Wednesday, 10 September 2014

What's Up Wednesday: The Catch Up Edition

HEY. I haven't posted for WUW since, like…early June? When I had just gotten a puppy and was still drafting and I only had braces on my bottom teeth? Let's catch up.

{click here for a full list of participants!}
What I'm Reading:

Let me run through some excellent books I've read in the past couple of months:

  • COMPLICIT by Steph Kuehn--she writes such excellent, twisty, psychological stories. I cannot wait for her next, DELICATE MONSTERS.
  • OPEN ROAD SUMMER by Emery Lord--oh, how much do I love Reagan? She's messed up and a little mean and strong and I want her to be my BFF.
  • THE END OF EVERYTHING by Megan Abbott--dark, creepy, strange. Everything I want from a Megan Abbott book.
  • SINCE YOU'VE BEEN GONE by Morgan Matson--I think this is my favourite of hers. I loved seeing Emily become brave.
  • RUIN AND RISING by Leigh Bardugo--a great conclusion to a great trilogy. Is it wrong that I still love the Darkling?
  • PRETTY DEAD by Francesca Lia Block--has anyone read this? I picked it up at the library on a whim. It's a vampire story, but not really like any others I've read.
  • BEAUTIFUL by Amy Reed--God, this was hard to get through. It's bleak and dark and pretty terrifying. But worth it.

[how I spend my breaks.]

What I'm Writing:

Deep breath.

I am splitting my manuscript, THE QUIETEST KIND, into two.

It's weird, but I'm actually not that scared by it, and I'm really enjoying the process of working out how to do it, what needs to be added, what new plot lines could work, and so much more. I wouldn't be doing this if it weren't for some excellent, excellent notes from Sara, who may possibly be a genius. (FYI, she has a freelance editing service that you should look into if you're in the market for that sort of thing. Do I need to repeat the genius thing here?)

Once I've finished turning it from one into two, I'll go through and work on addressing the notes I got from a couple of other readers. And then it will be perfect and amazing and all the agents will want me and it will sell at auction, etc. etc. You know where this story ends (fame and glory and an infinity pool).

[earlier, simpler revising days.]

What Works For Me:

I saw something the other day that made so much sense to me. (On Twitter? Tumblr? Is it a famous quote that I don't recognise? I wish I could remember…)

To paraphrase, it was: the thing you are writing now should be the hardest thing you have ever written.

I think that is one of the smartest, most inspiring things to keep in our minds as we write. And hard can mean all kinds of things: subject matter, format, the simple act of trying to tell the story you're writing in the right way. Some of the things I write are hard because I make them, because I decide to have five POVs or jump around in time or make magic happen. Sometimes they're hard because I write about sad things, not-easy things, scary things. But every time I write feel the challenge, and when I feel like I've told the story the way it deserves to be told or made sense of a messy, wild first draft, I get a flash of pride. If we're writing easy things, what are we learning? What are we giving people with our stories?

I don't know what I'm really saying now, other than that's my advice for this week. That the thing you are writing now should be the hardest thing you have ever written.

What Else I've Been Up To:

Let's see: attending housewarming parties in London, going for cocktails with my best girls, walking the dog (a lot), getting new tattoos. Having more metal put in my mouth. Sleeping, working, participating in Ready. Set. WRITE! Seeing IF I STAY (which is so good, and Mireille Enos is so badass in it I may watch The Killing now, and Jamie Blackley is the new love of my life). Listening to so many podcasts (check out First Draft with Sarah Enni!). Sunbathing and dyeing my hair and attempting to grow flowers.

Y'know. The usual.

It's late now, so I'll probably make the rounds of everyone else's posts tomorrow. Sweet dreams!