On the Writing Front

For the most part January’s been an uneventful month. I’m not complaining. In fact, I’m enjoying the quiet to some degree, although the quiet can sometimes keep me awake at night.

Every once in awhile I can’t stop thinking about the story I’m working on when I go to bed. It’s often at night that some new insight will strike me, and I suddenly know what needs to be done or what has been missing. Knowing the story I’m writing isn’t always enough to keep me writing through to the end. Sometimes I get bored by my own words or else sense that something isn’t quite right, but don’t always know just what that “something” is. So I end up lying awake. Thinking. There are worse things.

I’ve been experiencing some discontentment with my present WIP. I know the writing I’ve known it from the start, but knowing exactly how to tell it has been a bit of a stickler for me. But then something clicked the other night  as I was lying in bed and I figured out what was wrong. Yay me! So now it’s just a matter of whipping it up! Wrong. It’ll still take me sometime to do that, but at least I now know what wasn’t quite right.

I’ve experienced something similar when I first finished writing “To Fly With a Broken Wing.” I had that feeling that something didn’t quite feel right yet I’d convinced myself it was the only way the story could be told. I couldn’t see how it would be possible to write certain parts through the POV of a visually impaired girl since, well, her impairment would prevent her from seeing what was going on. So, I originally wrote some parts in first and third person. (I used third and first when I wrote Bitter, Sweet.)

So while I was flirting with the idea that my novel was complete, I was still having second thoughts about this POV issue. Finally, I decided I was just being silly about it, the novel was written and I was ready to send it to my editor. All that it needed was to be printed off and mailed in. The rest was out of my hands.

Funny, how we don’t always have a choice in things, and what we think will happen ends up happening in a totally different way. Before I had the chance to send my manuscript off I awoke one morning with this thought in my head, “Write it all in first person.”

But I’d ruled this out earlier. My main character is visually impaired, remember. Still, I couldn’t ignore a thought that was so crystal clear mere seconds after awakening could I? I spent the day considering if this was possible. How then would I make it work? I’ve got to tell you I don’t often get these jabs from the Universe, but as the day wore I decided that instead of wondering how I would do it, I would just do it. I would make the scene where Cammie describes what’s going on at a distance work. So yes, I figured it out. And you know what? It wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be.

Often times, I think, we hold the answers to our questions inside us. And for that reason, I like those times just before sleep arrives or immediately when I wake up. I believe when we’re most relaxed that thoughts come to us more freely if we stay open to the answers to our questions.

Have you ever experienced a time when a new insight came to you just before drifting off to sleep or immediately upon waking?

 

Working Overtime

These past few weeks I’ve been working overtime, deep into revisions. As I’ve been working away my mind had been fluctuating between words of praise for what I’m doing and words of, “Will I ever get it right?” I’m not what I would consider a perfectionist by any means and when it comes to writing I’m the one I’m aiming to please. When it sounds right I’ll know it. Do you get what I mean?

I’ve noticed I’m a bit impatient by times. I’m willing to work hard at my writing but I expect results after a certain number of attempts. I mean, how many times can you rewrite a paragraph before you realized it was better five or six drafts earlier. Yes, you can over edit. I know. I’ve been there.

But the story I began with is transforming, there’s no other way of putting it. It’s amazing how a story’s plot line can remain basically the same and yet the story itself can be completely different. That just right “voice” is what makes the difference and can change a story from mediocre to simply stunning.

I’ve switched some of my paragraphs to first person accounts and really like the results. I like writing in first person. I’ve always felt comfortable there. First person allows the writer access to feelings and thoughts that we might not otherwise be able to show our reader. I’m really big on getting to the heart of people’s emotions, finding out what really makes them tick. For me, this is easier to do while in first person.

I find human behaviour to be quite fascinating, why people think and do the things they do. What gives them their “flaws.” (Not sure I care for the word flaw as it indicates that we all must follow a certain behaviour pattern to be what society considers “normal.” ) Lets just say I like to read about interesting characters. I like the idea that almost everyone, despite these “flaws” has some redeeming qualities. Sometimes knowing the motives behind their actions makes them feel a bit more sympathetic. Hey, I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. But then I’ve been told I have my head in the clouds!!

So here’s where I’ve been lately, deep in revision land and it’s really been keeping me busy. It feels as though the end is quickly coming near but that could just be me with my head in the clouds again. Regardless, it’s a good feeling and I don’t mind working overtime at it. At least I can admit, that for the most part, I’ve been enjoying the process.

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