Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Wishin'... and Hopin'... and Thinkin'...

Right now I have that song in my head... but somehow I'm quite sure Ms. Dusty Springfield never meant them in the context that I'm using them. I'm still waiting to hear if my Cowboy story has been accepted. But until then, my writing life goes on.

Lately, I've been editing my "Appearances" story (which probably won't stay titled that... it's just how I first thought of it, lol). And I'm finding certain characters are coming up so much clearer than they originally did. They're growing and evolving in ways I am constantly surprised by. I wrote this one at the same time that Mysti wrote her Shut Up and Kiss Me when we did it as sort of a writing challenge. We were trying to get the ball rolling and get something done... anything done. Mysti popped up in my IM window and said, "I have an idea" which usually makes me cringe... some of her ideas are a bit out there. Like yanno... "I have an idea... we should write erotic romance!" :-D

So, Mysti had an idea... we needed to just make it a challenge. We had two days (might have been three...) to write a story that was approximately 7500 words. She finished hers long before I did, but I have a very hard time making my stories shorter... I want to share the information and more of the story. Anyway, the end result was my Cowboy story that originally ended at almost 13,000 words. But I wrote it within the time limit we'd set. I can remember thinking that I liked this story, but feeling pressed to finish in the alloted time. And I'm sure that showed in the first draft.

As so often happens with a story, it started out one way, and it quickly jumped over into a different direction than I had originally planned. Once I hit save that last time I popped up in her window... "Done!" At which point she demanded I send it to her immediately. Ugh, I really hate sending anyone a first draft... I know there are mistakes in there, I know that I've twisted the plot and left out the conflict. And while I do better with criticisms than I do with praise (go figure) I always feel a little sick to my stomach when I first open up a document that has been looked over by a crit partner and see all those crossed out lines and comments along the side. Each time I think, "That's an awful lot of red!"

Mysti looked at it and sent me her comments and edits. And my first thought? "WOW, that's an awful lot of red!" LOL. Then, after taking a deep breath, I read through all the comments and edits and then closed it and set it aside. I'm not a person who can do the first or second round of edits on my stories immediately. I have to read every comment that was made, and then let it germinate. Let it sit and let my subconscious brain pick it apart and put it back together again. Besides, I was in the middle of second or third round of edits on my Cowboy, so I continued to work on those.

Now, Cowboy is off, and waiting in someone else's hands and Appearances can take center stage. As I go through and add words... or change words that I apparently love too much (clenched anyone?)... I am once again amazed at the way a story can change and evolve and grow. Characters that may have been a bit bland can take on a whole new appearance. They can steal a scene, or in some cases an entire book. They can go from whiney and not all that admirable to bitchy but lovable. I love the journey I go on each time I step into the worlds in my head. I love how I can see, taste and touch what I'm trying to get down on the screen. I absolutely adore the voices in my head (yes, even when they are screaming at me that I'm not getting their stories down fast enough). Basically, I pretty much love everything about writing... okay, I could do without the emotional angst as I wait for a response to my inquiry... but nobody's perfect, lol. Maybe if I can keep my mind on editing Appearances and writing some more I won't go as crazy... then again, maybe not. Guess we'll all have to wait and see, lol.

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