To all of you who gave me pep talks the last couple of days, thank you. I am officially over myself. I am happy to report that yesterday we got the house mostly clean, laundry mostly done, AND I managed to spend an ENTIRE DAY with no in person contact with my boss and only a couple of IMs and emails. It’s miraculous how much less stressed I feel. That woman simply OOZES stress and chaos wherever she goes, and it was really starting to take a toll on me. I managed to get a huge chunk done on the website yesterday, and as she’s out of town today, Monday, and Tuesday, I will finally get to catch up on things.
Order is emerging from the chaos.
In other news, if you have not observed the ass kickage that has been taking place here with the October: Novel Push Initiative, go check out the Week 1 Update. Applause is merited!
And now for the news that has me really excited. I’ve been very vocal about all the trouble I’ve had with my last WIP, specifically with my heroine and not knowing what to do with her. I’ve blogged as her, done tarot readings, done character interviews–and none of it really did a whole lot to move me past this very clinical, academic understanding of her as a person. It didn’t feel like her story, and though Conall’s story is obviously very central to the book, it shouldn’t take over everything, otherwise the heroine is just kind of a prop–which obviously isn’t a good thing.
So last night I was watching the first episode of Wolf Lake. They had a marathon on SyFy yesterday, and I DVRed the whole thing. And as I was watching John search for Ruby, I got to thinking about Marley. The thing that essentially gets her to Chiaroscuro is that she thinks her best friend has disappeared. She’s been out of contact for a week, and that’s just really not like Anya. So the first half of the book for Marley is about finding Anya. But it ends up being kind of not a big deal in and of itself other than the fact that the search embroils Marley in some wolf-shifter politics she knows nothing about that ultimately threaten her life. Part 2 is all about survival. It’s always felt kind of weak to me. So I’m watching John get stonewalled by the people of Wolf Lake, and I remember a conversation that’s had between Conall and Anya after the big reveal when Marley finds out that they are all wolf-shifters. Anya’s been ripping him a new one about what the hell was he thinking getting involved with Marley when they couldn’t have a relationship long term without her life being endangered, and it’s sort of pot/kettle thing. Conall asks her exactly what she had always planned to do regarding their lifelong friendship given that Anya won’t age as Marley will. Anya didn’t have a good answer to that.
But last night I started thinking, well what if Anya’s pack decided to intervene and forced her to not only break things off entirely with her friendship with Marley, but just flat leave that life behind and relocate without a word to anyone. I’m talking leaving her job, her stuff, everything behind. To anyone left behind (aka Marley) it would look very much like Anya just disappeared. So fast forward several months or a year, and finding Anya (who was the closest thing Marley had to family) has become an obsession for Marley. It absolutely raises the stakes and strengthens her motivation for looking for her and for doing anything she can to find her. And suddenly her behavior makes a LOT more sense to me.
It also probably changes the thrust of the story, demands a rewrite of the entire first half of the book up to the midpoint, probably negates one of my major subplots, and leaves me in dire need of a proper villain, but those are just details. The point is that it’s the first actually GOOD idea I have had regarding how to fix this book. Which also does wonders for my funk. So my project for today, other than getting in my daily wad, is to work on my plot worksheet with this new idea in mind to see where it takes me. Oh and that Real Work stuff that needs doing.