Journal

October 2016 Recap

Writing Days: 10 (new novel)
Editing: Draft with Beta Feedback completed
Writer Status: Drowning in Post-It Notes. Tangled in plot hairballs.

Books Read:

  • Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
  • Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova
  • Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
  • Prophecy by Ellen Oh
  • River of Stars by Guy Gavriel Kay
  • The Forest for the Trees by Tam MacNeil
  • The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu

Of course, my holds in the library would all come available at the same time, so I ended up on another reading binge. It’s nice to be sort of between projects though.

I’m at the point where I need to check myself with the new novel and sort out the plot. I haven’t written it sequentially, but in the order of ‘whatever scenes seem fun’ at the moment. That mess of post it notes in the photo are scenes I know need to be in there, but there are still gaps, and I need to sort out how they fit together. It’s kind of nice to try something new this time and this all makes me think that it’s true that every time you sit down to write, you learn about the novel you’re working on and not necessarily the next one. Each book requires a different routine of mental gymnastics.

I participated in #DVpit, on October 5, which was a really interesting experience. I have a post about Twitter pitches to share sometime soon. I will say, if you haven’t tried a Twitter pitch event, they’re not a bad thing to consider. At the very least you’ll figure out something to tell people with when they ask what you’re working on. There really isn’t anything to lose by trying. Caveat: make sure it’s a legit event and so are all the agents you query.

And the unconscious theme for the month was ancient East Asia. I’ve been thinking about the parallels between some of the novels I read. Though there are varying levels of historical detail and fantasy in each of them, the notion of filial duty makes the plot progression distinct. Rebelling (often praised in western narratives) against your ruler/kingdom/family is not an act of heroism in these stories. The only way to be a hero is not to refuse your duty your family and the state, even if that duty ends up demanding your death, even if what you’re supposed to do is ill advised/wrong headed/stupid. As someone who grew up watching Chinese Historical dramas, I fully expected everyone to die at the end, but I won’t spoil it and tell you whether or not everyone lives in these stories.

And edits, endless edits. A thousand thank you’s and cookies to my beta readers: Stephanie, Dawn, Aliza, and Tucker.

6 Comments

  1. No matter how they improve the computers, there’s still not substitute for the Post-Its. 🙂

    “…every time you sit down to write, you learn about the novel you’re working on and not necessarily the next one.”

    Very true.

  2. Oh man, I can’t wait to get back into post-it notes, haha. Soon, soon…

    “The only way to be a hero is not to refuse your duty your family and the state, even if that duty ends up demanding your death, even if what you’re supposed to do is ill advised/wrong headed/stupid.”

    Such an interesting observation! I’ve never really thought about this before. 🙂 I wonder what it is about Western cultures that makes us want to “rebel” so much…

    1. Hmm I think rebellion is more of an American thing? Makes sense considering how the country was founded. Also the idea of individuality being valued over the good of the whole, might also be a key thing?

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