Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Jump, Turtle, Jump

The deck is cleared: my “finished for now” manuscript is off to my writer’s group, emails are caught up, and my husband is out of the house for a few days.

Ideas for a fresh, exciting new book are written up and ready to go. Not exactly an outline, but a few pages of synopsis. Looks like it could be a winner. Really a great idea with good characters.

So, let’s go! What? “Let’s Go!” What do you mean? Start writing! Just jump right in there. Doesn’t have to be brilliant, remember? You’ve got a scene in your mind. You know where it is, who the scene will focus on, and what happens. So….GO!

Folks, it’s like getting a turtle to jump. Ready, get set, jump. Yeah, I didn’t see it either.

I danced around the page all day long. Played some word games, remembered some things I urgently needed to buy on-line, made a phone call. Found a few pieces of paper on my desk that needed to be moved from one spot to another. Made a list.

Eventually, at about 4:00 I made myself put some words down. Not many. Couple of hundred. Immediately I ran into a problem with the relationships between characters. Made a chart of who is who, which was very satisfying.

This morning more of the same: Jump, you sucker, jump! Turtle sat there. I did some reading. More phone calls. More games. More sighing. Ate some blueberries. The crazy thing is that Facebook is the perfect way to waste time, and although I did do a little social media, I found it super boring.

Which tells me that I needed to do all that weird dancing around the computer to start the book. For whatever reason, I had to look at that blank page: I had to peek under the shell of the turtle, let him wander around a bit, and eat some lettuce.

A few more lines went down and then I thought, “Wait! I have to have a working title.” Talk about an opportunity to procrastinate! I looked through Bartlett’s Quotations, stared at the books on my shelves, wrote down random words, wrote some phrases, tried some possible titles, and rejected them all. Finally put one word at the top: Reunion. And then I started expanding on the few paragraphs I had written yesterday. I changed some names to better reflect the characters. I moved them a little farther along, thought some more about what the relationships were among the characters in the scene. Got a couple of the characters to joke with each other. Discovered that one was anti-social, one was resentful, one calculating.

Before I stopped tonight, I had over 2,000 words. Some relationships got set up, a few haracters talked to each other. A couple of characters startled me.

Okay, the turtle didn’t exactly jump, but at least it ambled off the finish line. Maybe tomorrow that sucker will leap for the stars.

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