Back into STB we go
I feel like I should do a quick recap, as in the past month or so I’ve gained a few known new readers, and since I can’t fix my statcounter for some reason (read: can’t be bothered to learn how to fix it), I don’t know if there are a lot of others. So. Just in case. When I say "STB," I mean "SMALL TOWN BOY," an albatross of an ms I have been working with since 1999. It has had multiple names. It has a very colorful history, some of which is behind a filter: if you are dying to know, shout, and I’ll put you on the all access pass. Otherwise, you are welcome to wander through the STB tag. Or not. As it pleases you. But for the very, very, short can’t be bothered summary: it’s a contemporary story, set in Iowa, heavily influenced by this book, which, I just realized the author’s first name. HUH. I worked extensively on it from fall of 2006 until the summer of 2007, at which point, for complicated reasons, I put it down. I picked it up again in December, and it’s straight on until morning now. Well, perhaps not straight, and I’m not being cute about puns. (Though it’s still accurate.) Neither my process nor my characters are generally terribly straight, not entirely. But this is the book I’m picking up, and outside of release-valve projects and the suddenly very interesting prospects for TSV (big love to ), and the whatever-I-do with MSL–well, okay, that’s a lot. But I’m still working on STB. A lot.
Funny thing about this story. It has patterns. I can write up until a certain turning point in one go, then must pause, and then must start up again. I’ve even done this at corresponding times of the year both times. However, my mental spaces have been markedly different both times. Which I find interesting, though not really important. For better or for worse, I’m going back into that pattern now. Except this time the Big Trip is in June, not August, and has nothing to do with the writing. Not even sure yet if I’ll write en route, though I suspect I will.
The stuff I wrote in the winter is good–very good, overall. Christian and Ben and Alex still give me fits, and I’m working on them now. I may start with them, but if they go the way of the secondaries in TSV, I might as well nail the main characters in place first and then wrestle with them after. What I need is to get back to THE END, so I can rip it apart and start making hard calls and doing the grisly rewriting. I’ve been having a hard time with re-entry, though, and I’m not sure why. It will flicker at me, and then be dull when I get there. I suppose I might just need to go in and write dull and stupid for ten thousand words and hope for the best. If the old patterns hold, suddenly at the 3/4 mark it will all make wicked amazing sense, and I will write all the way to the end in euphoria, and then come back and change it all in the second draft. But getting to that high-ride point is still good, and valuable. And necessary.
The story has now been turned on its head, in a wonderfully complicated way, by the April 3 court decision: in this draft, Jon and Will could get married. Maybe that’s what’s making me chew so long. I don’t know. It also seems to give me a bit of a time-stamp: right now it’s written in real time, bridging the decision, and I’ve already decided a big turning point will be the decision coming down. Hard to do without making it trite, though. But I have the urge to do it anyway: it was so personal to me, and after being at the county recorder helping people register, I feel like I got married again myself. And the story feels more timely than ever: there is so much negativity and anger here now, and threats of violence may be next. This feels like my way of saying something, in a way that’s so me. So I really, really want to get this out and on paper, and right now.
Tonight I’m going to start. I will probably post progress here, and frustrations and angst and joys, and some of that will be under a filter, so, again, if you aren’t on it already, now’s the time to shout. Or as you will. But I’m diving back in tonight once I have Anna to bed, a book (reading book) finished, and two tubs of garage sale stuff sorted. It begins now, and it ends when I’m shipping it out to betas. This book, unlike TSV, I don’t want to get neurotic and tentative about. This one is getting out there, if I have to self-publish and handsell it. This book is between me and Iowa, in a way that is more public than it is personal. I will take bullets for this book. I just hope they’re all metaphorical.
On a side note, , I just saw on the FP forum that you do Brit-scans for authors. The aforementioned Will is British–please let me know how I can win your affection and get you to do so for me when the time comes. I can’t bribe you with American chocolate, god knows, but certainly you, like all humans, have a price?
Off to work.