Two Weeks In
Two weeks, 30 pages.
We’re in this for real now, people.
Just to clarify, I have not cheated. I have not skimped. I have not even cried real tears yet. Although there was that one day I got really cranky, but I think that was when the toilet broke. Or was it when our town was well into Day 3 of the fog that has enveloped us like a big…giant…fog-like thing? Seriously, hanging in this part of Virginia lately feels a little like living in Forks, Washington. (Twilight, ok? Yes, I’m referencing Twilight, even though I’m more of a True Blood fan.) You drive around in your big old minivan at night and I swear you expect a vampire to jump out in front of you at any second. It’s been that gloomy, and cold, and just plain creepy.
Anyway, like I say, I’ve been faithful to this challenge. Even though it’s kicking my ass. But I do have 30 pages. Did I mention that? And I do feel like I’m doing something, even if it’s all convoluted and crazy and going in many very strange directions.
My problem with this one is structure. I have five different characters speaking in this book, and I’ve never done that before. I’ve always been too lazy to try to imagine different points of view, and now I see why. It’s like writing a whole bunch of different short stories. And it is HARD.
So the other day I just sat back and thought, what could help? What could guide me? What could give me some basic tips here?
And then it hit me. A BOOK.
Yeah, a real, live, published piece of fiction that actually works.
So I found one on my trusty bookshelf—one that uses multiple voices to tell a story. And I started reading. Not to steal ideas, of course, but to learn something, to absorb the nuances and the rhythm of each character and how the author made them each completely distinctive, and how the events in their lives overlapped and wound apart, and came together again.
It helped. So I guess that’s my message this week. Dust off the books if you feel the need, go back to the basics. Unclog the toilet. Find your way through the fog.
Just do the work. It should, with any luck, all come together in the end, right?
So how goes it for you guys? How far in are you? What’s been hard? How’s the weather your way?
Write well, my friends. Only 50 weeks (or however many YOU have left) to go.