What makes it Magical

You know how it feels when you find a really good book, you know what I mean, when you don’t feel like you’re reading the story or watching a movie of the story, but the ones where you feel like you are a part of the story? That’s what it feels like when I’m sucked into a story I’m writing. The rest of the world fades and the people around me often have to say my name several times before it registers that they’re talking to me.

I’m starting to get this way on my current story. I know my characters well enough that they’ll either talk to me or better yet, through me. Sometimes, I find myself mentally arguing with them about what I want to happen and what they tell me is happening. Once in a while I even find things on the screen that I didn’t consciously think. Those are often some of the best passages, at least in my opinion. Either way, I love it when it happens, it’s part of what makes writing magical for me. Do you write? What makes it magical for you?

Updates from the growing fires of the third circle of hell.

It’s getting to be that time of year here, when the weather’s hot and dry and stepping outside feels like you’re climbing into a convection oven. The heat shocks the breath out of you and the wind sucks all the moisture out of your skin. This means I spend a great deal of time inside hiding from said heat when I can, having three kids playing baseball this spring means I have practices and games I have to ferry them to and attend, despite the heat.

Since I’ve had the time, I got a lot of work done on HUNT and it is now available. I’ve also got another story ready to go, it will be released near the end of the summer, I’ll share more about it soon, and I’ve started working on a sequel to ESCAPE. If what I have in mind works out, it will be another series, this one a little different, as each story will center around a different couple. That should be done about the end of this year, or very early next year, depending on how it goes. I’ll let you know more when I can.

Lost in a never-ending chasm of rewrites.

At least it seems like it. For the last several weeks (pretty much since the first of the year,) I’ve been working on revisions of several projects. I move back and forth, rotating with whichever is on my mind at the moment.

I have had a couple of new ideas, I took careful notes and I’m letting them build, but they’re not quite ready yet. In the mean time, I have deadlines and a publication date to meet, so revisions it is. Revisions are just as important as drafting, as they’re where you make it good. First drafts are crappy, they’re supposed to be crappy, but through revisions and rewriting we turn crappy drafts into something that sparkles and shines.

To me, progress on revisions is less obvious. At the end of the day you don’t have a significant word count added to what you started with, and if, like me, you don’t work in software that gives you pages(except for the final revision), you don’t have a page finished count. That doesn’t mean it’s not just as, if not more, important.

So back I go into my seemingly bottomless pit of revisions. When I come out I’ll have at least one fresh, clean manuscript ready for the publisher.


How do you do it?

A really good day.

Yesterday I spent most of the afternoon on a road trip, I ended up with more than five hours behind the wheel, with two kids in the car, both absorbed in the games they were playing on their individual devices. The radio was on, my favorite station, XM’s Octane, but I drove across a lot of empty desert, there wasn’t much to see. This lead, as it always does, to my mind wandering, I think over plot lines, I consider characters and their stories, I review things I’ve already written and come up with some new material.

It was after 9pm when I got home last night, but I had several things I had to get down, directions that current stories will need to go, details that my characters had let slip during that long drive. So, once I got the kids in bed, I took my laptop and set up camp in the recliner, turning on an old movie to keep me company. Once I got my side notes down I started on the new project that had haunted me for the last two hours of my trip. I couldn’t wait to get started, I had to get at least some of it down.

So I opened a new Scrivener file and got to work. My movie ended and I started another, not really registering the passage of time. The story was unfolding at my fingertips and that was what mattered, the people talking in my head, not the ones on the screen or the hands of a clock moving on their own.  I was startled when the low battery alert popped up in front of me. I had been working for almost six hours (yes, my laptop battery lasts that long.)

I saved my work (not for the first time) and stretched and went to plug in the computer. I had gotten a lot done. I was happy, though, more than a little sleepy.

This morning I sat back down to it, the same project flowing as easily as it had last night. I’ve been up and down today, dealing with kids, feeding them, caring for them, getting them ready to go back to school in the morning. Even with all the distractions during the day I’ve managed to make thirty-six pages in the last twenty four hours. It’s been a really good day. I’m happy with it.

Now I’m going to go unwind a little in front of the TV, maybe knit a little, I would really like to finish my hood, though I know that won’t happen tonight.

I hope you had as good of day as I did.