. Athena's Books: City of Bones and My Own YA Writing
Wednesday, June 16, 2010

City of Bones and My Own YA Writing

Hello, folks...I'm back after a week of no posts. You would think I'd have more time since it's summer and all, but I've been super busy getting my on-line summer school course going for my students. And in between that, I've been doing family things like going to the movies and little league games. I've already seen The Karate Kid and Shrek Forever. Next, it'll be Marmaduke and Toy Story. Hmmm...see a pattern? After that, it'll be Eclipse for sure. Want to see Avatar-Next Airbender also. At home it's all about True Blood (which is definetly not for young people)and Pretty Little Liars which I just got into. Then there's all the movies I watch on HBO, STARZ, Showtime...I'm a Moving Picture Junkie.

But what have I read? Only one thing since summer started...City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. I know, I know...you're probably thinking "Where have you been, Girl?" Well, it's always checked out at my school library. Finally got a hold of it and I read it like a maniac. Very intriguing plot. I was all like "Why didn't I think of all that?" Why? Because the whole premise of demons and underworlders and shadowhunters and angelic powers...about forces of evil and good living among the oridinary human world is what's been in my head since this past Decemeber! So, after reading the first few chapters of City of Bones, I can truly say my heart hurt. It was one of those down days for me as a writer. I put the book down because I didn't want it to influence the world of my novel. Yes, it's another one of my illusive novels...but I do have about 5,000 words. One day, it will be finished. Then I decided I should just keep reading it since I am at a writing standstill anyway. Well, I'm glad I did.

For you guys living under a rock like me...here is the basic summary...

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . . . (from Simon and Shuster Site)

As for my novel, one of the reasons I'm at a standstill is because I don't know where I want to go with my novel. I have spectacular main characters with internal confllict and a great story premise, but I am missing what I call plotting. See, I write character driven pieces and in doing that I sometimes overlook those things that label books or movies as "high-concept," meaning polish and gloss and intrigue (I like that word...intrigue...) that goes into keeping the audience hooked...usually called the rising action...usually comes to a close at the climax.

I know what my emotional climax is and what is going to happen and what my main character Cassiel will choose, but I am missing that crucial situation underneath...what I call the physical climax...to serve as the basis for this big thing Cassiel is dealing with internally that will have eternal consequences for him. I am missing the ultimate battle where Cassiel does what needs to do! That's what City of Bones showed me. That's what I already knew somewhere in my head but creative writing courses that focus on literary writing with character driven stories just zapped it out of me for a while.

Ok...so this summer I am finishing Honey Brown Chicas. It's more of a pre-teen chapter book. I've written the beginning and have a complete outline for the rest which is something I don't have for any other novel I have begun writing.

Next...I will finish Eternal Dance (that's just my working title for now). It's my creative writing thesis project for school (a novel in verse/poetry) and must be done and finished by about next February.

Then...I will finally have time to get to this one that I'm talking about going with my guy, Cassiel. My working title is Shadow of Light (for now).

Excerpt (this is a sort of diary entry/love letter written by my other main character who we will call Zaida for now...written to Cassiel)

You told me yesterday I can’t have you. You are Mercury and I am Venus. Two bodies who can’t meet though we have a similar orbit. Your wings fly faster and to places I can't go. You’re red. I’m aquamarine. The stars call you further away from me. But, I see your voice speaking in silver, firing sparks of…love? Desire? Longing? All mixed together with no separators. Though you say we are worlds apart, I don’t see it. The same celestial bodies hang overhead, shining a thousand beams. I will not let you go. I will only pretend.

I think I’ll put this in your locker tomorrow. Slip it in before the end of 2nd period when everybody is still focused enough to be in class instead of out on restroom break and water break and just plain hallway break, all waiting for lunch break and warm backpack sandwiches with friends under a cool sun in November.

Oh, but I forgot. You are out saving the world.

I’ll tape it to your wings while you sleep.

I am the stealth girl in the onxy turtleneck, eyelids purple and smoke with shadow and mascara.


Maria the Bookworm said...

The Mortal Instruments is one of my favourite series, glad you liked it. And by the way, good luck with your writing!

Kate Evangelista said...

The Mortal Instruments actually took over my life at one point. Here's a review I did: http://kateevangelistarandr.blogspot.com/2010/03/city-of-bones-by-cassandra-clare.html