Saturday, July 3, 2010

And now we move on...

to Draft Two!*

I am thrilled to be done with the first yucky bit. It's a load of a mess, and the plot is all wrong, but a few very key elements came out of the past YEAR of writing:

I have...
1. Discovered who my main characters really are
2. Found out what the story is really about
3. Cemented the imagery, feeling, and "decor" of the novel in my mind
4. Gotten to know more about the original Arabian Nights stories
5. Grown committed, but not blind and stupid (I hope), to finishing this story
6. Set up a writing routine using a combination of babysitters, day care, Pandora music, and advanced Sudoku Avoidance Techniques

The Story Fairy came by, you see?

I think the most important element, however, is that I really know my main character and I (hope) can portray her voice well. With her voice, I can show you her story. And isn't that what we all want? A rich story told just as the character experiences it? Plot matters, of course, but not nearly as much as the character. Otherwise, it's just a blip in memory.

I want to write stories that persist, and I think if there is the truth of human experience (and large doses of romance) in it, it will.

In other news, I've been thrifting more and more lately and have gotten obsessed with 1950s full-circle day dresses. Next time I wear it, I'll take a picture of myself in my new yellow striped dress. :-)

* Ok, honestly, I didn't exactly finish the first draft. I wrote right up till the final climax. But at that point, I realized all the things listed above. And I found out what is supposed to happen. I was trying to douse the book in lots of twisted, quick-moving plot. It isn't that kind of story. I don't even like to read those kinds of books, really, so why write one? And now that I've thought through what needs to be written for draft two, I am once again in love. The soul of story has returned.