I’ve been having a tough time with my manuscript for my next Odelia Grey (book #6). I wasn’t sure why. I knew what the story was about. I had a great opening. Plotted the ending. But between the beginning and ending, it was like slogging through mud wearing concrete overshoes. Okay, I thought, I’ll let it rest and work on the manuscript for book #2 in my vampire series, which, I am thrilled to say, is moving along at the speed of light.
Odelia would speak to me when she was ready. She just damn well better be ready soon as the clock in ticking on my next deadline and she’s up next.
Yesterday, as I driving home from the grocery store, I was thinking about a blog topic for my next turn on Inkspot on April 15th. Stopped at a red light, I was going over information in my head, mentally arranging it into a suitable and, hopefully, interesting blog posting, when the light turned green. Not the traffic light, but the light in my head concerning Odelia. And there, at the intersection of Olympic Blvd. and Overland Ave., I saw what the story line should be for Odelia #6, and it wasn’t what I was currently plugging away at.
Sometimes our brains need to take a break from the problem at hand. The same is true from personal problems, work problems, and family problems. Often, if we allow our brain and emotions to focus on something other than what is plaguing us, a light shines on the wobbly issue. Solutions, like age lines, tend to show up when you're not looking. So it was with Odelia #6.
Fortunately, I won’t need to do much rewriting. The original plot line stands, just with some major new twists. And I may have to can an idea I was dying to use. In the biz, we call that killing off our darlings. Yes, a darling idea for this book may have to go in the trash or, at the very least, be shelved for a future book. We’ll see as this new story track continues. But the important thing is, now that she's gotten my attention, Odelia is ready to come back to work. And it’s about time.
Stubborn characters can be a pain in the patootie to a writer. But they are also a blessing. If we listen closely, they tell us when we’re going down the wrong path with a manuscript. And they tell us when something is a good idea.
Okay, Odelia, you have my attention. Put down the bat. You won't have to hit me twice.