Friday, March 11, 2011

Come to the dark side...

so, i'm feeling pretty proud of myself.

Touch, 1st draft, is done!!!

*cue trumpets of celebration*

in reality, it's not so much a 1st draft since i'm the first to admit that i SUCK at fast-drafting. my internal editor is a stubborn bitch and doesn't shut her incessant complaining that things must be done perfectly the first time through. wrangling that feisty inner-voice into the far reaches of my mind to be quiet is a challenge. but the end result is that my short story isn't in quite as much of a mess as other fast-drafts i've heard about.

i'm looking forward to getting it back from my mentor (who's totally kicked my ass into well-needed shape!) and diving into edits.

in the meantime, though, i've gone over to the dark side.

by the way, those cookies that they're always tempting us with?


there aren't even any worthwhile crumbs to lick off the plate.

there IS lots of angst and emotional discovery, though.

Forgiveness is pretty much the complete opposite from Touch... the characters get beaten down (quite literally, actually) and it's all about the struggle to pick themselves back up out of the dirt.

i'm not gonna lie - it's a hard place to keep my brain. i'm essentially a pretty cheerful person so putting myself into Liam or Tori's proverbial shoes is a stretch sometimes.

nonetheless, i've had way more moments of clarity in the 13k i've written on Forgiveness than i ever did on the seemingly endless 21k of Touch.

For example, I'm plugging away, totally engrossed, and something like the following appears on screen:

[The doctor] paused and set down her pen, clasping her hands to rest them on her ever-present pad of paper. She seemed to be contemplating what to say next, or even if there should be a next. Finally, she raised somber eyes, meeting Tori's gaze, and continued.

"I'll be honest. The ones who've been down that road are never whole again. Maybe some of the pieces in the puzzle that is 'self' are chipped, and maybe there's a piece missing here or there. But if you look closely, you can still see the whole picture of who they once were. Those missing and chipped pieces simply serve to shift that image into a new one. One that shows who they are now."

The leather of her chair creaked comfortably as she leaned back, taking off and setting her wire-rimmed glasses on the polished wood desk.

Over time, the rough edges will begin to smooth out, and you'll see who they're meant to be." Intelligence and a keen knowledge shone in her blue-gray eyes as she stared fixedly at Tori, and a lovely smile bloomed on her striking face. "That, my dear, is why I love what I do. It's my job to sort out those pieces. To find out what's missing and to help polish out the more jagged edges."

i'll sit back and think where the heck did THAT come from?

i can't say that i have personal experience in being completely broken and trying to pick up those pieces again. still, i've had my own problems and firmly believe that inner emotional development is relative. it's whatever we make of what gets thrown our way, right? with each experience, we can choose to learn and better ourselves, or sit down in the pity-puddle with a whimper and wallow.

i think that the drive to write so deep comes from books that i've read in the past.
i've always loved the darker, angst-filled characters in books the best. from the quietly falling apart Elle in Megan Hart's Dirty to the explosively violent anger of Zsadist in JR Ward's Lover Awakened. Inez Kelley's Sweet as Sin has a tortured character, John, who's fears and secret desires just grip your heart and drag you into his emotional riptide right along with him.

some characters expose you to things you've never personally experienced and leave you wondering if you ever really want to again.

the ability to create a character that comes alive and captures a reader so fully that they feel what your hero feels is a special kind of magic. something i strive for every time i drop words onto a page.

and that, my friends, is why i want to write.

now where the heck are those cookies i was promised?

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