Thursday, August 10, 2006

And So It Begins...

Well, I've started reading about Writing a Breakout Novel. Actually I'm already almost halfway through the book due to today being the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL! and the fact that my little one wanted to play on the computer this morning. Anyway, I'm pretty disappointed that I didn't stumble onto this book about two years ago when I started messing with inital ideas for the current work-in-progress. (This book has been a long time coming too as I put it on hold to promote and market my debut novel). This book is like an entirely new way of thinking, and already I'm wondering if my manuscript includes enough oomph to carry it through--to find an agent, a publisher, a market, a niche, whatever.

There are so many good ideas in there. Questions to ask yourself in hopes that you have the right answer (or can find it). A big one I'm kind of troubled with is "What does your protagonist want?" and follow-up, "What happens if she's not successful?" You'd think I'd have the first one, right? Well, I think I actually just need to tighten my focus just a little and made sure I make the answer clear in the manuscript--unless I go with the premise that she doesn't know the answer herself. The answer to the second is "nothing too dramatic".

But wait...I'm sitting here thinking about this, and things are gelling in my mind. Before I write anymore, I'm going to go write a few short paragraphs with the answers to some of Maass' questions. Writing a query letter a couple of weeks ago helped me crystallize the overview. Now I need to dig a little deeper.

This writing stuff is hard and very high maintenance.


Sara Hantz said...

I remember from his workshop, he said what is the one thing your protag would never ever do. Now make them do it. It's a great way to show how they're not one dimensional people, and even 'good' people will sometimes do things totally out of character.

Sherri said...

School starts next week for us. I'm having visions of three-hour uninterrupted writing sessions. I'll have a 2-year-old at home, but you gave me a good idea. She's getting old enough to use a mouse! :)

BTW, I love the look of your blog

Alyssa Goodnight said...

Thanks, Sara. Actually, that's the one thing I do have. ;)

Hi Sherri, Thanks for visiting. My boys are totally into the computer (and I started them about two). Whatever works, right?

Thanks for the compliment!