Friday, March 13, 2009

Commitment: What it Means to a Writer

The definition of commitment is a pledge or promise; obligation.

Commitment is something all writers need; to themselves, stories, characters, and of course, their critique partners. I’m writing this post, as I sit at my desk at work after hours, several hours late on this post. This week has been crazy for me, and I’m looking forward to the much needed weekend ahead. Being busy doesn’t mean I can put the blog aside; I have an obligation to both my blog partner and the readers. This got me thinking about how big of a commitment writing really is, so I decided to break it down, at least what that word means to me in my writing life.

Commitment to story: Committing to a story can mean many things. Vague, I know, but hear me out. A writer has a certain duty to keeping with the plot of their story. Of course changes come as you complete your story and also in rewrites/edits. Most of the time, once you’ve done research and outlining/plotting the theme of your book will stay the same.
On the other hand, a writer has to commit to a story to be able to rip it apart in edits. You have to know yourself and your story enough to know what you have to do (possibly rewrite the whole story) will be better for your overall story in the end.

Commitment to characters: Committing to characters is a must when writing a solid story. Writers has to dig deep within themselves and question exactly who their characters are, what drives them, makes them who they are throughout the story. Once those questions are answered, you have to be committed to listening to what those answers means to the characters’ actions.

Commitment to critique partners: We’ve talked too much on this blog about critique partners and how important they are to a writer’s improvement. It can’t be said enough. Being a part of a crit group is all about commitment. When agreeing to join a group, a writer has to understand the work that goes into it. If everyone isn’t to everyone within the group, it will not work.

Commitment to finishing: This has to be the most important. Without finishing the book, you have nothing. No matter how hard you commit to the items I listed below, if you don’t see your work to the end, then really you’ve committed to nothing.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Questions for Alyson Noel!

For everyone participating in the YAedge Book Club, or if you just have a question for her, we'll be taking questions for Alyson Noel, author of Evermore this week. Please keep your questions based on any of Alyson's books or writing related. You can post them in either this post, or over at YAedge Book Club by Saturday, March 14th at 10 am PDT.

Don't forget to join in on the Evermore discussion that's heating up! We'll be discussing Evermore until the end of March.

You can vote on April's book in the poll that is located in the sidebar of the YAedge Book Club. The race is on!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Philosophy of the See Also

A thought occurred to me today. Life can be compared to the ultimate see also. In old school librarianship - we're talking card catalogues with author, title and subject headings entries - a see also cross-references subject headings. It directs the library patron to stuff he/she just might want to check out. Today we'd call them tags, I guess.

Say you’re looking up information on Homes – you may encounter a kindly [see also] Condominiums. A see also narrows the information retrieved from the original search, but it can tweak your interest in other directions. I think we meander through life, following the various see also’s along the way...and why not? There's lots to discover on this journey. [OMG - when did I start thinking like my mother???]

Which word appeals more to you?

or Unknown

I've come to the conclusion that life is one great see also after another, taking us down paths we never expected we'd have to navigate. But that's okay. Because otherwise - this would all be just a smidge too boring.

Doesn’t the crooked line capture the eye more than the straight?