Thursday, March 09, 2006

A Breakthrough!

Yesterday I had a breakthrough in my writing and an idea came to me about point of view, and how the characters in the novel can narrate it. This is something I've been thinking about for some time because I'd like it to be different, and since its based on a true story, and there are really diaries and letters involved, in my mind I finally think I know how this story could be told. I sent my ideas to the only writer I know who will really look at it and get back to me. (I think its very hard to find a good crit partner, personally....) She wrote back that she loved it, it "works" she said....she found herself wondering about this thing and that thing and wanted answers-----she said each segment was narrated differently, but well----and best, she said, "I got a chill down my spine." What a compliment and I couldn't ask for more.

I've been spending a lot of time reading the emails and information that comes through on the various writing groups I belong to---but, I don't feel yet that I've found a nourishing home. Maybe its because I'm quiet and don't talk much on the e-mail loops. Perhaps I need a smaller group of writers to work with. Oh, I don't know. When one writer is on a roll, another may be petering out. We all work at different paces.

This weekend I really start the research phase---in so far as I'll go through the books, papers and internet and always have a pad and pen with me. When I come across something important about her life---a time line, an event, a death, birth, something cute she said---descriptions of relatives---everything gets jotted down in chronological order, by year. I'll also have files for each of her homes and each relative and major events. Although I know much of this by heart by now, sometimes the exact dates escape me and I need to check names and places and all of that. I think its going to be fun to fill up my pads and then go back to the chapters and sprinkle in dashes of this and dashes of that. I'm planning on doing it layer by layer.

The story is already out there but I have to choose whats interesting and whats not, what to leave out, whats exciting and what I can play with and how far I can stretch the truth, or, do I even want to?

I think its kind of cool to keep a diary of how I am thinking----when the book comes out and I have a website of my own and another book on the way and others ask, "How did you think it all up? What gave you this idea?"----well, they won't have to look very far. I'm going to try to be as truthful as I can. I feel pretty up and the writing is helping me. It feels like a special, secret thing at this point.....that I wake up to....and go to sleep with. I still feel funny talking about this with anyone----Why do I feel so protective of her? Do I think someone would steal her from me? I suppose I shouldn't worry about that---no one can steal my own creation of her. Another writer would see it all differently, and some writers would think I'm crazy to have my head in books about her all the time. Sometimes I don't even know why I do it. One thing I do know....I feel safe in her world. It stays where it is, it never changes and I know what to expect. There's no surprises and that's nice. I've studied the ups and the downs....and things are familiar. I guess I need to be safe in this world----Oh, I hope I can leave something nice behind for others to enjoy, something that will pierce them through and through----in a good way.

Got the pads and papers and pens and books and, I'm on my way. I've finally figured it out, I think. It's odd---these ideas need to ferment for a long time in your brain before you can see it all clearly and it feels comfortable. If it doesn't feel real to me, it won't be real to anyone else, and that's something important in writing---and I think, maybe, that I've caught on to her real essence as I see it and it seems to be coming out on paper---at last!

It's getting late. Hmmm, a tidbit.....Let me see..... She loved brisk weather and preferred candles to gaslight---and hated the heat.

Do you think you know?

This is fun to do. It keeps me sharp and on my toes.

Stay cozy....

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