My dialogue experiment was pretty much a failure, because as soon as I started writing, I slipped into Grace’s POV and there I stayed. However, today, I am almost positive that I’m going to write a scene from Dillon’s POV (if I finish up the Grace scene) and I’m looking forward to that to a surprising degree. I like Dillon and his voice feels all bubbly in my brain, like he’s been restraining himself but is ever-so-ready to talk now. We’ll see what happens later, I guess.
I’ve also decided to go back — not yet, but when I’m done with my first draft — and give Rose a POV scene at the beginning. I spent months working on that scene before I decided to throw it out, but with my new freewheeling POV ideas, I want to add it back. It gives me a chance to introduce the ghosts so that the reader isn’t always trying to figure out who they are. I think I’ll wind up needing to completely rewrite it from what I had before, and it will still be the same struggle — too many characters! — but that’s okay.
The big decision in relation to that scene that I was incapable of making before is that it might be Rose’s only POV scene. I kept getting stuck because I felt like the POV characters had to be the main characters of the book, and if I gave Rose a POV scene, then she should have POV scenes throughout. That made the story feel unbalanced to me, because Noah and Grace were getting sidelined to the ghosts. My new resolve to do whatever works for me is very freeing.
This morning when I was ready to sit down to breakfast (mixed greens with white, red, and purple radishes, plus cucumber, kalamata olives, half an avocado, and roast beef — the radishes were exciting), I wanted to read, and I knew exactly what I wanted to read, it was that book I hadn’t finished. And then I woke up a little more and realized that I actually hadn’t finished writing the book I wanted to read. It was a great feeling, though. It’s the first time in a while that I’ve had that craving to know how my own story turns out.
Word count yesterday was 1496 on the story, plus 596 on a blog post. And yes, I’m counting blog posts in my word counts, because they help me get my fingers moving. Goal for today: to beat yesterday’s story word count. To reach NaNo numbers (and yes, I know it hasn’t started yet), the minimum daily goal is 1666. If I reach that today, it’ll be the first time since February 2014 that I’ve done so. But I can do it. No self-doubt allowed.
My rumination exercise has been working remarkably well. Whenever I catch myself drifting into thoughts of the past (not just of the Apple interviews, but of all the things that the interviews brought up), I stop myself and think, “You’re having a thought about X. What’s the emotion that goes with it? Are you trying to control a feeling?” Half the time I’ve moved on to some other thought before I work the feeling out (so typical of me) but it’s still a really interesting exercise. It feels like I’m actually processing stuff, not just endlessly spinning it around in my head.
I just looked up ‘processing’ because it’s a word we use a lot, but does it have an actual therapeutic meaning? Not according to the dictionary. But I found this at Simply Psychology:
(1) information made available by the environment is processed by a series of processing systems (e.g. attention, perception, short-term memory);
(2) these processing systems transform or alter the information in systematic ways;
It’s obviously not the right meaning, but it defines processing as an act of altering or transforming information. Yes, that’s what happens when I pull back from what I’m thinking about and consider it as a thought that my brain is giving me for a reason and then try to decipher the reason. The act of trying to understand my thought transforms it. It stops being a trap that I can’t get out of and starts being a signal.
Of course, I haven’t really figured out what to do with the signals I’m getting yet, but sometimes it seems sufficient to realize, “oh, yes, I’m sad about this,” and give myself permission to feel sad instead of trying to rewrite history in my head.
Okay, this turned into a long blog post when I actually just meant to write about my dialogue experiment, so time to get back to the real writing. Words, words, more words, but good words, I hope. No, good words, I believe. Time for some optimism!