Thursday, July 12, 2012

Love Lists

Song I'm listening to right now: Dream by Priscilla Ahn

Love List: Birthdays. Check.

     If I may be so bold, Stephanie Perkins is a rock star writer. Her debut novel Anna and the French Kiss is one of the best YA ones out there IMHO. It's made up of all the best parts, you know, the parts you always skip to in a story. AND the book is all about falling in love in Paris with a British guy ::swoon:: But I digress..

    Stephanie Perkins is a rock star writer. So when I read a post about "Love Lists" I was intrigued. Basically, every time you're starting a new project you list all the things you love about this new story. It helps you 1) stay excited during the heck, physical and emotional torture, living nightmare drafting process. And 2) it provides a loose guide of what ideas you should be building up as you writer (genius, people). At the end of her post she says:

  "If you keep a list of ideas in your novel that make you proud, you will CREATE a novel that makes you proud."

   How wise is that? As I've been drafting this story of mine I keep searching for the "be all, end all, golden goose" of a storyline. I had myself convinced for so long that everything had to click right into place or the entire thing had  to be re-written. What I've been looking for so long is a formula. Instead of whipping everything together from scratch and CREATING a beautiful novel, I was searching for something to make it "perfect". This week I've realized that that "perfect" formula isn't out there; that no matter how many new beginnings I write, it's the characters that drive the story, the suspense that makes the reader turn pages, a strong back boned plot, and a fresh voice that makes a story "perfect".

   So I'm trying my hand at a love list. I've never made a love-list about a book before. I have made these kinds of love lists:

   My Celebrity Crushes:
   Brad Pitt
   George Clooney  (I'm afraid you'll never find them on my list. Good looking yes, but not my type.)
   Johnny Depp
   Tom Hardy
   David Bowie in The Labyrinth tights and all.

   Things I Love: 
    ice cream
    summer nights
    live concerts
    driving with the windows down
    snuggling in a down comforter

 My Book Love List:

 death personified
 magical abilities with your hands
 a wonderland forest
 creatures that live in flowers
 a ghost district
 a shape shifter posed as a neighbor lady
 creatures from dreams running loose
 beautiful chiffon dresses
 a secret room
 a transporting cloak

It doesn't help me a dang way of how to now construct such a fabulous sounding story but I think the two reasons Stephanie listed are valuable in creating a story you have enthusiasm for. Which is what (us) readers are really looking for....something that wraps itself around our brains like hazy cashmere transporting us to another world while a little hand breaks through to our hearts and makes us feel.

For the whole post read HERE. It's on Natalie Whipple's blog..a writer whose debut novel I am SO eager to read next year. So also speaks straight to struggling writers so check out her blog for shizzle.



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