Friday, August 14, 2009

Learning, Growing And Improving

Good Morning Everybody!

In scanning the prologue I realize I probably should've stuck with "damn" or "damnation" (instead of throwing in "darn" and "darned"--I thought I had taken out the "darns"). he [Bear] has a blend of formal and modern influences in his language--but there needs to be some consistency in that. I think when I first wrote it I was trying to figure out which direction I was going to take. (It was one of those things that I knew I wanted to blend the two things but I hadn't as yet figured out how I was going to make that happen). And I'm probably going to chuck the prologue due to the fact that I'm certain there's a better way of starting the story. Maybe I'll just start it with Chapter 1. It's actually told from the woman's point of view (Chapter 1 her point of view Chapter 2 his point...back and forth that way...but I always say whose point of view it is at the beginning of the chapter). I've seen this done in other books and I thought it was a neat way of telling the story (the alternating between the two perspectives). My friend, Sarina, was a little leery about present-tense first person, but I showed her another story I did that with and she said that it actually works (at least for that story!) I'm not sure if I showed Sarina Masquerade, I think I did. Either that or it was another manuscript.

As Pink Bug pointed out there's a problem with the tone at the beginning with the Bear (his name is actually Dane Corelli--he introduces himself by name in Chapter 1). I haven't done full editing on that story; I tend to try to get the actual story out on paper while doing light editing then go back and do the full edits that way. For me it's important to get the story out first, know the turn of events, then go back and fix it so that the story flows properly. (As I've done with my finished manuscript--it's with my editor and I've only done "light" editing on it and she's doing the more in-depth edits. I'm actually looking forward to what she has to say).

I'm trying to decide if a more modern or more formal tone works best for the Bear's character.

While I contemplate the tone and other issues regarding Masquerade, I've been working on another manuscript that I've mentioned a few times (Pierre and Delaney's story). It's called Conjure A Man. I'm really enjoying it. I think there's some chapters that will need quite a bit of work, but even when I'm sitting there going "This chapter is getting boring, how do I liven up the story?" I've pushed through, and then an idea pops up in my head and I'll think "Oh my gosh! That's what's missing!" I wish I had done this with other stories. I might've been able to fix some of the problems I ran into with them. Because now that I realize what kind of story I want with Conjure A Man I know what I have to do to improve the previous chapters, so when it comes to editing, it'll be easier.

So for now I'll be focusing on Conjure A Man, then after I've done that, I'll probably have a better idea of how to fix Masquerade. Learn from doing is the best way for me. So, using my experience with Conjure A Man I'll have more of an idea of how to improve my other manscripts (not just improving Masquerade, but anything I work on).

Writing has become a constant learning experience for me. I don't regret that. I regret that I didn't start sooner really looking at publishing (which has had me look even harder at my writing and work on it more than ever). I might've started earlier to figure these things out if I had started earlier. Fortunately, I do remember things from my writing class and I'm doing it now. Better late than never, right?

And since writing has room for improvement and learning, there's possibilities to always become better. I find that comforting--knowing I can improve and not be stagnate. I'm all for improving! For me, improvement means writing better and having things flow better.

I did a lot of thinking over all this last night after I read Pink Bug's first comment (as Newbee), then this morning when I read her other comment I thought "Well, maybe that will be the ticket to fixing my problem with Noelle's personality." So thank you, Pink Bug. Sometimes critique might be hard to take at first, but I think if we all take the time to sit back and think about it (without getting defensive) we can all find ways of taking in a criticism and figuring out how to improve our work. And that's what it's supposed to do.

In other thoughts...

Today is Friday and my husband isn't working this weekend, so I'm happy about that! Later today I'm picking up my son's God-sister (K.H.) from my high school alma mater. I'm planning to stop in to see at least one teacher friend of mine...maybe I'll go see the English teacher I had junior year. (She was a driving force in encouraging me to write). In fact, she's one of the people I put in the dedication of one of my stories.

What are your plans for today and the weekend? My weekend is going to be pretty quiet (as opposed to the last 2 where we were running around running a ton of errands).

Have a Fantastic Friday!


Pink Bug said...

Please understand I only give my opinion as how I see it. I'm not everyone, but if I can help you see something you may or may not have seen before...Isn't that really what we all want? To grow as writers? I know for me, that's the case. So please, if you think something state it. Let's talk about it and work it out.

I have a feeling as writers we'll be doing this same thing with a publisher down the road. (At least we hope...Right?) Help me as well...Comment. I need it as much as anyone else out there. Hell, I get my husband to read my book and he just corrects all my spelling errors. (He's an educator) But from him I just want to know if he likes it...enjoys it...finds it interesting. (Dang men)They always want to fix everything. Just tell me how you feel my sweet....(Deep breath)

bethanyintexas said...

Pink Bug,

If you misunderstood what I posted in the Blog I apologize. I was trying to say I agreed with you. And Regina agreed with you about the tone. There was a problem there. I appreciate you telling me. Thank you.

Pink Bug said...

Hugs...I totally get it. I just care...and wanted you to know it. ;)

Stephanie Faris said...

We went to dinner tonight and are having a date night...which is my boyfriend trying to get the audio receiver to work with the TV and me reading blogs. We'll have the fun date part later, I guess!

bethanyintexas said...

I love date nights! Motherhood and money constraints keeps us from having as many as we'd like. That's okay. We love our son very much and have fun with him. :-) Hope you had fun, Stephanie!

bethanyintexas said...

Pink Bug,

Hugs back...I understand, too. I have trouble telling people something is wrong with their projects. I worry that I'll hurt their feelings. So I totally get your mind set. It's hard to say "Look, this isn't working for you." I respect your honesty.

Regina Milton said...

I just have to say that I am so excited at your dedication Bethany. I'm glad you have a lot of projects working, I'm glad you have chosen one to focus on and work out and I'm glad you are so open to honest feedback. For these reasons, I know you'll get where you want to go. Keep up your awesome attitude.

bethanyintexas said...


You're trying to make me blush, too, aren't you? LOL. You have an awesome attitude, too. You, Stephanie and Pink Bug have been too sweet. I keep waiting for myself to turn bright red!

Thanks for your kind comments. I appreciate the encouragement, more than you know. You, Stephanie and Pink Bug keep up y'all's (yes, I'm from Texas LOL) awesome attitudes, as well. :-)