Wannabe Writers #23

by Madeleine Rex

Wannabe Writers is a fantastic weekly meme hosted by Sarah at Confessions of the Un-Published!

Where I am in the Writing Process: There hasn’t been much progress since my last Wannabe Writers post, due to the fact that I’ve been vacationing. Next week, I have to go to a camp, and my WIP will remain static until I get back. Hopefully, I’ll get something done on Monday! My goal is to finish The Lemonites by August 1st, and I’m 99.91% sure I can meet that goal. I’m planning on a 20,000 word+ week somewhere within that time-slot (which, by the way, means that anyone who sees me on twitter during that week should yell at me until I get a decent word count in). I’ve written that much before, and I’m actually hoping the word count will land somewhere between 25,000 and 30,000.

Miranda and I are planning an IM chat in which she will rip apart my brain with questions about my characters. We started before my vacation, and I swear, it was incredibly fun and helpful. I realized, to my dismay, that I didn’t know what my character’s greatest fear was. Or his goal in life. Major issue there that I will attempt to deal with when I’m in the mood to drive myself nuts. Perhaps Pepto will just speak to me sometime, and I’ll have my answers.

A friend of mine read my entire That Boy in the Shed manuscript in hardly more than 24 hours. Needless to say, I’m feeling quite nervous at the moment. She’s going to send me a bulky email soon!

We all know that I’m okay with That Boy in the Shed being my “practice” novel. It’s my first. I’m fourteen. Those two factors scream one thing: I’ve got plenty of tries left. This isn’t the sort of thing with limited chances. You don’t have to quit after three failures. And at my age, I’ve got a heck of a lot of time to practice.

Not that I want it to take five years or anything. The goal is to publish while I’m still a teenager. However, the back-up goal is to publish by the time I’m 23, and the back-up back-up goal is to be published by the time I’m 26. Like I said, the chances are limitless.

The Question this Week: Overcomplicating vs. Undercomplicating.  I’m afraid sub-plots in my novel are going to take the main focus.  How much is too much?

Wow. For once a question I haven’t thought about and, consequently, have absolutely no firm answer for.  I’m not going to go into a thorough answer (because I don’t have one), but I do have one comment to make.

If a subplot is taking the main focus, your main plot is too weak, or the subplot should be your main plot. Go ahead, switch focus. This is called a draft. It’s trial and error at their best. When I was plotting That Boy in the Shed, I realized that the subplot was both far more interesting and that I felt more compelled to write it. The subplot became the story I wanted to write, so I did. And I think the book is ten million times the better for it.

I’m curious, though, as to what you guys think. Let me know.

This last part is totally unrelated to the above.

I’m contemplating writing a series of posts concerning love in YA novels. I’d touch on as much as I could. Some of my ideas are:

  • Love triangles
  • Sex in YA (this post is destined to be really, really long)
  • The “What happens to their relationship after the book? Will they be together for the rest of their lives? Sounds unlikely” questions I always ask the Universe after reading a YA novel
  • First love
  • Flaws I’ve encountered in books
  • Anything else you suggest and that I feel comfortable talking about

Does that sound good? Would you be interested?

One Commentto “Wannabe Writers #23”

  1. An IM chat like you mentioned is a great idea. I'm going to have to convince one of my friends to waste a few hours some Saturday…

    Regarding your first novel…my beta keeps reminding me that I can always go back and re-write my first novel when I have more experience and have honed my talent. You have many more tries left…and maybe some re-tries too.

    I'd be interested in reading those. You always have an interesting spin on things. 🙂

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