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Friday, January 27, 2006

OKAY, I'LL UPDATE ALREADY!

I received an e-mail the other day from a writer friend. The subject was ACFW* business, but at the end of her post she locked her caps and cyber-shouted, “UPDATE YOUR BLOG!” That’s all she had to say on the matter. It was concise, focused, and spoke volumes of her angst over reading about the same contract over and over. Guess I need to update my Website, too. So, Camy, the following “update” is for you!

Ah, the life of a writer. One huge thing happens, such as my contract that I posted about in September, then it’s back to work. Long, dry spells between successes is what my life is all about.

But, perhaps I shouldn’t use the word “dry” because this is the time when I get to play. When I meet somebody for the first time and they ask me what I do, I tell them I stay in my pajamas all day and play with imaginary friends. (Okay, the part about the pjs is only partially true. Most days I get dressed, or throw on some comfy knit pants and a t-shirt. But, man, it’s nice to work in slippers!)

I’m currently working on a cozy mystery that I hope is picked up for a series. Mysteries are fun to write, but I’ve found I have to approach them differently from regular romance. For one, I really have to know whodunit from the get-go. When I started this, I had somewhat of a premise, and I knew the crime, but I had no clue as to the villain. So, I plunged in and wrote five chapters before it dawned on me. You must understand, I’m a SOTP, Seat of the Pants, writer. I don’t gain any insight until I’m actually in the midst of the story. And yet, plot I must! Writing those chapters helped me get to know my characters, my setting, and finally, my villain. I’m treating them as one long writing exercise, because most of it probably won’t make it in the actual story.

I’m now working through chapter by chapter, sketching what’s happening briefly. This may seem debilitating for a SOTP, but I’m learning to free up my right brain, even while organizing with my left. I’m halfway through my planned chapters—figuring out how many chapters I’ll need with math…ick—and am quite pleased with how it’s turning out. It’s nice to see the story in one chunk, where I can spot holes easily. Or, if I need to make a change in chapter twelve, I can easily go back and adjust things in chapter three if need be. Now, for those of you who know me, your jaws are probably scraping the floor. Yes, my name is Kathy and I’m learning to plot.

I’ll try, for Camy’s sake, to update regularly on my plotting journey. I have a feeling that wasabi isn’t the only thing that kicks!**


*ACFW – American Christian Fiction Writers
**Go to Camy's Website to get this reference :->