Friday, December 5, 2008

I feel like I’m possessed...

Well, as the title says, I'm feeling possessed right now. I've been writing up a storm the past few days, adding around 15 pages to my manuscript rough draft file.

I think this all came about starting Wednesday. One of my reviewers came over for dinner. We had worked together a couple of years ago and had recently just started catching up again. Well, she had read my blogs and kept asking about my book and I decided that I needed a good female perspective on the story, so I sent her the first chapter. She devoured it and immediately started asking for more. I ended up sending her the outlines for chapters 2-4 and the completed chapters 5-7 before she came over on Wednesday. I'm happy to say that I think I have her sufficiently hooked on the story. Well if all of the emails with the subtle "How's the book coming?" and "Anxiously waiting on the next chapter..." lines sprinkled throughout them are any indication that is...

But anyway, we spent a good portion of the evening talking about the story. Going over characters, the plot, looking at my collections of pictures and files... having a great time. And probably alienating my husband and his cousin who had come over to do laundry. They seemed to hide out in the kitchen while we sat, oblivious in the living room... oh well!

She had begun begging to know more about the story and where it was going, and I, feeling bad that I have so little of the first half of the book actually written out, made her a deal. Once she had read through a certain point, I would answer any questions she threw at me. Well, she came prepared on Wednesday, having read to that point and the chapter after. I mostly wanted to see her reaction once both of Casey's potential suitors had been introduced, to gauge which way the reader would initially lean. Well, she reacted to the whole story exactly how I had intended the reader to! Yay me!

We spent the next couple of hours with me explaining the whole story, all of the twists and turns, the ups and downs... it was really nice having a female to share this with. She definitely understood exactly where the characters were coming from. We eventually shifted to what was going on in our regular lives and had a great evening and dinner catching up.

Now, I had spent a good portion of Wednesday morning typing in nervous anticipation of hearing what she thought of the last chapters I had sent. Well, actually the night before as well.. I kinda, sorta stayed up until 5 a.m. typing up scenes... what can I say my little writing gremlin is a slave driver!

I then proceeded to wake up Thursday morning with an indescribable desire to get writing. And write is what I did... ALL DAY LONG! I think I took short breaks to eat those pesky meals and to make trips to the bathroom, but the rest of the day was spent typing.

I wrote up at 15 page scene-by-scene summary of the story to help me keep track of the storyline easier. It takes a little while to scroll through an ~180 page document to figure out when something happens. I'm going to use this new summary to determine where I want to add in elements of foreshadowing and to plot out the slow degradation of my villain's character. I want all of the signs to be subtle enough that the reader can explain them away, but in the end when they are revealed, I want the reader to smack themselves on the forehead and say, "Of course!"

I'll also need something like this when I get done and am ready to send it off to publishers. I'll need a chapter-by-chapter summary that's anywhere from 2-20 pages to send in with my query letters from what I've read so far. Now, I'll just have to update this file and put it in the correct format. Two birds.... One stone... Oh yeah!

I also wrote up most of the rest of another scene in the middle of the story. I have a small block of dialogue left to write for it, but it's nearly done.

Now the really fun part! I stayed up until around 3 a.m. last night reading various articles about writing. I decided that I wanted to write chapter 8 as it's been kind of in the back of my head for a day or two now and my new reviewer is dying to read what happens next.

I opened up a new document and copied over all of my notes and outlines for the chapter and read them over several times, hoping to plant the information in my subconscious and allow it to grow into a beautiful chapter over night. I think I wrote up about one page of early dialogue that had been brewing in my head, but then I left it. I left the document open on the screen in hopes that my writing gremlin would look it over during the night and went to bed. When I woke up this morning, there it was- the scene, nearly in its entirety, playing in my head. Have I mentioned how much I love my writing gremlin?

In between feeding, changing, and playing with my son I ended up writing up 12 pages for the chapter! I still have a phone conversation to write up for the beginning and the very end of the chapter to write up, but... 12 pages! I can't believe I wrote that much in 3 hours while doing everything else. I guess it helped that my son decided to eat his meals incredibly slowly today and that he's in one of those, "don't look at me when I'm playing and don't you dare come try and touch my toys," moods too.

I sent the chapter off to my anxious reviewer and am laughing at the thought of her working in her office today, staring at the computer and trying to force herself to work faster so she can let herself read it. I'm not selfishly using her to critique my story, I'm providing a motivation to get her work done quickly, lol! Really! ...that was believable, right? lol But really, I'm really glad that she, and all of my reviewers, are so wonderful to read over this story as I'm writing it. Your input is really invaluable. Thanks guys!

In a funny twist of fate, two of my other reviewers are coming over for dinner tomorrow night. Now to see what they think of the chapters they've received so far... It'll be interesting to get a male perspective of it as my husband doesn't want to read outlines and is patiently waiting until I can finish chapter 2 to read anything else. He'll sit and listen to me vocalize my thoughts on where the story is going, but doesn't want to read anything but fully written chapters. Go figure?

Well, I think it's time to do some research for the beginning of chapter 8. I have to figure out what type of car a certain character drives. I know what color it is, but have no clue what make/model/year it is. Then I have to decide how much of this information Casey would actually know by just looking at it. I also need to decide what they are wearing in this scene, it's actually important to what they're talking about... So, off to farm some pictures up..

Until I blog again, Talk 2ya later...



Post a Comment