Sunday, July 22, 2012

Panic, Uncertainty, Dread, and Bald Spots

It took me over 200 pages, but I think I'm finally getting to know the (new to the series) characters in Sammy Keyes and the Killer Cruise.

Which means I'm having to go back to the beginning before I'm even at the end because I didn't know them when I started and now that I do...well...things have changed.

Maddening!

But it's like I can't fully structure the story until I know the characters' motivations, and I can't fully understand the motivations if I don't know the characters.

And I can't get to know a character in 50 pages!

Well, unless I'm fashioning them after someone I know.

But then they always morph into their own person anyway.

Who do they think they are!

Also, I hate books where a bunch of characters are introduced and you can't really keep track of who's who so you start to gloss over names and pretty soon you don't care who's who. The book becomes a big blur of characters and if it's a mystery you just hope they all get killed off quickly so you don't have to endure glossing over their stupid names any more.

This story has that potential, and since the new characters are all from the same (dysfunctional and very rich) family (the Kensington Family, if you must know) it could get very confusing as to who's who. In other words, I could be writing a book I would totally hate, so I'm having to come up with ways to creatively (and not that obviously) remind the reader who's who.Thankfully, Sammy is good at giving people alternate names. What would I do without her?

Anyway, the point is, I now know these Kensingtons and I'm back at square one, totally ripping up the pages of what I thought was pretty close to final draft and I'm not even done with the rough and the book was due three weeks ago!

So hair is ripping and doubts are creeping and Mark is trying to calm me down, telling me that this is what I always go through when writing a book so why am I panicking?

Panic, uncertainty, dread, bald spots...apparently it's all part of the process. After almost 30 novels you'd think I'd recognize this, but I refuse to believe it has to be this way! If characters would just let themselves be known earlier, if they would quit being so coy and elusive, if they would come out with their inner selves already and not make me have to dig so hard, it would save me so much time and hair pulling!

But no. It's always the same.

Damn Kensingtons.

19 comments:

gabrielle said...

Wow,they sound like a pain In the butt family! Being an author sounds stressful. But,it's worth it when the book is all done. (I'm guessing) :)

gabrielle said...

Wow,they sound like a pain In the butt family! Being an author sounds stressful. But,it's worth it when the book is all done. (I'm guessing) :)

gabrielle said...

Wow,they sound like a pain In the butt family! Being an author sounds stressful. But,it's worth it when the book is all done. (I'm guessing) :)

gabrielle said...

Wow,they sound like a pain In the butt family! Being an author sounds stressful. But,it's worth it when the book is all done. (I'm guessing) :)

gabrielle said...

Sorry for posting my comment so many times. It was acting stupid!

Kylie said...

Yes I totally hate the books and you are like who is this person? And then you go back and search for hours trying to find where they introduced this person and everything about them. So thankfully Sammy has the awesome nicknames she has for people. I am already wondering what the genius names will be this time!

And I think that it is cool that you fashion your characters after people you know. But it isn't like okay (insert persons name here) you are going to be Harold in my new book. It just happens. I think that is awesome!

Ky

Steph said...

Totally laughed at "Who do they think they are!". If you had mafe a question mark at the end of that, I probably wouldn't have found it as funny. But the exclamation made it funny, okay.

And unless the author is Michael Grant, who is strangely talented at killing of his characters, I usually don't expect book characters to get killed off so easily.
Maybe it's because they're more 3 dimensional than movie characters. Which is kind of ironic, since movie characters are actual flesh-and-bones and book characters are just words on papers. But when I'm watching a thriller or horror movie, me and my friends can usually make a list of the order of Which Characters Die and When. (Usually the funny guy dies first, then the nerd, then the cheerleader/stupid-perky-girl...The cool-headed guy always lives).
Anyway, in books I'm usually like, "You may be stupid, but I know you too well, you can't just DIE."
Then Michael Grant makes you love a character, and they end up like, eating their own veins because they're hallucinating into thinking they are Red Vines.

However even if a character in your books annoys me--like Warren, I'm sorry, I know he means well but he's such a tool, lying to his son, leaving him, an then REFUSING TO HELP HIM in his time of need. Even Sammy's dad does a better job at being Daddy then Warren, and Sammy has never even met him.
But like I was saying, if Warren died or something, it would be weird. Or even if, like, Caeser died. He's barely there but if he died it would be...odd.
Which is why when I first read about Mrs Graybill dying a million years ago I was like, "EhMyGaawwdd this is surreeaalllllllll" like, someone from the sixties or something.
But then (Justice Jack spouler alert just in case someone hasnt read it yet since it in new) Wedgewood died and I was like, "So many unanswered questions!!!"
Well, not realky, but I really did love reading about the Wedge. She was gnarly...To put it in annoying surfer guy language (Heather would probably thing "gnarly" is a skateboard term, like "hang ten" LOL).
My comment was more focused on that one little "kill off" line of yours, but a weird side of me loves discussing character deaths so bye.
xoxo

Steph said...

P.S. Excited to read about these "Kensingtons". There is nothing better than watching trouble find it's way to the over-indulged... Please tell me they say words like "smorgasbord", that would be fetching. :)))))

gabrielle said...

I do love the nicknames Sammy gives people. And one time I was telling my friend about the Sammy Keyes series,and I was talking about how when Sammy first saw Casey how she called him Baggy Boy,she thought that was really funny. When she was staying with me I would not stop talking about SK,and I talked ALOT about Sammy and Casey,and of course Heather.

Hilda said...

I never read any of the Sammy Keyes books but it's got me thinking of taking a peek at it. What is the first book called? :)

gabrielle said...

The first book is called Sammy Keyes and the hotel thief.

Kylie said...

Okay I just read the title of this post and it made Laugh. I just love how you put bald spots in there.

Ky

Hilda said...

Thanks Gabrielle. I'll take a look at it. :)

Yusa said...

Wow hard work. This is why i can never finish anything i try to write...
Steph, that reminds me of Bridge to Teribithia but in that they kill the MAIN character so i was crying. Great book, sad story.
The only time Sammy left Santa Martina was to go to Hollywood but in the next two books she's going to Las Vegas and on an ocean cruise...Guess the town is just to small for her...
--Yusa

Jessica said...

Wow, that must be really stressful, but at least you know the Kensingtons now, so hopefully the rewriting will go faster (as will the revising once you have the rough draft). And since you're the author, you can "mess with [the Kensingtons'] lives a little more" to exact your revenge. I'm sure Sammy won't mind helping. :)

(Yes, I did just quote you to yourself, from your "background singers" post a few weeks ago. What can I say, good advice sticks in my head.)

bookworm said...

You had me laughing at work! :) Wendelin, you're a trip. I wish I could meet you. :)

So when is the book due? (Sounds almost like "So when is your baby due?" ;D)

Wild About Words said...

Yes, the process is sooooo maddening sometimes, but the book that finally emerges is sooooo good. Hang in there! And listen to Mark; he's a smart cookie.

Jessica said...

Totally off topic from this post, but related to "The Running Dream": Did anyone else see Oscar Pistorius in the parade of nations representing South Africa last night? He looked so happy to be there (and I was glad that the cameramen couldn't get a shot of his legs, so that they had to focus on him, not his disability). I can't wait to see him compete in the men's 400m heats next Saturday!

(Please, for the love of all that is good in this world, NBC, please, show this historic event live on network TV -- I can't believe how chintzy they're being with online coverage for those of us who don't have a TV; Olympic broadcasting really needs to get in the Olympic spirit.)

Jessica said...

Here's a picture of Pistorius in case you missed it: http://www.daylife.com/photo/0grbdA57Op6Gc?__site=daylife&q=Oscar+Pistorius. He's the super-smiley, wavy one to the left of Blond Ponytail.