Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Why I'm An Insecure Writer AND Major Cover Reveal!!!!

THE NINJA BEHIND IT ALL


Some time ago I rambled on about that edgy YA that was writing and so excited about, and then one day inspiration packed its bag and took a vacation. "So what," I said and gleefully launched a new project. I would turn one of my middle grade novels into a YA. That lasted for several days--8 I think.


So there I was at Chapter 7, feeling pretty smug when, wham, this other middle grade popped into my head, one I'd written and tucked away a year ago. All that book needed was a few adjustments, and I'd have something ready for my critique group, and maybe I could sub it by this summer.

That's when something very strange happened. 

Here's the story: I was at my desk, hammering out those "adjustment" when I heard this pounding at my front door. When I opened it a whole gaggle of people clustered outside. One, a young nondescript girl wearing either a sweater or a blouse, I couldn't tell, stepped out of the group.

"They've chosen me as the spokesperson," said she.

 "They?"

"Your characters."

I cast a wary eye over the crowd. Three young boys, one in a striped T-shirt, one kind of sandy haired, the other dark and growly, stood with their arms crossed, their eyes unfriendly.

"I remember you. You're in that Dragon story, right?"

They nodded in unison.

"Did I write you as hostile young boys?"

"No," the growly boy said. "It's the waiting that's made us this way."

"I see." I noticed an older woman looking rather lost and teary in the middle of the group. "Why are you so unhappy?"

"That's the way you left me two years ago. Could you please just step on it and figure out how to get me out of this slump?"

"Gee, I didn't think . . . I mean, you're just characters—" The crowd turned hostile. I held up both hand in apology. "I'm doing the best I can. Right now I'm all over that ghost story. 


They looked like Ben and Allie from Chapter 7

I picked out two characters who had to be Ben and Allie because they looked like Ben and Allie, the ones from Chapter 7. The other characters cast jealous glances in their direction.

The nondescript girl cleared her throat. "All we want is some follow through, you know? I'm tired of not having a personality or even decent . . . clothes." She passed her hand over her unexceptional self.

"Thank you for bringing me your concerns. I'll make a plan and stick to it. Promise." I turned to go back to the safety of my office, but stopped in the doorway and looked back at Ms. Average. "BTW, are you wearing a sweater or a blouse?"

She'd at least like a nice sweater.


"Good question. You never decided, remember? When you get around to finishing that story, however, I'd like a sweater. Cashmere. Bright yellow." And off she walked, or ambled, or cavorted. I haven't made up my mind.

So have your characters ever organized and confronted you? If they did what would they complain or applaud about your writing plan, or like in my case, non-plan? You might consider how you'll handle what I just had to because it can be very touchy. Once they turn on you, you could be in serious trouble.

Be sure to visit others like myself who have banded together for this IWSGOur Twitter hashtag is #IWSG.

Composers For Relief Cover Reveal for Beyond the Binding


I've been looking forward to seeing this for a while. I'm not disappointed. Are you?
Where Musician And Writers Collborate


54 comments:

  1. If my characters ever showed up at my door, I'd want them to take me with them as I've never had the opportunity to teleport!

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  2. Oh dear, sounds like a very familiar encounter. Wait until you have a fire breathing dragon fluttering it's wings and muttering at you in the old language you forgot you developed for the ancients and magic. Yeah...that happened.

    But I hear where you're at and understand how you're feeling. By the way, have you decided if non-descript girl is cavorting or walking or shuffling yet?

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    1. I'm leaning toward cavorting. Do teens cavort?

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  3. This would be easy for me as my characters could simply open a wormhole at my front door. Great idea!

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    1. Another great reason to write SciFi, especially the kind with so much real science behind it.

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  4. I was struggling with multiple ideas and no focus recently, too. While I did pick a project to work on, my characters weren't quite as aggressive as yours. ;)

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    1. Your characters sound like they're nicer than mine! Great to have your visit.

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  5. What a fun post. And insightful, to boot! Characters can be pushy, that's for sure!

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    1. Hi Darby. Thanks for the comment. Know you're busy with that launch of yours.

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  6. It scares me to think about what my characters would complain to me about. I can be really quite horrible to them sometimes.

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    1. Good for you! Make 'em suffer. I'm sure your readers will love that!

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  7. My characters have done that too . . . and lately, they're knocking on the door pretty loudly. I'm feeling a bit topsy turvy between and the midst of three different projects too.
    Best wishes on all your writing endeavors!

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    1. I'm going back to the one book at a time philosophy. It's just easier.

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  8. Creative, fun post Lee. Now, get that girl a yellow sweater!

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    1. Thanks, crit partner. I needed your input.

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    2. New improved blogging profile. Thanks for the tips!

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  9. Very fun post. Good luck with the writing so they don't break in next time.

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    1. Trying to do that today! Well, maybe tomorrow. The next day?

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  10. Hi Lee .. love the way you brought the characters to life and they told you what to do: get on with it, give them some cheer, get them properly dressed etc ...

    Fun way of looking at WIPs ... good luck with the story .. cheers Hilary

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    1. Thanks, Hilary. Those characters do give me a run for my money!

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  11. If all my characters would meet me like this, I think they would start a dragon hunting for the suffering I've always brought them, hahaha. Finish those stories, milady or you'll have a riot going on.

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    1. You're absolutely right! I'm on it. Beware suffering dragons!

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  12. I love this post! Great to find out what some of your characters had to say to you and hopefully they got you going in the right direction. :) At least you know what she is wearing now!
    ~Jess

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    1. I never thought writing would lead to madness.

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  13. Lee, you're seriously good at this storytelling business. Really liked this post.

    If my band of characters came to see me, I think I'd have to dash off into the sunset to avoid being tarred and feathered.

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    1. Great image you paint, J.L. You in the lead, your characters at your back with tar!

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  14. This was a great read, I enjoyed *meeting* some of your characters, they sound like a lively bunch! I've never had mine turn up in a group before but I have had one follow me around, like everywhere I go. It can be a bit disconcerting when you are in the shower! Good luck with moving the writing on.

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    1. In the shower would be disconcerting all right! Thanks for encouragement.

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  15. Giggling...what a wonderful surprise, I think. I've never had it happen to me, but, wait a minute, someone is knocking on the door now. Oh, it's the funeral director's daughter from my WIP. Hey you may have started something ! Best wishes with your projects.

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    1. Egads, I wonder if unfinished characters have formed a union? Bar the door.

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  16. Awesome! Yes, my characters are very demanding and quite brutal about bullying me. Some of them have lived in my head for 20+ years and I just can't wait to see what the world thinks of them...once they're sparkly enough on the page. =)

    Would you like to borrow my time stopper? ;)

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    1. Yes, to you question. And thanks for the offer. Here's to us seeing those characters!

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  17. I love this!!!! Characters can really become confrontational when they want too, goodness lol

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    1. It took this to make me sit down and get busy writing.

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  18. Love this, Lee! I have a version of that board in my head right now...and lots of stories wheeling around. Could you tell me what you did to make them confront you on the doorstep? I'd like that. I think. The stories in my head are crime fiction...and I've never written that before. Do you think I should duck when I open the door or just talk through the crack?

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    1. Definitely through the crack. But if you do open the door, take treats, especially if the crime fiction folk carry guns!

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  19. That's a nice and unusual cover

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  20. Craze is usually pretty mad at me. He's always wearing his tan coveralls. My new characters have schizophrenia sometimes.

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  21. Great post! I'd like to meet my characters, and I'm sure some of them would be pissed off at the trials I put them through.

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  22. I love this post! Bring those characters to life already!

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  23. Awesome post! And yes, my characters frequently gang up on me. Some have tried blackmail. Thankfully they don't have access to real chocolate or I'd be in trouble!

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  24. This post is such a treat! Hilarious and clever. I love it. You nailed it. No, my characters haven't done this to me. Yet. Gulp! :)

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  25. I can't say I've ever had my characters show up at my door. But they have stood outside my window and talked/serenaded/laughed and been generally noisy enough to keep me awake at night.

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  26. This was so imaginative, Lee! I love how your characters were still on the same page where you left off. Beautiful cover for Beyond the binding!

    Julie

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  27. Love this - I want my characters to confront me. :) I usually get them coming to me in my dreams, doing something they either shouldn't or should do, right then, before I forget. Usually around 3am! :)

    shahwharton.com

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  28. Beautiful cover for Beyond the Binding!

    Those characters in your head are sure getting feisty! Better write that book to make them happy!

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  29. Yeah my characters do that all the time. It's how I pick which projects to work on. :-)

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  30. Nope, but Shah comments is usually what happens with me.

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  31. This is such a great post! I too have characters that sometimes speak to me.

    www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

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  32. Great post. I don't think this has happened to me, but if if did my characters would complain about me killing them all the time. I don't kill all my characters, but there some loss in almost all my stories, but mostly to serve as a reason to rise above...Oh and some of my characters scare me, so they have no reason to complain; I treat them like royality.

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  33. Cool cover.

    My characters don't leave me alone. They're not as confrontational though.

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  34. That was a fun way to go about your post. Geez, you need to hook those characters up! Yellow cashmere sounds good to me.

    The Warrior Muse

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  35. That's a great cover! If my characters got together, they'd lynch me. I'm always choosing other things (chores, marketing, CP crits, blogging) over them. It's like ! gave birth to them and then promptly ignored them. *hangs head in shame* I'm a really bad mother. :(

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