Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The False Fall Continues

Oh, I am so spoiled by the ongoing cool weather. It's supposed to go back to normal at the end of the week, and that will be painful as my body has already decided it's fall. But then, the weekend after this one is Labor Day, and that means it is almost sort of kind of fall (though, weather-wise, we usually have at least another month to go in Texas). I guess I need to figure out my theme for that weekend's entertainment. I may go retro for the fourth annual chick lit and chick flick weekend, as there's been a shortage of good chick lit available lately, and ditto chick flicks, though I did get the DVD of Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day.

I have lately developed an odd little sleeping pattern/quirk. I'll wake up or be awakened from a really deep sleep and think that it must be almost morning or almost time to get up because it feels like I was sleeping for hours, but then when I look at the clock I'll find that it's only been half an hour to an hour since I went to sleep. That's very disconcerting. I guess it's kind of like spending hours or even years in Narnia and coming home to find that you haven't been gone for any time at all. So which fantasy kingdom have I been spending hours in, only to wake up and find that it was only half an hour?

This in-depth outlining thing seems to really be working for me. It's cutting out my usual meandering and thinking on paper. When I revise a book, I find that there are often whole scenes I can cut out where I just used them to think things through, or else I have to totally rewrite a scene because for most of it, my characters were doing my thinking for me. My thought process in trying to decide what they should do made its way into their dialogue. But in writing a couple of paragraphs about what each scene will be about, I'm getting that thinking done. The idea is that when I go to actually write the scene, I can just write it the way it needs to be instead of doing all that thinking and meandering. Doing things this way would probably irritate a "pantser" who loses interest in the story after figuring out how things go, but I'm finding that it's making me eager to see how the scenes actually play out. My outline is only about the big picture of what happens and why, and how that relates to everything else in the story, in both theme and plot. It doesn't drill into every specific action or event or into the dialogue. So I think there will still be a sense of discovery. I suspect there will also be scenes that appear as I write. Some of what shows up as "scenes" in my outline is really an overall sequence, and the individual scenes that make up the sequence for that stage in the story are still vague.

I may even get to writing narrative today, though I have to finish my outline. I quit last night because, for one thing, a massive electrical storm was coming (one of those where you could practically read by the lightning and the thunder was almost simultaneous with the lightning and went on and on for ages with each strike) and for another, I was getting to the "sure, fine, whatever" stage and skimming over things with impatience as I got near the end. Jumping into that section with a fresh start this morning may help.

I think I may also have solved the mystery of "The Rainbow Connection" and why it's been running through my head. There's a line in the last verse that kind of sums up the theme of The New Project, so maybe my subconscious was smarter than I am and dredged that up.

Now I think I'm going to try to get back into my regular exercise habit so I can be more productive this afternoon.

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