Agitation and Writing

I've come to the conclusion that I just can't write when I'm agitated, and I don't think it matters if I know why I'm agitated. All I'll say is that I was linked to by another blog/website ("But you've been recognized!" you might say) for something I posted on an agent's blog.

BTW, it's a silly remark, and why this particular blog/website chose to concentrate on the P.S. appended to the main part of my post...I have no idea. I'll just leave it there, because I need to get on with my life, life's too short, yadda yadda yadda.

After finishing my writing yesterday - about 500 words - I looked it over and decided it was total dreck. I mean, it doesn't impart anything - doesn't advance the plot, doesn't bring up anything the reader needs to know...nothing. I basically have Jackie working out (literally; she's doing a step routine) just so she can get past the point that she acted like a wimpy female.

Well, boo hoo for Jackie, and ::snore:: says the reader, who puts the story down and never picks it up again! The problem is that this goes on for 500 words, which is about 450 words too long. Even worse, I have Diego dropping her off at her apartment, and then tell the reader later on they had a talk. Bleh. I think dialogue might be needed at the beginning of this chapter (number 10) rather than having her just say she talked to Diego and told him to shove off. (Heh heh. Boy, can you tell I still have some anger? Whew. That other blog stuff really got further under my skin than I thought.)

I digress. I know I'm supposed to be in the "just-get-the-damned-story-down" part, but I know it'll gnaw at me until I wipe it out and get back to my outline. That's another thing: I went completely off my index cards yesterday. That in itself isn't necessarily bad; I did that earlier in the story, and I'm keeping that because it furthers the story, and it sounds like it would fit in for my whole idea with this thing.

I can even keep stuff that's mostly dreck, which is what I'm going to do with Chapter 4; I'll siphon off bits and put those good bits in other chapters, junking the rest. However, the stuff yesterday is so lame, most, if not all, of it is headed for the techno trash heap.

Enough with the whiny stuff - time for something positive. I've decided to change the locale of my story. As much as I love New York City (and I do), I don't frequent its streets all that often to have any sort of familiarity with them or its denizens; besides, I can see myself mucking it up, by having a car traveling down a one-way street the wrong way...can you say faux pau? Sure, I knew you could. ;-)

So I'm going to set it in the town I grew up. It's not a small town, by any means; at last count, there were 50,000 people living there. Not only am I more familiar with it (and can visit it a lot easier than NYC), but things I've been reading in cyberspace hint that NYC is overdone; agents and publishers are looking for other venues.

Which, of course, necessitates a change in story title (and if this thing ever gets to a publisher, they'll probably change it anyway, so I might as well go with something I like right now). I was thinking about it in the shower this morning, thinking about how a back blurb might describe this story.

Crossing Paths. Not terribly exciting, but then "Cats of Manhattan" wasn't exactly setting the world on fire. ;-) However, my silly, overprocessing brain got to thinking: Jackie crosses paths with a demonic cat, with Diego, with Linnea (that's the one who becomes/channels Bastet - read Egyptian mythology if you don't know who Bastet is), and with the nuts and weirdos in her family, those who live on her floor, and those she works with (although not too much where that's concerned).

Plus, she's at a crossroads in her life. She's divorced; her lovelife is nowhere; her career is boring her to death; and her health insurance (COBRA) is about to run out. All these things happening, thanks to that damned cat! ;-)

Anyway, that's what I'm doing, and I'm sticking to it. For now. No, really, I'm sticking to that (I've even written down on my index cards where I started the change over to the other town, so I'll know where I'll have to redo NYC scenes to the town scenes). Which shouldn't be too bad, because I'm going pretty minimalist in descriptions at this point.

Don't give up - keep writing!