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Friday, June 3, 2011

The Nitty Gritty

Happy Friday All,

I'm a bit late posting this. Last night my Internet went nuts and decided to see if I was paying attention.  Today I got it to work despite electrical sockets deciding to go on vacation and not work for me. (And we just had the electrician come and check out these same sockets!)


Here's what I came up with:

You get to ask ME questions. What do you want to know about me? (Please note:  I reserve the right to not answer any question I deem too personal--this includes information on my age, personal information on family members and my sexual life).

However feel free to ask about my writing, inspiration, the NWHRWA, reading, movies I like, and things like that. You can also tell me if there's something in particular you want me to blog about or ask me about author interviews--make suggestions if you'd like.

So whatcha wanna know?

Have A Fun Friday!

12 comments:

Stacey Purcell said...

Hey Bethany- What a great idea for a blog today. We should play some version of this at a meeting one time. That would be really fun!!
I actually have a few questions. How many completed manuscripts do you have already? I know you've sent something out, but have you tried again? and...Have you seen a progression in your writing since you've joined RWA?

Bethany said...

Stacey,

I'm embarrassed to admit I only have one completed manuscript, entitled SURREAL (which, I have mentioned on occassion and interviewed the hero on Tess St. John's blog). SURREAL is written from beginning to end, but, to my extreme embarrassment, it's currently undergoing unforeseen polishing (I thought it was all ready, then I took another look at it after getting more feedback and decided it wasn't as ready as I originally thought, so I put further querying on hold until I finish this round of edits).

I do have several stories in various stages (from just begun, to several pages written) that are awaiting my attention when I'm done working on SURREAL. (Sometimes I wonder how any author actually finishes any story since it always seems like there's something).

When I first queried with SURREAL, I thought I had finished (honestly) and I had gotten to a point that I had been through it so many times I just figured if I didn't take the plunge I never would. After getting some feedback, and then sending it to some others for critique, I realized there were things I had initially and unintentionally missed, hence this round of edits. I try to be very thorough when I go through my work, but, it's possible to miss things, which is why I'm grateful to those who did critique it and to the agents who offered their thoughts. It taught me more than I learned with my original round of critiques and I learned about the querying process, so that when I'm done with this round, I'll be better prepared to put SURREAL out there and have more confidence (I was less confident about the story than I am, now. It's really way better than it was when I first queried).

Since joining RWA, I've learned a lot more about craft. I have a better understanding of the process and I'm becoming a more confident writer. I've also learned more about how I have to work out my stories (what sort of outlines work for me and what don't). It's been a very good learning experience and I look forward to what the future holds.

Thank you for dropping by and it would be fun to do something like this at a meeting (although I think we would need to have an all-day or more than one day meeting to "interview" everyone LOL). :-)

William Simon said...

Bethany, what a terrific idea!

Okay... my question is, What is YOUR writing process? Do you outline or wing it? Detailed plot or "What would happen if....?" and let it fly? Also, what do you consider your greatest strength as a writer and your biggest weakness? (Procrastination doesn't count... well all suffer from that...:))

Anonymous said...

Have you ever used one of your sisters for inspiration for any of your characters?

Kathy

Bethany said...

William,

I really set myself up didn't I? LOL Oh well, other than blushing a little over my answer to Stacey, I'm having fun.

My writing process...wow, that's a great question and I wish I had a straight answer for it (simply because it would make answering it easier). My writing process ranges from an idea popping into my head and me clamoring for my computer to type it up before I forget, to me sitting down with a Goal/Motivation/Conflict (GMC) sketch that I set up on my Word Processor. So sometimes I just ask "What if?" and sometimes I sit down and write up details and then as I write add the details to my notes so I don't forget. I often have lots and lots of notes because I'm afraid of getting into the middle of the book and forgetting the small, important details like hair color, eye color, or important plot lines that crop up again later. (You should see the notes I have on SURREAL...I've written in everything from notebooks to my word process to emailing myself...I've also done rough sketches of what some of the clothing the heroine wears--I'm not a very good artist, but it gives me a basic idea of what something looks like so I can describe it).

I'll tell you two of greatest strengths. One is my imagination. I've always had a vivid one and sometimes I can "see" things with clarity and other times the images/ideas are vague. Either way, I don't seem to lack for ideas (although some are better than others). The other strength that I can mention is dialogue. I've been told that I'm pretty good with dialogue.

Weakness...well if procrastination doesn't count I'd say description. It's my Achilles' heel. It's not that I can't do it, it's just that I'm told by my critique partners I need more. Since I'm not the type of reader who needs a lot of description to read something, I always figured most things were self-explanatory. Come to find out, some are, and some aren't. So, I work on the description, cross my fingers, and pray! (I'm getting better at it since I'm more aware, but it's one of those things I have to keep working at).

Thank you for dropping by...great questions :-)

Bethany said...

Kathy,

Why do I get the feeling it's one of my sisters asking this question? LOL Hmm...you know, I don't know for sure. Maybe subconsciously. I'm very hestitant to base any of my characters INTENTIONALLY on any real person for fear they won't like the character and then I'd be on the outs with someone I didn't mean to insult. So any influence on a character by a real person is VERY UNintentional.

Thank you for your question and for dropping by :-)

Anonymous said...

Hey,Bethany, I know you are a busy gal with a husband, kids and a life,(not to mention the work on the blog,with interviews and all the reading you do for it), where do you find the time to write? That is my problem, finding the time, or let the house really go to pot...I'm afraid both are happening here!
When I asked MJDavidson at a booksigning, she said she was embarrassed to admit the number of people working for her.I said,"Don't apologize for giving people jobs! I'd LOVE to be in the position to give jobs to people!" She also said that before her fame, there was on toilet in her house that didn't see a brush for 3 years! (I may not make it to her kind of fame...LOL)
Tonette

Bethany said...

Tonette,

I wish I could give an erudite answer and say, "Oh you learn to prioritize." The truth is, I don't have a set writing time or schedule. I just write whenever.(Sorry I didn't have a better answer--it's a good question, though! Maybe in the Fall I'll have a more official-type writing schedule, for now, I don't).

Thank you for the question and for dropping by :-)

Cheri said...

I've often wondered, Bethany, what makes you tick?!? I mean, you have such a fresh, upbeat outlook, you make me feel even older than my sixty-six years. :-(

Bethany said...

Cheri,

Oh, I'm sorry! I've never tried to make you feel old. I think you're a very cool person and I admire you for your strength of character.

What makes me tick? I guess it's my faith in God. I won't go into too many details right now; other than to say I'm a Roman Catholic Christian and it's been a big part of who I am. I also love to make people laugh and I enjoy making people feel good about themselves (every compliment I pay is sincere, too). Other than that, I'm not sure. I have my bad days, believe me. I just prefer the good ones.

(My husband says it's my "creative bonanza" I guess he means my creativity. My humorous answer is this: sugar, and of course, my morning coffee play a role in what makes me tick--I don't drink more than 1 or 2 cups of coffee on any given day, but it's enough to jump start me in the morning).

Interesting question! Thank you for dropping by :-)

Anonymous said...

Is there any one book that inspired you to be a writer? If not a book is there an author?

Bethany said...

Anonymous,

I don't think there's only one book that inspired me to become a writer. "Twilight" by Stephenie Meyer clarified (I had already had an idea what type of characters/genre, but something happened and for awhile suffered severe writer's block, then after reading that Saga, I was reminded and ideas started coming again after that). I can't remember ONE book being the sole inspiration for me to write. I've made up things as far back as I can remember. From playing make believe as young as 3 and 4 years old to writing lots of poetry and lyrics my high school years, but I started writing stories before high school, too.

I can't even remember one particular author inspiring me to write, either. I don't remember when or why I decided to write. My mom claims after I learned how to touch-type on the computer (in the 6th grade)stories and poetry and all sorts of things started pouring out of me. Apparently touch-typing was the right kind of remediational therapy for some of my learning disabilities and gave me the freedom to create in ways I hadn't before.

So, the short answer is no, but I thought you might want a longer answer than that.

Thank you for stopping by and for your question :-)