Another reason why I love my Honda Fit & husband

Saturday night’s storm knocked out our electricity and there was so much snow, we couldn’t get out the driveway. Normally this wouldn’t have been a big deal, but I promised an editor a bunch of stuff would be delivered this morning and the battery on my laptop was drained dry. Big problem, frantic author.

Beloved Husband to the rescue! Scot is an old school Yankee tinkerer, a slightly-aged Boy Scout who loves improvising, and he saved the day.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic He turned my little red car into an office.

First he cracked open the doors of the garage so I wouldn’t asphyxiate. Turned on my lovely car (it often gets 40 miles per gallon, btw) and cranked the heat. Plugged the inverter into the 12-volt jack (the thing we used to call a cigarette lighter). Plugged my laptop into the inverter. Carried down all of my research books and stacked them on the passenger seat. Fired up the laptop.

I worked out there all morning, enjoyed the tea that Scot brought out at 10:30am. When the power came back on at lunchtime, I moved into the house and kept working without missing a beat. Wrote until dinner and a little bit after that and accomplished my goal.

As promised, this week I’ll answer some of the writing process questions. that you guys have sent in. Today’s questions come from who writes: Do you ever have to adjust the overall pacing of the story, and if so how do you approach that?

Once the stinky first draft is done, I do a lot of tinkering with the pacing. It takes a little time to get the perspective that allows me to see the entire story, but once I can, I examine each thread of the story to make sure the events that pull it forward unfold in a way that makes sense, both for that thread and for the larger story. I make a time line of events on a huge sheet of paper. Once I see things on the time line, I usually make changes; speeding up some sections, slowing down others.

How do you think through making a character change over the course of a novel?

To be honest, I don’t give that part much thought. I focus on creating situations that force the character out of her/his comfort zone, raising the emotional stakes as I go along. If I’ve developed conflicts that are organic and in keeping with the character’s world, her/his response to the conflicts will naturally lead to internal growth.

More tomorrow. Right now I have more writing to do, and a long run later if I’m a very good girl. It’s ten degrees outside… I’ll be running on a treadmill.

14 Replies to “Another reason why I love my Honda Fit & husband”

  1. I have a Honda myself. I’ll never go back to any others)

    Anyway–it’s admirable the work ethic you display. (as well as Scot)

    Other authors would probably have sat the storm out (or at least wrote by candlelight on paper) and made frantic calls begging for an extension

    But you (and BH) dove in there and made the deadline anyway.
    This is why I admire writers such as yourself (and Stephen King) who, one would think, being well known, no longer have to work as hard as unpublished authors.

    But, despite your fame, you continually put forth the kind of effort that puts many hard working UN -published authors to shame.
    Take a bow.

  2. What a guy!

    I love your focus on forcing your character out of his/her comfort zone. That’s the trickiest part–sometimes, I think, it’s as much forcing OURSELVES out of our own comfort zone. Not so much fun, but well worth it.

  3. random haiku to amuse.

    a free moment but
    they were all good moments waves
    at

    (this code didn’t copy correctly from the random haiku generator so i input it by hand, so to speak)

  4. When my husband and I married and bought our house, he insisted on putting in a generator. We live in a rural area where power regularly goes out for days at a time each winter, but I’d always made do with candles, Aladdin lamps, wood stove. I thought he was being macho about the generator. Until the first time power was out for 4 days. Lights. Heat. Computer. No excuses

    I had Hondas, thrifty and reliable, until a Prius (50 mpg) appeared into my life. I bought it used from a friend, thereby helping her to go to India to study for a couple of years with her guru. It has much good karma attached to it, even if I can’t keep scratches off the bumpers. Maybe the scratches will form hieroglyphics some day and enlighten us all.

  5. The second I saw the picture, I had to quickly read to make sure you did this. “First he cracked open the doors of the garage so I wouldn’t asphyxiate.” I guess if you hadn’t survived you wouldn’t have been able to write the post. Still, wanted you to know I worried. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *