Tomorrow the HWSWA post about starting Anna goes up, so I thought somebody might want to read Anna Part Two. It’s up on the Works in Progress Page now. Anna Part One has been revised over thirty times (mostly very small stuff) and that’s still up, too. And remember, Discovery Draft. Lots of changes ahead.
So I have 10,000 words done on Anna’s book and Carter is in it, and for some reason it has mob back story, which I had not planned, and I have no idea what happens in Act Two or Three (or really most of One); Act Four ends happily but we already knew that. I mean, the Girls definitely have a direction they’re going in, and I have this whole double identity thing to play with in the romance, and I’m starting to really love the heroine, and the hero isn’t bad, either, but I am once again confronting a wimpy antagonist who probably isn’t the real antagonist.
I just don’t understand how all this mob stuff got in here. Continue reading
So yesterday Bob and I were talking about if we wanted to keep going with the HWSWA chats, and he suggested we show up next week (a week from tomorrow) with the conflict box for a new book he’s working on and one of the old books I’ve been working on (Lily, You Again, Lavender, whatever). I said, “Or I could start a new book,” and he said, “Finish something,” which was the right answer because the last thing I needed was a new book.
Then around midnight last night, I was reading a Book Bub blurb, and started to think what I could do with that very common premise and suddenly these people were talking in my head and I loved it and I wrote 4500 words. Continue reading
The Old HWSW Blog:
The 2007 He Wrote She Wrote Blog has all the posts and comments. That’s good. They’re all on one page. That’s bad. It’s that way because it’s a rescue site: Mollie just captured the whole blog, put it on one page, and then hid the site from bots since it was essentially an archive. That was a great, efficient way to save the content, but it makes searching for anything a nightmare (whatever you’re looking for is on that one page). I am slowly trying to reconstruct the blog into posts. It’s gonna take awhile. Therefore, if you go to the old HWSW blog in the next weeks, some of it is going to be in posts, and some of it is still going to be in that mammoth page. Everything is there, I swear. I’m just trying to make it easier to access. Slowly.
Revising Lavender’s Blue
I’m also going back to Liz because having done all the Getting Started posts (three) for the new blog (second one will be posted Saturday), I went back and applied them to Lavender’s Blue. That was illuminating. The Getting Started posts are The One Sentence Idea, the Central Conflict, and Outlining, so I tried to put Liz into one sentence, isolate the conflict, and do an act outline. Surprise: It’s all over the place. Is it a romance? Is it a mystery? (This coming Saturday’s Central Conflict post on HWSWA has me talking about the same problem for Nita. This may be a recurring problem in my work (YA THINK?). Continue reading
And we’re back.
This time, the blog is called He Wrote She Wrote Again, but it’s the same two writers (Bob Mayer and Jenny Crusie) and (mostly) the same topics (see below). We’re just older, and more experienced, and a lot more tired.
The plan is that Bob and I will meet once a week to talk about some writing topic from the past, each of us posting a short (ha) essay in the chat first and then talking about it. Then we’ll edit the transcript and on Saturdays, we’ll put it up as a post on the new blog with links to the old blog. I thought we’d be arguing again, but it turns out we’ve evolved toward each other, so in the first set of posts, we’re not that far apart. (All bets are off when we get to flashbacks and prologues, but that’s not until September.)
Below is our tentative eighteen-week plan: Continue reading
So eight weeks into this, Lily doesn’t have a plot, something you have all pointed out. And I don’t really want her to have a plot because then it won’t be play anymore. But even I am starting to be annoyed by how shapeless it all is. So I went back to my old standbys: conflict analysis and acts.
I figured out why I didn’t write Lily this week. I was treating it like a book. That is, if this is a book, I should be dealing with the museum, I should be writing more Van, I should be exploring Dorothy, I should . . .
The Shoulds got me.
This is my fault (not yours, Katie or anybody else). I know how my discovery mind works, and it’s just to noodle until I have about 60,000 words. I have no idea how many words I have now, but it’s not 60,000 (20,000 maybe?). Sixty thou is about half a first draft–I always overwrite–and at that point, I know whether I have a book or not and need to buckle down.
The difference this time is that I’m letting you all play in my noodles (that metaphor needs work) and it’s been very beneficial, I’m learning a lot and you’re bringing good ideas to the mix, and the ones I can’t use, I ignore. But somehow I let that slop over into Should and, as we all know, that way disaster lies.
This does NOT mean you should stop discussing the drafts. I’ve gotten a lot out of your comments. It does mean I have to reorient my brain from Should to Noodle. (These are all highly technical terms from the most elite of writing circles; I’m quite sure Tennyson felt strongly about Shoulds and I know Byron noodled. With everybody.)
Still, I feel the need to entertain. All I have is the first act of Nita, now rewritten for the last fucking time, at least until somebody in New York gets their hands on it and says, “Needs more dog.” The problem is that most of you have read Nita’s first act four thousand times. And it’s 36,000 words. So I’m thinking no on that.
So it’s Choose Your Own Entertainment time. Tell me what would amuse you, and that’s what I’ll do on Friday. (And thank you very much for playing in the comments on Monday’s post. It reinforces my feeling that the posts are just here so you all have something to hang the conversation on.)
So one of the things that the Girls sent up that’s been bugging me is Vikings.
I mean, why the hell Vikings?
I remember starting with the title, Surprise Lily, and then thinking she’d pop up in different centuries like a surprise lily, mainly because I couldn’t think of any other way she’d just pop up out of nowhere. If I was going supernatural, she could time jump or walk through walls or something, but I wanted something simple and fun. This is not a book. Let’s not make playtime difficult, Crusie. Continue reading
Normally by now I’d have figured out what the hell was going on at the museum, but since this isn’t going to be a book, I can just keep noodling around. Why can’t you just noodle around for a book? Because one of the many reasons people read fiction is to get a tidier version of reality. A book that just meanders, listening to people talk, gets annoying very quickly. This stuff is starting to annoy, especially since every scene with Seb in it has the same damn dialogue–Structure Rule #47 You Cannot Arc What You Do Not Know–but I’m getting the impression that you’re reading these more as short stories than pieces of a novel, so that’s good.
Still, I am feeling the need to put some grit in the oyster, so to speak, so when a new character showed up out of nowhere, I noodled. Continue reading
Wow. Seven weeks we’ve been working on this. Still no clear conflict, and I have no idea what the hell Seb is up to. Except it’s about that ax.
Here. Have some romance.