This post isn’t just about keeping notes (though I do keep mine in various notebooks and in plastic sleeves – they’re very old okay 😉), but also about saving each version my story before I do another round of editing.
As you can probably tell above, from my various notebooks and plastic sleeves, I’m a stickler for keeping all things writing. Here’s why:
Only once in my life have I purposely thrown my writing out. It was a diary. If I remember rightly, I was a little embarrassed by a couple of events I had written about. I wish I hadn’t been so hung up on them, because they probably would have made for some juicy snippets in something. But alas, such is life. This is what I learned from it:
1. What seems like rubbish now might be a gem later.
Sometimes you need a little distance from your writing – at least three months – and you’ll see it in a totally new light.
2. I might accidentally delete something I shouldn’t have.
This happens, and if I’ve got an earlier version, I can retrieve it and save some time. Maybe it’s me, but I’m unable to write a sentence in the same way the second time around.
3. An earlier version might be better than the newer one.
I chop chunks and rearrange scenes, dialogue, etc. like a crazy person sometimes, and some time later realize the earlier version was in actual fact better. Blah. It helps to go back and look. This also gives me encouragement too – what I thought wasn’t working actually was.
So in a nutshell, I keep everything I write and I don’t regret it. It’s better to have it at my fingertips than not.
Over to you, do you keep everything you write or toss it in the trash?
This YA romance has been dubbed a teen spin on You’ve Got Mail.
When her mom and stepdad start fighting, eighteen-year-old Bailey (Minks) decides to move in with her dad, an airplane ride away and a stone throw from a guy (Alex) she’s been talking to on the internet. They don’t use their real names and are connected by their love for movies.
Bailey arrives in California, and her dad is driving them home. He almost knocks over two surfer guys. One of them, the brown-haired (good-looking) guy catches Bailey’s eye, and they both stare at each other.
Her dad gets her a summer job at a local museum and a scooter to ride around on. At orientation, she sees the hot surfer guy (Porter), a security guard there. He recognizes her and makes a joke at her expense, and she decides she dislikes him.
On the day before she starts work, she goes looking for Alex, convincing herself she’s searching for him to make sure he’s a ‘human her age’ before they actually meet, but cannot find him so abandons the idea in favor of a churro.
As she works her shifts, Bailey learns a few things about Porter that annoys her though she thinks he’s hot. Then she meets another guy (Patrick) while out with her dad and thinks he might be Alex.
On her next shift, she spots two younger teenagers stealing a statue. She and Porter go on a mission to catch them. They converse while on the move and their close contact has Bailey feeling the feels, but at this point, she’s in denial.
To stop herself thinking of Porter, Bailey goes to see Patrick, and they go to video store. It doesn’t go well. While Patrick is in the back, Porter makes it known he’s been there all along, revealing Patrick has a boyfriend. Ouch! But after Patrick leaves to go back to work, she winds up going up the mountain in a chairlift with Porter and they become more friendly. She’s actually impressed by how knowledgeable he is. Still, she doesn’t catch-on it’s Alex.
Just when she thinks she might like Porter, her dad’s girlfriend, who happens to be a cop, warns her not to keep company with him if he’s hanging out with the beach bum (Davy), Porter had been walking across the street when they nearly got knocked down.
As time goes on, Bailey and Porter develop feelings for each other. Their runnings with his ex-best friend (Davy) bring them closer together. Until one night, Porter finds out Bailey is Minks… Well, of course, Bailey finds out Porter is Alex, too, but no spoilers to how it all happens.
What I liked about it:
What’s so good about this book is, we know from the outset that the surfer guy is Alex, so we’re really turning the pages to find out how this hate to love romance unfolds. Bennett does well in keeping readers engaged from the outset. We’re rooting for them as we see the signs and wonder how long it’ll take them to see it too.
What I disliked about it:
The supporting characters were underdeveloped. They seemed to appear only when convenient for the plot. For example, Grace knows Porter and it seems she’ll be involved in the story somehow, but she’s just a pop up character that the author needs to get whatever job done. Also, at the end, Bailey is part of a Roller Derby, but there’s no hint of her even liking to skate throughout the entire novel, so it’s a random scene that spells ‘got to give her something to do’.
This book is for young adults, but I reckon older readers would love it too. I wouldn’t recommend it for a younger audience due to the sexual elements that run through the book.
It’s 2023! 🎉🎈🎊 The year of … well, (hopefully) a lot of writing for me. But at the moment, while I’m gearing up for it, I’m enjoying my other favourite thing, reading.
You know when you’re reading a book and it’s so good that you don’t notice time flying by …
I’m happy to say I’m enjoying a good book as a reader, free of my writer and editor’s cap. I’ve tossed all the writing rules away, so now I don’t see the flaws, and I can say, reading is, well, still delicious.
I’ve never grinned or laughed so much since I’ve taken a break from writing or looking over other writers’ WIPs. And I’m not worried that I’m not writing as much, because I know when I get around to it, reading will temporarily be thing of the past. Not only that, I’m going to miss it. T-r-e-m-e-n-d-o-u-s-l-y.
So here’s to reading a good book! Book reviews to follow.
Myrtle stepped out of Goldwyn Divorce Firm for the last time. She inhaled deeply to calm her jangled nerves. Freedom had teased her for so long, she had to pinch herself to believe it was real. Still, self-doubt and worthlessness from the years she endured his ridicule lingered.
She clutched her bag and hurried down the street toward a local coffee shop.
“We’re doing half-price at Pixies today.” A lady smiled and pushed a flyer into Myrtle’s hand.
Myrtle froze. It had to be a sign. She smoothed down her brown tresses.