Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday confusion.

Good Morning!!

Check out the lovely Shannon O' Donnell's contest. Ends October 22.

Last week I took the week off. The hubs was off so we enjoyed family time. I got a ton of new ideas which is great, but overwhelming. Some of the characters are pretty pushy about wanting their story written. WiP#1 is super strong though. Maybe because it's my first novel. I'm trying to get through the first round of revisions while learning the process so it's going to take a bit longer than my patience can handle. I get this. I get the fact I have to put in my time. Trust me, I've been working as an interior designer for the past 15 years and I've learned a lot about not only how to coordinate and deal with color, but also how to promote myself and deal with people.

I think there are parts of this journey where I get confused. I'm an amateur or a newbie as some professionals like to call it. I get it. I don't like being called that, but I get it.I'm willing to put in the time and work my butt off because I've never felt more passion and drive for something in my life. I understand things like sentence structure should be varied, watch for the "was", "as", -ing count, how a plot should flow, etc. To me these are just ground rules. I get them and I'm learning them.

Here's where I get confused. I know writing is subjective. I've had many critiques where one person will tell me I must do something different with a part of my story and another person tell me, no, do it this way. I like critiques because that is how I learn. I'm a visual person so for me trial and error (where I'm shown my mistake) sticks with me better. I've tried to look at my critiques like this--if more than two come back with the same comment then change it. If only one notices something, think about it before changing it.

I read something last week from a professonal in the biz that stated not to introduce the love interest early in the story. It sort of sat with me funny because my love interest is introduced in the second chapter. I know I probably have some overwriting there and that I can change, but really is this that bad? I've read plenty of novels (successful ones) that the love interest is introduced early and with some googly, lovey eyes (some overwriting). Also, a while back I had an agent look at my first four chapters (which I know now how horrible they were). This person told me to start with my fourth chapter which introduced my love interest. Now, I've done a lot of revising since then and have come up with --what I think-- is a good way to start it, but it leaves the love interest intro in the second chapter.

It's stuff like this where I think--holy cow now I have to rethink some things and my mind keeps jumping back and forth on what to really follow and what not to. I've read several self help books which don't necessarily address stuff like this.

Is this more of opinion?

How do you choose what "rules" to follow?

Some rules are easy for me to see, but stuff like this just makes me think crazy thoughts. I hope everyone had a great weekend.
 I hope to catch up on commenting soon. I know I keep saying that, but my schedule should be straightened out this week. Have a great day!


  1. I think the best way is to look at books that you love and try to learn from how those authors handle things. You're so right - there's a lot of conflicting information out there and it gets so confusing!

  2. It sounds like you are writing too much to rules and forgetting that you need to write from you heart. Yes, there are rules. But rules in my opinion are meant to be broken. As long as your story is engaging and creates enough suspense for your readers to want to turn the page, then I say just go with your instinct.

  3. Do what FEELS right.That was a ridiculous "rule". If everyone followed that, it would be so predictable. We'd always know that any guy/girl introduced in the first five chapters was not the love interest.

    Twilight was not very interesting before Edward was introduced.

  4. It's all based on FEELING. When it FEELS right run with it, the heart that goes into those novels is what makes the story. The rules can be arranged when the novel is something that an editor/agent/publisher can work with you on.

    The story is what matters... beautiful words can be arranged to make something magical!

  5. ok - so here's the deal. you have to knowing and willingly break the rules! does that make sense? as long as you know the rules and can apply them, it's ok to turn around and break them. occassionally.

    as far as feedback. i agree. if a few people are giving you the same response, it's time to take a serious look at it. but if it's just one person, then eh, take it or leave it.

    in the end it's YOUR story. not theirs. you cannot write to please them.

  6. I think you should go with what works best for your story and trust your instincts. At some point we need to just let go and write or revise in order to shape the story that is in our hearts. (I should try this myself!)

    My love interest shows up in the second chapter, too! But he has to because it goes along with my story. If he showed up later it wouldn't make sense.

    Have a fabulous week!

  7. I feel like when you get conflicting feedback, you should choose whatever way you feel is best for the story. If you want to introduce your love interest in the first or second chapter, do it! Breaking the rules is often necessary, in my opinion. Good luck!

  8. Some of them, you just have to go with your gut feeling. Can't please everyone all of the time anyway.

  9. I am the exact same way about rules! But I really like Tamara's comment. I agree with her. :) How it FEELS to you, that's what I would do.

    Miss you!!!

  10. Oh, it's hard, isn't it? But I agree with the comments above, you need to trust your gut. Good luck!

  11. Everybody has said some good things. My main thing is you have to understand the rules and follow them before you can break them. We are always learning.

    It is really silly to not introduce your love interest in the beginning. Isn't that the whole point of the story? It sounds like a strange idea to me.

  12. that seems kind of like a weird rule. I can think of plenty of novels where the love interest is almost on page one.

  13. That's a strange rule. If your story is a romance, I have been told by many publishers that the two HAVE to meet by at least chapter 3, preferably before that. So that rule doesn't make any sense to me whatsoever. Write your story, the way it feels best to you. Some rules (like crazy ones) are meant to be broken.