Notes from a Drama Queen

The End

Monday, September 01, 2008

The end of what, you may ask. The end of the first draft of SILVER FALLS. I've been slaving away like a madwoman, tearing my hair, rewriting and rethinking and looking at it sideways and upside down. But we're coming into the homestretch. I've printed up the first 280 pages, plus sent it to two good griends to get their feedback, and I'll take it with me when I drive my sister and mother 95 miles down to Dartmouth for my sister's hip replacement. I'll read through it in the hotel room the night before, and in the surgery waiting room tomorrow, scribbling all over the sucker, considering whether to give one character a POV, considering whether I want to change who the killer is (I've done that before). Then back for a day, then off to a hotel for a marathon, to finish the draft in four days.
You'll love my marathons. I keep track of my battles, my page counts, the garbage I eat, the craziness of an insane push to finish a book with room service. (The hotel has the room service, not the book).
I've done this on and off for years. The first time I tried it was with my second historical, SHADOW DANCE. The longest period of time was for PRINCE OF MAGIC, where I wrote half the book in five days. I still have a copy of my marathon report for that -- I'll dig it out and upload it because it's a hoot.
In the meantime, for the big push I'll be taking my Clairfontaine notebooks ad Pilot pens, my Alphasmart, my Mac, Lagoud. I'll be bringing notebooks and my iPod and diet lemonade and my bathing suit (swimming in the hotel pool is a necessity to keep me from beating my head against the wall).
Comfortable clothes, clean underwear, my wrist splints and an open mind.
So let me tell you why I'm having trouble with this book. It's a serial killer book, and because of that I can't get into the wild, romantic adventure of it. It's fascinating, compelling, the characters are complicated and intense, the murders really nasty, the threat real.
It's just not a whole lot of fun.
I need to be careful when I get an interesting idea -- I should do research before I decide to write about it. Serial killers are seriously gross, dude. And toning mine down just weakens the book. I have to grit my teeth and write it .
But it's going to be brilliant, even if I have to wrestle the damned book to the ground and sit on it.

Finishing a book is always an intense, fast, insane undertaking. I've fought and won before, I will this time. So wish me luck.
Think of me
like a Valkyrie, read for war.

I shall ride into battle with this PITA book and I shall conquer!

Ridiculous trivia question -- what's the name of the divine cartoon that illustrates my battle with my muse (who this time around tends to be Elmer Fuddish)?

And a question for the day -- anybody got advice for someone about to do an absolute blitz of hard work? Food suggestions, drink suggestions, music suggestions, life suggestions?

You'll be getting daily reports -- wish me luck!


Blogger caitlin said...

Hi, Just a comment here from one of your 'Ice' books fans...wishing you luck; you go, girl! You've finished a few drafts before, you can finish this one too. I have no suggestions for you other than don't forget to sleep at some point..? If that's possible during a blitz...?
Sending good thoughts for Sis's hip operation.

2:28 PM  
Blogger Mary Stella said...

Protein. Don't forget protein. It's so easy to only eat junk when we enter a marathon of work. Bubble bath so you can soak away the tension, even though you'll swim some away.

Go, go, Go!!

4:16 PM  
Blogger Shelley said...

What's Opera, Doc?

I love that. An absolutely brilliant peice of animation.

5:50 PM  

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