Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Grabbing the Water Snake

No no, it's not what you think. Remember that rubbery, tube shaped novelty toy. No, really, not that toy. It's called a Water Snake or a Water Wiggley, and it's in a bin outside every science museum and Discovery store I've seen.

The point is, every time you try to hold on to that Water Snake, it slips out of your grasp.

And every time I try to get a new grip on my novel, it seems to wriggle away. Not by much, but enough to keep me from getting anything done.

To recap, I was about 30 pages into a rewrite of the Nano novel from last November. I had revised the outline, rediscovered the characters, and given the plot some structure. I was ready to plow ahead... and then my computer's hard drive suffered serious performance anxiety and the whole thing was lost. Revision, notes....

I now have a rebuilt computer, the poor, anemic first draft, and paper notes of the punched up outline. But in the interim, the story seems to have veered.

Wiggled like a Water Snake, actually.

In an effort to rediscover its focus, I've plunged into a giant, meandering freewrite, summarizing each characters storyline as I currently understand it, motivations, relationships with other characters. I'm hoping this will help me get a grip on that silly Water Snake.

If nothing else, it's getting me back into the story. Maybe soon I can recrate the lost section.

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