Friday, July 13, 2007

Life of a Writer

Word count - 512
Previous - 4,665
Total - 5,177

Well. Sigh. I did a little better today. Tomorrow, I foresee a writing marathon. I did a LOT of writing today. None of it was on the work in progress (Daffodil) except my paltry 512 words listed at the top. That means that I have considerable writing ahead of me to make up the missing words. When you get behind on writing, it's similar to getting behind on your car payments. Seems like you never catch up.

I did have a great time on the Cerridwen Chat Loop today meeting other authors and some of our readers. One of the writers, Janice Bennett, and I had an impromtu writing contest where she wrote a few sentences, then I wrote a few, in a nonsensical tale about a blue man disguised in a pink bunny suit who meets up with an injured man in a Santa suit. It was going pretty good, but then we had to stop and go back to work. Too bad.

I posted quite a few segments of Behind the Covers--Characters interview Anny Cook. Those seemed to be popular. I think it's because Dancer and Eppie are funny and smart. I've carried them around in my head for a very long time, so it's really neat to finally see their story published.

Readers, friends, family, even fellow authors sometimes ask, "How do you think this stuff up?" I have to tell you, I truly don't know. It just seems that I start with a very simple idea and my brain says "What if...?" Before I know it, I have some weird story line that's going places I never dreamed of it going and I'm not in the driver's seat anymore. Actually? I don't think I've ever been in the driver's seat.

I can't imagine how I could write if I was a plotter. I know what would happen. Right from the first paragraph my characters would refuse to listen, refuse to follow the script. By paragraph two, they would be ripping the script to shreds and there you have it. Confetti. Since I don't believe in wasting paper, don't want to vacuum up confetti, and don't have the energy to wrestle with my characters, I pretty much let them do what they want. I know. Bad parental skills. Sigh.

Take my current story for instance. I had settled on who the bad guy was. And then today, I found out he wasn't a TOTAL bad guy. Man, don't you hate it when bad guys have redeeming qualities? It is such a pain in the patooty to deal with bad guys with redeeming qualities. See if they're totally, totally bad, then you don't feel bad if you kill them off or whatever, but shoot! When there's something good about them, then you can't just knock 'em off.

And my good guy? Well he's a heck of a lot more stubborn than I counted on. He's gonna be big trouble, I can see. Trying to get him to stick with the program is like trying to lasso a cat. I sure hope Daffodil has more steel in her spine than I've seen so far. She just might surprise us all, though. Just maybe she's one of those "still waters run deep" kind of women. We'll see.

Anyway, that's the way it goes in the life of a writer. You live with a whole host of people inside your head, carrying on conversations while you're trying to talk to your husband or people on the phone. I know sometimes they all think I'm deaf when I shake my head and holler, "What? What did you say?"

It's because of the noise in my brain.

And I bet you just thought I was odd.



  1. I hate it when characters wake you up at night with brilliant dialogue you must write. It's always at 3am, cold and dark, and suddenly you cannot navigate your way around the house you have lived in for years without stubbing your toe and you can't find one out of 100 pens that will work. They can be buggers characters

    My big thing now is I have to keep reminding myself the name of the charcter I am writing.

  2. One time I just called them Bob and Sue. Then at the end of the book I did a global search and replace. By then, I knew what their real names were supposed to be.

    Fortunately, my husband insists on keeping the lights in the living room on for his plants so I don't usually stub my toe once I get that far. Cold? Yeah. I have a nice snuggly robe for that and hot tea from the microwave.

  3. I never thought of the Bob or Sue approach - smart - that would save me staring blankly at the screen and saying "What is your name again?"
    And the toe I stub is always the big one that I broke and it always aches more in the cold but if that is the worst that happens to me I am doing okay

  4. The three am thing happens because your characters are on USA time. Smart sons of guns. The Bob and Sue approach is one I use too, Anny. I usually figure out who they are by chapter three though.

  5. But then, I'm a tad odd. It takes me longer to come around. All that noise in my head.

  6. I like odd people...they make me look good...