Monday, June 08, 2009

Does This Sound Familiar?

I'm definitely in the home stretch for the current project -- about 20,000 words to go, but probably less because this is a first draft and I like to leave room for revisions. Definitely less than 100 pages more to write on this draft. This is normally when I'd fall into a writing binge, but wouldn't you know, this is going to be a busy week. I've got a homeowners' association meeting tonight, then ballet class is now on Tuesdays, then choir on Wednesday. It will be Thursday before I have a free evening for a really good writing binge. I almost made myself cry last night with what I wrote, which is unusual for a first draft. Usually, I get the action down and then work on the emotion, but this time, I seem to be getting the emotion and will have to work on the action and nuts and bolts in revisions. I may also have to work on some humor because this is supposed to be a funny book but it's taken a darker turn and I think it may need more comic relief. But that's what second drafts are for.

Most of my weekend was spent working. In my breaks, I made strawberry jam and then realized that I didn't have anything special to eat it with. A new batch of homemade jam needs something more than regular toast, but I didn't even have enough flour to make biscuits. Ah, well, that can be part of my celebration when I finish the book. I commemorated D-Day on Saturday by watching the D-Day episode of Band of Brothers (though it was a little disconcerting seeing Damian Lewis in sincere, serious Dick Winters mode when lately I've been more accustomed to his quirky Life role. Part of me kept waiting for Charlie Crews to bust out with something bizarre.). And I listened to a lot of piano music. The pianist I liked didn't win the competition, and I'm not sure I agreed with the winner. Not that I'm an expert by any means, but even I could spot the places where the winner messed up in the Rachmaninoff. Even so, it was a lovely way to spend the weekend. I had my radio sitting on the windowsill in my living room while I sat on the sofa and wrote. And then there was the next-to-last episode of Pushing Daisies (sniff), which gave us a glammed-out Gina Torres as a femme fatale (I guess Zoe finally got something with a bit of slink). But to add insult to the injury of the cancellation of that brilliant show, they just had to show non-stop promos for the end-of-civilization-as-we-know-it reality fare that network is filling its schedule with. If it's really that entertaining for you to watch people fall into water, then may I suggest some hobbies? You could try actually doing something yourself instead of being entertained by other people's discomfort and failure.

I also had a rather ... interesting ... reading experience. I'd picked up a relatively new (from earlier this year) urban fantasy at the library -- one whose premise I found moderately intriguing but not enough so to buy it. One of the early incidents in the book has the heroine running a bit late for work, realizing she doesn't have time to walk and deciding to take the subway. And then on the subway, something odd happens that gives a hint that she's not the ordinary young woman she thinks she is, and it involves someone else recognizing her for who she really is. And then she gets to her job as assistant to a crazy/demanding boss who is in charge of sales/marketing.

That struck me as somehow familiar. I'm sure I've seen that somewhere before.

Then, though, the story went off on a totally different tangent, which in a way was too bad because it might have been nice to read a book a lot like one of mine that I didn't have to write, and what it really turned out to be would fall into the category of "not my cup of tea." That was purely based on the subject matter and not the writing itself, though I was already finding the main character a wee bit annoying, and there was a strong paranormal romance element of the "this guy is so dark and dangerous and I hate him, but there's something supernaturally alluring about him and I can't resist him" variety. So, yeah, not for me.

And, no, I'm not going to name names or titles, and I will not confirm or deny any guesses. I know how the Internet works, and even though I am NOT making allegations of copying, chances are that's how the rumors would spread. This author is getting a big push and probably selling lots better than I do, so it would look like jealousy, and it would be kind of a career-limiting move to do anything even remotely Google-able that the editor involved would ever see, and it's an editor who could squash my already feeble enough career like a bug. Besides, I'm sure I'm not the only author who's started a book with those elements.

Finally, any writing craft topics you want me to tackle? It's a week for a writing post, and I'm drawing a blank.

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