Thursday, May 28, 2015

May updates

Rootless Trees is done its first draft!! I've been sitting on it waiting for feedback from my critique partner. I really struggled with the last two scenes.  There were a lot of loose ends to tidy.  Even in sewing or knitting, I hate doing the loose ends.  You have to take time to ensure they are woven in well enough that they don't unravel, nor are seen by the eye (untrained or expert).

I'm very pleased with the horror story. It needed about five sentences for revisions. Unfortunately, that leaves it at novella length. My plan for that manuscript needed another 20,000 words. That would destroy the rhythm of the story. More pondering.

So on to the Icelandic sweater story.  I need a reason the two friends will fall out. It needs to be big enough and real enough to cause a rift that can only be mended by some serious growth on the part of the two heroines.  No one dies. No one gets divorced. Those are my two rules.  These women have been friends for over twenty years. They can say anything to each other.  But one of them has to cross a line, no matter how unreasonable it is, for the other to fall out with her. I'm just not sure which line or which one crosses it.  Other than that, I have an outline and am pleased.

At this point, I can write the opening as well as get to know the characters. I'm sure the break will reveal itself. In the meantime, the feedback for Rootless Trees was good so I can take it from there.

In other news, my beautiful mulberry tree has been cut back drastically. Two gutters and a house corner were pummeled by the two main branches that curved over the porch. I don't have pictures of the handsome man on my roof taking care to damage the tree as little as possible. He managed to save three main branches, enough for a couple of jars of mulberry jam.   I'll spare you the photos.  It hurts my heart to stand at my desk and look out the window.  One thin branch continues to reach up towards my office and occasionally wave.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Letting go

Just two scenes left to write. Two scenes.  I know exactly what's going to happen. So why is it taking so long to actually write all the words that are needed?

One theory is that I don't want the book to end. It's the third in a trilogy and I really like these characters. They've all been with me in one form or another for seventeen years.  The original idea came out of a conversation with a male friend who thought he knew everything.  Once the characters showed themselves they became as real to me as any imaginary friends. They're independent of my will. I know that sounds a little bit nuts but other writers feel the same way about their characters.

Another theory as to my delay in finishing these two scenes is the need to send them off in a really big way.  I keep trying to improve on the grandiosity of the final scene. That's in conflict with the tone of the story. Yes, there's magic. Yes, they're changing the world and curing cancer. But their personalities would dwell on the moment rather than the larger picture. They are intimate scenes about two characters and how their interaction affects each other.  Saving the world is the by-product.

Do you ever hold off finishing a story (reading or writing) because you're not quite ready to let the characters go off into the world without you?