Writer's Update: 7/11/12 (Author Signings Make Me...Inspired)

Guess what reference I'm making with the title.

And guess why I'm posting this one day later. Because Source Filmmaker went into open beta, and I spent all evening fiddling with it.

Never mind that. Although nothing of interest happened last week, something did happen on Monday that might put my progress on Manifestation Files back on track.

Author's Signing

Multiple authors, in fact, and they also did a Q&A session beforehand. Oh, and don't forget the activities before that.

Basically, two and a half hours of my time put toward an entertaining use. I was more exhausted than I expected to be right after, but at least I got some work done.

Author signings help with writing. It's just the atmosphere they provide. Having your writing folder autographed by another puts me in the right mood. And being in the right mood, especially considering I lack the work ethic needed to dispel my constant procrastination, is important to my writing.

It was fun listening to them and then talking to all four of them, even if I could have talked to them a little longer. One of the authors had a line that wrapped around the corner of the hallway.

I'll probably some of the things they said during the Q&A session, but for now: YA authors still have to deal with the stigma they have when writing within the demographic.

Manifestation Files

On one minor note, Bryan, the narrator of my story, is definitely Candor.

One of the difficulties I have with my novel is figuring out Bryan. What type of person is he? There's the fear that if I switch the perspective from him to Finn, he co-protagonist, Bryan wouldn't work as a character.

Another thing was how to establish him as a character from the first chapter. I wanted him to have a moment, to make him stand out and make it clear that the readers should be reading about his journey.

So while I was in line for the most popular author, I wrote a monologue using loose leaf from my writing folder. Nothing particular. Just a general ramble. But I set this at the beginning of the story, with Bryan justifying his personality.

First the boring part: He considers himself honest with the classmates he despises. He has a "I am surrounded by idiots" mind-set. While he has a point (teenagehood invites irrationality), I would say his tendency to be overcritical is a fatal flaw I'm trying to apply to my story.

Somehow. I'm smoothing out the kinks of Part One and Part Two needs restructuring due to me moving two plot points right next to each other. No sagging middle here. Hopefully.

Now, the more interesting part.

I was figuring out the initial emotional state Bryan has in the opening scene. I want to establish him as flawed yet sympathetic enough for the reader to stick around and cheer for him.

I established months ago that Bryan doesn't want to have an exchange student (Finn) in his house, and he only agreed because Mom pressured him.

Yet he feels the responsibility to keep an eye out for Finn. First of all, because he's frustrated about classmates who seem to make stupid decisions. Also, he doesn't want to let Mom down.

That's internal conflict already.

But Bryan's actions start with his mom. Bryan's Mom is an artist. While that had lead to some money troubles in the last few months (another reason why he's reluctant), she's spends more and more time in the art studio. And more and more time freelancing.

And then her career takes off. She produces one fantastic work of art. I'm not sure what it is yet. Maybe it's a public mural that went viral and attracted the media...

Wait. I just thought that bit up.

I got another amazing idea in the middle of writing a blog post!

Maybe this memeric mural gave Bryan an unwanted fifteen minutes of fame that still lingers into the next school year. Maybe the mural could tie in with the mid-point? While introducing this element lightens up the story, it's another way to add something unique to it.

Also, it makes a good marketing concept.

But to the real realization I had on Monday. With Bryan's Mom's attention divided between him, her art work and Finn, there's bound to be some strain in their relationship. Considering the fact that Bryan's Dad is divorced and only sees his son a couple of times per year.

In short, mommy problems.

And Finn has daddy problems.

Mutual motivation guys!

YOUR TURN: Have author signings ever help your writing?