Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Girl You Once Knew- Guest Post

I have with me A Girl You Once Knew with her guest post:

I'm an almost-graduate of high school and have been writing for a while. It used to be that I'd write grudgingly and deviate from the "rules" (I used to make up impossible stories in the weekly journals I had to write in grade 6 instead of what actually happened during my weekend), It wasn't until I got to grade 8 and my teacher told me I had a voice (whatever that was!) that I took writing seriously.

I've always wanted to be published at a young age, become an international best-seller, and be praised for being so young and so talented. Those dreams blew up in smoke probably about two years ago, as I'd participated in National Novel Writing Month in '07 and by summer of '08 I was pretty sure my first novel ever sucked. It was a pretty hard blow, but I came to terms with it by realizing that I've got my whole life ahead of me, and well, writing an international best-seller isn't as easy as it looks, especially when you're 16.

As for the novels I'm working on, and hoping desperately to publish one day (really, my confidence in this dream varies from day to day- sometimes I feel like staying in bed all day, crying and screaming "I'll never make it! I suck!"), well, that's a bit of a lengthly matter. So far my most hopeful prospect is my re-write of what I wrote during last year's NaNoWriMo, The Mirror Masquerade. Let me warn you, I'm pretty bad at descriptions of my novel, and paranoid too. But I'll give you the low down:

Titania is suffering from the loss of her sister in an accident that may or may not have been her fault. Her family is shattered by it even months later, and the only place she really feels wanted is in another world entirely, accessible by a cheval mirror she had found in a garage sale a few weeks after her sister's death.

The world is set in our Victorian Times with a few differences (to give me some leeway, if you want me to be completely honest). Together with a house full of people who also have mirrors of their own, they live out life as a upper-middle class household. But there's always the danger of being found out, and with the new girl Claire not taking her responsibilities seriously (and who might be connected to one of the "steppers" that went missing), unrest in the household, and rumors of other Stepper houses being destroyed around the world, Titania's paradise is under threat of crumbling.

There's also a story I write on that I'm hoping to possibly publish one day, though I know it might be harder to sell since it's been online, "Life Under Stars" It's basically about a girl (again, 19th century-based) who flees from her husband to join a clan of Roma (Gypsies) and has to deal with prejudice and the possibility of romance.

I get my inspiration mainly from everyday life. I'm also a huge dreamer, so that helps tremendously. I've been known for staring out a car window for fifteen minutes and then shouting "I HAVE A STORY IDEA!" I try to use emotions as much as I can in my stories as that seems to really connect the reader to what I'm writing, though my stories have a bit more of a melancholic feel since I'm generally a pessimist and get that feeling a lot.

One of the rules I make for myself is that I have to write at least one sentence a day on how many stories I'm currently working on (which can range from just one to five or six, most of which won't see the light of day). I'm one of those people who, if I stop doing something, I'll stay stopped. Some days, though, I just don't know what to write, or I just don't have time, so that's why my required writing is so low. It's nice to have a 500-word minimum if you have the time and energy to keep that up day after day, but I find that if I can vary what I write while still making progress, I'm more likely to keep going.

If I'm stuck, and I mean completely stuck and I don't even want to write that one sentence, I take a break for a little bit and perhaps ask my friends what to do. Most of the time, I don't even give them a chance to respond- I start working out my problem just by talking to them. "What can Aishe do now that she's cornered? Hm... Should she fight back or scream? But if she screams, they might kill her, and I'm so tired of her being the damsel in distress. So how would she fight? Hm.. she could distract them with words, and when that fails, try kicking at them. I can insert a witty comment about heels there, and then..." and so on.

If that doesn't work, I usually make a barely-related sentence and decide how to connect that to the story, and that usually does the trick. Sometimes, though, I will go a week without writing anything that fixes the problem completely. If I get really frustrated and can't for the life of me solve the problem, I might delete the whole thing. Usually, though, I've got some comment in there that I don't want to let go and that in itself stops me from deleting the scene so instead I have to work through it.

Basically, I have to say that being a dreamer is a blessing. I couldn't fix half my problems or come up with half my ideas if I wasn't a dreamer. I'm not one for outlines, I rather like it when my story unfolds in front of me. If I wrote an outline before I wrote the story, I'd have to have a lot of information in my head and all the new ideas I conjure up on a daily basis would have nowhere to go. I've been told that my technique is wrong, but in the end, you've got to do what feels right and works the best for you. Don't let anyone tell you how you have to write, and if you are having one of those days where you just want to scream, then scream. It can help a lot.

Thanks to A Girl You Once Knew for that inspirational post! I'm so encouraged right now!


a girl you once knew said...

:D Thanks for posting it! I'm glad I helped!

The Golden Eagle said...

Great guest post!! :)

OverDose said...

Wow very inspirational post.. thanks for adding it to your blog . Im following both of them . This post I just loved <3

Emily Shae said...

Thanks for entering the giveaway, Kirthi! Good luck to you.