The reasons for this blog: 1. To provide basic author information for students, teachers, librarians, etc. (Please see sidebar) 2. I think out loud a lot as I work through writing projects, and I'm trying to dump most of those thoughts here rather than on my friends.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Trees, meet the forest.

Luckily, today I had one of those things I get sometimes early in the morning when I'm sort of half asleep and half awake. I suppose all the negative voices are off at that time, all the pressure is off, and the back of my mind has been working on problems--so once in a while I get a very clear flash of what I could be doing. It's not like pictures or words, more like a snapshot of a station (or more than one station) along the emotional arc of the story. So this morning I had a flash, and you can bet your sweet @ss I dragged myself out of bed to write it down, because this comprises a bunch of stations and there's no way I would remember it all.

What I scribbled down is this (censoring out character names and plot specifics):

need to show Character 3 break up she needs to paint a touching picture of her family life
tough and pitiless till then (we see her soften at Plot Point X)

Then when I went back to bed my mind was still in that place, so it went over other stuff, and I understood some stations I could shoot for, and an order that might work. So after I got up I wrote them down because I knew I'd forget them, too:

1. Character 1 goes home in dread
2. goes to see Character 4
3. Character 2 is pissed
4. Character 3 goes to eat--sees kitchen
5. neighbor comes--warns about a search, but no one knows about character 4
6. Characters 1, 2, and 3 away

Then I noted what the state of mind of characters 1, 2, and 3 are as they leave.

This all seems very cryptic and stupid, but really it represents a lot of work and hopefully a breakthrough about the middle. There are at least six or seven scenes/chapters (probably more) here, some of which I already have and some of which I don't. The ones I do have will have to be either revamped or completely gutted and overhauled. A bunch of stuff will have to be cut--but first I've got to go through and make sure I keep the parts I may be able to cannibalize and use elsewhere.

So now I'm looking at all this--it's going to be a ton of work, a TON!--and I'm getting that feeling people have when they think they want to be a writer, that if only they had the time they would be, and someday when they aren't quite so busy they'll actually sit down and write a book. But what they're really thinking is: Dang, this is going to be a lot of work. No point in trying to start right now, because it's so much work and I've got so many other things occupying my time. And when you feel like that, what you're looking at is a long life where you sit at the end of it and realize you never actually failed at anything because you were always a wannabe who never did anything. So I'm starting today, d@mmit. I don't know where to start with it, but I'm going to find a place and try to dig in.

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