Working Wednesday, January 16, 2019

So I’m looking through my works-in-progress files trying to decide what to finish next, and I pull up a really old one, fifteen years ago, called You Again. And the thing that’s surprising is that it’s good. There are about fifteen different versions of each scene, but the writing is good. And my first thought is, “I can’t write like this any more.” I’ve lost the sounds of those people’s voices. Also, the plot? Not great. So I’ll keep working my way through the files to see what’s in there, but I’m not sure about that one. Although I have newer scenes, maybe only eight years old that have Alice as a teenager in there. Huge potential.

That’s my work this week, finishing a book and resuscitating the dead (manuscripts). What are you working on?

Layering Characters

That sounds vaguely dirty, doesn’t it? No? It’s just me then.

Continuing my undoubtedly erroneous assumption that you’re all fascinated by what I’m doing as I get to the end of Nita, I’ve been layering characters throughout the story. I write in acts, so Nita’s first act is Nita before she’s forced to accept the supernatural and meeting Nick, second act is Nita learning to deal with the supernatural and falling for Nick, third act is Nita trying to deal with all the crime, supernatural and otherwise, while Nick cycles through multiple identities, and fourth act is Nita harrowing Hell because she’s tired of this crap and she wants to save Nick (who saves himself, but still, good goal). Obviously, Nita is front and center in all the acts, as is Nick. However this book has more characters than a fruitcake has nuts, and sticking with the analogy, we want the nuts spread evenly throughout the cake, arcing merrily as they go.

So take Mort, for example.

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And Now, a Word from Our Antagonists

One of the tricky things about writing romance is the antagonist. I’ve found two approaches, which I have discussed in more detail than anybody wanted elsewhere: the lover as antagonist (Moonstruck) and the outside antagonist that brings the lovers together as they fight (Charade). Nita’s book was supposed to a mostly outside-antagonist book, but as I wrote it, the lover-as-antagonist aspect became stronger. And now that I’m on the final pass throughs, I really have to get my antagonist approach together.

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Happiness is An Alligator

Guess what the “F” stand for.

I had a rough year last year.  Many things imploded on me.  So at the insistence of my daughter, I went back into therapy, except I went for the wrong reasons and ended up with the wrong therapist, and that became another implosion.  I was not happy.

  However, half the job of becoming happy again is recognizing you have a problem and doing something about it, so I found another therapist, a great one this time. And she gave me a terrific coping strategy.

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