Thursday, June 10, 2010

Family Vs. Writing

I have a few things to get through in this post, so bear with me. I have one post request from Harley D. Palmer, not to mention I will be doing my first blog schedule for some posts I'm planning for next week! So, let's get started!

Harley asked me to do a post about dealing with character that won't shut up and taking care of my kids. For those of you that don't know me from WDC or Twitter, I have four kids. Two boys, 10 and 7, and two girls, 6 and 3. My youngest daughter spends all her time with me, while the other three kids, have a different parent that they spend half their time with. Its complicated. I love my kids. And they're a lot of work. For those of you who are non-parents, being a Mom or Dad is definitely a full-time job. Four is utter chaos most of time. Between dressing, feeding, bathing, school, and the bed time routine there isn't a lot of time for much else. Especially when they don't like doing the same things. I'm lucky if I can find a movie that all of them are willing to watch!

I've always been a story-teller. The best proof of this I can give was my accomplished skill as a liar at a young age. Since I moved out of my parents house, that skill has turned into something good. I can create people in my head and worlds that I see in my dreams.Characters are, by far, my favorite. When I'm thinking about characters, it seems to me, more often I think about thier personality before I know what they look like. I've never been great at visualization. I still remember when the teachers would tell me, "Close your eyes and imagine..." Umm... no. I can't see without the color. A lot of times when I imagine things, my eyes are wide open and a specteral image is floating before me.

I sometimes worry that I am losing my mind a little with my characters. They just don't shut up until the story is done. To this day, I have at least three voices that are with me constantly. Even now, Vera is saying, "That's right. And you best not forget it."

For me, it isn't really about finding balance. When I start a story, it stays with me. If I have some amazing breakthrough for the plot I don't forget it. The characters themselves are there to remind me that this is what we agreed on. Yep, its that bad. I have to run it by them before I can write it. Usually with some explaination as to why they are going to be suffering at my hand. Sadly, the family has witnessed this, too. Everyone in my house, and a few of my closer friends have learned not to interrupt me when I'm having an arguement with myself. "Just leave Mommy alone for a few minutes and she'll stop." ;)

I try to keep it to myself while the kids are awake. I write notes to myself, excuse myself to my bedroom so no one has to see it. My youngest thinks its funny. Hey, whatever I can do to amuse her is worth it. Even if it calls into question my sanity. But that's saying that I was actually sane at some point... After its all said and done, my writing occurs after my kids are asleep and when the boyfriend is at work. This gives me about 4 hours of writing time on nights that I have to go to bed early for work and about 6 hours other nights. That is... when I'm not goofing off. :)

Anyway, I have a schedule for next week. I need to take a few days off of blogging to finish up this edit because it's going really well. When I come back, I want to discuss the whole process. I'd love feedback from everyone about how they do it too! I think it helps other writers to know what is and isn't working for their peers. So, keep an eye out on these posts and have some ideas ready of your own.

Monday, June 14th - Finishing a story.
Tuesday, June 15th - Narration and Setting
Wednesday, June 16th - Second Read and Revision
Thursday, June 17th - Passive Vs. Active Voice
Friday, June 18th - Beta Readers

This schedule will show up on the side bar of the blog before Monday. I don't know exactly what time these posts will be published. It depends on my schedule at work. I will try to have them up before 8 pm each day. That's the best I can do.

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