On the sidebar I have a list of the categories into which my blog posts are supposed to fit. There is an abundance of “Uncategorized” … because I haven’t gone back to label all of them.
Bleeps, Blooper, and Outtakes …
In alphabetical order, the first category is BBO. So much of what I put in a book draft or a journal entry are BBO’s. Some are me attempting to be funny and others are me and my alter-ego … the powerful voice of my mother, still having fun.
My characters are funny gals, adventurous or wild femme fatales, and those confused or lost little women … who might find themselves in any of my stories doing who knows what.
To wit … Bleeps, Bloopers and Outtakes … are me changing my mind. Me… revising, editing, rewriting, and vanquishing pieces of or whole stories to my personal slush pile.
I truly need to do something with my girls. I don’t want them to go through life thinking they have no place in women’s fiction because they are comatose about their journey.
Ramblings is a category and the original name of this blog. Ramblings and Random Thoughts are very close … like kissing cousins. I try to imagine my mother’s face and her reaction to this strange pastime.
For instance … how on earth would I explain to my mother what I am up to this time?
“Listen to me young lady. I’d better not find out that blog is a nasty word or you’ll get it good.”
Google describes The Blog as an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer.
For today relax and follow me into organized chaos.
“I’ll give you chaos. Just wait until your father gets home.”
Random Thoughts …
The moments I share about my family and friends … are my perception … my reality. And if the truth as others saw it is not the same, and if like an eye witness, I am not totally accurate in my recollection …. sue me.
Between the Brooklyn docks and the town of Poughkeepsie on the Hudson River, I’ve met dozens of marvelous characters, fodder so rich, how could I avoid using them?
I think of the disclaimer on The Naked City and Dragnet in the early days of television drama …the names have been changed to protect the innocent.
If you look on the copyright page of most fiction books you will see a similar statement. No resemblance to anyone living or dead I have ever known, now or ever, I do so swear.
I could leave them alone, write about someone else’s family and avoid law suits and death threats. But that’s no fun.
If any person, living or dead, sees themselves in any of my characters, now and until the hour of my death, amen … get over yourself.
fOIS In The City is mostly fiction. So I am allowed to exaggerate, embellish, and wax melodramatic about anything at all.
“And if you tell tales out of school I’ll wash your mouth with soap.”
There’s nothing more enlightening than Psych 101
to give yourself the reasons why you and your family are screwed up.
Of course, there are the categories of City Scapes, my happy jaunts to different sites in New York City, Poetry Wednesday, which I have not done for over a year, Radio, a special category for a very special time of my life and there is also …
Flash Fiction …
Flash Fiction is a category I enjoy very much and one I wish to continue. I will be calling for more sentences soon, but first, I’d like to list the three sentences that were not done by December 31st of 2013.
Christi Corbett: Gina scanned the crowded park, searching for the man wearing the agreed upon red baseball cap.
Sheila Seabrook: Jimmy gagged as the smoke pushed further down into his lungs.
Brinda Berry: I walked that ill-advised road without shoes, a water bottle, or a map.
To Plotz or not to Plotz …
Planning an outline of a book, at least for me, does not work well. My stories usually begin with a line, an image or a sound, either remembered from a time in my life, or “stolen” from other sounds and images. Like the prompts I received last year, many stories begin with one sentence, one single image, one thing we love, hate or are drawn to for whatever reasons.
I have writing friends that plan and plot and those who fly by their seats. I have talked to both camps and listened to each explain why there is no other way for them. I’ve even reprinted the two posts from Writers In The Storm on the debate between plotters and pansters.
In the last few weeks, I have worked on two of the books that came from one single thought and grew to over 80 thousand words. There may have been times (as I lamented with Laura Drake) that I regretted flying by my pants … but in truth … there were more times I was unable to work with a structured outline.
In the rewrite of any book, I think all bets are off. My romantic suspense is better than ever. It has gone through edits in the advanced editing workshop of Margie Lawson. I’ve color coded and outlined. I’ve revised and rewritten and came away with one truly wonderful kernel of knowledge.
The story didn’t change at all. The major plot, characters, the murder and how it was solved and many of the sub-plots leading to THE END are exactly the same as the month I madly wrote the entire story.
I do not participate in NanNo …however … there is something to be said for the process.
Does it matter if you have bleeps, bloopers and outtakes? Do we get better when we learn to remove repetitive words and phrases or avoid clichés? Of course we do. Yet, I still believe that the rush of that first draft is the basis for a complete story.
If you don’t stop to second guess, outline, or fill in a grid on Excel, I venture you will have more fun and end up with the same product.
Laura said I was like her friend. Write a book in one month and spend two years editing. How is that different from plotting and planning for two years and retyping the results in one month?
The half dozen or more published writers I read or communicate with via the internet, phone or Facebook and blog, have one thing in common. Whatever story got them an agent, and or publisher, was still edited and revised yet again before it was printed between the boards. Or as Hemingway was quoted as saying … “I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter.”
However you get from that opening line to THE END I truly hope you have some fun along the way. Writing is hard but loving it makes the work worth it all.
I trust you are ready for another eleven months of my categories, ready to give me new sentence prompts, ready to have some fun in The City.
And because we all read to write, pray tell.
What books have you read recently that you would like to recommend?