Writing Update and Faeries

 “The Singer of the Chalice:

This Singer holds the Chalice from which a rainbow of energies pours like the richest wine…

Patience…is a joyful, loving willingness to wait for a process to bring us to where we want to be.  It contains trust and love and a special quality of expectant gratitude within it.” from The Faeries Oracle by Brian Froud.

It has not gone unnoticed by me that I haven’t mentioned how my WIP has been coming along.  There is a very good reason for my silence.  Namely, discussing anything positive regarding my writing process  tends to be as curse-inducing as walking under ladders,  breaking mirrors,  opening umbrellas inside, or muttering the name of that Scottish Play.

But as I start the third draft, I thought it would be fun (and hopefully safe) to mention what has changed along the way.

1. the title:  Unfortunately, “I Remember Jacqueline” had to go because my main character simply is not a Jacqueline.  Jackie exists…just not in this story.  So that title is being put on hold for now.

2. time period:  At first my murder/reincarnation story was going to take place in the early 19th century New England and the Jazz Age.   The 1920s didn’t fit for this story- that’s Jacqueline’s time.  So now the story is taking place in the early 19th century and modern day Berlin.  (the fact that the author is also living in Berlin is surely a coincidence)

3. the killer’s identity in modern day Berlin.  The person who I thought dunnit- most certainly did not!

4. my characters’ names.  Heroine of 19th century has changed her name at least eight times.  I have honestly lost count.   Surprisingly, heroine of today-Berlin has only changed her name four times.  Thus far.

5.  Berlin love interest dude still does not know what his name is.  Poor guy.

But like the faery card I chose today (or which chose me), I am being open to these changes.  It is in their very unwillingness to be captured- that my characters become real to me. 

So today I vow trust on my characters.  A belief that they’re not just sending me on a wild goose chase and giggling at my expense.  That if I listen to them very carefully, I’ll at some point reach The End of their story.

How has your WIP changed?

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Published in: on April 25, 2010 at 10:46 pm  Comments (19)  
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  1. I do massive structural work on 1st edit, then systematically pull everything apart and put it back together again over the course of subsequent drafts. The era, locations, characters, and even the plot changes vastly according to how many edits I go through – the most absurd level being reached by my secret agent story, which has resulted in three completely unconnected novels which just so happen to have some names in common.

    It’s interesting that you relocated the story to Berlin, which is one of the few European cities to have been so drastically and completely changed due to the second world war. Was the aspect of change and (arguable) rebirth a conscious or unconscious element? And, if it was deliberate, does the MC go through such a drastic change as the location of the story has?

  2. My head is spinning! But I do the same thing. The good news is that it can work. I pulled apart my last two books and they ]’ve actually sold in the new forms.

    BTW: I’m blogging from a new location. Just moved my blog yesterday. http://margueritebutler.blogspot.com/

    From now on you’ll see my name as Marguerite in your comments. I’ve missed you guys.

  3. Hi Bigwords,

    It sounds like our writing process is very similar. Especially how you mention your plot also changes drastically according to how many drafts you do. I did countless drafts of my last novel, “Portraits of the Living: A Ghost Tale”. The first drafts of that are light years from what it eventually became.

    So I am seeing, and accepting the same is likely going to happen with this WIP.

    As for your question regarding Berlin- it was partly conscious, partly unconscious. Suddenly I saw my character here. It felt right, so I started to think of all the fun possibilities of having Berlin as the locale.

  4. Mary/Marguerite! 🙂

    It’s wonderful to hear from you.

    You’ve been missed as well!

    I’m going to update your new site on my blogroll.

  5. Well, I didn’t change too much in my first draft, except I kept adding stuff, but in this draft (which should be the last one) I have changed a lot of stuff. The basics such as name, location and general plot have remained the same, but certain scenes had to X because they didn’t make sense to me or it was not the way the characters would really act. Had a very sappy movie of the week reconciliation between the MC and his love interest that really needs to go.

    The substitute will be better.

  6. Well, I’m starting to wonder if i have a character I don’t need. It’s not a good feeling because it’ll mean tons of changes. Ponder…

  7. You know how obsessive I get about choosing names. Surprisingly, this has resulted in only one name change in the vampire novel so far. Although it could change again, I’m still not entirely sold on the current name of this character.

    I’m superstitious about talking too much about things like that, too. Most especially when I’m job hunting. I don’t tell anyone about interviews or offers until it’s a done deal because it will surely jinx the whole thing if I do.

  8. Heya Ralfast,

    So do you see most of your story and plot clearly before you start? I tend to see mine in bits and pieces, like a jigsaw puzzle.

  9. Hey Colby,

    I had the opposite problem in Portraits. I had to create a new character, rather than delete one.

  10. Hiya DD,

    I’m obsessive with names, too. I’ve discovered that I don’t really know my character until I have the correct name for them. It’s like they utterly refuse to answer to the wrong one.

  11. No really. Some scenes do come in in sharp focus, but the links between them are harder to come by. I really have to see the scene in my mind before I commit it to paper, although I times I also free-write what feels right.

    A haphazard approach at best, but that is why I write notes while I write, to keep myself focused.

  12. “that Scottish Play” haha, I haven’t heard that saying for awhile, till recently on a episode of Castle.

    As for my writing, the story I’m currently working on, thats slowly getting developed. I keep getting side tracked by blogging and research.

    “The person who I thought dunnit- most certainly did not!” has your story become more like a murder mystery Agatha Christie style or did you change your mind on the killer?

  13. Berlin love interest d00d’s name is Heinrichtenschteinwittenwurg.

    You can thank me later. In the heat of passion, drop the “wurg.” 😉

    Seriously, I know this is going to ROCK!
    But does this mean you’ve reached the end and spun around and rewoven and rewritten already twice??? You are fast. I am soooo uber impressed. (Note use of German word which is better than english in this case.)

    Seriously. 🙂 🙂

  14. Heya Chazz,

    Funny that you should mention Agatha Christie. Because I do have an idea for an Agatha Christie style whodunnit. (but set in the 19th century with some supernatural elements) 🙂

    But for this WIP- it’s simply been a change in the killer’s identity. This story isn’t realy a whodunnit.

  15. Sputsie, the frightening thing about that name is that it looks like it could be a German word.

    I mean, hey, “Geschwindigkeitsbegrenzung” is the German word for speed limit.

    Heinrichsteinwittenwurg can’t be far behind. In fact, you shouldn’t give them any ideas.

    And thank ya muchly for your support and encourgement!

    And yes, über is a delicous word. Much, much better than the above mentioned!

  16. My talent for German knows no bounds. Same for character names, as I’m sure you’ll agree. 😉

    Again, seriously: AWESOME going. You’re tres incredible. Very impressive 🙂 Can’t wait!

  17. I have that sort of problem, I start off with one person in mind but a lot of times it does change

  18. I just ordered The Faeries Oracle by Brian Froud.
    Looking forward to working with it.

    Let’s see, my current WIP has changed because I decided to get rid of one of three major characters. Now I can see what to do with the story. Finally. It’s a short story anyway so didn’t really need three characters for it.

  19. Good luck with your short story, Jenna.

    And I’ll be curious to know what you think of the Faeries Oracle.


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