Sunday, March 11, 2007

67,000 words (Not sure where I'm going, but I'm getting there quick!)

I started this novel a few days after Agent Anne said she'd start selling Poison Door. It was something to keep me from checking my email twenty-three times a day. Normal response time is around three months, and freelance drawing just leaves me too much time to go crazy.

Now I'm around the six week mark, both for sale and work-in-progress, and I'm not sure which makes me crazier.

But it's a happy sort of crazy. I'm chuddling along (yes, chuddling -- it's a perfectly cromulent word) with my various pursuits, and each one brings a tiny bit more joy into my life.

Still back in the early days. I'm adding, adding, adding stuff I missed before. I know one hell of a lot of it will come out (or more likely, over half of what I've written in the last month won't make it), but it's part of the process for me. I flail a lot, especially in the beginning. No worries.

I'm really in this first draft to see how the story turns out. But I'd gotten up to Chapter 40-something (my chapters are really short - about 1000 words on average) and had a 'Sudoku Moment'. That's the sinking feeling where you realize you went wrong somewhere, and you don't know where.

Instead of realizing to sixes couldn't fit on that one line, I realized Sarah was meeting up with a character didn't belong in the book nohow. But he was in something like three or four scenes. And he was doing important stuff. The guy had a bit of weight.


So back I went, knocking stuff around, looking for other characters to pull his weight if he left the story. And that's when I realized I had a couple of characters who *really* needed to be up to more (villains, of course -- lots n lots of villains in my work). I'd been thinking Maryanne would end up being deleted, but I realized she really had a LOT more to do. More writing....

This isn't my first Sudoku Moment in this book. Earlier, I noticed my Big Nasty Villain kept trying to be all noble. And it pissed me right off. I made my peace with the character by letting Baker know he might have his day in the sun sometime, but it wasn't this story. I rewrote Chapmann into the role, and man, is he a nasty little shithead. And he keeps getting worse!

I still don't know who's going to take Lerner's weight. Right now, it's not the important question. Right now, Helen and Maryanne have finally opened up to me, and I'm listening.


etain_lavena said...

Sjoe allot of stuff happening in your brain:)

Charles Gramlich said...

Reading this post makes me think you are completely psychotic, which is good because that's exactly where you 'need' to be in the middle of a book. The characters are real to you, alive for you. This is when it's really fun, although straining as all hell.

Susan Miller said...

Wow, this is an incredibly wonderful "in your head" writing. It is great to see the psychosis on paper and recognize the beauty of an obsession. Good for you, man.

Steve Malley said...

Thanks for the kind words, all. Especially you Charles, though a diagnosis of psychotic from a qualified professional might make me wonder.

If my megalomania would permit it, of course...

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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