Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Story is Born

I was at my orthopedic surgeon's office for a post-op follow up. Out came the sutures, we both appreciated the minimal appearance the scar. I mentioned my kids were in the car watching Brave with their Daddy. My doctor hadn't heard of the movie and I recommended it, saying it's the first Disney princess movie where falling in love with a charming prince isn't the solution to the problem. I then commented that it was funny that it appealed for that reason since I wrote romance.

My doctor cocked a lightly penciled brow and told me to write one for her: early forties, never married, two big dogs. Bamm! My writerly instincts popped into gear, but instead of thinking about firemen and log cabins, I immediately jumped to the internal stakes for the main character and started brainstorming obstacles. As a writer, this makes absolute sense. As a woman pseudo-joking about lack of romance, her stoned (pain-killers, prescribed and used appropriately) patient spewing possible character flaws (especially since I don't really know her at all, even though she's technically been more intimate with me than anyone else) probably didn't sit well.

I may actually write a little flash fiction for her just for fun and give her the choice between the fireman, the scientist, the childhood sweetheart, etc... Maybe make it a choose your own adventure. Or maybe I'll introduce her to my brother, although I don't know if that would be helping at all. Who knows? She deserves some sort of apology for me spit-balling about the heroine having to overcome control freak tendencies.

I hope I don't need another surgery. :)

This is for you, Doc!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Viewing Your Own Work Objectively

It isn't possible. There. Done. Shortest blog post ever.

Nah, I was just kidding. My point has been made but I'm still going to babble. And, before I begin, let me explain that I am on pain killers for shoulder surgery. Be warned. I am not bi-polar but I play one on TV.

Okay, on point: Objectivity = impossible.  While I'm writing and excited, the book is the best book ever written. I am a GOD!  And then revisions of the first draft begin and I should not be allowed to live, let alone write. When everything is done and I have a clean, finished manuscript I, yet again, become awesome. At this point I usually don't look at it again and move on to the next project.

From time to time I've unearthed one of my previous works for a submission or competition or such. These times are iffy. I could be far enough removed from it to find the cadence of my writing unfamiliar and be pleasantly surprised by a book that (by that point, it's probably been rejected a few times) is obviously terrible. Or maybe it was so close to my heart that it hurts to even read it with the knowledge that it will remain under my bed. I've been through the gamut of reactions with my courtly books.

Possessing Karma was going to be my break out novel. It was edgy, different, super sexy, a little scary... it merged my love of history with my total fear of ghosts and came out awesome. Or at least I thought it was awesome until yesterday when I decided to do a quick once over for Golden Heart.

Things I remember including as part of my voice and my character's deep pov are not there. I must have cut them in favor of brevity or something. Philippe's a nice guy, maybe too nice. Karma's OCD because I say she is, but I don't show it. Damn. I don't know what I did in the final edit, but my work feels soulless and choppy. No wonder it didn't get the response I expected.

I think I may have to set aside Touched in favor of breathing life back into Karma. Either that or I'll read it again tomorrow and be awed by my brilliance.
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