Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wednesday Musings about Life, Writing and, of course, Snow

I'm late blogging today for a number of reasons but here I am, blogging as usual. I actually quite enjoy writing on a daily basis. I don't always get to write anything in a day and so this gives me a bit of a fix to tide me over. At the moment, it's pouring with snow. It's the hard, fast and furious kind that doesn't have time to drift and wait but wants to get where it's going as fast as it can.

It's also freezing outside, almost Siberian temperatures again. It's supposed to get colder. I don't mind as long as I don't have to be outside and that I don't have to drive on icy roads. You've probably noticed, I'm a big fan of snow.

I've been spending the last month or so editing my manuscript for Rainlight. My intention is to enter it into the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. I don't really know why. Last year was such an abysmally depressing affair that I don't know why I'm willing to subject myself again. But I want to. I like that I have a deadline.

The only problem is the word limit. They want novels of no more than 150,000 words. My novel, after all my cuts and edits is still 162,000. So the question is, do I pick another novel, use that one but cut large chunks of them out with hopes that, if I'm ever published, they can go back in? Or should I be ruthless and just cut scenes out, scenes I love?

The thing is, I've tried to be ruthless already. I've cut portions out that I liked but weren't necessary. Now I have to cut a lot more and I'm not sure how I'm going to manage that. I'm hoping I'll find away. I do have a backup plan though- I have another, much shorter novel, ready to go. There's always that option.

I've mentioned in the past how hard it is to kill a character. I've now realized that no matter how many times I do it, it never gets easier. I was just editing a novel that I wrote seven years ago and I still couldn't stand the fact that I'd killed this character, John. I feel guilty. I see the course the novel takes and everything that could be done to prevent his death and yet...still he dies. He has to; without his death, the next four novels in the series couldn't happen. It's hard to reread what I wrote all those years ago because I know what happens and even though it's my creation, I'm powerless to prevent it. Rereading his death scene is almost as hard as when I wrote it. I'm angry that he didn't fight harder but I also know that there's only so much one sixteen-year-old can take and he reached his limit.

I suppose that the power I have as a writer could be used for ill. I can create and kill, give life and take it. It's a scary power to have but I try not to wield it unwisely. That's why, as I've mentioned, I listen to my characters and don't tell them what to do. It's their story; I let them tell me. Sometimes it takes a while, sometimes it doesn't but, when I'm done, I always have a finished book and it never ends the way I planned.

I know this blog isn't as interesting as some of my other ones and for that, I apologize. I will try to do better tomorrow. It's snowing harder outside, a cascade of flakes that blind you. I'm happy about that. I know my mother is not. She's not a winter person. All I can say is that in a few short weeks, the snow will subside a little and you'll see the snowdrops fight their way out of the earth to bloom, even when snow still surrounds them. I, for one, have to enjoy winter because, without it, spring would have less meaning.

Happy Wednesday.

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