Monday, November 22, 2010

O Christmas Tree

Despite being a dancer, I've never been particularly graceful. This became proven fact on Saturday while I was attempting to retrieve a stack of books from behind the Christmas tree. I thought, Surely, I can fit between the tree and the book shelf.

Um, no. I could not.

As I wedged myself into the tiny space, the tree tilted. My arms flailed. I grasped at needles, and then at nothing as the fully decorated tree crashed onto the chair. Witness the photographic evidence.

I tried to pick it up, but stopped when I heard the pops and cracks of the tree stand breaking into little pieces. This was when my fail face appeared and did not go away until hubby managed to purchase a new stand at Target. We righted the tree and, and since we tie the ornaments on due to the small things that run around our house, discovered only one ornament casualty. Yes, we have a cat, a dog, and a 19 month old, and I'm the one to knock over the tree. Awesome.

At least it had a happy ending, and I've got a funny story. =)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Meeting Maggie Stiefvater

One of my favorite authors, Maggie Stiefvater, was in town doing a stock signing at a local bookstore today. So, of course, I went down to get my books signed. And, of course, I dragged Small Child along.

Words cannot express the giddiness.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Writing with the Unwritten Sequel in Mind

I have a novel that I've been querying. I've gotten a list of requests followed by some very helpful rejections. So, now I'm in the process of revising that novel. One of the comments I got was guy #1 wasn't fully realized, so I set about making him more well-rounded. I ran into road block after road block. Then, I realized the problem. Although this novel can stand on its own, I've created two sequels to finish out the story. The first sequel has been outlined. The second is only vaguely realized. Here are the basics.

Book 1 - MC falls for guy #1. He's fabulous, but then she realizes she loves guy #2.
Book 2 - Guy #2 goes away. After a long period of time, she decides it's time to move on and tries things again with guy #1. Guy #2 returns.
Book 3 - She never goes back to guy #1, and she and guy # 2 live happily ever after.

Last night, I started thinking, "What if guy #2 doesn't want her back? What if guy #1 is who she chooses in book 3?" That's when things started to clarify for me in book 1. I'm not saying the problem is completely fixed, but looking at the unwritten has definitely given me renewed inspiration for my rewrites in book 1.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

One Reason I Stop Reading a Series

Spoiler warning for Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy Book 3) by Richelle Mead ahead. *Not a series I stopped reading.*

I read mostly YA series, and I've been noticing one trend popping up lately. Somewhere in the end of the 1st or 2nd book, the intrepid heroine gets together with her true love. Then, in the next book, she spends many many chapters swooning over him, stating how perfect they are for each other and how they're going to be together forever. All this does for me is throw up a red flag that says, "Warning: These two characters will no longer be together by the end of this book."

Boring. I don't want to know the end by page ten.

Let me give you an example of a plot reversal involving the intrepid heroine and her true love that I felt worked. In Shadow Kiss, Rose and Dimitri finally get together in act 3. But, because of the age difference and the fact that he's her teacher, they both know it's going to be anything but smooth sailing. Still, you have hope for them. Until a couple of chapters later when Dimitri turns evil.

This was a reversal I didn't see coming, and it provided Rose's motivation throughout the 4th book and part of the 5th one. Plus, bonus, I didn't have to sit through chapter upon endless chapter of Rose driveling on about how happy she was. I like it when my heroines aren't allowed to breathe until the very end of the last book. If they're happy for too long, it just gives me time to imagine all the nasty things that are going to happen to them. Things I want to happen to them.

What about you? What makes you stop reading a series?