Wednesday, January 29, 2003

I was up until 3:00 this morning finally breaking my YA novel into chapters--remind me to write novels in chapters from now on! It flowed out faster without them, but now may lack a good structure or obvious places to break the chapters. I've already changed the chapter breaks around more today. And I'm really not sure what a good number of chapters is, or how long they should be. At the moment I have 39 chapters of approximately 1,000 to 2,000 words apiece (most between 1,200 and 1,800 words). I'm also trying to write a concise synopsis of it for the SCBWI grant competition. I haven't managed to get it onto one page, but it only goes one paragraph onto the second page, so that may not be too bad.

My writers' retreat was both stressful and addictive! I found myself frazzled a lot and unsure of myself--and got nothing written at all--but I loved the creative atmosphere and the social aspects, hanging out with other writers all weekend, and would love to go back now! I still haven't quite come down from it. My critique session was a bit odd, since the editor didn't like the premise of my story enough to do a thorough critique of it, but at the same time she treated me like a real writer and seemed to think I had skill at writing. The resulting feeling was something like the dissonant "vertigo zoom" camera shots they sometimes use in movies, where the camera moves further back while the lens zooms in. She was particularly enthusiastic about my ability to write in rhyme--interesting to me since children's writers are always cautioned against writing in rhyme. I was not sure what to think afterwards, but once I got over my surprise about her analysis of my chapter book, I relaxed and had a great time!

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