Fixing Gwyn

I’m currently at the Georgia St. Roasters, a coffee shop in Amarillo. I’m still working on my rewrites, struggling to fix one of my characters. I haven’t been as diligent on my writing as I should have been, but I’m back on track, again, and I hope to keep up my momentum.

I just finished Chapter Three and oddly enough I’m about to tackle Chapter Four. I’ve lost a few scenes, ones that just didn’t fit with the story. While I liked what I had written, it served no other purpose than to add to my word count. With no function in furthering the story, I had to make the decision to cut it out. Deciding to do it was harder than actually cutting it out.

This whole process feels like a surgical procedure. Snipping away the excess while keeping the integrity of the whole intact. What makes it all the harder is that I don’t want the whole thing to unravel. I just need to stitch it back together seamlessly so that the reader won’t miss what I cut away. So far, so good.

But the trouble lies ahead with my character Gwyn. Who is she? What’s her motivation? Is she crazy? (Yes!) Does she suffer from Dissociative Personality Disorder? (I don’t think so.) So if not, what then? I know she suffers from social anxiety, but what else? I don’t know.

It’s this question that has me stalled. It’s driving me crazy, all the more because I have another story that’s brewing in my mind that I would love to turn my attention towards. I have to get this one done.

I don’t know when I’ll be able to finish this and walk away. Maybe it’s not worth trying to fix, but if I give up on every story that has problems I’ll never finish anything. This is my line in the sand! I will get this one finished or die trying!

For now I’m going to get off and let my brain rest. I have a meeting to attend at work, which should only last an hour. Then I’ll go home, get out my red pen and start editing the next chapter. It’s not an easy task, but anything worth doing is worth suffering for. At least that’s what I’ve been led to believe.

NaNoWriMo 2014: Day 17

Since midnight last night, according to my stats on the NaNoWriMo website, I have written 3516 words, bringing me up to a total of 28,541, and on par for the first time since day 11. I have no illusions that I will stay on par at this point. It’s been hell just trying to stay in the running, but I have. I will come out victorious!

Thankfully the last two days of NaNo will be on a weekend, and I currently have weekends off. As long as I don’t fall too far behind, I’ll be okay. Work is killing me. I like to write at night, and working the night shift is seriously killing my writing mojo. But it’s okay. It will be okay.


I went back earlier today and started reading from the beginning. I do that from time to time, just to measure how far I’ve come. There’s no way now for me to read the whole thing quickly, but it’s a way I can get a sense of where I started and where I plan to go. Here’s what I found so far.

  1. Character motivations have shifted since the beginning. That’s not so unusual for me. Once I get to know the characters, they tell me their secrets and then I know that I will have to make some revisions.
  2. The cast of good and bad guys is pretty fluid. What I mean, and this goes back to character motivations, that being good or bad is not cut and dry. One who I thought was a good guy revealed to me that he really has nefarious intentions. Another one, a baddie who committed an atrocious act against my MC, did so due to a misguided feeling of love towards her.
  3. No one person is wholly one or the other. Even my MC is not a total white hat. Sure she’s a woman who sleeps around for money, but she’s mostly a genuinely good person. Except that a desire for revenge has been awoken in her, a desire she’s starting to act on.
  4. The title of the book is The First Love of Giada Esposito. I know who she’s going to fall in love with, and they’ve already met briefly already, I just don’t know how I’m going to steer her to seek his help. There’s a vague idea, but nothing concrete. It scares me.
  5. Apparently I’m going to write a sex scene with Giada acting as a dominatrix. What the hell do I know about that? Maybe I need to find a dom to teach me a few things…. Or not.

I have to go now. Work beacons. So excited, or so exhausted? I don’t know. I just want to write!

NaNoWriMo 2014: Day 10

Welcome to week two of this madness. Only twenty more days until the end. I don’t know if I can make it. I barely survived week one, and that’s only because I spent all weekend playing catch up. Eight-thousand words in two days: not too shabby!

Right now I’m about six-hundred words from actually being caught up. I hope to get ahead today to give myself a little bit of a buffer. Going overnight at work has really taken a toll on my ability to write. I seem to do best after the sun goes down. That’s when my creativity spikes distractions wane. For the rest of the month, however, I’ll be purging backstock to get ready for inventory.

That makes it hard to write. I’m busy during my peak time working at my job, and when I get home at 6:30 in the morning, I play on Facebook for a few minutes before setting my computer aside and falling asleep. By the time I get up, it’s between one and three in the afternoon, and I do my best to write, but distractions seem to get in the way.

Week two should be a little easier, at least that’s what I’m going to believe. I’m at sixteen-thousand words, and I have a clearer idea of what the story is turning into. I’m still trying to pin down Giada’s personality. In my first book, Giada was flirty with a mischievous personality. I haven’t quite got it right, yet. She also hasn’t met Israel, either. Maybe he’s the one that unlocks her true nature. We shall see.

At least my antagonist is developing nicely. He has a lust for power and an arrogance only those with no real abilities seem to possess. He’s scared of Giada, for some undisclosed reason. I’m ready to introduce the tension between the two and see how it escalates.

No point in procrastinating. I only have a few hours to write before I leave for work. I’d better make the best of them. I’ll check in later this week. Hopefully I can stay on track!

NaNoWrimo 2014: Day 5

I hit a hiccup yesterday. Well, it was more of an impenetrable brick wall into which I slammed head first, then went careening over a cliff, only to die in a blaze of glory when I came to rest at the bottom, with no one to witness my unfortunate demise. Luckily, I got better and I’m back today.

The brick wall is still there, but instead of trying to break it down by brute force, I went around the damned wall and started the next chapter instead. I was utterly lost and had no idea what to do about my story so I decided to introduce a new character, the antagonist who will work to destroy my M.C.

Before I go on, I think it’s funny how the escort/prostitute is the hero in my story while the Cardinal is the villain. Shouldn’t the holy man be the good guy and the woman who sins for a living be the bad guy? Yeah, but then the story would not be what I want to write. I want it to be about what’s in a person’s heart rather than what they appear to be.

But back to my point….

My story was meandering. I couldn’t find a way to go forward. Giada was in Rome. She moved back to Rome. Look at how much Giada is in Rome, for the first time in ten years, back in Rome. Did I mention she’s back in Rome? For the first time in ten years? Here, let’s show her again in Rome, where she used to live ten years ago, but then moved. She’s back, and it only took her ten years!

I’ve never been that stuck before. One good thing is that I found her a love interest. I guess I should say I found someone who’s interested in her, but she doesn’t share his feelings. Too bad. He’s only in his early forties, tall, ruggedly handsome, and rich. He also accepts her for who she is and refuses to try to change her. He’s a good guy, but she doesn’t love him. She’s incapable of loving anyone, even him, and she feels bad for it.

But I couldn’t figure out how to write myself out of that corner. I didn’t know where to go, so I went to the opera. That didn’t help. Took her shopping then to dine where she ran into one of her clients. Still nothing. Frustrated, I lost control, hit the wall, went over the cliff and died. I think I only wrote 200 words yesterday.

I knew it would happen eventually, just not on day four. That’s okay. I’ll just skip ahead a bit and introduce someone new. I have to flesh him out a bit, discover his history and motivations. That’s what I’m doing now, and I’m up to 700 words for the day, and I’m just getting started. I should make my daily goal and make up for yesterday’s disastrous attempt. I hate being a day behind, but that’s not catastrophic. I just need to work harder so I don’t fall farther behind.

NaNo 2013 revisited and possibly finished

I’ve taken my 2013 NaNo novel out of mothballs recently, deciding the time was pipe to revisit the unfinished work. After reaching the 50K word goal, I had nowhere to go with the story, no idea as to the next logical progression. I was in a rut, so I set it aside, convinced it would never see the light of day. Now I’m not so sure.

I had to delete nearly 10K words, and I see a ton of discrepancies from where I started writing and where the story ended up. I have a lot of work in store for me to make this a cohesive narrative, but here it is, in all it’s 62K word glory! Okay, you can’t see it yet, but believe me, it’s there.

What took me by surprise is the direction and change of tone it took, particularly in the past couple of days. What started off as a novel about a forty-two year old woman facing a divorce, morphed into a story about neglect, love and sex, abuse, including sexual abuse and rape, and even death. It isn’t simply about coping and moving on from a cheating spouse anymore. It evolved and became messier.

However, that’s what I like most about writing, the adventure. I have a general idea of what I want, but sometimes the way between two points can’t be a straight line. Sure it’s the quickest, but when in life do we take the quick way. Human nature is way too complicated for so simple a route. I may be the writer, but sometimes I feel as though I’m only along for the ride, just like everyone else.

It took me nine months for a solution to present itself. It took many nights for me to figure out my main character’s motivation for doing certain things, actions that ultimately imperils my main character and possibly her daughter. I tried my best to tie up all loose ends, but the husband isn’t one of those characters. He didn’t deserve that kind of send off, though he’s never the antagonist, just the catalyst that launches the story forward.

I plan to read and make as many corrections to the story before shelving it for a month or so. I’ll have to print it out and begin making wholesale revisions next, trying to get everything in line, but I need a little time and prospective first. I may pull out another unfinished word and play around with it next. I don’t know. I’ll play it by ear.