Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Passion is a double-edged sword

So, after being in the hospital, recovering, the holidays and the New Year, I'm ready to get myself back on track.  It seems I don't have a spare second in my life for my life, and despite my attempts at balance, I find myself failing at it miserably.  So I'll continue to puddle-jump from one commitment to another until I find that I have mysteriously transformed myself into a morning person.

Miracles seem to happen in the morning.  For some reason, the proportion of work I get done in any given day is inversely related to the time that I get out of bed.  So now, I'm convinced that if I got out of my warm, soft, husband-inhabited bed at an early hour, my life would somehow be perfectly balanced, all responsibilities effortlessly fulfilled.  Please don't crush this delusion by pointing out all of its flaws.  I'm content with thinking this is the photon at the end of my tunnel.

So, time for a little catch-up.

Until recently I've not been near my computer since November with the exception of a few brief forays into the time-vacuum known as Facebook.

Being sick had one advantage.  The only thing I could bring myself to do was scribble my thoughts onto a notebook page with a ballpoint pen.  As a result, I've nearly finished my novel.  I know what I want to write for the ending, but I decided to get the handwritten pages typed first.  I'm fleshing out some of the better details of my characters as I do the re-write, and I really want to have a good grip on how they've been dealing with conflict throughout the story before I try to resolve their lives at the end.  Maybe it's an excuse, but as far as I'm concerned, it's a worthy one.

The key to unlocking all of this was posting my work on a critique site and reading what other, more experienced authors had to say about my style, or lack thereof as it were.  I checked out a bunch of sites listed in a Writer's Digest article, and Scribophile was my favorite.  Next step - finish getting my work onto the computer and then pay the fee to have full access to the site so I can post all of the chapters.

If not for my Scribo-friends, the rewrite would most likely be as ghastly as the first draft.  Instead, I've melded all of their advice in my head and in the recent chapters practiced what they suggested.  Imagine my surprise when I saw how well it worked.  Who knew active voice could be so compelling?  And I don't think I've ever written something before that had me laughing so hard as to cause me to stop writing for the night.  My first real glimpse into "show, don't tell."  Boy is that good stuff.

It's amazing, the feeling you get when the words on the page exactly paint the picture in your head.  Olivia's sarcasm took center stage, just like it needed to.  (She and I will have to revisit her earlier performances in the story now that I know she has it in her.)  And Claudia isn't all she makes herself out to be.  To see Olivia pounce on the opportunity was, well, like I said, it was good stuff.

So now that I'm closer to my goal of finishing the book, I realize just how far away I am from having it polished.  Everything I wrote before November is valuable only in the ideas that lie hidden in the muddy prose and the fact that they're in some sort of order.  One step up from an outline, I suppose.

No comments:

Post a Comment