Saturday, 17 May 2014

Mad Writers Club: Week 7 & 8 Update

I promised myself I was going to get better at posting these things consistently. Unfortunately, that promise only lasted what I hoped was two weeks!

Anyways, it's time to report and to confess all my woes progress!

1) Week Seven: How much have you accomplished? And, what kind of a writer are you? (Character-first vs Plot-first? Plotser vs Pantser? Hero’s Journey vs Three Act Structure?) Why does it work for you?

2) Week Eight: We’re done with our second month! How much have you accomplished? And, since we’re almost 2/3 of the way done with it: who/what were the greatest influences for you as a writer? On your writing?

1. Okay, so I learned I am a pantser. I made an outline as to what I wanted to happen in my story, and who my characters are, but as I kept writing the draft, I realized that my everything was completely different from who they were in my outline. Not completely different to the point it was a whole other story, but different to the point where the outline was the cookie-cutter version I have at the moment.

Like literally, the first half of the draft has a completely different tone than the second half of the draft.

And the plot? Yeah, that changed completely.

The original plot was supposed to be my main character, Seb, trying to redeem himself from his actions by going to extremes, and him meeting a girl who helps him realize that he's being stupid for going to said extremes. That is still the gist of my story, however the way I planned it is completely different from what I have written at the moment.

Not only is the plot different, but my characters? Yeah, all of them have done a complete 180 from where they first started. The only character I *think* that hasn't changed much is Rory. Rory (Seb's new partner in crime) is less extreme than she was in the first draft, but is still the teasing, guarded, sarcastic, but loyal and empathetic character she was before. I've come to the point where I MAY have to change her character's traits as well, but hopefully I won't have to.

The reason why I'm pushing myself to finish this (terrible) first draft is because since I'm a pantser, everything I write helps me see what I can fix, what I can keep, and what I can remove or change completely. Like I said, I had an outline for the plot and I had the character's personalities and histories written out, but putting two together is impossible for me.

You know how I said one half of the draft is completely different from the other? Well, the reason why I say that is because the first half was literally the development of my character's, and the second half is literally plot based.

Gah, I'm embarrassed to even admit that! I'm such a strange writer.

Anyways, the first half is a lot of back-story, witty dialogue (or what I thought was witty, but was just really exhaustion and adrenaline taking over my writing), while the second half is where everything in the plot picks up and develops and yeah...

I don't know if other writers function like this, but I do. And though I hated realizing I am a pantser and admitting it, it has helped me more than making my outline.

2. This week is supposed to be the end of week 8 right? Well, since my pantser ways have dawned on me, I have gotten further with my draft; like I said, I'm at the climax part. But I feel like I could have more done, but high school, life, and trying to catch up on reading? Yeah, that doesn't really help.

It amazes me how full-time moms and full-time working men and women can sit down and write a book... like, do you know how soft I feel?

Anyways, I feel like I could've had more finished for the end of this week. I'm one of those writers that need quiet to write, and I rarely have that opportunity. I write on my family desktop, which is hallway, and has Microsoft 2003. Yeah. I can't really write at school in the nice computers because it changes the document, and it is the hardest thing of life to actually try to recover it. And like I said, my computer is in a hallway, outside my room. I prefer working in a quiet place, and when I get home from school, I literally have 50-55 minutes of quiet for myself, and I have to squeeze in piano homework (my piano is outside in the hall as well, beside my computer) and writing together before the noise starts.

So I am disappointed with my progress. Like, to the point where I just want to roll up into a blanket enchilada and never unroll again.

But I haven't given up, and by the end of this challenge, if I didn't reach my goal of getting this draft finished, I should at least get a medal for sticking it out (because that counts for something, right?).

To answer the second part of question 8, I have a lot of influences as a writer. For this particular story (because I have a lot of writer's and people I just adore/influence me when I'm writing) are: Holly Black, Eve Edwards, Sharon Biggs Waller, Megan Shepherd, and Ally Carter. And since my story is loosely based on Sherlock Holmes, I've been reading some Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and he is a character in my story that hasn't been cut out...yet.

Eve Edwards, Sharon Biggs Waller, and Megan Shepherd are some of my favourite YA historical writers! (I have a lot more, but I'm sorry I couldn't list them all!). Sharon and Eve write these badass, feminine characters that are ahead of their time and make me want to become a better and stronger person!

Megan Shepherd is amazing when it comes to incorporating classic works, her own characters, and a huge bucket of creepiness in her writing.

Ally Carter is another influence of mine because I love how's she's able to write stories without making them too over-rated with romance, angst, drama etc. She writes these awesome stories about spies and thieves by telling their story, and for me, she's one of my biggest influences because although I like the intricate way some other's can weave their characters, plot, and world together, I just love how she writes the her stories as the character.

And Holly Black, because without Kaye and the Modern Faerie Tales, without her, I don't think I'd ever find myself wanting to write, wanting to read! She literally introduced me into the YA genre when I was in the seventh grade!

And, like I said, since my story is LOOSELY based on Sherlock Holmes, I have been reading some Arthur C. Doyle. And I've been watching lots of re-runs of Sherlock (BBC version) as well!

So that's it for me this week! Since it's a long weekend here in Canada, I plan to get A LOT of writing and reading done TOMORROW!
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