Friday, October 8, 2010. . .The writing day began around 2:30 a.m. Wide awake, full of story. A few tweaks to the previous day’s words. An emerging diagram of the couple’s house and neighborhood because at some level I’ve realized the original does not work. Both are dealt with thoroughly in my imagination, no paper involved. Back to sleep.
Often I write these middle-of-the-night ramblings down. If I don’t record the first-awake ideas, they’re usually history. But these were not the type that needed to be put on paper. These were the heavy-duty imprints. A nickname so obviously better than the one I had used. A rearrangement of the house because the original does not fit historically, Southern California style.
Later, time at the desk includes the intro of another main character, that 15-year old girl I mentioned. Where has she been? What has she been experiencing? What is she feeling? What does her voice sound like? Again I am slowed some. So much hangs on the beginning. It seems Story Beginning can go on for pages and pages and pages.
There is the tendency to explain everything up front. This reveals too much. It cheats the reader out of a lot of fun. Enjoyment in reading fiction comes from engaging one’s imagination, entering a different world, seeing life from a character’s point of view, then agreeing or not, rooting for her or not.
Early afternoon I reach a point when it was time to literally step away from my desk. My imagination seems emptied. In reality this is a deliberate act of letting go. . .because it sets off fireworks. They begin the moment I walk out the office door. Each burst of color detonating above my head is an idea about the story. Pow, pow. I need pen and paper.
Later I drive down the freeway, radio off, committing to memory the explosions of thoughts. I reach a parking lot and sit for a long time jotting them down.
Some days I think the whole entire book will be written in snippets like this.
DETAILS. . .Emerge from above haze and do an incomplete grocery shop. But My Guy hit the Farmers Market and so we have yummy fresh salmon that he cooks on the grill.