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Showing posts from November, 2009

Struggling With a Scene in My Novel...Any Suggestions????

Hello all,
       I hope your Thanksgiving went well. This year my family spent the holiday with my brother, Kevin, and his clan. We ate, drank and were merry. However, it never ceases to amaze me how two people that were raised in the same household could be so very different. My brother likes Nascar, I like the opera, he fries the turkey, I prefer it baked (well, I used to, I have to admit fried is pretty good too:)) Although it would be a stretch to say that we embraced each other's differences, we were able to tolerate them for a day or two. I enjoyed my time with Kevin very much, but needless to say, I was definitely ready to return home the day after Thanksgiving.
       Unfortunately, due to the hectic holiday schedule, almost a week has passed since I last worked on my novel. When I returned to my writing this morning, I struggled with a bout of: is this part of the story credible and realistic… is it necessary? My husband says yes, because the chapter develops my villai…

Response to Comments on Character Versus Plot

First, I'd like to thank everyone for their interesting and enlightening feedback on last week's post. I've given your comments a lot of thought and I have to agree that the importance of characters versus plot depends on the book. For example, Stephanie Meyer's first novel, Twilight (which I'm ashamed to admit that I enjoyed very much), was extremely character driven. I was totally captivated by the main character, a gorgeous vamp named Edward, who has the ability to read minds, and the rest of his undead family. Then, there's Bella who is beautiful and different, and last, but not least, is Jake the werewolf who happened to be my favorite character.  (Yes, I know, the werewolf plot doesn't come out until the second book, but I had to mention it). All of the Twilight book reviews I've read concentrate on the characters, not the plot. Mom’s debate about who they like best, Jake or Edward etc., and young girls plaster posters of Edward on their walls.
I…

Which is More Important...The Characters or the Plot?

Hello All,

More than a week has passed since my last post, which as I recall, was whiny and sad.  For what it is worth, I am in much better spirits now that I've moved onto the next chapter in my book.

 Last weekend my family and I celebrated an early Thanksgiving with my in -laws in Virginia. They own a quiet place in the country where one can read,write and debate in an environment that is free from distractions of the modern world.

 During the visit, my mother-in-law, Ruth, who happens to be an avid reader and supporter of my novel, somehow fell into a discussion with me over the question of which is more important, the plot or the characters.  Ruth felt that both the plot and characters propelled the story line forward, and if one of the two was lacking, the reader would lose interest.

 In contrast, I believe the characters are the story.  The reader often forms an attachment with each of them, some characters are loved, while others are hated.  Even if the plot is somewhat c…

Have You Ever Had One of Those Days?

On days like these I'm glad to have this blog to vent on.  I'm unsure if it is the change in weather, or the fact that I've spent the last nine months writing my novel, but I am feeling soooooo burnt out. Don't get me wrong, I am happy with the direction my book is taking, the chapters seem to flow, I've covered my research, blah, blah, blah. I think I'm just plain tired of writing. In an effort to give myself a break from the monotony, I took Monday and Tuesday off and spent time with friends. We had lunch one day and shopped the other. However, when I awoke this morning, those old feelings of dread and disillusionment still haunted me.


I decided to work through my malaise and write. Although I completed four pages today, the accomplishment has brought me little to no satisfaction. I think I'm feeling this way because I just want to be done with my novel. Will I ever write the words “The End?” Yeah, I know, each chapter that I complete brings me closer to …

Pros and Cons of Mainstream Publishing and Self Publishing

As an aspiring novelist, I know that acceptance by a mainstream publishing house not only validates my ability to tell a story, but it announces to the world that I have arrived.

Unfortunately, the harsh reality is there are more authors writing quality novels, than there are traditional venues to publish them. Estimates provided by one of the panelists at the recent James Rivers Writer’s Conference (JRW), in Richmond, Virginia, indicated that there are approximately twenty thousand manuscripts submitted to mainstream publishers each year. About five-thousand of these are accepted for publication and only one-thousand are by new authors.

I’m sure it’s no secret that Steven King’s novel, Carrie, was rejected by thirty different publishers, and J.K. Rowling’s first Harry Potter book was rejected fifteen times before being accepted for press. If either of these authors would have thrown in the towel, imagine how different the literary landscape would look today. Since I'm no Rowlin…