What we learn

Ok, so it’s been a few days. During that time I swam, drank, ate, and even managed to write a little bit (on the way there).

I am almost over the crushing disappointment I suffered on Friday, when I discovered that Guster canceled their Pittsburgh show, which I had tickets to thankyouverymuch. And it would’ve been my first Guster show. And today is the 2nd anniversary of the last Dispatch show…the Dispatchiversary, I call it.

Anyhow, I actually wanna post about writing. I had an interesting experience on Friday, writing a scene as we drove to Williamsport. It started out as one scene, then quickly turned to another. Then, even as I wrote the scene, the end changed completely.

I was going to give my protag what she wants, or at least the beginning of what she wants…but then I realized that would be SO dumb. Granted, what she wanted in that scene was just part of a subplot…so I probably could’ve started her down that path, and it wouldn’t really have been a problem. But come on…why would I do that, when I could torture her some more? Silly me.

This novel has definitely been…an experience. What they say is true; you don’t learn how to write a novel, you learn how to write this novel. I learned how to write the first one–yep, I did, right about the time I was finishing it up. This one’s different. I expect to learn how to write it…someday.

First of all, circumstances:
THIS novel: I am coming to it with some knowledge of What the Hell is Going to Happen. In the biz, this is called the Plot. It’s kind of important.
THAT novel: I pretty much figured it out as I went along. This meant many inconsistencies that had to be fixed in the OhDearGodThisIsHorribleHowCanICallMyselfaWriter Edits and Revisions.

THIS novel: On a lark, I did character sketches, at least of my two main girls, somewhere in the very beginning–and discovered that, SHOCK! These do help.
THAT novel: Er, I tend to think, personally, that my MC was a little bland. She just seemed…vanilla. Her friends were great, though. I want them to be my friends.

THIS novel: I know what’s coming, thanks to the last one. What’s coming is the point where I dig my protag into a hole that seems impossible to get out of–and then, someone has to figure out how she gets out. I would like to delegate this responsibility to someone else. Any takers?
THAT novel: I think I made the mistake of not allowing my protag to dig herself out–she had a little too much help from her friends. Thus, I intend to make all of my current protag’s friends…uh…indisposed, when the time comes.

So, I’m coming to this novel with everything I learned from the last one (a LOT…I learned a LOT), but still knowing that I have a long way to go and a lot to learn. I’m also coming to the point where I don’t quite have each scene sketched out in my head before I write it. This is scary and exciting at the same time. I know where I want to go (which is new, for me) but I’m not quite sure how I’m going to get there. It’s sort of vague and fuzzy in my head. I need Mapquest for novels.

What I learned recently: Although writing romantic or semi-romantic scenes embarrasses me for some reason, they’re still a lot of fun to write. Who knew?

Off to write.