Bookending Nita

I’ve often said that you can’t write a first scene until you’ve written the last scene, at least not a final write.  You have to know where you’re going to know where to start from, know what happens in the final scene to introduce it in the first scene.  So now that I’ve written the final scene (not finished the book, I just wrote that scene), I can go back to the first scene and do some of the massive cutting and shaping it needs.  I’m looking at it in several ways, but the one that’s most crucial, I think, is seeing how it  bookends..  

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Taking Over the Island

First, thank you all very much, you gave me a LOT to think about.

One of the best ways to focus an idea is to argue with somebody about it.  I’d read through your comments and think, “No, not that,” and then think, “Wait, why not that?”  Some of the time there was a good reason, but just as often I had to stretch my plot to discover that there was a good reason to include that.  My background plots suddenly got a lot deeper not just because you all had good ideas, but because I had to think about them all.  All of which is to say, thank you very much.:

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Listening to Nita

Or in this case, Nita’s soundtrack.

I do soundtracks for my books for the same reason I do collages: to look at the story in a different way.  I start by making a playlist of any song that seems right–Chesney’s and Imagine Dragons’ “Demons” songs were a no-brainer–and trying to find new things–that would be Lenka’s “Trouble is a Friend” recommended by CateM here–and then putting them in a rough order.  Then the soundtrack usually sits for awhile as I write.  

(Image/Poster is by James Gulliver Hancock.) Continue reading

Telling Myself the Story

So I have now accumulated enough Nita plot that it’s all over the place.  Think putting together Ikea or any multi-part kit: You have all the pieces but they’re all spread out; you know how to put them together, but you keep checking the directions; you’ve counted the connectors and you’re pretty sure you’re short a couple, except you’re doing it all in your mind, which cuts down on losing the screws, but ups the screw-up level.  It’s time to take a step back and consider the big picture.

That’s when I tell myself the story. Continue reading

Staring Into Space While Cleaning

I’m getting company this afternoon (YAY) so I’m cleaning, which in this house means getting a backhoe.  The thing about cleaning is, it’s pretty mindless except for the “Why is that in here?” moments and the “I should just get a box of garbage bags and put everything into them” moments.  That means that I am now productive while staring into space, which is what I’ve been doing for much of June because Discovery Draft sometimes comes with a side order of “Why would that happens?” (Because the Girls want it to.)  And “How could that happen?”  And What does that mean? (Who care, write the damn book.)

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Antagonist Monologue: Mammon

I blame Satan.

Of course, I blame Nick Giordano, too, but if he’d just known his place, I’d have kept him on once I became Devil.   As they say in Hell, he made the trains run on time. (Do you know what other human made the trains run on time? Mussolini. That should give you an idea of Nicolas Giordano.) Continue reading

Wandering Around, No Particular Place to Go


So I’m back in Discovery Draft for the rest of the book, and it’s terrible.  I look at it and think, “Explanation, chat, more chat, something happens!, explanation, more chat . . .”  And here’s the really bad part: no antagonist action.  It’s just Nita and Nick trying to sort out the aftermath.   

But then, it’s Discovery Draft.

The good thing about having worked through the first act is that I know it’ll be fine.  That’ll be four thousand drafts from now, but it will be fine.  There’s some comfort in that.  Nora said once (paraphrasing here) that she could fix a bad page but she couldn’t fix a blank page.  The discovery draft is just the first part of the journey, putting the colors on the page, so I’m settling in to admire all the bright, fun scenery as I wander through my story (there’s a dog!).  My mind is actually a fun place to be. 

So I’ll get serious later and remember I have antagonists after I’ve written my next twenty pages of Rab explaining to Nita how Hell works.