Wednesday, September 15

Pondering Mark Twain...

"If you invent two or three people and turn them loose in your manuscript, something is bound to happen to them -- you can't help it; and then it will take you the rest of the book to get them out of the natural consequences of that occurrence, and so first thing you know, there's your book all finished up and never cost you an idea." -- Mark Twain


This quote has been stuck in my head for a few days now. I finished The WIP the other day and (I think) it's good. Had a little middle issue, but the day my stuff doesn't have a 'little middle issue' is the day I play the lottery! So I took a couple of days off to just think and read and veg and recuperate. I won't touch the Now Finished WIP for a few more days. I need a break from it, as much as I love my characters, before I start revisions.

Which brings me to Mark Twain's quote. I have 4 story ideas in my head. 4, but I just can't figure out exactly where I need to be as I try valiantly to get JUST ONE new story started. As I start working on Possible WIP 1, Possible WIP 3's characters are whispering to me and the plot if Possible WIP 4 is worrying my brain and Possible WIP 2 has a secondary character insisting she is more interesting that what I've got percolating.

Oh, and one more teensy little problem: The people I'm thinking up could be placed in the Guinness Book for Biggest Yawn. All of 'em from all 4 Possible WIPs. The situations they get into are one-dimensional and filled with pseudo-conflict instead of the real thing. The characters are cardboard at best and pools of muck at the worst.

So, I've been blurbing those 4 new wip possibilities. I re-blurbed a wip with a couple favorite characters that I've never gotten quite right...because loving the characters isn't the same as loving the manuscript - and I'm so far from loving the ms at this point it isn't funny.

Still, no flash of light, no moment of clarity, no choir in my head rejoicing. Just a big, frikkin' void. And Mark Twain keeps rolling around in my head as I thinkthinkthink.

4 comments:

  1. Don't think too big with an entire blurb. You should be able to build a book - the next book that is begging you to be written - off a single sentence. (Not pitchworthy of course - that would be impossible). Also look at what you've finished and think in terms of marketing what might be a good followup. Make it easy on yourself!

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  2. Good advice, Christi! I have 2 ideas that I'm really excited about. I think I'll take the next couple days -- before revisions set in! -- to really concentrate on them. Character sketches, scene ideas, etc. and see where that takes me.

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  3. Hey, K.
    I don't have any good advice. This is one of the problems I have, too. Too many stories in my head, not enough time to write them all. I'm sure they're all great!

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  4. Thanks, D'Ann! I made my decision...think I might be going on a bit of a treasure hunt! :)

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