Friday, November 12, 2010

Nano Update and an opportunity for Mark

What I'm writing: In the Shadow of Olympus
What I'm reading: Grilling Season by Diane Mott Davidson
What I'm knitting: Double-knit mittens

Nano is flying by and my fingers are flying along with it. I'm up over 30,000 words now. I'm really liking my story and my characters so that makes it easier to write (of course). I thought I had worked out how the story would progress (though I've already radically changed it twice), but just today I thought of a different route to take that I think I'm going to go with. One character who was supposed to be a friend is now going to be an avowed enemy. One enemy is now going to be, while not exactly a friend, at least somewhat helpful. And one character who I hadn't even plotted is now going to be a good friend. Who knew?? LOL

Yesterday, being Veteran's Day, Mark and I had the day off. I asked him in the morning if he wanted to do anything, and he just gave me the 'you should already know what I want to do' look, so I took him to Watertown and dropped  him off at Dr. Guitar while I hit the mall and a craft store. We got back home in time for me to make an early supper and get some cleaning done. Later, when we were having supper, Mark's guitar instructor, Ben, called. He asked if Mark could be back at Dr. Guitar by six to be in a local commercial for the store. Um... yeah.

We had to leave right away since it takes almost an hour to get there, but Mark was excited, so I wouldn't have dreamed of telling him no. We got there in plenty of time. Mark was handed a beautiful white Epiphone electric guitar to play. He was seated in an aisle on a stool just playing the guitar for a half hour or so. Another of Ben's students was across the store playing an acoustic guitar. Others were wandering the store as 'customers.' As for me and the parents of the the other student (a lovely couple who had just moved back to NY from Hawaii), we tried valiantly to hide in a corner. The cameraman told us once to walk around, so now I'm just really, really hoping I don't end up in the commercial.

Anyway, Mark loved it. He got to be in his favorite place in the world (for the second time in one day), he got to play guitar, and he was filmed. What more could an aspiring guitar player/builder want?

I can't wait to see the finished product. I don't know when it will be shown, but it's also supposed to be uploaded to the internet, so when it is, I'll drop a link here.

They had cookies for everyone once it was over. I told Mark his first professional gig and he got paid with cookies. LOL.


  1. Good for Mark! And he got PAID. Now he's a professional, lol.
    I'd love to talk with you sometime about how you envision the path of your story. Clarity of plotting has always escaped me, and I feel the lack.

  2. B,
    I think clarity of plotting escapes everyone at times. I find I really have to push myself to think beyond the first few chapters or in a broader sense than 'this is where I want the book to go.'

    With the MG book I'm writing for Nano, I knew I wanted it to start with a homeless boy in the Civil War era who is kidnapped to another place. My first attempt at a plot outline took the story very dark (human slavery, murder, etc) - and while there's nothing wrong with that, it just didn't feel right and was, truthfully, full of holes I'd have to backpedal to fill.

    The second inception was better but it still nagged at me as not quite right. It didn't feel authentic to the story.

    So I wrote and got to know my characters and my world. When I wasn't writing, I was thinking, and testing alternatives, and discounting most of them. It wasn't until I wrote in a character who I hadn't even planned for, that I figured out the final concept - in bits in pieces - over several days.

    The new idea for the last third (or so) of the book will more surely cement the idea of racism both in the historical world the book begins in and the fantasy world where it ends up. It'll be a catalyst for more growth from my MC than any other story arc would have been, and, I think, will make a more satisfying ending.

    We'll have to talk more about plotting sometime!

  3. Hey, Amy - congratulations! Your progress with NaNo is astounding. I'm simply on-target, nothing spectacular, but I'm sure having fun. I like what you said about how your story keeps changing. I've noticed the same thing happening with my story and characters. I had NO idea when I began writing that my story would take on a whole new life of its own and the characters lead me in the direction they seem to want to go.

    The story is about two doctors and their very different relationships with God. The bulk of the story has changed location completely to a place I barely knew existed with a humanitarian organization I'd never heard of - MSF! I'm slowed down considerably with writing because I have so much to research as I go.

    I'm so excited about what I'm writing, but I'm sure slow compared to you. Your story sounds very interesting and I can hardly wait to read your book! Go, girl, go. Write. Write. Write.

    And congrats to Mark. He must be so excited. Maybe this is just the beginning of many good things to come.


  4. Jackie,
    On target is great- especially considering all the research you have to do. I love that your characters are teaching you something and changing their story as they go.

    Believe me, if I hadn't spent a good chunk of time in October researching, I'd be much slower now. Even as it is, I'm often writing by the seat of my pants and thinking, "I'll have to research that when the first draft is done." So I'll have tons of research and rewriting once I get down to the actual editing.

    Getting excited about your writing is truly the high that keeps us continuing on, so I'm so glad you found it with this book. I'd love to read yours sometime - if you need an extra set of eyes to look at it when it's done, let me know!

    With Mark, I have a saying, "If it's gonna happen to anyone, it's gonna happen to Mark." He's one of these people who just seem to attract strange energy - good and bad. The laundry list of why Mark's been to the Emergency room is long and varied (someone fell less than 2 feet off a set of monkey bars and snapped a bone in their leg - has to be Mark; while someone was trying on school clothes at the mall he got such an allergic reaction he was rushed to the ER?, yup, that's Mark, etc). But it's also the good things: He's won money from a Captain Crunch contest, won the last 50/50 drawing he put his name into, got invited onto a commercial, etc. So, yeah, if it's happening to someone, it's happening to him.

    I often wonder what causes one person to have such experiences/luck. Perhaps it's a good idea for another novel? Hmmmmmmmmm...