Sunday, November 16, 2008

Almost There

Are we there yet? Seriously, I think so. I am within three chapters of the end of my latest revision to Ninth Wave, and I'm taking it to the Moxie meeting tomorrow. Ultimately, if they only get to skim the rest, it'll be okay, since the lady who critiqued it for me is going to review it again also. She emailed me edits with page numbers and everything, and that has been very helpful. Her insight is amazing.

Friday night I was still struggling with a tricky dilemma, trying to figure out how to rewrite a part where the logic of a decision my heroine made was under question. Basically, the request was, "show us more of why she made this decision." At first, I wasn't sure I could show it in any more detail than I had already done, but when push came to shove, I had to find the answer. I brainstormed it and got to a certain point, rewrote the chapter in question to the point where my logic left off, and then got stuck briefly. I slept on it, let it percolate...and was still stuck. I was at the point where I needed the rest of the answer, and had no idea how to logic it out, so I just...appealed to the muse, I guess. I decided to trust the process and not think too hard, and just see what happened. And, like the magic it is, the answer came as I was writing. It just flowed from somewhere, through my subconscious and out through my fingers, and when it was done, the logic was good. It made sense. It held together. And it not only deepened a point of conflict that my agent had wanted deepened before, but it also cast new light on an important relationship in the book, not to mention my heroine and her past and motivations.

Sometimes you can't mug the muse. Sometimes you just have to ask for what you want, and then trust that it will be there when you need it. The subconscious is a powerful problem solver, and our subjective experiences add up to more than the sum of their parts. That's where the real magic starts.

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