Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Stuff That Revisions are Made From

Again, I am left speechless by the double-time march of days. How did it get to be Thursday again?

School's almost out for the summer. I'd've liked to be a bit further on with this first big round of revisions of the WIP. Motivation seems to be at a trickle this week. I WANT to work on the WIP but find myself sidetracked by the news. Yes, the news. Everything from Arnold and Maria's marriage falling apart to the machinations of our elected politicians. I'm saddened by a certain party's desire to curtail women's rights, for that's what is at the crux of these volatile issues of abortion and rape. The horrible weather in the Midwest has also held me in its sway. To say the devastation of so many communities is horrifying is quite an understatement. With friends who live in the so-called Tornado Alley, it's been a fretful week. Fortunately, these friends have blessedly missed the destruction and here's to hoping that trend continues.

So...The WIP. Woke up at 0'Dark:30 the other morning, with the solution to the issue presented by the final scene of chapter 4. Even better, I remembered it when I was more fully awake! Been working on it slowly, as I want to get it just right before I move on to chapter 5. It's coming together, but there's still plenty of work ahead.

Most of my revisions have to do with characterization and motivations. Why do the characters do what they do, and how do their actions shape and define who they are? Imaginary people are no different than real live, flesh and blood people in that their decisions, actions, beliefs, the reasons they do what they do reflect who they are. Written on a flat, one-dimensional page, it's important to me that my characters aren't flat and one-dimensional. I want my hero and heroine to be 3-D, in vivid, out loud Technicolor---without the benefit of 3-D glasses. I want them to POP without that aid. If I do my job right, they will.

Some insight I gained at a recent writer's retreat: if you know your characters, you know what motivates them, you know their goals. I knew this, but but the reminder came at a good time. Desire feeds motivation--what don't the characters have that they want? Desire arises out of passion and evokes more emotion and is bigger than a goal. Last but not least, conflict is what drives the characters to do what they do. In order for conflict to be visible, it needs to be spelled out and resolvable.

So, back to the WIP to strengthen these aspects. It's a good thing the end product leaves the reader no clue as to how or in what order the story was built.

Happy Writing!

Writing only leads to more writing. ~Sidonie Gabrielle

The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible. ~Vladimir Nabakov

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