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Yeah, I’m Doin’ It!

April 25, 2008

Yes, I know–I haven’t added a thing to my blog since I boldly announced that last weekend was THE weekend.  It’s true, I haven’t added to my story, BUT I have been working on it. (Really, I have.)

I spent all day Saturday getting nowhere fast.

Sunday morning, I dragged out all my books on writing and began re-reading the parts I’d highlighted the first time I read them.  I also spent a lot of time on the Nanowrimo forums reading posts. (thanks, Biellen!) The general consensus is that you have to “know” your characters before you can write a book about them, and the only way to do that is to create a history for each one.  That way, even if you never let the reader know that, “Auntie Violet forced little Joey to dress up like a girl when he was two, thus creating his fascination with wearing silk panties at 30,” it just might help you, the writer, to understand why he does what he does in certain other situations.  The “brilliant novelist” that lives inside me has always thought creating trivial backstory was a complete waste of time.  I  would be able to write the cleverest, most wonderful, best-selling mystery that ever was, and it would just flow from my fingertips unprompted–mmmmmm, maybe not.  And, no, there’s not a little Joey wearing silk panties in my book.

Sunday night I decided anything was better than staring at a blank computer screen.  I gathered all my writer “props” around me.  I stuck a pencil behind my ear and poured a steaming mocha latte into my “Murder by the Book” coffee mug from the Houston bookstore with the same name.  I wrote my characters names on my dry-erase board, and then I sat down in front of my computer and began creating the world they would live in.  It was fun.  By Wednesday afternoon, the jury was still out on whether or not I was wasting my time, but I did know who my protagonist was. (Now, there’s a word I learned and promptly forgot in my HS English Lit class! ) I had given her a family, friends, and a complete bio.  I had also found 3 murder suspects and a possible motive for each.  I went to bed Wednesday night a happy camper.

Then came Thursday. Nothing. I still didn’t know what my story was or where it was going. I just had all these people floating around in the air that was my head.  That night I went to bed beyond depressed. 

This morning I woke up and there it was.  I was lying in bed prop-less.  I had no pencil, no Murder by the Book coffee mug, no dry-erase board, no–use your imagination here–nothing!  But I did have a story, AND it actually made sense.  In the process of writing about the characters and their lives, and talking about it all with my husband and my writing buddy, the story just emerged. ( Was it magic?) And the best thing of all,  I knew what the next 500 words would be about. 

I’ve decided that because “the experts” turned out to be on track about how to begin my book, I’ll continue to follow their guidelines and do the dreaded “Outline” next.  Correction. I think I’ll write the 500 more words, first, THEN work on the outline.  Hey, I’m still a rebel at heart.  The point is that, YEAH, I’m doin’ it!



One Comment leave one →
  1. July 14, 2008 4:26 pm

    Here’s hoping you are making fantastic progress!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Good luck!!

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