon, she also mentioned a few important things to include, which I believe can be incorporated in the 5-sentence summary once that groundwork is laid: 1) The book genre—Chicklit, cozy mystery, Regency romance, etc. This can be mentioned in the first sentence. "In my Chicklit novel, Ashley is a bored urbanite seeking purpose, and she decides to bring her version of civilization to South African natives." (Genre

Matrix: Revolutions

8/26/04 My back is aching today. I think I used it too much at work. When I'm working at the biohazard hood, I have to lean forward since there's a pressure wall to keep the area inside the hood sterile, and it puts too much pressure on my lower back. I did a little writing today, mostly review on my character sheets. I think I'm starting to get a true feel for these characters now. It was good to remind myself of nuances of behavior, and to have an opportunity to delete traits that didn't seem right. We saw MATRIX: REVOLUTIONS tonight, so I didn't get much done, but it was nice to spend time with my husband (hahahahahahaha) just enjoying time together. MATRIX: REVOLUTIONS was both good and a disappointment. There wasn't a particularly mind-blowing concept like in each of the first two, but how everything came together at the end seemed very appropriate. I guess I had hoped for a more shocking conclusion. The CGI on the battle in the dock is incredible. My fa

PREMONITION by Randall Ingermanson

PREMONITION by Randall Ingermanson (The City of God series, book 2) Very exciting fiction. I normally don't enjoy historical fiction, but this captured my attention within a few pages and swept me non-stop to the exciting end. Ari and Rivka Kazan are from the 20th century, trapped in 1st century Jerusalem after stopping a rogue physicist from assassinating the apostle Paul (that story is in the book TRANSGRESSION, available as a FREE ebook on Randy's website ). Ari must find work for a modern day theoretical physicist in ancient times, and Rivka is plagued with her foreknowledge of events, including the Jewish Revolt that will bring horrible destruction to the city. They have made a powerful enemy, Hanan ben Hanan, whose father assisted the Romans in killing Jesus Christ, and who is destined to murder James, a prominent church leader and the half-brother of Jesus. Randy brought the reader into the nitty-gritty daily life of first-century Jerusalem , and paint

Mold me into someone You can use

8/25/04 I actually got writing done yesterday. Praise God! And another wonderful thing that happened was a very affirming, encouraging email from Sharon Hinck about my ms synopsis. HER "Crouching Children, Hidden Laundry" synopsis promises a truly exciting, funny, poignant novel, so I was feeling a bit depressed at my lack of creativity and rather blah plot. But she reviewed my synopsis and liked the story and just in general made me feel like a million bucks. I don't know what I'd do without her holding my hand the entire time. The thing with Sharon is that I can completely trust her. If something doesn't work, she'll definitely tell me, she won't hold back. But if something is good, she makes sure to tell me so that I know what I'm doing right. I prayed a very important prayer today. Last weekend, my husband and I had gone to Japantown in San Francisco with four of our high school kids from church for a bit of street evangelism. I'm ashamed to

Just write

8/24/04 I'm going to do it today. I'm going to yank that poker out of my rear end and just write. I do not need every little detail outlined before I start. I do not need every scene pre-plotted in a spreadsheet before I set prose on paper. I do not need the color of my heroine's chewing gum before she opens her mouth in my first scene. I even started writing a scene in my head on the way home from work. Actually, two scenes. One was for my wip, the other was in a spartan room lit by a naked lightbulb dangling from the ceiling, which splashed macabre shadows on the faces of hulking Yakuza threatening calm heroine. Haha. Potential romantic suspense idea? Last night I finished a writing article for Rubyzine (http://www.our.homewithgod.com/rubyzine/) for next month. I also posted all the articles I've written in my Writing.com portfolio: http://www.writing.com/main/view_item.php?user_id=camy I also just received RETRIBUTION by Randy Ingermanson. It comes out next month

Drained of creativity, 13 Going On 30

8/23/04 I feel utterly drained of creativity. This second wip is so hard to write. THE CORINTHIAN RULES practically wrote itself, but plotting THE EPHESIANS LIST is like pulling teeth. I'm so anal-retentive, I feel like I have to have everything laid out and outlined before I start writing, because who wants to go back and edit 200 pages if you suddenly discover a plot twist to set up for? But my friend Sharon Hinck suggested that maybe I'm just trying to force it, and I should try writing without knowing the ending. Well, I sort of know the ending, but I'm trying to figure out an interesting and unusual way to show it happening. Bleck. Okay, relax and try to let the creativity flow...without falling asleep in your chair... I just saw 13 GOING ON 30 with Jennifer Garner. Such a cute movie. Not much moral take-away, but very entertaining. The hero, played by Mark Ruffalo, is perfect—not stunningly handsome, just kind of an ordinary guy, but appealing nonetheless. My husban

Cheryl, a bit overwhelmed

8/22/04 My friend Cheryl Wyatt (Squirl) posted a gentle reminder in ACRW to all the published and experienced authors. There had been a heated debate over head-hopping, Author Intrusion, and POV shifts, and how they relate to NY Times Bestselling authors versus first-time authors, etc. Cheryl had been feeling a bit overwhelmed and discouraged because people can get pretty opinionated. She didn't know about head-hopping and Author Intrusion before the posts, so to hear some people stress how WRONG it was made her feel insecure about being new to the technical aspects of writing. Cheryl was extremely gracious and humble, explaining her feelings very well and letting people understand the point of view of someone feeling run over by the opinionated posts. Yet she didn't condemn anyone or make anyone feel guilty for having a strong viewpoint. Gail Sattler responded with an equally gracious post about discouragement. It takes time for anyone to learn all the "rules" an

50 First Dates, Matrix: Reloaded, Drumline

8/21/04 I've seen a bunch of movies lately. I saw 50 FIRST DATES with Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler. (I'm liking his recent movies, he's somehow quite appealing as a hero.) Anyway, except for a couple cuss words and off-camera premarital sex, it was a fabulous portrayal of sacrificial unselfishness in love. Such a refreshing theme compared to the sex-is-love that seems to pervade most movies these days. I'd let my high school girls watch it, although maybe not the Junior High school girls. I saw MATRIX: RELOADED finally. It was actually better than I expected, after reading a bunch of very negative reviews. The ending is a cliffhanger, which I think is part of the reason why people didn't like it as much. There were three things I disliked about it: 1) Apparently Keanu couldn't or wouldn't do his own staff-fighting, so while the choreography of the fight scene with the metal pipe and the multiple Agent Smiths is very good, the scene is all CGI, which loo

How to Build Story People

8/15/04 Not much going on for me. I've been trying to figure out my characters' motivations and goals in my wip, and it's coming slowly. I read something yesterday that jump-started my creativity. From "Creating Characters: How to Build Story People" by Dwight Swain: I can't quote directly, so I'll just paraphrase: basically when you're creating characters (good and evil) to carry your story, you have to find people you really care about, who cause intense emotional reactions from you. I know, that's not terribly mind-boggling, but that seemed so profound for me. I've been struggling with characteristics for my hero, and not nailing him down. But after reading that, I realized I need to create characteristics that make ME go ga-ga over him. He's loosely patterned after a movie star (with several traits from dear hubby, natch), so I started thinking, what specific characteristics make him so appealing, and why? And after I started thi