Thursday, July 21, 2011

Chicken or egg?

My parents arrived Saturday (as you know from my last post). They brought my babies, my dad's drill, and a readiness to help me complete the final phase of hanging pictures, making repairs, and sorting. They really are incredible helpers. 

And though we butt heads at times, and my mom and I cross swords occasionally, you wouldn't believe what all we've done to this old house. I should've taken "before" pictures. But it's the reason I've been the absentee blogging buddy this week. Huge apologies.

The good news is all this hard work means I'm that close to being done and able to get to my new normal. I cannot wait.

Flower facing ennui
I've learned what a cat person I am through this. I've watched Flower struggling with all the change, and I swear, I can feel her pain. Moving is possibly the worst thing on the planet. (The process; not necessarily the location change.)

To lighten the mood, JRM took me to see the final Harry Potter film. He's a huge fan of the series, and has read all the books. Possibly twice.

I've red-facedly confessed to some of you that I've only read the first book of the series. I liked it very much, but then the movies started coming out, and I had two little babies back to back, and I started seeing the films before reading the books... and that just kills it for me.

I hate knowing what's going to happen when I read.

Regardless, I like to think I'm a good movie watcher! I try to catch the foreshadowing and the hints directors drop along the way. For example, who all caught that image of Dumbledore in the triangle of mirror right at the very beginning before Harry saw himself in it? (When he was at Dobby's grave? Yes?)

Anyway, so I've seen all eight films without reading the books, and watching this final installment, I wondered how much of what went before did JKR know she was going to use later, and how much sort of happened?

As in, when she wrote, did she ever have a moment like this: "I really need a place to hide this diadem. Oh! The Chamber of Secrets! Of course!"

I know when I'm writing, many times I'll be following my storyline, not really paying attention, and I'll discover I've set up this perfect scene without really planning it. So I follow it through, and presto! Good stuff.

I'm never the only one experiencing these types of things. So confess. How many of you have these chicken and egg moments? Tell me about it!

In the meantime, I'm still unpacking, and we've entered birthday season at my house. Sunday is Laura's, and then Aug. 8 is Catherine's. I'll be thinking of you and doing my best to get around, and I'll be back in the saddle before we know it.

Have a great weekend, reader-friends. Til Monday~ <3


Old Kitty said...

I don't know where I saw it but one bloggie buddy found a pic of JKR Rowling's spreadsheets of how she plotted HP! It was AMAZING!! That woman knew EXACTLY what she was doing - it was a most impressive spreadsheet and very very neat too!! Yay!

Me being a panster - I just wing things and stumble upon resolutions always by accident! LOL!!

Hugs to gorgeous Flower!! I hope you all settle in soon!! Yay! Take care

Sarah said...

I've definitely had these times, and I never ceased to be surprised by them (maybe because I'm a plotter and like to think ahead, so when something else comes up, I sort of sit there, slack-jawed). Glad to hear you're getting settled in and have some celebrations to look forward to!

Matthew MacNish said...

She actually planned it all ahead. I know that sounds crazy, almost unbelievable, but it's true. There's evidence of it out there. I think it proves that sometimes great stories come through us, not from us.

And shame on you. You are literally missing out on one of the greatest stories ever told. You know we like the same things, so you better read them (when you're done with my book).

Also: JRM doesn't have a drill?

Unknown said...

When I don't plot, my stories don't go far. I think when writing mysteries, I have to be careful with where I place clues and what each character says and when. I'm a very careful plotter.

Anonymous said...

I place clues carefully in my book. Its fun to revive them later on and do something that turns the story in a new direction. And I'm on the fifth HP book now working my way through the series.

JRichard said...

That was actually Aberforth, the barkeep brother, in the glass. That brief flash signified on a longer subtheme in the book in which Harry THOUGHT he was seeing Albus, but it was really Aberforth, who was keeping an eye on Harry and had sent Dobby to help him on the beach. A major subtheme in the book was Harry's internal doubts about trusting Dumbledore, and the eye-in-the-shard device was part of that subtheme. I thought that subtheme was handled pretty much as well as possible in the film, but it did not resonate as much because, well, how much interior monologue do you want to hear, even in a 2:15 movie?

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

I know exactly what you mean - which is how so much of writing to me seems intuitive. We can put all of our front-brain intentional thinking into, but there's still that subconscious mind, doing her thing. :)

*hugs* I'm glad the moving is behind you!

Hart Johnson said...

You HAVE TO HAVE TO HAVE TO read these books. I have read them probably a dozen times (at least the first 4... tapers then, because of the rereading for each book) and there are PIECES she didn't know, but she knew when she wrote Chamber of Secrets that that diary was a horcrux. She knew from Sorcerer's Stone that HARRY had a piece of Voldemort's soul. There is thing after thing after thing that comes up really early and pays off later. That mirror? Part of a PAIR Sirius gives Harry as a gift in OoP... The LOCKET? We also see THAT in OoP. I am dead serious. You want to read these about 3 times and you will get the best lesson in plotting and foreshadowing you could possibly have, and SO MANY things you could NEVER understand from just the movies.

Okay... I can stop raving now... but seriously--READ THEM. Read them with your girls--they are old enough now. (and will want a reread in a few years and will hear a totally different story...)

Carolyn Abiad said...

You are officially scolded. Go. Read. Now! I don't care if you have a bunch of boxes to unpack. :)

Anonymous said...

Oh, yeah, I've unwittingly set things up that I didn't realize was awesome until they finally came to fruition. It's super cool!

Anita Grace Howard said...

Your kitty is beautiful! And I actually read somewhere that Ms. Genius (she really is) Rowling planned the ENTIRE series out before even starting the first book. Which is AMAZING. Which leads me to wonder if maybe she had those chicken egg moments while writing the plots out.

As for me, yes! I've had those, too. Darned if I can think of one this very moment, but I do. I think it's part of the writer's psyche. It just seems to come naturally to us.

Have fun this weekend! See you on the flip side of next week. :)

P.S. Don't be too hard on yourself about only reading the first one. I'm guilty of the same. *chagrinned*

LTM said...

@Stephen--very cool. Maybe next time I'll try planting clues... And I know I want to read the books, I've just got to wait until I forget what exactly happens... :D

@JRM--That all sounds like words I should be able to follow... but I don't. :D <3

@LBD--LOVE it when that happens~ :o)

@Anita--hey, thanks! I'm so impressed that JKR had the discipline to plan it all out before starting. I'm usually too ADD to wait! And maybe we should read them together~ ((hugs)) <3

Talli Roland said...

Poor poor Flower. I hope she settles in okay! And good luck unpacking and everything... I'd love to comment on HO but I'm woefully ignorant of anything on that front! :)

Angela said...

Happy Birthday to Laura and Catherine. My first book was a complete seat of your pants thing which was such a mess that even after two years of editing I still couldn't get it right.

The one I just finished was insanely outlined, but even as such I ended up changing things as I went. Scenes I hadn't planned for appeared as if from nowhere, and the ending, so carefully planned, was entirely different by the time I got to it.

Unknown said...

I'm an in-depth outliner, so I almost always know all the big plot twists before I start writing. But it still amazes how many little pieces fall into place *as* I'm writing. Sometimes the way a previous scene ends up foreshadowing an unforeseen future one is almost creepy!

Jennie Bailey said...

Despite my original outline, something always happens that takes me in another direction. Off I go, but not without another map. It's amazing the things that can happen while writing! Oh, the places we go! Glad you're getting settled in. When we moved into this house, our shy cat didn't come out of the closet for a full month. I had to put food, water and litter in there for her. She was so traumatized!

LTM said...

@KM--that's my favorite thing about writing. I love it when the story takes off and I never know what's coming next. And if it's working, I tend to know I've got something good.

Thanks, girl! :o) <3

Anonymous said...

Even if you've seen the movies, you've got to read the books. Just my opinion.
: )