Wednesday, May 27, 2020

I Must Apologize

I have apologies to make to several people because I have been selfish with my time. I made commitments to help others and couldn’t follow through in a timely manner. I am truly sorry. I had to carve out some space to put me first. Sounds really awful and offending to put it out there like this, but I’ve had so much trouble crafting an ending to the next Bishop Hill mystery that I had to resort to the extreme.

Isolating and focusing on my problems has paid off. I have gotten past the arson scene at the old house. The escape from a park filled with tourists. Figured out how to have a car chase through Henry county backroads. Dealt harshly with my bad guy. Now, I’m ready for the “Final Image” as outlined in Save the Cat Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody.

I was introduced to Save the Cat by Quad Cities Writers Meet Up and their fearless leader, Sandra, when the group worked its way through the whole book last year. I was surprised and pleased when my first novel, Clouds Over Bishop Hill, came out in good shape when compared to the 15 steps. I certainly wasn’t trying. In fact, I was pretty nervous about it all. I’d written my fight scene in the barn thinking it was the end of the book and then discovered that no it wasn’t, too many loose ends needed to be tied up. But I liked that scene. I couldn’t axe it. So, I wrote what I felt like was another ending. I liked that one too. I kept both. It got published and I held my breath (metaphor alert). It confused some readers, but not others. Then I read Save the Cat and found out that it was okay to do such things.

That was the first Bishop Hill book, for the second one I thought I’d be more traditional. Still, writing is hard. Writing can be even harder if you’re a pantser, as in a write-by-the-seat-of-one’s-pants type, like I am.

I created a huge diagram of the 15 steps for my wall. Have I filled it in? No. I use the book as a loose guide, a reference, and for inspiration. I still have to take my time to work things out with ideas that please me.

So, I am now encouraged enough with my “final scene” notes to emerge from my writerly time-hoarding isolation and attempt to get caught up with my other projects and commitments.