Monday, June 4, 2012

Sometimes You Need Some Mac and Cheese


Happy Monday, sweet readers!

There's a reason I love writing Young Adult Science Fiction. I'm a geek, first of all, and besides that, it gets me excited. I like thinking about the future, I like thinking about what scientific advances mean for the future of humanity. I like to think about, and write about, what the changes of the future will make people do - what will remain the same and what will change forever.

So, I wrote a YA Sci-Fi book I LOVE - One - and I'm currently clutching it to my poor beaten-down bosom while wading through a particularly horrific portion of Querying Hell - the WAITING. This is the fun part when your manuscript is on the desks and/or e-readers of some really, truly, fantastic agents, and you've been waiting for an ETERNITY (or, okay, a week and a half, whatever, that's not really the point, okay?) for them to respond to you with their thoughts. And the fact that they didn't respond within 24 hours could mean that they HATED it (probably that's what it means,) or that they're giving it careful consideration, or it could mean that they're ultra-busy and just haven't even clicked the darn file open.

(But probably they hated it.)

D'you see where I'm going with this? Querying Hell isn't called "Hell" for nothing, folks. The only hope for a writer's addled mind at this stage is to GET BUSY.

Luckily for me, CampNaNoWriMo is happening in June, and is the perfect kick-in-the-rear challenge I need. I tried to get psyched to finish up Chrome, my futuristic Sci-Fi retelling of the Exodus, but every time I thought about it, my brain went on strike. A big, foot-stamping, whining strike. All my brain wanted to do was write a Young Adult recasting of Mansfield Park.

Yeah.

I've never written straight-up romance before, though like 99% of my critiquers for One very helpfully contributed, "So, this is a sci-fi...romance?" (Uh, yeah. Probably. Maybe. Whatever agents want it to be.)

Anyway. I loooooove YA SF (sci-fi or speculative fic, either-or and both.) When I think of all my favorite books from the last three or so years, all but a couple were YA SF.

But THEN, I think about my comfort reads. The ones that make me want to curl up on the couch with a blanket and completely lose myself in them. The ones that don't require too much thought, or prompt any Big Revelations About The Nature of Humanity.

One of them is MG Sci-Fi Romance (A Wrinkle in Time, duh.)
And the rest are classics. Mostly Austen, a little Bronte, Alcott. Which, if you think about it? Are all YA (about 18-20-year-old girls) and ROMANCE.

So...if YA Romance is my comfort reading...
why wouldn't it be my comfort writing, too?

After my customary agonizing over this on Twitter, my dear, sweet, wise writing buddy Jenny said, "Sometimes you just need the writing equivalent of Mac and Cheese."

Mmmmm.


And you know what? She was right. Four days later, I'm 8K into SOLVING FOR EX, a YA recasting of Mansfield Park with Mathletes instead of snobby rich people.  I don't know if it's any good, and it's highly possible I'll never query it. But it IS good for my soul - I'm pretty damn happy writing it. And right now, in the depths of Query Hell, that's really all that matters.



What about you, sweet readers? What's your Mac and Cheese, for reading or for writing?

19 comments:

  1. I'm slogging my way through a YA Sci-Fi myself which I absolutely love, but it's getting harder and harder. I'm wondering if my brain needs a break from that MS, and whether I should try something else for a little bit, and then come back in to the YA SF.

    ps. love the title "Solving for Ex"!!

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    1. The worldbuilding can be tough, can't it? It doens't come naturally to me, unfortunately...maybe a break is good. <3

      And thanks! My brilliant CP Megan came up with it, I get no credit. <3

      Delete
  2. I love that! Writing Mac and Cheese. I feel like short stories are like that for me. It lets me do something different for a little while, and it's quick. I do want to try writing a Mac and Cheese novel, though, for when I need a writing escape from the current WIP. Just have to figure out what that might be :) Yay for Solving For Ex! Have fun with it<3

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    1. Uh,yeah, I kind of want to read that short story! I'm jealous - I can't seem to think of plots that concise. :(

      But, yeah. It's fun so far. <3

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    2. I'm posting it on Wednesday and you'll see how totally vague my short stories are. It'll give you confidence to try it :) Haha. I don't even know what's going on half the time but that's the fun of it for me. (Totally opposite of novel writing, where I want to know what's going on at all times) Do it! Do it! It's fun!

      Delete
  3. Yay! Writing Mac and Cheese sounds awesome. And now eating Mac and Cheese sounds awesome...mmmm. Can't wait to read Solving for Ex (yes, even if you never query it--of course I still want to read it just for fun.) <3

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    1. Ha! WEll, thanks. And I guess I'll send it to you, then. I'm mostly doing this for my own self-esteem, and I'm not gonna lie, you're helping that a TON, lol. <3

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  4. What what what?!?! This could not have made me happier!!!!!! Romance novels are my go to Mac and Cheese like every other day! Please tell me you're going to send me parts of this to help me get through finals ;) love you lots!

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    Replies
    1. As my Megan, if you really want to read it, of course I'll send it over. <3

      Delete
  5. You know, Mansfield Park (and Sense and Sensibility) are the only 2 Jane Austen books I haven't read. They're both on my Summer To Read List. :-D I'm excited to see what you do with a retelling of MP with mathletes. Love it!

    I am currently doing a revision to get to 50,000 words....only 20 words left! Wheee!!!!!

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    1. *gasp* Those are my two FAVORITES!!! MP is especially raunchy. Good stuff.

      It's just for fun, so no great expectations! <3

      Delete
  6. When I "met" you a year ago, I wish I'd bet you that you'd write a romance some day. Because ROMANCE FREAKING RULES! And you're so good at it... it was kind of inevitable.

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    1. Romance does rule. And as for whether I'm good at it...we'll see. In the meantime, keep sending me Great Agented vibes...maybe they'll land on this manuscript! <3

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  7. Word. I cannot wait to read SOLVING FOR EX, whether you query it or not. (But I bet you query it. I mean....come on. You'll finish it, we'll have ALL THE LOVE for it, and you'll query it. Or I'll SNEAK QUERY IT.)

    I am using ALL THE CAPS today.

    My mac n cheese is the kissing scene. Any genre. Whenever I'm stuck, I just write kissing scenes til I feel better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mmmmhm. Scenes.

      Yeah. I mean, Marieke would write my query for me anyway, so I wouldn't put it past her to sneak query it. Imagine me getting a request for a manuscript I'd never queried...GOLDEN.

      ALL THE CAPS.

      Delete
  8. I feel your pain. Waiting sucks!

    I just keep writing. Well and I'm beta reading too, so that helps.

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  9. I love stories that're good for your soul. My mac n' cheese are moments of magical discovery and adventures in other worlds.

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  10. I think SOLVING FOR EX is an adorable idea!! :)

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