Saturday, January 31, 2009

Still Going

The big Re-Write is still going along well. I've continued doing lots of work on it, in fact I wouldn't even have a clue how many thousand words I've written. All I know is that in the last week I've managed to add 4 chapters to it. Of course, I do have a slight advantage. Since it is a re-write, I've been using a bit of material from the first draft that still works in with the new manuscript. However I do feel that this second version is much improved and hopefully that will be reflected when I start querying agent. I'm up to 40,000 words overall, which puts me at almost halfway. I don't know about anyone else, but it's exciting when you get past that halfway point and you're on the downhill run, getting closer and closer to completion.
Song: Ashes to Ashes by Faith No More

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Burst

I know, I write in fits and starts. I'll go for weeks and barely type a word, then all of a sudden I sit down and pull 5000 words out of nowhere. Of course, I'm not complaining. Writing that 5000 words yesterday made me very happy. If only I could sit down every day and write 5000-odd words, I've have this manuscript finished in no time!
I do know that I seriously need to do some hard work and get it finished though. I'm starting to get the itch again. The urge to start sending queries to agents. I suppose if I get some of that discipline I'm always talking about, my aim to be finished by June might not be so far off.
In other news, I found out yesterday that I got into the first RWAustralia Bootcamp for the year. It's kinda like a bunch of mini online workshops or conference. I applied for the intermediate to advanced one, since after eight years I can't really be considered a beginner any more, can I? Anyway, it should be good, we'll be doing Character Arcs with author Diane Gaston, Dialogue with author Robyn Grady, Sexual Tension with author Carol Marinelli, The Language of the Synopsis with author Denise Rossetti (which I'm really looking forward to, I think I need it, which you'd already know if you were aware of my loathing of the synopsis), Looking After Your Writer's Body with Dana Fletcher-Scully. We also get to do some question time with Keri Arthur and Anna Campbell, which will be very exciting! Sometime between now and then, I need to work out some questions to ask them that I can relate back to my own work and experiences. All these things are helping me get closer to landing an agent.
Song: Miss You Love by Silverchair

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Atrophy

I know I haven't mentioned it for a while and obviously if you've been over to the site nothing is happening still. But it will! It is coming. It's just taking a little bit longer to execute than we had hoped.
There's not much else to say today. Yesterday was a public holiday here in Oz, Australia Day. As usual it was really hot, but not as bad as it's going to be for the rest of the week. For the next six days they're predicting we'll be having 40+ degree temperatures. That's 104 degrees or hotter in American. After six days straight of that sort of weather I can imagine there will be a lot of cranky people about. Talk about a heat wave. Hopefully this will be the worst of it for the rest of summer and there won't be any major bushfires anywhere.
Anyhoo, I have grand writing plans, so I'd better go do something about them.
Song: Angel's Son by Sevendust

Monday, January 26, 2009

One Of Those Weeks

So obviously I was missing last week, it was just "one of those weeks" where nothing seems to go right, complete with a broken window in a wind storm on Thursday and waking up to a dead toaster on Saturday. Although my Internet access was limited, I did manage to squeeze in time to work on SOAP book 1 and added a nice 4000 words to the re-write I'm currently doing. It is coming along well when I do actually sit down and concentrate long enough to write anything. I always have plans of becoming more disciplined and spending more time writing to get the manuscript finished, but I'm hoping that since I've stopped working (which is another story altogether) I will actually be able to structure my time a bit better and start getting chapters written more regularly.
Song: A Thousand Miles by Vanessa Carleton

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ironing Out the Wrinkles

Lyn commented that she really liked my last name and wondered why I was taking a pen name. And you know what? I really like my last name too. Sorry folks, to mess you all around, but I think I'm going to go with half and half.
Jenna Anastasi.
The reason I've decided to take a pen name, without going into great detail, is to protect my identity and my private life when I do actually get published.
This will be the final change, I promise!
Song: He Got Game by Public Enemy

All Done

Well, if you're here you'll have noticed that the change over has occurred, two days later than I intended, but changed nonetheless.
I've been really busy the past week or so, which is why I haven't had time to blog. But it hasn't all been bad news. Last week I added 1200 words to my manuscript and this week so far I've done 1000. It's not heaps, I know, but it's a start for the new year. It's taken me until almost the end of January to get back into it, so I'm happy that I finally did.
I did end up sending the first chapter to Firebrand Lit as I had hoped to do, under my new pen name. They said that if they want to see more of your work they'll get back to you by the 1st of February. If they do ask to see my ms I'm banking on them asking for the first three chapters and a synopsis since I'm only half way through the now-famous Re-Write. I really need to get my butt into gear and get the thing finished so I can start querying agents again. Sometimes I feel like I'll never get published because I can't get myself to sit at my desk and actually write anything!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Changes

This post is a warning to let you all know that this blog is going to be changing soon. Due to several reasons, I have decided to take on a pen name, and this blog will be swapping over to it as of a week from now, just so you all have time to get used to it. Even the web address will be changing. From now on, I'll be writing as Jenna J. Faith.
Therefore, the new web address will be jennajfaith.blogspot.com.
I hope this won't cause anyone too many problems. Nothing else besides the name will be changing, so please, keep in touch!
Song: Faith by Limp Bizkit

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Slack!

I've barley written anything since before Christmas and I'm feeling so slack about it. I have to work again today (on a Saturday, oh, the travesty!) but I'm vowing to get my butt in gear next week and put some serious words to paper.
RWAus is starting a new "weekly challenge" thing this year. I'm not a hundred per cent sure what it entails, but I'm considering joining up because it might force me to be more disciplined about my work. Also yesterday I signed up for one of RWA's bootcamps. They're kind of like a mini-online-conference. Since I've never actually made a conference yet, I thought it'd be a good idea to do one of these instead. It's not until March so I've got plenty of time to plan for it.
That's about all the news I have today.
Song: Themata by Karnivool

Friday, January 9, 2009

Oblivious

Sometimes things happen that remind you just how crap people can be. This morning I had to go pick my sister up. Not to far from where I live there's a huge lake where there's a lot of wildlife and all along the road there are signs about driving carefully due to animals sometimes being on the road. As I was driving along, all the traffic had slowed down and stopped because there was a group of ducks on the road. Everyone was carefully avoiding them as they wandered across the road. And then, from the opposite direction, this guy in a four-wheel-drive came along. He was totally oblivious to the fact that all the traffic in front and opposite him had slowed to almost a standstill. I don't know what he was thinking. He swerved around the car in front of him that had all but stopped for the ducks and then just plowed straight through them all. My sister and I were shocked. I don't know, maybe he didn't care, or was just in a hurry and was impatient and didn't consider why the rest of the traffic had stopped. It just makes me angry and is an upsetting start to the day. I don't understand. If you approached a group of cars that were either stopped or slowed down, why would you just swerve around them and continue driving so fast through? What if it had of been a person who'd been hit by a car and that was why the traffic was stopped? That guy would have just plowed through and made the accident worse. Everyday, you see people driving around on our roads who quite obviously shouldn't have a drivers licence.
Song: Window and the Watcher by Butterfly Effect

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Re-Written

I did it. I chopped and re-wrote the first couple of pages. Once it was done I sent it back to Cafrine for her opinion. She replied and told me she was sad to see the opening line go, because she really loved the way the book started off (and I began thinking, "oh-no, what have I done?"). But then she said while what I have before was good, what I have now is so much better. That annoying character is still there, but now he's not annoying anymore. And while it all links in with the rest of the book, it also reveals what sort of character my heroine is without being blatantly told.
Now I'll pass it on to my Editorial Advisor (aka my sister-in-law) and see what she has to say about it. But I'll tell you this; I feel like I'm close. Much closer now. Closer to the product which will be The Book which will launch my career as a published author. Bring on 2009!
Song: Nosebleed Section by Hilltop Hoods

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Opening Scene

I gave the first three chapters back to Cafrine after I'd had a go at fixing the issues she'd pointed out to me. She got back to me quickly since I mentioned to her I want to submit to Firebrand Lit by the 15th of this month.
It seemed I'd manged to improve everything except for the pesky opening scene. I have trouble with these, as I know many writers do. Obviously the opening scene needs to have several functions.
1) it needs to draw the reader in immediately and hold their attention
2) it needs to be relevant to the overall story
3) it needs to start revealing information about the characters and plot without the reader feeling they've been hit over the head with it
I've always had trouble finding a balance between these three elements. When I concentrate on one I seem to lose the others. At the moment my opening scene is attention-grabbing and is relevant to the overall story, but it tells rather than shows information about my main character. Also there's this other non-consequential character who is really annoying me. So now I'm thinking about how I could start my book with all three of these elements and excluding the annoying character. You know me, when I can't fix something I re-write. Unsurprisingly I'm about to go chop the opening scene and write something new. Wish me luck!
Song: Holy Grail by Hunters and Collectors

Friday, January 2, 2009

Another New Year

The 1st of January has come and gone, and obviously Cafrine and I haven't post the first blogisode of Atrophy. Being Christmas and New Year, we just haven't had time to meet and finalise the ending of the ep and edit what we've already done.
In terms of my own work, I've been continuing with editing the first 3 chapters of SOAP book 1 and have posted the first 2000 words to my new critique group I've joined through RWA. It'll be interesting to get some feedback off a totally objective 3rd party. I'm also going to send it back to Cafrine with the changes to see if I've managed to improve the things she mentioned before. If it's looking better, I'm then going to send the first chapter to Firebrand Lit's holiday query thing they've got going.
And after all that, I'm finally going to get back into doing some straight writing, no strings attached. I need to get SOAP book 1 re-completed so I can work on it as a whole and hopefully in the next few months get myself back to a place where I'll be ready to query agents again. Last year I got further than I ever had before, I came so close to getting an agent. I have to believe that this year will be the year I finally cross that hurdle on my journey to publication.
Song: Light Surrounding You by Evermore