Okay, I will admit to kind of, sort of, maybe just a little bit being disappointed by the lack of apocalypse on Friday. It wasn’t so much that I wanted the world to end, it was more that I was ready for a little hell to break loose. I even went shopping to stock up on supplies, justifying the purchase of 25 pounds of rice with the fact that I really have been meaning to beef up our family’s post-earthquake survival stash.
So the world as we know it is pretty much just as it was a week ago, except that I’m much more prepared for seismic activity.
I think I was just feeling a little overwhelmed by all the Christmas business, and work, and family, and all of it. I wasn’t having any time for my fiction. I guess it’s pretty silly to think that in the face of the apocalypse I would be sitting down to pen a story or two, but such is my brain.
I think we all secretly (or not so secretly) get excited by predicted shake ups because even though we don’t know what would happen, we know life would be different, and the grass is always greener after the end of the Mayan calendar. You know?
Well, Christmas was great. The family is all still in town, but I went back to work today. It continues to be difficult juggling it all, but I did finally make some time for the fiction last night. I left all the relatives upstairs and brought a big old glass of wine to the bedroom where I began the task of mapping out the whole story.
It sounds funny to say that, being so close to done, as I am, but I find it a really good exercise to make a 3×5 card for each scene and lay them all out. I use different colors for things (blue for scenes in cars, white for flashbacks) so that I can see if they are all evenly spaced, or if the story is heavy in certain parts with certain elements. I also find that it pushes me to be very precise with my scene work.
There are some scenes, I’m realizing, that don’t really need to be there. For instance, I have a half-page scene where my character gets ready to go outside. Really, she can just go outside (and it can probably be assumed that she put her boots on at some point). I tend to over write a bit when I’m just drafting. And now it’s time to trim all that fat.
So that’s what I’m working on. It’s tedious and difficult, but the wine helps.
In retrospect, I’d much rather sit with my story and a glass of zinfandel, then fight to defend my 25 pounds of rice from looters who did not have the sense to go shopping before the end of the world.