January 19, 2012

Busy, Back Soon

This week I had to do some terrible things to my characters. I arrived at my novel's most horrific event and revised the scene that destroys the characters' lives. As I got closer and closer to this scene, I'd been both dreading and looking forward to revisiting and improving it.

I'm glad that I got through this scene, and I'm pleased with the way it turned out. The aftermath is shaping up nicely, with some good new changes from the previous draft. I have some hope that the rest of this storyline will flow out pretty quickly from here, so it might not be so very long until I move on to the next and final storyline.

All of which is to say, there's been a lot of intense revising around here recently, and not too much else. I'll work on coming up with some more interesting blog content for later in the month.

But I figure this is a good time to ask you, my loyal blog readers: Is there any particular topic you'd like me to discuss? What types of posts are you interested in seeing more of? Please weigh in with any feedback, and thank you so much for reading!

Good Stuff Out There:

→ Henriette Lazaridis Power writes at The Millions about acknowledgements: "Everyone reads the acknowledgements. In fact, for many of us, the first thing we do when we pull a book off the store shelf is to flip to the back. The writers among us might be searching for the agent or the editor we can query, or we might be seeking our own name in the list. But we certainly read the acknowledgements for the drama and the human story revealed therein."


Christopher Gronlund said...

I always like seeing the things outside of a writer's writing life that influence them and what they do.

I love reading about the process different writers use to get where they're going, but also love seeing the things in their lives that made them write the kinds of things they write.

laurenhat said...

I like reading about what you're reading -- and I would be interested in hearing about more books that catch your attention, even if they don't make your immediate reading list.

I also really enjoy your revising tips (and hearing about your specific revising experiences). I have a question I'd be happy to get revising advice on, if you feel like taking it on (or generalizing it into something more broadly interesting/applicable): I have a story with a few main characters and a very large background cast. I want to revise so that the main characters have more realistic motivations and actions, and a better arc. I also would like the background cast to be more consistent and somewhat more believable in their actions (though they're in large part providing comic relief). But I'm intimidated by the notion of coming up with elaborate backstories for a large cast. How much backstory do you think is useful for background characters? (It seems like you sometimes enjoy creating backstory for tangential characters, but I can't tell how much you think that helps the story vs. you just enjoy it.)

(If you don't want to become an advice columnist, that's fine too -- just tossing out ideas. :) )

Andrea Blythe said...

You know I always skim the acknowledgments page myself, though I'm also terrified of writing it. I'm always afraid in any expression of gratitude that I'm going to leave someone important out and offend them. But I guess you just go with your gut on that sort of thing and do the best you can.

I don't know what other topics to suggest. I've been enjoying what I've read so far every time I stopped by. :)

Lisa Eckstein said...

Thanks, everyone, for your comments! I'm excited about turning this feedback into new directions for the blog.

Christopher, both your comment and your recent personal post are making me aware of how little of my real life I share on this blog. I leave reality out mostly because it doesn't seem that interesting, but you're right that it has an impact on my writing, and I like getting some personal details on other blogs I read. I'm going to think about how to introduce more of myself here.

Lauren, I like the suggestion of discussing more books, perhaps all the ones that make it onto my to-read-someday list even if I'm not reading them yet. And I will think about how to tackle your revision problem. I've been hoping to do a sort of revision tutorial series, and maybe getting several specific questions would be a good way to start.

Andrea, one of my main daydream topics involves putting together the acknowledgements page for my novel, which in my fantasy is about to be published and of course a bestseller. Leading to my appearance on Fresh Air and all my favorite literary podcasts, which is the other main subject of my daydreams.

Anna Scott Graham said...

I enjoy hearing about the book, and I agree with Christopher; I find writer's lives fascinating!

Congrats on getting through that sticky bit. I know that feeling, and it feels good being past it!

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