Rewriting the Stars

I finished my re-write of POLARITY (previously under the working title Colors to Stars) last week and I am very thankful to see how I have grown since writing those final words. At the end of the first draft, I was very emotionally raw. I knew what I needed to say to my main character, to myself, but I wasn’t ready to accept it:

“I think if I let it go, it’s like giving her a free pass for everything.”
Jason nodded. “Maybe it is. But maybe it gives you some kind of freedom too.”
“Maybe.”

And that was the end. Maybe. Certainly not revenge, but only maybe forgiveness. When I finished that first draft, I knew what lesson I had to learn – to let go of revenge and justice as paths to find true freedom from the past. The theory had been tested in my story, and I could see the results.

After a month of space, I dove into re-writing, and while so much of the story still rings true, when I arrived that that final word, “Maybe”, it felt insufficient. But I’m still stuck on the same thing as my MC at the end.

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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 »