Tuesday, July 19, 2005

TNP Update

As some of you know, "TNP" is the acronym for my novel-in-progress. I haven't provided many updates here because (1) I'm not comfortable talking about it while it's still in progress, and (2) these pesky jobs have gotten in the way of my writing habit.

But, I've still managed to write at least three pages a day most days, sometimes more. I'm now on page 173. (I made it to page 173 in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince after a few hours ... but it took me a month and a half to get to page 173 of "TNP" ... sigh.)

Anyway, I'm about halfway through the outline, which means I should be halfway through the first draft of the novel. I've stuck to the original outline (which was basically a rough list of stuff I wanted to happen), more or less. My great dream is to have the draft finished before school begins. It takes so much effort just to write it all down, and I know I won't have time for a lot of that once I'm in school. So I at least want to complete that phase of the novel while I have the leisure to do so.

I killed my first character today. I knew from the beginning that he was going to die, and I even had an idea of how he would die. I've been building up to his death for weeks now. He's a likable enough character, but he's only a subplot character ... so why did it make me so sad to off him? I drowned him, and told it all from his point of view. Had him in the water, and wrote about what it was like to be there, to realize there's a bunch of water in your lungs, to feel numb and cold, and then for there to be nothing more. I hated to do it to him. By the time I finished, I felt like I needed to come up for air myself.

Then, at work today, I left a sheet of paper on my desk. One side had the phone number of the transmission guy (which is why I had the sheet with me at work), and the other side had a map I'd drawn from my book, and different things labeled, including where this character dies. And a note to myself: "Might not be best place to kill him, don't want body to wash up south of town downstream." Or something like that.

I went to make some copies for work, then came back to my desk. First thing I read was "Might not be best place to kill him, don't want body to wash up south of town downstream." I'd accidentally left the "map side" facing up after I called the transmission guy. Whew. Good thing my co-workers didn't come across that. Whatever would they have thought of their quiet, mild-mannered part-time temporary assistant? ("And she was such a quiet type ...")

I also think I've read waay too many English novels in my short lifetime. My characters keep wanting to stop and have tea. No reason. Just seems like a good thing to do. I'm a coffee drinker myself, but coffee just seems so ... non-literary, I suppose. Anyway, when they start talking tea, I stop them, erase, and move them into the direction they were going before they decided they wanted tea. What's with that?

OK, enough of "TNP." I don't want to talk about it too much, or I'll mislead my brain into thinking it's more finished than it is. Back to work!

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