Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thursday Update #2

If you haven't already heard, I'm a finalist over at Heather Howland's blog! (okay everyone was, but still) Go on over and read my story, Existence, then if you like it, please vote!!

I'm also joining the HUGE contest at My Writer's Craze for the chance to win Divergent, Graceling, and the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, plus a $50 amazon gift card. (yes that is just one of the prizes, pretty cool huh?) so hop on over there to check it out.

I can't forget the pretty fun Harry Potter tour going on that began at S.P. Sipal's blog, so go enjoy the posts, the chat, and win some cool prizes too!

Last, and most importantly, I wanted to thank you guys for your amazing support yesterday! You don't even know how much you guys have impacted my life and helped me through so many hard things. Then you go and blow my socks off with your amazing generosity and kind words.

The reason I was so down was simply the fact that I am practically re-writing my entire book. I'm also debating between past and present tense. The book is 1st person and right now I like present tense, but it's also set in a renaissance type era, so I'm not sure if it should be in past tense.

Opinions would greatly influence my decision and help me get on track with my writing.

Since there is no real appropriate way to end this post, here is a little inspiration that helped me through yesterday. Enjoy!

Ira Glass on Storytelling from David Shiyang Liu on Vimeo.


Ava Jae said...

Hey Jen!

Past or present tense is completely your call. I don't think the genre really matters, if past tense feels right to you then go for it! If not, try present tense. In the end it all comes down to you.

Don't get down because you have to rewrite it! That's a good thing. It means you're willing to do what it takes to unlock the potential of your story. Go for it! It'll definitely be better after all that hard work. :)

Keep your head up and keep on writing!

P.S.: I LOVE that video. I saw it on tumblr a few days's amazing.

J. A. Bennett said...

Ava - thank you! I'm actually writing in present tense and I've just about decided to stick with it.

BTW I really didn't mean to post the other thing, I was saving that fr tomorrow, plus it is sooo not ready, ooops!

Christa said...

I really liked Existence. It's so great to see all the different entries. Super fun. Nice writing.

Laura Josephsen said...

Rewriting is tough. Especially when you're doing it again and again, yes. It's tough. But awesome that you're willing to do it! You'll get through it and figure it out and it will be so worth it!

Past or present is up to you. I've found that a lot of first person present tense books are those that need IMMEDIATE action, like The Hunger Games and if i stay. Those books are entirely in the moment and that added to the story. Whereas if it's a more traditional story, past tense might work better. I used to have a hard time reading present tense, but now I don't even notice--I do know there are some people who really hate it and some people who really love it. It's just a matter of figuring out which voice works better for you. Sometimes if I'm not sure, I try a couple pages one way and a couple pages another way, and see which one fits better.

Good luck, and have fun! I know how frustrating fixing a novel can be!

Sarah said...

That video is so true. If I'd known at the beginning that what I was working so hard on wasn't going to be good, I don't know if I even would have started. In retrospect I'm glad I went through it (still going through it). It's easier to keep going now, knowing it's a necessary part of improving.

Hang in there on your book. I know your frustration, but when you're all done, and your story meets or exceeds your original expectations, you'll see how worth it this part is.

I'm sure you already know my stance on tense. I say, just do what feels and sounds best to you.

J. A. Bennett said...

Christa - thank you and thanks for giving me the link to the contest!

Laura - when you put it that way it makes me want to stay even firmer in present tense. Thanks for your thoughts.

Sarah - Isn't that video a gem? Those words spoke to me in such a powerful way.

I know your stance, and your thought was actually what brought the question to mind, I've been looking over what I've written and have found that my MC really doesn't like past tense, so I guess I'll continue to be stubborn.

V said...

This might sound weird but I think it should be in the present tense cos then the readers will feel like they are in that era..they'll be transported to that era or some shit like that. You get what I mean? I don't know how to explain it properly. lol.
Usually when I feel like I can't sketch something properly..I just browse through the illustrations done by other people. This actually helps me get back on track. Maybe you should do something like that. Probably read a page or two of your favourite book or something. I'm talking a lot of crap today? Ain't I? lol.

Anita Grace Howard said...

Oh, Jen! Hang in girl! We ALL know what this is like. And good for you for being proactive and fixing your book! I think that writing a book in present tense would be tricky in a past setting (I did this myself to a book I'd written, and now I'm planning to go back an change it to past tense again. Sigh). I just decided to change it back becuase I felt it was more natural for that particular story. Just follow your gut on that!

BTW, read your short, LOVED it! And voted for it. I also left you a comment over there. :) Good luck w/the rewrites! You will rock them, whatever you decide.

Pam said...

I just read the post before this one and then this - I am so glad to see you so much more upbeat. You ARE a good writer - we all have more to learn and ways we want or need to improve, I have a gazillion or two myself! But you have a wonderful writing style that makes me feel like I'm having a conversation, and that's what makes people want to read. You rock : ).

genelempp said...

Congrats on being a finalist!

Time frame doesn't really matter when it comes to tense. It is only about what makes the story work the best. Go with your instincts. Pick one scene, a pivotal one, and write it in 1st and 3rd person. Read them both out loud. Which one makes the impact you want?

Best of luck and hold faith :)

Nicole Mc said...

I don't think the time period will matter if you do it well. First present is a toughie, no way around it. I wrote in that for a couple of months and would constantly find myself slipping back to past for a sentence or so. I agree with someone else that some books just really work in present. I used to not really enjoy it, but now I do.

Another historical series (YA) that does first present is the Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray that starts with the book A Great and Terrible Beauty. REALLY great reads!

frackentay said...

I've awarded you the Blog On Fire award. Go here to find the post. :)

Newlymeds said...

Congrats! And go luck with the book. That will be quite an accomplishment!

Melanie said...

Congratulations on being a finalist. I loved your story! That was so creative!

Thank you so much for supporting my hop. This was a great post to add.