What was that certain extent? I fell in love with my characters. How about that, friends and neighbors?
Oh, that's not to say this is a new thing for me. I've created a good number of characters I've fallen in love with. What happened this time is that I fell in love with ALL of my main characters and major supporting characters, not just loving some and liking others.
There are other bit players in the book, of course, and they play their part. The thing is, I can actually see stories about them, because I do like them. I could love them. I wonder how common it is for a writer to truly love all of the main players on stage? In his book "On Writing," Stephen King mentioned the difficulty in developing real sympathy for his character Carrie White from the novel Carrie.
His wife helped him at least come to an understanding.
What I'm now hoping will happen is that I can bring the love and respect from the last half of the book, the point I fell in love, right into the first during Draft Two. We'll see what happens, because we're coming down to the wire to start this thing.
Which reminds me.
I'll be starting draft two at a bed and breakfast in Eureka Springs Arkansas, not at my residence in Irving Texas. I booked this opportunity weeks ago. I'm even going to treat myself to a massage, big surprise. But I'm not just going up there for ceremony (or the massage). I'm going to tour the area, get a real sense of the local color and speech patterns and an overall feel of that part of the great state of Arkansas.
Wow. I'm really looking forward to it, too. I'm hoping to meet my friends Chris and Colleen up there for at least part of one day since they live so close. It would be great to catch up a little and take a break from the writing. Not that I would really need one in this case. I have no doubt that I could go up there and write for hours and hours at a time, day in and day out, and love every minute of it.
But I won't write like gangbusters there, because anything I can to do to know this beautiful part of the country and the amazing people who live there will be time well spent. I may only finish Chapter One in the five days. And that's okay. When I get back here to my apartment the marathon can begin. There, I can hop on the back of the horse and ride the plains at breakneck speed.
This time, though, I'll sit on a saddle and hold the reins in my hands.
And take time to think this time around. Because, since I put the emotion into draft one, here is where I have to pull everything together. The old saying that "emotions are chaotic while the intellect is cruel" comes into play here.
I don't yet know if it will play out this way, but I'm thinking that since the characters took over Draft One (chaos), then I seize control here and take that ol' horse where I want it to go (cruel). I won't beat it. I won't break it, in the sense that a cowboy would break a horse's spirit to make it easier to ride. I'll be kind within the context of the intellect, but like Tom Booker (Robert Redford), did to the horse Pilgrim in the movie "The Horse Whisperer," I'll work hard, hard, hard, to get it gentle again, because while he turned the horse back over to Grace (Scarlett Johansson), I want to turn my book over to the world.
And if I'm fortunate enough for that to happen, it needs to be the best tale it can be.
I haven't said what kind of story it is, have I?
I don't know what the industry will call it, but to me it's, "A Southern Paranormal Romance with a dash of Murder Mystery."
Stay tuned for next week, my last entry before I venture to Arkansas.