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April 27, 2013

Hi there. I haven’t forgotten about ye olde blogge, it’s just that I’m writing. A lot!

To prove it, here’s some of what’s been going on in the land of revision, where I converse early and often with the story’s main character, Nick Moore. In fact, something eerie and magical happened the other day while I was writing an outline and I was excited to tell him all about it …

“Something kind of cool happened last night,” I type, hoping Nick isn’t too far away to hear me.

Image courtesy of Cema Graphics @ stock.xchngHe stumbles out of the bathroom, sleepy-eyed and unshaven. “It’s early,” he says.

“These are morning words– they’re supposed to be early. And besides, it’s Saturday. This isn’t as early as I usually get up.”

He cracks his knuckles and yawns. “Yeah, I suppose, but still …”

“I’m going to look up knuckle cracking. If it’s bad for you, you’re going to have to stop,” I type.

He grins. “Make me.”

I’m beginning to have misgivings about making him more bad@ss. So far, though, I think I can manage him. “I was going to tell you the cool thing that happened last night.”

“I’m listening.” Nick leans against the door frame, stretching his arms in front of him with his fingers entwined. “But you’re taking an awfully long time to get to the point.”

“I know, but this is morning words, and the point, I think, is to get a lot of words in a short period of time. Besides this will make me laugh when I read it over later.”

“Well, I think you’ve got that down pat then.” He raises his upper lip in a smirk. “But you had a point?” He’s done stretching and is fiddling with the tie on his sweatpants. Libra is right. He never stands still.

“Yeah. I was working on my Editor Outline last night.”

Nick holds up his hand, palm towards me. “Wait. Isn’t that part of Lesson Eleven of How to Think Sideways? And aren’t you on Lesson Twenty-One of How to Revise Your Novel?”

“Yeah, but remember our story is full of holes …”

He grins again and chuckles. “Did you ever think I might be messing up your story just so I can stick around? To keep you from moving on to other stories?”

“Yeah, I’ve worried about losing you. But the thing is, as a writer, I can conjure you up long after the story is over. It’s like my own personal fan fiction. I will finish this course though, even if I keep getting sidetracked.”

“Speaking of sidetracked …” He glances out the window and I notice the hyacinths have blossomed in the yard. Image courtesy of Claudia Meyer @ stock.xchng“Pretty,” he observes.

“And I’m in here with you. Working on an Editor Outline because I think it’s fun. Crazy, I know. ”

“So, how’s that going?”

“Splendidly, actually,” I write as my adverb alert spikes into the red. “I’m starting to see exactly where the holes in my story are. Do you want me to tell you about them?”

“Not particularly, but I have a feeling I don’t have a choice in the matter.”

“No, you don’t, but I’m going to tell you about the cool thing first. I was tired last night—“

“You don’t say?” He rolls his eyes and finds a spot on the bed, then pulls his feet up and leans against the wall with his head resting against his hands.

“Could you stop interrupting me?”

“Sure, but could you get to the point?”

“I will. I was tired so I stopped where you and Libby are in the apartment and you’re about to take her to the Hacienda.”

Nick raises his eyebrows. “Why’d you stop there? That was the good part, I finally get to kiss her.” His eyes turn dreamy.

“I told you. I was tired.”

“Okay, I suppose.”

“But anyway, as I was closing Scrivener I glanced at the word count, and noticed that I had exactly 1,967 words.”Screenshot 1967 words

“So?” Nick eyebrows rise again.

“Well, let me read you the first sentences of my outline. They’re about you and Milo:

They called it the Summer of Love. 

In 1967, Nick Moore packed up his guitar and joined his buddy Milo Young on a trek to the west coast …

“Okay, that is cool,” he agrees.

“Sometimes, Nick, it feels as if a ghost is watching over my shoulder. A good ghost, but still something bigger than I am, something that speaks through my fingers and guides me to what needs to be written.”

He cracks his knuckles again. Suddenly I know why. “It’s because you don’t smoke anymore, isn’t it?”

“What?” It’s when he looks innocent that I love him most. 

“Cracking your knuckles. You always need to be inflicting pain upon yourself, whether you’re ingesting nicotine and tar into your lungs, or cracking the bones in your precious hands.”

He looks stricken and I feel wistful because I love that word and have decided I simply must use it in the next thing I write. “What’s wrong?” I ask.

“Nothing. It’s just that you know me so well, it scares me sometimes.”

Silly man. It’s because I wrote you.

Have you ever had weird coincidences happen in your writing? Do you have a hard time letting go of your characters?

And, is cracking your knuckles really bad for your hands?

Alarm clock courtesy of Cema Graphics, hyacinths courtesy of Claudia Meyer, both @ stock.xchng
  1. April 27, 2013 5:47 pm

    You and your lovely bad@ss got right to the point!

    Do I miss my characters? Yes, but – dare I say this? The pain of finishing the novel is fading a bit. Amazing!

    Of course, now there is the lurking hole of WHAT DO I WRITE NEXT?? haunting me every second. I have a few ideas, but nothing that drives me to the keyboard. Damn. Maybe I need a weird coincidence to get me started in a new world of my own imagination.

    • April 28, 2013 3:48 pm

      Yes, this fear of losing touch with a character is a strange thing!
      Keep writing! Even if it’s something that doesn’t feel as compelling as the last story, my guess is that the Muse will come up with something better once you’re working. Muses like to see you sitting at the keyboard. 🙂

  2. April 29, 2013 6:20 am

    Loved reading this one. Very entertaining. The last line “Silly man…” made me lol.

    • April 29, 2013 9:41 pm

      I’m glad you liked it. 🙂 It’s good to know I can make someone besides myself laugh!

  3. April 30, 2013 6:03 am

    I love this! I always enjoy reading your interactions with your muse. 🙂

    • April 30, 2013 7:06 pm

      Thanks for stopping by, Melissa, despite your hiatus. 🙂 We miss you!

  4. April 30, 2013 9:57 am

    So glad I have a bit of ‘inside scoop’ on this! I do lose sight of my characters sometimes, and I don’t always know how to pull them back in. The dialogue with all the muses seems to be a good idea. I don’t think I could create such a flow like you do though. It’s amazing. Your muse-ly conversations take the same tone as your novel-writing. It’s that other-worldly, paranormal wonderfulness that comes out! What a great way to connect 🙂

    • April 30, 2013 7:13 pm

      Wow, thanks! It is the strangest thing, how these words seem to just flow sometimes. Maybe it’s practice, maybe it’s finally understanding how my words connect to me, and honestly, sometimes it feels more like magic than anything else.
      I just hope I never lose the magic wand that makes my stories seem so real to me.

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