Six weeks ago I made the wildly improbable promise to give twenty hours a week to my verse-novel. Between writing classes, French classes, and subbing grades K-12, my life is already packed to the rafters. But I decided that if Varian Johnson could write at 4:00 in the morning and finish multiple books while working fulltime as an engineer (my agent tipped me off), so could I (well, except for the engineering bit.)
I love those “aha!” moments when a character sneaks up on me–and I suddenly realize I’m not writing the book I thought I was writing. It might mean big changes, but it invariably makes a deeper and more authentic story than the one I started with. This is just as true for memoir as it is for fiction
I have not shared any of my work-in-progress here because it has felt too close to the bone. It’s a YA. It’s about art. And it’s about time-travel. It’s about a girl who feels responsible for keeping someone else alive, and how she goes back in time and thinks she wants to stay there. It’s a verse-novel, so it’s made up entirely of poems.
But it’s time for some mutual sharing. I’m looking for a small group of young people (high school/college) and some art.
I don’t know about you, but after years of writing, I notice that I get into a stylistic rut. As I have mentioned before on this blog, the solution is theft. Today I’m going to steal from author Janet Lee Carey, creator of Dragon’s Keep, The Beast of Noor, Dragonswood and many other books. This particular bit of larceny is from The Beast of Noor.
Teens have taught me a bunch about writing over the last couple of decades–both the teens who have already written five novels and the ones who would rather scrub under the refrigerator than pick up a pen. For a lot of teens, writing was ruined for them by third grade. For others, dutifully writing their five-paragraph essays, their love affair with writing is made up of clandestine moments,
My debut YA novel is scheduled for release in May, 2012, so this morning I was thinking about the word “launch.” I think I came to my previous book releases a little bewildered, overwhelmed by the options (101 Ways to Promote Your Book), and a bit timid about getting my feet wet. Now, I realize that while I can’t do it all, I can have a focused plan. So I asked myself, if I were sailing around the world, » Read more about: One Year to Launch—Calling on the Well-Traveled for Advice »
Next week is our Spring Teen Write, from April 9-10th. I have kept this event somewhat “under the radar” and didn’t send the dates to the general list, because it filled up quite quickly with current Teen Writers. It does look like I may have a few spots after all, so I wanted to make you aware of it. This is a very popular event, and participants come back again and again. Newcomers are always warmly welcomed – this is a great group of teens!