What A Difference a Day (or Two) Makes

Well, the next day–the day after I wrote that last blog about being insecure and mistrustimg my own judgment–I sat down at my desk, and the words just flowed. It was a great scene, and had great conflict and emotion and sexual tension and I absolutely loved it. I even went “over quota” on the pages.

And then, the day after that–I got maybe 3 pages written. Okay, some of it was because I went to Amarillo on Tuesday as usual (finished a little painting, painted over another sucky one) and bought books. I bought The new Lois McMaster Bujold (which is FABULOUS) and Robin Owens’ new HEART QUEST and a couple of others (including, finally ANANSI BOYS which had made it to the remainder table and cost the same as a paperback)–and I stayed up reading Heart Quest (also FABULOUS!) till way too late and when I got up Wednesday morning, I was sleepy and the brain wasn’t really perking on all cylinders and I had to head downtown for a Friends of the Library meeting at noon anyway, which meant I needed to stop a little early…Yeah, I know. Excuses, excuses. Still, couldn’t get into the story.

And then today, stayed up too late again–this time getting through Nora Robertses new sorcery/vampire series–but I slept late. So I started late. But didn’t have anywhere to go, any thing I had to do, except make it to the bank before 3:00 p.m.–so I just kept working. And again, the words flowed and the characters spoke to me. I did have to make myself stick with it until I got my 6 pages (think I got a little more, when I reached the end of it) and barely had time to grab some lunch and walk to the bank. Hmm. Now I think about it, the weather’s been about as roller coaster as my writing. The writing has gone better on the pretty days.

I listened to some of the RWA workshops on my iPod while I was out walking, and I think the last couple really helped me focus on what I needed to do with these scenes. Of course, they didn’t come out at all like I thought I had planned–but then that’s my writing style. I plan the overall plot (which I actually haven’t done with this book, except very, very vaguely) and then when I get to the scenes, I line up the characters–whoever needs to be in the scene–tell them “Okay, in this scene, Lilah wants to find out who Will thinks is after her, and Will wants to tell her so there’s no conflict in that, but when she finds out, she doesn’t like what she hears and has to argue with him about it. Ready? Okay–Go!” And I turn them loose and watch what happens and write it down as fast as I can. And it went in a few directions I did not expect. So I’m both a plotter, and a pantser. I know what the scenes are supposed to be about–but I have no idea how that stuff is going to happen. Which is why I can’t write out of order.

Anyway, I think I’ve gotten my 24 pages for this week. (I hope.) Not writing tomorrow. Heading south to go visit the son at university and go to the Homecoming football game and hang out. Then I’ll have a few more days at home and it’s off to Austin for some Texas community college board association meeting thing, and then the World fantasy conference at the end of the week. Guess which one’s going to be more fun?

I’ll blog next week, but probably won’t while I’m out of town…

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