Big Enough to Drive a Truck Through…

I think I mentioned that I’ve been working on re-plotting Fighter One.  It’s a good storyline, I just needed to do some major surgery to make it all work the way that I wanted it to.  I’ve switched events around, moved the whole thing further forward in the timeline, and played with point of view.  I actually finished the latest write-through during Camp NaNoWriMo.

 

And promptly returned to my Snowflake.  You see, although this is a standalone novel, there’s the potential for a five book series, and I wanted to plot that series out before I went much further.  A lot can happen over four additional books, and I want to ensure that I leave the cornerstones of the plot and story world that I will need for those books.

 

I knew from the beginning of the process that there was a problem with the last two books, but not what exactly.  I had a vague idea that the last two books would reveal a sweeping and epic problem that would lead to an awesome climax and end the series with a metaphorical (and possibly literal) bang. I just didn’t know what this problem was.

 

I figured it out on Saturday, at what I would have thought to be both the most and least likely of places.

 

Saturday I attended When Words Collide, which is a local writers/readers con.  I learned a lot, like I fully expected, but I was sitting in a panel that I thought would be relevant to my main character(s) when somebody said something that made me think about my own story.

 

And then I realized exactly what the central crux of the whole series was about, and it wasn’t what I thought.  The plot hole wasn’t big enough to drive a truck through, that’s an exaggeration, but it was quite large and it had been bothering me for a month or so.  To have it sorted out was both a relief and exhilarating.

 

Of course, it totally changed the course of the books, so I have a little bit of re-plotting to do now.  But it’s totally worth the extra work to get everything figured out!!

 

Surprised by my own Skill

I’m having trouble trying to decide where to start this post.  Mostly because I was at work for nearly 12 hours today and doing something resembling work for at least 10 of them (I can call the other two “team building, right?).  I’m tired.  And hungry, even though I just ate.

 

But I’m not here to complain.

 

Not about the long hours, anyway.

 

You see, something unusual happened to me this weekend.  It was a long one for me (my company gives one Friday off a month) and I spent the Friday doing house and grown up things that need to be done when one is a grown up with a house (called insurance company about last year’s hail claim, mowed lawn, took out trash, called doctor, etc.).

 

 

Some of that is unusual.

 

But that’s not what I want to talk about.  Friday night I joined my parents and their dog on a jaunt out to the lake, as it was Mother’s Day. We had a nice visit, hung around in the sun, did some shopping for plants, visited with my cousin, her son, and his puppy, who is only three months and adorably tiny (unlike the baby tiger below – added for visual interest).

 

 

 

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I even read a book or two.

 

 

Okay, so it was a newer Clive Cussler that my dad left on his bedside table.  Nothing fancy or terribly thought provoking, but it was a fun read for a few hours.  Brain candy is sometimes healthy, right?  Anyway, there was a scene in it that involved a husband and wife in mortal danger, which reminded me somewhat tangentially of a scene in the possible sequel to “Fighter One” (which I drafted during a NaNoWriMo a few years back).  I was curious if my memory of what I had written was correct, so I re-read the draft.  And ended up also reading the draft of the next in the series after that.

 

 

The strange thing?  I couldn’t put my own books down.  It was kind of like when I read “The Hunger Games” after having watched the movie: I knew how it ended, but I was compelled to keep on reading just to be sure.  And it was enjoyable.  Much more so than reading the first in the series is right now (after I’ve torn it completely apart and put it back together backwards… twice).  I actually really enjoyed reading the books.

 

Now, they aren’t the pinnacle of literary brilliance, I know that.  They’re first drafts, and NaNo drafts at that.  But the potential is what amazed me.  And, more than anything right now, I desperately want to re-write those two books, and finish the series (I know exactly how it will end.  It’s wonderful and poignant and circular and beautiful, and the changes that I’ve made to the first book will only make the last one better).  Which means finishing the first in the series, but I’ve been looking for the motivation to do that for a few months anyway.

 

The big problem?  The darn day job!  I really wished the weekend had been a few days longer so that I could have capitalized on the wave of motivation that I felt.  Since that cannot be, I’ll just have to keep reminding myself of the feeling until I make the time to actually sit down and write again.  Maybe over the (next) long weekend.

 

Have you ever completely surprised yourself with your own talent?

 

 

 

 

 

The Muse Returns?

Originally posted January 26, 2012 (before the disaster)

 

Maybe… maybe not.

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But like wisps of steam rising off a freezing pond, ideas are slowly coming to me.

 

I posted a few weeks ago about how my muse has abandoned me.  At the time, I felt like I had the drive and the motivation to work but, other than my novel, no good ideas.

 

I still can’t claim to have any good ideas (I can’t claim anything is good when I’m still so close to it), but I did find some inspiration in the suggestions of my twitter followers.  Consequently, I just finished draft one of a short story that came to me, nearly all at once, at the zoo last Saturday.  I’ll have to get some other people’s input onto it, but I’m excited about it.  It’s dark, and unusual for me, but maybe that’s just the thing I’ve been looking for.  As a little drawing of a coffin in my Pintrest account says “You’ll have a whole eternity to think inside the box.”

 

I also have one short story about 2/3 done and another plotted and ready to go.  I’m not sure that I’m crazy about them yet, but I’ll finish them and drop them in a drawer for a few months and see if I can find anything redeeming in them.

 

In more positive writerly news, the novel I am currently re-writing is going well and I am nearly at 15,000 words!  Just another 65,000 to go!  It stands a good chance of getting done before the end of June, which would be nice, because it gives me a fair chunk of time to do some plotting and planning before NaNo this year.  What am I going to write this November?