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.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Have turned in all first drafts of w-f-h, am waiting for rewrites. My brain is mostly dead, but the wee part that is not turns to my swordfighting WIP.

I haven't got a clue what to do. Or rather, I know what to do--basically I am starting over, and hopefully* eventually the new stuff will hook up with the old stuff timeline-wise and I'll know how to proceed from there. But I don't know what to write. I think I have forgotten how to start writing a book. I must spend, like, 99.9999% of my time rewriting. The last book I started was the former GN, and it sort of came out on its own in a non-book-like way that's not helpful to me right now. It was more like scribbling lines in a notebook than starting a novel. Before that, I wrote the Hallowmere book, and I had an outline to follow for that. Before that...I think the last book I started before that was Repossessed. With that, I had an idea, and the first line may have just popped into my head. The beginning of Night Road is lost in the murky mists of memory.

So, what to do? Maybe I should try to think about the conflicts that set up what I already have and see if any call to be fleshed out? Maybe just start writing a scene and see what happens? Maybe think carefully about how it feels to write something just because I know the plot calls for it, and memorize that feeling so that I don't repeat it?

My mind is sort of drifting toward the dad in the story--who dies early on, before the book even starts in the current version--and perhaps pinpointing something awful that set the events of the story on their course. In the back of my mind it's just a foggy blur of "dad got sick and died." But, thinking about it, something concrete happened to the dad to ignite anger in the MC. Somehow all his grief got channeled into rage that drives him through the book. Whatever happened, it is something that he can't examine too closely. Throughout the book, he refuses to listen to anyone or to consider the ramifications of anything he's choosing to do. He just continues to charge blindly ahead with his stupid, shallow, ill-thought-out plan that is not going to fix anything that's upsetting him. I suppose that in the end he'll have to see that

(I could think a lot better if the f*cking kids down the street would ride their mini-bike someplace else. They have been driving back and forth down our one-block cul-de-sac for hours. One block. A mini-bike motor. Up and down, up and down. For hours. If it was one continuous buzz it wouldn't be so bad, but the Doppler effect makes it crescendo every few moments. Then there's a pause while they switch riders. Then it starts again.)

Okay, back to WIP.

(Hey, maybe they'll run out of gas.)

(F*ck it, I put in earplugs.)

Okay, so the MC spends the book pursuing...the wrong goal? Willfully refusing to see...what? What does he need to see, by the end of the book? What happens to his dad? It would be nice if somebody killed him rather than him dying from a disease, because that would certainly provoke the kind of rage that would carry a not-very-bright action-oriented doggedly stubborn boy through a series of blindly stupid actions. Maybe the rage is directed at the wrong person, and the MC discovers (or admits it) at the end? So, who killed the dad, and why? And why would the MC misread the situation?

H*ll if I know. Will try to think.

*I know that's not correct usage, but it should be. I am determined to do my part to make it correct usage by repeating it over and over till the world agrees with me.

Same with double, triple, and quadruple negatives. And "y'all."

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