I have just realized that I’m writing this book in chapters in chronological order. I NEVER do that. It’s the weirdest thing, but that’s the way it’s coming to me in chunks of 5000 to 6000 words. It’s just bizarre. I’m fairly sure I’ll break free by the time Act One is done, and of course there will be copious rewriting, but I’ve never written a book like this before. It would worry me, but I figure I can blame Bob. He’s very linear. We’ve been talking about writing for weeks. It’s his influence and his fault.
The pacing of the love story seems faster, too. As in, usually they begin an affair at the midpoint/point of no return and the rest of the book is them working out the relationship as they struggle to solve the subplot. Of course, usually they don’t hit the sheets in the first chapter, which is where this one starts. I like the idea that they have a fantasy idea of each other and then get a rude awakening–who among us hasn’t been there?–and then they work out a new relationship as they work out the subplot and find out that they’re not that different from who they were in the beginning after all. It was really important to me that they don’t lie in that first chapter so there are no tiresome “But you said” arguments. They both screwed up in their assumptions, they both accept that, they move on. They’ll have enough to argue about without Big Misunderstandings. I feel the same about Big Misunderstandings that Joan Crawford felt about wire hangers.
So that “many roads to Oz” bit I’ve been bashing students with for decades, I now realize applies to changes within a writer’s career, too. This book is different? Fine, straight on til morning and don’t sweat the small stuff. Like EVERYTHING’S DIFFERENT THIS TIME.
But, like Anna, I am calm.