Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Book Review: The Night Circus

I fell in love with this book. If you are looking for something to read go out and buy this book. Right now.

Okay, maybe not right now, finish reading my blog post and then go and get it. Or download it.

I found this book to be such a delight. There are some books, The Hunger Games series comes to mind, where you can't put the book down. You gobble the books up one after another. You would rather read than sleep. It consumes you. Some people think that that talent of making the reader turn the page again and again is a quality of a great writer. And it is. As a writer you want the reader to keep going. But I don't think that that makes a good book. You want the readers to savor the book as well.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is a book worth savoring. Morgenstern has created a world that is so real and vibrant that you just want the circus to be real. If you are of the Harry Potter persuasion, it's like that desire to open your mailbox one day and find your letter from Hogwarts. You want to wander through the black and white striped tents and experience it all.

I would recommend this book for older YA, adult readers, and adult readers that enjoy YA. The main characters are in their upper teens and early twenties. The romance is intense and tastefully done. Yes, there is a sex scene, but if you ask me Breaking Dawn is more pornographic than this.

One thing that I didn't really like about this book was how each chapter started with a date and a place. Usually I don't mind these place markers in books, and they are needed  in this book as well, but it got me too focused on the year and how old the characters are. So, if you do go read this book (which you need to) just be aware of the two different timelines. There is the one with Marco and Celia and then there is Bailey and his plot line. Just be aware to keep those two plot lines straight and the other dates don't really matter.

So all in all. This is a MUST READ! Highly recommend! So, why are you just sitting there? Go! BUY IT NOW! 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Revision is a New Form of Hell...

Well, my plan has been to work on writing the last few chapters of the novel and revise the earlier chapters at the same time. You know, one day writing, one day revision, and so on. 


That plan didn't really work out. I am making progress, however; it is not as quick as I would like for it to be. 

Writing the climax of my novel is really intimidating. It's like, it's been in my head for so long, it's what I've been working toward, and what if it doesn't come across as well on paper? What if I fail at delivering? It's what the readers has invested their time in reading the novel for. 

So there's that lovely little rain cloud hanging over my head.

Then, there's the revision.

Yes, I have revised things before. How can I be in a writing program and not have done it. However, this time it seems different. Reading Chapter One and getting ready to revise it was just depressing. I looked at it and was like, "Shit, I'm going to have to rewrite the whole damn thing." This is such crap! 

Then I took a break and literally stared at the hard-copy pages I printed out. I thought about things. About revision, about how to crawl inside of something and make it all better but not waste all the words and work you've already put into it.

After that, I put my little bird on my computer screen and went to work.

It really wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. It really was like I could climb into the chapter and fix it. I cut pages and saved paragraphs. I shuffled things around and rewrote big chunks. What I found was, it was fun. I have a better handle on my characters now than I did when I started this years ago. I know who they are, how they talk, and how they react to thing. Even better, I know how to fold description into the story and eliminate huge paragraphs that are all telling and no showing. I know the weight of one perfect word over half a page of the almost right words. 

It is a slow process. In a way it's daunting and hellish, I wonder if I'll ever get it done

But, I just have to keep going. One page of revision at a time and writing one sentence at a time. 


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Back to Reality

Yes, I lied.

I said that I would post (not regularly, but post none-the-less) this summer. Well, I didn't. Sure, I posted a bit, but not enough to count.

I was super busy! This was my last summer to be on campus during my program and I wanted to make it count. And did I ever. I made tons of new friends, got lots of writing done, fell back in love with my novel/WIP/thesis, AND came to terms with the fact that I am a good writer.

For such a long time I felt like I wasn't good enough. That the words that I put done on the page were just awful and that I'd never get a book deal. 

Well, I don't feel that now. I reread a lot of my older stuff, stuff I typed up three months ago and with each key stroke would think, "This is shit. This is total and complete shit, but just get it on the page and then you can revise." I don't think that anymore. 

I need to believe in myself, because if I don't then who the hell is going to? Yes, my super-amazing husband will always believe in me, and so will my family, but that is only enough when you believe in yourself. 

I'm stepping off of my soapbox now. 

Goals for this new "year." I say year because by this time next year I will (hopefully) have my thesis done and will be looking for agents/ editors. Well, let me rephrase... Goal for this year. Work on my thesis/novel (it's one in the same now) for AT LEAST one hour each day. I need to do that to get the last few chapter written and then begin the revision process before sending the revised chapters to my thesis advisor for notes and even more revision.

But it's so exciting! There is an end in sight! I will have this  novel done soon, and before you know it you will be seeing it on the bookshelves at bookstores. Mark my words. I will continue to make salads and whatnot to help my husband with the finances but also so that I can focus on my work.

From here on out, my real job is my novel. My hobby is going and making money.