Goth Girl Rising Winner #5

Wrapping up the winners of the contest for a signed copy of Goth Girl Rising and — of course — a Kyra minimate. The rules were simple: Tell Kyra something and ask her a question.

Kyra rants and raves in bold. (Might as well be honest about it…)

Our final winner is John from Facebook, who begins with the comment:

You are the cure for the common girl.

Damn right I am! It’s about time someone realized this!

I like you, John. You can stick around.

Hey, this is going well! Let’s move on to John’s question:

Are you mortified by this contest?

More than you can possibly imagine.

Heh. Well, on that note, thanks to everyone who posted terrific comments and questions here and on Facebook.

(And, uh, sorry, Kyra.)

Nice try, Lyga. Screw you, pal.

Goth Girl Rising Winner #4

Continuing on with the winners of the contest for a signed copy of Goth Girl Rising and — of course — a Kyra minimate. The rules were simple: Tell Kyra something and ask her a question.

Kyra contemplates your requests with near-monkish calm and consideration in bold. (Yeah, right.)

Today’s winner is Vincent, who begins with the comment:

People seem to be at best a very mixed blessing. You completely despise them. You wish they would simply burn forever. And yet you need them, or at least some of them, and if you’re ever truly alone you feel lost, worthless, and completely hurt.

Yet so many are nothing more than sheep – given, at least on occasion, quite nice sheep – but they are still sheep. You are one of the few that is not afraid to be different. To be who you want to be, not what the shepherd says you should be. I salute you.

But remember, we all need someone who actually understands. And if you find them, don’t ever let go. Without those we call friends we are nothing.

Yawn… Huh? What? Are you done?

Dude, you talk a lot.

Whatever. I like the part where you say you salute me. That sounds cool. But don’t think that’ll get you anywhere. I’m a one-man woman, and even if I didn’t have a boyf– Well, a GUY, I still wouldn’t hook up with some random dude from the Internet.

Aren’t you going to respond to what he said in his–

Don’t push me, Lyga.

Right. Let’s move on to Vincent’s question…

On another note, have you given any thought to what you will do in another two years, when you are no longer bound to the will if your father? When you are free of that hell that is high school?

Oh, man. Honestly, I’m just starting to think about that now. I gotta tell you — I never really thought I’d live that long. Either that, or I figured Roger would have me locked up in the loony bin until menopause, you know? I don’t know. My b… My… Anyway, this GUY I… This guy I hang out with thinks I should go to college and be, like, a lawyer because “you argue like nobody’s business, Kyra,” but I don’t know how I feel. Maybe I’ll just bum around the country and write more poetry. But you know, for the first time in my life, I’m actually THINKING about that part of my life. So I guess that’s something.

Oh. That wasn’t so bad. Tomorrow: The final winner!

Writing Advice #42: What to Write

I know that I promised to talk about my method this week, about how I actually do the work of writing a book, but then a question came in from Melissa. And it’s a good question, something I probably should have covered way back when I first talked about those pesky million bad words.

Melissa says:

I’ve come to believe in that Million Bad Words theory of yours.  But I also believe that some words are more efficient than others at improving my craft.  I used to think keeping a journal was pretty good writing practice, and it is in a way, but I don’t think it’s all that helpful for my fiction.  To get better at fiction, I have to write, well, fiction.

I’m wondering if you think certain parts of the fiction writing process are more helpful than others as writers practice.  If I know I’m working on a practice novel anyway, should I just bang out a full draft and then move on to bigger and better things?  Or do you think it’s best to sweat through the whole process, including multiple critiques and rewrites, for a book that will probably never make it?

First of all, Melissa, you’re doing exactly what you should be doing: Working hard, practicing, asking questions about the process. So, good on ya.

Also, I think you hit on something important when you talk about your journal: I would say that a journal CAN be a very valuable tool, but here’s the thing: Whatever it is you want to write…that’s what you need to write! If you want to write novels, for example, at some point you need to sit down a write a novel! Keeping a journal will help; writing short stories will help. But eventually you need to write that novel. That needs to be your primary focus. The other stuff isn’t a waste of time and effort, by any means, but you want most of your work to be in the field/format/genre you plan to “specialize” in (for lack of a better term).

In other words, my little writer wannabes out there: Your blog doesn’t help you all that much towards your million bad words! 🙂

By keeping a variety of projects going, of course, you can keep your brain limber and can keep yourself from getting frustrated when things aren’t going well with a particular project. But remember this: ALWAYS keep one project at the top of the heap in your mind. Always designate one project as the most important and the one you want to finish the most. Dedicate most of your writing time to this special project. Otherwise, you may get so distracted by other projects that you’ll never finish ANYTHING! This way, by picking a Number One project, you can have a better chance of finishing something…AND of that something being really important to you!

Now, as to the question of just “banging out” a draft of something and then moving on… I think that can be helpful, but truthfully, I think you’re better off actually going through the whole write/revise/rewrite/rerevise/lather/rinse/repeat cycle at least once. You’ll learn a lot about the process and about your own writing by doing so. If it’s a “practice novel” (I think this is the first time I’ve ever heard that idea), then why not use it to, well, practice? Really tear into that sucker. Treat it like a punching bag or a tackling dummy and go to town on it. That’s what it’s there for, right?

Next week: Unless another question comes in — My Method. How I write a book, pretty much from start to finish.

Goth Girl Rising Winner #3

Continuing on with the winners of the contest for a signed copy of Goth Girl Rising and — of course — a Kyra minimate. The rules were simple: Tell Kyra something and ask her a question.

Kyra offers calm, rational rebuttals in bold.

Today’s winner is Jill, who steps into the lion’s den with the comment:

Kyra it’s amazing how you try to keep real to who you are, but sometimes its ok to give a little to get a little.

 

Are you effing KIDDING me? Are you really bringing that weak shit here? Look, let me explain something to you…

No, never mind. You wouldn’t get it. Look, there’s one person I “give a little” for and that’s it. The world doesn’t give a shit about anyone or anything — the world is totally self-absorbed. So we all have to look out for ourselves, and when we don’t, that’s when we become weak. I won’t be weak. I won’t allow it. I’m not “trying” to keep real; I AM real. This is me. This is who I am. My mom was weak and she died. Lesson learned. But, yeah, there’s one person… It’s complicated. I can’t just be on my own, but I’m not going to let myself get screwed over, either, you know?

Whew. All right. Now, Jill’s question…

I went to a very small school (32 kids in my graduating class). How would you handle going to a school that small?

Wow, I don’t know how I would deal with that. My first thought was that, like, there would be fewer people to annoy the shit out of me. But then my second thought was, like, what if ALL of those 32 kids annoy me? That would SUCK! And you know, with only 32 kids, how the eff do you hide when you need to? How do you avoid people when you’re all, like, jammed into one room together? (And, BTW, did you go to school on the effing prairie or something? Like, in a one-room schoolhouse? Do you churn your own butter? What the eff?)

Oh, boy. I’m starting to wonder if this was a good idea…

Anyway. More tomorrow. I guess.

Goth Girl Rising Winner #2

Continuing on with the winners of the contest for a signed copy of Goth Girl Rising and — of course — a Kyra minimate. The rules were simple: Tell Kyra something and ask her a question.

Kyra offers her usual well-reasoned critique in bold.

Today’s winner is Brian, who starts off with the comment:

You should try chewing gum.

What, to stop smoking? No shit, Sherlock. Jesus. You think I’m an idiot or something? Is that what you think? I live in a house with a father whose wife died of lung cancer — I know everything there is to know about quitting smoking. And besides, who the hell are you to tell me what to do? I already HAVE one father, and he’s a total pain in the ass. What makes you think I need another one? I’ll make you a deal — if you keep your nose out of my business, I won’t steal your car and leave it in the bad part of town. Deal?

I think he was just trying to help, Kyra–

Shut up, Lyga. I still have issues with you putting shit of mine up on your website. I’m not done with you yet.

Right… OK, then, moving on to Brian’s question…

Who would you prefer the hero in Schemata look like if not Dina Jurgens?

I don’t… I don’t really CARE. Just as long as it’s anyone else, you know? I mean, I get that guys get all creepy and obsess-y about “hot” girls and shit, but don’t go drawing your drool fodder into your comic book, OK? It’s just gross. This is supposed to be a piece of ART (it IS a piece of art) and it just looks bad when you can look at it and say, “Oh, gee, I sat next to that chick in math last year.”

And the first douchebag who says it should be modeled after me gets a kick in the nads. I don’t need that shit. Besides, I have the artist all to myself. 🙂

Aw, that was sorta…sweet…

Watch it, Lyga!

Yes, ma’am. More tomorrow!