Friday Funny with Revisions and a Side of Snail

Hey, guess what everyone? It’s finally Friday. Hit it, George!

Sorry, I couldn’t resist myself. I used to hear this song on the radio every Friday morning while getting ready for school. Years and years later, I still sing it to myself on Fridays 😛

Well, overall, it’s been a calm and productive week. I even managed to squeeze in a little fun. Yesterday I played hooky from work to spend the day at the Denver Zoo with my family and a couple of friends visiting from out of town. It was such a nice break from the daily grind.

IMG_2146On the manuscript front, things have been both frustrating hopeful. Last Saturday, I began revising my first draft. Almost a week later, I’ve only edited two chapters. Two! Yeah, talk about sloooow going.

No, my snail-like pace isn’t because I’m being lazy or unmotivated or distracted. It’s because I’m no longer writing a story. I’m building one. As I revise, I’m constantly asking myself, “Why is this happening?” and “Who are these characters?” and “How can I make this more interesting–more relevant?” It’s no longer about pouring ingredients into a bowl. It’s about baking a cake. That means this draft is going to take time. And these first chapters will take a lot of time. They’re the ones that will set the tone and lay the foundation for the rest of the story.

So, with that in mind, I decided mid-week to send the first two revised chapters to my harshest and best critic: my mom. More than anything, I wanted to know what she thought about my two main characters. Are they likable? Are they worth developing? Or are they annoying, cliche, and/or blahhh? I figured, why dive headfirst into the story if the characters carrying the weight of it aren’t engaging? They need to be yum!, not ho-hum.

 Thankfully, after chewing my nails all day, my mom called and told me she genuinely enjoyed my MCs and would like to know more about them. Woo-hoo! Unfortunately, she had issues with a couple of other things, and she asked me some questions about the plot I had a hard time answering. But, it’s okay. That’s what second drafts are all about–finding the problems and fixing them. And, hey, better to fix them earlier than later, right?

So, in honor of my up and down week with my revisions, and my many “yippee!” and “icky” moments, here is today’s Friday Funny. Enjoy!

BpNbgubCYAEKIfY

How about you? How was your week?

Jen’s Weekly Roundup

In case you missed my posts from earlier this week, here you go: 

Music Monday – Downtown – Petula Clark

Book of the Month: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

How to Write the Perfect First Page

Friday Funny with an Honorable Mention and a First Draft

Happy Friday, everyone! I’m feeling rather wonderful today. It’s been a great week, especially on the writing front.

friday-checklistFirst off, I received the final results for the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge. Okay, so I didn’t win, but I did receive an Honorable Mention for “Into Paradise.” That means I placed in the top 15 of the 1,000 writers who originally entered! Which boils down to placing in the top 1.5%. Wooot!

More than achieving this seemingly impossible feat, I’m proud of the three stories I wrote for this competition (“Chasing Monsters,” “Over the Edge,” “Into Paradise”). Not only did I work extra hard to make each one entertaining, unique, and meaningful, but I forced myself to step outside my comfort zone and take on topics that were scary, disturbing, and/or heartbreaking. I truly learned so much about myself as a writer. More importantly, I learned that if a story demands to be told, then I need to check my insecurities and fears at the door and tell them. I shouldn’t hold back. I need to take the plunge and just go for it!

Yeeee-ha!

Another great piece of news this week: I finished the first draft of my YA manuscript!

KIDDING!!!

Okay, let me clarify: I basically finished my first draft. I didn’t fully write out the last five-ish chapters. It just didn’t make sense. You see, I took a path in earlier chapters that eventually backed me into a corner, and the only way to fix it would be to start over and find where things went wrong. So, that’s what I decided to do. I jotted down some in-depth notes about how I saw the book ending, saved my document, and closed it. Then I opened a new one for draft two.

6a00d83451607369e2017d42f8b7f5970cI began working on draft 2 yesterday and…ugh. Guys, there’s A LOT of things to fix. A lot, a lot. But, it’s okay. I’m eager to roll up my sleeves and get to work. And now that life has finally calmed down, and the NYC Midnight Challenge hoopla is over, I can dedicate all of my energy to my revisions.

So, in honor of my honed focus, as well as the many, many, many writing days I have in front of me, here is today’s Friday Funny:

10374510_850320518311743_1136249276918190834_nHow was your week? I’d love to hear!

Jen’s Weekly Roundup

Music Monday – Know Your Enemy – American Idiot

On Writing Secondary Characters