Where ever you go, there you are

I picked up my keys this morning. Kept grinning because I couldn’t believe it — I’m here! I’m going to be living here! In this amazing, oh so special city!

I did allow myself a purchase today — my first pair of replacement earrings. I’d felt so naked without any earrings. They were expensive, but handmade by a local artist, silver and tourmaline, kind of pink and green — I guess watermelon color. According to one site, this stone heals old emotional pains and brings emotional understanding. I don’t necessarily believe in that, on the one hand. On the other, I have a sense that being in New Orleans will help heal something inside me. I’m not sure what. I’m not really sure what’s broken. But something.

Tonight there was a Halloween parade. Got lots of beads. I’d given away all my beads during my going away party, so I needed some. Though chances are I’ll be giving many of these away as well. . . (^_^) It was also a lot of fun walking around and seeing all the costumes. I was able to grab a window seat for dinner and got to watch a lot walking by as well.

I’m really too tired to write still. I had a nice 9 hour sleep last night, and two naps today, and am only starting to feel vaguely human. Hopefully tomorrow, after another good night’s sleep, I’ll be even better. I have been thinking about the novels, though.

I started listening to that damn critical voice in my head. Maybe I shouldn’t write the novel I want to write. I don’t know enough yet about this part of the country, about creole and zydeco and such. Maybe it isn’t my story to tell.

I found myself nearly in tears, though, thinking I couldn’t write Zydeco Queen. It’s the story that’s closest to my heart. There are a lot of things I don’t know, that’s true. Maybe I have to redraft some of it, or change some of it, after I write it. That’s okay.

Besides, if my sense of the novel is correct, only the first third or so takes place in the human world. The rest takes place in the fairy courts. And I get to make all that up. There is no right or wrong there. It’s just trying to faithfully describe what I see in my head.

I still want to write Siren’s Call as well. I don’t really have much more research to do on that novel — just walk out my front door and there’s my inspiration. But while that’s the novel that brought me here to New Orleans — the other is closer, and needs to be written first. I wish I could write both at the same time. I’m not sure I’d be able to do that even if I wrote full time. But I do tend to have a two-novel plot engine in my head, so I’m plotting out the one a bit more while writing the other. That seems to work for me.

One comment on process. I’ve already written a proposal for Zydeco Queen, as part of the writer’s workshop I just attended. The proposal contains the heart of the novel, the story. It doesn’t really contain the plot, or any of the subplots. As I’m thinking about the novel, I’m discovering more of those subplots.

I plotted out my last novel on the fly, as it were. I knew where the story had to go. So I’d write a little, then write out a very high-level outline for the next chapter — say one sentence per scene. I might end up writing the outline for two or three chapters ahead of the chapter I was currently working in. Then, when I finished writing a chapter, I’d go back to the outline and write out a description of the scenes I’d actually written. The outline was a guideline, at best. If something more cool came up while I was writing, I’d go with that instead. Quite frequently what I planned on writing in the next chapter I wouldn’t get around to writing until 2-3 chapters later.

The proposal gave me a good starting place for this novel. Those first three or four scenes kind of write themselves. But as I’m thinking about it, dreaming about it in my completely exhausted state, I realized that I needed more plot, more structure to support the story. And subplots, that I vaguely hinted at in the proposal. I got an insight tonight on how to weave one of those in. (So very, very cool. I love my brain and how it comes up with things.)

So I’ve decided to plot Zydeco Queen the same way I plotted my last novel. Write the first chapter, then write the outline of what I just wrote, as well as the outline for the second chapter. Then write the second chapter, start plotting out the third chapter — rinse and repeat.

I’m still planning on doing the crazy 10,000 words a week thing for this novel. This time for 8 weeks, as I think this is an 80,000 word novel. It was difficult to do this summer, but possible.

Right now I’m planning on typing out my first draft, instead of writing it out by hand then typing it up. Hopefully that will save me enough time to make this not so killer.

Plus, since I’m in a different time zone now, I’m not starting work until noon my time. Which gives me a lot of time in the morning for writing.

Comments (1)

  1. Yay arrival. You had a hard, hard journey, but now you’re there.

    Wherever there is. I’ve been to New Orleans once, as a child, and for me, it’s a city viewed through car windows that I had to look up to see through, and then through hotel windows that I looked down to see through, a city with people playing music on the street, a city where my parents had fun and then fought, a city where we kids had fun and then got in trouble. My dad hates that trip in retrospect; I still remember it as a lot of fun. I can even remember some of the educational stuff from touring Andrew Jackson’s mansion during the trip.

    — This may not seem like much of a comment on your post. You sent me into reminiscence-land, always an easy journey for me to start, not always an easy journey to cut short.

    Good luck telling the stories you have in mind. I look forward to reading them.

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