Monday, February 19, 2007

By George, I Think I've Got It! (My Heroine, That Is)

Hey fellow bloggers -

If you're a regular blogger and reach the mommy-demo (Manic Mom, I'm talking to you!), check out my friend,
Melanie Hauser's blog. She's doing a give-away to correspond with her newest book release, Super Mom Saves the World, and along with a free book, you'll get a free Swiffer! What's not to love?

Okay, so how did you guys do this week with your WIPs? Here's where I came out:

First of all, I am completely and totally overwhelmingly busy, so let me offer that caveat first. :) Promotional stuff for TDLF is taking up a lot more time than I imagined, which isn't a bad thing because, after all, it means that there IS promotional stuff happening, but it also eats into my writing time. Which is why, er, I suppose that I should have listened to the gajillions of people who told me to write my second book as soon as my first one sold...rather than waiting until three months before it's released. Oops.

BUT. Some very good things happened. This is what I'm currently doing: I have 40k words already written. But I've changed some fundamental parts of the plot and characteristics in my heroine, such that a decent part of these 40k words need to be overhauled. So right now, I'm making my way through these pages - I got up to page 30 this week, and my goal (remember I talked about how important it is to set concrete goals) is to have revised ALL 150 or so pages that I've written by the end of March, when I head to Mexico for vacation. (Yahoo!) I actually think I'll finish this MUCH earlier, but you never know, so this is a reasonable, attainable goal. (Which is another critical factor in finding success - setting realistic goal rather than "I'm going to lose 20 pounds in a month" goals.)

More important than the actual 30 pages of revisions is the fact that I finally started to get a real feel for my heroine - get inside of her head and fully understand what motivates her, why she is how she is, and how this will affect her trajectory for the rest of her journey in the book. How, you might ask, did I write 150 pages without fully getting her? Well, I sort of equate it to the difference between being a good actor - someone who can cry on cue but never quite convince the audience that she's actually mourning - and a great actor - someone who full inhabits the role to the point where you really believe that she's experiencing the life of the character she's playing (hello, Kate Winslet!). And this is what I was doing with my heroine: I was writing her in such a way that she was believable, but fully inhabitable. And that's because I didn't inhabit her myself. But now, we've clicked, and I'm thinking about her and her story and where it will go nearly all the time. It even woke me up last night, and that's saying a lot from a seriously sleep-deprived me.

Okay, so that's where I'm at. How about you? Did I make any sense? Can you tell when someone is smiling for the camera and smiling because she really believes the reasons behind her smile? (Figuratively speaking.)

5 comments:

Tiffani said...

I'd like to e-mail a question, but I can't find your address...Thanks!

Allison Winn Scotch said...

Hey Tiffani-

My email is: allison@allisonwinn.com.

Looking forward to your question!

Allison

Larramie said...

Sounds as though you found the secret, Allison. The problems you were having with the WIP might well have been not "living" your heroine. It's much easier when s/he takes over, isn't it? ;o)

As for the promotional work....enjoy!

Rob Brooks said...

I wrote about 8,000 words this past week. Since that's 1,000 words more than my goal of 1,000 per day, I'm happy. I'm trying to keep it under 100K, so I'm getting close. Although I may run over and have to edit a lot out. I'm told first time authors should try to keep their manuscript between 70-100k words. Any truth to this?

Manic Mom said...

I had to laugh at this and the fact that you mention me... Melanie is a real-life 3-dimensional pal of mine--one whom (is whom correct here?) I have lunched with, coffeed with, booksigned with--her not me!, and worn the exact same outdated Gap shirt with!)...However, we have not yet Hugo-Frog-Barred-Appletinied together yet!

In fact, she and I have a penciled-in coffee date in a week or two!

Sooo funny, what a small freaking writing/blogging world!!