Random thoughts, inconsistent posting
Here we are almost halfway through the month and I’m still wondering how my Nanowrimo story will work. I was gungho with the beginning. I always am. I have an end. I have a middle (the dreaded middle). Now I’m stressing about my characters.
Are they too cardboard cutout? Have I put the perp in too soon? How will my MC change enough or do I need her to change or just gain more experience from this.
Maybe this really is a novella not a full novel. Here is where I lack confidence. I don’t really have anyone to ask. Most people I know are in the same boat or rowing behind me.
I have all these partially written novels in my files. I seem to start with a great plot idea then it fizzles.
I probably need to find a writing partner or two who will help me overcome this.
I read a NL today that got me thinking (again) about perspective. How we feel about ourselves as a person and a writer. Here's a little background about me.
I was always over weight. Growing up I was the FAT girl. I wore dresses (in the 50'-60's) to school and they were homemade tent dresses that Momma Cass made famous. All it did was accentuate my figure. To my mom I was a disappointment. Her mother constantly berated her about me telling her it was her fault I was fat and to do something about me. She tried, but I idolized by dad, what he ate I ate. He worked, I read.
I was fat, and after I married, it got worse. I won't go into the issue there, but my self-esteem dropped and I read as an escape, voraciously. At forty I was over 300 pounds. I was working and saw a girl who had her stomach stapled. I watched her lose weight. My husband watched her and encouraged me to do the same. I did.
What a change it made in my life. I never reached my goal of 145-155. I got down to about 185 or less and then I stabilized. I received compliments and attention from the men I worked with. This strengthened my self confidence. It had been non existent for all those years and I slowly gained it. I wasn't FAT anymore. No matter what that scale said, I wasn't that FAT person anymore.
Stress and job situations caused me to nibble, I constantly ate crackers, pretzels, cookies at work and slowly gained weight. It never got too high but I struggled at over 200. HOWEVER, I had changed. I was not FAT. Yes the scales showed a number I wasn't happy with, but I wasn't FAT. I dressed in nice clothes that people complimented me on. I worked at a clothing store so I chose great outfits that others copied, I wasn't FAT.
I joined this writing site and worked at becoming a writer. This also gave me confidence, I published a book, now 2 and I'm dieting again. I may get down to that 145-155 at some time and all it will do is keep me healthy. Hopefully not having that weight on my knees and legs will keep me from having knee replacement that my sisters and daughter have had. Still that will not change who I am. I am a published author. I write good stories and help others to accomplish their goals.
This last year I helped a woman I met on another site who lives a few miles from me. Eventually she asked me to rewrite her novel and she'd pay me. I finished it last month. Another woman has asked me to rewrite her autobiography and I'm working on that.
There is still that little Fat girl in a corner. She will never go completely away. That niggling that I'm not good enough, still haunts me, but it gets knocked back into the corner when I get a "Good Job" from something I wrote. When I give a critique and they say thanks for the suggestions, it helps. Every time someone reviews a piece and likes what I wrote. That fat girl stays down.
I think its looking at your own perspective. Losing the weight won't change you all by itself. You have to accept that change. It was a struggle for me and I made big mistakes. I thought I was hot stuff for a while, I had all this attention I'd never had and didn't know the first thing about how to respond to it. I shudder now at my actions and thankfully there were people around me who loved me and guided me through it.
I accepted the new body, the respect it afforded me. I looked people in the eye and didn't make fun of my body before they did. I compliment people on their choices. I support writers here because I know the struggle of learning to write good stories. My perspective had changed from the FAT girl who can't do anything right, to the semi-confident woman who is a published author and helps others to achieve their dreams, no matter what that dream is.
I found this prompt on another site:Set-up: Father loses high level job, mother cannot work due to physical challenges, and teenage daughter, an only child,is a senior about to submit college applications and did not apply for aid - would not have qualified given her parents income. The parents have done a poor job of saving as they lived paycheck to paycheck.
They are breaking their news to their daughter this evening…
Briefly, make us feel the dialogue…
Here's what I wrote:
Gina stared at her dinner plate in silence. Her parents weren’t talking as they normally did. Her mother would be telling them about her crafts she’d sold on line. Her dad usually regaled them with work antidotes. Tonight there was silence.
She looked at her mother for the umpteenth time. Had she been this pale and I didn’t notice? The food in her mouth tasted like sawdust and she took a drink from her glass to wash it down. Did her mother see the doctor today? She didn’t remember an appointment on the calendar.
The sound of her father dropping his fork on his plate broke the silence like a Chinese Gong. “Gina, we have something to tell you.”
Gina froze, then let her hand lower the fork to the plate. No sound. She stared at her father’s sad expression then at her mother who played with her food as she’d done all dinner.
“What is it? Did you get bad news from Mom’s doctor?” She reached out her hand to lay it on her mother’s arm. There was no response.
“No, it isn’t that.”
“Then it’s all good. Nothing is worse than that.” She smiled at them both forcing her voice to a high pitched false tone of joy.
“I’m sorry, Gina, it’s almost worse than that.” He gave a long pause and stared toward the kitchen door as if he couldn’t look at them. “I lost my job. They laid me off due to budget cuts. I got a severance package, but that won’t last long if I don’t find another job quick. With your mother’s bills,” he paused again, this time his eyes met Gina’s. She saw tears well up behind his thick lens. “I’m afraid, we can’t help you with college.” The words came out like air from a balloon.
Gina didn’t speak as the ramifications processed in her brain. No college. She’s just talked to her counselor and had a list of colleges to apply to. She wouldn’t qualify for them. She’d have to go to the local community college and work at part time jobs just to pay for those.
“I’m sorry honey.” Her mother put her hand on top of the hand on her arm.
Gina jerked it away. Heat flowed from the top of her head to the soles of her feet. “No you’re not sorry.” The sound exploded between clenched teeth. “You’re not sorry when you took the vacation to Yellowstone. Or the week to the Bahamas and all our other vacations. I know I went too, I had no choice. I had fun, but now I’m paying for it!”
She stood, her chair wobbled on two legs and fell with a crash. "It was your choice. You did it for fun. Then it was over and I have a mouse hat with a big bow, pictures of me swimming with dolphins, and standing in a tunnel with a shark swimming over me. " Her voice trembled and she swallowed. “What will that look like on a job resume?” She leaned her fists on the table. Tears rolled down her cheeks, "I know how to have fun, but I didn’t prepare for the future. I thought you had been putting money away for my college fund. When I asked about it, " She looked at her dad’s bent head, “You! you told me Not to worry, you’d take care of it.” She stood straight. “I guess you did.”
Holding her head up she strode to the stairs and when she was out of sight ran up them and threw herself on her bed.
|It's time for the Minesota State Fair I'm flying out of Oregon to MN this afternoon. My daughter and I are spending the day checking out the new foods and picking up our favorites:
Reuben dogs( I make them at home, Keto friendly)
Fries, Corn, Nuts
Sweet Martha's cookies (I'm taking them home for my son)
Fried Cheese curds or cheese pronto pup (one or the other, not both)
We bring zip lock bags and containers to bring the extra home. We try to share everything so we don't get too full but get to taste the new things. I don't want to gain the weight I've struggled to off in anticipating this day.
I have my fit bit charged so maybe walking will counter some of the food intake.
I love the Grandstand where you see all the booths with things to buy. Olives and Garlic
pillows(My Pillow guy is there. I need a cover for my travel pillow that I forgot)
So many things have not returned. The cost and there was a time, people couldn't afford to go to the fair AND shop. The economy is better now so I'm hoping there will be new booths of things to look at.
I brought just a small carry-on. If I buy too much I can bring home one of my daughter's suitcases full of stuff
Do you attend your State Fair? What are your favorite foods and things to do? Do you have any traditional foods/booths/rides you do when you go?
I sent the manuscript to the client last night. I had to do a major rewrite on Monday night. Her ending read like the rest of the book whining about her guilt and her love for her dead husband. I wrote the ending so the moment they finally admitted their feelings, then gave a little more conflict and a moment when he fell off the ladder and was sent to the hospital and she tells him she loves him forever. (Trope)
This was quite an undertaking for me. There was so much wrong POV inserted, storylines of non essential characters she just wanted in this story. I'd tell her over and over write their story in a different book.
"I just want to show the change he made after meeting the girl." Fine but it isn't part of the Main Character's story. This is a romance between two people.
She is writing this based on real people. She doesn't understand her characters. As a reader I asked questions she couldn't answer. The reader is going to ask the same questions. If there isn't an answer in the book they are going to disappointed and throw the book out. I don't know what she'd going to think of my ending. It is what it is.
After all this is her story. What she leaves in or takes out is her business. If I read it and it reads bad, I don't want my name on it. I may have enhanced some of the story line but ultimately it's her story.
Next month I start working on the next biography rewrite. It's going to be harder. How can to you tell someone that in this day and age the word "abuse" has a very physical connotation. She had very little of it in her marriage. It was more emotional and non verbal abuse. She's intimated all these years it as "horrible abuse." For her, yes, when people read it, they are going to be less that sympathetic. UNLESS I can SHOW her feelings in all this.
I told her if she and I don't cry when reading this neither will the reader.
I guess my challenge is making this story about her life emotional and interesting.
MY Blog: www.christinamweaver.wordpress.com
Follow my journey writing a crime story 35 years in the making
MY Blog: www.christinamweaver.wordpress.com
Follow my journey writing a crime story 35 years in the making
In my last post mentioned the manuscript I was asked to edit. I went through most of the middle of her book to the end and pointed out the POV issues. When we sat and went over all the problems I sent her a chapter by chapter layout of what her book might look like.
She looked at my suggestions then adjusted to fit her vision. She let go of a lot of the story points she told me she wanted to keep. She insisted I do her rewrite and she's paid me to do them.
I started the 2nd rewrite and this was my first go on chapter 1-5. It took me three hours to read, edit and write those first two chapters.
She is still wanting me to continue to write. It's like writing a novel all over. I haven't had time to work on the second lady's novel yet. I have to work at my regular job then go home and sit at a computer again writing. Some days I just don't want to sit there.
I need to set up time to rewrite and time to have for myself.
The fact she wants this done at the end of the month is a lot of pressure to write. Now she isn't putting the hammer down, but is strongly suggesting that she'd like it done.
I don't think she realizes that even when I'm done with it, she's going to have go through it and edit it for grammar.
There is also the fact she might want some of it changed. I already had to add a portion to the beginning because it just wasn't working.
Enough complaining for now. I need to get back to writing.
I finished my friend's novel. 350 pages. A lot of it was cut. I gave her a short chapter by chapter outline of what a romance novel might look like. It's up to her to decide what she wants in it or left out. I made it about 21-23 chapters which gives enough time to build the story, romance, conflict and then resolution.
I'm not sure if she want's me to write it or her. I hope she starts it. It will help her learn the process of writing, staying on one POV and sticking to the story line.
Now I have to work on the other lady's story and see about getting that done. Her's is writing more emotion and introducing the abuse into it.
|It's been over a month since I last wrote. So much has happened. Let me tell you a bit of back story before I launch into this post.
A little over a year ago I joined another writing site. Just for the fun of it. I began posting my novel Silent River for feedback, I've told this earlier, but it doesn't hurt to repeat it. Then they offered a 100 day book. Similar to the Nanowrimo.
After introducing myself to the others who were joining the challenge, I met another writer who lives a few miles from my home. As I began to read and review her work, I offered suggestions to improve her writing. She had written 350 pages and they were all over the place.
After a few months she approached me and said she loved all my suggestions and would I read and review a few more. We talked. I explained POV and how it worked. Why jumping from one POV to another within a chapter is confusing to the reader. It also breaks up the forward motion of the story.
She asked me to rewrite her novel. Still the story must remain the same. I worked on it. Then the other day we met and she said. "I don't think this ring thing adds to the story. I think we can take it out." What a big concession that is to a writer. To give up parts of your story you labored over and loved but now see they don't move the story or even fit what you really want to tell.
I know she's made big strides in her writing. I'm sure now as she moves forward with her next work she'll have all this in her mind.
Life is full of marvels. Learning and teaching and learning more.
I love it.
I have been asked to do an interview for a blog. I'm hoping this helps people get to know me and promotes my books.
This last week I took off for So California for a Gospel Fest. While there I checked in on FB and to my delight I had requests for paperback books of Silent River. 8 total so far. Some to be mailed some to be delivered. There are those pre-ordering for delivery in July at our Campmeeting. Luckily I will be sending in an additional order of 30 books to be delivered soon. And fortunately I was paid to ghost write a novel for a friend. That means I have to get on it and get it done before July.
This extra 8 isn't included in the 31 sold from before and just Friday I was up to 43 and 0 paperbacks. Well, that may not be good enough sales for my agent, but that's an increase of 13 books from the week before. He can't count my book sales, but I can. So I will have 25+ the additional 30 I'm ordering this week. I should be set for a while. I feel badly that he can't count my purchases as sales. I'm buying them to sell, so they are books in circulation.
The orig Vanishing of Katherine Sullivan is still selling in the secondary market. Now sadly I get nothing from those sales, but it does keep people interested in my book. Even if they buy from goodwill or whatever. I feel they will look for my next book to be published and want to read that one. 'I wish people would keep my book instead of giving it to goodwill or secondhand stores. After all it's a good book!
|A week and a half have passed and I emailed my book promoter. I asked how many sold in the first five days. I received an email that it wasn't too good. There were only 31 units (books) sold. 3 were kindle unlimited and the rest were ereaders. NOT GOOD? by whose standards? I think that is a good showing for the first few days. I have had requests for paperback books from my circle of friends who like signed books.
What I've discovered is there is a buying of my first book in the secondary market. Unfortunately I don't get anything from those sales, but its nice to know that people are reading it. Bless their hearts. I wish they'd buy the republished one. I like the cover better.
A few days after it was posted on Amazon, I read a review about Silent River. Here is an amazing review.
5.0 out of 5 starsA well-crafted psychological thriller.
April 20, 2019
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Silent River by C.M. Weaver is a wonderfully written and richly descriptive novel, with brilliantly drawn characters driven by obsession and the need for justice. The author weaves a well-crafted psychological thriller with intriguing twists and turns that will captivate the reader from the first page to the last. Skillfully constructed, the story is a fictionalized version of a real investigation in the late 1950s in Portland, Oregon.
The book description gives a sneak preview: ‘Robert Collins is Portland’s best investigative detective. When the Stevens family goes missing, he goes to work. As he uncovers clues the family may have been targeted for a professional hit by organized crime, it gets personal. …Can he face down his inner demons before he loses himself?
He confronts the mob and police bureaucracy to find the missing family. Jake, partner and friend, thinks he's spiraling into obsession, when Robert's taken off the case but refuses to give up the investigation. …Can he get past this shameless tragedy and his own past to move on with his life?’
Now, if that’s not enough to get your curiosity juices flowing, I don’t know what will. But if you want to find out what happens, you’ll just have to turn the pages for yourself! However, I will say it was well worth the read. It’s my first time reading this author and I must say I was very impressed.
The story had every element a good story should have. A solid plot, attention to detail, but best of all fleshed out, well-written and well-rounded character development. There’s an abundance of well-illustrated scenes that make you feel like you are right there in the story, and that’s something I really look for in a good book.
I enjoyed the story, character development, and dialogue. There were plenty of plot twists that I didn’t see coming and that added to the book’s mystique. When I stopped reading to work, I found myself wondering what happened in the book, and replaying parts of the novel in my head to see if I could figure more out. It has been a while since I enjoyed a book this much.
This was a fascinating and captivating read that had me immersed from the beginning. The story flowed from scene to scene with ease, and the author shows exceptional ability when it comes to storytelling. There are plenty of attention-grabbing moments in this page turner that will take the reader on a truly mesmerizing journey. Five stars
I'm tickled pink to read this and if I didn't already know what the book was about, I'd read it myself.