Monday, August 23, 2010

How Low Can You Go?

The question isn't always how far down you can dig, but how to get there from here. Right? I do think as an author, I can only give what I've got at the present moment. But...there's a certain amount of excavation, a little bit of blood, sweat and tears and a whole lot of living that has to go on in between.

I've been sitting, steeping, thinking and trying to live my life while I go deeper into the skin of one of my characters. It's the youngest of the three POV characters that has given me the hardest time. As everyone knows, characters do come from the deepest parts of our unconscious, but are often a conglomeration of the past, the present and our imaginings in the future too.

When I was told to go back to my work to sit and let it settle in, to marinate for a while...I had no idea what I was missing. Now I know, but I'm still struggling to make what's true and real hit the page in a big way. Today, I hit a bit of pay dirt. My fourteen year old was crying out in my mind as I drove home from the other side of town. "That's MY mother!" Her voice was screaming in my head. Well...darn-it, she's right.

I have no right commenting on HER mother! It's her story. I do have a right to slip into her skin and write it like it's happening. So today...and just for today, the blood was real, my character was seeing it, and boy, oh boy, was she responding to it. By the time I finished, I was crying right alongside her...but damn, it was really her tears that mattered--I was out of the driver seat, letting her take the wheel for a change. I hit pay dirt...and that's where the true feelings lie.

3 comments:

Smileyblueyes said...

I have been waiting for this all summer....let her out!

gael lynch said...

You're the best, Di! I stayed with her, and for about the past two weeks, Caroline's been gnawing at me...so I've been working to get her on the page. The manuscript is changing again...and I hope this time I can take it to the finish line in a way that makes it very real!
Have an opportunity to connect with someone on my other manuscript, so I've been working on that a bit too. It's really too much for me!! Time to regroup and get that done. I'll be back at you with a very different story, I hope! I just love your encouragement!

michal said...

Banana Nut Bread

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