Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wednesday Update #8

Maybe I should change the title of this post to "Venting about the WIP Wednesday" becasue it feels like that's all I do. Then again, I so need to get this off my chest and you guys are a great audience. Thanks for being here for me :)

Like I said last week, I found a new fervor for Earth Song after the writers conference. This is in large part due to the two events I talked about yesterday (not to mention the awesome support system of writers attending). With that passion I wrote 10,000 words in a week.

But then I had part of my manuscript critiqued again.

First, let me say that I appreciate harsh critiques. How can I improve my writing if I have no feedback?  Even so, I am not the thickest skinned when it comes to my writing. I got two critiques back to back that pointed to the same thing - my world building skills severally lack.

Of course this made me ask myself if I am really cut out to write high fantasy. I'll even admit that I cried at the thought.

After some wallowing I decided to take my day one step at a time and I came here to edit my post for yesterday. Just remembering what I learned there boosted my spirits again.

I want to enjoy my writing, not struggle through it. I decided that in the state I'm in right now - having invested so much time and Energy into Earth Song, that I'm not ready to make the changes I need to so that book can shine.

To get my mind off of things I'm going to be working on another book for a while. Some of you may remember a short story contest I entered a few months back were I wrote a piece titled Existence. Well I'm taking those characters and writing a YA paranormal based loosely on the same concept. Here's a little blurb - 

Chrissie Fox has been training to curve time since she was a toddler. A centuries old pocket  watch is what has helped her travel to some of the most important events in world history, but lately the watch hasn't been working. When Chrissie's father gets mortally wounded she makes the choice to break the rules of time and go back to save him. Only then does she discover the a deadly secret in history.
Does it sound good, bad, overdone? Be honest with me!

On a different note, I was given the Liebster Blog Award again. Thanks Scott Bryan!

I technically shouldn't be able to receive this award becasue I have more than 200 followers, but I appreciate the gesture none the less :D

I also got the 7X7 award again from Caitlin Vincent, if you haven't checked out her blog you should, it is really fantastic!

What are you working on this week?


Krista M said...

I know what you mean about feeling down about your WIP, I'm stuck with mine. But have faith, you can do it! Writing takes practice and maybe your world wasn't belieable the first time, but try again. You'll get it. :)

MTeacress said...

10k words in only one week? Wow, you were flying. I've put a wip down to work on something else, and enjoyed the change of focus. I hope you enjoy it too. Good luck! :)

About your other post, you've reminded me that I really need to join the L of Ut writers.

J. A. Bennett said...

@Krista M yeah, that's why I'm going to step away for awhile. It's too in my head right now.

J. A. Bennett said...

@Michelle Teacress You should so join! it's da bomb. Where do you live?

Terron James said...

Only you can judge what your emotions can handle, but I don't think you should give up on Earthsong. I was just telling my wife last night how well written chapter 1 is. Don't be discouraged about world-building. The nice thing is, once you've built it, you don't have to do it again. It came seem daunting, I know, but it's really not as bad as it seems.

Jenny S. Morris said...

I totally understand getting a critique back and wondering if your cut out for writing. I also understand having to step back from a piece of work for a bit.

As for you story idea-I think it's awesome. I love the idea of time travel, and this sounds like you've made it very personal and character driven. Also, I am a sucker for father/daughter relationships. I don't think they are done very much in YA.

J. A. Bennett said...

@Terron James Thanks Terron! I certainly don't want to abandon it, I just need to take breather for a while. When I jump back in I'm hoping it will be that much better :)

@Jenny S. Morris I agree! And this character actually has two parents who care very deeply for the MC. That is something that needs to be showcased more, parents can be involved and teens can still be independent. Thanks for your feedback!

Sarah Pearson said...

Okay my two favourite concepts are time travel and parallel universes so your new idea has my vote.

You're right, in my opinion, to let your wip breathe for a while, just don't forget to go back to it :-)

Faith E. Hough said...

Oh, don't give up! World building is easy for some writers and really excruciatingly hard for others--myself included. For me, thinking of each scene like a movie scene, and the overall plot like a movie plot REALLY helps.
Take some time to mull, and while you're mulling have some mulled apple cider...that always makes me feel better. :)

Mark Noce said...

I feel you on the critiques, they're harsh, but essential and it's the only way to improve. I had a WIP a year back that I realized after several critiques I had to entirely rewrite from I did, but not right away. You'll make the changes needed, you just have to give yourself some time to come up for air:)

And, yes, the time curving thing sounds cool too:)

J. A. Bennett said...

@Sarah Pearson Yes! I have one convert :) Thanks for your support!

@Faith E. Hough Yum! It's the perfect time of year for apple cider, good idea! Thanks for the advice! I've been looking at different ways to envision it, but like you said I need to let it mull for a bit.

@Mark Noce Thanks mark! Glad to know I'm not the only one who needs recovery time :)

David P. King said...

I'm a sucker for good time traveling. Such a hard thing to work with though. I've yet to take a stab at it. Kudos to you for going for it.

I like harsh critques, too. If only one person has an issue about something, I take it into concideration. If two or more have the same complaint, then I know something needs to be redrafted.

As for worldbuilding, I know you can do it. It took me a while, but I've learned to map out my world and figure out the society before I begin. Maybe now is a good time to reflect on this world of yours and know it better than your characters do.

Best of luck. And 10K? Woohoo! :)

Ava Jae said...

Sometimes the best thing you can do is take a step away and breathe. Don't let the critique get you down (you seem to know that it's helpful in the end, so I won't go on forever about that). That being said, a break is always helpful.

Best of luck on your new project! Paranormal novels rock.

whispering words said...

The concept for your new novel sounds awesome! After all who dosn't like a bit of time travel and intrigue?

Also in regards to your crits don't let them get you down.Try looking at all the good things said about your manuscript because I'm sure they'll outweigh the bad. And 10,000 words in one week? wow thats a massive achievement! I have no doubts that you are meant to be a writer. :)

Ru said...

Sigh, critiques ... I always end up feeling fired up (eventually) but at first I think the best critiques inevitably take the wind out of your sails. (I mean, if it were an easy or obvious fix, wouldn't you have figured it out already? That's how I generally feel.)

Joanne said...

I like the sound of your blurb, time-travel is always fun to read, with lots of story possibility. Maybe while you're working on this one, Earth Song will still be simmering in your thoughts and you'll eventually come back to it refreshed!

J. A. Bennett said...

@David Powers King Thanks David! I'm sure I can, I just need to extract myself from it for a while :)

@Ava Jae Thanks Ava! I'm hoping the whole experience will help me grow as a writer.

@whispering words Thank you so much! Your encouragement means a lot :)

@Ru So true! I never thought of it that way before. Thank you!

@Joanne That's what I'm hoping. Thanks for your confidence!

Abby Fowers said...

Congrats on the awards! Yay for Jennie. On the other hand, don't let things get you down. We all have those days. I hate them too. But it will all work out. I am excited about the new story you are starting. :)

Elizabeth Ann West said...

You know, just because your book doesn't fit the "requirements" of a genre doesn't mean it's not a great book. I love the story lines in many fantasies, but I can't slog through the world building, traipses through the woods. Description and I do NOT get along. Maybe you're writing accessible fantasy? Or maybe it's urban fantasy... or just an alternate reality? I haven't read the mss, so I can't tell you. But if you want a casual fantasy reader's opinion, you know where to find me. :)

L.G.Smith said...

Yay on the Liebster. And I so get what you're saying on the feedback/critique. If I get a particularly harsh critique back I have to cycle through my disappointment and depression first (yes, I'm a neurotic writer) before I can even think about tackling a rewrite. I also prefer to work on something else for awhile and then go back to the revision when my emotions are less volatile. :)

The Golden Eagle said...

I'm intrigued by the blurb! Curving time--now that sounds like an interesting story. :)

Congratulations on the awards!

Caitlin Vincent said...

I think you're right to put Earth Song away for a little bit. Sometimes it's best to let all your thoughts and feelings settle and then come back to it. I've found that letting critique comments ruminate really helps. When I come back to the manuscript, I'm ready to make necessary changes but I also know which suggested changes would not be good to implement.

Your new novel sounds fantastic :) Have fun with it!

Shannon Lawrence said...

I also appreciate critiques, but sometimes they can just get into your head in a damaging way. Taking a break sounds like a great way to give it time to breathe and come back to it with renewed passion. Good luck with the new WIP!