Sunday, January 31, 2010

A New Direction

You may have noticed that I took a bit of time off for a while. I'm sorry to say that I certainly was not keeping up with my three posts a week. The reason was because I needed a break. I had hit a point with Aurumenas where I realized that I was too focused on getting all of my editing done in a month instead of making sure that the editing I was doing was good, or complete. Suffice it to say, I came to the conclusion that there was a lot to the story that I was just failing to put on paper. I'll admit it, I'm a light writer. I am NOT one of those people out there who over-write and then have to slash their novel to bits, eliminating unneeded melodrama. I usually visualize writing as a chess game; every move must count. But sadly, there were some moves that I just failed to use that would have made the novel as a whole really shine.

So, I'm going back over it and adding scenes. My worlds need a chance to grow and move the reader. These details have always been in my head, but I didn't quite realize that they weren't in the book. I assure you that I have plenty of room. The finished product (before my revelation) had under 70,000 words. Like I said, a light writer (especially when you consider most fantasy/sci-fi novels have over 200,000 words and publishers allow new writers around 100,000).

There are some other issues that I plan on working on in the book, but I want to save those for a future blog post. But I also wanted to mention that I have a new story idea in the works that I plan on actually posting on here in one page installments. So look for it every Monday.

And finally, I'm always interested in helping my fellow writers out there. If you have a blog that you want to advertise, email me with a blog post containing the kind of content that you would put on your own blog, along with a short bio and your website address. Fridays will be reserved just for you!

Thanks for your patience and continued readership! :)

~Emily White

Monday, January 18, 2010

One of these days is not like another

I woke up this morning thinking about a few things. One, it was my birthday and two, woop-de-doo. I have two kids who have no idea that it's my birthday, my husband left for work before I even woke up, and I'm far too old to expect anything from my mommy. This day, for all intents and purposes, is the same as any other day except for one thing: I really want to feel special. Most days, I'm perfectly happy giving and giving of my time and attention to others, but today I feel deep down that someone should wait on me. But it's not going to happen. So I move on.

As always, though, my thoughts drift to how any of this could be relevant to my writing. And then I realized that none of my characters have ever known when their birthdays were. Which is very surprising considering I do tend to know mundane data that I never put in a short story or novel. But this kind of data doesn't seem very mundane at all. In fact, the knowledge of one's birthday is usually extremely important in determining your sense of self. "On this day I was born" and "on this day is when I became a part of humanity." And though I don't hold any weight to horoscopes and such, I do still believe that the time of year you were born helps to shape who you are, especially if you grew up in a region that experiences the full-blown changes of all four seasons. And yet, I've never once considered the time of year my characters were born or under what conditions they came into the world. So how can my characters possibly be seen as real people if they don't know that one little detail. Even people who don't celebrate their birthday still know on which date they were born, because it's important.

So I've resolved to give birthdays to each and every one of my characters from now on. The data may never make its appearance in any of my works, but I will know and so will my characters. And maybe today will turn out to be a little less mundane than it's started out as. Here's hoping! :)

~Emily White

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


One of the reasons my postings have been so sporadic lately is because when I start reading a book, I tend to do nothing else until I'm done. I've got this crazy notion in my head that I have to hurry up and finish it so that I can get on with my life, but what ends up happening is I ignore everything else while I'm trying to finish the book. Crazy, huh? And to add to that, the book I first started reading was the beginning of a series, so of course I have to finish the series first before anything else gets done! The good news is that I'm almost done. Only one and a half books to go.

But while reading these books, I've made a few observations. One of them is that whether on purpose or on accident, even the best authors have contradictions in their works. The books I'm reading happen to be a part of Orson Scott Card's Ender series, and the relay of information between one book and another is wrong! Just plain wrong! The particular contradiction I am thinking of concerns a character named Plikt. In book two, she was introduced to us as a rather stubborn student of Ender's who would not stop until she discovered everything about him. Well, after much research, she was able to discern half of who he was, but was completely wrong about the other half. At which point she was practically given a verbal beat-down by Ender's sister. This was a rather funny and exciting part because you spent the entirety of the book up until this point waiting for just this thing to happen. Well, when we get to book three where Card is reintroducing Plikt to anyone who may not have read any of the previous books, he describes her as having discovered (quite on her own) both mysterious parts of Ender Wiggin! Wrong!

As this series happens to be a reprint where Card was able to make any changes he feel needed to be made, I can only assume that 1. he didn't care about the contradiction and wanted it in there or 2. he just plain missed it, again. While option number one just plain irks me (I hate contradictions), option number two kind of worries me. It would imply that Card (and his editor) read these books thousands of times and never picked up on it. Never. And here I am, reading it for the first time and it becomes a glaring problem for me, not because Card isn't a good writer (he did win the Hugo Award), but because he took back a pivotal moment from one book and weakened the intensity of the relationship between Plikt and Ender's sister in another. And also, he turned Plikt into a different person through this one contradiction.

Again, my point is not to dis Card (in fact, I'll give a more detailed review when I finish the series), but to show my concern for my own work. Will I make such an innocent mistake in Aurumenas, thereby ruining a character for one of my readers? This is a concern. I can only hope that should my book be published someday, the collective minds of myself, my agent, and my editor will be able to find and snuff out any such irregularities.

How about you, readers? Anything in particular that you worry about with your own work? Or are there any things like contradictions that really irk you when you read a book?

~Emily White

Monday, January 4, 2010

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Yes, I took a small vacation from the internet. I spent some wonderful time with my husband and sons even though my twitchy little fingers kept trying to steer me towards the computer buttons. But I resisted! And now I am back, refreshed and ready to write.

Which makes me think of something...

It's around this time of year when most of us sit back and ponder what we expect of ourselves for the next twelve months. The news is usually full of special pieces covering the how to's of New Year's Resolutions. Well, me and resolutions, we ain't never got along. I rarely make them, and when I do, I never fulfill them. The reason is because I usually come up with something preposterous that if I could complete it, I certainly wouldn't have waited until the first of the year to start it. But this year, I'm going to try to be a full-time writer. I almost did it in 2009, but there were a few days here and there that saw some slacking.

I'd also like to make a few million dollars from a book deal and become Empress of the World. I've got good feelings about those two. I think they're going to happen this year. :)

How about you? Any resolutions this year? Feel free to share!

~Emily White