Hello, all. Skye here, for another Feline Friday. This week, I have on my metaphorical nurse hat, as Anty is not feeling well. She did not do a video blog this week, although she wanted to, because she got a cold sore the night before she was going to make her video blog. Cold sores are not very pretty, and they make Anty cranky. This is probably because she cannot have tea or pizza or wear lipstick (I have built in permanent lipstick. It is black, which goes nicely with the creamy fur around my mouth. I also have built in eyeliner. Anty says I am lucky that way.) and because she has to replace all lip products that touched her mouth for two weeks before the cold sore. On the plus side, this means she gets to buy new lipsticks, so that is the good thing in all of this. Anty loves to get new lipsticks.
The rest of it is not as fun. It is very bright and sunny today, so Anty has even less energy. She will probably spend more of the day in her nice, dark office or go to the coffee house, which is in a basement and has brick walls. It is also very cool in there on summer days, so it is a plus. Either way, Anty will probably be bringing legal pads, because she is at the legal pad stage of things.
Anty first discovered legal pads while she was helping Uncle, her papa, and her own anty while they were all sick at the same time. She did not always have room in her lap to hold a notebook open, and legal pads fit nicely in her tote bag. Anty likes pretty legal pads. She will use the plain yellow ones if she has to, but the color is not good on her eyes, and plain white is glare-y. She thought neon colors would be too harsh, but with the right pen, they are actually soothing. Paper, in general, is more soothing to Anty than looking at a screen, especially when she is already feeling less than her best.
The day before yesterday, Anty talked to Anty Vicki, her critique partner, on the computer, about how the book was not moving along the way it should (I think it is because there are no cats in it yet, but does she listen to me on this one? No. I do not understand humans sometimes.) Anty Vicki said that it was because the story did not start in the right place.
Anty did not like that answer at first. She already wrote the opening scene. It gets important information out there, introduces the hero’s conflict and his goals and his backstory…and Anty was avoiding it. One thing Anty has learned over her study of her own creative process is that, if she is actively avoiding something, then she knows she has made a wrong turn and does not want to admit it. That is okay, though, because she has friends like Anty Vicki. Anty and Anty Vicki can tell each other when they are not doing the best thing for the story, and not get offended or upset by it. Which is why, when Anty came to Anty Vicki with a sneaking suspicion that the story did not start in the right place, she already knew, deep down, that she was right.
Anty Vicki asked Anty what was going to happen next after that first scene Anty has been avoiding. Anty told her the next scene, and went on for a while about how that had to happen and it feels like that’s how it should..aha. Anty Vicki knows that when Anty hits a should, what Anty needs to do is punch it in the face (they actually say a different body part that only boys have. Not-fixed boys, that is. I do not know if all shoulds are actually boys, though, so I will say face.) and do what is best for t he story. This is still a hard lesson to learn, because when Anty has written something, it has been written, and she would like it to stay there and be part of the book. (I told you she was cranky.)
Things do not always work that way, especially for writers who work in layers, like Anty does. Anty Vicki told Anty that no writing is wasted. Yes, Anty did work hard on that scene, and it did happen, but it will come out in a different way. Instead of the readers being there first hand, the hero can tell his version of it when he bursts in on the heroine’s calm, orderly world, while she is having an important conversation with another character. Anty Vicki says this also gets all three sides of the triangle in the same room in the first scene and gets the hero and heroine interacting right away. Anty admits that Anty Vicki is right about that one, so she is now taking the old opening out and putting the new one in. That is going to affect chapters that come after, which is a lot of work, but it is not as much work as avoiding the whole book, so it is okay.
This week, Anty also discovered the Discover Weekly function on Spotify, and found some new songs that she very much likes that way. This one, “Welcome To Wherever You Are,” by Bon Jovi, is going on her Go To Work playlist. She says it is appropriate for what she has learned this week. What do you think?
Anty also gets cranky when I use the computer for too long. I had better give it back to her now. Transcribing the new scene should make her feel better, and we all want her to feel better soon, so that is about it for this week. Until next week, I remain very truly yours,
Skye O’Malley Hart-Bowling
(the kitty, not the book)