Feb 19, 2010

FuFri and Step 1 Revisited

The one where I discuss my future, the present, and occasionally the past. (FuFri's are back after the hoopla of last week's Friday Feature 1-uppage.)

Quick recap:
Step 1) One-sentence summary (still a work-in-progress)
Step 2) One-paragraph summary (still a work-in-progress)
Sick of this yet?
Good, I'm nowhere near finished.

Tina Lynn gave me a good push and shove this morning about my answers to steps 1 and 2. Not only were they not cutting it, they were just plain old-fashioned horrible. Hey Maureen Johnson - THEY SUCKED! I am so glad that they did. I am glad I sucked. What? That's right, OPERATION LOWERED EXPECTATIONS = success. Hang a banner in NYC, Mission Accomplished.

And now, for the non-suckage. I finally took the advice that Randy Ingermanson, the author of the Snowflake Method, gave, "Read the one-line blurbs on the NYT Best Sellers list to learn how to do this. Writing a one-sentence description is an art form."
Well, last night I was talking to Heather Kelly, yeah, we're close, and I said, "I am an artist." It's true. Private art lessons when I was a child. A few semesters at art school, and hundreds of notebooks filled with pictures of cars, maps of made-up worlds, and clothes (ha! A design for a $200,000 car followed by a design for a cocktail dress.) Anyway, I am an artist. One-sentence description an art form. Click. All along, I was making this WAY harder than it needed to be, it's genetic. Yes, you've heard me say that before...I got bad genes (this literally said jeans until five seconds before I clicked post...), what else d'ya want me to say? <<< does that give in distinguishable characteristics as to where I live? Cuz, I dun' talk like dat. All that much. Whoa, so off the point. Me + 7:00 AM + coffee with half a scoop too little of grounds = wtf.

Step 1) one-sentence summary:

Two gay teens' paths criss and cross until they are wrapped around each other, then an even stronger bond forms.

Phew! I am onto something much better. Still suckage, but not so bland. Tina, Tina, Kelly, Floot? I think a significant testimony to this sentence, and the process as a whole, is that I really started to think about the characters and their storylines and where I can take this book. Before I knew this: Scottie and Justin are gay. Scottie and Justin like each other, kinda. Scottie and Justin have issues. Scottie and Justin...kiss? But, now, I have way more to go on and I have specifics! No, I am not sharing. At least not yet.

Regarding FuFri: I have shaken the Magic 8-Ball*, like twelve times, and got this message: You're on your way!**

*Here's another service I can provide, Tina.
**Does it still count, even if it's rigged? Yes.
For blind Tina.


  1. you know what they say... If you're not cheating, you're not trying hard enough.

    Thanks, by the way. I firmly believe anyone who looks at a cute kitty and doesn't smile, no matter how bleak their life seems, must be a robo-human.

  2. Haha, thanks Denise! i loved that kitty too and you're so right.

  3. Here's the thing, (and it's important that this is said), you rock! Putting this stuff out there, having the guts, makes you awesome! Keep working at it. You can only get better.

  4. 'Kay, love the new sentence. I can feel your book and it feels good! And you need to make your asterisks red, especially if they concern me because I am totally blind that way. I went searching all over the place to find what service you provide and there it was right by the magic eight ball. I can appreciate that. You made me laugh!

    Way to show us how to do it!

  5. TL - Thank you very much! *blushing*
    I am glad my attempts at getting better are...inspiring? I am glad you have confidence in me, it's contagious.

    TLL - Thorry! I will change them. Right. Now. (<<I've wanted to do that too.)

  6. Operation Lowered Expectations - Love it, and then also, I need to get on that. I'm way too critical and therefore NEVER accomplish anything.

    Hurry up and finish your book so I can add it to my goodreads, k?

  7. I like the new sentence! And, even though the asterisk was red by the time I got here, I still had to hunt for the single one. Several times. Oh well.

  8. I still had to hunt the asterisk. I'ma geddin old...

    The new sentence is much snappier and more mysterious - which is good!

    One thing I found with the different-but-related Two Year Novel course (for reference, you'll find a fairly good description here: http://shop.hollylisle.com/jamaffiliates/jrox.php?id=468_1_tlid_8 - but it's more fun to to in the context of the course on forward motion) is that that initial sentence is infinitely variable till the novel as a whole is done.

    Mine started as 'a writer gets sucked into his own novel' *laughs*. To put it mildly, it has both grown and changed considerably since that point.

    Ditto with Tomatoes - if I'd attempted The Sentence before I started it on November 1st (did I mention is was a NaNo? I don't remember...) it would have been something like "Girl who likes gardening learns stuff about life, and, you know, stuff..." ;)

  9. I do like your new sentence better! And I did not know you were an artist. Please show us some of those cars and dress sketches!
    I believe the 8 ball is correct, sir.

  10. Marisa - If by too critical, you mean you've been out there being an uber critiquer, I couldn't agree more! You'll be able to add it to your Goodreads in, like, four years. I hope you still have your Goodreads, I know I will.

    HK, et all. - I have increased the asterisks to largest size possible...next time I'm sticking with parenthesis.

    Floot - Thanks for recognizing what I've been hoping is an improvement. Congrats on attempting NaNo...ugh, I might this year. I like your work-in-progress attitude, it's truly helping me to stay grounded.

    Kelly - Thank you, no, and yay.

  11. You should totally try NaNo :D apart from anything else, I guarantee you you'll have masses to blog about!

    I've done it three years, won twice. When you start with barely an idea, write hell for leather, and don't think too much about it, you do end up with some weird, random, or just not very good stuff, but you also end up with good things that you might not think of. It's like putting your brain into writing overdrive.

    I'll try and remember to bully you some about it come October time ;)

  12. Honestly, that's a damn good sentence. I can see where you might want to hone it a bit with a specific but you've got:

    PLOT: Two gay teen's paths criss and cross

    STORY ARC: until they are wrapped around each other

    CHARACTER ARC: then an even stronger bond forms.

  13. whatever advice Heather Kelly gave you, I think it worked because I like that sentence! I'm not even gay, but it sucked me right in.
    Perhaps I'll also get to see some of your art on your blog sometime.

  14. Now that I've commented on your last two posts, it's time for this one.

    Really all I have to say is that your new abstract is much better. It communicates the story as well as got my attention. Your first attempts were... to use a term that I tend to avoid... a little "Lifetime"-y.

    Keep it up.

  15. Terry - I may post some artsy stuff...just maybe.

    Jonathon - Your other two comments impressed me! But, please do stop in more often, I appreciate all the advice, input, and expertise I can get around me.

  16. Jon, I like the new sentence much better. And I'm really looking forward to reading this book.

    Also, I second Floot on the NaNo thing. It's a blast! I've done it five times now. LIVVIE was a NaNo and so was the book I just sent to my agent. That sense of "If I'm crazy for trying this, then so are all these other people" is a motivating feeling!

    (Plus sometimes people on the NaNo forums let you read their delightful novels!)

  17. Sarah - Thanks.

    When you guys say "this book", I laugh because it is nowhere near being a book. But, I also feel inspired to change that.

  18. OMG, am I an uber-critiquer? Is that a bad thing? It sounds horrendous!

  19. Uber critiquer, my dear, is like a superhero of critiquers.