March 14th, 2012


Building the Process

One of the surest signs of spring, even more so than the first appearance of bluebonnets or the arrival of daylight savings time, is when I start voluntarily leaving the house, even when I don't have a commitment or obligation. Last week, I went out three times when I didn't have to, and I've done the same this week. Though I suppose the grocery shopping falls between obligation and want. Food is important, but I wouldn't starve without a grocery trip. I just wouldn't have very exciting meals with what I had on hand before the shopping. But now I've done a good stock-up at the general-purpose store and at the store where I get most of my produce, and I won't have to do serious shopping again for a while. I also don't have to leave the house again the rest of this week, unless I really want to. There's no choir tonight, and no dance Thursday, which is probably good because this is being a bad knee week. There's just something about March that makes my knees ache, so I'm trying to take it easy and stay off my feet for a while.

Something I did yesterday in a fit of procrastination may end up being a big breakthrough for me. Now that I have feedback from my beta readers, I'm doing another pass on the book. It seems I erred on the side of caution in avoiding infodumps, but that left the "world" of the book and how it works a little unclear, so I'm going through the book, looking for ways and places to weave in this information. While I was putting off starting by listing what I could do in the opening scene, I decided to find the theme song for the scene. I do usually put together some kind of "soundtrack" for a book -- the songs that remind me of characters or situations -- but I hadn't tried finding the theme for each scene. Going through that exercise made me really think about what my character is going through in that scene, and that allowed me to layer in some additional emotion. I liked the result so much that I started doing that for each scene, and it's amazing what I've discovered so far. There's a lot of stuff I hadn't really tapped into or that hadn't occurred to me. I'll have to add this to my process. I seem to learn something new with each book I write. A few more books and I might even be good at this.