Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Do Your Research

My new WIP takes place on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, where I spent time as a kid. It's a beautiful, rural, somewhat insulated community, and I really want to infuse my book with its atmosphere. I hadn't visited in several years, so last week my husband and I took a two-day trip there and toured a few of the smaller towns.

Just being on location gave me a huge rush of inspiration! I jotted down tons of notes for places my characters should go, little bits of local trivia and details I can add, etc. I want to weave in some of the history of the town without taking the reader out of the story, and since it's told in first person present that will be difficult. But I plan to try it.

I'm still foggy on what the next few major scenes of my book will be, but I feel so in tune with the setting and flavor of the book. I just hope it translates. (And that one day I actually finish this draft!)

*caroline hickey

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Calling Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler...

Anyone read this article in the New York Times about a small wooden crucifix bought by the Italians for $4.2 million because it is thought to have been carved by Michelangelo? Now there's a big debate about whether it is, or isn't.

Where are Claudia and Jamie Kincaid when you need them???

*caroline hickey

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Image Boards

In my ongoing effort to be able to leap instantaneously from the world of dirty diapers and mashed banana to the world I'm creating for my characters in my WIP, this week I'm making an image board.

My hope is that by creating a strong visual representation of my characters, setting, mood, tone, etc., I won't waste so much time "getting into" a scene when I sit down to write. It'll be like putting on gardening gloves and immediately pulling up weeds. I've been ripping pages from summer catalogs, from magazines, and from the newspaper, even putting random words on the board that remind me of key elements to my mc's personality, so that I can put on her voice as soon as I sit down.

Some of you are probably thinking this is a bit of a time-waster, a stall tactic, and you're right! :) But being able to SEE in front of me what I've been seeing in my head for over a year now is really gratifying, and makes me feel that the book is starting to come alive.

When the board is done, I'll post a picture of it. For now, the image here is just a hint of the feel of the book.

*caroline hickey

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Seuss is Loose

These are from Pottery Barn Kids, and YES, you can order them for a queen-size bed! Do you think my husband would object??

*caroline hickey

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Sharper Eye

I've started to notice lately how much sharper and more critical my reading and editing "eye" has become.

As I slowly chug-chug along in my WIP, I'm seeing holes and missteps in my writing that I never noticed in my first two books, and not because they weren't there. After B was born, I took five months off from writing. It gave me some space from my WIP, but it also gave me time to read a list of great books I'd been meaning to get around to. I think the combination of reading really great stuff, not being on a deadline, and taking a little time away from typing has given me a new perspective on my own work.

I hope this means my new book will be stronger and tighter and my best yet. But this new sharp eye is also a little paralyzing, because it won't let me move on to a new scene until I've gone over the current one 50 times. And that's not a good way to get through an early draft.

I'm going to speak to my Eye about this, and tell her to just chill out until the next draft. I'm going to tell her over a cappuccino at Starbucks this afternoon, where I'll be writing a scene where my main character embarrasses herself. YAH!

*caroline hickey