Monthly Archives: August 2016

Writing and Rewriting

My writers workshop had a retreat on Saturday at a lovely place in North Hero, VT. It was at the home of one of our members, Riki Moss, who is a bodacious sculptor and wonderful writer. As a woman with an artful eye for decor and a wonderful husband to assist in making this home a haven, she was exactly the right person to host this retreat. For a number of reasons of a personal nature, a few of us were arriving with no recent writing and no clear way to go on what we had with us. The idyllic setting seemed to inspire us, and several of us made unexpected progress.

Some of the writers are nonfiction writers, and discussions with them at our wrap-up (before a lovely potluck dinner) got me to thinking about my eternal rewriting of my first novel, Fantastical Trips. The memoirists convinced me that I might better approach my main character by making her first person, as I would be able to delve more deeply into her character and her reaction to being magicked away from her home world. I was only 15000 words into my most recent rewrite, so I took the bull by the horns and wrote first person on Sunday.

I am 4500 words into the first person rewrite after two long sessions at it, one in the morning, and one after I gave up on the Red Sox. As a first draft, it’s moving smoothly and I find I have more ways of showing the uncertainties and qualms of my character. The fact that she falls in love almost immediately with the cat people, known as felixities, actually gives room for some humor, and interesting discussions. Maybe, just maybe, I’ve found a way to finally tell this story that has been haunting me for over two and a half years.

Writing again?

I am about to start writing again, after a year plus of politics. I found over the past year that the part of me that generates plots and characters is the same part that is energized by political hope. While the elections are not until November, and I will still be putting in some time on local candidates, I will have more free time and less drag on creativity in the coming months. I’m starting slowly, editing a bit of what I’ve already written, and I’m reading a lot. All writers need to read to recharge their batteries and see how others do it.

I have two projects needing my attention. I’ve been writing a story in the same world as Ascension of Peary that actually takes place some thirty years before Peary. I have also pulled out my first novel Fantastical Trips and have put in the first 15,000 words on its rewrite, all before or during the political campaigns. I’ve gotten very useful feedback from my writing group on the main flaw in my writing, and I’ll get to see how hard it is to correct that problem. Oh, joy.

The simple fact is that I have been told for the past two years what the problem is in my writing, and it’s simply that I go too fast, not taking time to stop and fill in the reader on the movie in my head. I do very well at action scenes and dialogue, but setting and description, not so much. So I will put my writing hat back on, and commit to writing a certain amount of time each day, with new advice front and foremost. We’ll see how long that lasts!