Friday, January 29, 2010

My Writing Quilting Bee

I am slogging away at my revision three chapters at a time per my CP in VA's suggestion. Poof. Hard work. And I'm not hitting a timer or listening for the sand to drop through the hourglass as I work. Nope. Instead, I've found the revision is working out much like one might put together a quilt (my apologies to real quilters as all I know about quilting is the fabrics and what I read about them).

I have a huge bunch of fabric of work that I've carved into small scenes. I've bundled sets of scenes into chapters. I've color-coded the scenes according to hero (blue), heroine (pink), villain (yellow), chapters (pale cream) and unknown scenes/unwritten (white). What is super cool is that I have the MAC Scrivener program and it makes it very easy to see these things on the computer screen, shift them around and not lose a bit of my work in the process. 

Confession: I have an amazing CP (Gwen) who is a super guru tech whiz and she has tons of advice about Scrivener on her blog. Click the link and check out her Tech Tuesdays.

I print out my batches of scenes, edit them hard copy, make notes on them based on what I've read in Maass's books or had the muse send to me (by giving myself time to breath, I actually have found more inspiration and motivation to plow through the dreaded middle) and then I hit the computer and work till my brain fizzles out.

Confession: My brain seems to fizzle out after about 2 hours and then I jump start it with a wee dram of wine.

Today was cool because I could see the whole picture begin to emerge. Scrivener allows me to play and move whole scenes while on a cork board background. Ideas are starting to form. Strange directions are opening up. Now I didn't pound the keys endlessly. I stopped to email and ask questions about certain gun types as well as talk to my CPs in AL and VA. 

But it is coming together. My fabric bits are starting to make sense. I can see where I need to add more fabric or snip some away. I see where the stitching is too loose or too tight. I know the threads I need to pull out and I am picking out new threads to insert into the pattern.

The pattern is there, it's not all put together, but the pattern is starting to create a picture. Now I am excited about the revision.

Confession: I usually need to whine for about 6 chapters and joke around for about 2 of them before excitement kicks in.

*Warning: Whining does resume as I reach the Black Moment/Climax*


marthawarner said...

Wow - sounds like you're getting down to business! Congrats!

And I go for coffee when the fizzle strikes. No wine for me. :)

I love the little confessions you've added. Very nice!

Christine said...

Martha, I use coffee in the AM or tea. But for late afternoon writing (which is what I seem to be doing these days), I get my wine at 5PM. I must confess that I would drink wine before 5PM, even at 9AM, if a tornado siren blares here.

KarenG said...

I see it like knitting, with all the loose ends tying together, and not looking like much until the pattern starts to appear, then I get really exciting and want to keep knitting.

Christine said...

KarenG: I love that analogy as well. Yes, the writing can be tough, but when the picture starts to emerge, oooh. Fun! That's why we do it. Puzzling it all out is such a fabulous challenge.

KarenG said...

And is it because we're women that we have to compare writing to handicrafts lol? Reminds me of when my husband or sons used to explain something to me, they always tried to compare it to cooking. Until I yelled at them, then they stopped.

Christine said...

KarenG: LOL. Great insight. I also wonder if we see life as quilts and sewing and cooking and knitting because our lives require juggling so many different threads, too.

Our brains are just wired that way :)

Gwen Hernandez said...

Lots of confessions, quilting, and wine this week!

Thanks for the plug. I enjoyed our talk, and I'm glad you got back on track.

Love the quilting and knitting analogies. I'm still stuck on the roadmap one... ;-)


M.V.Freeman said...

I need a dram of wine.


Seriously, I love how you work. You have a total recognition of what you need to do.

I am taking notes....

Christine said...

Gwen: you rock! And I am uber impressed with the 40000 words!! Woot. And I am uber blessed to have an amazing CP who works so hard at getting it all!! Yes, the wine has poured generously. And my writing has improved (at least my productivity has LOL).

Christine said...

Mary: you are also on the journey: writing in bits and pieces and sewing the story together. This is the FUN of writing. Really. I promise :)

And I bow to your amazing intuition. It is frighteningly cool and spot on.