Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Today I finished an important draft for my time travel novel. It is tentatively called A Lady Out of Time, but Olivia Rivers- an awesome YA writer in my critique group- hates the name.
But I remember reading A Knight in Shining Armor and Outlander. That's my basis for time travel books. So for me, the name seems right. Anyway I have not settled anything quite yet. The book is not done, but it's like I climbed to the top of the mountain and realized the end of the range is in sight.
I've also been working on two vampire projects. Which is odd, because I thought I was done with vampires for the foreseeable future. Three months ago I might have said Forever. I don't want to write the same old vampire story. And I would not write anything vampire related unless there was a twist.
I found my twist.
If it comes off like I want it too, then it's good. Really messed up and kinky with a post-apocalyptic/debutante vibe. it's also got a little bit of the Walking Dead in it and I really want to call it symbiosis. But I fear that is too much of a sci-fi title. The definition of the word itself is beautiful: A close and often long-term interaction between two or more different biological species.
The gist of it is that most humans are gone and vampires control pockets of civilization. The story is set in London and there are vampire kings and petty feudal spats. Our hero (or maybe anti-hero) is named Demock. I'm not sure I can say much more at this point because I'm still writing it...but I'm liking it so far.
The other thing rolling around in my mind, which I'm actually a bit hesitant to mention since it would get people's hopes up is the next book in the Valerie verse. I have the cover for it. But you know, the more I look at it...that isn't Cer.
The story of Lucas and Val ended, because I saw them with a happily ever after and nothing beyond that. That was the end I envisioned by the time I was done editing LID. And then, about a week ago, I saw what happened next. I am making no promises, but I see this cover and I want to call it Lucas. And it would be a continuation.
Posted by caroline hanson at 4:23 PM
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Saturday, January 19, 2013
Well, it finally happened. I saw Breaking Dawn part two and…I really liked it.
This may be surprising to you non-writers but most writers HATE Twilight.
When one spends their time writing, they develop grandiose ideas of what is good and what is bad. We adhere to rules that beloved authors routinely break and call them ‘exceptions,’ blindly plunging over the cliff to do what we are told like fat little lemmings.
When I saw Breaking Dawn part one, I almost couldn't watch it. It was so cheesy and almost self-indulgent that I found it uncomfortable to watch. It was as though I were watching Stephanie Meyer’s most intimate fantasies of what it would be like to be a high-schooler and have it all. The hot rich vampire, the honeymoon on a private tropical island, the baby, the instant glamorous family, a whole host of superpowers and one cool car after another. Didn't anyone tell her that what she was writing was boring? That there was no conflict and it should be cut?
This movie had the same problem! The exploration of their revoltingly cute cottage, the amazing sex they’d have for years (and with no recuperation time!) and worst of all—Bella’s arm wrestling Emmett. Do you know how hard it was to remember how AWFUL that scene was while I was watching it? I had to bite my lip Anastasia style.
And yet, people like cheese.
In fact, I like cheese.
I believe that in order to be a good writer one has to put their soul on the page. And for me, that means being willing to infuse one’s own insecurities and desires into one’s writing so that when a reader has finished the book, they feel like they know you.
As Breaking Dawn ended, I found myself strangely moved and in awe of Stephanie Meyer because I hadn't realized the power of cheese. Her unabashed enthusiasm for every moment of Bella’s perfect life is something readers want and love to connect to…and it is something I have spent time learning to NOT do.
I feel humbled, as though I have been reminded of a truth that I should have known-- or maybe even did know-- but that I pretended I was too cool to believe in: that to be a good author, I have to put more than the kinky, the awkward and desperate onto the page. I have to be willing to put the vulnerability of pure happiness out there too.
Despite everything I may have ever said before, Stephanie Meyer is a genius.
Posted by caroline hanson at 12:08 AM
Sunday, January 13, 2013
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Hello everyone in blogger land! I know it has been a while, but between Christmas and the new book coming out, I've been a bit swamped.
Every now and again I get an email from a fan and I wind up writing an incredibly long response and then I think to myself-- 'Self you should post this on your blog because it's just possible that somebody might find it interesting or relevant.' Let's hope that's true....
I'm going to abbreviate the question and then give you my response. If you have any questions, do let me know!!
The Question-- I am on 60,000 words at the moment and pretty close to finishing but am now unsure what happens next. Do I just upload and see what happens? It’s ok I am not expecting answers from you but I guess I am now in a place where I either move forward or just forget the whole (writing) thing and keep reading other people’s words. I guess I am afraid someone will read my words and identify the same way I have and see the bits of me I have now learned to keep to myself.
The Answer-- First of all, congratulations on writing sixty thousand words!! That is amazing and you should be very proud of yourself. I suppose you could push the publish button and upload it, but my initial thought is that that might be hasty. You seem a bit conflicted as to what you would like to do and I think anyone writing a good book has to put themselves on the page and expect that readers will identify with them and think that they know them. I saw JR Ward at RT and people acted like she was a goddess. They love the peculiar darkness of her characters and it resonates with them. If that is the sort of book that you would like to write, then you are 'out there.'
There is no shame in writing a book for yourself and it's possible that over a bit of time you would become more comfortable with putting so much of yourself into words. My other concern is that perhaps you are rushing. Sixty thousand words is on the short side for a novel. If you have written a novella then perhaps what I am saying is irrelevant, but my guess is that there are areas of your book that would need to be fleshed out more to get you up to eighty thousand words which is standard novel size.
My advice is to put the book away for six weeks and then look at it. At that point the book is fairly unrecognizable and you can look at it objectively and decide what is working and what is not working. I would be very careful about putting your work out into the world if you are the only person who has seen it. I've been in a lot of critique groups where I have been told that my writing sucks. I've also been told that my writing is good. You have to develop a thick skin so that when strangers take umbrage with your work-- which they will-- you can think 'go write your own fucking book if you don't like it' instead of wondering if they are correct.
From the way you talk about the book (which granted is in one sentence) I don't have the impression that you think you have written the Great American novel. It sounds like you proved something to yourself-- ie that you could do it-- and now you have to decide what you would like to do next. I'm a big believer in joining a writer's group, because they are the only people who will be interested in your writing. Before my book became successful, my friends and family had no interest in reading my writing and I did not want to subject them to it. Now they still don't have any interest but they keep thinking they should. lol. Anyway, congratulations again and let me know what you decide to do :)
Posted by caroline hanson at 5:26 PM