I am really starting to hate 8:30 am.
8:30 is the arbitrary time that the dogs and my body have conspired to be the latest I can sleep, no matter how late I stayed up the night before. In bed at midnight? Up at 8:30. Finally getting around to going to bed at 4? Up at 8:30.
I’m not complaining. I learned that lesson when I tried to complain to Sis, and she started mocking me. “I wish I could sleep ’til 8:30. I wish I could go back to bed, and then get up at 8:30!”
I don’t know what it is about Sundays that makes me feel all shy and tired. Yesterday was spent in hiding. Yes, I could blame it on sinus problems that caused my entire face to hurt from the inside, but really, that came after I decided not to go to church.
This morning, I found a text on my phone from a member of the bishopric asking if I was coming to church. Whoops.
The sinus thing, and the generic Sudafed I took to allow me to breathe at all kept me up to the wee hours. Late enough that I caught myself narrating my life again:
“The slight breeze carried the sickly sweet smell of glaze from the donut shop. Life had settled down, to the point where all was quiet. I decided that I needed to take the dogs out one last time before it got too late. Max ran down the stairs–unusual for him, not matter how neglected the chance for a walk is. Lulu paused on the second floor landing, sniffing at a rail on the balustrade. Even I, with my weak human senses could see where a dog had marked. Odd–I didn’t think there was a dog on that floor. Was it Max? That’s not the kind of place he would normally mark…”
I decided that rather than simply narrate, I should be doing some writing. After getting a few paragraphs down, I figured I better work on my story. Which meant that I needed to review what I had written the last time I was up in the wee hours of the morning writing.
Long story short, I kept a single page. And that…well, I’ve decided that I want to tell that part of the story from a different point of view, so it’s more just reference material now.
I’ve been thinking about the advantages and disadvantages of going back to school. Pretty much constantly for the past little bit, as this blog can well attest. One thing that’s moved from the disadvantage column to the advantage column is the idea of elective classes. I realized that I could take creative writing courses, to hopefully help focus my writing, and help me with the all-important plot. I love my characters, and I feel like I know them like my best friends–better, actually, because I created them, their personalities, strengths, weaknesses, and I even know the secrets that they would never dream of telling another soul. I just don’t know what they are doing. I know how they interact with each other, but I don’t know why.
And these are kind of important things to figure out if I’m ever going to be an author.
I’ve been struggling the past few days. I haven’t been sleeping well, so during the day I’m tired, slightly dizzy and headachy, and above all, apathetic.
I’ve been trying to write, in fact, today that’s about all I did, but everything I turned out was rubbish. I just can’t get the amazing characters in my head onto paper–although I’ve discovered that I do better if I write in a notebook first, then leave it alone for a few days, then input it into the computer. This has the added benefit of when I get frustrated, I can tear out the paper, wad it up, and throw it across the room (Max only brings it back half the time). That’s much more satisfying than just hitting the ‘delete’ key.
I think maybe my problem is that I spend too much time developing characters, and not enough time on plot. I get a basic scenario figured out, but not a climax or an ending, so I have a hard time figuring out where to go. I don’t really go for big, complicated outlines, but at the same time, I’m far from a discovery writer.
So, my goal for the next little while is to work on plots. When I think about it, it’s not really surprising that conflict climax are what I struggle with–I don’t like drama in real life, and even when I’m watching TV, and things get too…I’m going to use the word embarrassing, for the characters, I’ll change the channel.
I know I have a few other writers who read this blog (I’m not sure how comfortable I feel about calling myself a writer, but that’s the ultimate goal) so I’m asking for some advice–how do you get over your own personal dislikes and hang-ups to make your story better? And please don’t say embrace them to give your characters personality. Drama is what moves the plot along, and drama is what I tend to avoid. Basically, if I were to have written the Wheel of Time saga in the state I am now, it would be less Dumai’s Wells, and more washing silk.
And nobody wants that.