What’s Up Wednesday

And welcome back to What’s Up Wednesday, the weekly blog hop hosted by Jaime Morrow and Erin L. Funk. This week also kicks off the beginning of Ready. Set. Write!, included under the “What I’m Writing” section.

What I’m Reading

I just finished The Rules For Disappearingby Ashley Elston, and next on my list is The Lucy Variations, by Sarah Zarr.  I can probably count the number of YA books that I’ve read that would be classified as “contemporary”, so I’m interested to see if I dislike them as much as I used to. Okay, so maybe dislike is too strong…forget, maybe? Contemporary tends to be a *shrug* genre for me, without many books that get filed away for a re-read. And while it’s also the opposite genre of my WIP right now, I’m sort of in the mood for it. Plus, they’re library books. So I have to get through them before they’re due. (Yay for reading motivation!)

What I’m Writing

Writing goals! Yes! My WIP (which is thoroughly untitled and will be until something drastic happens) is actually a total rewrite of an old project from 5 years ago. I’m starting out simple this week: Get the first chapter done.  This is way easier said than done, as my original opening involved a prologue and several flashbacks. I have to find out where the story actually needs to start. For the record, I’ve written three different openers already. Phooey.

What Inspires Me Right Now

I didn’t list this book above, but I picked up a copy of Bird By Bird, by Anne Lamott, this weekend. I’m only a few chapters in, but I’m really enjoying her writing style, and what she shares is funny and accurate. Reading it feels like taking a walk as a writer and clearing my head of a lot of things. Or listening to a friend and nodding and saying “you, too!”, like we’ve both uncovered the same secret and it’s been put into words for the first time.

What Else I’ve Been Up To

I’m driving out to visit my best friend this weekend, which is part of the reason I started out so simply with my writing goals. Time is going to be in short supply! I’m also planning a surprise grad party for my sister in our hometown, and I’ve got prep work starting on a debate workshop I run every August with some fellow debate club alumni. This is our sixth year organizing it, and I find myself spending more time planning sessions and writing about advanced debate theory than I spend doing homework doing the school year. Um, what is summer break, exactly?

Check out Jaime’s blog for links to others on this blog hop, and feel free to join in!  What’s up in your life?

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24 comments on “What’s Up Wednesday

  1. Jaime Morrow says:

    Openings are tough, that’s for sure. I’ve never been great at them. I think your writing goal is a good one. I thoroughly enjoyed BIRD BY BIRD as well. It wasn’t so much a how-to craft book as it was a book that reminds you that you’re not alone in this whole lonely business of writing. 🙂

    • Rae says:

      Yes, that’s exactly how BIRD BY BIRD is. A journey with a friend rather than a bullet-point DIY list.
      And thanks for the encouragement about the goal! I really liked your day by day goals, but I’m far from there yet. I figured I’d start out really easy for this first week. 😛

  2. Contemporary YA isn’t my favorite genre either. Hope you let us know how those book were. As to rewriting openings – *sigh* I’ve just decided to ignore the first chapter until after I write the rest of the book this time. Because otherwise, I end up rewriting it dozens of times. I’ve heard this approach helps – who knows.
    Sounds like you’ll have an exciting weekend 🙂

    • Rae says:

      🙂 I’m working on a review for THE RULES FOR DISAPPEARING. Preview: I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.
      And thank you for the suggestion! I’ve done the non-linear approach on my drafts before…but I’ve gotten hung up on this opener and haven’t really thought of just jumping in farther down the road.

  3. Oh, figuring out where the story starts. That’s hard! I ran through about 15 different options in my mind before I starting writing my current WIP. I think writing that first chapter is a great first goal to have. You can do it!!

    I love it when books are inspiring. And my #1 favorite thing about writing is seeing my own thoughts and feelings written by someone else, similar to what you said. It’s so exciting to know you’re not alone in something. It’s the best. 🙂

    • Rae says:

      I didn’t expect it to be so hard! It’s actually giving me really good background for the story, though, writing snippets of things that happened that are part of the story, but just not the opener.
      BIRD BY BIRD is absolutely full of those “so it isn’t just me!” moments. And yep, it is the best. 🙂

  4. Though I think I’m a fantasy girl, I have phases and right now I’m in a contemporary phase.
    Bird by Bird is a great inspirational/craft book. I laughed a lot when reading …
    Have fun with your best friend!

    • Rae says:

      Lol, my only problem with phases is that my WIP is fantasy, and my current reading phase is contemporary. I’m feeling slightly schizophrenic at the moment…

  5. Amy Mak says:

    Love Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott; perhaps I should pick it up again! Good luck with your WIP and good to meet you!

    • Rae says:

      Thanks for the comment, Amy! I don’t usually read books on writing, but I can see why you love this one. It’s so good!

  6. Miss Cole says:

    Wow, you are super busy! Have a great time with your best friend ^_^

    Don’t you love it when an old project makes a comeback! Have fun! 😀

    • Rae says:

      The only bad part about Lazarus projects is reading the terrible things you wrote in them. 😛 I love the story and the world, but ouch…the writing itself is slightly terrible. 🙂
      And yeah, it’s going to be busy. I’m trying to keep my goals realistic, to keep from getting too buried.

  7. Alison Miller says:

    SO glad you hopped on the Ready. Set. WRITE! train! And I hear you on trying to figure out where that story starts. It’s tough to nail down. Thank goodness first drafts are just that – first drafts. 🙂

    Also, MUST get Bird by Bird. I’ve heard so many good things.

    Hope you have a wonderful writing week! And sounds like you have an awesome weekend planned. Have FUN!!!

    • Rae says:

      Thanks for the encouragement, Alison! I really have to turn off the perfectionist in me when I write. Ugh.
      I’m more and more impressed by BIRD BY BIRD. It’s so witty and spot-on accurate.

  8. I adore Anne Lamott. She’s fantastic. I’m also working on a total rewrite for R.S.W! Good luck!!!

    • Rae says:

      Oh, good luck with your rewrite! It’s really tough to start over, but I’m appreciating the fact that I have so much character history already completed. Yeah, stuff will change, but I have a lot to pull from.

  9. Contemp is my favourite, but I understand it’s not for everyone…however, I love Sara Zarr, so hopefully you’ve picked a good one to dive in with 🙂 Good luck with getting that first chapter done!

    • Rae says:

      I’m not sure if I’ve previously been in the wrong mood when I read contemporary…but I really didn’t enjoy it. I’ve heard some good things about THE LUCY VARIATIONS, and as an ex-piano-student, the setup intrigued me. I usually read books that inspire me for my current WIP, but this one is about as opposite as I can get, actually. Oh, well: I’m going to get that first chapter done somehow!! 🙂

  10. Erin L. Funk says:

    Oh boy, I hear ya about story openers. Mine is still giving me grief. I’m glad you’re enjoying BIRD BY BIRD. I read it to kick off the new year and found Anne Lamott’s perspective really helpful, not to mention reassuring. Good luck with your rewrite! I think it’s awesome when people dig out old ideas and give them some TLC!

    • Rae says:

      I think I need to learn to be content with what I’ve got. As in: accept it as first-draft terribleness and just keep writing. (Must. Let. Go. …)
      I wasn’t sure what to expect from BIRD BY BIRD, but it’s definitely inspiring me to write. Thanks for the encouragement!

  11. Colin says:

    The first thing I did with my WIP revisions was tackle the opening. Same question: where should it start? I think it’s true to say that most first drafts start the story too early. That’s certainly the case with mine. I’m not sure it’s right the way it is, but I think it’s better than it was. 🙂

    • Rae says:

      Hmm…starting too early…that’s a really good thought to keep in mind. My openers are gradually getting farther into the story–the first few I wrote were around the same place as my first draft, but I’m working on one that is deeper into the story, and it’s going a bit better. Thanks!

  12. Amy Mak says:

    Love Bird by Bird – makes me want to reopen it and reread it again! Good luck with your WIP and writing goals.

  13. Rika Ashton says:

    I always love reading about how other writer’s get insired, since it always makes me feel more motivated to start editing my own manuscript 🙂

    Good luck with your work in progress!

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