Let’s just get this out of the way first thing in the morning: mind mapping can be a huge amount of fun, but ultimately it can also be an enormous pain in the ass. You’re trying to organize your thoughts on a page–and I use that term “page” liberally, because inside your computer your page can go on for a very long time. Don’t believe me? Look:
That’s sixty-six notes I’ve made on a character time line while trying to deconstruct and rebuild this character, with Scapple zoomed out as far as I can take it. As you can see, I have plenty of room in which to work.
And work I was.
Not as much as this time line would show, but it’s getting there. I have my head where I want it now, and I’ve narrowed down some of the questions I need to ask. I’ve also set aside room for Kerry, because in retrospection, he’s wrong, too. At least in the opening chapters. Oh, not the prologue: he’s pretty much spot on there. The whole London section–it’s wrong. It’s really wrong. Kerry has a computer: who needs to go out? That’s what Google Streetview is for!
Yeah, need to deconstruct him a little, because if there’s one thing I know about his, it’s that he’s emotional shut away from most everything. So London . . . rewrite city, baby. I hope to start getting to that on Sunday. No really; stop laughing.
I’m actually feeling good about redoing this part. I figured out a day trip inventory that’s really more to the liking of the kids, and it’s fun to roam all over London on The Maps (that’s what I’ll call it from now on) and see things that I shouldn’t have missed the first time. But, hey: first drafts are for your screw ups. As James Michener once said, “I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter.” (Paddy Chayefsky apparently said the same thing, so I’ll let them fight it out over who gets the real credit.)
Something else happened last night as well. I was chatting up a friend, and we got to talking about some of my work. It so happened–as writers often do–I spoke about some of my old erotica I’d written some ten years back, and how I was thinking of editing it and putting it out in ebook format to get comfortable among the dino porn and gay cuttlefish transformation stories. (And if you read this blog regularly, you know those both exist.)
Being in something of a good mood I asked my friend if she wanted to see some of it. She said yes. I showed her the stories I had in pdf format with the artwork that had been drawn especially each of the tales.
And what I was told was, “This is really good writing, Cassie.” Which it really was, even if it was totally fetish smut. But after a long week of being down, feeling tired, and beating your head again the computer, you know what you, as a writer, needs?
To be told you’re good.
Those really are the magic words. Try them on a writer friend and see what happens.