Monday, July 28, 2008

Oh My God, It's Almost August!

Posted by Lisa Marnell

With family visiting, I haven't had much time to write. My MUSE has always disappeared with the arrival of people in my home. Even people who are welcome and loved. My MUSE is shy; she's so frightened of being stared at, her whispers being heard. She scrams. I don't want to say anything bad about her, but she's kind of wimpy.

In the past few days, I have had time to think though, and this has been a surprise. As I drove through Hollywood the other morning, pointing out this celebrity's home and that celebrity's home, something about my novel was bugging me. Like an itchy mosquito bite, it was irritating me, asking me to scratch. I realized what it was: things weren't bad enough for my main character. When we went to the beach in Ventura the other day, I saw Rose and Rachael and Ava's faces, dressed in winter clothes, shivering before me instead the bathing suit clad bodies before me.

The other evening, after everyone had gone to bed, I stayed up late, propped in bed with pillows, holding a single piece of paper and a gel pen. I thought and thought, promising myself I would not go to sleep until it came to me. And, yes, it did. I discovered that one single thing my protagonist did that was wrong, wrong, wrong. The next morning I altered my plot outline (it only consisted of mildly changing three scenes but the stakes are higher, I think).

Though a writer mustn't rush or force the pages to come, one must push oneself and this is a conscious decision. This is my conscious decision:

I WILL FINISH THIS DRAFT BY AUGUST 31.

Strike while the iron's hot, right? While it's all fresh in my mind, while I feel passion for this work, I must push on.

When summer comes to a close, I must type the words THE END. I will let you know how I did in my blog post September 1st. Please feel welcome to join me in this quest to finish you own work in progress. Misery loves company right?

7 comments:

Judy Merrill Larsen said...

I'm right there with you Lisa (though not at the beach. Damn.). In the next two weeks I WILL make things harder for my protagonist and I WILL finish this revision and I WILL get it sent to a reader who's waiting to read it. Aug. 31 is my deadline to send it to my agent.

So, back to the kjyboard for both of us. Good luck!

The Writers' Group said...

Woohoo! Count me into the pact, and more than that, cannot wait to have Rose on the table!

Hannah

Larramie said...

Lisa, I smiled at the thought of Rose appearing to you -- bundled up for winter -- on the beach. But Hannah's comment...yes, I KNOW she can't wait to read your THE END. ;)

Good writing days to you!

Carleen Brice said...

Lisa, Good luck on your deadline! And next time in LA I'll look you up. I wanna know where the celebs live! :)

Tara said...

Great post! I liked the gel pen part especially. I still remember an afternoon a few years ago when I forced myself to sit on an uncomfortable futon with a blank page to work out something major that was bugging me in my manuscript. I wasn't allowed to get up until I worked it out. It was painful at first, but it came!

I love your deadline. I'm working on a personal rewrite deadline that is just over midway through the "50 hours" I alloted. I'm still on Chapter 2. I've never tried an "hourly deadline" and I'm now realizing it's not strict enough. Am still having fun though...

Laughing Larry said...

Excellent commitment. We will keep you accountable. You can do it! I believe you can.

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