The Time Is Write Again

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Me and my novel’s plot chart. What you don’t see is the bottle of champagne that led to this moment. Happy New Year, indeed.

It’s been over two months since my last post. I know it’s been hard on everybody. It was like the writer’s strike and the potato famine combined, if the writer’s strike affected unpaid bloggers and if potatoes were moderately humorous anecdotes for a handful of WordPress readers. In any case, I’m sorry I did that to you.

Some thought I died. Some assumed I abandoned all of my earthly possessions to follow David Sedaris around on his book tour carrying with me nothing but a bar of soap and laughter (I wish). Most people, other than the two previously mentioned weirdos, didn’t notice, and are at this very moment trying to figure out how and when they pressed the wrong button that subscribed them to this blog. Whatever the malfunction was, you’re here and I’m here, and that’s enough for me. You can file a complaint to WordPress on your own time.

The truth of my absence is that I’ve been spending the last sixish months on a new novel, and apparently I’m not very good at multitasking. It’s called an obsessive personality, and explains why when I start a television series on Netflix, I finish it within the weekend. This neurotic characteristic also explains why I have a five foot by three foot plot arc diagram taped onto my living room wall, complete with a color key and scribbled notes, so when the Comcast guy stops by, he thinks he’s stumbled into the lair of the Beautiful Mind schizophrenic. It also explains why I’ve spent 70% of the last six month’s waking hours still wearing pajamas. I tell my husband that’s what it means to be an author, but it’s truthfully more indicative of being a scrub.

I’d like to fill you in on the last 60 days, and then I will proceed with regularly scheduled programming from here on out– unless of course I’m struck by a need for revision in the novel and I recede back into my coffee and keyboard hibernation.

  • I’ve begun to shop at Ann Taylor because, while I’m an 8 at Banana Republic, Ann Taylor still thinks I’m a 6, so I like her better.
  • Phil and I went to see Les Mis directly after a eating a hearty meal at an Italian restaurant. I knew the movie was a long one so I decided to make my bulging belly more comfortable by unbuttoning and unzipping my jeans. Phil said he didn’t realize that he married a 70 year old man who embarrasses his grandchildren, and that next time I should just go ahead and enter the public eye wearing only tighty whities and a sauce stained undershirt.
  • WARNING- This Next Bullet Is Gross In A Feminine Hygiene Kind of Way. If That Troubles You, Skip: While rushing in an airport bathroom during a short layover, I dropped a plastic tampon applicator because I’m more used to cardboard and the fancy plastic kind is slippery. I watched in horror as it rolled from my stall, into the next stall, and hit the shoe of my neighbor. Her foot froze. My heart stopped. I was legally dead. Then the terror of being found dead with my pants around my ankles defibrillated me back to life. I debated whether I should say something to this woman, like, “Oops, my bad” or “If you just kick that back over to me, I’d be happy to dispose of it.” Then I decided that saying nothing and running from the bathroom was my dignity’s best option, so I did just that. Airport Lady, if you’re out there, I’m sorry. That was an unfortunate incident.
  • Phil convinced me that the name of his colleague, Lance, is short for Lancelot. It isn’t.
  • I was holding a door for somebody. He was that uncomfortable distance behind me where he was still several strides away, but I’d turned and we’d made eye contact, so I would have looked like a jerk if I continued into the building and let the door shut in his face. So I held it and waited. He, also being a decent and courteous human, quickened his pace into a jog to relieve me of my door duties. I felt bad. Propriety dictated that I held the door for him, but also forced him to hurry, and nobody likes to jog on their way into work. And then, of course, he slipped on ice. Now he looked silly and I felt like a big jerk, so from now on to avoid such messy circumstances, don’t be surprised if I actively pull a door shut as you approach so as to take the pressure off everybody. It’s better for both of us.
  • I lied to all of my blog readers. I told them I was a size 8 or a 6, when really I’m a 10 or an 8

Well, now you’re all caught up. I bet you feel like you’ve been alongside me the whole time, through the holidays and into 2013. See you next week! Hopefully…

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16 thoughts on “The Time Is Write Again

  1. So that plot arc thing…what’s your rhyme and reason to the structure? What do the colors mean? I’ve been thinking about doing one of my own, but I’m curious about how others do it before I dive in and make a mess and have to rewrite three huge posters.

    • My horizontal timeline is divided into three acts, with Hook, Plot Point 1, Midpoint, Plot Point 2, and Climax, like a screenplay structure. At the top I summarized the protagonist’s character development as the plot progressed. The colors were also for revision purposes. I marked off every scene that was already there in a certain color. I thought a character needed further development so I marked where he appeared in blue, and then I could visually see his absence, and inserted potential scenes in a different color. I did the same thing with a couple other characters as well. I find the chart to be really helpful. Some writers are able to start and write blindly. I need to see the structure or I get lost.

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      • I did a small version before writing, outlining the five structural points but without filling in the scenes. Then I improvised from point to point. The more detailed ones are after drafts. I’ve had 3 different versions of the wall hangings with each draft.

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  2. I clicked “follow” for your blog. I recently got on wordpress because I’m trying to attract agents for my books (humor/memoir), and they all want a social media presence. I just hope it doesn’t cut into my extracurricular time spent watching skateboarding mishaps on youtube.

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