When I'm gearing up for a part of a book that will be hard to write, it's amazing the kind of "work" I can come up with to put off working on it. For instance, yesterday I ended up looking for chocolate pie recipes so I'd have something to take to a friend's house for dinner this weekend. I researched the dates of Queen Victoria's reign (while reading historical highlights) so I could be sure that something I was referring to as "Edwardian" really wasn't actually "Victorian." I looked up info on the hotel where the RWA national conference will be held this summer so I could decide if I want to go a day early as a sort of "vacation day." Then I looked up some favorite books and authors from childhood to offer suggestions to a friend who had asked for ideas on books she could give her grandchild. I forced myself to stop the madness when I caught myself looking up the historical setting of a book I'd mentioned because I felt like I needed to correct something another friend said about it (and I restrained myself from going through with correcting the friend because it was a minor, petty thing that didn't matter). I think I also took every little quiz that anyone on my friends list had posted. I don't usually post my results, but this little personality test was almost disturbingly accurate:
WHITES are motivated by PEACE, seek independence
and require kindness. They resist
confrontation at all costs. (Feeling good is
more important than being good.) They are
typically quiet by nature, they process
things very deeply and objectively, and they
are by far the best listeners of all the
colors. They respect people who are kind, but
recoil from perceived hostility or verbal
WHITES need their quiet independence and refuse to
be controlled by others. WHITES want to do
things their own way, in their own time. They
ask little of others, and resent others
demanding much of them. WHITES are much
stronger than people think because they dont
reveal their feelings. WHITES are kind,
non-discriminate, patient and can be
indecisive, timid, and silently stubborn.
When you deal with a WHITE, be kind, accept
(and support) their individuality, and look
for nonverbal clues to their feelings.
What Color Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
Though I should add that if I do get drawn into the kinds of verbal battles I usually try to avoid, things tend to get really, really ugly and often loud. I will argue when I get drawn into a dispute, but I don't enjoy it and end up feeling sick later. Once that has happened with someone and I realize they're not going to let me avoid the conflict, I try to avoid that person in the future.
So, anyway, the part I was avoiding writing was a scene taking place at a really big, wild party. I'm not really a party kind of girl. In fact, the wildest parties I've attended are probably the parties Harlequin throws during the RWA national conference. It's a lot of sleep-deprived and punchy women kicking up their heels while drinking lots of free wine and champagne, to the tune of a very loud band. These used to be distinguished by a certain very famous big bestselling author (who shall remain nameless here because I don't want it to show up in a Google search, although I suspect she doesn't have time for Googling herself, what with writing about a dozen books a year under a couple of different identities -- hint, hint) getting utterly wasted before getting out on the dance floor and staying there until the party shut down. (I will confess to having been on the dance floor with her at the very end at one party, but I had only had a couple of glasses of champagne all night, so it's probably scary that I was doing that mostly sober. But I like to dance and don't get to do it often enough.)
But then I realized that was exactly the kind of party I wanted to write, anyway, only with a larger variety of guests instead of a bunch of romance writers. The hard part turned out to be juggling all the characters, since most of my supporting cast showed up in this one scene. But I got it written, and I know what happens next, and the rest of the book should be fun to write. I think I'm even going to put off grocery shopping because I don't want to break the spell and leave Book World for very long.