Tag Archives: writer

Remember,

Last week I had to remind myself again. It seems a weekly occurrence for this thick-skulled writer.

Don’t get stuck on the missing details.

This is the first draft. I am building the skeleton around the heart. The sinew and other organs can be added later. It is not going to be a complete, fully-functioning work on the first pass-through. I am not that writer. Do I look like S.E. Hinton? No.

Write what you know now. The rest will come.

As I am writing each scene, more snapshots of future scenes and future moments in this scene reveal themselves. Maybe that’s why it takes three hours to write one scene. 🙂 (How many hours to write my first draft?)

I already know some written scenes will not be in the final manuscript. And I know some that will likely be combined. But that’s good. Some scenes are only meant for the writer: to deepen my understanding. They feed the story. They feed the writer. They are the pieces digested and turned into bone and muscle.

It will all come together: after the 4th, 5th, 6th….17th, 23rd, 31st draft. 🙂 I am a builder, a laborer. Not a finger-snapping magic wielder. I have the privilege of being a sojourner in my characters’ land, and I want to experience each scrape, each slide, each fight.

I love it! 🙂

This first draft. It will be a gruesome thing to behold: flesh here and there, bones exposed, fractures, organ pieces pulsing. But that heart will be beating.

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6 Minutes

When I’m at work, I focus on work. When I’m home, I focus on writing. I was following this pattern on Tuesday morning at work. Problems were being solved. But, more than I realized.

When I reached for a drink of water, I found another part of my brain was still concentrated. I could feel it straining. I was confused. What problem was I trying to solve now? I was in between work problems. Oh well, drink over – on to the next work problem.

A couple hours later, as I walked toward the restrooms, I felt it again. What was this pressure? Was I forgetting an important task? It was bothering me now. Still, I ignored it when I arrived back at my desk. I had work problems to solve, goals to achieve. If it was a work task I had forgotten about, I would remember when it was ready to share with me.

Lunch time. I walked to the kitchen. The concentration continued. I felt it as soon as I set my work aside. And then an idea was thrown to the center stage of my mind.

It was a potential answer – not one I would accept, but it might lead to a viable option – to a question I had asked myself the night before:

Where was He heading?

More like a series of questions. What was my ending? I had one previously, but things had changed. Before I started the middle segment of the book, I needed to reaffirm and re-alize my ending.

It hit me in a rapid, multi-crash wave. My subconscious mind was working on my novel problem while my conscious mind focused on my work problems.

Throughout the afternoon, every time I reached for my water, I felt that pressure. But now I smiled. I let my subconscious mind work on my novel while I did my job. I accomplished my goal for the work day, working toward the two week goal.

I called my grandmother on my drive home and spoke with her briefly. After we hung up, the snapshots of multiple scenes came fast and vibrant. I had my ending. I knew where he was going. I was elated. My subconscious had answered the question. (Our brains truly are incredible.)

I glanced at the clock after I parked the car. 6 Minutes. It had only been 6 minutes since I hung up with my grandmother.

I replayed and developed the snapshot scenes as I walked up to my 3rd floor apartment with a smile on my face. I fed my cat (crazy cat lady, yes), and then sat down and wrote for an hour and a half, before taking a break to feed myself.

I feel so blessed to experience this discovery – to create.

 

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Losing Myself Behind the Walls of Music

I love looking back over my music playlist to see the places I lost myself in another world. Most common when I’m writing – as I often listen to music to block out other noises – but occasionally I get caught up reading while my music is on. Sometimes it’s just short segments: “Didn’t hear that song.” Sometimes I’ll find I’ve missed a long line of songs. This time – reading rather than writing – I found that for the past 45 minutes I have heard part of every other song, almost exactly. Just one segment where I missed 2.5 songs in a row.

When I’m writing I generally hear one song per 45 minutes, or sometimes part of a song every 30. The familiar songs fulfill their purpose: blocking the noise by allowing my mind to relax so far into their memorized path that I am completely unaware of it. Creating my writing closet with walls of music.

I don’t know why this interests me. 😉 I’m a strange one.

Ciao

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The Journey Continues

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I love this journey.

I have been back to writing steadily for more than a week. Back in the thick of the journey. It’s incredible. I love when the unexpected happens. Love it when my expectations are completely wrong. I love when my characters surprise me, especially when it’s two main characters that surprise me. This is the beauty of writing.

The characters know how to write their story far better than I. And I love it when they take over. I love that feeling: when my eyes are following the words my pen writes, listening and watching my characters, and my eyebrows flick up in surprise or I have to smile in admiration at one or more characters. I love it when they surprise me, and I have a feeling they love to surprise me. Like: “Bet you didn’t see this coming.” “Bet you didn’t know this.”

Their version is so much better. It fits better. It is the real story….What I want to uncover.

Happy to be discovering. 🙂

Ciao

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Honesty

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So I plunged back into my book yesterday. To actually writing and brainstorming on paper rather than just contemplating. Yesterday I was cementing the culture of the book more firmly in my mind. (Reading history books is excellent stimulation.) But today a new scene started playing in my mind. An emotional and telling scene for the protagonist.

Listening and transcribing what she was saying during an emotional outburst, and thinking about the truth in her admissions, I found myself, yet again, saying: what the heck am I thinking? I can’t write something like this. Well, I can, but how can I publish it? Is the world ready for something like this? Can they accept a character like this?

I know some can (like me), but the majority? Will they misunderstand her and abuse her with their false beliefs? Can they see and accept the darkness and the light at the same time? Will they believe her: that these two extremes exist in one person?

I know that other characters may share versions of different traits and struggles, but none are her. None have her combination. I don’t know any like her. So there’s no one to be the guinea pig. No one to test the market. And those characters that I think could identify with her and be friends with her…Well, I’m not sure how the rest of the world feels about them.

She’s closer than a daughter, and closer than a friend. Our relationship is different than either, and my feeling-levels vary from those presets. She’s in a category of her own. I am protective of her, and yet so very proud of her. But can readers possibly catch a glimpse of what I see?

I’m the only thing between her and the world, and the only one that can bring her to the world. I am the river and the bridge. I can’t cover parts of her because readers may ridicule her for it, or simply misunderstand her, which is so much worse. She wants to be honest with the world, and I must let her.

So today, I resisted the urge. I let her say everything she felt, and I wrote it unabridged, though I did cringe on occasion. Not because I dislike it, but because it goes against every protective instinct I have to let her be so transparent. But I did it. And I determined yet again (you see, I go through this battle quite often) that I must write the entire book this way. I can’t muffle her. The readers can either accept her or not. They can love her or not. But she will be real. It must be unabridged.

I hope, one day, you get to love her as I do. 🙂

Ciao

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Coincidences. Life. Learning. Vampirism.

Sun Rays Through The Clouds

When I was getting up Wednesday morning to take my mother to and from surgery and pick up her prescriptions, I did not realize I would end up with an eye infection and antibiotics (picked up yesterday, pharmacy was beginning to think I would be a regular) of my own. Fortunately, the infection lined up with my days off work. Unfortunately, it made me less ‘on par’ to care properly for my mother.

But it led to a rather interesting mini-experience. I was feeling drowsy a couple hours after taking my medication and, wondering if it was due to the medication or my own tiredness, I looked more closely at the bottle. (Note to Self: Always do that before you take the medication…) I assumed it was just another run of the mill antibiotic as I had experienced over the years. Mistake.

Sunshine

Clearly printed were instructions to avoid direct and artificial sunlight. No explanation. But I figured it heightened photosensitivity. I made a joke about bursting into flames in the sunlight, and moved on. It was cloudy after all. No reason to dwell.

English: Clump of trees with sun rays below th...

The following day I acted as usual, practically forgetting about the sunlight warning, and took my meds upon waking. It was not nearly as cold as yesterday and there were significant lengths of uninterrupted sunlight shining through the windows and laying like blankets on the floor. I was feeling rather good about the day. My energy levels were higher, inflammation was down. I was feeling almost normal (that is, my normal).

English: Sun rays and hedgerow, West Hay Rd, W...

About noon, my mother’s dogs wanted outside. I slid the back door open, my hand sliding into the hot sun (surprised me how hot it felt in October), and held for a few seconds while they clamored over each other out onto the wooden planks. My eyes shot down to my hand as it began to feel like it was catching fire and I wanted to be sure I was wrong. I jerked my hand out of the sunlight. The sensation of flames – a heat that seemed almost liquid and yet not – with spots of deeper, hotter flames persisted. With a swift reach of my other hand, I pulled the door closed. Only a few seconds. My hand had only been in the sunlight a few seconds. The ‘direct sunlight’ warning flashed in my mind’s eye. “Now I know why they said to avoid direct sunlight.” My joke about bursting into flames seemed about spot on at this point.

My hand was still burning five minutes later, though lessening little by little. “Well, I guess this is a little insight into what being a vampire would be like,” I thought.

Photo of a cloud illuminated by sunlight.

Going to the grocery store about an hour later was interesting…racing the sun to the edge of the clouds. Seriously feeling some pity for the blood-suckers. The next several days should be interesting. (Praying for clouds….Oh, and I bought an umbrella. – No, I didn’t have one before.) 🙂

Ciao

(Thought I’d sprinkle some beautiful pics of sunlight through out the post…Look but don’t touch.)

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What Do You See?

English: Drawing of a falling/floating man

English: Drawing of a falling/floating man (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

She placed the picture in front of me, flat on the table between us. “What do you see?” she said. It sounded comparable to a challenge.

I touched a fingertip to the picture, pulling it a notch closer. “Someone falling.”

She placed another picture over the first. “What do you see?”

“They’re falling to the left this time. It’s the same person.”

“How do you know?”

I looked at her.

She gestured to the picture. “It’s a nondescript drawing. How do you know it’s the same person?”

“The features are proportional to one another and the hat is exactly the same. It’s a logical deduction.”

She nodded, and then placed another picture on the stack. “What do you see?”

“They’re falling backwards now. Looks like someone hit them.”

“And what about this one?”

“They fell. Again. Of course. I get it. They fall a lot.” I started to stand. “Can we—”

“How do you know it’s not the same time?”

My back smacked against the chair, but I was too exasperated to wince. Much. “They could not’ve landed that way from any of the previous falls. It’s obvious. Wh–” I leaned forward, palm flattening on the cold wood. “What do you see?”

“I see someone who keeps getting back up.” She paused, looking at me. “As you said, they had to be from separate falls. How can you fall again if you didn’t get back up?”

“The last one…they’re on the ground. How do you know they got back up?”

“Why wouldn’t they?”

“Well, every time they fall must be a stronger reason to stay there.”

“No, no.” She emphasized with a slow but purposed shake of her head. “Every fall would be another reason to get back up. They can’t let it win now. They wouldn’t concede defeat when they’ve already come this far. That would be a slight to their previous attempts. No. ” She shook her head again. “They would not give up.”

I sat back, lips pursed.

She took a moment before speaking again, this time with a tone reminiscent of trying to cross a river barefoot on wet stones. “I…don’t think you should give up either.”

I sighed, rubbing my fingers over an eyebrow. “I knew you would try something like this.”

She smiled.

 

How many times one falls is not a sign of weakness — it is a testament to how many times one has risen.

What do you see?

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