New Beginning

I have been working on this novel with the philosophy of “Don’t Go Back”.  Really, I just mean, make notes for the second draft rather than going back and editing stuff that’s already been written in the first draft as I go along.  The goal is to get all the way through the rough draft at least once before I go back and start editing things.  It is *so* hard for me to do!  (Particularly since things that have evolved as the story has progressed make some of the stuff that is already written ALL WRONG.)

Thing is, I can get so caught up in the write, go back and edit, write a little more, go back and edit … that I wind up re-writing the first few chapters way more times than necessary … and get burned out on the story before I ever commit the whole thing to the page.  SO … Don’t Go Back.

However, I have decided that I need to change where the book begins.  I am not changing, editing, or deleting anything that has already been written, I just think that there needs to be another chapter before the one that is presently the beginning.  So, the question is, if I write that chapter now, does that count as going back?  I decided that I need the chapter as I was working out the contents of the next chapter I am due to work on according to my outline.  Instead of that chapter, I started composing this groundwork chapter in my head, and realized that it should really be the beginning of the book.

I am going to go ahead and write it going on the second premise I’ve been using which is basically, “Write Something.”  There have been a few times when I just simply haven’t been in the right head space to write the thing that is supposed to be coming next.  There have also been a few times when I have just had these … vignettes … pop into my head that had no actual place in the story but were things that I couldn’t shake loose.  Hence, 7200 words of back-story with no specific place in the manuscript (yet).  It has worked out alright so far, and several of those vignettes have later found their place in the actual flow of the story. 

It isn’t really going back because I am producing something new, right?  Not editing or reworking or getting side-tracked …

I hope.  Also, I feel like I *need* to write this.  It has it’s emotional source in the terrible nightmare that woke me up this weekend.  Clearly my muse has something She wants me to say.


Dead Characters … puzzles, love and loss


I have had a couple of conversations today about the books progress.  (Possible spoilers ahead, though I don’t really think so.)

It is actually getting to kind of a fun place because puzzle pieces are starting to snap into place. 

The outline helped tremendously.

Maybe that means I should outline sooner … except that isn’t how my head works.  I don’t start with a solid plan.  I start with a seed, but I never actually know what type of plant that seed will grow into.  Usually I *think* I know what kind of plant it will be, but it has happened that I wound up with tomatoes when I thought I was planting cantaloup.  Usually it is more like I wind up with Roma when I thought I was getting beef-steak, but, whatever.

Okay, enough of *that* metaphor!  *laugh*

I am deep enough into the story now that I am starting to see a deeper pattern.  The other day I had an internal monologue that went something like this:  “How did he get past her defenses?  Something had to have happened to turn him into that person for her. 

Oh!  That is totally how Ivan shows up.  If he were in trouble and …”  Ivan was just an ancillary character up until that moment.  He started as a vehicle for a snap-shot scene that I wanted to write to show a facet of Jill.  Now, suddenly, his presence makes a whole lot more sense.  I know who he is, and he is a whole lot more important than I realized when I first plopped him into the story. 

I love those moments.  It really is a bit like solving one side of a Rubik’s cube though.  It might be one step in solving the whole thing, or I might wind up having to completely scramble it again in order to get the rest of the pieces aligned properly for the final solution.  We’ll see. 

I am really mad at myself right now though, because I have realized that Jack is like that too.  The working title is Jack and Jill, but really Jack was just the launching pad for Jill’s story.  He was dead before the book began.   Thing is, their relationship is integral to who she is during the course of the book.  I have realized that it is really necessary to get to know him, and more importantly *them* for the aftermath to make any sense at all. 

So now I am in the position of fleshing out, and as a result falling in love with, a character who is ALREADY DEAD!  Why did I do that?  I don’t want him to be dead.  I want to hang out with him.  It is like I set myself up from the very beginning to be tortured.  I certainly wasn’t thinking that at the time, but how could I have not realized that I’d have to go there? 

I guess somewhere deep down I really am more than a bit of a masochist. 

It will be alright though, because I can wallow in all of the yummy goodness of Jack and Jill while it is time.  His loss?  Well, I know all of the yummy goodness that will come after that too, so it can’t be all that bad, right? 

*rolling my eyes*  Right.