24 August 2010

Super Brief Excerpt

I'm posting a paragraph that I wrote today because I haven't put any of my WIP here yet. And since I like to have a weekly post, this seemed like an interesting thing to do this week. The excerpt isn't especially witty or my final version, but it clicked with me. And I suppose it's because, in a sense, it is me.

When Diana Gabaldon said that her characters are her, or at least a part of her, I understood it at an intellectual level. After all, the author creates the characters, so they are part of the writer's imagination. But after writing and re-reading some of today's words, I really get it. Writers pull some aspect of the character out of themselves for all to see. Holly Lisle says that she can tell what an author was dealing with at the time they wrote their book, that it comes out in the characters' actions and themes of the book.

I'm not sure what this scene says about me at this moment, but I know it is reminiscent of me at other times. "Write what you know," they say. Well, I did - me.

A little background for this scene ... my main character, Akeva, is frustrated and angry because she wants to go back and face the danger that is coming for her. The other character volunteered to keep her safe and away from where the danger will come looking for her.

Hope you like.

19 August 2010

Photography, Writing, & Roses

I love flower photos. I love taking flower photos. And in this era of digital photography, I love the instant gratification that comes from seeing my shot only seconds after I took it. And I absolutely love it when the shot comes out better than you planned, which to be honest, happens less than I'd like. But in that case, all I have to do is fire up the photo manipulation tools in my arsenal --  crop the image to focus the eye, dodge there, a little burn over here, retouch to get rid of the rogue leaf that's sticking into the frame. Only minutes on the computer and a wonderful photo can be at your fingertips.

I took the photo below on my recent vacation, and after only a few minutes in Aperture 3, I had something I liked, if not loved. Notice the soft background and the perfect petals.

I love to read good books, and I figured I could write a good book. Writing a good book takes a very, very long time. Read: no instant gratification. This revision has taken much longer than I planned, and I'm only 45% of the way through my planned scenes, that amounts to 195 handwritten pages so far.

And then you don't always know if it is good by looking at it. Well, I don't at least. So I asked my husband to read an excerpt recently and I got an, "Interesting." Not exactly the response I expected.

I'm still learning when to delete, when to add, when to use shadows to hide things, when to expose details, what details to expose, and mostly, when to trust what I've written. And its taking too long for my tastes.

 I'm discouraged. Sometimes I think I should just focus on photography and give up on writing.

But, I'm going to push through this discouraging stage and stick with my writing. Sort of like when I stuck with engineering in college and grad school. I got through those tough years and worked with organizations that were leaders in their markets. I've got to remember instant gratification isn't everything. (Did I just write that?!?) Eventually, I WILL get there ... a published fiction writer of good, if not great, stories.

And who knows, maybe the rose above is really a portend for the Rose in my story, as well as for me.

So, I'm going to print my rose photo and place it in my writing space and use it as a reminder. A reminder of good things to come, even if it isn't instantly.