Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sympathetically Insane

Today on Nathan Bransford's blog, he mentioned Sympathetic vs. Unsympathetic Characters.

Very apropos. I'm toying with an idea for a new book centered on an obsessed, sometimes violent, but otherwise amiable woman who makes deleterious decisions costing her all she holds dear, including her sanity. This is where the question of how to make your protagonists/antagonists resonate with others comes into play.

Is craziness so far off for any of us?

Is obsession the same as passion?

For myself, writing goes far beyond the simple, "I like to do it." IS that the same as saying I'm obsessed?

Let's look at the symptoms:
1 - I do it for hours every day. Even weekends and holidays.

2 - I talk about it as much as possible keeping in mind that not everyone can relate... or cares for that matter.

3 - My characters are real to me. “Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.” EL Doctorow

4 - It's hard not to do it. When away from my computer, I keep a note pad with me so I can jot down mannerisms or funny observations.

Okay, it would appear that I am, in fact, obsessed. Therefore, I can relate to my character. But will others?

Comments and suggestions are certainly welcome. Also, does anyone have any good reading recommendations for stories told from the villain's perspective?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Success at a Meyer Level


If you read Stephenie Meyer's bio, you'll find that in 6 months her first book was dreamt, written, represented, and sold. Mind-blowing.

How does one achieve this level of success in the literary world?
Let's call it the Meyer level.

1 - Her books are fantastic. They are sweeping and fluid in spite of other authors' criticism of her technique.

2 - She has a bit of controversy surrounding her. Come on, she's a nice Mormon girl writing about eternally-damned-blood-sucking vampires. Okay, okay... I'll give in... Edward has a soul. (yes, that is me in the pic ;))

3 - She's approachable. Well, maybe not in the literal sense, but her story's voice is very easy to get along with.

4 - She's super lucky. She even says so on her website.

As much as I would love even an ounce of her acclaim, here's hoping that this NorCal girl will create a new level of success: the Heskett level.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Look at me - I'm blogging.

So, here's the conundrum: do I blog regularly or use the time to keep tweaking my manuscript?

Granted, the first draft only took two months to complete, but I've spent almost the same amount of time revising it. Any thoughts?

Another question that has been plaguing me for some time now is: when do you walk away? My mother keeps referring to my novel as a painting. Too many strokes on the canvas and it's ruined. (She's an Art History graduate - so the metaphor works for her.)

I guess the mark of a great artist is knowing the exact time to sit back and say, "Finito!" ... or something like that. How does that happen? Do the words start to glow and rise up off of the page? Does the choir of angels begin to sing? Does your computer crash and the only draft left is buried in a random file on your external hard drive?

Hmm... (imagine me pondering like Rodin's "The Thinker")