DEVIN BOND
Thoughts of a wanna-be author and student.


December 31, 2010

New Year, New Beginnings

I'm new to the blogosphere and I'm definitely new to the actual concept of resolutions. I know what they are, have had people in my life do them, but I myself have never done one. SO, might as well kick off 2011 with a new tradition. Get everything started for what I hope is a great year.

First, for a look back on 2010, a year which was both bad and good. There was death, personal revelations and then the adventure that started everything. The road trip that inspired Jessica and I to start our first novel, starting the chain of other story ideas that have carried us through to the end of the year.

As for the new year, here are eleven goals I want to accomplish:

  1. I want to finish writing my first draft by my birthday, in August. This includes as many edits as it takes to make me and my crit partner (only one for now) happy.
  2. Get more critique partners! How I'm going to find them, I'm not quite sure. This one will be a challenge for me.
  3. I want to write at least 600 words a day and on weekends I'm going to aim for 1000. If I keep this up, I'll definitely make goal 1.
  4. Buy more books and read, read, read!
  5. Join as many blogfests as I can. Currently starting the new year the right in that way by joining the No Kiss Blogfest.
  6. Come up with amazing and awesome ideas to enhance my story and characters! I love them already, but I'm afraid they aren't super duper interesting.
  7. Write my query and revise, revise, revise... did I already say revise?
  8. Create a list of agents that I might have a chance of enticing and research them until it's almost creepy. I will however, avoid the creepy aspect altogether.
  9. Find the way to accept critiques in the best way possible and start to enjoy them.
  10. (Goodness this is getting hard!) One goal not related to writing, try as many new foods and cook as often as I can!
  11. And lastly, but definitely not the least important, enrich the relationships I do have and embrace creating new ones.
Wish me luck! Have a happy new year, everyone!

And the Plot Thickens

I've finally arrived at the beginning of where everything starts! The long awaited part when the plot starts going. Of course, it hasn't been that long awaited. There can only be so much time to get to the fourth-fifth scene, right? At least, if you're working on it consistently--like me.

Anyway, I'm super excited to get to scene six, where it really really starts. That doesn't make much sense, but... it's like the start of the start. Of course, I've already got the romance aspect in (the beginnings of course), now it's time to get to the fantasy!

If only my mind would cooperate. I get so excited for the scene itself that when I get to it, I'm so excited I don't even know what to do. It's ridiculous!

Also, I began to read the book Jessica gave to me for Christmas. I read the first five chapters while she caught up on some much needed sleep. It's called Nicholas Dane by Melvin Burgess. So far I like it. 

I'm not going to give away all that happens, but Mr. Burgess does not sugarcoat what the characters are doing. I haven't read any books by him before, but from his other titles... it sounds like it's a trademark. Nick is amusing and definitely a teenage boy.

The one thing that is a bit off putting--though don't get me wrong, it doesn't take away from the book--is that his character's thoughts are in double quotations. Sometimes I get confused as to whether it's a thought or a bit of dialogue. 

Another little thing is that the POV doesn't stay with Nick. I'm so used to having the story told through one perspective that it's a little odd. It's nice to see what Nick doesn't though. Definitely adds to the story as a whole.

I'm pretty excited to read more. I haven't gotten a new book in forever! It's ecstasy having something besides textbooks to read!

On a side note... Jessica and I went shopping today. I got a new pea coat (bright red!), two skirts and a pair of sexy heels! Cue ridiculous, excited dancing that no one but yourself should see.

It's about time! (for the heels.)

PS: Jessica, I know what you're thinking about the shoes statement.

December 26, 2010

The Curse

I have this curse that makes me get ridiculously tired. More often than not, I end up passing out through no will of my own. I've managed to avoid it for a bit this winter break--where I've been staying up until 4 or 5 am sometimes. Alas, good things apparently can't last. Yup. I passed out. While talking to Jessica no less. She's sadly used to it by now, but I still hate myself when it happens.

My personal goal is to find some sort of caffeine, I don't care what, to get myself nice and hyped up so I can't do it again. Anything but an energy drink--I'd rather not be a hyped up hypocrite after how many times I've scolded my parents about energy drinks.

I also have another curse, besides the first one I've talked about (accepting critiques), about being too paranoid. I need to learn to take a few risks here and there. Maybe then I won't be so predictable.

On a lighter note, I've managed a feat! I've written 18 days in a row (except one day with a single word) for the first time in my life. I'm kind of proud of that. I'm hoping to get an early start on my word count today, but we'll see at the end of the night.

I'm hoping today will be better than yesterday. :)

December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone has had a nice Christmas! Mine has been good so far, though my poor mom is having one of those days where nothing goes right. At least I know dinner will be good when we get to it.

Luca received a few new toys--a zebra that jingles and squeaks (he's obsessed) and a tennis ball small enough for his mouth to go around. He makes these funny snorting noises when he plays with it though. My mom's dog got a tennis ball as well and a rope that Luca likes to play with, too.

I got clothes, some candy, a book from Jessica and I will be getting a new pair of shears! Yay! Then I can cut hair with a smile on my face instead of having a stream of expletives cross my mind. :) Nothing sucks more than having a pair of dull, misaligned shears. 

My Christmas present to myself is finishing my second scene and starting my third. Hurray~ That and pigging out on deliciousness. I say as long as I don't have a stomach ache at the end of the night, I'm okay. Just this once, right? (Though I already gorged myself on orange juice to avoid eating food at my grandma's. Shh, don't tell her.) I won't end up eating much by the end of the night.

Also, my brother is weird. He comes over for dinner and ends up napping? He still hasn't woken up. Lucky for him dinner won't be ready for awhile.

December 24, 2010

Procrastination

I am procrastinating for no particular reason. I've finished another round of edits. Jessica and I are in our beds, awaiting the moment her computer dies or she reaches her goal. (Good luck, bestie!)

Luca, my puppy in case I didn't mention his name earlier, is fast asleep being pathetic. He makes the most adorable noises in his sleep and it just isn't fair! If I have children that make as cute of noises as he does... They are going to be so spoiled!

Anyway, I felt a bit ambitious and made a picture (on Paint again, so still don't make fun of it!) of Em. I'm not feeling Li just yet, so you've got to wait for him.
"Em"


Her lips aren't actually as big as they look there, but it's hard to get things just right on Paint... Also, I made her a bit fancier than Al, though I still didn't color in her skin. Having her lips black like his was just really off putting for me--as did making her eyebrows. It isn't a bad job, but the next time you see her it'll be way better.

So... yeah. Procrastination over for now. Night, everyone! If I don't get on tomorrow--or the next day, Merry Christmas!

Editing Blues

So. First scene has been written. Jessica has been helping me out with getting it to be interesting--the first few tries were definitely... boring. Really boring. I didn't even really have fun writing them. This one is good though. It's appealing and it was really enjoyable to write and it definitely gets Al's character across better.

Once I finished writing it, I sent it to Jessica to look it over. She does and I know I'm going to get feedback. She's very good about feedback. I'm sure her crit-partners could tell you that as well. However, every time I get a critique on the scene I'm doing I automatically just shut down.

I get upset from seeing her comments when I know it's just to help me out and I can't control it. It sucks quite a bit. I used to cry from it which was even worse. Of course, it's not like her critiques are mean, because they aren't. For some silly reason I just can't handle them? I don't know. Do any of you get upset with critiques?

Generally, I like what the scene turns out to be after I've made the suggestions--so it isn't like she doesn't get what I'm trying to convey. (At least I hope she gets it... We've only talked about the way it should go every time Al comes up...) I think I'm just weird. I want the suggestions but I hate getting them. Odd, I say!

Anyway, on a lighter note, I've drawn a ... rough (very rough) picture of Al. I did it on Microsoft Paint, so don't make fun of it too much, okay? I'll draw better ones when I can take decent pictures of drawings on paper. (Paint definitely isn't the best thing to try and draw awesomeness with.)

"Al"
Yes, that is my attempt at him. His skin isn't white because he's a vampire, by the way, I just didn't feel like coloring it in. :P Perhaps I'll try drawing his love interest Em and his best friend Li. --Actually, I think I will. I'll post those as soon as I get them drawn--probably with paint again.

I promise I'll give you some good ones soon though! Maybe with their entire body? We'll see how it goes.

Back to writing. :)

December 21, 2010

On the Lookout

So, I'm restarting my search of musical muses for my MC who I am now going to start calling Al. Al is much easier than saying "my MC." The journey for Al's taste in music has just begun. I'm in the process of it right now, listening to something that I don't mind listening--but definitely wouldn't have it in my own iTunes. Al quite enjoys it though.

I'm going to do journal entries for him for the entirety of the story. I did one today and I found it really helped get into his head. Alas, I'm starting to think most of my posts right now will be about getting into Al's damn mind. I don't think I've ever tried to get into character quite as hard as I am with him. It's for the better, really. I know this, though it's weird.

On a different note for a moment, I got a call for another job interview. Hurray. I hope it doesn't cut into writing too much... We'll see if a physical job (assuming I get it) is better than a not-so-exciting retail job. Goodness knows that basically rounded up my creativity and had a firing squad shooting holes into it... Plus the lack of sleep.

The music Al likes is getting me sleepy. Crossing my fingers it'll just be a when I'm tired and up at 430 am. Yes... Lucky me, Al is asleep right now. No miscreant talking in my head~ And no, I'm not crazy. Just good at picturing him :P

Perhaps I'll draw a picture of how I see him for you all. Can't guarantee it's going to be the finest work of art you've seen--but I can promise something better than a stick figure!

December 20, 2010

Through the Haze

This weekend has been filled with family gatherings and unpleased people. I really don't think I've seen someone be as grumpy on their birthday as my brother today. Goodness gracious!

His grumpy bum sparked an idea in me, though--a past scene of my MC and his mother having an argument. I'm not sure it turned out very well, probably cause I lost the steam about halfway in and I had absolutely no clue as to what I was doing, but hey. It got the job done, right?

I'm finally caught up again in mine and Jessica's WriMo. Of course, Jessica has upped her goal (or rather doubled it), but I'm sticking with my 25k, thank you very much. It's okay if you call me lazy or an under-achiever. I 'm going to stick with what I know I can do--especially seeing how I'm having enough trouble keeping up as is.

Sadly, though I know working on figuring out my MC is important, especially if it's in first (though we all know that's the easiest way to get your character's voice out--also let's you fall into the thought trap...), I can't help but feel that by not working on my first scene I'm not doing anything. Maybe it's all the dark music my MC has been liking or perhaps it's an unknown cause.

Speaking of music--and family from earlier, Saturday brought about a few revelations. The family and I were drug down about 50 miles south to go see a show at this major church that my cousins go to school at. (Private school + church. They're very religious.) The show ended up mainly being a concert of sorts--and it was better than I was expecting. The music and lack of distractions kept my mind busy, so I came up with a few things about my MC. I'll share them with you.

One, I got the feeling that he liked to do something musically. At first I thought maybe he was in a band? Then I thought maybe he was a dancer? (Of course, I know I am way too influenced by what I see and hear, so I have to be careful with these inspirations.) Finally it came to me that if my MC was musically inclined, he was partial to the piano. He also allowed me to discover his taste in music--female singers and oldies (think Beatles, Marvin Gaye, doo-wop bands in general, 50's-60's music... The classics.) He's kind of weird. Luckily for me, I enjoy that kind of music. Time for some enjoyable research~!

I also learned that my MC has a particular dislike for salad. I'm not sure why, but I think he thinks it's boring. What a misinformed kid.

I've written 2 past scenes (if you add 1 full one plus two halves) and during those scenes, I've realized that my MC was very obedient... Yet I can see him being mischievous? Hm! What a silly boy.

I've got an early day tomorrow, my nine-year-old niece is over and I will be the only one watching her. I at least hope she sleeps in until 9. 10 would be even better!

How was everyone else's weekend? Prepared for the week before christmas? (Eek, I need to get my shopping done before it's too late!)

December 18, 2010

Interviews and Troublesome Boys

Today I spent a couple hours interviewing my MC. It was both fruitful and unfruitful--he isn't very forthcoming with this info yet. We're good on history, but favorites and the like... That's the hard part. Once I'm done with this interview, I'm thinking I'll have to go back and redo it. My MC goes through some major changes, and I'm not quite sure yet if his responses would change, too.

Next time I have the house empty I might try acting him out--though I'm sure I'll end up feeling quite silly. Better to be silly and knowledgeable than serious and dumb!

I do feel a bit bad for him. He really likes animals--sort of the kid who brought home strays when he was little but isn't obsessed enough to want to become a vet or anything like that. I got off topic. He really likes animals, but he's never had a pet.  Poor kid.

After I got home from spending the night at Jessica's house (yes, she'll crop up often), I began to write my first scene. I was going to do that for my WriMo. Alas, only 600 words. Better than none, I suppose. That isn't what I wanted to say though. After doing the interview, I felt comfortable enough to get started.

Of course, my MC went along with it for a few. (I'd already tried to capture him in a worse off version of this scene.) Good things never last for long though. I knew my MC was going to have a distinct reaction to this other character. I sat there, fingers poised for-ever. It never came. He just wasn't having it at all. Shame, really. He could've gotten some stew if he'd cooperated!

On a different note, my puppy is rather attached to Jessica (not a surprise). When it came time to leave, he stood in the doorway and I was the one dragging him out. Normally it's the other way around. It was so adorable to see him stand there with this sleepy "Why are we leaving...?" look on his face. I swear he's the most expressive dog you'll ever see.

This is all for now. I'll keep the MC interview process updated. Hopefully he's liable to give more up soon~

I'll be keeping my expectations low.

Time to get to bed. Got to get up "early" and cut some hair tomorrow morning.

December 16, 2010

(SC)Rambling to get started

I figured that I'd celebrate my accomplishment of writing 2000-something words with my first blog post. My partner in writing  and I are doing our own mini writing month--aiming for 1000 words a day. I've been behind and now I have finally caught up!

Ah, victory is sweet.

I'm going to completely blame it on the fact that I was writing from a new story--one that Jessica has been itching for me to start. It's pretty exciting and I know it's quickly going to take over my life. I will be looking forward to all the crazy dreams my characters will soon give me. (As they always do.)

I can already tell I'm going to have some... internal issues with my MC. I'll keep you all updated on him. He's rather interesting. Trust me, I mean it.

I almost thought I was going to have another day of epic failure--like yesterday where I believe I wrote a total of six words? And I really would have. I had a minor crisis of my puppy's nails getting clipped too short and he started bleeding. It was scary! Luckily for me, and him, it stopped and now he is sleeping on his back... snoring lightly... feet curled up and twitching to the scenes in his dreams...

I'll post a picture of him soon enough. He'll melt your heart.

He's also quite the character. Not sure how he managed to get such a distinct personality, but it is 100% there.

That's it for now. I'm not so hot at blogs yet, so just be patient. Eventually someone will find something worthwhile here--maybe.

Time to join my puppy (or my miscreant characters) in dream land. Until next time!