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.
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
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.