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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

What’s Up Wednesday No. 6: The Best Talent in the World Edition

You know how every writer has that one strength that makes other writers politely and silently jealous? For instance, one of my critique partners, Lindsay Currie, and her partner in horror Trisha Leaver pretty much rule at creating suspenseful and horrific scenes that make me think they are both brilliant and somewhat totally twisted. (Proof: Their amazing book Creed, which you should definitely add to your to-be-read piles now and devour when it comes out because it is so very good.)

Anyhow, I pretty much figured out my talent: I rock at reading writing advice. I know, I know. You are all insanely envious and, I admit, you look good in green, but try to understand: I can’t help my genius. Seriously, as I’m adding more and more to my WIP (more on that below) I’m pretty much soaking up as much writing wisdom as I can.

Fact: There is a lot of smart writing advice out there.

Fact: Reading too much writing advice will make your brain explode all over your computer, and weeks later you will still be finding chunks of gray matter beneath your keys. (It’s possible I’ve spent too much with Lindsay and Trisha.)

There comes a time when I have to accept my mind is pretty packed and I’m only wasting time when I should be putting into practice what I’ve learned. And yet I’m constantly saving posts in my reader for later, when my addiction comes back and I think maybe… Maybe this will help me out of that plot hole or help me biggify my flat characters. So I wanted to ask you guys: How much writing advice is too much for you?

And with that prologue, here’s what’s happening with me:

What I’m Reading: Nada right now. It’s my busiest time at the day job and I’m working on my WIP, so books have been set aside for now. That’s the mandate at least. We’ll see if I follow through. THERE ARE JUST SO MANY AND THEY ARE SO PRETTY….

What I’m Writing: That little manuscript that couldn’t is coming along. Still sucks, but I can see how, with a lot of work, it might not suck in the future. That’s a plus, right? Right.

I also wrote a scene that was super fun because of the world-building. I had this image in my head of how this funeral would go, and for some reason I had a blast writing it. Which, I know, it was a funeral. But I generally enjoy scenes of pain for my characters. [Insert evil laugh here.]

The words aren’t perfect by any means, but I kind of like the image, so here’s a snippet from when she’s releasing her father’s ashes:
With a sob, I turn the urn upside down over the edge of the basin. The artificial gale sweeps my father into its current, whips him into a tornado that rises like a column over the basin. With the holograph I chose, he appears to climb the tree until he’s hovering just below the highest branch. 
And then, for the first time today, the sun appears. It lights the stained-glass ceiling, shoots multicolored shafts over the scene. He’d like this, the rainbow dancing over the field and his ashes suspended in midair as a butterfly flutters through them. If he’s watching, I hope he knows I tried.
What Else I’ve Been Up To: My sister might tell you that we spent the weekend camped out in front of my TV watching episode after episode of Dollhouse. You might hear I finished the two-season show. I admit nothing.

What’s Inspiring Me:

This has been my mantra as the enormity of revisions has given rise to fear that, as always, makes me want to hide instead of write. I am truly a wimp.

What have you been up to, friends?

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