They’re ba-ack! Jon and the kids got home at seven o’clock last night, bringing down the curtain on what were, for me, an amazingly productive three days. That said, I will certainly not make my finish-the-draft-by-midnight on 12/3/2011 goal, though having my eyes on that prize kept me much more focused than I would have been otherwise.
What I did accomplish was:
- Writing over forty pages—some of which I believe is imminently usable.
- Restructuring my outline. The original one had grown a little stale and outdated now that I was actually realizing the characters. The new one is pretty clear-cut and, I believe, doable.
- Giving voice to a character who was previously mute and therefore carried around a blackberry so he could communicate by texting people around him. Boy that wasn’t working, though I hadn’t had time to figure it out. Little details like that can really clog up the works. (Why was he mute in the first place? Because of a trauma I’d eliminated from the story a few months back!) So, nixed the mutism, nixed the Blackberry.
- Pared down the number of alter-egos the protagonist had. Dissociative Identity Disorder is complicated; people can have more than thirty alters. But asking fiction readers to keep track of more than three is pushing it.
- Identified the need for a true psychiatric consultant who specializes in DID. Not just schmoozing with my psychiatrist friends over coffee here and there.
- Also, though this was not on my agenda, changed the theme of this blog, since for some reason “PILCROW” had stopped showing my tagline: Writings on Body Image and Identity. This new theme is “CORALINE.” The header photo, by the way, is from my daughter’s dance class when she was about five. (2006ish.)
So, all in all, a hugely productive few days. And the best part of all was seeing my family again and realizing how much I’d missed them. Those hugs when they came through the door, my daughter’s whispered, “I really missed you … like a lot,” were worth more than ten finished drafts!