Progress Report

Sunday, March 27, 2005

A girl,
her dog


When last we left our intrepid wannabe writer, she was inconsolable and all but ready to drop kick her latest wip into the unfinished projects file…

And you’d think from all the futzing around I’ve been doing on the blog, that I’ve done diddle on the writing front. But you’d be wrong. Sorta.

They say that the most important part of writing, is re-writing—whether you’re writing straight through the first draft, then going back to flesh out and revise, or editing as you go. (I’m the second type of writer, books-in-a-month writing are no-gos.) For me, a lot of writing is thinking. Not thinking about writing—welcome to the wonderful world of wannabe a writer, population: a babillion gazillion—but thinking about character, theme, motivation, setting, points of intersection.

The first mistake I made with this current wip, is that I manufactured it. I didn’t wait to let an idea inspire me, a piece of dialogue intrigue, a character speak—I sought out a concept to prove something to myself. Furthermore, I pushed the idea, dialogue, and characters that were stewing within me aside. Essentially, what I done, was tell the muse to: Shaddup. And she did. She went over to the corner and sat. And waited. With a supercilious smirk on her face—You’re nothing without me, biotch.

Next important thing about writing: Listen to the muse. Follow (her) your gut, know *how* you write. No matter where I start re inspiration, I always have to come back to character, and dig and dig and dig. With this ms, I started with plot, and kept fiddling with that. It’s only when I got to Odil’s pov, that I was stopped in my tracks. Because I really had to *know* this guy to write him. Those other ideas I had put aside to work on this one? They were darker in tone, compared to my initial approach to this ms. That was my muse talking. And she kept whispering in my ear from her spot over in the corner, hinted at gothic undertones: the hero as threat. Why again was I suddenly jonesing for all things Beauty and the Beast? And what if I ran with this concept, since it was sparking my passion far more than the sketchy ideas I had?

I spent the last couple of days thinking about Odil as *The Beast*, and the subplots revolving around him. I fleshed out the ugliness in his past life, and in himself. I also wasn’t completely comfortable with the setting, but Odil belonged there, so I took a closer look at Zoë. She doesn’t live in that town. She’s from the city, and once I placed her there, everything fell into place rapidly. Her father who was missing, but I wasn’t sure if he was dead? He was only missing from my stupid version of the wip. The muse knew where he was all along: in the city. Zoë’s ex husband who I wasn’t sure why I kept mentioning him in the first chapter—because I had no plans for him to show up? He’s now her *almost* fiancé and living…in the city. I was never quite happy with how I’d written Zoë (and her brother Zane) in the first couple of chapters. They needed more depth. For instance, I didn’t like her lack of a career . Now she has one. In the city. lol. And it all ties into some push-and-pull motivations re her relationship with her father/brother.

This is the story I need to tell. The key was in the characters. Last night I was brainstorming new titles with ds, and I had to tell him a little bit about the story and characters, so he’d get the flavor of theme/title I wanted. And I talked a blue streak. It all came out (except the sex stuff), some of the major plot points, possible villains/antagonists—and their motivations—the prologue, the first scene in the first chapter. In a minute I’ll start to, finally, write the outline/synopsis, and, who knows, maybe get the prologue and first scene/first chapter done.

As for titles, I’m still working on them, but so far—discounting the just for yuks, stupid assed suggestions ds came up with—the contenders are: *Silent Hearts*, *Believe in Me*, *Dangerous Minds*, *Beauty Fell*, *Speak the Truth*.

Time to shut up. I’ll be back with the writing results, later.
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Amie Stuart said...

You’re nothing without me, biotch.

LMFAO!!!!! I like Beauty Fell btw ;-)

Jaye said...

Genius! Great cps think alike. It's a toss up now between *Beauty Fell* and *When You Breathe*

Linda Winfree said...

Muses are a bitch, aren't they? Mine's camped out with the flippin' Cheetos again, so I'm polishing/revising MS's that have been marinating. But it sounds like you've made great progress in the thinking through the plot process. Sounds like my kind of book!

Listen . . . repeat after me . . . "Dark is a good thing. Dark is a good thing . . ."

Jaye said...

"Dark is a good thing"

Linda, muses are downright tyrannical. Good luck with the edits/revisions--small e/r are actually fun, major ones are another form a writer's torture. Hope you're doing the former.

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