Thursday, September 01, 2005

Just checking in with the WIP

I keep thinking about those poor people in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast--as a native Floridian, I've ridden through more than my share of hurricanes, but we've never endured that kind of damage. Those folks need our prayers.

The WIP (work in progress) is coming along, but I feel a little like I'm mired in mud. I'm in Act 2, you see, and this is where Mary Magdalene meets and travels with Jesus. The problem is this: the Jesus stories, including the miracles and the crucifixion/resurrection are familiar to almost any reader, so I'm really not covering any new ground here. I am telling the story from Mary's and Atticus's perspective (Atticus is a Roman soldier), but even that feels . . . familiar. And familiar is not necessarily good when you're writing a novel, but at the same time, I don't want to give those stories short shrift.

So--that's the challenge. How to move through those stories quickly and yet present new material. I've already second-drafted the second act (I move into act 3 today), but I'm going to have to take a hard look at that section when I do triage between drafts 2 and 3. Hmmm.

My motto is "expect the unexpected," but even if that weren't my motto, it's never good to write a predictable novel. The trick lies in creating suspense . . . in a way that has nothing to do with genre.

So, I'll keep working and muddling through.

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