Monday, November 06, 2006

Going Deep

I have now written enough pages of my work in progress to fill a manuscript. A good portion of these pages are back story. Some, most, if not all, of my fantasy novel will take place on this world. But some of my main characters are not of this world. Why they are here and what they are doing in the book stem from the other world. It is the complete motivation for this novel. So I had to know what happened, and not just in theory.

So I wrote that as far as I could. Then months later, came up with a bit varied version. More pages.

Then I wrote five or six chapters from the POV of my earth hero. He is now scrapped and back to his original role, which is not earth hero. Those pages, gone.

In the past two weeks, I've handwritten over 100 pages in my journal with a new earth hero, with my old earth hero back in his original place. It is working. However, most of what I have written will not end up as ms pages. I'm allowing myself to write in circles now and flesh out things even more. Everything previous was written on the computer, which is OK except that I felt the need to immediately beat everything into a 'submission.'

Now I just write and rewrite and feel my way around. I wrote scenes that I darn well know will not be in the book. But, boy, am I touching a depth that I hope will be felt in those ms pages. Whenever they get written. I know that seeds and flashes of what I am writing will be in the book. It is inevitable, it is the bones and bloods. I'm learning more deeply about my characters.

Until now, when I was writing some of my characters, they felt like puppets on my hand. Waiting for my nearly every pull of the string. Waiting for one of them to say something to give me a clue. So much horrible dialogue.

But then, around page 100 of my journal, I began to feel my old earth hero. For the first time he opened up and started talking. His dialogue had passion. In writing those scenes with him, just by himself and understanding his thoughts and dreams and what he yearned for, etc., I found his heart. Or at least a glimpse at it.

I do have my opening in mind now. It is actually already written in three different ways. But it's in pencil and I didn't spend a whole lot of time on each. I was just scribbling and feeling my way around. Not forcing it into the ruts of how I thought it needed to be has given it freedom ... and the passion of my characters to possibly carry out this story to the end. For it is my most fervant hope to engage my readers. But first I must be engaged and so must the characters.

After countless dates, I think we're finally falling in love.

Do you find it takes time to find the heart of your story? How do you approach it?

Hugs, C


Blogger carinc said...

Keep on spilling in longhand... and enjoy the scenery because you have no choice but to take the long route on this one. It will take you where you need to go. :)

10:42 AM  
Blogger Cyn said...

Thanks, Carin. I know you're right! Yes, the scenic route.

2:55 PM  
Blogger Jennifer Elbaum said...

Who me? Never! lol

Keep on scribbling!

7:49 PM  
Blogger Mary Stella said...

Yes, it definitely takes time to find the heart of the story. I think that's why it's good to push forward without too much editing of early chapters. Pushing forward allows me to write, write, write and let the characters reveal themselves to me without me interfering in their discovery. THEN it's time to go back and, with the my new, innate knowledge of character, the story heart unfolds.

10:01 AM  
Blogger Julia Templeton said...

Yes, it takes me time to find the heart of the book. I'm a very character-driven writer. I'm all about emotion and feelings, so oftentimes it takes me a few drafts to finally bring everything together.
I keep notebooks and pens everywhere--in my nightstand, kitchen drawers, magazine racks in my living and family rooms, so whenever a character starts talking, I'm there to listen and write it down.
Sounds like you're on the right track with your current ms.
Look forward to reading the story, Cyndi.

7:58 PM  

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