Writer Recharge: I sucked this week, but I’m on YouTube

WriterRecharge 2015

It’s February, which means it’s time for Writer Recharge!

Once again hosted by Katy UppermanAlison MillerLiz ParkerElodie Nowodazkij, and Sara Biren, Writer Recharge is your chance for a four-week jump start in the middle of a cold, dreary winter. Set goals for yourself, check in once a week, and connect with other recharging writers.

Here’s how I did on my goals last week!

Write/Revise —

This week I sucked it up on my writing goals. I was out of town until Friday assisting Lindsay Cummings on a book tour and making a YouTube video with her about it. I did manage a little over 1000 words, but that is all.

Read —

I read another 50 pages on my CPs MS. That is my focus this week. That is my primary focus.

Self —

I walked by a gym at the hotel we were staying in. Everyday. Everyday I asked Lindsay if she wanted to work out. She did not. Neither did I. We did watch Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban twice while planning our Harry Potter Tag video. I drank a lot of tea, for my health.

Connect —

I would say that my entire week was connecting. I met readers and aspiring young writers. I learned about the author life in a very real and sometimes emotional way. I was super impressed by my friend for the time and effort she gives (freely) to these kids.

Fun —

  • My sister-in-law and I got badges to one day of San Diego Comic Con. We then had to follow through with our commitment to begin a YouTube channel should we succeed. Check out our blog Books, Booze & Bitches for more info and stay tuned for our first video — airing Wednesday!
  • While you wait, you can watch Lindsay and I discuss Harry Potter in a very ridiculous way:

Good luck this week on meeting goals!

Writer Recharge

WriterRecharge 2015

It’s February, which means it’s time for Writer Recharge!

Once again hosted by Katy UppermanAlison MillerLiz ParkerElodie Nowodazkij, and Sara Biren, Writer Recharge is your chance for a four-week jump start in the middle of a cold, dreary winter. Set goals for yourself, check in once a week, and connect with other recharging writers.

Here’s how I did on my goals last week!

Write/Revise —

  • Again, didn’t do 500 words a day, but did mange just over 2000 words total. So. Success. 🙂
  • I began the terrifying process of cutting scenes from my screenplay. This stage of revision always makes feel anxious. Hold me.
  • I sent my PILOT outline to my screenwriter friend, and before I finish the script, I’d like to hear back from her.

Read —

  • Read on my CP manuscripts. My goals this week is to have notes on one my the end of the week!
  • Haven’t had a lot of other reading time this week. But I’m bout 25 pages into Ruby Red for the reread. LOVE this book so much. #GwynnieandGideonForever

Self —

  • I went to the gym Tuesday and Thursday, and walked everyday — even the days I worked out! YAY

Connect —

  • Participated in a couple Twitter writing parties!

Fun —

For Galentines Day (February 13th) two of my sister-in-laws and I ordered pizza, popped champagne, ate cheesecake, participated in Lady Talk, and watched two episodes of Supernatural. It was epic girl time.

Good luck this week on meeting goals, and having fun while doing it!

Writer Recharge

WriterRecharge 2015

It’s February, which means it’s time for Writer Recharge!

Once again hosted by Katy UppermanAlison MillerLiz ParkerElodie Nowodazkij, and Sara Biren, Writer Recharge is your chance for a four-week jump start in the middle of a cold, dreary winter. Set goals for yourself, check in once a week, and connect with other recharging writers.

Here’s how I did on my goals last week!

Write/Revise:

  • Wrote almost everyday, and surpassed my 500 word goal each day. Total Word Count: 4,434
  • Didn’t work on my screenplay revision last week– that’s on the schedule for this week!
  • Finished my Pilot Script outline and wrote three script pages. VERY EXCITED about this project!

Read: 

I need to rework my reading goals for the month.

I have two CP reads that showed up in my inbox, so I am giving this priority.

Also, I am participating in a reread in the Ruby Red Trilogy this spring. Check out the details here and join in!

Self:

Exercise three times in the week.

  • I went to the gym Tuesday and Thursday, and I took my dogs on three brisk, long walks. Success!

Connect:

  • Didn’t do my pay it forward shipment yet, but soon.
  • Participated in a couple Twitter writing parties, hope to do more this week!

Fun:

Haven’t started Supernatural yet, but that is on the books for this week as well.

Good luck on all your goals this week! We got this!

Book-to-Film Adaptations

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Book-to-film adaptations are all the rage right now in Hollywood. Thanks in large part to the shaky economy, purchasing an already established brand and turning it into a film has become the go to. A few years ago, when I had a new baby and a new screenplay completed, I received some very valuable advice from a producer.

“You can’t sell this,” she said. “It’s wonderful, but impossible to sell on spec in this market. And it will only get worse.” She went on to suggest I produce the film myself, or adapt it into a novel and try to break into publishing. “It’s easier to secure financing that way.”

The amount of books to be adapted to films, or miniseries, or television shows, has sky rocketed. And so has the amount of horribly done adaptations. For every good film version of a beloved novel, there are three bad ones.

So, what is it that makes a book adaptation worthy? Many producers would say a massive audience and a high-concept. Let’s examine some great adaptations and see what made them so flippin’ fabulous beyond a huge readership and potential for merchandising and attempt to riddle out the answer.

 The Lord of the Rings – Author J.R.R. Tolkien, Director/Writer Peter Jackson

It is my personal opinion that high fantasy epics work well as big budget films. The world building in fantasy novels is a veritable playground for special effects masters, the clothing a joy for costume designers, and the sweeping plots and complex characters a banquet for actors. Lord of the Rings worked because the filmmaker made a movie based on the books, but didn’t try to transcribe what can only be achieved in prose onto the screen. Where some movie adaptations struggle is trying to stick too closely to the source material.

Unpopular opinion time — I like my adaptations to be an interpretation. No one can create the world from your imagination perfectly on screen, no actor can satisfy everyone’s image of an adored character. Great adaptations are one filmmaker’s impression of a work, not everyone’s.

To Kill a Mockingbird – Author Harper Lee, Director Robert Mulligan

What makes To Kill a Mockingbird a wonderful adaptation is the way they streamlined the plot lines. The film is condensed, as it must be, but manages to hold onto the big plot points without feeling awkward because they shifted the perspective.

News flash about the difference between a film and a novel: books can have a first-person POV, films cannot. The problem with many adaptations of YA novels, and main reason I believe a film can feel jarring when you’ve experienced the story through the protagonist’s internal monologue, is the shift from first to third person. To Kill a Mockingbird did a beautiful job giving the film a “voice” like Scout, by using music and perspective shifts — namely bringing Jem, her brother, more into the forefront — to tell the story in a broader way.

Pride and Prejudice — Author Jane Austen, Director Many British Guys

Pride and Prejudice has been reimagined not only in film, but as retellings in literary form as well. The reason this book is so popular to adapt is threefold:

First, the story is simple. On the page there are no big fight scenes or need for CGI — yes, I haven’t forgotten what I said about those things earlier — so the budget for these films can be small or huge depending on the production value desired.

Second, the story is so famous that no matter how many times they remake it we will still go see it. Seriously, remake it again, only this time with cyborgs. Money in the bag, friends.

Third, and most importantly, the narrative tone is easy to capture through dialog and expression; therefore, you don’t lose the quality of the novels prose when you translate the story to film.

Enjoy your favorite adaptation today, and please, share in comments what you think makes a book-to-film worth viewing.

The Terrible Titles Blog Hop

I’ve been tagged by the English Badass Liz Parker in the Terrible Titles Blog Hop. Here’s how it works:

Writers scroll through their MS and let their cursor fall on random places. Those words or phrases become the new, terrible title for their manuscript. I’m scrolling through my manuscript Of Blood and Promises.

Shall we begin?

1. We Dance Soon

2. Their Blood has Weakened Us

3. I Want to Keep My Mouth Shut

4. Blood Stains Her Skin

5. The Light From Their Flames

6. I Will Never Leave You

7. This Sea of Unknown Depths

8. She Will Never be Mine

Hahahaha! I think maybe the one I chose is best. What do you think? I’m going to tag my CPs Susan Crispell, Jess Fonseca and Courtney Howell.

Ready. Set. Write! Update #9

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Ready. Set. WRITE! is an online writing intensive to help stay accountable with your writing goals over the summer and provides an opportunity for us to cheer each other on whether planning, drafting, or revising! Your RSW hosts are Alison MillerJaime MorrowErin Funk, and Katy Upperman. Find the rest of the details HERE.

Last Week’s Goals:

1. Revise three more chapters.

I ended up revising 60 pages, so this is a major win. 

2. Write three more scenes on the screenplay and fill in the scenes I have skipped over.

I worked on a story grid for the screenplay, and then sent it to one of screenwriting friends for feedback, and then my week got CRAZY so I haven’t gotten back to it. But I think it is going to make a huge difference in shaping the Screenplay. 

3. Read

I read Isla and the Happily Ever After. Oh the feelings. 

A favorite line from my story or one word or phrase that sums up what I wrote or revised:

I stare at the back of her head, my vision blurring from tears trapped in my eyes. I shake my head, and a few of those tears break free to sneak down my cheeks.

“Did you even love my father?”

She reaches up to run a hand through her hair. When she speaks, her voice is almost a whisper.

“Beyond reason,” she pauses to swallow hard. “I loved him beyond reason.”

Biggest Challenge:

This week I took Sam to the water park, Legoland, and Cosmic Jump as part of our EPIC SUMMER. I was exhausted from all the fun, and then I had to finish prep for his Power Rangers B-day party on Sunday. It was all worth it.

Something I love about my WiP:

The revision is stretching me. It’s the slow kind, where you feel the burn across all the writing muscles, must push through the pain and doubt that you can stretch that far, but you gain new flexibility.

This Week’s Goals:

1. Enjoy the last week before school starts with my son.

2. Revise the next chapter, which is a killer chapter.

3. Finish the Story Grid Revision on the Screenplay and send back to screenwriter friend.

Ready. Set. Write! Update #3

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Ready. Set. WRITE! is an online writing intensive to help stay accountable with your writing goals over the summer and provides an opportunity for us to cheer each other on whether planning, drafting, or revising! Your RSW hosts are Alison MillerJaime MorrowErin Funk, and Katy Upperman. Find the rest of the details HERE.

Monday means check-in time!

Last Weeks Goals:

1. Finish the read through of my manuscript.

~ Done!

2. BETA READING!

~ Begun!

3. Ten screenplay pages.

~ Five Screenplay pages, so I’ll make up for it this week. 

4. One blog post.

~ Done, although, it wasn’t the blog post I wanted to write. I got in an accident and I talked about it here.

A favorite line from my story or one word or phrase that sums up what I wrote or revised:

(From the SCREENPLAY, not the TV PILOT. Takes place at Comic Con.)

Her eyes go to his hand on her arm. He removes it. She leans back against the bar.

ABIGAIL

Why the mask?

HAN SOLO (JACK)

Would you believe me if I told you it was a disguise?

ABIGAIL

I’m pretty sure everyone here is in disguise. Even me.

HAN SOLO (JACK)

But you’re here, even though you claim abivalence. What possessed you?

ABIGAIL

I made a promise.

Biggest Challenge:

After the little accident I was in, I had to fight not to just watch TV all day Wednesday and feel sorry for myself.

Something I love about my WiP:

Screenplay is an R-rated dramady. Writing dialog with this amount of curse words is quite fun. Also, research. The setting is San Diego Comic Con, so scouring message boards and reading articles is really, too much fun.

This Weeks Goals:

1. Screenplay – 15 pages

2. Beta Reading – ONE MS

 

Writer Recharge Wrap-Up

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For more on Writer Recharge please follow this link. A huge thank you to the brilliant ladies who came up with it. It is always awesome writing with you guys — even if it’s in the virtual sense.

First, my goals for the month:

  • Finish my YA Fantasy WiP. I’ve been steadily building this world and story since August 2013. I need to finish the draft.
  • Finish the TV pilot I began work on in January.
  • Stop starting new ideas until the other ones are finished.
  • Title the YA Fantasy WiP because I’m tired of calling it (awkwardly) Banyan Book.

I met exactly one of my goals. Care to guess which one?

Anybody, anybody?

Bueller? Bueller?

If you guessed, stop starting new ideas until the other ones are finished, then well done. And, to be fair, that was hard for me.

While I didn’t finish my draft, or the TV pilot, of title this manuscript anything less awkward, I did make headway on all fronts. I added word count or scene count. I discovered important layers to my own plot. I had an amazing writers retreat where I connected with other writers I hope to know, support and be enriched by for years to come.

Most importantly, I rediscovered a love of the story. Not just this particular story, but all of them. The undiscovered. The already ignoring. The previously written. February ends with me firmly in love again with just writing. Writing for the mere fact that I must, I am compelled, and I am inspired. That is a huge gift.

I have new goals. Goals to finish this draft in the next two weeks or so, and now I know how to do it thanks to this month. And I am very energized.

#Writer Recharge: Plug me in.

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From the lovely organizers:

January is in the books and you’ve had to deal with:
a) polar vortices
b) ice storms
c) mountains of snow
d) gray skies and general malaise
e) all of the above

We thought our writer friends might be in need of a little boost. A jump start, if you will.

A recharge.

We’d like to invite you to join us for Writer Recharge 2014, a month-long motivational challenge similar to last summer’s Ready. Set. Write! So many of us benefited from setting goals, connecting with other writers, and social media-based accountability. So, hey, let’s do it again! Whether you’re delighting next to the crackling fireplace of a Shiny New Idea with a warm cup of tea and a sleepy puppy at your feet or spinning out on the ice-covered roads of revisions in an attempt to avoid the snow-packed ditch, we want to write with you! What do you want to accomplish this month? Hit a daily word count? Revise a certain number of pages or chapters each week? Complete a draft by the end of the month? Let’s get this party started!

Writer Recharge 2014

Your hosts and cheerleaders: Katy UppermanAlison MillerLiz ParkerElodie Nowodazkij, and Sara Biren

The timeline:

  • First week of February: Post your goals for the month on your blog, website, or Twitter. Use the hashtag #WriterRecharge. Link your blog post on Sara’s blog.
  • Every Monday in February: Update your progress via your blog or twitter. Link your blog posts on myMonday posts.
  • Throughout the month: Use the hashtag to connect with other writers, have writing parties, and cheer one another on!
  • February 28: Post your final update via your blog or twitter.
  • Anyone who uses the hashtag or links their blog posts will be entered to win one of five query or 3-chapter critiques.

My goals:

*I’ll be in Northern California for the week of February 9 – 15 participating in a YA Novel Workshop and Retreat with Nova Ren Suma. These two writer-centric events beautifully coincide.

  • Finish my YA Fantasy WiP. I’ve been steadily building this world and story since August 2013. I need to finish the draft.
  • Finish the TV pilot I began work on in January.
  • Stop starting new ideas until the other ones are finished.
  • Title the YA Fantasy WiP because I’m tired of calling it (awkwardly) Banyan Book.

The Frozen Wood

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The Frozen Wood can only be found on the coldest days of the harshest years. Stark gray, orange and brown, shivering beneath winds blustering breath. The Frozen Wood moves slowly, an icy dance with nowhere to go, bending branches to break.

IMG_5192Brooks run through the Frozen Wood, where they flee or if they’ll last until nightfall, no one can know. They move, only, and until they can move no more. Trees lean in to one another, chattering leaves, shuddering trunks, stilling themselves for anther gust.

IMG_5191The Frozen Wood makes everything unseen visible. Hiding is for Summer Woods, pregnant with green to bursting, intertwined branches and vine, hollows concealed. In the Frozen Wood, what was safe becomes exposed.

IMG_5153There are paths through the Frozen Wood, roads to somewhere anyone can go. Where cars speed by and strangers linger, where cities grow and worlds collide. Where everything thaws, sliding by to tomorrow. In the Frozen Wood, time stills.

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The Frozen Wood is full of jagged edges and hidden nooks where only icicles can fit. Rocks and branches press together, trying to escape the snow invaders on all sides. A silent war of what is, and what has come.

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The Frozen Wood is a chilly playground. It’s a slide that never ends. It’s a mystery that must be solved. It’s a death to be avenged. There is laughter in the Frozen Wood, and also tears. There are ends that melt into beginnings.

IMG_5200When walking in the Frozen Wood, remember always your way home. Where chocolate can be heated, and fires lit, where wool blankets the hills of pillows instead of snow, where laughter resounds and stillness flees.

Go to the Frozen Wood one day, if you can find the way.

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All photographs contained in the post belong to Rebekah Faubion.