I am a little ashamed of this edition of Friday updates as it is not as successful a report as I would like to convey! Once again I am struggling with the pressure to write very quickly but still attending to my other obligations. Nonetheless, I am trying not to judge myself on the lack of chapters written (in the meantime wondering why I set these goals for myself when I know they probably won’t happen).
I wanted to get Resistance done through Chapter 10 by the end of this week as I leave for Colorado tomorrow. It was a rather achievable goal as it required me to write one chapter per day for each day of this work week (my usual pace). However, things got hectic, as I fully knew they would. I had social obligations pop up, an out of town appointment yesterday, and general French Bulldog disasters most days. Plus, I still haven’t packed for my trip (a usual procrastination). Resistance sits calmly waiting for me to pick up and write Chapter 8, and with the to-do list I have for today I’ll be lucky if I get even that done.
All that being said, I still feel good about the manuscript. It is very dark this time around and thus it is harder to submerge myself in the material. The characters are going through some experiences that are hard to write about, but their emotions after these experiences have happened are even harder to convey. I don’t want to stereotype their reactions, or worse (in my opinion) archetype their reactions. I want these characters to be genuine and authentic; while there is, to some extent, an archetypal element in all forms of human behavior, it is important to know about it but still deviate from it in some way that is unique and speaks to your characters. That has been a struggle, but a rewarding one as it forces me to think deeply about the characters as a whole. This third book has a very different feel; I wanted it to be purposefully disorienting both to give the readers a sense of how much Runey and Mara are going through and also to give the book a sense of desperation and urgency. Throughout the trilogy the threat has been veiled and that veil has been sliding off slowly but surely throughout the series–now it has been yanked off to reveal the horrible things it was covering before. It’s a hard thing to deal with as a writer. Gravity and urgency makes for a difficult balance to maintain. And that, friends, is the best I can do to explain myself and lake of prolific-ness with this MS.
Agent updates: Nothing really new to report. I am hearing back from a few queries in the form of denials. The agent who requested my full manuscript has not gotten back to me yet and we are nearing the two month mark in which either she promised to respond and if not I am supposed to drop her a line reminding her. This deadline makes me both nervous and excited. What if I email her only to find out she never got the manuscript as it went to spam or whatnot and thus I have to wait another two months after re-submitting?? Lots of “what-ifs”! I continue to have nothing but great things to say about the agents I met at the WLT Conference. One of them dropped me a quick line to say he got my query and would respond again soon (unheard of!). And another emailed me to say the work wasn’t for him, but he would pass it on to someone in his agency who he thought might be a better fit. So impressed! They are actually real people, you guys! 🙂 Once I get back from vacation, I plan to start another round of querying. I want to try and challenge myself to write one query per day, every weekday. Let’s see if that goal goes by the way of my finishing Chapter 10 this week goal…haha.
I hope everyone has a great weekend! I am going to try and see if I can be technologically savvy enough to set up an automated post for Chapter 10 on Monday. I apologize in advance if I am not bright enough to figure that out. Adios!
Summer is my favorite season of the year; I love the warm nights glittering with stars above and fireflies below and the promise of adventure. However, I will admit, it is not the best time of the year for me as a writer. With the coming of June and the onset of summer I have been much busier than winter and spring. When the weather is sunny and beautiful outside, the outdoors beckons. Between impulsive mini vacations and working in my garden, writing has taken a backseat on days when a less seductive season might not have tempted me away from the computer.
However, I can’t fully blame the weather. I will admit, I have been slumping in my writing for other reasons as well. My confidence has been a bit down lately as I am writing really tight, intense action/world building type of scenes almost every chapter. The decisions made in these scenes will ultimately effect the rest of the novel/trilogy. Thus, I am over-analyzing them to death.
This is one deleterious effect of being a “pantser” style author–since you don’t have a definite plan down to the last detail, sometimes you get held up because you come up to something big you haven’t worked out yet. This is definitely what is happening to me. I know all of the characters’ ultimate “big” moves they are working towards right now. However, in the mean time, they need to make decently big, exciting moves to get there. I can’t jump to the conclusion (even though I have the ending of INDUCTANCE planned out and it will be the perfect exciting finish and set up to the final installment).
My challenge now is to think about the present–in the sense of my book–I have been caught up in doubts about the quality of the story right now, but I need to put those aside and trust in my skill as a storyteller. Words to the page is the main thing, and getting words to the page means being confident in yourself. I need to get over this summer slump, trust myself and write. I can feel myself getting more confident already… 🙂
Sorry for the lack of posts lately! I was on a (much needed) vacation to California! The need for vacations to take a step back from your work is a topic for an entirely different post, but I can sum it up to this: sometimes it’s necessary to not think about your novel, to escape and have new experiences which will influence your writing, and to be in a more sublime environment so when an agent rejection pops up in your email, you take it in stride and order another wine sample! 😉
Today, I wanted to focus on a subject that has been giving me major headaches–the dichotomy between being an artist and thus trying to be a free spirit while at the same time being cognizant of the pressing need to create an online presence. This need for a writer’s platform necessitates the use of social media. Writers, as a rule, hate social media. We would rather be writing! However, our ultimate goal is to be read, and to be read and gain notice in today’s world means hashtagging and blogging our way to fame. Hopefully that prospect turns everyone’s stomachs as much as it does mine. It is a very imposing goal; in the millions of individuals out there on the internet, how do you make a difference?
It’s a question I, unfortunately, cannot answer in this post. But I do welcome good suggestions! The first step for me is simply, getting out there. One of my New Year’s resolutions this year was literally: “Tweet less.” Obviously, that is not going to fly. I have been trying to force myself to tweet more lately, and have gone to excessive use of hashtags. Today, I activated a Facebook account (under much mental stress), and a LinkedIn page. I am looking into #QueryKombat, which appears to be a great way to get some exposure as well as potentially awesome contacts with agents and editors! The Internet is a crazy, intimidating place, but I hope to do my research and find some success in it.
I want to get the word out soon because I am going to be doing something very exciting here on the blog. I am going to be posting sample chapters of Capacitance! I want the novel to get exposure and hopefully build momentum. Stay tuned on chapter one coming soon!
With that being said, follow me on Twitter and Instagram (@elisemarie52), and Facebook (Elise Hardenburger)! And comment below with any tips how you got your online following started. 🙂
Yesterday I took the day off. Out of my office, away from my computer, mini road trip kind of day off. It was nice to get out and enjoy the beautiful golden sunshine of a mellow spring day instead of cursing the piercing shaft of sunlight which always blazes through my office window directly into my retinas as I am trying to write; however, I found myself unable to fully relax the entire day. I felt a strange sense of guilt that I was not sitting at my computer, researching literary agents, practicing my query letters and–most importantly–writing another chapter in my second novel. The latter nagged on my mind the most–I’ve come to realize a certain irritability I take on when there is a chapter of my story sitting in my mind, waiting to be drawn out into words. This feeling can make going to the grocery store an even more tedious task, and can even cause regret at having to attend a social event that would, in most cases, be fun. For me, the feeling was most intense on my drive back home; the day was over, fun was had, but now I wanted more than anything to finish that chapter. It was like a compulsion in my brain while the rest of my body screamed with fatigue. It was very late when I got home and I sat down the days’ shopping spoils in my bedroom, fully intending to forge on into my office and hammer out the chapter, but then my french bulldog, Indy, jumped up on my bed and presented me with the saddest puppy dog eyed plead for sleep I had ever seen, and I relented. In the fresh light of this morning (yes, I am currently wearing a hat to shield my eyes from the eastward facing office window blaze at this moment), I am glad I waited to write my chapter; my brain is fresher after a night of sleep, and I am much more motivated to write now that I’ve had to wait a day. My challenge to myself is to enjoy those days off, savor those necessary distractions and come back to write with even more energy and determination.