Archive for the ‘Book Blunders’ Category

My first book has no name.  I’m not even entirely sure you can call it a book.  Finished at just over 15,000 words, it’s really quite pathetic.  Too long to be called a short story, too short to be a novel, I’m not sure where it stands.  The idea was hard come by, but after reading numerous Young Adult books (the best books for reading when you have little to no time for reading) I wanted to contribute something of my own to the genre. 

I spent weeks trying to decide what to write about, who the characters would be and what they would be doing.  All that thinking got me thinking – this is hard work.  Who knew? 

Finally, with a rough idea of what I wanted the main conflict in the story to be, I was ready to begin creating my characters.  That, I think, was even more difficult than coming up with the initial idea.  The problem wasn’t so much creating the characters, as coming up with clever names that really meant something.  Names that said something about the strength of personality in each of the characters.  To this day, I still don’t know if I succeeded.

Working directly on my PC, i began typing.  Page after page, line after line, the story came to life.  A girl named Hailey, moves from place to place with her widowed father, but finally end up in a small town deep in the moutains.  She gets a job, makes friends and everything is fine, until she starts having strange dreams.  Dreams about a witch and a magical crystal.  Feeling weird about it, she never says a word to her friends, but continues on, going to school, and working in the local grocery store.  Then on a field trip to the abandoned coal mines, she is confronted by her teacher, who turns out to be the witch from her dreams and is seeking the magical crystal – which Hailey of course has.  You get the point. 

All in all, it’s not a bad story, although it is missing a lot.  A lesson I have learned – Characters in books have much more than a single conflict within any given story.  A lot of times, as a reader, we read straight through conflicts without thinking twice about them – but as writers, we have to be very aware of each incident. 

As a new student in a High School, there are bound to be issues.  You don’t just show up and make friends and live happily ever after.  There’s always someone who doesn’t like you, or some guy you absolutely adore but can’t have.  There’s a subject you just don’t get, or a dance that you really want to attend – but your dad says no.  Millions of things could crop up.  You just have to know when to shove those conflicts in, and make sure there are just enough to keep it interesting.  A good book is like a recipe for the perfect apple pie.  You have to have enough apples, enough sugar, enough cinnamon and bake it for just the right amount of time.  Too little or too much of any one thing, and it’s ruined.


Read Full Post »