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Friday, May 30, 2008

Wait A Second, Didn’t I Already Write This?

If you read my last blog, you know that I recently traveled to Italy to do some research for my WIP. I love doing research like this. My husband and I ran all around Rome, Venice and Cortona plotting out scenes from the manuscript. We scouted the streets the characters would walk down, the places for romantic encounters, and the location of the dramatic conclusion. I mapped it all out. I had to. I only had 10 days to answer any potential questions that might come up.

Problem is that I had only written about 60% of the book before my trip. So in order to make the most of my travels, I had to create an outline for the first time in my writing career. This means I now know if the characters will fall in love. I know if the protagonist achieves her goal. I know all the twists and turns. In other words, I know everything.

This sucks.

Usually I write organically. I sit down with a vague idea of a character, an initiating incident and a climax. Then I fill in the rest as I go along. It just sort of pours out. Then about 75% of the way through, I’m usually positive that book is total crap so I spend a few days thinking about “what’s missing.” I wait for the brilliant idea, then “Eureka!” I add it in and charge toward the ending.

This whole process is completely different.

I feel like I’ve written the book already. But I still have about 30,000 words to go. You’d think the fact that I’ve already written it in my head would allow me to put it down on paper faster, but it’s sort of like watching a movie when someone’s already spoiled the ending. The element of surprise is gone.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love my WIP. It’s my favorite project so far. I’ve put tons of time into the research, which I never did with my previous books. I mulled it over in my brain for almost a year before I got started. I’ve been talking to my agent about it endlessly. I think it may be my one GREAT idea.

Now if I could just finish writing the damn thing…

POP-CULTURE RANT: Saturday Night Live

“Where am I? Oh, yeah. I’m at Brett’s house.”

So I was on vacation and I’ve just gotten around to watching the last two SNLs on DVR (which is one of the most important inventions of my lifetime). They were the episodes with Shia LaBeouf and Steve Carell. Now, nothing against Shia (the guy from the Transformers movie if you’ve never heard of him), but I didn’t have high hopes for his episode. So when it sucked, and it sucked BIG time, it didn’t phase me. But Steve Carell? He’s funny. Really, really funny. And his episode utterly and completely blew. In fact the only funny episode this whole season was Tina Fey’s. I still laugh just thinking about her Rock of Love spoof. “I’m rocking one leg, jealous!” SNL, you need another Tina!

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