Well a busy week and a half of little writing but much thinking, which as it turned out was very productive. When I did get to the keyboard the dialogue just flowed onto the page. I've started on the second of my regency paranormals, this one is tentatively called The Sailor's Lass. I'm on the second scene and so far so good. I have plotted out the beginning of this one but haven't got much further. The characters didn't care and started without me. Charles, Charlotte's brother from The Soldier's Woman, seems to be much more of a pivotal character than I had ever envisaged.
It was interesting because the characters took up the story as if I had just walked back in on them. I have an idea of where my story was going but now I'm not so sure. The landscape is much richer and the characters are bringing along their friends.
I could say the same thing of the other books I am working on. Yes, I know you not supposed to work on more than one thing at a time, but I have never been able to be so single-minded. The exception being deadlines, where I seal myself into my 'mind palace' and ring the walls with explosive devices. My short 'environmental fairytale' with romantic elements has taken itself off the back burner and plonked itself on my keyboard.
All this activity was triggered by one thing that had been percolating somewhere in the grey folds of my cerebral cortex - dialogue. There comes a point in my storytelling where I can hear and see the characters. This is the point where it becomes necessary for me to document their dialogue. And yes, it is really is documenting what they are saying. For most of the story I am the director, but at these moments I am listening to my characters. At the 2012 Writers Festival Maryline Hume (MD Hume), who writes the Arthurian historical fiction, said she just ran after her characters madly writing down what they were saying. I totally get that.
A strange mix of plodding slowly through the plot and flitting from one exciting adventure to the next.
As a biologist and ecologist I know that all life adapts. Without adapting to changing conditions animals and plants die. Our lives too are never the same. We all grow older, we move from place to place, we have relationships with others, we learn and we adapt to these changes. Sometimes we change so slowly we wake up one morning and we look in the mirror and think "Wow! Who's that?" and I don't mean we have a degenerative brain disease and have forgotten our own faces. What I mean is that we all have this mental image of ourselves. I haven't quite pinpointed mine down but it definitely doesn't equate to the face in the morning mirror. I know for a fact that the real me is much more vibrant and grounded than that person in the reflection. And you know, on a good day that's true.
On a good day I take up my pen, okay keyboard, and dash off a few hundred words. I'm learning to look into that mirror, smile and say "Wow, Good to see you again. Looking good." So what has this got to do with anything? Well, I have finally finished my romance manuscript and submitted it. I finally realized that the reader and writer of romance fiction was part of me. I have adapted. I have become a writer.