Mare 3: Nope

I know, I know, I forgot to blog yesterday. Listen, I’ve been busy. Did you get the newsletter? Mollie did most of the work but toward the end it was taking hours to get right. Plus there’s the Crusie-Mayer site she’s killing herself to get up, and I had to get her the content for that. Plus I’m writing this book with this guy who can’t write his next scene until I get mine to him, and I’m having trouble with it. And I don’t have to face Krissie and Eileen until next Wednesday, but I get an email every damn morning that says, “Book done yet?” And you know, it isn’t.

I know, I know, excuses. Which is why this is short. I gotta go write some Agnes now.

OTOH, I’m getting Mare’s plot together so that’s something. Here are the plot questions I asked Eileen and Krissie, trying to get started (yes, I am cannibalizing e-mails after telling somebody online that I couldn’t possibly do that; turns out, I can).

“1. We’re not all starting at the same point, right?
Eileen does the first scene from DeeDee’s POV? And then Krissie and Lizzie go into the workroom and Mare and I go to work? So Mare’s first scene is leaving the house?

“2. The very end is the combined climax on the mountain. But where should I have Mare end up at the end of her novella? Do they all meet back at the house for dinner? Is it kind of a resolution scene that turns into an Uh Oh It’s Not Over Scene?

“3. Because I am terrible at plotting, I break stories down into four parts or acts and separate them with turning points. So it’s Act One, big surprise/turning point: Act Two bigger surprise/point of no return; Act Three, humongous surprise, trip to hell; Act Four. So what I need to know is when do the sisters find out that X is after them? I’m assuming DeeDee finds out and tells the others. At what point in the story do you think they find out? I can work with just about anything, but I need to know in general so I can pace the rest of the story around it.”

(Needless to say, I put X in place of the actual character name in the real e-mail to keep from spoiling the story.)

And this is what I came up with for the first scene (also from an e-mail; okay, I’m shameless):

“I’m figuring Mare thinks she’s at a place where she has to choose her life. She’s 21, right? That’s when you make big sweeping life decisions and think they’re forever.

So I figure in the first scene, she’s at the video store, talking to the girl she works with and the beats are

What kind of career do I want? (Who am I?)
Which guy do I want (Because Jude and Crash both show up).
And then Who the hell am I (because career and guy choice will reflect that).

And that’s the character question that’ll drive her through the novella, that need to find out who she is and make some decisions and get her life on track. It’s not an external plot goal, I still have to figure that one out, but it’s good enough to get me through the scene’s first draft, I think.

So maybe the reason she walks out of breakfast is that she doesn’t know who she is, but she knows she’s not what Dee thinks she is. And that’s part of the conflict when they meet again halfway through? And then at the end, she knows who she is, which is one of the reasons she can defeat X, she can reject the apple X is holding out, even though it’s an identity she’s considered.”

See, I have been working. I’m just not producing anything.

Oh and those colored things behind the angel in that picture aren’t notebooks, they’re files that close with elastic so I can stick notes and pictures and collage pieces and anything else to do with the book in them. I used to do notebooks but they were too confining, so now I use anything at hand and stick it in the file box. And then when I’m ready, I spread everything out on a table and organize it, which you can’t do with a notebook. Much better.

And now, back to Agnes. Who is baking cupcakes in the middle of the night. I’ve done that.