Friday, May 20, 2011

A Writing Update

Ironic that this is supposed to be a blog about writing and I haven't mentioned my book in ages, no?
Well, that's because there has been nothing to tell of late, I'm sorry to say. I have two outstanding query letters, and besides those and the three agents I'm waiting to hear from, I haven't really done much with the book lately.   I was feeling very uninspired with the new book before we went to California, so I decided to take another gander at my last novel, How the Other Half Lives, which I haven't so much as glanced at in at least a year.
I was pleasantly surprised to find it's better than I remembered.
There is definitely room for improvement, however, so I had started doing a little editing before everything went up in flames two weeks ago.  I also went to see Something Borrowed last night with Sarah and LNRB (who I'm proud to say didn't hide behind her hair once), based on the novel (dare I call it "chick lit?") by Emily Giffin.  The movie was pretty cute, actually, although the only truly likable character in the film was John Krasinski's Ethan.  Well, Colin Egglesfield wasn't completely unlikeable, but that has more to do with the fact that he's incredibly attractive...

This one's for you, Sarah... Alright, it's for me, too.
Wait, where was I?

Oh yes.  Writing.  When Patti showed me the hand-written chapters of Hap's unfinished book last week, I decided to pick up the well-known veterinary memoir, All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot (pen-name of author James Alfred Wight).  As I suspected, Hap's book could be a great modern-day rendition of a young vet just starting out.  He had dozens of wonderful stories, some of which he wrote down, others which Patti and John can probably relay.  I have no idea if there's a market for a book like that, but it would be a fun project at any rate, as well as a good way to compile everything and get it typed up, so we can hang on to it for future generations.

Realizing that my book has kind of come to a stand-still, I emailed an author and blogger I've mentioned in previous posts, Anne Mini.  Her blog, Author! Author!, is full of incredibly useful and detailed information about everything a writer could wish to learn.  She has always been fabulous at answering any questions I've posted, and since she offers her editing services to a select number of clients, I figured it was worth a shot to see if she would be willing to help out little old me.
I don't know if it's practical to pay for editing services right now, but whatever happens, Anne gave me some great tips and also mentioned something I've actually been thinking about a lot lately - that my "voice" (as in writing style) would lend itself well to Young Adult fiction.
Alas, I know nothing about YA novels!  I have considered attempting to write a YA book before, but a writer should generally know something about their chosen genre, and since I rarely read YA, I would have to do quite a bit of research before I could even attempt to write a young adult manuscript.  I'm also far from in tune with today's teenagers (unless watching The Vampire Diaries and Pretty Little Liars counts?).  Despite the fact that I still feel like a teenager much of the time, I am always reminded of my age when I talk to Jack's teenage babysitters.  I try to act like I'm cool and "with it," sharing my own stories of SAT hell and college application nightmares, but still they insist on calling me Mrs. R!  "Call me Mara," I want to tell them.  But then I think how I would have felt if one of the parents I'd babysat for had asked me to call them by their first name, and I realize they'd probably find me pathetic, or worse, creepy.

Perhaps it's time to own up to my age.
Perhaps it's time to write characters who act their age, too.

In the meantime, I have two episodes of The Vampire Diaries to catch up on.  Happy Friday!


Sarah said...

First off, thank you for that brief moment of rapture; I see us buying a DVD in a few months...
Second - act your age? Plish! I say embrace who you are, and get back to your roots - remember, the first novel you wrote was YA...Love you.

Mer! said...

OH SO SO AWESOME! I love that idea....and you could really get into it with it's meaning coming from that!!!