Sunday, August 2, 2009

In which a terrible discovery is made!

I was so impressed with myself today. And then, not.

I got away for a little writing time this afternoon/evening and I had one goal: to write a first draft outline for a short story that Todd and I want to do together. Normally if I have one goal I work on everything else under the sun (including the all-important task of checking facebook and twitter every five damned seconds to make sure they haven't updated). But today I remained focused and got the work done. After a few false starts.

I was starting from scratch. This is a brand new set of characters and a new story. I wrote a draft of something for these characters months ago, but when I showed Todd he didn't like it and thought it should go in a new direction. I didn't know how to do that so I set it aside for a bit. I've been feeling for the last few days that it was time to bring it out and work on it again. My brain had done one of those things where it was apparently thinking about the story without seeming to and I had some new ideas.

But being altogether new, it took a few attempts to get comfortable with the characters and the situation. And the tone. The tone is mostly what Todd was concerned with, so I concentrated on that. After a while, however, the words started coming pretty easily and then it stopped feeling like work and just felt fun. Always a good sign. And I did it. An outline with a beginning middle and end, something that would be easy to turn into a script should Todd say he liked. Yea, me.

Except. Later as I thought about, it started to dawn on me that I hadn't really written chapter one of something; I had written chapter negative one. The chapter that happens right before the action should start; lots of exposition and characterization and talking, talking, talking. My characters love the sounds of their own voices. Which is totally different than me, by the way.

Anyway, now I have to scrap what I wrote today, or at least set it aside and use it later down the line. Now I have to write an entirely new first chapter. Or, I suppose, I could lower my standards. I could do that, right?

No? Okay, I'll be over here bitterly writing a new piece...

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