Welcome to the website of writer Erin Boatkicker

Erin Boatkicker is a young writer with grand fantasies of using a handful of words to change someone’s life. She’s constantly busy and sometimes even surprises herself by how much time she can find to write. She’s a university student majoring, unsurprisingly, in creative writing, as well as working two jobs, learning to drive a car, planning a wedding, and dealing with her crazy but mostly lovable family. Right now, she's put all her other writing projects on hold and is focusing entirely on Only Make Believe, a novel she started for NaNoWriMo 2010. She hopes to have the first draft finished before November 2011.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Age Appropriate

How do you know if something is age appropriate in a book? My book, The Circle, is YA, and that's recently put a bit of a hold on my writing. By definition YA is 14-20. However, I remember reading YA books when I was 8. I'm certain that my book isn't appropriate for the standard 8 year old. I wrote a few thousand words, and moved beyond a key scene. But now I want to go back and get rid of it to make it more age appropriate for your standard 8 year old.

Even when I was a kid, I found myself second guessing everyone I said to kids younger than myself. I couldn't remember what I had known about when. I was afraid to swear for fear that they would be scared. I found dirty jokes to be the funniest thing ever, but I was afraid if I even hinted at them around kids a little younger than me, that I would either confuse them or horrify the. When I was 12 I wrote in giant letters in my diary "TWELVE IS ENOUGH" meaning that if I was talking to someone who was 12 or older, I shouldn't be afraid of saying something that the kids didn't know. Those words have stuck out in my head since then. I remember eating lunch at school with my best friends and making all sorts of sexual jokes. Pointing out second meanings of things, and swearing like a sailor, just because I knew that school lunches were minimally supervised and I could get away with it. The funny thing is that I was the "good girl" the one who wasn't supposed to know about anything. The one who at 16, you'd still wonder whether she had even heard of sex.

I'm not 12 anymore, and I'm thoroughly embarrassed thinking about all I said then. I'm questioning the wisdom of "Twelve is enough." I'm also wondering how deep into it I can go, logically with my writing. I'm not talking specifically about sex, but things that surround it. One my characters, Christine is pregnant. Christine isn't a kid, she's 30, but she's childishly stubborn, and refuses to take responsibility for her actions. On top of that she is ashamed of her pregnancy, because of her current life situation. She confides in Missy, my narrator who IS just a kid. Christine is considering abortion. I'm considering skipping that part of the story. Unfortunately that puts a huge plot hole in the story. If Christine isn't pregnant adn questioning abortion, the events following it wouldn't happen the way that they did. So she HAS to be pregnant. and she HAS to be considering abortion. Should I just scrap that whole bit and then try and find another logical reason for hte events that follow? Should I just scrap the events that follow adn change the entire plot-line of the entire story? Or should I just say I don't care about the 8 year olds who read my story. But then what about the non-8-year-olds who find it inappropriate to even put a controversial topic into something like this? Because I'm sure there are a few. I'm actually quite certain family members of mine wouldn't approve, and I really do want my family to approve.

I know the standard rule is "Don't write for the reader, write for yourself," but how can I be proud of my book if everyone I know thinks I crossed an uncrossable?

This is unfinished. I haven't yet decided what to do. I'll touch back on this once I figure out what the right thing to do is. Meanwhile, I'd totally love to hear your take on this.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

What would I do?

Today I was reading Rissa's Blog which was about what you'll do when you sell your book. Honestly, I have never thought about it before. I have fantasized about seeing my name on the NY Times Best Seller List. I have imagined my children, when I have them, telling their friends that their Mommy is a writer. I imagine reading my own book to my elementary school class.

But that's all of the unreal sort of fantasy. It's the type of fantasy that little girls have when they dress up and pretend that they're movie stars. It's not what they really believe in, what they really expect, or even necessarily what they want. It's just a game. Some fun other life to try on, but it doesn't mean anything. I will attempt to find a publisher because it's a fantasy that would ROCK if it came true, but it doesn't really matter to me. I write because I love to write.

I will publish because there is no reason I shouldn't, but I realized that I really don't care. There are only 3 things I want from my writing.
1) To write. I'm already doing that. YAY!
2) A fan. I really only need one. More than that would be lovely, but I'd be quite happy if I could just have that one.
3) A copy of my book printed and bound. Something that I can hold in my hands and say "LOOKIT! I DID IT! I MADE A BOOK!" I'd be happy on a personal level, even if I just self-published it. Unfortunately, I think a lot of people are hoping and expecting more from me, and if I just gave up when it got hard, and self-published, I'd be somewhat ashamed too. I'd love being able to hold my book, but I'd never be able to show it to anyone and be proud. I might not even be able to let it sit on a visible book shelf. (This only applies to my novel. I do plan on writing at least one book specifically for my sisters, and since they are the only ones I want to have that one, it will be self-published. That's different. I'll be quite proud of that one!)

I started rambling. Oops.

My point was, I never really thought about what I would do if I got something published, because it never mattered much to me. So starting now, I'm making it matter.

But I still have no idea what I'll do. Any suggestions?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Making it Seamless

I have been working on a short story that I plan to enter into the June Accentuate Contest. Originally it was intended for May, but I can already tell that it wont fit into the Sorrow theme was well as it will into the Regret theme. The death of a loved one IS sorrowful, but the story isn't really about that. It's about three sisters who haven't spoken much in 10 years. They fight a lot, but the reconnect when the middle sister Madison finds a teddy bear named Mr. Buttons.

I have what I actually think it a decent beginning. I have GREAT ending...... and nothing else. I have no middle. I have the first hundred or so words, and the last 200. I don't even have an idea for the middle.

This happened to me last time I tried to write out of order, and I swore to myself I would never do that again. But this time I started with the ending of the story, and then went backwards. Bad Boat! Bad Bad Bad.

If I don't get at least some sort of a middle by this time tomorrow, some idea, maybe a couple hundred words, I'm going to lock myself in the laundry room (there isn't any internet there, so I wont get distracted) and not come out until I have.... something.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Dreaded First Post

I started writing my first post here, and somehow blogger managed to delete it. I started writing it again in wordperfect, and somehow that ate it too. I've decided that my original first post just isn't meant to be.

I'm not sure where to start. Starting something, be it a new blog, a new book, or meeting new people, is always hard for me. It makes me a little nervous, because I wonder whether things will work out in the end. Starting a new blog about writing, after I just had a three day breakdown in which I didn't write AT ALL makes me even more anxious.

Am I supposed to say what I'll be doing here on this blog? That's easy. Talking about writing my books. Talking about books I read.

Do I talk about where I am currently with my writing? That's a hassle. I don't even know where I am. I started with 5 individual novels, was focusing on one, and then somehow, they all merged into one lovely series. Oops.

Maybe I introduce myself? But no, that's what I have a Bio for. Right? I'm bad at introducing myself, so that will have to do for you. Whatever isn't mentioned there you can figure out as you follow me on this crazy journey I'm taking. (I had a silly metaphor here, but I took it out. I love metaphors but this one was bordering on too tacky to exist. I point this out because I'm sure you'll find a few more of these in other posts.)

I think I'm done. Now that I've got the dreaded first post out of the way, I think I can write something decent.

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