Thursday, July 8, 2010

Thoughts from the (writing) cave

Similar to Postcards from the Edge...

It's my last child-free week of the summer, and I've been trying to make the most of it. I now have two WIPs, and I have to admit, I'm starting to wonder about the source of all this creative energy.

Are you there, God? It's me, LTM...

I did a "Get to Know" feature on a chiropractor yesterday for the paper. He specializes in upper cervical injuries and their effect on the brain stem.

Since my current novel going out was inspired by my own neck injury (which flared up right before I started writing and persisted throughout), I'm thinking now I can never have it addressed...

Yes, that's crazy, but those baseball players have some crazier superstitions. At least I wash my clothes.

Moving along, I ask you, if you can read two books at once, is it possible to write two books at once?

WIP #2 technically originated on a family visit to Ruston (La.) last year. JRM and I were joking about all the town names in Mississippi as we passed them, and I said I was going to write a story about Prentiss Puckett (two towns in south Miss.) and her adventures with her dog Cato (another town) and her friend D'Lo (yep) and they'd all live on Dabb Creek (that's another one).

On the way home after the fourth Monday, JRM and I revisited my story of Prentiss, and I added a love interest (of course) Jackson Edwards--guess where we were in Miss. at that point--and his nemesis Gallatin Street. I also added a brother Braxton for Prentiss and a best friend Flora Magee.

JRM really wants me to write a science fiction book, so I said this would be my SciFi novel. Because how unexpected is that?

So I've spent the last three days fleshing out the characters and I have a rough idea of where the humans are going, I only have one problem...

The science fiction portion of the story.

Yes, you may LOL! But through brainstorming with my SciFi loving husband, and I mean LOVE-ing, I've actually got some good ideas on that front as well.

So who knows. It's just an exercise, and it might end up being total garbage. It might not, but I wouldn't put any true SF writers on alert.

The most likely result will be one of my stories set in unusual, science fiction-ey circumstances. Perhaps that's more post-apocalyptic.

As for WIP #1, the first five of which I ran through the Yalitchat critique group--an excellent resource, btw--I've had to make notes and hold it.

The main character in that book is in such a dark place. It's hard to get in her head when happy things like my birthday, the fourth of July, socializing with out of town guests, etc., are happening.

I am not complaining. I love happy things. I just see how my joy leaks into the character, and it's inconsistent with her voice. Basically, it takes more effort (and rereading) to find her again.

But I think that's another good one. It's a very emotional story, and I see the arc for that character so clearly.

Oh, to have all the time in the world to write! (says the drama queen)

Back in the cave with me. Have a great week-end, reader-friends! Book review on Monday~


Cruella Collett said...

LOL-ing indeed ;)

I think it is possible (and sometimes healthy) to write several things at once, as long as you are able to keep them apart (and not just plot and characters, but also voice and mood). I think what would definitely throw me off track would be if I wrote several things which required massive amounts of research at once (which is why I put my "fantasy-historical-epic-quest-thingie"-WiP on the shelf while still working on my thesis).

I must say I am absolutely dieing to hear more about the sci-fi one, though! It is nothing short of brilliant to use town names like that :D

Hart Johnson said...

I've written two at once before... in fact when I STARTED writing, I was still also writing quite a bit of fan fiction, and I almost ALWAYS worked on both projects, but in both of those cases, everything was really fleshed out, both character and story-wise.

But last fall I CONTINUED my WiP in the bathtub, while doing a NaNoWriMo on the computer and it worked fine--page slowed on the one, but because they were different enough, and I was writing them in different ways, I seemed to keep them straight pretty easily.

In JUNE, I tried to do it again with much less success, but I think that may be that my WriMo was less fleshed out to start, and the Cozy I am working for is headed to publication, so needs to be cleaner than my other stuff (that in theory has as many rounds of rewriting as necessary)--the Cozy will only get probably 3 revisions before I send it to my editor, and NONE of those a major restructuring.

Good luck! (I hear you on the 'hard to write dark when you are in a happy place--maybe try some angsty music to get in the right frame of mind, though... hopefully the depression only lasts while writing!)

LTM said...

@CC--I'm seriously challenged when it comes to naming my characters, it's been nice... leaving me w/only the SF stumper--HA! :D But JRM says my ideas on that are very "brave new world."
LTM: is that considered SF? (!) ;o)

It *does* help that the two WIPs are so different. They don't cross in my head at all. I probably couldn't do this w/other plots...

@Tubby: ugh. Can I ask now? WHAT is all this WriMo stuff??? :o|
Did I mention my day job is freelance writer? Yes. Schizophrenia, thy name is me. ;o)

I'm calling WIP1 my "PMS novel" since the writing comes to me easier around that time of the month--BAH!!! it's v. cathartic.

we'll see how this all plays out~

(yay, your book! ;o)

Portia said...

My writing drama queen sounds just like yours ;-)

Happy writing weekend--I hope it's a productive one!


LTM said...

Portia--you've got one, too! *wink* Thanks~ ;o)

Okie said...

Personally I thrive on the I'm often reading at least 2 or 3 books at the same time. As for writing, as long as the two works aren't intertwined or confusingly similar, I usually bounce back and forth between a couple of ideas. Granted, when I get "into the flow" on one piece, I generally want to stick with it until I hit a rut. What I've also found is that switching back and forth between a couple of pieces, it often stimulates thoughts for the story I'm not currently writing.

LTM said...

Hi, Okie! I'm not sure if it's stimulating WiP1--WiP2 just sort of captured my imagination, so I'm going with it... we'll see what happens. Writing is always interesting~ Thanks for stopping by! :o)

Pam said...

love the name game :o) btw -- my hubby's grandmother was a strong independent woman named Flora....born & raised in the town of Magee, MS. Just sayin!

LTM said...

Pam! You can vouch for me. Although in the book, Flora's sickley... I needed somebody to require care. You'll see~ ;o)