Monday, December 22, 2008

I'm Back!

I got home late last night from a WONDERFUL and much-needed break. I did not one iota of work and just enjoyed the weather (and my kids) for eight days straight. I could have stayed there forever. Alas, but real life beckoned.

I'd hoped to put up a real post today, but didn't get around to writing it over my break. I can't remember the last time I took a real break like that - no work, no nothing - and I think it did very good things for my brain space. I returned home ready to dive into the new book, rejuvenated and feeling pretty grateful for my lot in life.

So...more tomorrow! For now, I have a new book to start (and a lot of suitcases to unpack!).


Angie Ledbetter said...

Have a merry holiday, and good luck with the new book.

Maya / מיה said...

Hi Allison! Welcome back!

I just wanted to introduce myself and ask a few questions for you to answer in your spare time (heh heh). :) I'm an aspiring fiction/freelance writer, and I stumbled upon your blog this fall and have since read every single one of your archived posts. SO helpful-- I really feel I'm starting to understand this industry.

Here's a question that I've been throwing around in my mind:

Is there a difference between "commercial women's fiction" and "chick lit"? I think the novel I'm writing could fit into either category; i.e., it's the funny/sad/triumphant story of three young women figuring out their spot in life (and running a marathon-- shout out to a fellow runner :). They're single and young in a city, albeit Pittsburgh rather than NYC. I've thought of it as "chick lit"-- I embrace the term, actually, but I know to many it carries a stigma. Plus, my story contains more Nikes than Manolo Blahniks, and I've heard that the Chick Lit trend peaked a few years ago. When I'm ready to pitch the book to an agent, which term do you think I should use? Does it matter? Do you deliberately avoid the "chick lit" categorization in your own writing?

I have other random questions about the process of getting an agent, but I think I should at least finish a full first draft before asking them in public. :) (How SHOULD I spend my million dollar advance? What should I wear on Oprah? Ah, the possibilities...)

Congrats on your new book! I hope you keep us updated on your progress-- since I have a head start of 50,000 words thanks to NaNoWriMo, maybe I'll try to be disciplined enough to finish my draft first. :)

Thanks again for all of the work you put into this blog. I started reading just when you hit the NY Times Bestseller list, and it was such an inspiration to see a "real" person achieve this huge milestone!


Maya / מיה said...

Oh, here's another (more pressing) question, as I'm now majorly reworking what I have AFTER NaNoWriMo. (That's the problem with 50,000 nonstop words: plot holes.) What kind of prewriting do you do before diving into the first draft? I know you start with compelling characters, the Big Idea, and some what-ifs. How do you get to know the characters? Do you use any kind of character inventory? Do you free write? Do you experiment with different POVs, different scenes? How much of the plot do you nail down before you start?

Thanks again!

Maya (or Molly... that's a long story.)

LarramieG said...

Molly, I think you made Allison's day by saying that you've read ALL of her posts. What a thrill for any blogger!

And welcome home, Allison. Enjoy the week with a bit of work and relaxation too. said...

Welcome back Allison! I think you've got some really great questions here to fuel future posts in case you are lacking after a glorious vacation. And good luck with the new book!

Maya / מיה said...

Haha... I hope I made her day! And I really did read every single post, despite the fact that I have a sinking feeling that I'm STILL asking questions that have been answered before. :)


Allison Winn Scotch said...

Thanks so much, Molly! I'll be sure to get to these within the next week or so! And wow, thanks for reading every post! You're probably the only one. :)