Unpublished but I Already Have Fan Art!

Around this time last year I finished the first draft of a novel. It’s currently sitting in a binder, awaiting yet another round of revision, and to date it has been read only by a few lovely beta readers. One of these was my talented boyfriend, and because he is super-amazing he made me these:

Those are statues of my two main characters. You can see more images here. I kind of can’t describe how totally awesome it is to see my characters through someone else’s eyes. Especially my main character:

He captured her sass so perfectly.

I was involved somewhat in the design process but he took most of the info straight from the novel and ran with it. This is how I learned that I never gave the main character an eye color, which prompted a series of emails that went sort of like this:

BF: What color are her eyes??

GRACE: oh uhhh… did I not say? Hold on while I search in the word doc for “eye.”

(twenty minutes later)

GRACE: well what do you know no I never gave her an eye color.

BF: …so what color are they?

GRACE: Well I certainly don’t know. Make something up, I guess.

Really though, I know I date him and all so I’m biased but didn’t he do a fantastic job?

rules, shmules

If you are a writer and you haven’t yet checked out Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling, click here. Very interesting, thought-provoking, and (I hope) useful for getting out of a writing funk. A few of the rules that stick out for me:

#1: You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.

#5: Simplify. Focus. Combine characters. Hop over detours. You’ll feel like you’re losing valuable stuff but it sets you free.

#11: Putting it on paper lets you start fixing it. If it stays in your head, a perfect idea, you’ll never share it with anyone.

#14: Why must you tell THIS story? What’s the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of? That’s the heart of it.

#16: What are the stakes? Give us reason to root for the character. What happens if they don’t succeed? Stack the odds against.

#1 is so important that I’ve started repeating it to myself, like a mantra.

You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.

You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.

You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.

Today, a cool 75 degrees here in Boston, I am sitting on my living room floor with a Red Bull and Project Runway and a pile of index cards, trying to sort out my current story. I’m hoping the Pixar rules, which I just printed out, can give me a bit of direction as I work, because boy do I need it.

Writing. So painful but I can’t live without it.

off on adventures

By the time you read this, I will be on a bus. GREETINGS, FUTURE-PEOPLE.

Anyway. I’m heading to the SCBWI winter conference in New York City. Not actually attending the conference, but a bunch of my friends will be there and since NY is basically right next door to me I really have no excuse not to go.

So! If you’re there say hey! I’ll be practicing my skulking.