Archive for September, 2006
I think this subject (How does she do that?) is going to become my regular Friday topic, unless something cool and groovy happens that I just have to share. 🙂
Gabriele suggested in the comments to yesterday’s post that I talk about characterization (ie how to flesh out characters) and tying together subplots. I’m going to break these two things up because I approach each one differently.
I decided to tackle my favorite of the two first, characterization. For those who don’t visit my blog regularly, I tend to write stories based around characters. I build the plot afterwards. Most ideas I get start with a character popping into my mind and saying a line of dialogue. For example, when I was working on “Private Investigations” for the Wicked Women on Top anthology, I kept hearing a man’s voice in my head. He was whispering like he was hiding from someone, but I couldn’t figure out why he kept telling the woman with him to take off her clothes. *ggg* It didn’t make sense at the time. The line kept playing repeatedly in my head until more of the situation came to me. Once I realized where (in a closet) these two characters were and what they were doing (hiding because they aren’t supposed to be in the room), it made more sense. I began to build the story from there.
Some people like interviewing their characters and that process works well for them. I’ve tried doing that, but haven’t had much success. What DID help me was asking the characters to tell me their story. Basically, I pretended that I was cop and I asked them to tell me what happened. The characters are never in the same ‘room’ with each other, so they can speak freely without arguing. (wg)
The information I get from this ‘he said/she said’ process works so well that I now do it for every book I write. I don’t just ask the hero and the heroine to tell me the story, but also the secondary characters and the villain. They might not be there to witness all of the action, but they all have seen something. Each in their own right believe that the story is about them. In addition to my ‘interrogation’ process, I write down physical descriptions of each character because I’m always forgetting eye colors. *ggg*
Any questions? What works for you?
Today is my sister-in-law’s birthday. Happy Birthday, J! It’s also my brother-in-law’s anniversary. Congrats on reaching lucky 13. 😀 May you both have many, many more.
Other than that, I have a doctor’s appt. that I’m dreading (like they’re ever something to look forward to *g*) and I need to get organized before my in-laws arrive for a visit in less than a week.
I do have a quick question (or two) for you all about my blog. I know I ramble a lot. I tend to do that when I don’t have much to say. (wg) What, if anything, would you like to see me talk about in the blog? Are there any topics that you’d rather I avoid? Now is the time to speak up. Thanks ahead of time for your help. 😀
I don’t know how many of you caught the premiere of this show the other night (Mon.), but Heroes was definitely odd. I’d set the DVR to tape it and watched it last night. I’m not sure what I think about it. I mean the show was interesting in a…trying to figure out what was going on…kind of way. It reminded me of several shows/movies that I’ve seen. There was a bit of ‘Six Degrees of Separation’ happening, along with ‘Lost’ and ‘X-men’. It jumped around a lot, but I understand why they shot it that way. I’ve decided to watch it one more time. If it doesn’t draw me in, then I’m going to stop taping it.
Did you all see it? If so, what did you think? They’re repeating the episode several times this week in case you missed its debut. Have you caught any other shows that you thought were worth watching?
I was dismissed from jury duty last night. YAH!!! It was REALLY close this time. I’m sure I won’t be so lucky next time.
A friend and I were speaking last night about how multiple rewrites affect a writer. I don’t particularly like edits, but I know they’re necessary and they make the books better in the end. I rarely fight editorial direction unless I strongly disagree with a suggestion. I’m always afraid of coming off as a diva–which I’m NOT by any stretch of the imagination. Just the opposite in fact.
That said, I do think that after a couple of rewrites that writers begin to lose confidence in their ability to write. I don’t think it can be helped. You pour your heart into that first rewrite and come up with something better, stronger and more believable. You think you’ve taken care of all the problems in the manuscript, only to find out that you’ve created more or veered away from your original vision so much that you don’t even recognize the book.
I’m sure there is a fine line that has to be walked here, but even after writing fourteen manuscripts I’ve yet to find it. Now I’ve read that several of the top romance writers tried their hand at writing category and never succeeded. I won’t know which camp I’ll fall into until I’ve finished this revision. All I can do is my best. If it falls short, then so be it. I can live with that and I’ll finally have my answer. 🙂
Our friends left this morning after a wonderful visit. We crammed a lot into the past ten days. I think I’m going to need a week to recover. *ggg* I’m reading through my revision letter and trying to figure out the best way to tackle the edits. Some of the things pointed out are obvious items that I need to work on, not just for this manuscript, but as a writer. Other things I’m a tad confused over and need clarification on before I can even think about touching them. The manuscript may have to wait until I finish my urban fantasy. Sigh. I need to speak with my agent.
I finally received another revision letter from Harlequin on Friday. I haven’t finished reading through it (want to wait until our friends have left), but from what I can tell it’s going to require a substantial rewrite. The focus of the book (the action/adventure plot) needs to switch to the romance. Bless my mom’s heart, she’s actually come up with a way to do that, but it’ll still require gutting the book. This will be the second time I’ve done that with this manuscript. My guess is by the time I’m finished I won’t even recognize the book. :-/
While I’m shredding pages, I need to continue writing the urban fantasy, so the next couple of months are going to be a challenge. I don’t normally make much progress (on either book) when I’m working on two projects at once. I just can’t afford to stop work on the urban fantasy, since my goal was a rough draft by the end of October. Not sure if I’ll make that now.
This spanner does mean I’ll be spending less time online. I will only be allowed to blog if I make my writing goals for the day. This isn’t a bad thing. *g* Keep your fingers and toes crossed for me that the jury duty people don’t want or need me this week. I SO don’t have time for that right now.
What could you be doing with your time, if you weren’t playing on the internet? Do you think your productivity would change, if you cut your online hours?