Thursday, August 22, 2013

Creative Energy and Critique Partners

What ways help feed your creative energy?

Over the past months I've focused all my creative energy on revision. It have never focused on revision this much with one project. I'm a pantser writer so I don't know if it makes things harder for me or not. I'm nearing the part of revision where I do a *headdesk* at least once a day. However, I do end the day thinking, "I'm one step closer."

My goal is to query this year. The funny thing is, I thought I was closer to my goal before I sent it out to my critique partners. However, their honesty and awesomeness reminded me I need to take more time and not to rush.

What's so great about not-so-wonderful feedback?

1) You find little bad habits you didn't know about before. Take notes and use this to your advantage next time you write or revise. Work at getting rid of the bugs and the writing will come out shinier than before.

2) They point out the things you might be missing in the content of your writing. You will discover the strength and weakness in your story. It can be something that happens once, or throughout the manuscript. This is when I take notes about for future projects. I don't want to repeat my mistakes.

3) Confirming your fears and reaffirming your confidence. Did you notice I only *headdesk* once per day? I'm hoping cut down on that practice after all this revision and query letter writing. 

These are also the same reasons why critique partners and betas are so important to revision. They are your cheerleaders because they know you can conquer the demons. They help you recharge your creative energy when you least expect it.


I'm still struggling a bit with creative energy and confidence. In this last bit of revision, I can see how my writing has changed over the past four years. I had to learn how to blend my writing together. There is also a desire to try something new. I'm going to start making a creative list of things I want to do such as drawing or sewing. I don't want something to take away from writing, but help feed it. I also want to add some writing books to my list to help feed my process a bit. If I could have stayed in college, I probably would have remained there forever. 

Time to feed the Dragon. 

Natasha

Other posts on Critique Partners

Thursday, August 15, 2013

WriteOnCon Character Sketch: Introducing Kin

I attended the online conference WriteOnCon this year for the second time. It was a different experience than last year since I needed my query and story critiqued. I'm so thankful for all the people who took the time to look at my work. There is also so much honor in reading about so many fantastic stories! To think, in a few years, some of these could sit on the shelves!

One of the most unexpected finds was finding LL Tisdel's post for character sketches. All we needed to do was provide description (I shared mine below).

This morning, I finally went to see if mine was posted. Scrolling through the forum, it was so amazing to see so many of these characters alive. Tisdel is such a talented artist and really nailed not just their descriptions, but their personalities.

Then, I found my character. I stared and stared and stared. And the tears came. I kept thinking, "This is her. This is MY Kin!"

So, here I am to introduce the main character of my Japanese inspired fantasy book... Kin!

Here is the description I choose for my character
Character Age: 15
Three Words to Describe their Personality: brave, loyal, unfocused
Describe Appearance: (hair, clothes, physical features, eyes, etc.) 
Hair: messily tied up with sticks with painted flowers on them
Clothes: Simple kimono that sometimes have embroidered flowers on them, bangs out of her eyes
Features: Black hair just below her shoulders, light brown eyes, slightly tanned skin, not-so-dainty nose
Other: She loves scrolls. You can sometimes find her with ink-splattered clothing and blackened fingers. She fights demons and studies them in the scrolls. She lives near the tallest mountain in the land (akin Mount Fuji).

Thank you so much, LL Tisdel! Be sure to check out her website for more of her art. 

I will post more about the conference when I get the chance. I couldn't resist sharing this right away! Forums are open a few more days so I need to focus on that query letter.

Natasha