Well, Hi There!

Remember me?  🙂  My apologies for neglecting this blog for so long.  A lot has been going on in my life lately.  I had a little run-in with a friend while playing football, and have spent the last month recovering slowly from a concussion.  Then I had school to deal with – as of last Wednesday, I am finished with college!!!  Praise God for bringing me past that milestone in my life!  Plenty of other changes have been happening in my family, as well.  We’ll be receiving two new foster siblings in a couple of weeks, which will be both a challenge and blessing.  I’ll be quitting my job to become a “nanny” to my new little sister.

I had planned to take the next few weeks off to recover from college – no projects, no blogging, no writing.  As you can see, though, the writing bug hit and here I am!  I just had to let y’all know I was still alive…as well as update you on my latest writing project.  After finishing up The Princess and the Prince (mostly – it still needs a couple of touch ups here and there), I planned on revisiting some of my other novels and getting them ready for printing.  However, on the way to work today, I got hit with an idea for a completely new story.  I am SO EXCITED!!  I won’t give too much away, but I will say that it is different from anything I’ve ever written before.  I was thinking about how over-used the dystopian setting is becoming in literature.  I was mulling over the basic plot line that they all seem to follow (uncertain teen protagonist attends choosing ceremony, in which they find out that they are somehow special and unusual and must eventually fight to overthrow the evil society in which they live).  And then I thought of a way to take that model and completely turn it on its head, throwing the reader for a loop.  I wish I could say more, but I’d give everything away.  This is the type of story that I would like to read, but I’ve never heard of before.  I can’t wait to get started!!!

DID I MENTION THAT I’M EXCITED ABOUT THIS STORY???  I don’t know if I should rush into it and just start writing (it’s always worked out pretty well for me so far) or if I should take it slow and map everything out.  I’ve never once written a novel based on a detailed outline, or paused to write a list of characters or define a story arc.  Honestly, I think that some of my stories suffer from a lack of this type of structure.  On the other hand, though, every story that I’ve ever written an outline for dies before I can finish the first chapter.  I’ll have to give it some more thought before deciding which method to use…  What I do know for certain is that I am determined to write real characters for this story.  Not just realistic characters, but characters that are so human, so natural, so real that the reader would have a hard time deciding if the story is fiction or reality.  I (personally) don’t think that I’ve ever come close to this type of realism in my other works, but I am definitely going to be shooting for that goal in this story.

Here are a few great quotes that I will try to put into practice as I write:

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So that is my writing update.  On a reading note, I’ve finally been introduced to Wooster and Jeeves!  I received a copy of My Man Jeeves for my birthday, but only just started reading it a few weeks ago.  Wodehouse is such a clever writer.  I’ve laughed out loud quite a few times!  I wish I could say that I’ve been reading something deep as well, but I’ve honestly been too busy.  Sometimes it’s good to just read for pure entertainment.

Speaking of entertainment (and of dystopian stories) I just watched two new movies in the past few weeks.

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First was Divergent.  I was very impressed with the acting and cinematography, though I felt that the plot had several holes in it.  Overall I really enjoyed the movie.  And most recently (I just got back from the movie theater half an hour ago) I watched The Giver.  I read the book a few months back and (I hate to disappoint true Giver fans) I must say that I was disappointed.  I felt that the story was lacking in depth and purpose.  The movie, however, I loved.  It’s not often that I’ll prefer a movie over a book, but this is definitely one of those times.  I’m sure that some die-hard fans will be upset at the changes that were made in the film, but I felt that (while remaining remarkably true to the book) the movie made much more sense, and resonated much more powerfully than the book.   Acting: awesome.  Cinematography: awesome.  Story: awesome.  It was very, very clean; it probably could have skated by as a PG instead of a PG-13.  I highly recommend it!

So there.  Now you’re updated.  🙂  I hope to be more faithful in the near future, but no promises.  I’ll be busy keeping care of a four-year-old and generally enjoying life as a college-free member of my family.  My blogging might be sporadic, but life is good!

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15 thoughts on “Well, Hi There!

  1. Ouch! I hope your head feels better.

    I’ve wondered if my writing would come out any better if I outlined it first, but I despise outlining. I too usually get tired of the piece before I finish writing the outline! I often come up with the plot (or in the case of nonfiction, the point) as I’m writing it.

    I just started reading My Man Jeeves and it is hilarious! I finished reading The Book Thief not too long ago and it was incredibly sad, so Jeeves was a welcome change of pace. 🙂

    • I feel the same way about the outline portion of the writing process! I think that I work best when I jot down all of the information that I need to know, but without trying to organize it too tightly. Oh, I want to read The Book Thief! Even though it was sad, was it good? Either way, reading Jeeves is the perfect way to relax after anything stressful or sad. 🙂

      • Yes, The Book Thief was very good! My only problem with it was that the writing style was a lot different from what I am used to. The narrator used some pretty strange figures of speech and he kept bouncing back and forth between the actual story and things the characters were imagining. Other than that (and the fact that two of my favorite characters didn’t make it to the end!), it was pretty good.

        • Thanks for the info! I’ll definitely have to check it out. Yes, I watched the movie and was heartbroken when Certain Characters met their end… It was still so good though!

  2. Victoria–I was so glad to hear about what’s been up in life for you at the moment! And so sorry to hear about the concussion incident… 😦 I hope you’re feeling much better…

    And hooray for the new story!!! How splendid! I can’t wait to hear more about it. 😉 And the writing tips were great–each one absolutely spot-on. Just before my travels, I finished up chapter 4 of my current WIP and I’m still pretty thrilled with how it turned out. It was one of those chapters where I started out knowing where it needed to end, but without the faintest idea for actual scenes to flesh out the inner conflict–and after a couple rewinds and rewrites the heroine somehow took off running, leaving me a little breathless. 🙂 Btw, have you read Strunk and White’s “The Elements of Style”? It’s a thin little book, but very helpful and one of my favorites (the last chapter is worth the price of the entire book). One of my favorite quotes: “Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.” Good, is it not?

    Anyhow, thank you so much for sharing. I’ll be thinking about you!

    with love,
    ~Heidi

    Oh! And Wodehouse??? I’m so thrilled! Isn’t he wonderful for clearing the cobwebs? Sometime you’ll have to read “The Code of the Woosters”. I think it’s one of his tightest plots and most highly entertaining. 🙂

    • Hi Heidi!

      Thank you for the encouraging comment! I am definitely recovering from the concussion, but it’s taking a LOT longer than I’d expected. It turns out that brains are rather useful features, and things don’t work out so well when they’re not functioning at 100%. 🙂 Hooray for your writing project! It’s such fun to write a really difficult scene well – it does leave you breathless, like you said! I loved that quote you shared. It perfectly sums up the essence of good writing! The only problem is putting into practice – something I’m still working on…

      And thank you so much for tagging me! I’ll be sure to post about it soon. And I’m waiting with baited breath to hear what you thought about The Princess and the Prince! Don’t be afraid to critique it honestly in your review; I know that I’m no Tolkien, and have a long way to go before I can be called a truly good writer. 😉

      It’s great to hear from you! – Victoria

  3. Really good post! Newsy and, as usual, well-written. Had no idea your concussion was that serious; you’d better get a football helmet! Looking forward to hearing more about your book idea (but no spoilers, please). Also hoping to meet all your/our new family members soon.

  4. Wow! That is a lot of catching up! As always, a joy to hear from you, Victoria. Congratulations on graduating from college and, yes, I can see you being a nanny to your precious baby sister. Are both fosters little girls (I may have missed that part)? I look forward to meeting them next time you guys come to town – soon, I hope.

    • Thank you! Yes, I’m mighty excited to be done with formal education. 🙂 The new foster siblings are one boy and one girl, the birth siblings of the baby we’ve been keeping since Winter. I hope that you’ll be able to meet them all, as well!

  5. As a life-long fan of Wooster and Jeeves – I say, welcome to the club! If you need something fun to watch, the Fry/Laurie adaptations are terrific:

    And congrats on finishing college! I’m just entering my second year. What did you major in?

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