February 19, 2014

San Miguel Writers Conference

I want to know your name, but don't just tell me. Write your name for me.

This was one of the prompts I got in one of various workshops at the San Miguel Writer's Conference. I think I already mentioned the conference in the last blog, but I could have made that up or dreamed it. I have had several strange dreams lately.

But anyway, the conference was great, and even though I was by far the youngest person there I still got to identify myself as a writer. There's something incredible about being surrounded by a whole bunch of people that all have one thing in common: writing.
Because I don't know what kind of picture to add to this blog.

And I wrote a lot over the weekend, from prompts to notes to letters for my friend back here. I think I filled a new composition notebook about halfway. But I love writing, and I love writing prompts. Which reminds me, be sure to check out Writing Gooder, because every Wednesday I post a creative writing prompt or challenge. Creative Catastrophe. Check it out!
And another random picture.

And, let's see, did I learn anything new? One workshop gave us a story map that drew from all those other plot triangles and outlines and put all of them into one concrete map to follow. I don't usually outline a ton because I feel like preplanning makes me get stuck in my writing and I forget to just write. But now that I'm in the fifth draft I realized that there are definitely some holes in my own story map and I need to go back and fix them.

And I learned all about playwriting and then went home and wrote my first five minute play. Yay me!

And I talked to an agent, how terrifying and exciting is that?

So maybe the coming months will bring some news after all. My fingers are crossed and I am most certainly praying as hard as I can.

February 13, 2014

Writing Extravaganza

I am currently sitting at a hotel for the San Miguel Writer's Conference, and I feel so accomplished to be here. There's just something about being in a place with hundreds of people who all have one thing in common: writing.

Somehow that just makes it seem more real to me, like, "hey, I'm a writer too. I have a manuscript and several drafts. I belong here."

Of course I also don't belong here at all, because the vast majority of people here are much much older than me, and I am pretty sure that most of them do not write young adult fantasy. Then again, this people never cease to surprise me. I mean, today there was that guy who writes satirical vampire novels told from the point of view of a cat. Hm.

And then that guy who exposes art or something and told me to self publish, and the old people who try to make every story sexual, and the crazy old ladies with weird eyes that make me want to jump in a hole. And there is no shortage of strange outfits, from fur vests to leggings to ridiculous stripes, I can look around in any direction and be surprised.

My mom and I got here last night and today was our first full day. We had two workshops and I already have a list of changes that I need to go back and work on for Shadow Whispers. I hope it's okay that I was daydreaming about my novel instead of paying attention...

Speaking of novels, book two now has 130 pages. Wow. Honestly I'm a little bit amazed at myself for all of this progress. I just have to say that I'm really excited to get this written. I don't entirely know what it is, but there's just something about words that makes me fall in love with writing a little bit more everyday.

Speaking of falling in love, happy valentine's day tomorrow! I celebrated early, on the 11th to be exact, because, well, I'm here and the guy I like is not. So we went out for coffee on the eleventh and he bought me a bouquet of colorful roses and came over to my house for dinner. It was marvelous, and those are the most beautiful roses I've ever gotten, and from the most amazing guy.

Okay, okay, done with the cheesiness. Sorry! Anyway, hopefully before too long I can pass on some tips from this conference. I'm sure I'll learn something new from all of these workshops, something blog worthy. Until then, happy writing!

February 6, 2014

You Know You're A Writer When...

You know you're a writer when you turn your little Christmas village into a map of your world.

I love the little Christmas houses that I find all over stores each winter, and this year I've managed to keep them up until now, even with my mom's constant hints that I should put them away. I just, I really like my little Christmas village.

However, today, instead of taking them down, I turned them into a map.

See, I realized that I keep losing characters, and every time I start writing I have to take a little bit of time to figure out where everyone is. It would be so much easier if they always stuck together, you know?

And of course with time and major editing this shouldn't be a problem, because of course it would be terrible if the readers couldn't keep track of the characters, either. But in the meantime, I needed a way to keep them in track.

I was talking to my best friend, who also happens to be the person I discuss my writing problems with and the one who coached me in weapons for the first book, and he told me to make a map. He even offered to carve little wooden people for me to use, and I loved the idea.

But then today I saw the Christmas village, and, well, it works.

This is a terrible picture, but you get the idea, right?

Oh, and did I mention? Book two has 100 pages now. It's getting there, and I am so excited. Now today I get to go burn houses to get the Remnants out of Ciopal....

Hm, maybe I ought to avoid spoilers?

Anyway, what kind of you know you're a writer moments have you had?