Tuesday, August 5, 2008

On a Personal Note (Three Fs Above Middle C)

(If you didn't get the pun, you don't spend enough time with music geeks. And yes, I can hit that note.)

I love writing my book.

I'm on this kind of writing diet where I write 550 words/day to finish the first draft, and I love it. For once I gave myself a realistic goal that allows me to skip days if I have to, and catch up later. I'm like 68% done! It's craziness.

But more than that, I love my book. I worry about it all the time-- is the protagonist actually doing anything? too much dialogue!-- and once in a while I think this is a sophomoric attempt by a high school senior to write something worthwhile.

Yet I love my book. I love re-reading the first hundred pages and remembering all that stuff I put in there, such a long time ago. I love this because it's so close to my heart as to be part of my aorta and capillaries. I love this because I believe in it: even though I get confused sometimes as to direction and message, the lifeblood of my book is still being pumped and so I can still write.

I love the writing of it. I love how two characters I just plopped in there to make a quick joke turn out to be the centerpiece of a memory or scene. I love discovering dialogic chemistry: with one guy, she can't stop dreaming and with the other she can't stop fighting. I love finding a phrase that fits and even the long hunt of babbling to make this one, all-important point.

I love my characters. I love writing about intelligent, witty people; it's like being on BBC snark steroids. I love their relationships, how they're blurry and awkward and questionably redeemable. I love my protagonist, because she's brave and in-your-face and scared and bitter and strong all at the same time. I appreciate the time I can spend with them.

I love the future editing and revising that's about to come. This is my fourth book, so I know about the constant I can't believe I wrote this and OMG, have you ever heard of CONFLICT? questions that will come, the re-plotting and fixing. I can't wait to finally see the whole book all together, puzzle pieces fitted or broken, complete.

I just love it. Most writers never become famous or rich, even the published ones. But they write because they love it-- their books, words, storytelling-- and that's why I love it. It's something natural and disciplined and gorgeous. My 550 words will most likely be crap and serve to put me forward three pages, not set the world straight. But they will make me a better writer for having written and a better person for having forced myself to do it.

I love this.

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