Learning and Growing

For my birthday back in November, I received two new non-ficiton books. I have been steadily working my way through them, not wanting to rush through the treasure trove of information. Thinking back, taking my time and pacing myself in learning is something that I’ve always done.

Gail Carson Levine was my favorite author growing up, and a huge inspiration for me even to this day. Her two non-fiction books on writing, Writing Magic and Writer to Writer, are well-used and worn on my bookshelf from my days as a young writer. Each chapter ends with writing exercises, so it forces you to stop reading and do some writing. I usually didn’t go back and zoom through the book right away because after doing the little writing exercise, I just wanted to write more! The next day or later than week, I would go back and read some more, which would grow me and spur me on towards more writing.

Fast-forward to last year, when I found Brandon Sanderson’s 318R class lectures. After the first video, I was hooked. My desire to learn and grow as a writer had been revived. I probably could have watch all of them in one day if I hadn’t restrained myself. Instead, I watched one class a day, pausing to take meticulous notes, and often going over my notes a few times that day and trying to apply it to my story ideas. Rather than rushing through it in a couple days, it took me a couple weeks, but the time to soak in each lesson really helped his methods and tips to stick with me.

After the class ended, I began to seek out more materials on fiction writing. I knew I had a lot of room to grow as an author, and I knew the #1 way to grow was by writing and finishing novels, but I had been neglating the learning side of things. My hunger to learn had been realized. Sanderson mentions Orson Scott Card a lot in the class, and, Card being one of my favorite authors, that gave me some direction on where to start.Read More »

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Wanting To Write Vs. Needing To Edit

There are many exciting things happening that are drawing my attention these days. My husband and I are very close to launching our publishing company and getting Scarlet off the ground and into schools, theatres, and churches everywhere (at least, that is our prayer!). I’m busy prepping for NaNoWriMo by watchingBrandon Sanderson’s lectures on writing and it is very exciting to be seeing my tools for writing grow, as well as my viewpoint as an author. On top of it, I’ve volunteered to get costumes for the Christmas show off the ground and going before November, and still have yet to get our Halloween costumes done for the big party next Friday.

I’m being pulled a lot, but they are all very good things. None-the-less, the time I have left over is less than I am used to, and thus, I’m having to decide how to spend in very carefully.

I am feeling very much ‘in the zone’ to write lately, dispite having much time to do so. Rosi and Milo are in a very fun part of the story, and I’m looking forward to exploring with them. I’m learning to mix my Type A Outlining with the kind of character and story evolution you can only get from discovery writing. I’m excited to see these characters grow, beyond what I’ve even planned most likely, and to get another project completed.

However, The Varken is still sitting in Scrivner, and I haven’t even finished Act I of my final edits yet. It’s getting harder and harder to pull myself out to see the big picture and to push for any big changes. Working on the Book Book, I can so easily see how my writing has grown since writing The Varken, and when I peek at The Keeper, I can see the improvements I have made since then in The Varken. I feel satisfied with the growth I see in The Varken and it feels ‘complete’ in my mind, despite the fact that there are still a lot of little details to work through. I want to give you, my readers, the best product I can, so that you can be immersed into the world of Eviryia once more without grammar mistakes or confusing sentences.

And so, I find myself writing this blog post instead of doing either of those things – writing or editing – in an attempt to figure out which will win in the battle over time.

Luckily, with NaNoWriMo so close, I know that I won’t finish The Book Book before then, and feel more freedom in letting that project be a part of my 50k – maybe even all of it you never know! And so I will push forward in editting with my last hour of freetime today, and I hope that you all are finding time to do the things you want to do, and the things you need to do. And if you can’t do both, just know that there is a time for everything.

I am definitely looking forward to November.