The Wonderstruck anthology will be free on Amazon for 5 days: 8/23/13 to 8/27/13. Take advantage of this opportunity by downloading a copy for yourself and spreading the word.
Great news. I’ve finally finished editing my book! I wanted to reread Etherworld and make sure it’s cleaned up before even mentioning it to a publishing company. Now, it’s time to take the next step and write a query letter. Yay? Oh, well. At least I’ve made progress, and at the moment, that’s good enough for me.
Etherworld, edited draft completed on 6/13/13 at 12:08 AM. First draft completed summer of 2012.
See my link to thrumsociety.com for a bit of my poem, “Interlude In Somnium,” about Etherworld.
Naming characters. It’s a lot of fun, but at times, it can also be surprisingly difficult. There’s a lot you have to consider when naming anyone, whether it’s a real baby or a fictional one: how the first, middle, and last names sound together; family names; meanings of names; personality (if it’s a character), and that’s just to name a few. I’m always on the lookout for character names (seriously, you would think that I have a billion kids based on how many baby name websites I view), so I would love to hear your suggestions. The names have to fit the character, whether in meaning or sound or personality or all three. I don’t want to use a common name unless it matches that character’s personality; I want unique names, but there is a fine line between different and just downright weird (think Espn or Tequila). Sometimes I’ll stick in a placeholder name, like Claire or Seth, for my main characters until I can come up with fitting names for them. I’d rather do that than go with the first one that pops into my head!
Original artwork in pencil by MeMe Collier
I have an idea. I’m not sure that it’s a plausible idea, but it is an idea. I’ve considered trying to publish an anthology of the poetry, short stories, and nonfiction pieces I’ve written. However, I’m concerned that there might not be much of a market for that sort of thing. To my knowledge, it certainly isn’t very main stream, and pulp fiction, in general, is most popular with teenagers right now. The novels I have written or plan on writing are usually geared towards a young adult audience, although I have considered writing for adults, and the anthology would probably appeal to them more so than teenagers. Since I am technically not an adult quite yet, I feel that perhaps I should gain some experience before writing a fiction novel for adults; I don’t want to be presumptuous and act like I know about topics when I really don’t have a full grasp of them. It’s a similar issue with historical fiction; I have several ideas there, but to write a historical fiction novel properly, you have to do the research, and I simply don’t have time for that with school (which, as it’s a college prep school, frankly takes up far too much of my time), social activities, family, and friends. Thus, goodbye to that idea until after college.
Another problem I have is negative capability. John Keats defines this as a writer’s ability to step outside his or her perspective so that he or she can passively receive inspiration. According to some literature theory, a good writer should practice this technique so that his or her message doesn’t overwhelm the rest of what the piece has to offer. I know this, and I want to employ it, but here’s the catch: I am a Christian. I harbor no ill feelings towards other religious beliefs, but I cannot help how I feel about mine. Sometimes I write characters that are blatantly anti-God, and sometimes I write characters that are ambivalent; other times, I write characters that are Christians. It simply depends on what the situation calls for. However, in certain scenarios, I feel that I cannot help but bring God into the story; I’m not trying to preach to my readers, but it feels wrong for me to leave Him out of a situation in which my worldview believes that He is inherently a part of. For example, how do I explain accepting the questions in life to which there are no answers without God’s sovereignty? My mother has been ill with a brain tumor for five years. Without God in my own life, I don’t know how I’d deal with that; there would be no sense to it, just suffering. When my characters face similar tragedies, and I need them to cope and carry on in order to resolve the conflict, I have issues with believably making them do it without biblical support. This is a real dilemma because I want to stay true to my vision, but I also don’t want to alienate readers. Furthermore, I want to be a good writer, and that often depends on how others perceive the quality of my writing. I believe that there is a difference between popular writing and good writing; they are not necessarily the same thing.