Draft Ten

Here’s a casual writing update, since I was thinking about it.

I thought I was on draft number seven of my latest WIP, April Showers 1921. After yesterday’s writing session, though, I was going through old docs while closing down – browsing the past, if you will – when I realized, wow, this is actually the tenth draft, if you include three false starts.

As I walked yesterday, I looked back on the process of writing this novel. I’d say that the first five or six drafts were about exploring and gasping the concept, characters, and story. A sprawling story, grasping all of its elements and ramifications was difficult. It reminded me of attempting to tell about World War II. So much happened and impacted on other areas, but things needed to be sorted and put into some order that could be followed.

I’d been free-flowing, writing like crazy, with those early drafts, leaping into different aspects of the story, exploring and expanding scenes and anecdotes, hunting for the handle on the characters and relationships. From that came the sense of the story arc, the concept’s fullness, the characters’ complexities, and the beginning and ending.

Each draft was being organized around what had been previously written. The chapters would be cut and slashed, re-written and re-arranged as needed to fit my evolving understanding. Then more was written to expand scenes. Everything was shifted as required to address pacing and coherency.

With the next draft, number seven (or ten, as I see it now) which is the current draft, it finally felt that I was fully in tune with what’s going on. I’ve been rocketing through it. Most of the writing sessions are not long, but intense and explosive. Progress has been strong. As with most of my writing process, regardless of their purpose, my mind continues working on it no matter what I’m doing. It’s not unusual to have an epiphany in a grocery store or while driving the car. Most often, though, as I walk away from the writing day, the muses carry inertia forward, delivering more material for the next day.

It’s fun writing like this, learning the story, telling the story, and feeling it opening up, expanding to include more while contracting to deliver more impact.

Okay, got my coffee, and ass in chair. Time to write like crazy again, at least one more time.

Sunday’s Theme Music

Walking yesterday, I felt terrific, one of those times when you smell the air and look around at everything and think, what a wonderful life. It’d been an excellent writing session. That was parlayed into a long, energetic walk. Along the way, I streamed multiple songs.

The song that resonated the most is a Ben Howard song, “Keep Your Head Up” (2011). These particular lyrics charmed me:

Now walking back, down this mountain,
The strength of a turnin’ tide.
Oh the wind so soft, and my skin,
Yeah the sun so hot upon my side.
Oh lookin’ out at this happiness
I searched for between the sheets,
Oh feelin’ blind, I realize,
All I was searchin’ for, was me.
Oh oh-oh, all I was searchin’ for was me.

Oh yeah, keep your head up, keep your heart strong.
No, no, no, no, keep your mind set, keep your hair long.
Oh my, my darlin’, keep your head up, keep your heart strong.
Na, oh, no, no, keep your mind set in your ways.
Keep your heart strong.

h/t to songmeanings.com

Take a listen and see if you get charmed. Cheers


Dark and Stormy Dreams

Last night was a serene, cool night but wild storms were on the dream menu.

One dream began with me outside, on a worn but mostly green hillock. I think I was in a park, as copses of trees grew around open spaces and statues.

Although bright afternoon blue associated with summer was overhead, dark clouds gathered, moving in like they were answering a whistle. People, including me, were anxious. Talking persisted all around me. All were strangers, though, and I couldn’t understand exactly what they were saying.

I was thinking that I needed to get inside and safe before the storm broke but I was worried about my friends and family. I was also puzzled; I didn’t see any of them but I was certain that they’d been with me. Looking for them, I became frantic as the temperature dropped and the clouds darkened into a fresh charcoal briquette darkness.

I started walking fast. Others were running. Growing drumming like a drum and bugle corp was approaching announced the storm’s beginning. Lightning licked from north to south in long and spectacular prolonged, brilliant slashes, captivating and frightening me. With a sharp suddenness, a wind howled through, knocking me over. After rolling and tumbling, I struggled against the wind to stand.

I heard rain hammering the ground. A deluge like a fire hose was being sprayed began. As lightning struck trees and thunder shook the air and explosions boomed, the wind tossed and slammed me, eventually shoving me against a tree trunk. Arching with pain, soaked and cold, I managed to hang onto the tree as the wind tore my clothes and hair. I was shivering with cold and fear.

With lightning striking everywhere around me, I thought, I can’t stay here. I need to get out of here. Nothing was visible for the heavy rain and dim light. I didn’t know where to go. Desperate for movement, I struck out blindly.

The wind drove me forward and then lifted me. I tried grabbing the ground but the wind took me on a ride toward the trees. As I spun and spotted the looming branches, I was sure that I was going to be impaled and killed, but the wind carried me above the trees.

In seconds, I was out of the storm. The wind calmed but still carried me. Feeling its energy dissipating, I was sure I was going to plummet to the Earth and die. As I looked down to see where I’d land and  what I could do about it, I realized that I was over the storm, and flying above it. 

A cat hissing awoke me then. Scrambling out of bed to confront the situation, I saw that Boo was telling Papi that he couldn’t come in through the pet door. Boo ran out of the room and down the hall and Papi sallied in. Since I was up, I went to pee and think about the vivid dream, as my mind stayed wrapped in it.

It’d been a shockingly vivid dream.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: