All the balls are in the air...

This photo is like the map that I wrote out for my new novel yesterday...all the balls are in the air, hovering, barely contained in little coherent spheres of thought.

I took my friend Robert's advice and went off line and into a different room, and wrote long hand all the possible threads and connections for my novel. At one point I had about five entirely different ways the story could go. After a few hours, I made Jeff my human sounding board and bounced ideas off of him, testing what worked and where my logic failed. After about an hour I asked him if he was alright and he said, "no, I'm exhausted, how do you do this all day?" which I have to say made me feel really good. It validated that I am not crazy or lazy for sometimes feeling like I have pulled an all nighter after a day of writing. I often think that I just need a stronger cup of coffee or a multi vitamin or something, but the look on Jeff's face and the way he pleaded with me to just stop for the day and give it a rest, let me know that I am not completely crazy. Partly crazy for sure, how else could I love doing this?


robert e said...

hey gina, way to go for getting down to it! there's no doubt about it, it's a grueling, grind it out existence somedays, locked in and alone (but just the act of it is strangely rewarding) - I'm interested in hearing more specifics about your mapping process - is it as you describe here, like free form thought-bubbling? or do you have a structure to it? does it relate to the needs / wants that you mentioned earlier?

Also, you mention being stuck in your latest post, which, of course, is pure unadulterated hell, but the good thing I find is that a breakthrough is usually just on the other side of it - it's some kind of universal law -the harrowing question is, when the &$^% will I get to the other side?

I'm not in any way a novelist but I like your thoughts of shifting the POV, esp. from first person to mother - seems compelling to me, to see that relationship from both sides - esp. interesting in the different time-frames your working with, to have them informing on one another

and, hey, what better way to deal with stucked-ness than the open road, wine, and desert?


Gina Sorell said...

Thanks Robert! I really appreciate the encouragement!

My mapping does tend to be a combo of writing and drawing. Drawing in the sense that I circle my words around a theme or they shoot off in arrows from a main plot point, but there is definitely a visual component that helps me to see what I am doing and where I am going with it.

Being stuck is hell. Just absolute hell. But I am now going to hold you to your theory that there is a breakthrough and not a breakdown around the corner! Hee hee.

I think the switching p.o.v. thing may work too, but I am also just really tempted to rewrite the whole thing in 3rd...but I think that would be chicken, so I'll just keep plugging away!

Stay tuned! And happy writing yourself...or should I say scary writing :)

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