You are currently browsing the monthly archive for September 2010.

I have a new blog! Not only that, but it has my name on it. Not the Uppington one, the one that is actually based in that reality place I sometimes have to visit.

This is exciting, alarming, and a little bewildering for me.

What will happen next? Who knows? If you’ve read very much of this blog, you will know that I am a pantser at heart. One of my favorite mottos is “Just start somewhere, and take it from there.”

So, I have created the new blog. My intention is that it will deal a little less with writing, and a little more with information about and treatment of mental health concerns. However, as we all know, all roads lead to Rome, and Rome is equal to writing and whatever happens over on the other blog will have to be writing related.

If you follow me here, I’d be delighted if you stop over and have a look HERE, but I do plan to continue posting about how the writing is going right here at All Things Good (and other stuff).

Speaking of writing – the current WIP has taken an unexpected turn and led me into an alternate reality I totally didn’t see coming.

This is the definition of awesome.

Once upon a time I sat down to write a book. I confess that in that particular mindset I wasn’t thinking about intelligent and logical things like publication and where the book would fit into the market. I hadn’t considered comparable titles and marketing strategies. I had an idea. I was excited about it. Images, words, characters were clamoring to get onto the page and that was all that mattered.

Later, during revisions one, two, three and four, (and five? I’ve lost track) the idea of publication was on my mind, but largely as background static, a vaguely defined fear that this book wasn’t going to fit neatly anywhere in the known universe of publishing, that it wasn’t quite fantasy or magical realism or literary fiction. But it was far too late for such thoughts – the story now had a life of its own and would be what it was determined to be.

Which brings me to the present, to the business of querying and agent feedback and a semi-frenzied perusal of existing books that might be considered comparable titles. There are some – nothing perfect, mind, but things that put Swimming North in the ballpark at least.

An agent question – what would a series look like – set me off on another alarming quest, because I never see to the end of a book before I begin it, let alone a series. When I write I start with characters and a problem, and the characters interact with the problem and with each other, and things begin to happen. Random elements creep in and I allow them, because often my subconscious sees what I do not. While all of this is going on, I try to keep an eye on plot and character arcs and pacing and all of the stuff that makes for a compelling plot, but I never quite know where the story is going until I hit the end.

I am experiencing a moment of envy for those who sit down before they begin to write and plot the whole thing out, from beginning to end. But I blink, and the envy passes. The truth is, I enjoy the surprises and the unexpected detours along the way. And it’s not like I set out on a writing voyage without any landmarks at all. I have a general sense of where we are all headed, I’m just not sure of a) how we’re going to get ‘there’, and b) exactly what ‘there’ will look like when we arrive.

At the moment, the best compromise I can make is to sit down and play with ideas. If the story would go on, how would it look? What would happen with the characters? What would be the unfinished story winding through all three that would allow them to stand alone but still bind them together. I think I see. And that’s all I need to get started.