Okay, so I was on the phone with another writer buddy today who does my presubmission line edits (waving to Robin) and we were talking about giving my heroine a quirk that stands out. Because the heroine in my last book had such a strong personality, I don't want my new heroine to pale in comparision, so today in plotstorming, I'm thinking of ways to layer my characters. Things to give them more depth, and show readers (without making it obvious that's what I'm trying to do) that how Bits (heroine) feels on the inside is way different than how she acts outwardly.
So we discussed what quirk we could give her, something she does, thinks, or says when she's nervous or mad or feeling insecure.
Bubbles. She's all about bubbles. She blows bubbles for stress relief and she always chews bubble gum. Always. She's a hefty gal who is not at all happy with herself. She's discontent. But to look at her outwardly, you'd think she's happy because she's boisterous and bubbly and laughs loud and often. But inside, she's self-conscious and always questioning what others think of her. She's also very envious of skinny girls...to an extreme. To their faces, she's nice and sweet, but inside she's thinking thoughts and wishing for the day gravity takes its toll on their bodies and that they'd suddenly have a surge in weight. Like about a hundred pounds pronto. LOL!
So I'm envisioning a scene where she's talking to a lithe, female Drop Zone employee, and blows a bubble, letting it pop loudly. Nearly to the point that it could be borderline rude. Of course Bits is doing it on purpose to pacify and amuse herself, but then to cover it up, she puts smiles sweetly and acts gushy nice so no one suspects her secret thoughts.
I may end up hating my heroine if I can't execute this and still make her a likable, sympathetic character who seems real and like they have credible dimension. I want to make her compassionate, but she struggles with envy big time.
Incidentally, I just had an email pop up from my small group leader from my church who said in the email that this week's discussion is going to be on "contentment." LOL~
SO that's where I am in the plotstorming. Just talking through this in a conversational manner and hoping it's not choppy or confusing. Just trying to let you guys into my mind so you can see how the story comes together for me. Hope there's something in these plotstorming sessions that you can use.
When I start writing my rough draft, I may be sparse, but will pop in occasionally to let you know how it's going in regards to the plotstorm and working everything in that I came up with.
When I'm writing, I normally don't get on a computer that has email. I seclude myself from any distraction save my family. I bribe them for a few days writing time in which I can get the book done. LOL! But if you wonder how I can get an entire book written in a matter of days (8 days for book 1, 4 days for book 2). I prepare meals the week ahead of time, so they can be thawed out and baked and I save up casey's free pizza tabs too. LOL! So my cooking time is minimal that week I'm writing. I give my house a good cleaning before, and then after I write the book because it bugs me to have to write with clutter around me.
So that's what I did the last four days, clean from top to bottom. Clean out my desk, etc. Gather my research materials close. That consists of webpages, emails printed from my military sources, reference books on skydiving, and USAF PJ's, and Biblical notes on envy, contentment, etc. I am preparing to hybernate from outside activities, save church, and have stocked up on groceries so I don't have to shop for two weeks. Basically trying to set myself up for no interruptions.
Of course if someone gets sick that will change things, because my family is my priority, but I've spent a couple weeks away from the computer when my children are home from school, paying specialized attention, so they will be more merciful when I go to write my mess draft. I will have no TV, No IM time, No checking email even. I go digest on most loops and stay off the message boards I frequent, such as www.steeplehill.com
I cut myself off from all that temptation in order to get the book done. So if I'm gone for a few days from here, you'll know I'm diving in. When I come back up for air, I'll talk through the writing of the mess draft. I may break my "no online time" rule just to pop in a few times in order to post my word count or something.
As it stands now, I have a few scenes etched in a couple wordpad documents. About 2100 words. I need to aim for 60,000-65,000 words, so you see I have the entire book, save 2000 words, to write.
Any questions, feel free to email. I'll reconnect with you as soon as I come up for air.