Monday, February 13, 2012

Cleansing the Palette

On Friday, I typed the words "THE END" on my rough draft of my current novel.

Let me just say that one more time:

I've been revising as I go, so this work is in various stages of progress. The actual ending is very rough, but I got there. :)

*shiver of thrill* 

I am super excited to continue revising. I love this book, still. After a year (or more) of growing this idea. I do love it, still. Instead of the sinking feeling of something's-not-working, I have the feeling of I-know-what-I-need-to-do.

Again, let me repeat.

I KNOW what I need to do.

Let me just explain the emphasize--in case those-who-don't-know-me-well mistakes it for egomania, or tooting my own horn. I am surprised to be sitting in the place of comprehension. Of understanding my own writing well enough to draft to my strengths and revise to my weaknesses. Of actually knowing how to fix my weaknesses, and make them strengths. 

Maybe I shouldn't be surprised--I've been working darn hard to get here. By writing writing writing, by reading about craft. By doing crits for others. By revising revising revising. It's been a long road, and one which will continue on as long as I write.

I am surprised and thrilled to FINALLY feel like I can give a novel its PROPER DUE. :)

This palette, not the taste palate. :), although I also had a glass of wine to celebrate. 

So this weekend, I cleansed the palette, and read John Green's book THE FAULT IN OUR STARS. I love this article about it, and how YA isn't just for kids anymore (but we already knew that, yes?).

The least (and perhaps the most) that I can say after reading this book, is that it made me "Feel All The Things". Which I have heard that John Green said was his intention. (I looked for the basis of this quote, and couldn't find it, but love that it started this blog chain.)

So, John Green, in my opinion, did what he intended to do.

What is your intention with writing? Is it to make people Feel All The Things? Or something else entirely?

What, as writers (or parents, or people) do you intend to do this week? This month? This ROWing session?

If it is unclear from my BOLD FACE above, I am having a smashing time doing ROW 80, and sticking to my goals. If I keep up at this pace, (which is writing 2 hours or 1K a day), then I will be successful with this novel. I'm setting myself up for success. How about you?

I am officially one step closer to new boots. :)

Now, back to the revision cave...


  1. It's funny that even though a year has gone by, I still see the same vision for your book as I did the first time you pitched the idea to me.

    I love that I got to see it grow to teenhood. And now to get through that tumultuous growth period...

  2. @Jon--The fact that you have read some of it, and continue to see that vision, helps me to feel that I am on the right trail. Pumped up to keep revising....

  3. It's a great feeling, isn't it? Congratulations, I say you deserve a drink...say, on February 28 in Westford Mass?

    Hope to see you soon!

  4. i need some hot cocoa and a good book in my revisions cave! the fault in our stars looks amazing.

    good luck with your revisions and edits - i'm in the same place, and can't wait for the words "the end" as well!

  5. Hooray! *throws confetti*

    I'm scared of reading FAULT because I'v heard it's heartbreaking. I guess I don't want to feel all the things--just SOME things.

  6. Heather, huge congrats' coming your way. :) You are rockin' the ROW superbly; determination is the key -and yes, you have made it to 'the end'. *cheers*

  7. Isn't it wonderful when you KNOW how you WIP is going, how it should be. You seem really confident about it. Congrats and good lucking on the editing!

  8. Congratulations on being one step closer to those new boots! What an amazing feeling to know where you need to go. :)

  9. How awesome! Sounds like you know where you're going. It's great to celebrate those milestones.

  10. Yay! You are gonna get those boots!

    John Green is awesome.
    My intention is not as deep as his. I just want to entertain and strengthen someone's love of reading with my writing.

    Congrats again, Heather! I can feel you smiling through this post!

  11. congrats on finishing! I love that feeling. But even better is knowing what's needed in the rewrites! That is the best!

    I just don't understand the cover they gave John Green's book though. It seriously looks like a first grader drew it. Maybe I'll get it after I read it.

  12. @Kris--woo-hoo! It's a date! I look forward to it!

    @Gina--Hot cocoa would be a perfect addition to my revision cave. Although it tends to give me nightmares. Which, considering the tone of my WIP would probably be perfect as well. :)

    @Anna--Woo-hoo! About FAULT--I think that John Green loves the reader into feeling all the things. If that makes any sense. You're in good hands when you read it, but I understand the hesitation.

    @yikici--Hi! Thanks for the cheering! I'm so happy to have something to cheer about!

  13. @Lauralynn--Thanks! Knee deep already. :)

    @Rachel--I agree. Now I just need to get there!

    @Natalie--I think we have to celebrate the process, because it is such a long one. Keeps us sane! Thanks!

    @Kelly--New boots, here I come! I think you have a great intention.

    @Laura--It is the best! And, that cover is very bizarre. But I heard that the book sold out when he decided on a title, when it was in the pre-order stage. So, I think it was an experiment. It doesn't matter what weirdness we put on the cover, it'll sell out anyways. But seriously. It's definitely deserving of kick-butt cover art.

  14. yay for first drafts!

    And yay for revisions :) That's my favorite part of writing. I swear.

  15. Knowing how cautious you are about the completed-ness of your work, I understand what a milestone it is for you to type 'the end'. Good luck with your revisions, lady.

  16. It's such a great milestone to have your first draft completed!

    The end of my draft still seems to be light years away. Interestingly, when I came up with the plot idea, I had a similar goal: to make people feel the era I was going to write about. To get them inside the minds of people from an entirely different time and country. The last book I reviewed on my post had enlightened me so much about German mentality, and I hope to use it in developing my characters.

  17. Hey Heather! Belated (but heartfelt) congratulations on finishing the draft. Now revise that puppy and send it out! And if you need a beta reader you can always count on me. Hugs, Nandini