Tag Archives: lady of the pen

Nothing is Sacred

This November I’m planning on re-writing last year’s NaNoWriMo novel. I am amazed and terrified to see how many things have changed for this story over the course of a year. I know this is a good thing, because first drafts usually are full of cliches and bad ideas, with a few hidden gems. But it’s hard not to second guess the decision to make these changes.

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I used to write a first draft and consider the story almost done. I cringe to remember how proud I was of some of those first drafts. But they were important stepping stones and there were some great ideas, but I now see that all those stories would need serious reworking before they saw the light of day. I’ve learned that editing is more than proofreading and re-writing a scene here and there. You have to be willing to rework characters, plot arcs, and concepts which seemed essential in the first draft. The truth is that nothing is sacred in a first draft. Everything is subject to change.

Hopefully these changes will strengthen my novel and move me closer to publishing.

I wish all the NaNoWriMo participants the best of luck. I’ll see you at the finish line!

Now it’s time to stop procrastinating and get back to planning for November.

~~Lady of the Pen~~

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Seven Point Plot Structure

I’ve never been very good with plot structure, I’m a discovery writer, and so I usually only have vague ideas of where my story is going. But I’m learning that even if I don’t use a lot of structure in my first draft, I need to implement it in my editing. A few days ago one of my friends suggested this Youtube series on the Seven Point Plot Structure, it’s very detailed and super helpful. Dan Wells uses a lot of good examples so it’s easy to understand. I recommend it to anyone who’s interested in learning more about plot structure.

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A Few Brief Thoughts (Doctor Who S8 E2)

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Not sure how I’m feeling about this darker, more cynical Doctor. I think he’s quite good, but I’m suddenly missing Ten’s compassion. Also one of the best things about Doctor Who is its optimism, its wonder and its hope. I’m worried that may be lost. I’m not panicking yet. But at this point in his life I think the Doctor needs a companion to keep him on track more than ever before.

 

~~Lady of the Pen~~

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Story Serial

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I’m playing with an idea and would love to hear some feedback. What do you guys thing about a series of short stories on the blog? I have a Victorian Space Adventure I’m working on, the main character is Lady Florence D’Arbanville, Space pilot extraordinar. The stories would center around her and the crew’s adventures in Space. Would this be something you would be interested in reading? And what do you feel is a good length for a short story via blog? Love some impute!

 

~~Lady of the Pen~~ 

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Prophets of Science Fiction

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 “Science fiction is our speculations, our dreams, and our fears of what the future will bring. Many of these ideas are seemingly far fetched and wild, things that would only be accepted in fiction, but those ideas open the door of possibility…”

For the rest of my blog post go to Vaguely Circular, run by several of my writing friends. This month they’re having an awesome blogathon entitled “Imagine This” focused on speculative fiction. Be sure to check out all the great blog posts!

~~Lady of the Pen~~

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Hard Truths

Snoopy-writing

I’ve been working on editing and polishing my novel ‘Train to Everywhere,’ which I wrote during NaNoWriMo back in November. When I finished the 2nd draft I was high on writing. I’d never gone beyond the first draft of a book before and I was thrilled. I felt that the end was insight. I just needed to make a few more changes, polish up a scene here and there and I’d be done. I could upload it onto Amazon and show it to the world!

But as I’ve gotten a little distance from the 2nd draft I’ve begun to realize that it still has issues. I tried to deny how much work it really needed. A couple of friends had read it and loved it, but part of me knew they weren’t thinking critically enough. But recently I finally got a critical opinion from one of my friends and she confirmed what I already knew, that the story still needs a lot of work.

Accepting this has given me a lot of freedom. Before I didn’t want to make major changes, so I was trying to patch up problems when what they needed was reworking. But now I’m not looking at the story as a solid piece of work, but a number of elements. Elements which can be changed, rearranged or cut of necessary.

So while I’m disappointed that I still have a long way to go on this novel, I’m excited by the possibilities it allows me.

Wish me luck!

~~Lady of the Pen~~

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How to Train your Dragon 2 Review

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In the world of sequels, this is a pretty impressive one. The animation is gorgeous and if you spring for 3D there’s a whole added depth. John Powell once again does an amazing job with the soundtrack, though it didn’t quite have the same magic as in the first one and that is something I’ll say about the entire movie.

The movie is very good and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Where the first movie was a story about friendship and finding your place in your world, this is a coming of age story. It’s five years later and a lot has changed in our favorite viking village of Berk, dragons have became a part of the culture. Things seem perfect, everyone is happy and content–everyone except Hiccup that is. He’s a free spirit and flies far from home, creating maps and searching for dragons. But his father believes it’s time to retire and for Hiccup to take over as leader, this is an honor Hiccup is not thrilled about. The story goes on from there, it’s solid, but not terribly imaginative.

SPOILERS ahead! I found it interesting to discover Hiccup’s mother was actually still alive, but it’s definitely not the most original move. Part of me was happy that Hiccup and Stoick were so understanding as to why Valka has been gone for 20 years. It warmed my heart, but my brain had some trouble with it. I feel like there would have been some anger or hurt going on, it didn’t need to be extreme, but I didn’t feel her explanation as to why she left and stayed away was very convincing. But I will say it was very sweet, especially the scenes with Stoick and Valka, which of course was put in to twist the knife later on.

The idea of the dragon army being amassed by any angry, scarred man, with a grudge against dragons, was rather typical. They went from a heart warming story about a boy who befriends a dragon to a typical action adventure story about fighting an ultimate foe. I liked that Hiccup had to grow up, learn, and take responsibility, but killing Stoick to do it felt like another cliche. I don’t think these things would have bothered me with most kids movies, but after the magic of the first one I had such high hopes. I will not say that those hopes were dashed, because I did truly enjoy the movie, but I did leave feeling disappointed.

I think my final point and perhaps the one that annoyed me the most was that Astrid didn’t play a larger role in the story. I wanted to see her and Hiccup working together more. They’ve been dating for 5 years and are apparently going to get married one day, but aside from the promising beginning there wasn’t much of them working together as a team. It’s not that Astrid wasn’t present throughout the movie, but her scenes weren’t important for the most part and we didn’t get to see much of the relationship between Hiccup and Astrid. I was also disappointed that Astrid and Valka never had a scene together. I would think that Hiccup’s mother would want to get to know the girl who is likely to become her daughter-in-law. It could have been a great scene but it appears they were too caught up in their giant dragon battles to fit that in.

I know this is all rather negative and it is by no means a bad movie, it’s beautiful and has some great moments in it, but after the simple magic of the first, I feel like this one could have been so much more than the big action film it turned out to be.

~~Lady of the Pen~~

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