Tuesday, March 31, 2015

IWSG: RhyPiBoMo 2015

Today is IWSG day, a monthly occasion Alex Cavanaugh started to get writers sharing about their insecurities and other things. Today is also the first day of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, with currently over 1,600 sign-ups! I’ve done this challenge before, and it’s a great way to meet other bloggers. I’m not doing A to Z this year, but I’ll still be around.

What I plan to do in April is work on my revisions for my novel and picture book. I also signed up for Angie Karcher’s RhyPiBoMo, which stands for Rhyming Picture Book Month. I’m in awe of writers who pull off rhyme so smoothly. Perhaps a month of reading expert posts, doing exercises, and reading examples of rhyme done right can help me improve on the craft .  

I’m going to keep today’s post short as I’m sure you A to Z folks have many, many blogs to visit today…and for the next 30 days at that!

If you are doing the Blogging from A to Z Challenge this month, what is your theme? If you are not doing A to Z, what are your plans for April? 

Monday, March 23, 2015

When Evil Triumphs Over Good

Awhile back, when I was enrolled in an online YA writing class, I transferred my observation of the world as I saw it during my youth into my writing. For an assignment, I submitted a story outline where evil triumphs over good. My classmates disapproved of this conclusion. But it’s not fair that the villain doesn’t get their comeuppance! But the protagonist’s good deeds don’t pay off! I struggled with this feedback for awhile because I believed that my story's conclusion depicted reality.

I don't think there's any industry, community, or age group that's completely immune to people who don’t play nice, who bully, who are narcissistic and two-faced, who loudly assume causes for blatant self-serving motivations. Unfortunately, sometimes I see people like this thrive. At times, I’ve also seen generous and good-natured people get mistreated or exploited.

Growing up, I’ve read many stories where good behavior is rewarded, and I feel this paradigm in kidlit sets up a false expectation for young readers that life will always be fair if you play by the rules. I intended to show readers that life might not be fair, you might not get what is due to you, but you can move on….like the way I learned to move on during times in my life when I wasn’t treated fairly.

Still, I let my classmates’ and teacher’s feedback sink in. So I thought for a long time and finally decided I could try a different approach to my story.

Before arriving there, I also considered my feelings as an adult about consequences for good and bad behavior. So while I'm aware there are still terrible, unjust things that happen to many people around the world, I can't deny that sometimes the universe does come through, that things go around and come around, both the good and the bad, in twisted, unexpected ways.  Sort of on this topic...Years ago, author Nathan Bransford wrote a post called Doing the Right Thing that I found optimistic and enlightening. 

Have you ever needed some time to process feedback about your writing?  What got in the way of immediate acceptance of the feedback?

How do you feel about stories where evil triumphs over good? 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

IWSG: My Current Revisions

It's IWSG day.Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh for organizing this monthly event where writers share about writerly insecurities and other things. Like last month's post, today's post is also up a teeny bit late today.

I didn't work on my YA novel for a few weeks. But just because I wasn't actively working on my novel, it didn't mean I wasn't thinking about my story. I'm revising a part of my story where a certain twist I threw into the story is rather predictable. So I've been brainstorming how to approach this plot point from different angles. I finally figured out a solution. 

This means I'd have to go back to the beginning and weave in additional scenes. I'd also need to consider how this revision will affect what happens in the rest of the story. 

While I'm excited that I found an alternate route to telling my story, the insecure writer inside me wonders when my story will ever see the light at the end of the tunnel with all my backtracking. But the optimist in me asks, how many opportunities do we have in life to undo a past action? Revising my fiction could be the closest I'd ever come to time travel.

How do you revise? What other ways are there to time travel?