Saturday, May 4, 2013

Updates: New beginnings

One of the first classes I took at the Loft here in Minneapolis--I guess it's probably been seven years now--was a nuts and bolts craft of writing course taught by David Housewright. It was good. I'd really recommend it. It was an introductory novel type of class, a lot of basic info mostly, the type of stuff you probably already know, but it was really nice to kind of work through it all out loud. And one of the main things that really stuck with me was to always know where your story is going before you start and that way, should you ever get stuck, you can simply jump ahead and still keep writing. Instead of thinking of it as some kind of block, you think of it as if happening upon a sudden gorge, a big open empty space between what you have written and what you are planning on writing.

The idea, should you find yourself standing at the edge of one of these metaphorical gorges, is if you jump to the other side and keep going, eventually you'll be able to see both sides of your issue--both sides of the gorge--and then you can easily build a bridge between the sides. 

Or something like that. Whatever. Maybe it didn't stick with me quite as well as I remember.

You get the idea.

Somewhat apropos, you long time readers will probably remember I've been working on my latest writing project for a couple of months now. It's not a book yet, until it's actually finished and becomes a For Real First Draft, you can really only call them a WIP, or Work In Progress, to be fair. I think I may have mentioned this before... Anyway, to say that this current project is a work in progress is a bit of an understatement. I write, it grows, it changes. It changes a lot. It's definitely not in the same place now as where it was when I first envisioned it. I mean, I still know where it's going, but like I said: Work in progress.

And that's exactly what I was doing: Working. Progressing. 


But then my laptop died and everything ground to a halt.

The next month or so was a lot of wasted time. Idle. Waiting. Contemplating. Procrastinating. The minutes were like hours, the hours like days. It was endless, worse than the god damn airport.

Stupid airport.

The only upside is that during those endless hours, I was able to examine what I was working on. I dug into my notes a bit and asked myself some story questions and the end result was, by the time my new laptop finally arrived--finally--I was honestly a little unsure of where I was with my WIP. What did I really want to say and was the work actually saying that? Was it going where I wanted? And if not, what options did I have? In the end, there was only one that I could see.

It was the only way to be sure.

I jumped ahead. I jumped ahead to the next section of the book, basically two... three, maybe four chapters, by my reckoning. I jumped ahead... or I started over. Maybe I started over. I'm still deciding. It could definitely be a starting-over point, maybe. I'm leaning that way at the moment, but... we'll see, either way, I'm moving on. Working.

Speaking of, I have switched to a new working title. The old working title was: Rebel Clever Girl. The new working title is: The Impossible Virginia Dare.

So that's where I'm at; I'm moving forward.


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