My eight year old is beginning to use words he shouldn't know. I don't mean swearing. Last week, he pointed to a book and said: "This is probably a good fiction book." I know they mentioned fiction last year in grade two, but it took me back - I was proud! For that reason, I've decided to add a small line at the beginning of my blogs with a word of the day and a small explanation of what it is. I find new sounds, synonyms, and words fascinating. Perhaps a word can inspire someone, or give them an idea. So, here it is:
WORD OF THE DAY:
Innocuous: having little or no adverse or harmful effect; harmless
Having said, that my main inspiration comes from my kids and the excitement I see in their eyes that mommy is writing a book. And I wish I could say that's how it all started. That's how TWO HALVES came to be - but it's not.
March 2009: My husband rented Twilight. Oblivious to the world around me and what the title meant, I asked him if it's any good. He said I got it for you because you liked Buffy and Angel and this one is about vampires. I think you'll like it. Then he went to work. I put the kids to sleep, turned on the DVD and watched the movie.
Right after I searched the internet. I have never done this before after watching a movie. I found out about Stephenie Meyer, read her biography, went to sleep, woke up in the morning, sat down to my computer and started writing. From the first word, I knew I would finish. Never doubted that I would finish a book.
Wrote two pages.
Decided I sucked.
Next day: bought the Twilight box set, read the first book same day (until 1am I believe), next morning I sat down to my computer and wrote ten pages. I re-read them and decided I sucked. But, I had an idea for the story and that must have counted for something. My next fear was that I didn't want to copy anyone's work. What if Stephenie Meyer's other three books had the same ideas as I did. I had to make sure I didn't use them. Now that I think about it, it was probably an excuse to continue reading instead of writing.
Ahh, a writer's worst enemy - a book he/she just has to read.
Read New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn in four days. Cried, because I thought some ideas overlapped, like me using to describe the sound of cicadas in my first pages and the same description being in the books. Deleted the sound of cicadas from my first ten pages.(That's how little I knew about writing. Just because someone else said something smells like pumpkin pie or falling rain, it does not mean you can't use it in your description. I'm sure there are plenty of novels that describe ideas in similar ways so that the reader can feel these, but I learned later on there are even better ways to describe a setting or a character - how? Through reading.)
Sat down and continued writing. I wasn't sure if it was good, actually, it sucked, but I continued writing. Researched sites on writing, became a member of Orson Scott's writer's workshop where I was introduced to "show don't tell" and other good stuff about writing. Got a great critique from one of the members on why my writing sucked - in a nice way - I appreciate it until today! The critique also pointed to strengths: I drew on that - sucking gained a new meaning, because I didn't think I could get any worse.
I read more novels and wrote in between.
Then I read some more novels, and wrote in between, editing, correcting, developing, toying with different ideas. I began to get excited.
I read more novels and wrote some more. Read a great site on how to write a novel in 100 days. Didn't follow its instructions day by day, but read through all 100 days and wrote more.
Took an eight week course on writing at: http://scripta-word-services.com/
Edited, edited, edited, edited..... ......still edited.
After getting few opinions as well as an evaluation, I had to agree my ending left the reader unsatisfied.
I added three more chapters to change the ending. Now everything worked! From page 1 to page 341 everything was tied together.
Edited more, hired a great editor without whom TWO HALVES would never be as good as it is now. I can honestly say I read it more than one hundred times. Each time I find something to change and have to force myself not to. But each time I read it, I get the same jitters in my body as if I was reading it for the first time. I laugh, I cry, I surprise myself with what's on the pages. I no longer think it sucks. Now, I have a hard time parting with the work, letting go, letting others read it. But the more people proof-read it for me, the more confidence I have.
So I guess if someone dreams about my characters, the settings and wonders where this could lead, it says something. The market may be dying for what I've written, saturated with vampire novels - but mine is different. It's more than just a vampire novel; but it is still a vampire novel.
I will probably never be able to thank Stephenie Meyer for making me a writer and opening a door to worlds I now understand can be created anytime. But, I would like to thank to all of those who inspire everyday without knowing. Those who take a chance and follow through. Those who support, encourage, motivate, influence and inspire. THANK YOU!