Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Time For Another Rant

Have you guys ever been in a situation where your book is compared to Twilight?

So my "blonde sister", Heather, asked me a couple of weeks ago if she could read my print draft of Scrapper. Never mind that A)The draft I have printed, though it's the second, is terrible. (Honestly, I look at it and think Hmm, I thought that I finished this draft when I was fifteen. But that can't be right, this looks like I wrote it in fifth grade.) B)I need that thing to do some quality writing, and I only get it once every 50,000 years on the night of a full moon when it hasn't been raining for six weeks and pigs fly, and C) HEATHER NEVER READS ANYTHING!

Here's what I think happened.

Heather's not much when a book is in her hand, mainly because she doesn't have the attention span to read more then a page. (Unless you count texting...) I don't fault her for it, it's the way of society these days. (Us writers are truly a forever dying breed.) But my family is mainly split into two parts, me and everyone else. Not in a depressing way or anything, it just that they're are really good at math and they go out a lot and well...I write. Basically, while they live on earth I live on Mars. (I sometimes like to think I'm the one on earth and their all on Mars, but come on. I'm not that oblivious.) As you can imagine, there are a lot of miscommunications amongst us, maybe throw in some belittling. (This is why I have issues with Monkeys.) And Heather, being my "blonde sister" had translated that into me not being much of anything. (Other then maybe a little off my meds.) So when she heard that I finished a book, she must have thought Awww, Becca's finished a cute little "book". What is it, five pages? I can manage that. Her intentions were good at least.

Yes, there is a reason for my rambling.

About a couple of weeks later, she I and another kid named Kevin are chilling in the kitchen, and I ask for the print copy back. I always get anxious when I lend it out for people, for a number of reasons. (They're going to destroy it's perfect pages, they won't like it, they will like it, what if J.K. Rowling calls and says I must mail it to her post haste in order for her to spew her awesomeness on it?) So she's says she'll give it back to me on the next day (she admitted that she didn't read it, by the way) and Kevin asks "What are you two talking about?"

Heather: Oh, Becca wrote a book.
Kevin: Oh, that's really cool!
Becca: (Blushes) Oh, you.
Kevin: So what's it about?

Heather: It's Twilight.




Heather: Well, what about the main character Scrapper?


So has that sort of thing ever happened to you, Paranormal Young Adult writers? I mean, yes, there have been a lot of Twilight rip offs over the years (not to mention the hilarious fan fics, the only good thing to come out of this whole horrific experience.) And yes, maybe you have written some juicy forbidden romance between VAMPIRE/WEREWOLF A and LOVE INTEREST B. I mean, come on? Who hasn't? But don't let the Monkeys of the world degrade your work to that of a copy cat. It's not just that it's Twilight (although that may have something to do with it.) I would have gotten just as upset if it was compared to Harry Potter (first very flattered, then offended.) Listen to me, right now, very carefully.

You are not a copy cat. Do not let anyone tell you different.

Have they ever spent hours in their room, blasting their music so loud there ears bleed just trying to drown out the noise of the world so that they could focus? Have they spent a small fortune on Mint Tea so that they could have a good excuse to sit in Starbucks and write in peace? Have they gone through the mind mushing soul crushing research just to know about the writing industry, or spent nights awake thinking of new plot twists, decent writing queries, or stressing over whether or not the book will ever make it to print or is it doomed to spend the rest of eternity on the virtual shelf of a amateur writing community with only three views? No. I doubt most of them could tell the difference between Twilight and Dracula. So don't let them get you down. You're day will come.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

I'm in NaNoWriMo!

I know that usually it takes me a good half year-year to complete a manuscript, but I'm going to do it!

I'm going to write a manuscript in a month! 

I'm going to enter NaNoWriMo this year and try to finish a whole manuscript in a month. I'll be using a story idea that I came up with around the time I came up with Scrapper, but alas, it fell to ruin. I'll re-work it and hopefully I'll succeed. I'm SO PUMPED MONKEYS!!!! It's the real deal. I've already started outlining. Wanna know about what I'm writing? I bet you do!

Hailey and Lane are in for the adventure of a lifetime. One day, as too best friends Hailey Foley and Brandon "Lane" Keldric watch the stars together, suddenly a meteor comes crashing down from the sky and hits the field near them. Always the first to chase after adventure, Hailey rushes to the crash site despite Lane's protests and finds a small stone with an alien living inside. The alien, upon her last breath, bestows her powers upon Hailey so that she can protect the planet from an alien invasion. And just like that, Hailey's a super hero. Meanwhile, something's been up with Lane. He's not at all the way he use to be, and Hailey's starting to doubt whether or not he's friend or foe.

Like it? I knew you would! I will be scarcely blog in the next month, wish me luck!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I'm a horrible person (or so my monkey says...)

Guys, I'm terrible. I'm already slacking on my blogging and I haven't even been up for a month.

So here it goes, I'm just going to ramble on about my life for a bit then give you the actual blog of the week.


The last book I read was The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. If you don't know what it's about, it's about a young foster child living in the slums of Nazi Germany. Told from the perspective of death, the tale of Liesel Mimenger's life on the poor street Himmel (German translation-Heaven), Molching (fictional town). Liesel is taken from her Mother and placed in the home of Hans and Rosa Hubermann (on the way experiencing the tragic death of her six year old brother, Werner). During the time she spent there she meets a variety of interesting characters, such as Rudy Steiner (her best friend/next door neighbor) and Max Vandenburg (a Jew that the Hubermanns were hiding in there basement), all the while growing into a wise competent and life changing person herself.
(For those of you who have read the book, if this description doesn't do it justice, please don't hate me.)
While I know that there are a lot of mixed opinions on this, I think it was a beautiful story, so masterfully pieced together, a true work of art if I've ever seen one. The way Zusak lays out the events and the little tensions he so perfectly portrays is revolutionary. The writing is something I've both enjoyed thoroughly and learned a great deal from. While it is a long (and bit of a confusing) read, I recommend anyone read it, especially if your looking to hone your craft.

Okay, now that rambling is done. Onto the actual blog.

A List of Things that Occur After Someone Finds Out You Write for A Living...

*They always assume you  have a pen.
*They think you are the best speller in the world. (Monkeys, my life would be worth virtually nothing without spell check!!!)
*They think you're some kind of flipping scholar (Because obviously if you can barely manage to finish a manuscript, your also a historian chemist and mathematician on the side)
*They think you are already published (Officer, I swear I've never conspired to murder Stephine Meyer, I just was thinking about how unfair it is that she's a bazillion-are for making up a vampire that sparkles while I'm flat broke trying to get an agent to ask for a partial, and, you know, the knife was already in my hand soooooooooooooooooo............................)
*They start getting awkward around you. ("So, you've finished a book........That's......great.")
*They ask you if you'll give them an autographed book for them to sell ten years from now when they know you'll be famous. (Never mind trying to read it. Who does that anymore?)
*You are boring to them now.
*They don't think you have a real job. (But I've already covered that in other blogs.)
~This applies to those who write YA, Paranormal, or anything among those lines~*"Hey Becca, when does the vampire/werewolf come out?" (Bite my tongue to keep from shouting VAMPIRES ARE DEAD TO ME NOW! [No pun intended], but my heart for werewolves will never die, so there is one in my book.) I feel I need to make this clear now. I am not Team Edward or Team Jacob. I am Team If-You-Mention-Those-Overly-Affectionate-Pretty-Boys-In-My-Presence-You-Better-Expect-My-Foot-Up-Your-Dairy-Air!
One more thing, Harry Potter. 'Kay, rant over.
*Every character in your book represents someone in your life somehow. (And if their is a love interest, you must be trying to immortalize someone your crushing on in your book.)
*Your a middle aged woman with three cats and/or two dogs who lives in some boring place. (Like Connecticut or Nebraska)
*You have every book ever created ever.

That's all I got for now. Comment below, add to the list.

A Note To Twilight Fans
I did not mean to offend anyone in this post, I every much respect Stephine Meyer and her books. I just think it's ridiculous how many people have become diehard fans just because the actors in the movie happen to be what most would call "Physically Attractive" (And to be honest, Robert Patterson was way better in Harry Potter).

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Prusuit of Fame


This is the kind of stuff that gets you Monkeys pumped, right? Some bang for your buck? The fruits of your labors? All the years of groveling and "Please read this" along with some "I will put on a wedding dress and cry in the middle of a public place if you don't read that" and you get some recognition. I mean, of course we all write because we're scared of what will happen if we leave all our imaginary friends-I mean *cough cough* "characters"- in our heads to their own devices, but come on. We all want to be J.K. Rowling. (Maybe some monkeys see the appeal in being Stephine Meyer, but I don't.)

Bottom line, we all want fame.

And book fame is nearly perfect. It's the kind of fame where people think your awesome, but don't follow you around like creepers. And in book fame, it's not just half-baked wanna be's, you truly get recognized for your genius. So while we're day dreaming up plot lines and twists, were also half-dreaming of book signings. (Sigh, the dream life). Not just because we want attention, but it's a stepping stone in our careers. A testament to just how awesome we are for making such a fabulous alternate reality.

That, and Monkeys stop thinking we're super weird and anti social.

Plus, we just love that other people love it as much as we do. I know that when my two best friends gush about how good Scrapper is, I just can't get enough of it. (Plus the other twenty people who have read the first atrocious draft.)

Guy's, it okay to want it.

Use it as your drive. Keep thinking about how great it'll be when people just can't get enough of [Insert Book Here]. Imagine what it'll be like when Hollywood approaches you wanting to make it a movie. Picture the bags of Fan mail, all for you. Just, you know, don't tell people. They'll think your weird.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Becca On Distractions

My original thought for this blog was to do a blog a week, but this one needed to be written right away.

You love them. You hated them. Distractions.

I'm writing this as I am downstairs, chilling with my mom, my younger sister (and my "blonde sister"), watching a biography on the making of Harry Potter, while my two sisters song "In the Jungle" over the noise of the TV which very much annoyed me while I was trying to write. So there you have it.

They're are everywhere. 

Being, well, a teenager, I am still expected to have a life outside of writing. This means spending writing time with family and friends while still maintaining focus on the story. And trust me when I say I run into distractions ALL THE TIME.

There are the distractions that you like, easy to fall into.

It's facebook, it's that TV show you've been dying to watch, it's that friend that you just saw at school but you're so bored and frustrated you might just text her to death. You all know you do it. In my situation, it's the Harry Potter special. While I'm in the middle of a slow conversation being three main characters and am not quite sure where I am going I'm not putting my all into it. Instead, I'm trying to get my sisters to SHUT THE HECK UP BECAUSE JK ROWLING IS SPEWING HER GENIUS INTO MY BRAIN! And I convince myself that I do this all for my writing, but really I just need a break. These distractions are like dessert, good in moderation, but get carried away and you'll be fat and stupid.

Let's not forget the kind that are awful.

The fly that doesn't leave you're stinking head alone, the internet connection that your sure is going slow just to get on your nerves, the sister that's shouting EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeEEEEEEEEE at the top of her lungs. These are the things that make you plot conspiracies and homicides. What's important with these distractions is to remember that there not that big of a deal. Yes, while in the situation it is very easy to think that IT'S JUST THE MOST ANNOYING THING EVER IN THE UNIVERSE, but it's really not that much. And once you see that, it's easy to ignore, until it comes into your mind again. (Good luck with that.)

That's all I got. VENT! Tell me your distractions!

Monday, October 3, 2011

I've been using my head lately...

Granted, it doesn't happen much. But I've been sick for a good week now, stuck in bed and coughing until my lungs hurt. Not much else to do but think. And while I was thinking about the process of writing.
From what I here from other people, it's very eccentric. Mainly it fits into two shaky categories, those who outline and those who wing it. And some common add-on's in those techniques are long walks on the beach or spending hours experiencing what the protagonist experienced in the book (living in their neighborhoods, working at their jobs. I hear for J.K. Rowling it was really hard) or just spending endless hours on the computer. To be honest, I don't believe in there ever being a definite or correct or even common writing process.
It's not that easy. 
If it was, a lot more people would write and I would never have hope for a job. 
Me personally, I'm all over the place. I don't have a schedule and I don't spend hours in front of a computer screen. (Okay! I don't spend hours in front of a computer screen writing.) I will write until I hit a writing block, then go to a different project or create a new one. (In my document folder I have nine folders and  eighty four different projects, yet only about five are finished and only about four go past page fifty.) And believe me when I say that I outline, I outline like there's no tomorrow if I know the entire plot, but the story ALWAYS without fail strays from the outline completely. And yet, I still have not one, but TWO manuscripts finished. So yes, I think my system works.
But that doesn't mean everyone can use it.
Like my friend Alexandra will write in random scenes, like she'll go from the end to the beginning depending on what she's thinking of at the moment. I could never do that, it personally takes away the fun of looking forward to writing my favorite part or the sense of triumph when I get through a writer's block type of chapter. And my other friend Kyla feels that she needs to write to deadlines, it motivates her. For obvious reasons, not many people share her opinion. But hey, it works for them, so who are we to say it's not valid.
I know I'm going on a bit of a tangent, but what I really wanted to ask all you monkeys is, what's your process? How do all you party people give birth/poo out stories?