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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Long Time, No Post

Well, it wasn't exactly a vacation - helping my mom move to Denver after spending her entire life in Texas. But it was different. Isn't that the definition of vacation? She is pretty game, taking on this interstate adventure after so long. A lot of the family (two daughters, four grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren) are clustered in the Denver area, and none of us are living back in Fort Worth where she's lived since 1938. Three cheers for my mom, who is a great lady!

As for me - not a word did I write for three weeks. Neither website update, nor newsletter, nor blog post has crossed my fingers. Yes, I kept up on email. Barely. Now things are settling down until the next family event in a couple of weeks. (More on that another time.)

It was probably a good time to get a little distance on Portier, Dante, and Ilario. I was enjoying their investigation, but somehow the words coming out on paper didn't seem as punchy as I like. This is known as the "It's All Crap Stage" in the writing journey. Yesterday, I sat down alone. House quiet. A misty, rainy May Colorado day - perfect writing weather. And what did I do?

First, I wrote a new opening scene. Is it better than the original? Slightly. It contains more dramatization than character introduction. [You might remember I was worried about that.] I'm still not hearing the spooky music playing, which must happen. There was some key info that I was able to slip into my first version that vanished from this version. After spending several [happy!] hours playing with it, I decided to leave it go for the time being. What I come up with later will likely be an amalgam of the two attempts. Or perhaps an entirely new version, skipping the prologue altogether and somehow meshing our introduction to Portier and his mission into the action of the first scene. This is the "ideal," but it would mean a LOT of digression as Portier and Ilario meet Dante. I don't want to spoil the dynamic of their partnering.

Today - Day 2 of my return - I spent revising the last two chapters I wrote. Not bad, as I look at them. [The doubting Carol says "maybe you weren't gone long enough."] And then I picked up a stack of comments from my critique partners spanning several earlier chapters. This gives me a quick review, as well as some needed improvements. [You mean not everyone understood that Gruchin was a dead man?]

In any case, I felt as if I accomplished something. Moved forward. Which is the critical piece for me after time away. Tomorrow, I've business away. But Thursday, I'm hoping to lay down new story. Woo-hoo!!!


ssas said...

Have fun drafting. There really is nothing like it.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Carol.
I've missed being able to read your updates whilst you've been away. The insights you give into the writing process are truly fascinating to me, and very inspiring. I love your books and can't wait for this latest to be out.

carolwriter said...

Joanne - Yep, no progress, no posts. Glad you've found some interesting bits along the way. It's been fun - and good for me, I think.

And Bets, you're right. There is nothing like getting those words flowing.

Anonymous said...

I am a fan of your books. I was wondering if you would ever consider critiquing my book? Or at least a little bit of it? my email is orenjd@hotmail.com

I try to get my family to read it, but they never say anything helpful. I suppose a lot of writers have that problem. If you don't critique, then I was glad just to see your blog then. It is very interesting.

Anonymous said...

oren- you might want to try looking online for a writer's group. There are many out there and if you are willing to crit for others, they will for you. I lurk over at the hatrack writer forum (I am trying to finish my thesis, and I have a toddler, so I just have not had enough time to be active). I haven't been over there, but I have heard of critter.

threeofb said...

First off, let me say best of luck on your new story! That is definately one of my favorite steps in writing because the possibilities are wide open. Of course, that's not saying much considering i'm still on my first novel. :)

Second off, (its a bit off-topic but perhaps it will give you a writers-boost) I absolutely love your stories. I'm amazed at the techniques you employ for character development, your style of dialogue and diction, the unfolding of events, and how you're able to make a world seem tangible enough to touch.

Although I hate to use the chilched phrase "your my role model", it applies in this instance. I would love to one day be able to write as well as you. While I haven't written much, I have read many fantasy works including those of Terry Goodkind, Robert Asprin, David Eddings, etc. and you beat them all, in my opinion.

Well, sorry to spring all that into one post, but perhaps it will inspire you a little or perhaps give you a small boost as you write next. :) I certainly hope so, and again best of luck!

Anonymous said...