storyteller and all-around creative distraction

friday, in the other dimensions

Just so you know, if you leave your journal out on the dining room table, the journal you’ve been keeping for two years, and you then leave the room, your toddler will take a crayon to it. He will scribble all over several of the pages, maybe even important things, or profound things, or all those sweet baby things you wrote about him when he was little. Yes, he will scribble it all out, with a big fat orange crayon. Just so you know.

Also, I find it funny how these Friday updates never end up happening until Monday. Toddler rules, I tell you!

not a writer:

There are these forks in a novel, just like in real life, where the character makes a decision that branches off a whole different future than they might have had otherwise. But the thing is, in real life, we don’t get to see those other dimensions and what our lives might have been like had we made different decisions.

In a novel, I can. My problem has been, I think, that as I went about this business of writing a novel for the first time, I was trying too hard to hold on to parts of those old futures, the different scenes that happened in whatever dimension of the lives they might have lived. This stupid novel has been through dozens of drafts and idea stages, and these poor characters have been through so many possible scenarios.

It took me writing about half of the thing to finally find what the heart of the story actually was, and so now I’m finding that things that I wrote for old drafts don’t really matter to the story as a whole. Maybe, at one point, in an old old draft, many dimensions ago, they did matter. Now, not so much.

So this is what I’ve been working on this week, thinking about which parts of the story really belong, really matter, which dimension should my characters live in, and it’s honestly driving me a little crazy.

And for the record, my hubby absolutely thinks I’m crazy when I talk about my characters like this, like they’re voices in my head or something. Do other writers talk about their characters like this, or am I really crazy?

Changing the POV from third to first really changed everything. It honestly did, and I really didn’t expect it would be so different. So, when I was wondering before whether this was starting a second draft, or starting over, I think it’s probably closer to starting over. Better than starting from scratch, but you know, starting over just the same. Everything is being rebuilt from the ground up. Blank slate.

I think I might try out NaNoWriMo, and I obviously won’t finish the whole novel in that month, but I’ll commit to the 50,000 words anyway. It might be an interesting challenge. Maybe I’ll try early mornings? Maybe hubby will get up with me and work on that million-dollar idea that he keeps distracting himself from with television shows? What do you say, Hubby?

Novel stats:

Part 1, four chapters
13,400 wds and 41 pages.

I’m liking the structure of novels like Then We Came to the End, and The Feast of Love, where the novel is broken up into broad sections, then further broken up into chapters. I think I’m going to adopt this strategy, which actually resembles what I was badly doing when I first started, and wrote big fat monstrous chapters. I think those big fat chapters were supposed to be sections.

So, my first section/part has four brand-spanking-new chapters. It could use just a bit more plumping up and polishing, but I’m nearly finished with it, and hope to finish it off by the end of the week. Then move on to the second section/part, obviously, since the second comes after the first, lol. Do you see how clever I am? 😉

There will be seven section/parts. I might get all creative and give them titles, or maybe I’ll be boring and just number them. Creative sounds better than boring, of course, but we’ll see.

Happy writing 🙂

4 thoughts on “friday, in the other dimensions”

  • You’re not crazy at all. I’ve had the same characters growing and overtaking my brain since I was fourteen. That was twelve years ago. My fiance has grown used to it and no longer gives me crazy looks when we discuss my writing/etc. It can be annoying at times, to have something volatile and seemingly beyond your control living in your head like that. It isn’t disassociative identity disorder, it’s just… one hell of an imagination. Plenty of writers have it, though some of them prefer to call them “muses”. Anne Rice, pre-crazy Catholicism kick, was very much like this with Lestat. She would often refer to him being temperamental or forcing her to write something, etc.

    Mine just prefer to give me grief. I love that my fiance is so easy about it now. But he’s become very rooted in my creativity and he is my go-to person when I need help sorting through the insanity that is my head. 😀

  • most of my brain today has been consumed with whether Anna sleeps with Joel or not before getting back together with Ben. What is more realistic? What choice does she make?
    So, if you are crazy then I am crazy too, because it’s, like, ALL I think about!

  • I know exactly what you mean about the forks in your novel, thanks to a decision your character makes that you didn’t expect. This keeps happening with mine! My narrator is a bit unruly and will not listen to my outline. She does what she wants and I just have to follow. I guess it’s keeping me on my toes…

    I talk about my characters like they are people. My narrator has been living with me and my husband since the summer. He’s even gotten into the game with me, so we’ll be out doing something and he’ll be like, “D. would like that, wouldn’t she?” And we’ll discuss what D. would be doing, there with us at that very moment, as if she just walked out of the room and will be right back.

    Yay for NaNoWriMo! I wish I could do it this year. It’s fun. (And exhausting, but fun.)

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