Lily 7 1/2

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

Lily 6 Notes

So remember that brilliant idea (really more of a realization) I had going to McD’s for a Big Mac? It’s this:

Lily has a Five Man Band: Lily, Fin, Bjorn, Van, and Cheryl.

(For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Five Man Band concept, it’s on TV Tropes, but

That site is a trap, you will be drawn into its infinite links and it will take you hours to escape. I mean, you’ll have a really good time, but the damn thing will suck out your brains and steal a huge chunk of your life. You have been warned. Continue reading

Working Wednesday, April 29, 2020

I got so hungry for normal yesterday that I went out for a Big Mac. I’m not a huge fan of Big Macs, but I just wanted to go through a drive-through and get a burger and fries like a normal small-town person who was too lazy to cook. Which meant I had to get in the car and drive into town, and it was a gorgeous day, really stunning with the sun and all the new green and balmy breezes, just Edenic. And because I was driving and happy and about to go face down in fat and protein, I relaxed and my mind wandered back to Lily and scenes started going through my head, bits and pieces, so much fun and then something occurred to me and I almost drove off the road. (I’ll talk about it on Friday in the Lily 6 notes.). I was so enthused I put a chocolate shake on the McD’s order, which knocked me off my socks–not supposed to have that much sugar–and I fell into a really deep sleep and had this incredibly detailed dream that gave me the end of Lily. None of the details or the hard work, you understand, I just know what happens at the end. It even fits in the whole “taking care” theme. I’m pretty sure the Girls ordered that milkshake. Also, I may be a genius.

So this week I worked by going to McDonald’s. What did you do?

Lily 5 Notes

One of the things that’s really hard about discovery drafts is that they’re what Anne Lamott called “shitty first drafts.” The first time I write a scene, it’s lousy. That’s because I don’t know what it’s about until I see it. I can recognize that its repetitive, that there’s no conflict arc, that the characters don’t change, but I can’t fix it until I write it, almost always badly. Nora Roberts said that she can fix a bad page, but she can’t fix a blank page, and that’s where the discovery draft comes in.

Of course with Lily, there’s no pressure because I’m just writing what interests me, not trying to make a whole book. I do love these characters and that diner, but I have no idea what this is about, and I’ll never have to know because it’s just for Argh. So when I left the Seb-fights-with-Lily scene as boring as it was, I did that because there was nothing fun in it, it was just me exploring that relationship and giving Cheryl a cleaver. I love Cheryl with the cleaver. Seb, not so much.

What did interest me was the Fin-ordering-Lily-outside scene. I really liked that for several reasons. Continue reading

Lily 5

I had a moment of panic–one of many this week on a variety of topics–when I looked at this non-book and thought, “There’s no there there!” Some of you may remember I had a similar moment with Nita. Several in fact. One of the hardest parts of doing a discovery draft is that you’re dancing on air. Remember Wile E. Coyote running off the cliff, doing just fine until he looked down, and then he fell like a rock and usually got run over by a truck when he hit the ground? That’s why you never look down during a discovery draft. If the fall doesn’t kill you, the truck will.

However, five weeks into this I do have to do some cautious looking down. Continue reading

Lily 4

I know I have to figure out what Sebastian is doing in the plot, but I still have no idea what the plot is here. The characters are shaping up nicely in my brain, but they’re just milling around, serving and eating pie and burgers that I haven’t described yet, vaguely waving their hands in the air. So this week, I decided, Lily had to get a goal. (I did write scenes with Seb, but they’re awful because I don’t know what his problem is. So he just whines a lot. Not good.). Lily’s in some kind of conflict, and she needs to talk to somebody about that so the Girls have a chance to send up some story fodder. She doesn’t know Fin well enough yet, and anyway we already have a Lily/Fin infodump scene. Van and Cheryl know her life. It’s gonna have to be Nadia.

Continue reading

Lily Notes 3

So now I’m thinking about the diner and its specials menu, not because it’s crucial but because it sounds like fun and I get to read about food.

I’m thinking there are the standards, which I’m going to ignore because boring, and then there are the specials, maybe five things that change every week? Trying not to make this more complicated than it needs to be while emphasizing the off-the-wall fun part. I figure variations on a burger, a salad, a soup, a club sandwich/BLT/whatever, some kind of eggs?, and maybe a dessert. Just this week only, never to be seen again? Vanessa comes up with the recipes, Cheryl names them, and then Lily describes them (and double checks with Van), printing them out and paper clipping them to the regular menu.

It just seems like a good time to be coming up with recipe variations, especially burger variations Cheryl has named (not the week she’s a vegan, Van and Lily will block her on that one). And at some point, of course, there will be a Viking Burger, or possibly a Viking Club, or maybe both. The Viking Axe Burger: extra thick chopped beef with sharp Gruyere-some cheese, blood-red tomatoes, and Danish scallions, with sea salt and Sriracha for edge. You know, only better than that, although that actually sounds good.

But that wouldn’t come until much later in the story. Maybe the first week in the story, Cheryl calls one dish “Nobody Died for This Soup” because it’s vegetarian. Maybe not. Over to you Argh. (This reminds me of the time I said, “I need hell-inspired business name, and got “Motel Styx,” “Beelzepub,” and “Pins and Sins.” Good times.)

Also, any requests for Monday’s scene? Wants? Needs? Stray thoughts?

EDITED TO ADD: Any kind of burger, soup, etc., not just Vikings. I think the Viking burger comes at the end. Also feel free to brainstorm Cheryl’s next obsession. They have already lived through the Feng shui debacle.

Lily Notes 2

So I’ve got a better grip on the Lily story, although that’s not difficult since I had no grip at all before this. I still have no idea why she’s remembering past lives, what Fin has to do with any of it, the name of the diner, what Nadia’s role is, or . . . well, anything.

So let’s go with expectation. What are you expecting to happen next? Or with want. What do you hope happens next? Or with need. What makes no sense to you now? Or you know, anything about the story, especially if you have any ideas about what the hell is going on and what the next move should be. My big want: Lily’s kind of a wounded bird in everything I’ve written so far. I need to steel up her backbone, get that sass working. But she can’t be like Vanessa, who is cool and in charge and brilliant. She has to be Lily strong. Must cogitate.

What do you think?