Monday, April 26, 2010

The making of a scene

I was reading through A Little Too Late, my current WIP when I came to a very physical scene and remembered how I worked out the details. I think I will always read this scene and remember the steps it took to write it, so just for you, dear reader, I will tell you all about it.

I've never been in a physical fight. Never. I would loose. Seriously, I'm a wimp. Verbal argument? I can hold my own very well, but physical? Nope. I'm a wuss and don't like pain.

There was only one time that my husband hit me, but it doesn't count. He was sleeping and in his dream was protecting himself. I just happened to be quite close to him in the bed as he slapped at the bad guy in his dream. It hurt, but didn't even leave a mark so there was nothing to give him shit over the next day. He still tells me I dreamed it. But I know the truth :) To be honest, I have wanted to hit him before but restrained myself. Just because I have an urge in anger to do something doesn't mean I actually follow through.

Which brings me to the scene I was working on. I wrote this scene and wondered if it worked, so after dinner one night I asked my husband to help me. I simply asked him to be still and I balled up my fist and swung. I wasn't going to hit him, I swear it, but he didn't know that. Geez Jenn,ever think of telling someone what you're about to do? Anyway, he grabbed my arm and kept me from hitting him. After explaining myself, we continued in the "research" and my arm was a little sore. But I figured out where a girl's punch would land and what part of the hand would hurt.

Moving on, I needed to know what would happen next. Let me back up and explain why I asked my husband for help - he was a bad boy in college and won bar fights so I knew he was almost an expert in this area. See the good things that can come from a checkered past?? Back to the scene...after we discussed what a guy who was punched by a girl might do (not that my husband ever hit a girl. Yes, I asked, I was curious, he might have been a bad boy and defended himself but never hurt a girl. Guess I need to ask if a girl ever hit him. Hmmm.) we discussed what another guy would do to stop that guy from hitting the girl back. And then practiced it..on me..big mistake...huge mistake!

My right arm was twisted behind my back and his left arm was wrapped around my throat. I yelped in pain, not bad pain but still pain. Told you I'm a wuss. And I tried to get away. If he would not have released me and would've been trying to hurt me, I wouldn't have gotten away. Time for self-defense classes. Seriously, I realized how I could be over-powered but that is beside the point I'm trying to make. Although, I must say I looked at my husband in a different light that day. I couldn't ever reconcile the man I knew to the man who got into fights. I just couldn't see it in him.

Needless to say, I have the scene and am very happy with it. I can't say the research aspect of that scene left me feeling happy, my arm hurt, for days, since it wasn't made to be twisted like that but knowing that the fictional character who not only got punched by the girl but had his arm twisted by the guy, that feeling is priceless.

Have you ever done anything not quite smart to research a scene?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

YA Parents

The topic of YA parents came up recently and it got me thinking so I contemplated the parents in my works-in-progress.

What is wrong with me? I had a normal childhood, nothing to send me to therapy for twenty years. My parents are still married and were quite good, as far as parents go. But my parents I write aren't worth anything, except my first manuscript, in there they are great parents, just not human.

The parents in the other manuscripts include an abusive father, absent father, drunk father, emotionally abusive religious freak mother, certifiably crazy father, dead mom, missing mom, and absent parents (but they really aren't parents, MC just thinks they are). Not one normal parent in the group. And I only have one with an actual mom, what is with that?

I didn't set out to write parents like these. In fact in the most current WIP, the mother was wonderful, until she found out her daughter was doing something she shouldn't, and then little by little she showed her true colors, and as I got to see the MC's home life I realized how warped and covertly cruel the mom actually is. That was quite scary.

I've been told I write characters that teens can identify with. I don't know about that but I do wonder about other's fictional parents. What kind of parents do you, dearest readers, write?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Flashback Friday

It's Friday and I'm participating in the very first, Flashback Friday with the brand-spankin'-new GotYA blog. Well, we're semi-new, you know the kinda new a fifty-year-old has after a face-lift, tummy tuck, liposuction, dye job and breast implants - looks like a whole new woman but underneath the shiny newness she's still the same. Welp, that's us...still the same. *cue Still The One by Orleans*

So for this week we are exploring the books that were memorable to us.

I must start at the beginning. My library had this teeny-tiny-itsy-bitsy-yellow-polka-dot, no, scratch that, wrong era and a song, oops, I got carried away. My library had a small space for YA books. I devoured the Fear Street Series by R.L Stine. There were also Christopher Pike books and other scary stories. In fact, the very first book I wrote was a cross between those books. It sucked, but hey, I was only eleven and didn't have the net or places like AW to teach me how to write well. I have a great excuse :)

Another series I absolutely loved was Sweet Valley High. Honestly, I can't remember much about these books but that I loved them lots. Unfortunately, my friend was going to give me Babysitter's Club books for Christmas but her house was broken into and the presents stolen, so I got gourmet biscuits instead, and never tried the books.

By the time I was in High School I was reading books from the adult fiction section and didn't pick up YA books until last year, when I started writing YA. All I can think now is how the books have drastically changed and gotten better in the past seventeen years. I look forward to seeing the changes the next seventeen years will bring.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Blog Awards

I have received two super-de-dooper blog awards from two awesome friends. To be honest I received these some time ago and couldn't begin to figure out how to put them on my blog. Epic.Fail. But I found out how today, Yay!!

First blog award from Jamie Blair. The Super Scribbler:

I have to pass it on to five deserving peeps!

FIRST (puts on serious face) THE RULES:

*Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends

*Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.

*Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to This Post, which explains The Award.

* Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

Here they are :)

Myra McEntire - I love her blog so much :)

Leah Clement - She's fantastic and is now a part of GotYA (formerly known as OPWFT)

Kaitlin Ward - OMG, anyone who puts an awesome cow on their blog is fantabulous!

Chanelle Gray - she's super awesome.

Kate Hart - You do know about Two for Tuesday, right?

Yay, one award down, one to go. You , my dear readers, will not believe how many blogs I visited to see if they had these awards displayed. Yep, lots.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

My big screw-up

Okay, I don't discuss agencies or who I query. Never! Ever!! Ever!!!

Well, until now.

There is this certain agency where a no from one equals a no from all. Which means I had to really think about who to query there. I thought for a looooong time. In fact for my first manuscript, I didn't even query with them because I couldn't make up my mind. They're all great.

Well, I read this awesome book and saw the agent. And then I read this other awesome book and saw the agent, and guess what...they had the same agent, at this agency where I couldn't make up my mind. And they were both on the edge of YA in a certain, um, relationship way. And since I have a certain, um, relationship thingy in mine (why yes, I am a prude) and that relationship went where it should (yes it embarrasses me and no I can't say the s-word) I decided that agent may not make me take that out - the, um, stuff, if I was chosen to be represented.

So, I sent my query to this agent. Umm, did I say that I was kinda sick at the time? That I was taking Ibuprofen? And maybe had a little-teensy-weensy drink too? No? I didn't say that? Well, it is la verdad (the truth).

I copied my query into a new mail thingy (yes, I love the word thingy) and had the Dear Ms. and then nothing. And guess what! I sent it. With no name. This is how I felt:

I literally wanted to cry because out of all that thinking and waiting, I screw up. To make matters worse, I began a small e-mail exchange with one of the other agents at that agency, and I realized how awesome this other agent is. Which just went to verify my thought that all the agents there are great.

So what to do, what to do...

I think I will bang my head against the wall and do nothing but get ready for OPWFTs move to our new home. Oops, was I not supposed to say that?!?
Related Posts with Thumbnails