"Heart don't fail me now!
Courage don't desert me!
Don't turn back now that we're here"
-"Journey to the Past", Anastasia
That list up there could be further from the truth. I wish that was my schedule, you know, surviving meaning eating, watching TV, snacking, reading, then going back to bed. But no, there are so many things to do that - I shall quote my twitter, "I want to do so many things at one time that I end up worrying about which I should do first and result in doing nothing at all." Yes, that is how I'm feeling, dear friends. I'm sorry I haven't properly greeted you, so Bonjour! And hello. I'm sure you were afraid I was going to have that two month absence that could possibly happen, yes, I was afraid of that, too. But here I am. Of the things I worried about doing, I decided to do this first. Well, let us get updated.
The Things I Want To Do All At Once That I End Up Not Doing At All/ The Things Worrying My Mind
- I stil haven't written the 2k I was going to write again. I know! God has given me two weeks to make up for it and I don't do anything but worry!
- I finally critiqued that mess of a story for my friend because I agreed to. Have I not told you about my critique buddy yet? Long story short, I critiqued her query and she was so happy with my harshness (it was not a pretty query) she wanted me to critique her whole novel, and because I saw some sort of story in the midst of the horrible grammar and punctuation and sentence structure of her critique, I agreed. I told her in my query critique that you want your query to be good, so it will reflect your writing. Well, her unrevised query just about did reflect her writing. I will be talking about one of her mistakes today. But all in all, she's a good person, really, and I like her. And I don't mean to be mean to her, I even consider her as a friend (well, we are on Facebook). So all is not completely lost.
- All the projects. To name a few, I have to make three commercials avec mon amis and that won't be pretty because mon amis get easily distracted, and that distraction resulted in an F on a previous assignment. God help those too trusting! The commercials are supposed to be about The Merchant of Venice, which, after putting on a production of the play with my stuffed animals as characters, actually makes sense to me. Allow me to quote my twitter (again) - "Merchant of Venice isn't as confusing as I once thought...thou hath not as confuddling as ere...I don't think I said that right". Then I have to think up another (stupid) science project. Then I have to research my health project, which is going to be on thyroids (my mom, uncles, and aunt has it, so I'm scared). And then I have to write a story book in French about things I do and don't do in the seasons (par example: J'aime mangez en hiver, mais je n'aime pas nager en hiver [translation: I love eating in winter, but I don't like swimming in winter]). Grrr.
- I want to join ABNA. I'm thinking of submitting my nanonovel, you know, for the heck of it. Problem: I haven't edited TROAP at all, don't have a pitch ready, or anything else. Ah, well. I've been meaning to do that. BIG PROBLEM: Submissions are in TWO DAYS.
- I actually liked Crime and Punishment. Me and Raskolnikov have something in common: We're going insannnnnnnnneeeeeeee!! At least I didn't murder something, though my grades are in jeopardy.
- Get my friend and other friend presents because it's their birthdays!! AHH
Okay, so that's all that has happened. Those are my concerns. Okay, I'm going to make a schedule RIGHT NOW. (Schedules always make me feel safer).
- After this post (which was also in my to-do list), finish my bio hw and try to read some of the chapter on taxonomy
- after bio hw, start the french project. but don't expect to finish it all today (it'll come out sloppy)
- After getting tired with that, conscience should be somewhat calmer. Do any other hw that I have forgotten.
- Start editing TROAP and start 2k
- Sunday: Wake up early and cont. edit TROAP and finish 2k
- If don't finish TROAP by tomorrow, that's okay, submissions still open
- Get done with all hw today so have time to do all this writing business tomorrow!
Okay, that has cleared my mind somewhat. So, back to the true topic of this post because you all don't really care about my insanity...
The Series of Actions Disorder...dun dun dunnn...
Okay. So as I mentioned, my critique buddy has a problem with this. Allow me to give an example and you try and figure out the problem (hint: the title of this section)
Lila walked to class. She sat down and took out her notebook. The teacher was hairy like a monkey and he sounded like one too. He was Mr. Gorilla, the science teacher. Lila felt like falling asleep. Then when class was over, she walked past a hallway of students and walked into her next class that smelled like peppermint and oil. After school, she went to her car and turned the window down, glad to be out of school, aka, prison.
WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS?! It was something I saw frequently in my partner's WIP. A character who goes to one class, then to another (I can't reveal any specific details or excerpts since I agreed not to show any of her work to anybody...and I'd like not to be sued, thank you very much) and then to the other. Then she did this, ate this, walked here, sat there. Chit-chatted here then walked there. Oh, quelle horreur! Not only did it not develop the plot or give us any indication of the character's personality, but it was just BORING. You know, I don't care if your MC has science last or if the science teacher's name was Mr. Gorilla (a name that bears a lot of resemblance to my english teacher's). I don't care if she ate pie, but never ate the crusts because she didn't like crusts. I honestly don't care if she grabbed a banana and realized she didn't like bananas and threw it in the garbage. Imagine reading pages of this robotic action! Yikes, indeed, my good friend. I said something about that, in my honest harshness that is neither overly cruel, and certainly not overly sugar-coated.
Now I ask you, my friend. Do you read this when you are editing your WIP? Think closely about it. How much pain did you suffer reading my own crude example up above? Yes, imagine that and reconsider what you are writing. I daresay, if your book was in the library and I picked it up because the book cover was nice (which I should immediately stop doing and I will tell you why in another post) and decided to skim the first few pages. If, my friend, your first few lines were those lines up above, I would surely put your book down and take care to avoid it in the future. And you don't want that, do you? Of course, I can only speak for myself. But I am so certain that agents would do the same, I would bet actual money on it.
Also, there was another irk I had with my partner's manuscript, and that was...
Unnecessary Details...*shark song*
There was a lot of a emphasis on what the character was wearing. Not only was there particular care into describing what the MC was wearing, but it was depicted in the way up above. Yes, you guessed it...a series of actions. (Example: I put on my purple shorts. I wondered what would go well with this, and I decided on the rainbow striped tank top. Then I put on my orange shoes, and voila! [Sidenote: I advise not to wear this outfit, not in this era, good friend]). Also, there was an emphasis on the specifics of the shirt. Like, it had a picture of Dora the Explorer on it. Unless your character is dressing for a particular reason, for example, she finds herself in Antarctica and I take great effort to describe to you exactly how many layers of clothing she put on. You see, not only do I show you that it is extremely cold outside, but I also give you a sense of what is appropriate to wear in Antarctica (which in that case, would not be purple shorts and a rainbow striped tank top).
I made this mistake in my early writings - too much emphasis on what my characters were wearing when really it didn't matter at all to the story. Nowadays, I would only mention what my characters were wearing if...
- My FMC is going on her first date with love interest and it matters what she is wearing and how long it took her to choose that outfit because she is striving to look her best
- Or I would mention beforehand my character is wearing a scarf (maybe the scarf is blowing in the wind and hits her in the face or something) because later on, it's that same scarf that saves her life (Not sure how, but anything's possible).
- Attire has something relevant to event (i.e. a mask in a masquerade)
So I hope you got something out of that. Remember, what I'm saying isn't right and it isn't wrong either. I'm just telling you something to consider and think about. Maybe, it will even help you out. (I could be the next Shakespeare, Just kidding! Oh, am I jesting.)
Au Revoir, my good friends! Remember, I go to school now and cannot update you as regularly as I used to.
After the Break,
"I try to leave out the parts that people skip." -Elmore Leonard