Wednesday, May 04, 2011
BOM: The Writing
Photo: Yes, St. Simons is a real island off the coast of Georgia. It has a light house and expensive real estate, as you might imagine.
The writing was a bit of a challenge for me because I am by nature a plot-oriented person. I usually get the idea for a fabulous, twisty plot first, and populate it with characters second.
But in this story, the plot was fairly simple: three sisters meet together over a holiday weekend to clean out their late grandmother's beach house. It's what the characters are doing and thinking and being that makes the story matter.
I also chose to write the story in three different first person viewpoints: each sister tells her own story in her own voice. We accomplished this by using different fonts for the different sisters, plus I worked hard to make sure each sister's voice remained her own. For instance, only one sister had been to college, so all the fancy vocabulary words had to be confined to her scenes. One sister was fairly dreamy, so her language was more metaphorical, and the other sister was very down to earth with a wry sense of humor, so her language was different, too. In one draft, I went through the book working on all the "Ginger" scenes, then all the "Penny" scenes, then all the "Rosemary" scenes. (I'm doing the same thing now with my WIP). Doing those separate-voice drafts helped me make the three voices unique.
And finally, in writing the character-driven story, I had to be willing to be surprised by what my characters revealed about themselves--talk about expecting the unexpected! I found that each had deep secrets she only revealed through much patience and prodding. :-)
Hope you enjoy the story!
Tomorrow: the editing