Saturday, August 02, 2008

moose in a sprinkler; quest to write a short, simple book

Some moose/sprinkler adorableness (keep watching for a little while -- there's a shy one that comes out later. [Smile.]

So, this weekend is the SCBWI national conference in LA, the one we always go to and love, the one that has made all the difference for me in learning to finish books and get published -- but we decided months ago not to go anywhere this summer (Comicon either) but stay home, meet deadlines, save $$, etc. But. . . wah! I wish we were there! It's such a good time.

Strangely, I woke up this morning thinking about the novel I abandoned four or five years ago when I decided to commit to Blackbringer instead. I had been going back and forth between them, never making significant progress on either, until I realized I had to give one up. (Interestingly, it was meeting a fabulous editor at the SCBWI conference who showed interest in my faerie characters that helped sway the choice to Dreamdark.)

I've always known I wanted to get back to the other one, which is YA, but in the meantime a lot of other ideas have jumped in line in front of it in the queue of books-waiting-to-be-written. But now. . . I wonder. I do love this story. . . And the best part is that it might stand the best chance of being. . . simple (God, I shouldn't say that. That's like asking for trouble, right, writers? To say a book will be simple? That's like tempting the muses to make mischief with you!) Okay, simple? I don't know. But with the drubbing that Silksinger has given me, I'm keen to write a shortish book with a contained p.o.v. I've been thinking of trying first-person, even. First-person has always scared me, but I really have fun with it in my short Sunday Scribblings fictions.

Speaking of short, "simple" books, I'm almost done with The Adoration of Jenna Fox, which I don't think I would have picked up based on the cover (though it is lovely), because it doesn't look mysterious, I guess. But. It is mysterious. Highly. I read a review of it at 7-Imp (and being highly impressionable, promptly ordered not only it, but another book they compared it to: Nancy Farmer's multi-award-winning House of the Scorpion). But anyway, at 7-Imp, they said that this book is, unexpectedly, science fiction. Who knew? It's about a 17-year-old girl who wakes up from a year-long coma and has to unveil the many secrets surrounding her accident, including: why does her family seem to be hiding her? I don't want to spoil any more than the book jacket does, which isn't much -- it's an interesting risk to take, to market a book so mysteriously that you basically risk alienating the audience that would buy it if they knew what it was about, just in order to get the non-sci-fi readers to pick it up. You know? I could easily have missed this one.

Anyway, I wonder if I have it in me to write a short, "simple" book. It sounds so delicious right now. And really, Lips Touch is simple, and it was a joy to write -- I think I need a little writing joy, looking forward. Revisions, after a while, can knock the joy out of any story.

Happy Saturday!


Q said...

Oh, I LOVE The Adoration of Jenna Fox. It took me a few days to figure out why it was called that, but when I did it clicked marvelously. Love love love that book.

Just keep writing, Laini. I'll read whatever you put out there.

Anonymous said...

Laini, you're my favourite author and I think you are so incredibly creative. I'd love to read some other stories you have to write, especially as I get older and my book interests shift.

Keep up the awesomeness. ;)

Anonymous said...

Happy Saturday!

I put a signed contract in the mail today! It was just a little poem, but still, I'm happy.

Laini, I think you'd be great with first person POV! Go with what you think will give you the most satisfaction. You're the one who has to live with it for X amount of re-writes. And thanks for the moose video!

Oh and the Peddler of Dreams idea that came to me was Sci-Fi. Kind of weird. Definitely complicated.

Enna Isilee said...

I ADORED The Adoration of Jenna Fox. I've given away two copies to friends since I first read it last spring. It's one of those books I just wish everyone would read! I'm so glad you're reading it.

I've discovered that first person is the only way I'm able to write... decently. All my third-person stories are AWFUL, but my first-person stories are... redeemable.

Laini Taylor said...

Thanks, all! Q, Jehsyka, Myrna, and Enna Isilee -- you are all very encouraging! Myrna, congrats on your poem! That's great! And Enna Isilee, isn't it funny how some p.o.v.s are just more natural to some writers? I guess I'm afraid that I'll have a hard time staying in one character's head -- I like to sort of pan around the story, finding the most interesting p.o.v. for any given scene, and using that to create mystery, etc. I'm afraid that in first person I'll feel stuck. Got to try it some time though!

and yes, Adoration of Jenna Fox -- I finished it yesterday, and found the ending very satisfying; a great read!

andalucy said...

I'll have to put that one on my list if it's anything like House of Scorpion. My girls, my husband, and I all loved House of Scorpion. I'd like to know what you think of it.

Liana said...

Laini- I just wanted to let you know I bought "The Adoration of Jenna Fox" last night (with a gift card-perfect timing) and I'm already over halfway through it...and I knew by page 9 that I loved it. :)
Thank you thank you for the recommendation!!

Laini Taylor said...

Cool, Liana! Glad I could pass along a good recommendation!