Archive for April, 2010

Writing like a writer…..

So obviously I started this blog because I want to write. But of course I was always aware that I wasn’t writing something New York Times bestseller worthy (unfortunately I’m no Carrie Bradshaw), but was hoping this could be the place where I could grow as a writer and find my voice. And its a great feeling to finally feel that growth! My life as a graduate student has been much more pleasant this past month, and its mainly due to the classes that I have been taking. Mind you, the workload is still pushing me to the brink of sanity occasionally, but at times I truly enjoy it. One of the classes I’m taking right now is Children’s Literature and Publishing. It’s really a great class. Being so turned off with this vampire frenzy going on in the publishing world these days, I completely forgot the brilliance in so many Children’s books/novels.

As a part of this class we have to write the first few chapters of our manuscript for a children’s book. This was a challenge that I was not prepared for. I guess mainly because I did not think writing a novel for a 12year old would be that complicated. But the challenges started from the minute I picked up my pen. I had never considered writing a children’s book so I had no idea what to write about. I was 12…..12 years ago!!!! And needless to say 12 year olds today are very different! Much more complex if you ask me. So after racking my brain for ideas and waiting for that moment of inspiration I finally started thinking about myself when I was 12 and just started writing. Of course I did some major embellishments and modernized my character (her bulky portable CD player had been replaced with an I-pod) but eventually it came together. It was fun to remember the things that used to go through my mind at that age.

So after several revisions I finally completed my first chapter. It was a feeling like no other. I don’t know if its brilliant or will ever be publishing worthy, but just that feeling of actually sitting down to write the first chapter of your manuscript and seeing the finished product (well first draft actually) feels like a step up from an aspiring writer to actually becoming a writer. I discovered the strengths and weaknesses in my own writing that I would never have realized until I actually started REALLY writing. Let’s see what challenges chapter 2 brings!

A Must Read!!!

So over the past month I’ve been reading a lot more than usual, primarily due to a writing class where I have to read a few novels a week to discuss the writing, genre etc. Anyways, I am so grateful because this led me to probably one of the best books I have ever read! It’s not an amazing literary masterpiece, but the idea and the story itself is just sheer brilliance. Suzanna Collins is the author of “The Hunger Games”, a book that I can’t even begin to describe. I literally finished it in one sitting because I just could not put it down. It’s a story that definitely fits into the apocalypse theme that is popular these days and the characters, setting, plot and just the whole concept is….wow! Its definitely a good read for all ages, and if I had to compare it to something…..maybe Da Vinci Code meets Avatar? But even that just at the very least because this book stands on its own.

Suddenly my expectations of myself as a writer have catapulted to another level of excellence that hopefully one day I can achieve! I could go on forever praising the book, but I really think you should check it out for yourself and please let me know what you thought as well!

It really is a different time…

Well this has been a busy week of reading! I have gotten through three novels in just a matter of days! One of those was Jay Asher’s “Thirteen Reasons Why”. Definitely a much edgier book, but nonetheless intriguing in its subject matter and the dual narrative in which the book is written. The book is essentially a long suicide note….and that’s all I will say. The main reason I chose to write about this book here is just to share my reaction to reading this type of book. I mean suicide is such a difficult topic to even think about, let alone write a whole book about! But Asher has really taken something difficult and not necessarily written a masterpiece, but wrote a book that needed to be written. When things are hard to talk about, we can write them. Asher has taken a risk, and maybe even upset many readers but he got one very important message across: suicide happens, and no matter what anyone thinks, that person had a reason why. After reading this book, there was a sense of frustration, not only for me but also for some of my peers, that there should be maybe a more valid reason for suicide. But I think that’s the message Asher was trying to get across….what may not matter or make sense to some of us, may be the defining moment for that one person to whom it does matter.

Aside from the disturbing subject matter, I would definitely reccomend this book to some of my serious readers out there :)

Return from Hiatus

New term, new classes, new reading material!! Believe me, at times I have trouble understanding where this excitement stems from as well! Well, just this past week has been quiet an eye-opener for me. I have been introduced to the world of publishing! Its pretty fascinating to discover what goes into one little book that occupies that 1-inch space on my bookshelf. The most saddening part of the whole experience was realizing that the importance of the quality of the reading material is not really that important. If the world’s reading level goes down, and people shift their attention from vampires to puppets, a 6th grader who writes a marketable story about puppets might have a better chance of selling their book than a graduate student that has been working on their brilliant manuscript for several years! For just a minute my dreams of publishing a best-seller came crashing down…..but who knows….maybe the world will never care for puppets! 😀