<$Susan Goodwill$>

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Plot Gifts and a Veggie Wash-Don't Ask Me Why

I'm about halfway through writing book number two in the Kate London Mystery Series. At least writing the s**tty first draft portion as Annie Lamott calls it in her fabulous book on writing and life: Bird by Bird.
I'm trying to keep my hands off the draft and get through to the end before I diddle with it much. I find that if I allow myself to just show up and write, sometimes the stuff that feels like crap when I write it has the kernel of some wonderful magic gift that makes the writing and the story better than what I originally planned.
It is hard not to diddle because I'm a craft geek and want every scene tweaked and sparkling before I move along.
And I'm also a plot geek-so I need to tweak that part once in a while or I could end up in a blind alley with pieces that don't fit together in the puzzle-plot. And in a mystery-those pieces have to fit. And fit well.
A technique I am using today is to summarize each scene I have so far with one or two lines. This way I can get a feel for where I have been and where I am going and uncover any "gifts" in the draft that might lead me to better places than I was going in the first place.
Wish me luck!

Oh and Totally Unrelated to Anything: here's a tip I read this this week in "Bottom Line."
To remove pesticides and wax from fruits and vegetables: In a bowl or basin, mix four tablespoons table salt, four teaspoons lemon juice, and a quart of cool water. Soak fruits and veggies five to ten minutes. Exceptions: Soak leafy greens for two to three minutes-- berries, one to two minutes. After soaking rinse in plain cold water and dry.