thelizbrownshow

Posts Tagged ‘writing’

Holy shit. I’m a sex writer.

In Uncategorized on February 8, 2012 at 12:40 pm

‘Tis a glorious day in the world of Liz Brown.

I had my first piece published on LA Weekly’s ‘After Dark’ Sex Blog today, and now even IIII know I’m a real-live professional writer.  For a sex blog.

Please God, don’t let me ever be THIS annoying:

If you know me personally, you have some idea how hilarious it is that I’m now passing myself off as a sexpert. The wildest sexual thing I’ve ever done is watch ‘Requiem for a Dream’.  If you don’t know me personally, feel free to envision me as a Goddess of Sexual Knowledge. Either way, you’d better read my shit. There WILL be a quiz.

Check out my first LA Weekly After Dark piece here:

5 Sexy Condom Tips for More ‘Pro-Phylactic’ Safe Sex

About these ads

Slow going: a rewriter’s lament

In Uncategorized on January 9, 2012 at 5:54 pm

I love having a big project to work on piece by piece, day by day–except when I hate it.

I started rewriting the first draft of my novel about a week ago. I”ve turned 35 single-spaced first draft pages into 25 double-spaced second draft pages, which means I threw out a whole lot of stuff in my first 35. I guess that was to be expected. The beginning of my first draft is sort of like a Choose Your Own Adventure book. There are at least four alternate story lines going on, so I chucked the pages from the three I’m not using and a few more pages of mortifyingly cheesy dialogue between the main character and a character that totally doesn’t exist anymore.

The whole beginning of the book was feeling pretty sluggish to me. Besides this novel, the majority of my writing experience has come in the form of blog posts and sketch comedy–two places where you need to get your point across immediately or risk having your audience tune out. In the first draft of my novel, nothing happened for the first thirty pages. Now, in the second draft, I’m making the opening line of the whole book an explanation of the premise.

There are a lot of great classic novelists who took their sweet time getting to “the point” in their books, giving fifty pages of historical context and their characters’ personal genealogy before revealing a single piece of action to their readers.

I don’t think I want to do that. I think I want to try to suck people in right away. I guess that will make my piece more pop culture-y than classic novel-y, but I guess that’s okay. I just want it to be good and for people to like it.

DEADLINE FOR SECOND DRAFT: FEBRUARY 29, 2012
FIRST DRAFT (SINGLE-SPACED) PAGES REWRITTEN: 35/250
SECOND DRAFT (DOUBLE-SPACED) PAGES COMPLETE: 25
DAYS LEFT:  51
PAGES LEFT TO REWRITE: 215 (Ouch. It hurts to even write that.)

I wrote a book. You can’t read it.

In Hello Giggles articles on January 6, 2012 at 2:56 pm

The warped pages stained with spilled coffee prove this novel is totes legit. You still can’t read it though.

I spent just over three years writing the first draft of my first novel ever: three hundred-ish pages of dark comedy, darker tragedy and real life experiences thinly veiled in fiction.

I was preening like a kitten when I finished it this fall. I even thought of a really great last scene – and the perfect closing line. It was a totally fulfilling, empowering experience. I had done it. It was only a matter of time before I’d be crowned America’s newest contemporary literary genius. Once published, my dark, comic tale of a fragile heroine ravaged by cruelty of life’s day-to-day grind would become an underground hit. Then Oprah would read it and immediately announce she was coming out of retirement for the sole purpose of reviving her Book Club just to share my genius. (YOU’RE getting a Pulitzer Prize and YOU’RE getting a Pulitzer Prize and YOU’RE getting a Pulitzer Prize!)

I felt like pretty hot stuff.

“I finished my NOOOOOOOOOO-VEL,” I’d tell friends when they asked what I’d been up to. I said it in a snotty, self-mocking tone  proving I knew how pretentious it sounded. Secretly though, I didn’t care if I seemed like a braggart.  I wrote a novel. I felt entitled to boast a little. I’d spent hundreds of hours staring out windows, crying over lack of inspiration, reading excerpts at my weekly writing group, staring out windows again and, of course, actually writing. And then, finally, it was done. It had seemed like an insurmountable task, but I had surmounted it.  I was an inspiration to aspiring novelists everywhere.

“That is SO AWESOME, Liz!” said my best friend. “I’m so proud of you! Can I read it?”

That shut me up pretty quick. You could almost hear the sound of my self-satisfied smirk melting away, like ice going soft and collapsing at the bottom of an old fountain soda cup. Flurp.

“No, you can’t read it,” I said, annoyed.

She looked confused.

“No one can read it,” I said. “It’s a first draft!”

“Oh,” she said. “That’s okay! I don’t care!”

“No!” I fumed. “It’s not… readable!”

It was the first time I’d even admitted it to myself. I wrote a book, but I couldn’t give it to anyone to read. It was a mess. There were dozens of pages of alternate story lines in there that I wasn’t using anymore. My main character had every job from psychiatrist to product tester when I was still figuring out who she was. There’s stuff I wrote in there three years ago that makes absolutely no sense with the brilliant ending that I wrote in September. If anyone opened up my “book” right now and started reading, they’d be seriously confused, and not in a cool ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ way. I’d rather eat all three-hundred pages of my book one by one than let my closest friend read it, let alone a legitimate editor or publisher. If Oprah and Gayle’s car broke down in front of my house right this second and the ladies asked me for something compelling to read while they waited for a tow truck, I couldn’t give them my moldy old orange binder half-filled with genius and half-filled with miserable junk.

Then I remembered that old adage: “Writing is rewriting.”

Vomit.

So, I guess I didn’t write a book after all–not yet. Once I finish this next draft, though, I’ll definitely have written a book – when I can give it to someone to read.

Back to staring out the window and crying for a couple more months. Times a-wastin’ and Oprah’s ill-fated Chevy Impala could be right around the corner.

Man,…Liz’s neighborhood is kind of sketch. Anyone got a Wally Lamb novel on hand?

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 26 other followers