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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Extreme Makeover: WIP Edition

This week we got some news that is drastically changing the plans we had for the next year and a half of our lives. My husband is in the Army we were supposed to be moving to Kansas for a year for some schooling. We just found out that will not be happening. That is all we are sure of right now. We don't know yet when we will be moving or where we will be moving. We just know that in the next six months we are moving somewhere. Fun, right? (Also - I said "moving" a lot in the last few sentences) I am a planner. I need details. I need to research schools, neighborhoods, military base info, housing, etc. Where is the nearest Costco? All the important details.

When I get hit with something completely out of my control (like the Army saying "too bad - so sad") I like to take COMPLETE control of the things where I can determine the outcome. When I have a house large enough that I can actually re-arrange furniture, that is what I will always do. My current house doesn't have any options for change. This has made me take a look at my WIP. I am super focused on changes. I am changing character behaviors drastically for at least one character. I am debating changing from past tense first person to present tense first person. I'm not sure it is working though. Even when narrating to myself in my head I tend to think in past tense. Oh, that is one of my quirks I have not mentioned here; I narrate my life in my head. As in "she said with a laugh" or "I quickly walked to the door." Like, all the time. I even punctuate sentences in my head as I speak or others speak to me. Anyway, I am trying to take control of my WIP and my life.

What about you? Do life changes make you change other things in your life? Do you have any odd quirks? Do you have a preference between past tense or present tense first person?



P.S. I just finished a book yesterday that I did not enjoy much. The characters were annoying - the female especially was a complete pushover and weak overall. One thing that bugged me a lot though - on one page the character rushes through breakfast and on the very next page it says he is weak from not eating for days. Say what? I am so nervous I will make mistakes like that and it terrifies me.

10 comments:

  1. I've so been there! I've changed tenses from past to present. I've switched perspective from third to first. I even cut Evie's Knight in half, wrote an alternate ending, and then changed my mind and put it back together again. UGH! In the end I'm happy with where it's at, but the journey was a long one for me. Hoping I can shorten it up this time around. BTW, I love the way you narrate your life! Cracks me up! :)

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    1. Thanks Kim. The most important thing is that you kept the steam in Evie's Knight. :) (She typed with a smile on her face.)

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  2. Wow! I would need to know where I was moving too. Knowing where Costco is located is important! :)

    I do this in my writing as well. Usually it's because I'm too close to my story. If I let it rest a bit, then come back to it, I can see all the little things I'm stressing about. Sometimes they need to be changed, and sometimes they don't. Good luck with yours!

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    1. I think that is what happened with my story, Emily. I had taken a while off from it and then I was able to look at it with fresh eyes.

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  3. Costco is the most important thing to know! Oh man, I can't even imagine what you're going through right now. But I can tell you this, the fact that you are so freaked out about mistakes says something about how through you will be. Just take a deep breath and keep working. It will all come together before you know it!

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    1. Thanks. I am a bit of a perfectionist (okay, more than a bit). I keep lots of notes so that I can maintain continuity.

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  4. Thanks for visiting and joining my blog!

    I *love* the title of your blog post! I love Extreme Makeover!

    And for the record, when things get crazy in my life, I tend to draw up in a shell. I have a hard time concentrating on writing when things are buggled up.

    I live in a camper and rearranging furniture is NOT an option.

    I wish you the best of luck with the unknown destination. My husband is no longer in the military, but I remember how THAT feeling felt.

    (((Hugs)))

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    1. Thank you! Depending on what else I have going on I can go the other way too - ignoring my writing for months at a time. This time it is all I really have to hold on to (and my kids, of course).

      Some day I will be ble to say "my husband is no longer in the military..." :)

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  5. I hear ya. Most times, after a life change, if I read one of my novels (don't do that), I have to change a bunch things, which makes sense, I'm a new person now, I would make different choices. Good luck!

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    1. Tanya, that makes sense! I didn't think of it that way. It is funny now to think of how different my current WIP would have been if I had written it five years ago when the idea first came to me.

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