Sunday, March 29, 2009

Just Checking In...

This has been the longest week ever!

I have very little to report on the writing front unfortunately. For the past week I have been taking care of a very sick little two year old boy, my poor little guy. We're not sure where he picked it up, but he has been suffering with a really bad stomach virus for a week now. The doctor says that he'll be fine and he is getting better, but it's heartbreaking to see him so sick.

Every time I sat down to write, he would come and lay his head on my lap and just want to hold my hand. Luckily, I never got puked on like my husband... but it's not easy to concentrate and type one-handed when you are seeing your only child so sick. I think I managed a few hundred words and random edits this past week, which isn't bad considering everything else going on.

I'm debating on whether or not to start my rewrites before I finish my last few short chapters though. I am so excited to go back in and add in all of the new special scenes for Casey and crew that it's hard to focus on what else needs to be written. In my defense though, a lot of what I "need" to write will probably be changed once I make all of my rewrites, so I could just write those scenes fresh after I lay the groundwork for my new ideas.

Maybe I'm just suffering S.O.S. (Shiny Object Syndrome). Forget the old stuff that needs to be written, I have this new shiny object that I want to play with. It's... so... shiny...

Then again, maybe I need to rethink these last few chapters and their purpose. If I'm not as excited about writing them as I was with all of the others, maybe that's a sign that they need some work. If they bore me to write, they'd certainly bore a reader.

A couple of these chapters, I fear, are going to become info dumps the way I have them outlined. A good portion of Casey's gift has to do with Greek mythology, so I have a couple scenes that are supposed to give out some basic information on the deities that have been "possessing" her. (Man, I hate the word possessing for this, but it's the closest thing that I can think of to describe it...) Now, I don't want to make these chapters just mythology lessons, but I need a way to sneak in little bits of this information in a way that furthers the plot.

Another chapter that I need to write doesn't necessarily need any work done to it's outline, I just need to decide if I want to include a really goofy scene in the middle of it. In my mind I can see it, but it can come across really cheesy and that's not what the story is about. This goofy scene doesn't really do anything for the plot, but does show a side of a few characters that flesh them out a bit.

I have yet another chapter that is written, written badly - but written, that needs a lot of work. This is one of my favorite scenes in my head and is pretty important in showing Casey's struggles (as well as being freakin' hilarious), but it has a big problem. Copyright issues. In the scene, a radio is playing and what is played and said over the stations is very important to make the scene work. Unfortunately after writing up this scene, I found out that you cannot use song lyrics in a novel without paying for permission. I don't know why this didn't occur to me before, maybe because I was only using maybe one line out of each song, but whatever reason it was, now I have to do a major rewrite or be willing to cut a chapter that I love. Right now it's on the chopping block and will just have to be a funny scene in my head... who knows what will happen in the second draft though?

Then there are a few really emotional scenes that are really important to the plot, one of which really hits close to home. These scenes just require me to have more than a couple minutes here and there to work. Every other scene can be written in little bits here and there, but these require a fluidity that can't be achieved that way, at least not by me... yet. I am still new to all of this you know. Once we finish the bathroom remodel (the task that is taking up my husband's free time, time that used to be spent watching the toddler so I could write), I'll take a couple days to write these out. They will be fun to write because of the range of intense emotions that Casey experiences. Getting inside her head for these scenes will be a great writing experience for me.

As for rewrites, I have to:
- layer in some scenes for a major character that kind of got pushed to the background in his scenes (oops!),
- add in some extra paranormal aspects to Casey's gift and their ramifications to the plot,
- rewrite 2-3 scenes from another character's POV (This will be great and add to the mystery around a couple of the characters),
- figure out what I'm going to do with my "boring" scenes

Once that stuff is done, I'll just need to polish everything up and it will be done. Then the scary part starts... querying!

Well, what do you know? I guess I did have a bit to report on my writing after all :)

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

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Kristin said...

I'm really proud of you and oh so sorry about your sick one. Nothing is worse than a sick baby (even if they are 8 & 10). I can relate, my youngest had strep this last week. I've let you down with the motivating thing. We had to back to Indy as my F-I-L had another surgery. I've been sick with a migraine for two days (still woozy from meds), so I haven't been a good friend. But, I will be better! Promise. And congrats on your competition award. I never even know about contests, let alone submitting adn winning. You are very talented and I look forward to us motivating each other for years. And, I envy your ability to Wordle. I've not been able to get it to work or get them to reply. Hmm...what's up with that? Will write my motivating email this week!

Willow said...

Hey Kristin! Don't feel bad about the motivational emails, you are going through a lot right now. I completely understand. I hope that your F-I-L gets better after his most recent surgery and that your hubby learns to not overdo things, lol.

Thanks for the grats on the contest win. It was so fun writing the story for that contest and I almost fell off my couch when I got the email saying I won, lol. Totally wasn't expecting that.

I didn't really do much on the Wordle, just copied my manuscript in and let it run. Had to allow some things on the site through my script blocker for the site to work, but I'm used to that since I'm a security freak, lol.

Hope all is going well with your book! Talk 2ya soon and hopefully see you at the next Writers Guild meeting.

beth said...

If it helps, I don't think it breaks copyright rules if you quote a small portion of the song (a few lines or so) rather than the entire song. Sounds to me like you're OK.

Willow said...

Oh gods, that would be great Beth! I really like the scene with the couple lines of songs in it because it adds drama that happens to be funny to my main character. I would cut it if I had to, but would really miss it. I'll have to go back and see exactly what the law is then.


Jennifer Roland said...

Willow, Do you have a nearby law school? An intellectual property professor might be able to help you figure out if your use is fair use or copyright infringement. Or ask around on writer's groups. I'm sure someone out there has had the same question.

It sounds like fair use to me, but I'm not a trained copyright specialist, by any means.

Willow said...

Actually I do live in a university town that has a law school. I guess I never thought about it since I'm not a student there anymore. Thanks for the idea Jennifer!

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