Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Really, I Don't Bite!

A quick housekeeping note: I've gotten oodles of email from readers thanking me for offering advice (you're welcome!! thanks for reading!!), but saying they're too shy to ask these questions themselves...which defeats the whole purpose of being able to ask anonymously! So go ahead - ask me! I promise to be gentle in my advice and might be able to answer a question that really will help further your career. Think of it this way: if you can't ask moi, how on earth are you going to be bold enough to market yourself aggressively to agents and editors?

Chew on that while you read today's questions. Then email me at:

On another note, I went on a Felicity binge last night while my husband was at a work dinner. Le sigh. I highly recommend you tune into the WE and catch it in reruns. There's simply nothing better than the final two episodes of Season One (well, except perhaps the final episodes of Season Two), especially when, seven years later, you know that she picked Ben. :) Oh to watch their first kiss, when Ben leans in and his chair shoots out from under him and they just melt into each other, and afterward, Felicity is so stunned that she bolts for the door and mutters, "it's a flight reaction!" Hee! (Remember the days it felt like you absolutely, desperately, fiendishly had to kiss this person RIGHT. NOW? Ah, college.) And even better: once you have it on your DVR, you can fast-forward through all of the irritating Julie scenes. Now, I zap right through (except for the scenes that she's in with Speedman), and it's like she was never on the show.

PS - Blogger's spell-check isn't working, so if you spot errors, blame the man, not me!


thatgirl said...

I've been told I'd love Felicity, though I'm not sure I've ever seen a whole episode. I think I'll have to check it out.

Due partly to your inspiration and partly to my recent reading of Marian Keyes' "The Other Side of the Story," which may or may not be an accurate depiction of the book publishing industry, I'm thinking I'm ready to tackle a novel. Trouble is, I can't make things up. I write decent narrative and I'm great with dialogue, but that adage about your first novel being autobiographical? My biggest fear. So I keep trying to come up with a "plot" out of the air and I just freeze. "Just write" isn't going to cut it for me, I don't think. I've tried that with little success. I need a plan (a "goddamn plan," :) ), or at least a semblance of one so I can know that I'm deviating.

How do I come up with an idea for a plot? Silly as it sounds, the best fiction writing I ever did in college was when a distant friend in another school gave me a one-sentence plot of a play she'd written and I just copied it. Idea plagiarism aside, the story wrote itself once I started. Should I turn to a book about fiction writing? Are any of them actually helpful?

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

Hey Allison--we need to catch up! BTW, I saw your comment on Conversations with Famous Writers! Too funny that we're always hanging out at the same blogs. Here's Stephanie Klein's blog-- and you might like this one, seeing as you are 'in the family way' right now--

Great going on your blog!!!!

Allison Winn Scotch said...

Thatgirl-You *must* watch Felicity! It's my favorite show of all-time. Just too good.

I also LOVE your question. I don't know if I have a great answer but I'll give it a whirl within the next day or so, then maybe some others here can also chime in.

Anonymous said...

For thatgirl: To come up with a story idea, you might try asking yourself: "What if...?" Or, even better, allow a character into your imagination and get to know them. I mean really know them. If you're as fortunate as I was, that character will bask in the glow of attention and write her/his story for you.

That's honestly what happened with my first completed ms. The only problem is that I've recently learned the book -- so similar to mine in unique detail -- has already been published! :o(

The good news is that having written 367 pages, I'm no longer self-conscious and the plot/storyline for Novel 2 is coming together more effortlessly. As for "that adage about your first novel being autobiographical," well -- in my case -- Novel 2 might be much more "personal" (a la Allison's TDLF). And who's to say that's a bad thing? ;o)

Finally, tell yourself "JUST DO IT!" and find someone -- friend or otherwise *g* -- to keep track of your progress. Hope that helps.

A: I watched Felicity 1 and loved it, Season 2 left me somewhat annoyed. Now, with a DVR, it might be time to revisit!

xxxx said...

When JJ Abrams is on, he's GREAT! I'm hearing good stuff about "Six Degrees" ... hope it's better than "What About Brian?" I already love, love, love Grey's, so a Felicity-esque show after it would be faaaaantastic!

Allison Winn Scotch said...

Yes, JJ is a God. I was a huge Alias fan too until the show took a creative nosedive, but still.

Larr- the second season of Felicity sucked in the middle, so that's probably why you tuned out. But starting with the episode where Felicity and Ben break into the campus pool (ooh, it's such a good one! Just watch Speedy pine!), it gets good again. I think seasons 3 and 4 also went through short lags, but overall, the series is just delicious. I also love the time-travel scenes at the end, but I'm sure I'll talk about those later when they air!