Welcome Aboard

Welcome to my first blog.
I'm excited you've come along for the ride with me, as I blog my thoughts and adventures on the way to being a published writer. Take a look around, post a comment or two, and enjoy!

29 August, 2011

Somebody Hire Me

Spoke to my brother last night. He encourages me to keep writing. He checks in with me now and then to make sure I'm still submitting my screenplays. I told him the result, or lack of, from my last round of submissions. It must have been my tone of voice because he asked me if I was getting discouraged. I was until I realized through reading articles by people in the industry that agents are hesitant to sign new clients that live out of state. They'd rather have someone already living in LA. Someone who is available for meetings with studios that day, not in three days when they can fly in etc. Makes sense from a business perspective. And my goal is to move to LA. But in the meantime there is plenty I can do to make myself a better screenwriter.

Keep going with my mfa program.
Take an advanced screenwriting class-probably through Gotham Writers.
Have my screenplays read by Hollywood readers. I have 2 in mind to work with.
Attend a screenwriting conference. Either Creative Screenwriting Expo, or Austin Film Festival.
Save so I can move without worrying about working for a few months.
Keep praying
Keep writing.

09 August, 2011

Revision

I spent the morning working on revisions of my first novel. My third novel is well on it’s way and I wanted to back track so to speak and clean up some issues with the first novel that were revealed during my workshopping at my mfa program.

The errors: Author intrusion in a third person narrative. Protagonist and antagonist are to one-dimensional. Using present instead of past tense. Felt like a movie not a novel. The last two issues are due to the fact that unbeknownst to me I was still wearing my screenwriter hat whenever I worked on my novel. The first error I caught in a couple of places, but there were some that the expert eyes of my fellow workshoppers and our faculty caught for me. Going back in to work on my novel past the part I workshopped I see where I did that frequently.

One-dimensionality. My faculty advisor sent me a list of character exercises that have exploded the world of my novel in my head. I found out things about my characters that I didn’t know and I am incorporating them into the revision. Nobody cares about a Miss Perfect, and nobody cares about a Mr. Evil. Characters need layers that can be sorted out and developed in the course of a novel.

Are these revisions easy? No. It’s hard to switch gears from present tense to past tense. I’ve become accustomed to writing in first person. Will it get easier? Yes. It takes some time for my brain to register that I’m writing in past tense. Once it does, the writing flows smoother. Plus switching from present to past is more than changing verb tenses. Sometimes it can change the meaning of the entire sentence. Sometimes I have to rewrite the sentence before, and after in addition to the present tense sentence.

Am I glad I’m doing it? Absolutely. I love my first novel. The characters are real. I feel an emotional tug from each of them. Some pleasant, some not. Which is to be expected. I have characters that I love and characters that I hate and hope my readers hate for the right reasons. Not because their flat but because they remind them of the deepest darkest part of themselves.

How will this affect my screenwriting? For the better. Being a better fiction writer has transferred over to tighter, grittier scenes in my screenwriting.

Revision may be a chore to some, but it is necessary if you want to be a successful writer. Don’t dismiss it. It is the process by which we as writers grow. Or did you think only your characters changed during the course of a novel?

04 August, 2011

I finally did It

I was reading in Genesis 18, where God and two angels visit Abraham and tell him Sarah will have a son in a year's time. It was a reminder of God's promise to Abraham. I thought about my writing and I wondered why I still hadn't submitted any of my screenplays to agents or production companies. I'd submitted to several contests, so what was I waiting on? Did I want God to come strolling down my street and say "Hey Desiree, it's time". I knew in my heart, right then, that it was time.

Today I submitted queries for two of my screenplays to agents and production companies.
Next step-submit another query of my novel to lit agencies. It's ready. I'm ready.

It's a scary step but there comes a time when you have confidence in your work. Not prideful boasting, but confidence that what you wrote is good and that it's ready. That takes hard work, writing often not occasionally and reading about your craft. I needed all these and the support of my fellow students in my mfa program. As I submitted my work today I could hear them in my mind cheering me on.


While I wait, I will finish work on my end of the world screenplay (I didn't realize how dark it was), and work on my third novel.
I love being a writer.

01 August, 2011

Fourteen Days

While staring into space, lost in my own world, is great for a writer. It’s not so great when the writer needs to hit submit. Another screenplay competition deadline has come up. This is for a legitimate competition, not most of those take your money and see ya kind. And I have a list of agents to submit to also (screenplays only at this time). And yet here I sit staring into space. Counterproductive doesn’t even cover it succinctly. And yes I know I just dangled a modifier. Heh.

Fourteen days until I go back to work. That is the reason for my staring into space. Fourteen days before I go to a new school in a difficult area. I am to the point where it is becoming increasingly difficult to pull myself out of my writer fugue and into anything else. When I get into that writer-state I disdain leaving it for anything, even food. And yet I must. I must pay the bills. I must pay the rent. I must put food on the table, because it is required and expected of me. My family cheers me on to be a writer and my heart yearns to be a full time writer, but I’m not there yet, so I stare into space, daydreaming about my character’s world while I occupy my own.

Fourteen days. I’m mourning the shortness of my summer break. I can’t call it vacation because I didn’t go on a vacation this year. All my free time when not devoted to family is spent on my writing. I live the writer’s life in carved out niches of time.

Fourteen days is time to get much accomplished. So I will pull out my daily planner and write down my objectives for this week. The biggest project I have is the revision of my first novel. The good news is that I know the areas it needs improvement. I had a chance to practice on it twice during my mfa residence and wow! The change was enormous. I eagerly look forward to revising it because I love my first novel. Fantasy is in my lifeblood, and it is apparent in my first novel, and my third, and several of my screenplays.

Fourteen days is not enough time to do a revision of a 300 plus page novel, (for a first time novelist), but it is enough time to get the framework of it going, to get this script out to the competition, to also send it to agents, to crank out 10 pages on my end of the world script (finally into act 2), to get reading done for my mfa, to clean up the POV in my third novel (basically pick one and stick with it), to dream impossible dreams and watch them become reality.

Fourteen days? Watch my fire.