Followers

Sunday, November 25, 2007


I DID IT!!!

I took the NaNoWriMo challenge and I completed a 50,000+ word novel in less than a month! I know that doesn't sound like a big deal to some of you, but it's harder than it sounds! I'm excited that it's done and pleased with the results. "The Wall of Time" is officially complete! Oohrah!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

So You Killed a Character. Now What?
There come times when we have to kill off a character. I know it's hard, but swords slash, guns go off, bombs blow and a life ends.
First ,you cry. At least I do. I can't speak for those people who are callous and uncaring, but I cry like crazy. It's like losing a friend, especially when it's someone you like.
Second, you torture yourself with it for awhile to see how it feels. It feels awful. You're a horrible person! How could you do such an awful thing?
Third, you remember that movie "Stranger Than Fiction" and worry if you really killed off a real person! (Come on, it's a MOVIE of course you didn't. You don't have any special voodoo powers.
Fourth, you move on. You have to resolve the conflict and finish the book. The death moved the story forward. You had to do it. Someone had to die besides the bad guy. So he was a wonderful, sweet, good looking, loving character! Someone had to do the job, and he did it.
Well, the fourth one doesn't always happen, but you try. I bring all this up, because I just killed off not one, but two very likeable characters so that the plot could advance. One of them was old, he'd lived an exemplary life, he was going to die soon anyway. The other was young, full of life, in prime physical condition, had just fallen in love and found out his fiancee was going to have a baby. He was looking forward to marriage, fatherhood, building a long and happy life together.
Then I killed him. I feel like an assassin. I feel mean and callous and uncaring. Because of me, that woman is suffering. That baby will grow up without a father and his best friend is miserable. But I know that somehow they will soldier on without him and go on with their lives.
Maybe it will make me feel better to imagine his fiancee marrying someone else and finding a happy life with him. Perhaps I'll comfort myself knowing that, although the daughter didn't know her father, the man who raises her loves her as if she were his own child. And possibly, I can delight in the fact that his best friend will find out who is responsible for his death, and make him pay!
Yes, there are many things I can do to mollify myself. But I hope I don't have to kill off any more characters in this book, because I just used my last tissue.

Friday, November 09, 2007

I am interested in finding out what music people listen to when they write. For that matter, do you listen to music when you write? For me it's a given. I must have music playing whether anyone else in the house likes it or not. Cause I'm the MOM, that's why! I have a very loud fan in my computer, actually it's several fans and sounds rather like a jet taking off when I boot the sucker up. However, mood is created by music.

Certain types of scenes require specific music. For a battle scene, it has to be something heavy and driving: Metallica, Pantera, Rammstein, to name only a few. Love scenes need something mellow: Dido, Jeff Beck, Santana - also only a few of the things I have on my Rhapsody lists. Many of my stories have a particular song as a focal point. Sometimes the pacing and mood set depends on what I've been listening to. I have one fight scene that was written while listening to "Crazy Benny" by the Safri Duo. As I read, I can hear the piece of music in my head because the leaps, strikes and pauses reflect the cadence of the music.

So what I'd like to know is what kind of music do you listen to when you write? Please feel free to post replies. I am always open to trying new groups, so I look forward to finding out what you have to say. To get us started, I've included a short list of bands below.

Aside from those listed above:

A Perfect Circle
Aerosmith
Alan Parsons Project
Alice in Chains
Beck
Black Sabbath
Blue Man Group
Buckethead
Chumbwamba
Coldplay
Cranberries
Crystal Method
And that's just part of my A-C list!
Sometimes I feel as if I'm living and talking in a completely different universe from everyone else. Do you ever feel that way? I think and say things that make no sense to non-writers. In fact, those who don't write novels wouldn't understand this either, so I don't count journalists, magazine editors, or folks who write non-fiction. So I'll restate that more explicitly: Only writers of novels would understand.

My husband, bless his heart, laughs at me when I tell him the characters changed their minds and didn't like the direction a scene was going. "I've had to rewrite the entire chapter because they didn't like it!" or something I've said frequently about the hero in my historical romance, "I couldn't make Manuel do it. He simply refused to be bad!"

Writers of novels would (I hope) understand.

I've noticed when I get hung up in a chapter, more often than not it's because I tried to take the story in a direction the characters didn't want to go. In fact, I've got a story that's stopped cold because I tried to force the two main characters into a compromising position and they don't want to be there. It's going to entail massive edits. I have to go back into the chapter and figure out where it went wrong. Actually, I think it took a turn two chapters back... oh, goodness! I'm dreading it, so it's going to wait until this one is done.

Here's another problem - I've written 44,689 words, 200 pages, and I'm not even quite halfway through the story. What will I edit? Do I need to? The characters are compelling. They have a story to share and I don't want to ignore them. Though the story is centered around a little girl named Lena, who will grow to be a powerful prophetess, it also involves the entwined lives of seven other people. Their stories have to be told, or hers makes no sense. But so much has to happen to her that won't involve them. And some thing catastrophic must happen to make them lose track of one another. The problems grow and continue. That's what I get for writing a prequel to a six book series.