Sunday, June 27, 2010

Wannabe Writers #22

Wannabe Writers is a meme created by Sarah of Confessions of the Un-published!

One of my goals right now is to move my literary ambitions out of the box and onto the shelf, by which I mean that I no longer want to ignore  how   much I enjoy writing. I love the idea of this meme, and I'll quote from Sarah's post here:

I often find myself searching the web for information during my struggles as a new writer.   So I wanted to start a place where us future young-adult authors can come together to  ask those questions, share our stories, and get feedback.

Where I am in the writing process:  Icing on the cake! I got to edit and then add 1000 new words to Novel #2. That doesn't sound like much, but it was something. I thank my cousin/sorta-kinda-writing-buddy for my moment of inspiration. At the risk of sounding full of myself, can I just say that I like my 2nd novel? It had been so long that I worked on it that I was reading through it to figure out where I was, was pretty good. I don't think I've made any of the same mistakes as I did with my freshman attempt either. Novel #2 might actually be worth some post-completion publishing efforts.

Oh! I got my first rejection last week, and I was oddly excited about it. I completely understand the reasons why my MS was rejected, but I appreciated the agent's compliments about the strength of my writing. (Basically, even though the story was horrible, the writing was good.) I feel somehow validated, even though I "failed." That's the end of that MS anyway, since I hadn't really intended to query it at all. It's going in a drawer, never to see the light of day again. Ever. (Unless I need a groan and a laugh.)

My current problems:  None. I'm good. :-)

Question(s) this week:  When writing how do you structure out your novel?  Do you use the classic method of intro, rising tension, mini crisis, rising tension, mini crisis, rising tension, climax, resolution?  Or some kind of alternative structure?

Ugh, I have probably the worst method ever. Don't anyone follow my lead! Since I don't outline, I just...write. In the first novel, it was written in order so I kind of felt my way through the build-up, but the one I'm working on now, I've realized the need for background so it's a bit more piecemeal. Looking at the classic method, though ("intro, rising tension, mini crisis, rising tension, mini crisis, rising tension, climax, resolution"), I've actually followed it pretty well for just making it up as I go.

Ok, backing up for a second, Novel #1 had a mini flashback climax several chapters before the realtime climax. Other than that, I'm a traditionalist. That's what I'm used to reading, so that's how I write.

This is a really cool question. I hadn't thought about this before, and I'm glad to know that I'm following some sort of acceptable structure, even though I didn't realize it. I'm outlining the next novel, though, so I'll have all this figured out at the beginning.


  1. Hi Erin! Congrats on Novel #2. It's great that you love it and that is all that is important. I hope you find success with this one.

  2. How exciting! You are to the rejection stage. Okay, I know how bad that just sounded, but I am only at the first draft stage. Getting rejections means serious progress...I hope that makes sense.

    With my current WIP, there is no structure. I'm about 30,000 in and still not sure what kind it is and I'd rather not take the time to find out until I am finished with the first draft. I am sort of on a roll and don't want anything to mess it up. ;)

  3. I write in scenes so that when I'm finished with the first draft, I move things around at my leisure. So my stories are not always told chronologically.