Sunday, March 29, 2009

There's Blood on the Page

Doesn't matter how much you love them and how perfect they all seem, sometime you have to take a knife to them and make them bleed. Breathe people - it's a story of which I speak. I know I've spoken of blood before but editing - well it cuts close to home, to the bone. The guts that I thought created the story are being removed at the request of someone far wiser than I and something unexpected is happening in the process.

A romance is emerging and a man is coming forward from where he was buried beneath issues. Everything that I think will rip a tear in the heart of the story instead reveals unanticipated surprises. At least that's what I'm finding this go around as I streamline a story in ways I never expected.

What surprises hit you this week?

Ryshia's MySpace

Friday, March 27, 2009

Diverted or Just Distracted?

It's interesting how quickly a plan can lay in shards at your feet. This week's plan was to focus on the current story, a romantic suspense set in China.

Instead, an interview request takes me to another time and another story but more importantly it's difficult to flip that creative switch from one story right back to another. But the plan is completely diverted later in the week by an unexpected event. Another story needs attention and for the next while the path has truly diverged.

To regroup I clear off the whiteboard and consider a long walk in the still "very fresh" air. Yes, spring is limping along slower than the most ancient of geriatrics. And that too is distracting. I consider that by some fluke spring has been indefinitely diverted. There should be tulips, less snow and more water puddles in plus zero temperatures. But despite noises about spring and the plethora of lawn furniture and brightly coloured accessories out in stores it's still looking a lot like winter.

Distracted? Diverted? Make another plan!

Ryshia's MySpace

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Lost in the Jungle

I'm lost in the jungle of what began as a good idea. It's that murky beginning where the spark that inspired the story is now blurred by the wasteland that currently harbors both plot and characters. On days like this I want to pitch the whole story back into the muck and tell them (the characters) where they can take their little problems. But then one will rise waist deep in muck and scream at me that their problems aren't so trivial and they need to be dealt with. And maybe if I'd just listen I'd get that I was pushing the plot in totally the wrong direction. "Keep digging," she, as yet unnamed heroine, shouts.

Yes, that's the beginning of a story and an emerging plot. A great idea that gets derailed time and again by logic until one day, the eureka moment and the story steams ahead. I keep telling myself that as I toil through the early stages. In the meantime there is endless coffee and blurred vision. It's a tough place to be after emerging from the joys and contagion of a completed story. But the story I loved, the one that preceded this one, will soon be replaced by a story I love even more. I know this but in the early stages, as I wait for the characters to emerge in three dimensional glory - well all I can say is "more coffee".

Ryshia's MySpace

Monday, March 16, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Hope the luck of the Irish or at least a little leprechaun magic rubs off on the 17th. And just to test your luck stop by the Romance Studio for a chance to win all sorts of prizes. Including a signed copy of "From the Dust" and just a spot of luck to mark your place:

Ryshia's MySpace

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Characters - Set Them Free

I was editing a story the other day. Replacing what I knew had been there in earlier drafts. Someone suggested that it would save time if I just cut and paste from the earlier version. Uh, no. The characters are different people than those early days. They've grown and lifted from one dimensional ideas to three dimensional people that will direct their own life thank you very much. What was written in the past no longer fits who they have become. To change who they are now would turn their well ordered world into a mess - rather like a collage gone amuck.

In the latter stages
of a story it sometimes feels that as author I have been relegated to recorder. Even though the story has a structure and a direction that even the characters can't mess with, they definitely have their own opinions.

So that voice in my ear might not be real but right now it thinks it is. And the other voice - that's just the ceaseless wind. Winter is not done with us yet and everyone appears to be griping about it. From the manager I shared the elevator with this morning to the delivery person this afternoon. But winter may be about to end as suddenly as it began late last year. From double digit negative to above zero in the space of a day or at least that's what the weatherman is forecasting in just a few days.
You've got to love that! It might even be one long, hot summer. I look forward to the battle of the air con. He flicks it on. She flicks it off. Ah, but that's another post.
In the meantime I dream of wearing flipflops again - soon.

Ryshia's MySpace

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Romance - A Science?

Recently I watched a documentary on romance. Individuals were coded into four groups based on personality. The groups were monitored and recorded in regards to how they interacted with each other as individuals. It was pretty black and white. Except, interestingly enough, they couldn't quantify what made people gravitate to one individual within a group and not another. Nor could they explain the many deviations from their rules. For instance, they determined that individuals in Group X are always attracted to individuals in Group Y, so why did one individual from Group X choose someone from Group W?

So what is romance? Can it be quantified? Do we want it to be quantified? When Rhett Butler told Scarlett that, "frankly he didn't give a damn" - did any of us doubt that he still loved her?

But we knew it was over.

So what made the romance - can we analyze the chemistry or do we even want to?

From the Dust
Ryshia's MySpace