Sunday, October 18, 2015

Roll Call

Tom Spanbauer talking at Portland's PWLive.
There were many great speakers, but his words
touched me deeply and profoundly.
I think it was August when I registered for the local Poets & Writers Live (PWLive) event. I signed up early to take advantage of the 50% Early Bird registration fee. Which was awesome.
And that was where I spent most of my day. 

It started way too early for me - but that is only in my adapted personal time zone because I tend to work late at night. By work I mean my professional "day job" though I do it at night. Which all works out really well because I also do theatre (which I know you know if you've followed me here or on Facebook or know me in person). Most theatre happens in the evening or at night; not always, but most of it. So having a nighttime day job in combination with working in the theater is pretty cool. Right? Right! But sometimes, like today, an event starts at early-for-me 9:00 am, and I can do it when I don't work late the night before. But that doesn't mean that I necessarily go to be early. 

Again, early for me, yes. But calling going to bed at midnight:30 "early" is funny. Though true in my case. Then the alarm going off at 7:30 am is early. It's not the earliest I get up, but close to it. And not often.

PWLive was worth getting up early. It was short panels and speakers, editors and publishers, writers talking about writing and writers reading their writing, and some creative sharing at the end. 

I was inspired, as I hoped I would be.

I met up with two writers I know from other workshops. One from an in-person workshop with Ariel Gore as well as in Ariel's Literary Kitchen; the other from in-person workshops in Port Townsend with Lidia Yuknavitch and Pam Houston. 

The local writer introduced me to one of her writing friends and we spent some time talking at the reception after the presentations were done. They invited me to join their casual get-together and write group and will let me know when they have their November dates set (I will be interpreting a play out of town on the day of the next one). 

In other news, now that I've mentioned November. Yes, it is nearly that time, again. NaNoWriMo is just around the corner. I have my NaNoWriMo writer's shirt and my NaNoWriMo mug and my NaNoWriMo winner's shirt will be here in a few weeks. I always order the winner's shirt early; it's one more incentive to actually finish. It would be a waste if I didn't. 

So prepare for NaNoUpdates - not yet, but soon.

I am (so far) planning a different approach this year. I am a pantser. My stories come from pantsing not from outlines and well-formed ideas ahead of time. I was successful one year by going into it with a starting place, a setting, and a cast of characters; some of them were fairly well defined before I started and I had done online searches to find pictures to represent my characters. But, often, I open up the computer and write with not a clue where we're going or with a very rough idea of what the story might be about. 

Oh, and I usually start NaNo with a title for my novel. A working title, not the actual thing if it turns out to be a thing.

So back to this year. 

I have a novel which has been in revision for a while. I've researched and read, and read some more. I've made maps and colored and circled and I switched protagonists and the new main protagonist switched gender. All fine; taken care of. No problem.

Except the story still needs major rewriting. Things deleted and added, gaps filled in, the plot strengthened. And there are not any "darlings" except the concept, the plot. No gems of sentences to cling to and save and carry forward. No - the plot, the movement of events - yes. 

So. NaNoWriMo this year is to give this novel one more chance. I will use my research and my notes and my reading and my vision to rewrite the book. I now know what has to happen when and who has to be where for it all to work. There are areas which need to be expanded; areas to complete cut because they are trash and slow the story down and don't need to be there; there are things which need to change. But I am going into NaNo with the story and a blank Scrivener project and rewriting the novel from word one. 

The fresh rewrite is not as crazy as it sounds. Really. Thing about it. With a main protagonist change, I probably have to write more about her, right? Because she wasn't the main character, her scenes are shorter and limited in depth and details. The book didn't start with her - but now I see it should. And what I thought was the inciting incident wasn't. When I discovered the true inciting incident I also discovered that the thing which happens - which has to happen for all of this to make sense - the character I thought was the protagonist has to be there but as it is written, she can't be there.

While this book has a bit of the speculative feel about it, there is not time travel. There is - well, nevermind; I will hold that thought until November, until I get it a little more solid in my head and in my story. 

Roll Call :
Today I took a day off of interpreting, including theatrical interpreting preparation.
Today I went to PWLive, heard good advice and inspiring words, met up with writing connections.
Today I had a nice, leisurely dinner out, alone, quiet, contemplating the event.
Then, today, I went to a dance performance - the first of the new White Bird Uncaged series; more creative inflow.
Today. A good day.


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