Saturday, November 19, 2005

Nov. 19 Part II

It was a busy, non-writing morning, although Fix-It Girl is rolling around in my head.

Went to the post office, got my hair cut (I could NOT go to Maine looking like I was looking before the haircut). Started the bread. Replanted some plants. Took the air conditioner out of the window, drained it, and packed it away. Got the storm windows down. Rearranged the plants. Caught up on some email, etc. Dried out some books that, somehow, got wet.

A few days ago, I read Margaret Frazier’s latest Joliffe mystery, which is quite good. I like the character of Joliffe, and, it surprises me how little has changed in life in the theatre since medieval times. We’re not in constant acute physical danger in the same way, but many other things have not changed. And, despite celebrity culture, let’s face it, a good portion of the country believes that theatre people are dirt. Many of them have no idea what kind of hard work and commitment go in to the life, and, let’s face it, many of them are jealous that we’re not chained in soul-sucking desk jobs. Although “what other people think” in terms of peer pressure stopped affecting my behavior years ago, I’m still aware of its existence.

Also read a chick lit novel that I thought would be good brain candy. I won’t mention title or author because I have rather unkind things to say about it. Reading the back cover, it sounded like fun. Reading the author’s bio – she already got on my last nerve. The first few chapters showed promise. And that’s where the story should have ended. It was dragged out, with the protagonist repeating mistakes, and, frankly, by the end, I just didn’t care, nor did I think she deserved a happy ending. Ick.

Before NaNo, I ordered a book I desperately needed as background research for Fix-It Girl. Paid for quick shipping and everything. It’s called Daughters of the Great Depression: Women, Work and Fiction in the American 1930s. It arrived yesterday. After I hit my 50K point.

Can I just say I’m done with Amazon? Except when I receive gift certificates? I’ll research it on Amazon, but buy it from Strand or bookstores that actually provide customer service. Amazon used to be great. No more. Buh-bye.

Anyway, the dilemma now is whether to read it now as I continue the book, or wait and read it between drafts. I feel I should do the latter. By the second page of the Intro, I was already taking frantic notes. This book will help add texture and detail to the revision. I’m afraid it will throw me off building the bones of the story now.

So I switched to reading a book about the history of the Provincetown Players (one of my favorite topics anyway) – which, although it plays a part in my story, its influence in the story is quite different than the former book’s.

Fix-It Girl turns out to have a broader social scope than I expected. How could it not, taking place during the Depression? However, I envisioned one of its themes being about creative vs. business, creative powers vs. studio powers. But the emerging theme is the gender struggle that was so central to the country in that decade. It’s interesting to see where Hollywood played into what actually happened in the country, where it played against what was happening, why, and the consequences.

I’m going to take a break now and then do a few pages. My shoulder is in extreme pain and my neck hurts so much the collar of my shirt hurts where it touches. Thank goodness acupuncture is on Monday.

I’ve been dragging my feet on actually writing today’s pages because I have to kill off two of the major secondary characters. They’re much more endearing than I planned, but I have to cut their lives short in order to create the catalyst for the next section of the story. I’ll hate to say goodbye. And no, I can’t bring them back in flashbacks or as ghosts.

I feel as though I’m being terribly cruel.

And I’m longing to get back to Never Too Late. And I STILL want to change the title. Although possible series titles are starting to come.

Time to put the bread into the oven and get to work.



At 4:09 PM, Blogger Eric said...

Sometimes in writing you have to kill off the ones you love. I found that out the hard way (both reading and writing). I've seen main characters cut down in their prime, and I've killed off a couple myself. I have a feeling it never comes without a little regret.

Read that book between drafts. That way you can add texture as you go, and you don't fall into someone elses writing (like I did for 2 days). It's not hard to get out of, but it was easier for me to just not read (even though I did anyway).


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