I've been working on building a website over the past few days. I have an ambiguous idea of what it should look like and what it needs to accomplish. I want it to look clean and be user friendly. It took me two days of a lot of hard work to finally figure out a look I liked. Now, of course, I have to put in all the data, and there is A LOT of data.
I got to thinking about how building it was a lot like writing. I always write romance, so have a basic idea of the skeleton of all my books: H/H meet, there's conflict, they overcome, fall in love and live HEA.
That's pretty bare-bones.
So I consider either an idea or a character. For "Now That We've Found You", written from a writing prompt in one of my groups, I had certain parameters to meet: I had a list of astronomical words that had to be included in the story. Interestingly enough, most of them ended up edited out in the final version, because I cut off the whole original first scene that included most of them. But the words? They gave me a dinosaur (one of the words!) crazed character and a setting -- The Smithsonian -- and added on to the skeleton.
For one of my recently contracted stories, "A Christmas Curse", I knew I wanted to write a Christmas story, and so I sat down and wrote every single thing I could think of that's associated with Christmas, no matter how silly. And silly is what came out of it. I loved writing this story, because I got to dream up ways to torture my heroine -- both in her present and in her past.
I am not a plotter, exactly, though I usually know how my stories will end by the time I've written ten or twenty pages. At that point, I'll write the final scene and give myself somewhere to go. IMHO, if you know the ending, that's half the battle.
But things can change. I knew, KNEW beyond a shadow of a doubt who my villain was in the mystery I'm almost finished with. He was a slimeball and I wanted him to get what was coming to him -- and he did in the ending I wrote. But I got about 35,000 words into the story and thought, "Yanno, everyone is going to know he's the slimeball doing all this bad stuff, and that's just not cool. I need another villain. Someone who flies under the radar." And, POOF!, a new character was born more than two-thirds of the way through the book. I've managed to layer this person in, hopefully without making it too obvious. More flesh on the skeleton.
I love creating things -- from websites, to stories, to meals in my kitchen (no, I never follow a recipe as written... where's the fun in that?). My DD asked me the other day how I became a writer, and I told her I figured I was born one. It's the only thing I've returned to over and over, despite walking away now and then.
Speaking of my DD... she came up to me last night crying. When I asked what was wrong, she said she didn't want to grow up, that she wanted to be cute. I told her she was cute, and she shook her head and said she was too old to be cute. I countered with, "I'm cute and I'm forty!" and she said, crying even harder, "You're not cute, you're PRETTY."
I'm still not sure if I was complimented or insulted...
Pillar Place is very quiet. All swallowtails are cooking and should be done in ten days or so. Otto is still my only Monarch -- but he looks like a Monarch pillar now -- before he was just sort of see through with a black head. Now he has the little black lines and green body he should have. He's still only about 3/4" long, but he's managing to eat through the leaf now instead of just munching the top layer.
I'm going to have to separate him from the others, though, as apparently the larger pillars find the new babies a great snack.
|You are Totally Realistic|
"Romance" means you're about to roll your eyes
Seriously, you can do without the sap or drama
Save it for someone who has nothing really going on in their relationship
For you, love is real - and easily integrated into your life
You don't need candles, flowers, or chocolates to know he's the one
Just some stimulating conversation... and maybe a great smile.
Oddly enough, they're really quite right! I'm very much a realist IRL. I wonder if that's why I prefer romance and escapism for my entertainment...