Monday, May 21, 2012
Sunday, May 6, 2012
I just killed off a minor character. Then I brought him back. One of my main characters stabbed him. And then he didn't. It occurred to me that the stabbing was a possibility, so I gave it a go for a couple of sentences. It was sudden and completely unexpected, but it wasn't quite right. That, and I didn't really know what to do with it. So I took it out. I turned back time. You can do that, when you're an author. Sometimes, though, it takes a lot more than a couple of sentences for me to realize I've gone the wrong way. Once, I had to excise an entire chapter to fix a mistake. More recently, I had to chop about five chapters from a novel. And, both Evil and Epoch required a three-chapter rewrite near their ends to correct some serious gaffes (that my editors caught, not me). Mistakes happen. Even in writing! Even when you're still in the super-creative, make-it-all-up part of the process. Realizing you've made one is actually a sign that you're doing something right; you know your characters and story well enough to detect when something's wrong. It's a gut thing, for the most part. Trust your gut. Try things out. One way might look right; go for the one that feels right. The one that feels like it's part of the story. That minor character of mine gets to live. It wasn't his time to go. Not yet. I killed off a major character instead. I'm a whole chapter past that point now, and still going. It works. The story is happy. So am I.
I returned to work last week, and by work I mean a day job. My writing is my other job, but that still doesn't pay the bills. This day job is a data entry temp position acquired through the Manpower agency. My job is to book ad space in newspapers, or fix problems with existing booked ads. I'm still learning, and waiting to be completely set up on their system by IT. There's a bit of stress as I try to fill my brain with all the information I need to do my job. The question for me is, will this position be good for my writing? It doesn't matter so much to my creative side whether or not a job is good or bad. More important is how I feel about it. A job can be low-paying and fairly boring, but if I am well treated I will usually be happy. If, on the other hand, I am treated like I'm less valuable than the furniture, I find it very hard not to internalize it. A bad job can motivate me to write as a means of escape, but a lack of respect from a boss or co-workers will strangle my soul and kill my creativity. I won't necessarily lose the ability to write (although that has happened from time to time), but my output will slow considerably. So far, this job has been all right. My co-workers have been great, and my writing output has increased a little bit. I won't know for sure how conducive this position will be for my creative soul until I've been there a few weeks. I'll check back in a month, and maybe go into more detail about which jobs have helped and which jobs have hurt, and why. In the meantime, I'm considering the creation of a new blog about temp work. I've had more than a little experience working for agencies, so I have plenty to say. If this is something you think you'd like to read, leave me a comment below.
Friday, May 4, 2012
Here's another interview of yours truly! This time, my questions came from Lost In Fiction, under the sub-category of Lost in Young Adults. You can see that interview, and my brilliant answers, by clicking here. Once more I am blessed with the kindness of bloggers. I'm so very grateful for all the help I've received!