I sometimes wonder what people do who don't have the desire to write. Do they watch a lot of television? Exercise more? Hit the clubs? Spend more time with family and friends?
My days revolve around my family, friends, occupation, and ice skating (aka rehabbing my ACL). But whenever I get a free moment, my mind immediately flits to the characters in my book. I'm imagining the next scene, contemplating a character's motive, thinking about red herrings, or brainstorming ways to improve my plot.
What do non-writer-people think of during their free time? What fills their minds when they're not thinking about their families, jobs, religion, hobbies, etc...? Do they think of anything else? Do us writers have a special compartment in our brain for the imaginary that other people don't?
Writers are a breed unto themselves and often only writers can relate to how another writer's mind works.
Friday, July 16, 2010
I'VE BEEN SOLVING A PUZZLE!!
It's not a hundred piece puzzle or a five hundred piece puzzle. It feels like someone opened up ten different puzzle boxes and spilled the pieces everywhere and I have to find every single puzzle piece. You know, the ones stuck between the cushions of the coach, the one the dog buried in the back yard (I don't have a dog...he's more of a metaphorical mutt), the piece your senile great aunt put in the freezer. Yes, I have to find every single, freakin' piece. Then I have to figure out which puzzle the piece belongs to.
By now, you've probably figure out that I'm not talking about a puzzle you buy at the toy section at Wal-Mart. Yes, this post is yet again about my manuscript. I know. I'm self indulgent.
Some people may call this process "outlining." But what I'm doing is more than outlining. It's more like I'm hosting a show of Unsolved Mysteries in my brain. As many of you know, I'm revising (more like rewriting) my manuscript, Product of an Illusion. But this time, I am being brutally honest with myself and I am leaving no stone unturned.
Step1: I took the advice of Agent Mary over at kidlit.com and initiated the painstaking process of writing 100 Declarative Sentences about each of my major and minor characters. This has truly been an eye opening experience and helped me solve problems in my plot, as well as discover new ideas to strengthen my story.
Step 2: Determined to not let massive amounts of work deter me from writing, I've started talking to myself in the car (I'm sure I look no weirder than people who sing in their car). I'm not writing, per say, but I vocally outline and work out character and plot problems. I record my musings on my iPhone. Later, when I have time, I listen to the recordings, type out the brilliant stuff, and fast forward through the bad.
Step 3: I'm not leaving any stone unturned. If a character does something in my book there has to be a motivation for his or her actions. Unfortunately, a character's motivations aren't always easy to read (like people in real life) so I've started a list of "unknowns." I have to turn every unknown into a known. I may not necessarily mention it in the story, but I have to know the whys, whens, and hows, since I'm the creator of my fictional world.
The puzzle-that-is-my-manuscript can be fun and exciting at times and then other times I want to flush the puzzle pieces down the toilet.
But, that's where I've been, pretending to be Sherlock Holmes in a way, hoping that one day, when this whole rewrite is figured out, I can look at my finished manuscript and say, "Elementary, my dear Watson. Elementary."*
*Although, Snopes disagrees that Sherlock Holmes ever said this line.
Monday, July 5, 2010
Kiwi Lacey was also known to cop and attitude from time to time when she knew that you were intentionally ignoring her. Nobody could say "hello" with as much sarcasm as she could. She was tri-lingual, fluent in English, Hindi, and bit of what we like to call birdy-warble-jargon. And although I was never able to successfully teach her the Andy Griffith whistle tune, she was able to cat whistle well enough to make anyone's head turn. She was known to have an inflated ego from time to time when she got on those never ending kicks of "Pretty, pretty, bird" and "Good Kiwi." But she could also be incredibly sweet and thoughtful when she gave you kisses and nuzzled her head against your chin.
There are so many stories I can share about Kiwi Lacey that involve grocery store trips, walks around the neighborhood, and the never ending funny things that she said. But most importantly, I want to share how much she meant to us and how much we will miss her.
Rest in peace Kiwi Lacey.