Wednesday, August 4, 2010

WIP Wednesday: The Big Toss

Hi, Everybody!

I'm sort of back. My body's back. I know because it's hugging my children like crazy, drinking Dr. Pepper, and putting food into its mouth.

My brain,  on the other hand, is quite behind. It might take me a few days to catch up.

Over the next few weeks, I plan to share several useful nuggets about what I learned at the writing conference -- and to give away a couple awesome, autographed books I picked up. BUT, today I'll stick with the personal stuff.

This conference was amazing. Any expectations I may have had going in were exceeded. I learned so much, and because of what I learned I've decided to throw out my entire WiP and start AGAIN.

Sorry to all those who laboriously beta read for me. But let me explain something. Your critiques are still invaluable. I'm writing the same story, so I can take all the comments already given me into account, but I am dividing my book into two separate plots (too much going on in the original), so I have enough fodder for two books.
  • BOOK ONE: About a girl moving back to the US from China and dealing with reverse culture shock.
  • BOOK TWO: About a girl falling in love with a boy from the ultra-conservative family next door. 
 Much simpler, right?

Plot has always been my big problem area. When I told someone this the other day, they laughed and asked, "Um, isn't the plot like the most important part?"

Well, um ... yeah, kind of. And that's why it was a major problem. I learned at this conference to write one sentence about my book and stick it on my computer screen and to ask myself with every scene: Does this scene contribute to this one sentence? You should have seen my sentence for my old WiP. It was a serious run-on. TOO MUCH GOING ON.

There's relief in simplifying and I'm already four chapters into my new attempt at Book One. I have a new title, an opening paragraph I'm ga-ga over, and I think I finally found my character's voice. I'm excited. And doing what I love to do, which is WRITE. It doesn't matter that I just threw out a year's work. Honest, it doesn't, because I'm not throwing it out. All that was training for the marathon that is ahead. Every word I typed is worthwhile.

So, that's what's going on with me. What's new with you?


  1. Love it. Sounds like a great (and much simpler) plan, Amy. So glad you had fun!! So much looking forward to your conference nugget series.

  2. I'm so happy you found such strong motivation to not mind starting over. When you first said you were doing that I literally gasped, but after you explained about the one sentence and how each scene/part should contribute to the sentence, it made sense.
    I hope you continue feeling this excitement about what you are doing now. I also can't wait to read more about the conference.

  3. Amy. You. Are. So. Brave. And like Catherine said, I'm very much looking forward to hearing more about the conference.

  4. Amy, thanks for the little nugget. Excited to hear about the others. btw, just the nugget I was needing to hear as I'm working through a synopsis plan....which the plot is just the opposite of your story, boy moves,I'm loving your plot! =)

  5. Well, congratulations! Glad you got what you needed! Hope this new project goes well.

    Also, I'm glad you had a good trip!

  6. I'm glad it exceeded your expectations and that you have a plan. :o)

    I"m looking forward to hearing more.

  7. Yay! So glad I found your blog. Good luck with the rework of the book, everything will turn out like you envisioned in the end. I'll shoot you an e-mail soon. So glad to have met you!
    Other Amy

  8. When I left for Chautauqua I was sure I was ready to be published, when I came home I was ready to start my journey to be published. LOL, it's all part of the process. :) I loved reading your work and will be happy to read it again...If you check out my side bar I put you in a special writing buddy spot....I'm looking forward to your conference series....

  9. Holy moly- starting over. Your reasons sound good, though, and it's good that you care enough about your characters to want to get the story right. Good luck!