so i’m past the first blush of my second draft opening. it’s beginning to look stupid, so i think it may be time to show. at first, i was so excited with how i was able to take the same characters, the same “story,” and retell the opening in a different way, in a way that suited the new focus of the second draft. but now it just looks awful, campy, childish.
when do you show your subsequent drafts? with short stories it was usually pretty clear (i must say i did less “rewriting” and more “editing” in my short stories – smaller changes, word arrangements, cliche replacements). however, this novella second draft required some rather large changes and the new beginning needs to work before i can hope to carry the new stuff through the rest of the draft.
i have two more days in canada. i will fuss with it as much as i can before i return home and then hand it off to be seen.
a new morning, a new page, a new step. the tenacity to invest again. the risk of unveiling. the chance that this work, this story, this relationship, will profit from the spending of my spirit.
this is the crazy, wild hope of birth, of family, of telling stories.
what is the nature of hope? in story, in art, in life?
i am working and working on the new novella opening. one step forward, two steps back. how’s that for a cliche? sometimes i feel on the brink of something “just right” and other times i feel certain i am destined to write the corniest, trashiest, lame beginning ever.
and how do you know really? i mean come on. have you ever gotten dressed in a great outfit to go meet the girls for lunch and then stopped (after carrot cake) to shop at the most adorable boutique only to see yourself in a mirror and wonder, “what was i thinking?”
man…this is tough.
i am using a modified “hero’s journey” to work through my second draft and it’s going really well. i was excited yesterday to discover some new things about my characters as well as turn some first draft “telling” into some second draft “scenes.” of course every now and then i am certain that i am only writing horse shit…but then i hit a moment of story rush and hope springs eternal.
i can’t complain. (besides my new neice is utterly adorable)
i’m in canada to see my new niece. but because of some hospital mumbo jumbo, i cant go see the baby until 3pm. so it looks like i have the morning to myself.
so of course i’m thinking – time to write!
now i told you that i got some fantastic notes from a script-doctor friend of mine. wow. i mean i knew she was good, have watched her in action and raved about her to others, but let me tell you how awesome it was to have her let her loose on what my story needed. suddenly i have something to press against, something to help frame my next steps. she is tough and she is strong and she is just the ticket if you really care to move it on up!
anyway, armed with her notes and my 12 hours of air-travel-steno-pad-scribbling i find myself ready to arrange my notes on 3X5 cards and plan my second draft. the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing through the open windows and kelowna is mine for the morning.
from my opening blog:
“stories make sense of my life. they order the beauty and tragedy that surround me. for me, stories are a release and a discovery – an act of faith. writing stories is my wrestle and my rest, the inner place where i go to meet myself and more often than not, if i have told my story truthfully, i have also met god.”
i’m not sure that’s how you spell it, but it’s what my cousins in oklahoma did. they wrastled. its kind of like wrestle, only grittier.
well i been wrastlin.’ wrastlin’ my novella over the past couple of days. the humbling thing is that, even with my empassioned blogging about story, my first draft was seriously short on it.
okay i am actually laughing now. out loud. all alone in my brown chair by the window because there is no way to get a show to opening night without a few really bad, really scary rehearsals. so i am on the right track!
whoda thunk wrastlin’ could be such a damn good thang.
the canal is low
with no breath of rain.
the cicada’s murmur,
while the oaks weep silver moss,
whispering tales of
pirates on a ten year old afternoon,
you in your hat,
me with my pen-
we add to the song of the waters.
i am waiting for my niece or nephew to be born thousands of miles away in canada. it’s my little brother’s baby and since it chose to come today instead of when i get there, i’m playing doula-by-phone. or i will be if they call.
there really isn’t much midwifery i can do from florida. so i wait with open hands and wonder at god’s plan. i am learning to pay attention to when he chooses to let me stand on the sidelines, waiting, watching, the willing presence of my spirit my only gift.
i am also waiting for my husband and son to return from a funeral in west virginia, waiting for our daughter to make an important choice, waiting for my novella to speak to me again.
in these it is the same. my offer is small: to wait. but for the first time i recognize its significance. my spirit, waiting beside in hope, is a power to be reckoned with.