Someone Put A Muzzle On That Thing

I’m posting this early again today because I’ve another long day of rehearsals and taxiing ahead of me. But I was taking a break from editing earlier and happened across a post on Romancing the Blog that pretty well made my night.

Let me set this up:

Edits are not the only thing going on in my writing life. I’ve also got this migraine-in-a-teacup brewing called Lake Midnight. It’s bits and pieces of characters and plot pulled together from a couple different projects I’d been pondering, but mainly it’s the stalker, Isabel, who got stripped out of Living Legend.

Okay. So we have a stalker. We have a hero. We have Lake Midnight, and an urban myth I’ve long been dying to court.

Now mind you, all of those things, believe it or not, work pretty well together on the surface. Beneath the surface, not so much. I know I have a talent for pulling together the most disparate elements possible just to make my writing life hell. It’s a known issue, but not one I’m really interested in fixing for reasons I won’t get into.

Enter the heroine. This story and this hero need someone with up-close-and-personal experience of stalkers. She needs to be a warrior. She also needs to be sympathetic, believable and exceptionally strong to save the day.

Right. So let’s make her a cop. But not just any cop. A cop who decided to become a cop because her sister’s being stalked. I didn’t want this to be a comfortable case for our cop to step into, and I naively thought this backstory would give her enough knowledge and motivation, while at the same time make her want to run for her life.

But nooooooooooooooo. I get 1/3 of the way through the book (for the third time, mind you) and she’s sulking through every bloody word. Then finally, about a week ago, she gives me one of those you-are-so-dim looks, and not of the affectionate variety like I give Booger, my cat. Then she motions me over to whisper something.

I hesitate because she’s difficult, and I know whatever she’s about to tell me will not bring the happy joyjoy I’m lookin’ for. And boy, was I right. This is not happy joyjoy. This is a backstory twist of the kind that makes otherwise mild-mannered writers throw their monitors out the nearest window. Even when their monitor weighs more than an Oldsmobile and their office is in the basement.

Yet… the cow is right. I know she is, but I still dislike her for it because she’s just made my job about 400 times harder. And while I’m sitting there, jaw still dropped, she gets up, walks off, and leaves me alone with that godawful Simon Cowell-esque internal critic of mine to sort all this out.

So, as if recalcitrant heroines weren’t trouble enough, I’ve now got Simon to deal with. He doesn’t come in a set with the kinder and gentler Paula and Randy. No, this one’s mainlining steroid-laced espresso, and seems to be suffering from a chronic case of Tourrette’s.

All the while I’m trying to polish Trick, I ‘ve got this story-build problem chewing away at my head, and the internal editor sneering, “You will never pull it off. Never. Someone who can actually write might be able to, but not you.”

And then… I find this gem over at Romancing the Blog.

I just want to say thank you, Kara. While it’s not an issue I’d wish on anyone, it’s heartening to be reminded I’m not alone. I’ve read all sorts of methods for silencing the dang thing or at least muting it temporarily, but I’d bet my last peanut butter cup the ones who’ve managed it aren’t Scandanavian.

Anyway, after reading that, half of me wants to knock this one out of the park just so I can make Simon eat it, one page at a time. The other half? Well…

Whatever. I’ll have the mom hat on longer than the writer’s hat today, and maybe if my ponytail’s tight enough, ye olde IC will simma down.

Have a good one.


4 Responses

  1. Misery loves company, all right! If it’s any comfort, I just typed “The End” on the nasty book that prompted me to write that column. It’s not pretty–yet–but I have hopes it doesn’t actually suck.

    Go for it!

  2. It won’t suck. You know that. But have fun prettying, and thanks again. 🙂

  3. Neither one of you suck. Loving Kara’s firefighter series. This is an awesome blog post as was Kara’s because I’m sort of going through this myself. I think we all need reminded from time to time that this is a process in our minds and sometimes from our hearts and that it’s okay to feel like this–I’m so glad I read the gems both of you shined up.

    We seriously need to get back into the habit of making each other accountable and being available for brain picking. I may actually need you to dust off the taser.

  4. *perks up*


    Did someone say taser? Zzzt

    zzt zzzzzzzzt zzzt zzt zt ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZT

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