Friday, January 12, 2007

R.I.P

So, it's an official decision now for me...letting go of THE MOTHERCODE. I've learned a bunch about myself as a writer lately--my strengths and my weaknesses. I was definitely building this novel on my weaknesses.

BUT...no time to mourn! I've got a new story that's been solidifying over the past few days that I'm very excited about. More character driven, less technically messy. I've been thinking about what I can salvage from THE M. and decided I can keep my two main female characters, which makes me very happy because they are the daughters of the MC in my last novel. I'd like to keep that tie-in. I worked hard on making them real in my mind and I had to laugh because I thought it's sort of like playing god isn't it? What if he (she, it, they) didn't like the way the plot in our life was going so we were just plucked out of our existing story and dropped into a new set of circumstances?! We wouldn't even know it...hmmm, maybe that's all ready happened. Sometimes I feel like a stranger in my own life!

Anyway, there is one character I just can't keep. I wanted to, I've grown really fond of him, and I couldn't wait to see how he was going to handle the dilemma I created for him. But, when I try to plug him into the new plot, it doesn't work. His personality is set in stone, and he just wouldn't do the things that I need the new love interest to do. I find this weird, but I'm going with it. Have to create a new male lead.

I'm going to write this one differently, too. In King's book, he suggests just writing...getting the story out before you lose momentum or emerge from it into reality. Usually, I agonize over each page, editing as I go...this time I'm just getting the thing out! Then I'll go back and fill in or take out, scream, pull my hair out as needed.

I don't usually look back, though I am giving THE MOTHERCODE a furtive glance of reverence. Sure, I've got other novels stuffed in the drawer, but they are at least finished. This is my first unfinished one. I've learned from it though, so I find it hard to consider it a failure. Maybe its job was to show me I was on the wrong path and give me the freedom to--not walk tentatively--but run down the right one.

Working title of new book: STRANGE NEW FEET

Off to begin the new adventure.

3 comments:

Christian said...

I might have mentioned this before...but I had to scrap the last draft of my current novel, Corrosion, because it just wasn't working for me in any way. I loved the concept and the characters, but somehow, the plot just wasn't gelling. So...in the waste bin it went. Then I went to Big!Lots! and bought twenty spiral-bound notebooks and started again in earnest, longhand. It's incredible the difference it has made. And I did this based on King's suggestions as well.

Good luck to you on this one!

Shannon said...

It's kind of freeing, isn't it? Knowing that you can chuck the whole thing if it's not working...new concept to me. Makes me just want to write and write and worry about whether it's worthy of paper later.

Longhand seems so romantic, but I know I would just end up with a hand-cramp!

Christian said...

I guess the theory that you have to write a lot of crap before you get to the good stuff is sometimes true.

Yeah, the first time was kinda scary, throwing away so many words that it seemed had taken so long to get just right.

I tend to type faster than I can think, and so longhand has been a tremendous benefit, for I can take my time and get the words down just how I like them. It seems to have eliminated having to draft and re-draft. I write it once, transcribe it once, and off it goes to wherever. I'm loving it. It's good to be the writer.