Yes, I confess that I am madly in love with numbered lists.
1. Thank you so much to everyone who commented with advice about Inkpop. I decided that instead of joining it, I would join Nathan Bransford's forums. The experience has already been wonderful. I have been able to talk with other teen writers who are completely serious (and who don't use chatspeak or internet slang!), and visit their awesome blogs. So many of the discussions are helpful, and when I do end up participating, I feel like I'm practing for being a professional adult writer instead of languishing in the teen world.
2. I've complained in recent posts about how poorly my writing was going. Well, last night changed a lot of things. I made my first attempt at drawing Joremn (the main character from Evanescent Moonlight), and it didn't turn out too bad, for a first attempt. (I've decided that unless you're a genius, it's impossible to draw a picture of your characters that looks just like you imagined them to be.) And then later that evening when I sat down to write, I wrote 700 words and enjoyed writing them!
This is huge for me. I had confessed to my journal that it felt like it had been months since I had actually enjoyed my writing. For so long it has been a drudgery, merely cranking out words whenever I could work myself up to it because without a climbing word count, I could never finish the novel, and thus never be free. But last night, I rediscovered the joy in it. I walked away from the computer to get ready for bed, and found myself thinking about the next bit of dialogue and how to describe my character's eyes. I had to dash back to the computer to get it down.
I think three things contributed to this: one, I downloaded Q10 on sunday.
(We interrupt this blog post for an impromptu promo: Q10 is one of the most helpful writing programs I have found. It takes up the entire screen so that you can focus on your writing alone, and it keeps constant track of your word count at the bottom of the screen. The best part is that it is completely free! Now, back to the post.)
Two, as soon as I sat down to write, my mom told me that she needed to use the computer, so I had ten minutes to write (as it turns out she got a phone call so I got to write for longer). This gave me a time limit and motivated me to get my fingers moving whereas I might have just sat staring at the screen if I had all the time in the world. And the third and most important thing was that I had been reflecting on the characters and how much I loved them. It just goes to show that good fiction is all about characters: the more you try to write a story independant of characters you love, the harder it is.
3. In other news, both Hannah and Mariella have both stolen the writing meme off of me (which I think is totally awesome -- if you want to read their answers, scroll down to the bottom of the writing meme page and you'll find the links to their posts).