Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Surprise, Surprise

I couldn’t leave chapter two in third person.  More accurately, I couldn’t leave character 2 in third person.  Now I’m going to have two voices in first person.  One fifteen, one forty.  One female, one male. Does it work?  Who knows.  I don’t want to give it to first reader because at this stage it would be a mistake.

I still only have four chapters.  And I’m not finished changing character 2 from first to third. As I do this I can’t help thinking why?  Why am I doing this at all?  As I’ve said before I’m a writer so it appears I have to write.

I shouldn’t read Laura Lippman’s Memory Project, but I like to check out what she’s up to.  Still, I’m exhausted from reading her schedule and her word count.  Even though she’s younger than I am, I didn’t keep up such a pace when I was her age.  I don’t know how she does it.  She even writes on tour!  I never did.  I was delighted to have a real excuse not to write.

I can’t help thinking I’m spinning my wheels, making busy work.  Well, not all the time.  Sometimes I feel that what I’m writing is good and no matter what, if I keep going this way, I’ll be proud of it when I finish.  Sometimes I think what I’m writing sucks and I’ll be embarrassed when I finish.

When I finish?  Only yesterday I didn’t want to come to this computer.  But I did.  I still get the Sunday night blues.  I try to remind myself that I’m not going to school the next day and that no one is making me write but me.  Even so I have those damn blues.  Do others have them?

I think it’ll take me the rest of the week to change character 2 from third to first.  I started chapter five before I realized I had to make these changes.  Only a paragraph.  I hope the changes will propel me and I can get back to surprising myself by what the people do in this book.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Going Back After All

I didn’t plan to go back to Chapter One, but it hit me that what I’d written in third person belonged in first person.  I thought it would be a snap.  It wasn’t.  Changing from third to first brought on other changes.  Still, I managed to do it in one session.

This came to me while reading a novel Tuesday afternoon.  It wasn’t a matter of copying someone else’s work. The spark of what I was reading ignited a flame. And I’m grateful because I would hate to have this come to me in Chapter Twenty or at the end of the first draft. The rewritten chapter is much better this way and it will make the character stronger in future chapters.

Now I’m going to go back to Chapter Two to see how that works in third person.  I plan to leave it that way, but you never know.<

There are always surprises when you’re writing blind, so to speak.  That makes it fun for me, even though it can create more work.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

How It's Going

I now have three completed chapters.  I have no idea if they’re good or not.  I don’t look back, unless I’ve forgotten a name, etc.

The interesting thing to me is that while writing chapter three I completely changed who was going to do what in the future.  Suddenly my new thoughts made so much more sense.

Since I only know a few things about this book sometimes I get stuck.  Don’t tell me to write an outline. I get unstuck eventually.  It might take some time but it’s more interesting this way.

Again, I’m not being rigid about my time schedule and everything feels better for me right now.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Don't Try This At Home

Over the past three weeks I’ve managed to write two chapters and two pages of the third.  In the old days that would be a lousy output for me.  I was interrupted by the death of my cat so I guess I can call it two weeks.  Still.

But this isn’t the old days.  This is a new way to work for me.  As in, whenever I want to.  Whatever time I want to.  As long as I want to.  Having a schedule is no longer for me.  I don’t set an alarm anymore.  I don’t rush to be in bed by a certain hour.  It’s incredibly free.

If I had a deadline, a contract, I couldn’t do this.  But I don’t and that’s what makes it freeing.  I try not to wonder if anyone will buy it, but sometimes my mind will go there.  I shake it away.  We all know what’s going on in publishing and it’s a nightmare.  However, I’m going to keep writing this novel and hope that I get to the end someday.

The good news, for me, is that I think about it when I’m not writing.  I wonder about the characters. I know when I have to go back and change something.  This tip usually comes from a book I’m reading.  The point is, I’m interested.  I like this novel.  And yet I’m not obsessed by it.

For new writers please don’t follow this example.  I wouldn’t have published nineteen books if I’d done it this way.  It’s fine for me now.  Not for you.