Sunday, February 22, 2009

Learning More About Myself and How I Write

When I lost eight chapters of the book I'm working on, I was devastated. I used the Search tool on the computer but couldn't come up with anything. I'd about decided to forget the whole thing as I was sure I couldn't reconstruct what had disappeared into cyberspace.

Then I remembered that I had an off-site back-up. All I need to do was figure out how to use it and find what I'd lost. That took a long time. I'm slow to catch on to all this new-fangeled computer stuff. But, finally, I found and restored it, all but the last two scenes I'd written. They are gone forever.

I had big plans to rewrite them the very next day--but one thing after another happened and I couldn't get to it. I tried again the next day. Realized I had to go through everything I'd already written to get up to speed and of course there were lots of interruptions while I was doing that. By the time I actually had time to write, my heart wasn't in it.

What I was able to do, though, was jot down what I knew the next scenes were about.
What's complicated about this book, and all the Rocky Bluff P.D. books, is there are multiple points of view--things are happening to different people at the same time.

When my son-in-law was a police officer what he thought was the biggest flaw in books about police work and TV shows was that they don't work on one case at a time. Lots of stuff is happening all the time. And while stuff is happening at work, stuff is also happening with the families. Both affect each other. That's what I'm trying to show in this series.

Another thing, that my first reviewer didn't get, and I'm not sure why, is that each scene is from a different view point character and the narrative is essentially that character's thoughts and feelings.

No matter how much I wanted to recreate those missing scenes today, when it got to be afternoon, I just couldn't do it. As Scarlett said, "There's always tomorrow."

Just to give you an idea of the kind of interruptions I had:

My fax quit working and I was supposed to send a fax to a bookstore about consignment for books I'll be selling at a conference.

Got an email from the conference that my handouts for classes I'm giving were needed this weekend--the classes were not the first ones I was asked to do, so had to write new handouts.

My daughter-in-law's mother and step-father arrived for a surprise visit (her birthday is this Sunday) unfortunately my daughter-in-law didn't plan to be home all day. Called d-i-l and spoiled surprise but thought she ought to know since they'd come from a long ways away. She said she'd call them--but their cell phone doesn't work up her in the foothills. Sent husband out to find them and give them a message of where and when to meet daughter.

A young man arrived to do some weed-whacking but husband wasn't home to give him instructions so I had to do it.

That's the way it goes around here most of the time. It's a wonder I get any writing done at all.

That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

Marilyn
http://fictionforyou.com

1 comments:

Mayra Calvani said...

Oh Meredith, that's absolutely awful! I've that happened to me at least twice, years ago, but since then I always keep backup in a memory stick.