Wednesday, December 10, 2008

New "13 to Life" Section--But Totally Out of Order!

So I'm driving back to feed the livestock (yes, a freelance artist and writer's life is a glorious affair ;-) and suddenly this phrase pops into my head:

"Do you trust me, Jess?"

I instantly know which of the boys from "13 to Life" is speaking (no, I'm not telling you yet ;-) in the scene that then begins to emerge (remember I said stories tend to come to me organically--this is one way parts show up). So I park the car and pause to listen to my brain. Sometimes the rest of a scene lays itself out immediately. This time--not so much. So I get out of the car and start hauling water down to the rabbits. In the rain. I switch gears and go into the hay tent (yes, it is a tent still this year). The rain's making that pitter-pattering sound on top of the tent and the cattle have had the courtesy not to make their angry "feed-me-now" noises. The warm tent, scent of hay and sound of rain seem to help. I keep rolling the single phrase around in my head (as I nearly roll hay onto my head). The scene starts to come into focus (for lack of better phrase). It still stutters, stops and rewinds, but the words are coming.

By the time I've fed and watered everyone, I need to pause and jot down the 1st 4-5 tiny paragraphs. Smart girl that I've become, I nearly always have a tiny notebook with me. The trickier part is finding a pencil or pen.

I head to the bank to get answers about a discrepancy I've noticed in a new account. At this point the scene is on "repeat" in the back of my mind, building slowly. One small paragraph gets added in the bank parking lot. Then it's off to pick my son up from pre-school. I'm early, so I open up the tiny notebook, reread what I already have and put pencil to paper. If I was an old-time spiritualist, I'd probably claim I was doing automatic writing. But I'm not. So I free-write ;-).

The last period is placed just as the clock on my dash rolls over to the minute I'd promised myself I'd actually go in so the other mothers don't feel I'm shirking some duty. In the end I have 8 tiny pages--an intimate scene between Jessica and one of the boys just as a major secret's about to be revealed. And I like it. It feels powerful and poignant.

But...

It's TOTALLY not the scene I need to write next on TextNovel.com ! It's a good week away (and that's a rough estimate). So I'm left with the impression the characters are standing at the next part in a relay race, shouting at me to catch up ;-). They're ready to get to the heart of the story and I'm still building and layering... Ugh.

Now all I want to do is race up to that scene, but I've got to maintain self-control--pacing, character-building, a logical plot, it all has to be in place first...

Hope you're anxious to read more of "13 to Life"--I'm starting to have local folks asking me if I've only posted one chapter on any given day--or is more coming? Good for my ego (and to keep me writing).

Take care!
~Saoirse

1 comment:

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