Friday, July 29, 2011

Oh! Oh! I have an idea!

I've been vlogging a lot this past week, so you may have heard me mention in one of them that I've decided to write a fantasy novel. I've been busy plotting it out, getting all excited for it, since it definitely seems like it'll need more than one book to be complete. I've never even tried to write a series before!

However, there's one small problem: I'm currently in the middle of another project. Several other projects, as a matter of fact. There's the more-than-half-finished TSTB rewrite, which is coming along pretty well. (Kissing scene was written the other days, lots of swoons to be had.) There's what I planned to write for NaNo, another YA romance called I KILLED FIONA WASHBURN, whose characters I am in love with. There is the not-finished rewrite of THE UNLIKELIHOOD OF NOSTALGIA. Finally, there is the disaster that is THE REAPING OF JONAH SALT, a 12k word monstrosity that was more of a fun exercise than it was ever a real, viable idea.

I find it ironic that the most oft-asked questions of authors is, "Where do you get your ideas?" The question should be, "Where don't we get ideas?" It's constant, this influx of ideas. From movies, to television shows, to other books, to real life, to stories on the news--that where our ideas come from. And it can get really annoying when you're in the middle of one thing and another catches your eye, like you're a bird who is trying to build her nest with as many shiny (half-baked) ideas as you can.

My advice, however: don't switch horses in the middle of the stream.

If you are in the thick of one manuscript and you want to start another one, WAIT. Wait until you've come out of the other side in the darkness that is the middle, boring part of writing, and then see how you want to do your next idea. It's so tempting to stop what you're doing for a shiny new plot and set of characters who don't have the problems of your current manuscript, but it's really hard to finish one thing if you have ADD of the brain and can't stop jumping back and forth.

How do you deal with errant plot bunnies? Do you ignore them, wait, or jump right into a new story, no matter where you are in another?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Have Hope, All Ye Weirdos

Perhaps one day you will be as awesome as me! Then, the world will thank you for being strange when you were younger.

In other news: I have consumed so much coffee and consumed so little sunlight in the past few days that I am almost sure that is the reason I still have a tan. I'm turning coffee-colored.

Also, I got to 30,000 words yesterday! Woohoo!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

You Are Probably Insane

This video is the product of too many cups of coffee, an Avatar marathon, and writing until my head starts to bleed.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

This is Teen Event!

Last night was amazing! I met Maggie Stiefvater, Meg Cabot, and Libba Bray, as well as another aspiring author while standing in line to get my books signed. It was such a great night.

Maggie was so nice! She asked if I was done with Forever yet and I was like, No, I'm near the end though! 

I got a little fangirl-y when I went up to Meg Cabot and I completely forget everything I was gonna ask her!

Libba Bray! Ah! I bought Beauty Queens and I can't wait to read it!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Review: A Dance with Dragons

Title: A Dance with Dragons
Author: George R. R. Martin
Date Published: July 12th, 2011
Page Count: 959, if you don't include the 100 pages of appendices.
Summary: BASICALLY, all your favorite characters who were not in AFfC are back! Dany, Tyrion, Jon, Bran, Arya (barely), Davos, along with some new and newly-not-dead ones! Dany putzes around in Mereen, trying to bring peace. Tyrion, who recently murdered his father and ex-whore-lover, travels around Essos, sometimes a slave, sometimes a mummer, always a dwarf, asking, "Where do the whores go?" incessantly. Jon is actually a good leader and saves tons of wildlings and is basically awesome, until the end, when the Night's Watch ruin everything. Bran travels way up into the North with Coldhands. Arya learns more about becoming a Faceless Man and is all-around awesome. Davos continues to be honorable. Theon somehow manages to make you like him. Jaime shows up once, with a really annoying cliffhanger ending to a chapter. Asha gets kidnapped. Victarion is a dick to everyone who ever lived and laughs at pain whilst traveling towards Dany.

Just read it. It's hard to summarize.

Review: WARNING, this review will be semi-spoiler-y! I know most of you probably don't read ASOIAF and that's fine, but I don't want to spoil any future readers! So if you haven't gotten to ADwD yet or you plain haven't read any of the books, that's fine. Just don't continue to read this review. You have been duly warned.

Anywho, first reaction: WHY THE HELL WAS THIS BOOK SO LONG? 

I had the feeling that this one would be packed with action, unlike its predecessor, the rambling and boring A Feast for Crows. It came on the heels of A Storm of Swords, easily my favorite book in the series, but I was not prepared for its length, where absolutely nothing happens. I expected more from ADwD, especially since it took so long to write. But nope. In the vein of AFfC, it was all set-up. Which is fine, but someone needs to get GRRM a better editor, because we do not need nearly 2,000 pages of set-up. I understand it's an epic story. But really, GRRM, you're just drowning yourself and your readers.

Second of all, I have a problem with all of the cliffhangers. I feel like cliffhangers that resolve NOTHING are super cheap to the reader, because we have to wait such a long time to find out what happens. It's like in TV shows where the MC dies at the end of the season and you have to wait months to find out, oh, they weren't really dead. It's cheap. A good cliffhanger should resolve most of the plot while still leaving some juicy threads. GRRM's cliffhangers are all threads. Nothing was resolved. Dany continued to be annoying in Mereen, where she hooked up with Daario only AFTER getting engaged. Jon became a good leader but then was 'killed' at the end. (Quotations because I know he is not dead. I hate that GRRM brings so many people back from the dead. I thought that, after Ned and Robb, we knew people could die. But now they either don't die or are resurrected. It's annoying.) Tyrion's chapters at least contained some character development. There were only two Arya chapters, only ONE Jaime chapter in which he was kidnapped by an obviously-alive Brienne, and a small number of Bran chapters. For so many pages, we could've gotten more of their stories and he could've cut out some of the food description.

The only thing that I really loved about this book was Theon's character arc. I HATED Theon in ACoK, but I felt so bad for him as Reek and I was immensely satisfied at his final words in ADwD. Say what I will about GRRM, but he is awesome at characterization. He made me love Jaime and he made me love Theon.

If only because this is an ASOIAF book, I'll give it:

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

There's a reason for my now and future silence:

Got this yesterday and I've been reading non-stop, as well as drinking coffee and somehow managing to write a few thousand words to the rewrite of TSTB. I also have to finish up reading an excerpt from a possible CP and write my commentary on that, so no posts or vlogs for the next week or so!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

I Love My Laptop and Lies

Today's post is going to be in two parts, just because both of these things are on my brain and I'm also procrastinating from writing TSTB. (I'm up to 18k on the rewrite--more than a quarter done! Hoping this one will top at 60k-ish.)

Anywho, part one: I really, really, really love my laptop.

Last night, I was without my beloved HP and when I got back to it an hour ago, I realized just how much I love my computer. It doesn't usually complain or freeze on me, even when I've been on it for hours at a time, and though it isn't awesome enough to play The Sims 2 for longer than ten minutes at a time, it can still handle my excessive tweets and the fourteen new documents I open when I'm trying to figure out a problem within my writing that cannot be solved. I love Google Chrome and Tumblr and Reddit and LiveJournal and Twitter and Tweetdeck and Window Media Player (not so much with Windows Movie Maker, that thing sucks). I love Microsoft Word and Q10 and my fast Internet connection (that, at the end of the month, basically stops working). I love free Wifi at Starbucks and at Panera (where I now work). I love my keyboard, even though the R and the shift key have both been sticking lately. I love the worn parts of the space bar, exactly where I always touch it.

I am incredibly grateful for my laptop.

Part Deux:

I have a problem reading books where the main conflict hinges on a huge lie by the protag. I have some social anxiety and just the thought of lying and keeping the charade up for so long gives me a really bad stomachache, so when I read books where I know the entire time that the main character is lying, I usually have to put them down. They make my anxiety meter go off the charts.

The reason I mention this is because I recently picked up Bumped by Megan McCafferty at the library and I stoked (I can't believe I just used that word) to start it because I'd been looking for it for awhile. I got about 100 pages in and then I stopped reading. Not because it was bad; on the contrary, I loved all the slang and the characters and everything about it was great. I just really couldn't handle the huge lie and the inevitable scene where everyone finds out about it.

I guess I just don't lie, in general. I'm bad at it because I never do it. It just freaks me out.

Does this kind of thing both anyone else?

And, an added bonus:

On July 23rd, I'm going to see Maggie Stiefvater, Libba Bray, and MEG FREAKIN' CABOT in Miami! I am beyond excited because I never get to go to these things; when Sarah Dessen came down here a few years ago, I almost went, but then I couldn't find a ride. My mom is being awesome enough to drive me and I am freaking out because a) I love all of them and b) MEG CABOT. THE MEG CABOT.

That is all for today. I'm done procrastinating.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

An Homage to Writers (now in list form!)


Sorry for the radio silence, dudes and dudettes! I've been reading ravenously and writing just a little less hungrily, but my online presence has been severely lacking. I was going to do this blog post as a vlog, but I'm so awkward on camera that every time I tried to record it, I played with my hair a lot and talked in a very low voice so no one else in my house would know I was talking to the man in the computer. So, this is a text post to spare all of you from second-hand embarrassment!


My name is Sam Ripley, and I am a chronic rewriter.

As many of you know, I've been working on The Shape that Breaks (heretofore referred to as TSTB for brevity), since I was fourteen. I started it the winter break of my first year of high school and while the story has changed quite a bit, the characters have mostly stayed the same. (Aside from Alex, that is. First he was an abusive boyfriend, then he was a really good guy, and now he's kind of a jerk again.) At first, it went by the lame name of GOLDEN EYES, back when Aiden had golden eyes because I thought that was SOSPECIAL!1!!oneone. But now, it is just TSTB.

And I am working on my fourth rewrite of the damn thing.

Don't get me wrong. I love the story. I love the characters. I love everything about it. But it has overtaken my life for the past five years and as soon as I think the draft I finished a few months ago was all polished and ready for querying, I realize that my writing has improved a lot over the course of this draft. And I started a rewrite for NaNo last year, so I started to read that one, and I'm like, WELL THIS IS SO MUCH BETTER, WHY DID I STOP WRITING IT?

So I'm 16k into another rewrite.

I want to bash my head on the table. (I'm at Starbucks or else I would do this. You guys can have a .gif of John Green doing the giant squid of anger, though.)

Eff yeah, Nerdfighteria!

Anyways, I think a lot of writers get to that stage in their manuscript where they just want the story to be DONE, already. If TSTB never gets published, I don't think I'll care as much as I would if I never finished this draft. But I believe in this story so much. It has been my life for so long that I think I'll feel empty when I finally finish it.

Is anyone else a chronic rewriter?