Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I am Alive ... so is the Book

Nobody will probably see this post. I've been vapor for the past year and one-half. Not just here but everywhere. So much so that I have not even opened the increasingly demanding form letters from the organizers of my high school reunion. I think I might have finally been dropped from the list.

I wanted to post an update, even if it is for myself. I look back on my past posts and I find them informative, not only about writing but also about my writing. It's like a travel log for the journey of this novel. Yes, this novel. I still am hard at work on this same novel.

For a while, I thought I might be going crazy. Starting the same story over and over, trying to find my way into it. But I had made a pledge to myself to finish this book. This pledge alone might not have been enough to stick with one story for, um, three years. But the story itself hooked its claws into me. There were notions, visions, glimpses of character that I wanted to know ... and I would know them!

So I stuck to it. I explored. I dug. And dug. And dug.

The last blog post reflected a version where most of the story took place in our world. Nix that. Remember how I wrote I had to discover the back story to write that story? Well, it turned out that the back story IS the story. Since I kept having to go back to it, finding it rich and mysterious, the light bulb finally flashed. Perhaps this is the story. Since I was so interested in what was happening and had happened there ... well, duh.

So my back story is my story. The entire story takes place in another world. The sequel will take place on that world but in a different place. My characters do not come here. Not that I foresee.

As you may know, I started this blog to chronicle my journey between genres. From romance to fantasy. I enjoyed reading urban fantasy and magical realism, stories that take place on Earth but take a fantastical turn. I figured I'd land somewhere in the middle of those. Nope. This story demanded that I create a whole new world. This journey wanted to take me far from the patterns that I knew, on which I could rest. It wanted to really wake me up, make me work, and treasure every word, every discovery.

Can you say time laden?

I am thrilled about the work that I have been doing for the last year. In April 2007, I picked up my pen after a personal situation kept me from my work for six months. But when I returned to my normal, if altered, world, I was ready to navigate the unknown lands of my imagination. I was no longer frightened of trekking without a procedural compass but with only my instinct and courage. Perhaps that six-month break also allowed the story to simmer in the back of my mind, without the interference of my preconceived notions of what I wanted it to be.

Pen to paper, I allowed the story to come as it wanted. It's been a challenge and a joy ever since. I am on page 259, and I do believe the story will go to about page 400. But I cannot say for sure. It's been a journey with many surprises and unknowns, and though I have long had the visions of some of the scenes I am now writing, the story still drives me, not the other way around. I just keep showing up for the ride.

If anybody stops by, please let me know how your work has progressed in the last year. I'd love to know.

Hugs, C

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