Thursday, August 11, 2011

Blink. Blink, blink.

     I’m certain my family thought I’d lost my mind the day I casually announced my plans to write a novel. To the best of my recollection the conversation with my sister went something like this:
 
    “Hey, want some peach cobbler?" She waved a steaming dessert bowl under my nose. "I just made it.”

     “Mmmmmmmm. Smells yummy.” I graciously accepted the piping hot pastry. “Oh, and by the way,“ I took my first yummy spoonful. “Did I tell you that I’m planning on writing a novel this Summer?”
     (Blink. Blink, blink)

     Okay, so perhaps I took a little creative license with my memory. But hey … I’m a writer and this is my blog, so I’ll remember things how I want to.
     The bottom line is that the response from the rest of my family pretty much mirrored that of my sister’s. I’d enter a room, and suddenly everyone in it became afflicted with some sort of a rare nervous condition. My poor family. I tend to have that effect on them. Thankfully, their bout with twitching and silent blinking was short lived. I really do have the best family in the world. After the initial shock wore off, they quickly jumped onboard. It’s just how they operate. I needed their support, so they were there. I needed their encouragement, and they gave it. But most of all … I needed their eyeballs. They were my guinea pigs, after all … my first readers.

     At this point, I’ve lost track of how many times I've written/rewritten the first chapter to Courting the Flame. FYI, I’m a pantser: I write by the seat of my pants. It’s how I find my story. Perhaps it’s not the most efficient method of attacking a novel. I’m sure there’s merit to sitting down and plotting out your entire story before you write it. I’m sure it would save me a lot of revising in the end. But pffffffffffff … where’s the fun in that?!
     For me, writing is very much like reading. Sure I have predictions about where my story is going. But just like when I’m reading, those predictions don’t always pan out. Sometimes my characters throw me a curveball. (waggles eyebrows) I love when they do that. There have been many evenings (early mornings) when I’ve actually found myself arguing with them. “But … but … Oh my God. You can’t do that!” (sighs) What can I say? They usually win. Just like that time when Gracie, she’s my protagonist, absolutely insisted on—oh, dear … there I go again, getting ahead of myself.

     Discussions about characters are best left to another blog. Which I promise to write. Just as soon as I finish my peach cobbler.

     Blink. Blink, blink.