Friday, June 30, 2006
Taking the Long Way Around
This week I went back to my mariachi story with the critiques from my agent. I had been avoiding it to be honest with you. Reading my work gives me the willies but I force myself to do it and eventually I'm pulled back into the story. But it's worse when you have someone's constructive, albiet critical opinion replaying in your head. (I wonder if that's what it is like if you're a porn star and have to watch your work?)
Anyway, my writing process is not the most efficient. No matter how much character work I do or outlining, it takes a draft or three to figure out what is holding me back from the core of the story. In the case of the mariachi story, I had this boyfriend character who appeared in the first three chapters and was then never heard from again. I should've known because he always bugged me. Was he too much like Ruben Lopez from Hot Tamara? If he was going to work, I had to figure out a way to bring him back into later chapters but then that would slow the story down and-
Finally, I did away with him. And that one simple act led me down the secret staircase into the marrow of my characters. I love and hate it when this happens. I love it because it makes my job easier; hate it because I have a tendency to walk around the house like a ghost not hearing my husband ask me what I want for dinner.
I'm beginning to think that I take the long way around into my stories because I fear losing myself to the characters and the story. I know that sounds very arty-farty. But with every single project I always start one way - for example with In Between Men, I had Isa's ex suing her for custody and that draft was a real downer! But somewhere in the journey, I find the secret door in the floor that takes me somewhere entirely different.
So I'm about to go back in and see where I end up. This blog is my of delaying the inevitable. Sigh. Don't you hate being honest with yourself? Well, I'll try my best not to post this and then go to the Food Network to look up recipes.