21 June 2011

Tears of Writerly Sorrow

I haven't cried while reading since "Where the Red Fern Grows" in elementary school, but "The Forest of Hands and Teeth" had me all sorts of teary.  I read some reviews of "The Forest of Hands and Teeth" and realize not everyone enjoyed it, but I loved the writing, characters, plot, the whole sha-bang.  After finishing the book and setting it on my nightstand, I curled up in bed and tried to sleep.  Eyes puffy and headache coming on, all I could think was, I want to write like that.  I want to move someone to tears and outright laughter.  I want to take people away to another world so that they can't put the book down until they've reached the end.  My next thought was, I have so much more work to do! And that's when the tears started again.


I laid there feeling all sorry for myself and as the first tear dripped down my nose, Pre jumped on my head.


She went to the side of the bed, aimed her little body, and jumped, landing with her sharp claws straight on my closed eye and forhead.

Cale thought it was hilarious.  I didn't.  But, reality check!  Writing a novel isn't about writing, it's about rewriting.  Yes, I have a ridiciulous amount of work still to do, but that's the deal I've gotten myself into.

So, thanks Pre for jumping on my head and making me stop feeling all lousy.  Dogs are the best.

(As a side note, I realized today I have the habit of writing dialogue backwards.  Usually I know how the conversation will end, so I write that first and then go from there.  Is that weird? Hmm)

(And as another side note, I'm in the midst of putting together a crit group for YA fantasy- or something along those lines.  I have two wonderful ladies who are interested and there's room for a couple more.  If you're interested, let me know :)


  1. Juliana, I'd love to join a crit group for YA.
    And yes, writing is more about rewriting. I've learned that one the hard way, too.
    Great blog!

  2. Dogs are great aren't they!

    I loved Forest of HAnds and Teeth. It made me bawl like a baby.

  3. Deana, I'm glad I'm not the only one!

  4. The YA crit group sounds interesting...And I've never heard of anyone writing dialogue backwards, but hey, if it ain't broke ;)

  5. A) I need to check out that book!
    B) I've been thinking of starting a local (in person) crit group on my area. I'm not so sure how to go about setting it up though, so I look forward to reading about how yours is coming along.

  6. hey Juliana! I totally know how you feel. Rewriting is so tough! Many times I just would rather start from scratch. Outlining and first drafts are the fun part. But rewriting separates the men from the boys, metaphorically speaking. All writers dread rewriting, but the successful ones work through it and get it done. Good luck!

  7. I'd be interested in a group, although I probably won't have any extra time for reading till school starts back up.

  8. Hi :) I finished Where the Red Fern Grows at school, THAT was embarrassing since I couldn't stop bawling like a baby! Lol! I need to read The Forest of Hands and Teeth. I've finished books that made me do the same thing. "Yes! This is how I want to write! This is how I want my readers to feel!" Then a collapse in a puddle of goo because I too have SO MUCH work to do. :P
    Hope your eye is ok, ouch! But you gotta take an epiphany however it decides to come to you. Haha!

  9. I loved the Forest of Hands and Teeth. The one thing I truly loved about it was that it freed me to know that in YA, there doesn't always have to be a happy ending. I was told by an agent once that my story needed to come full circle--happy ending and I struggled with that. It didn't seem right for the particular story I was writing at the time.

    I don't know that I completely accepted the total ending. I was hoping for something different, but maybe in her following books I'll find what I'm looking for.

  10. We all have those moments. Mine was via the HUNGER GAMES trilogy. But you have to take it as something to strive toward. It's not an unreachable goal. It can and will happen if you stick to it and put in the work. :D

  11. Definitely been there. The thing about really great writing is that, after it makes me freak out about how nowhere near that good I am, it inspires me to do better, to work towards that goal. Glad your dog rescued you from the depths of writerly despair! :)

    Where the Red Fern Grows made me cry too, but not Forest of Hands and Teeth, though I did quite like that book. I think it's the dogs. Any sad animal story has a good chance of making me cry rivers.