Tuesday, August 09, 2005

On Walden Pond

Okay, so I have, at long last, finished a draft of "I Did (But I Wouldn't Now)." I am now frantically trying to figure out how to make the book better because I fear it totally stinks in its current form. My husband tells me this is a good sign, because I typically feel terrible about all my drafts, which is what causes me to spend time revising. Revising, by the way, is completely key to any sort of creative writing endeavor. Thank god for the cut/paste functions of Word.

Someone asked me the other day if I would ever want to go to a cabin and write my novel on a typewriter. I guess this is the romantic view of writers, or something, but to me it sounds god awful. First off, I don't do well in cabins. Especially those without indoor plumbing. I am not an outdoors-girl, unless by outdoors you mean an outdoor mall with a Nordstrom's and a Starbucks. First, there are bugs. Second, did I mention the bugs? Third, there's that whole going-without-a-shower-think. Um, no thanks. I'm not European.

And a typewriter - ack. I make enough typos that the drafts would be close to unreadable. Not to mention, the typewriter (unless you do the carbon copy thing) means that you have only one draft of your writing, the project that took you months to create while having only a steady diet of beans and mosquitoes. I have literally four copies of my drafts on three different computers at all times. I'm not going to end up like the professor in Wonder Boys, where my life's work goes flying off into a lake.

Not to mention, I don't know how you do revisions with the typewriter thing. You write them out by hand? You retype the ENTIRE thing? Even thinking about it gives me a headache. I may hate the Word Paperclip Guy, but I'd take him over White Out any day.

So, speaking of revisions, I ought to get back to them. If you have any outlandish requests for an ending for the main character ("Send her to Thailand!" "Make her discover her long dormant magical powers!" "Have her last words after kissing her soulmate to be: 'I'm going to Disneyland!'" I'm open to suggestions at this point. I realize you have no idea what the story is about, or what the characters are like, but you shouldn't let that stop you. Besides, I suspect my editor would probably take out anything too outlandish, she's pretty much a stickler for practicality that way.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Cara,

It's me Monica :). Your book is probably wonderful in its current form! What are you talking about? Your writing is far from stinking. I wish I had some good advice to give you. Where's Mr. Miyagi when you need him?

I can't stand typewriters. Enough said. Revising on those things is impossible.

I'm sure youe ending will be perfect. Good luck! :)

One of your many fans, Monica

Shannon McKelden said...

Hi, Cara! Just discovered your blog. I've read "I Do (But I Don't)" and "Pink Slip Party" and enjoyed them both greatly. Have "Dixieland Sushi" on my bedside table ready to read soon. We share an agent, and back when I first signed on with Deidre a couple of years ago, she recommended "I Do," and she was right!

Great to discover your blog, and I'm excited to check out the new book!

Shannon McKelden

Tiffany said...

Hmm...I got it! Heroine visits Southern Pentecostal, no...Charismatic church and gains a new admirer (stalker) in the preacher.

Cara Lockwood said...

Tiffany, excellent work. I'll get to work right away including the Charismatic church in the ending. Do they do the Kool Aid thing or is that just Jonestown?

Hi, Shannon - I love Deidre, don't you? She's the best!

And Monica, bless you! I agree, that Mr. Miyagi would come in handy at moments like these.

Terri B. said...

Of course the aspiring writer in me has questions. And since you are my idol... :o)

Do you become attached to your characters, making it hard to end the story?

About how many pages long is your first draft usually?

Just wondering. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Very cool design! Useful information. Go on! » » »

Anonymous said...

Excellent, love it! » »