Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Trying Something Different

I gave my manuscript to another writer I trust. I never have anyone read my work while I'm in the process of writing. I only let another person read my novel when I feel finished. So this was not only unusual for me, it was also a little scary. But I thought, what have I got to lose?

She read it and we talked. I realize now that I have to change a lot of things. As she said, "Nobody could get out of the holes you wrote yourself into."

So flying by the seat of my pants didn't work this time. By now the magic should have happened. By magic I mean that things should have fallen into place.

Lee Goldberg asks if I write with an outline. The answer is no. I think I've addressed this before, but since he asked I'll explain again.

I couldn't stand to have an outline. The idea of knowing where I'm going is hideous to me. Anyway, I couldn't write an outline when I never know who did it until I'm at about page 100. I don't want to know who did it when I start. It would spoil everything for me just as if I was reading a book and knew who did it from the beginning. Before I start I know who my protagonist is (in this case I know a lot about her because it's the second in a series) and who has been killed. That has always worked for me before. And now it's failed me. I still won't do an outline.

I did learn from my reader that I had to drop some characters and move some to other locations. I had to give different occupations to a few. My reader said, "I definitely wouldn't scrap it because there is a lot of good stuff in here." This was nice to hear. But the fact that I have to rewrite before I'm ready to rewrite doesn't thrill me. I'm still not sure where I'm going. It's possible with the changes that I make I'll find out.

This morning I went grocery shopping. Soon I'm going to take a shower. Tomorrow I'll start to make the changes.

I feel like I'm in hell.

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