Saturday, March 27, 2010

When in Doubt...

Don't forget to check out my "Does this make me an author?" contest!

As you're reading this, I am busy taking the G.A.C.E, the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators, for Secondary English. I'm feeling pretty good about it, but well-wishes are still appreciated. This is the test required for teacher certification in Georgia, and it's a pre-requisite for the certification course I'll hopefully be starting in July.

In the practice test, they offer up this question for a short response: "What literary work did you find difficult and why?"

My first inclination, of course, is to write them pages upon pages about why writing my novel has been difficult, but alas--not exactly what they're looking for. (In case you're curious, if I do get this question, I'm either going to go with Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom! or Rushdie's Midnight's Children, which I would classify as the 2 hardest books I've ever read.)

As I've been proudly crowing from the rooftops for the last two days, I finished the first draft of my book Eternal Spring. Although I'm proud for completing an actual market-length novel, the poor thing is by no means a book, really. Its plot holes make lattice look sturdy. However, I have an excellent grasp on my main characters, and a really interesting (to me, at least) world and circumstance, plus a unique take from Greek mythology.

Thus, the revision. Which will probably be more of a rewrite, but no matter. Even if the only thing I can salvage from that MS are 4 names and an idea, I'm happy.

I spent all of yesterday retooling my plot. I laid a solid foundation, built the framework, and drew a complete blueprint. The best part is that this is going to be a single installation, not the first in a series like the original plot would have required. I tweaked my characters to align with the new plot direction, and I wrote out a 3 Act/3 Climax "outline."

Then I freaked out. I know how much time and effort I spent writing that messy, strewn-about manuscript. The idea of doing it all over again was terrifying.

Then I remembered something.

I remembered the name of a blog.

"One Significant Moment at a Time."

And I thought, "that's really good advice."

So, thanks, Nicole, for being as wise and inspiring as always, and for giving me a candle in the sudden cave-in of confidence.

I'll be taking it one significant moment at a time.


Tara said...

Great attitude. You can do it :)

Sarah Ahiers said...

LOLOL! I love that the name of her blog was helpful. I have to remember that one too, when i'm feeling a bit overwhelmed by the revision process.
Also good luck! I would have picked Moby Dick

Shelley Sly said...

Awww! See, Nicole is such a good blog friend, she even helps us out without realizing she does! Hehe.

As someone who is doing drastic rewrites to her first novel, and feeling the dread and pain of having to delete entire scenes completely, I can relate. But the best part is that you realized this early on and you're actively planning your changes. It took me almost a year to realize the changes I had to make. Best of luck to you! Keep your positive attitude!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Don't let the whole project overwhelm you. It's like smoothing out the wrinkles on bedsheets - start at one end and work your way through it.

And if it's any consolation, my novel only contains three items from the original draft - the title, the two main characters, and one pivotal moment in the story.

Kelly@ JustWrite said...

Good luck! Yeah...when I think about how much my little story has changed along the way it's a little terrifying. But every little change has made it better! Awesome that you have the insight needed to make the changes! That's one significant moment right there! :)

Hannah said...

That is a great inspirational blog title. I'm glad it helped.

Why don't you take a break after your long hard work? Read some books, watch some Supernatural and then jump back in. The creative respite will do you good. ;)

Good luck!!

Tiana Smith said...

That's exactly where I'm at with my book! I finished my first and was uber-excited. Now all I can see are problems :( But, my rewrites are sounding soooo much better. Good luck on your test!

Unknown said...

Hey Summer, I've got a little sum-sum for you at my blog. :)

Mel Chesley said...

You may have to start all over again, but since it will be your first revision you can have fun with it. It's the 80th revision where you should begin to freak out or even get bored. ;)

Summer Frey said...

Thanks for all the positive feedback, folks!

@Palindrome: the only reason I jumped back into it so soon was because I wrote the lion's share in November, and only had to finish the last 5 or 6,000 words in the last few weeks, so I still feel pretty rested from it. Plus I finished all the Supernatural seasons up till the current one! Awesome! And sad. But now I'm watching Chuck, which is also awesome, though lacking in some hotness.

I think my test went well, but who knows? Lots of strange questions...

Bish Denham said...

Good luck! If I had to answer that question it would be Ulysses by James Joyce...Ooof!

Talli Roland said...

Good luck Summer! Glad to hear you think it went well. I hate writing tests like that where you're neevr exactly sure what you're supposed to say...

I love Nicole's blog, too!

sarahjayne smythe said...

Great job finding inspiration where and when you needed it. And good luck iwth the revision. :)

Lola Sharp said...

I hope the tsp went well, that you passed. (when do you find out?)

Also, I'm happy you are staying positive!

Revision is not my favorite part of writing, to be sure. When I feel overwhelmed with where to begin the attack on my first drafts, I always think of Anne Lamott's title (and the story behind it), and take it 'bird by bird'.

(ps. you're almost to 100 followers! woot!)


I'm thrilled to find another blog by another writer to follow. This is so much fun.

It's good to read what other writers are going through and seeing how much our writing experiences are alike.
We far apart in age, I'm 64 but do not tell anyone and writing is my passion.

Best of luck with your tests. I have a feeling from reading your work that you'll be just fine.
Blessings, Barb

DL Hammons said...

You totally nailed the test, I just know it. :)

Nicole is an inspiration, and not just in blog name.

When you sit back and look at the mountain of work ahead of you, just ask yourself one simple question.

Is there anything else you'd rather be doing? :)

Unknown said...

Oh man, the more I hear about this book the more excited I get. Being a big fan of mythology, especially of Greek mythology... Well, it just intrigues me to no end.

Hope all goes well with revisions. Blehk. They can be ridiculous as two cats tied up in a canvas bag.