On Novelling and Versification

I’ll spare the old adage of me not writing here in months. Been there, don’t that.

A few things have happened.

1. I published something! In my school magazine.

2. I started college, which fits into the above I suppose.

This last semester didn’t go as smoothly as my first. I really think my first semester of school went so well because I was so happy. I was in college after all. I had wanted so bad to go back to school and I finally achieved it. I was motivated.

I withdrew my second semester in the Fall. I’m not going to rehash it, but I needed a break. I went back this Spring. I liked my experience this semester a lot, but sometimes old friends visit. But I am proud of myself for finishing.

Most of the writing I did this year was for my English Composition II class. I really liked that. I like writing essays it seems and especially about literature and favorite authors. (I did all five of my essays on women. Pushing that feminist agenda!) But I really missed my creative work. I wrote here and there, but not much.

But I have been consistently working on my poetry. I frequently tell myself I work better on poetry because of the length. I can work, rework, revise poems in half the time it takes to write a novel.

I am about 50,000 words into Chloe’s book. But damn I’m tired of it. I’m writing bits and pieces of it, but I’m not really making any concrete movement.

But I’m going to get better at this novelling thing. I’m going to practice. I practice my poetry and I think I’m currently a much better poet than a novelist.

The concept of practice novels intrigue me. Technically I’ve got a few practice novels of my own. I’ve started at least one or two. The Lord and the Duchess is tucked into my hard drive. I don’t think it’ll ever see the light of day.

I read on Joyce Carol Oates wiki page that she wrote novels and then threw them away! And she’s written and published TONS of novels so I’m awed! I don’t think I’m at the point where I could throwaway a novel especially one that I finished. I’m a very sentimental person when it comes to saving things. Some would call it hoarding, but I’m not going to go there today.

Practice is the key! I’ve gotten back into doing writing exercises and I’m trying out the concept of morning and evening pages. I joined 750words awhile back and I just wrote my first entry. I finished my evening pages about an hour ago. So far, so good!

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Character Voice

Finishing the book seems to be a chore to me. I never expected writing a novel to be easy. In fact I put it off for the longest. But I kept working on this book. I am so close to finishing but it’s not fun at all. I like looking back and reading my work but writing the ‘boring’ parts is taxing.

When I started to get back into writing I usually wrote the fun parts first. With the Mondian Chronicles I jumped into the juicy stuff. The meat of the story. But with Chloe’s book I started from the beginning. I distinctively recall that writing the sleepover was the most fun. When I say those words flowed easily I’m dead serious. My fingers did not hesitate on the keyboard.

I guess I could write out of order but I just feel like it would create an unnecessary mess. I don’t want to have to piece everything together.

But I started this post because I wanted to write that I am finally getting a grip on Jordana’s character voice. I had my first thirty pages critiqued and my partner told me that Jordana seemed flat. I’ve been trying to get inside her head. This morning I was looking over stuff I had written related to her character and all of the sudden this voice popped into my head. I was reading it but it was in her voice.

So that excited me. Now I’m trying to figure out what is going to happen in the lead up to Thanksgiving in Chloe’s world and I’m trying to figure how to show more of Jordana’s personality for the rewrite. All in a day’s work.

Work in Progress: When Chloe Met Jordana

I wrote a bit on Chloe’s book tonight. I actually like what I have. It’s more introspective. A great majority of my writing is made up of dialogue but I’m trying to add more layers to it. Dialogue is great but it can’t stand alone.

I added a new page here. It’s sort of a landing page for stuff I’ve written and posted online. It’s to give prospective readers a taste of what I do.

I thought I’d post an excerpt here tonight. I’ve been working on this book for about a year now. I want to share with you a scene from the sleepover. This entire chapter just flowed from my fingers. It was the most fun to write.

Chloe got up and left the room. She walked uncertainly down the hall. It was clear that Stefania and Xandra had been over many times. She felt a pang of jealously which confused her so she ignored it.

She found the bathroom. Closing the door behind her she turned on the shower and shed her clothes and stepped inside.

She thought of Jordana as she washed her hair. She hadn’t made her feel welcome. Chloe thought to herself but Stefania and Xandra had taken to her instantly. Jordana was the type of her person that drew others to her. Even she felt strangely drawn to her. It was like Jordana was a magnet and she was the metal.

Turning off the water she stepped out. She opened the closet door and reached for a towel. She dried herself and slipped into the pajamas. They smelt like her.

She walked back into the bedroom to find the girls crowded on the bed. They looked up at her expectantly.

“What’s going on…?”

“TRUTH OR DARE!” Stefania said.

The gist of this story is that Jordana moves to town. Chloe is the narrator. She’s popular by association. At first Chloe is hesitant to be seen around Jordana but as she grows closer to her she realizes that she likes her and she realizes she might like her a little too much. This story is a romance of the young adult variety. I’m nearing finishing but I’ve fallen behind.

I.II.III…

I’ve gotten my third strike…or my third rejection but who’s keeping count? I am that’s who.  I recently submitted three of my poems to a writing journal. I submitted them after I received a rejection on a short story. It took less time for these to be rejected than the story but I’m trying to take in stride. Rejection comes with the territory. 

But otherwise I’m feeling good. I have my delayed high school graduation on Friday (I passed the equivalence) and on Thursday I’m going to my college campus to get my student ID and buy my school books. I’m starting my first semester next week! I’m so excited. I’m looking forward to English 101 and Introduction to Sociology the most. I had originally narrowed down my potential major  to either English or Sociology so I think it fits.

 

I’m still writing on the book only more slowly. I’ve been writing short stories and I’m continuing to work on a longer short story that is sort of the jump off point for other stories. But admittedly I haven’t been writing as much as I would like though I hope to change that. 

 

And that is how the life of the black authoress is faring. It’s going pretty damn well she’d say. 

The First Rejection is the Deepest

I have had my dear readers my first official rejection. While it was not the first poem I have submitted  this is my first response.

I feel kinda excited? Lol I know that’s weird but it’s like now I feel more like a writer. It’s hard to explain but I feel like I’ve changed from just an aspiring writer even though technically I still am. I feel like I’ve started to put myself out there.

Oh and I was just thinking that my short story didn’t get accepted but it was a contest. Can you still shop around short stories if they’ve been in contests? I wasn’t sure about that. What do you guys think?

I’m still progressing on the book though it feels like a chore again. I have about 30,000 more words to write and it is like pulling teeth for me to open the document. It’s like when I started. The bulk of the writing took place around the end of 2013/early 2014. But I will finish this book. I believe in the story.

Books Galore

I have been on a how to splurge. I’ve been checking out writing books from the library. I’ve bought a couple of ebooks and  a few physical copies. Here’s one below:

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I’ve been doing exercises. I’ve gotten at least twelve poems out of the Ordinary Genius book. I am really glad that I bought it. I highly recommend the book. 

I did write another 700 words on the book but I’m still kinda frustrated and I’m putting off working with it. I know I need to grit my teeth and get through it. Only 34,000 more words. I can do that but damn it I don’t feel like it! Is this the writer life?