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.
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?