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Cathy: Sweet Surprises

I get it now. Or have I said this before?

I still need to go at my snail’s pace, but in keeping the pace steady, I am immersed. A little bit of writing in my manuscript most days is realistic with constant interruptions. Regularly communing with others at least online as well as scheduling virtual writing dates, keeps my mind set on the path. Also, it helps me to know that I’m not really sitting alone in the dark, even if I’m sitting alone in the room with wiggly baby on my lap, typing one handed.

My characters are coming back to life in a way I had long forgotten when I hit my first big bump that made me unintentionally set this gig aside years ago. Scenes I never intended are beginning to write themselves into the story while I sit back and go, “Hmm, so that’s why I wrote her in way back then.” or “Gee, THAT was unexpected!”

I’m finding that it’s going a lot like the way I cook. I follow the recipe or the rules of writing quite a bit, but when it comes down to it, there is quite a lot of improv, too. Like today, I baked a cake while measuring half-assed, dumped a boulder of sugar into the batter by accident, and the flour spilled over, too, which I didn’t really sift. Then I threw choc chips in just because I felt like it, and voila! An ugly, lopsided, yet delicious cake emerged from the oven. The boys, my audience, didn’t care what it looked like or how it got there. They just got off their respective busses, came in, and oo’ed that something smelled good, and promptly stuffed a piece in their mouths. One even said, “Chocolate chips? I’ll get a glass of milk to go with that!” So, it turned into a healthy snack, too.

In the writing today I ended up with three or more completely unexpected scenes: the bully did not punch the main character as I thought I’d be writing since day one, but kicked a kickball into the face of his friend, a girl, hard enough to stop the game and send her to the nurse. The nurse suddenly became the confidante of the three who get the brunt of the bullying. And the evildoer’s sidekick is turning his game face over to the good side sooner than I anticipated. Who knew? Certainly not I, and you’d think I had some control of the situation, seeing as I’m making it up as I go, right?

Above is a new Wordle of my work in progress. I find Wordle to not only be a fun waste of time, but a good editing tool. Now I can see how much of my most important and frequent words are drek which needs to be cut at some point when I begin to fine-tune it. But that’s later. First I just want to get the plot down from beginning to end. Page 60 and counting…

8 Comments Post a comment
  1. Kristine #

    I love when surprises happen while writing a story. A few weeks ago, I had a character pop out that I never expected. I don’t know where she came from, but all of a sudden, she was critical to the plot.

    Writing is an amazing process, isn’t it? Keep up the good work.

    And now you’ve got me hungry for chocolate chip cake. Yum.

    October 27, 2008
  2. Good for you, Cathy! A terrific indicator that things are going swimmingly in Felix’s world. One reason that I’m eager to finish my nonfiction book is that I can’t wait to get back to fiction and enjoy exactly what you’re experiencing right now.

    October 27, 2008
  3. yeah, cathy! i’m so glad things are flowing for you. sounds like you are in a happy, productive place, working at a pace that works well for you. …..and i do the same thing when baking… 🙂

    October 27, 2008
  4. cathy #

    thanks for the enthusiastic support, all!

    miranda, i know you’ll be joining me soon after looking at your Monday page for today!

    Kelly, i’ll really beginning to think we’re some kinda lost twins.

    kristine, what’s your book about (without giving away too much, of course!)?

    October 27, 2008
  5. Kristine #

    Cathy, my novel is a mystery about a stay-at-home mom who reopens the murder investigation of her childhood best friend after an unexpected witness comes forward with new information about the killer’s identity. I’m still in first draft stage, but it’s coming along.

    October 27, 2008
  6. Cathy #

    cool!

    amazing you’re thinking ‘first draft stage’ i’m just writing my current project. i can’t get to the place where i think i’ll redraft it yet. although i do have prior parts in prior forms in folders already, chaanges made since those….

    October 28, 2008
  7. Kristine #

    I wish I could just focus on the writing. All I can think about as I’m writing is how I’m going to rewrite it all once I get to the end. 🙂

    October 28, 2008
  8. Cathy #

    aha!

    i’ve gotten pretty good about dealing with what’s coming out now and saying ‘fine tune it after the whole basic plot is down from beginning to end’ or i’d never write at all.

    October 28, 2008

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