Thursday, January 21, 2010

Toots and character flaw.


I absolutely love language development. Toots is now stringing words together and is almost more thrilled by it than I am.  Honey, Grandma and I are just giggling in amazement at everything that comes out of her mouth lately. Some recent examples:

We had turned the lights out in the office/playroom/guestroom the other night.  Toots runs  in a step or two because she still wants to play with her interlocking building toys and screeches to a halt-shiver-spin and hightails it out of there with a big grin on her face: 

"Whooooaaaaa! It dahk in dere!"

"Mommy, you too funny!"

Big huuuuuug, Mommy!

"Daddy, I wuvey you-you!"

"Gam-ma, you wead book!"

Just a sampling, because I know this isn't nearly as exciting to read as it is for me to hear. She talks a lot about herself, too, and is too cute saying her name like Elmo says his in every sentence.

character flaw

In my first middle reader manuscript, I have a character I love who shows up near the beginning, is integral to a couple of things in the story and for the main character, but who drops out of sight about halfway through.  He had a purpose as a confessor for the main character, but that ended up being served later in the story by another character altogether, who made better sense for the role in the way the story developed.

I had this thought previous to my writing retreat,  even had advice from my old writer friends back in Boston to get rid of the early guy, but I loved him way too much.  While at the retreat, I figured out how to combine the two characters, but I wasn't ready to let the early character go.  I think I am today.  Barring any appointments Grandma may have this afternoon, I may need to steal hubby's laptop and head out to a cafe to do the dirty deed of killing off my character.  It'll be like a death to me, even though I am really just taking parts of him that advance the story and giving them to the later character. And of course I will have to change how that works, too. 

Sometimes, I really do just want this finished already.  But the process is what is fun, right?  Even when it can be agonizing.

As for leaving the house to write, I think I really have to start doing that now. Toots won't nap until the afternoon, and by then, Grandma is home from her morning routine and Mr. Cynic arrives off the bus not long after lunch because his high school starts ridiculously early. And then comes Captain Comic about 90 minutes later. Even when they are not directly interrupting me, which is usually the case, just the presence of so many people who may likely interact with me is too distracting for me to concentrate on real writing.

And then there's the whole guilt factor of having constantly divided attention between mothering and creativity.  I really should be paying attention to my kids more directly.  I really can't focus on the writing when family is around. Might as well define the borders better physically.  Now that's a step in the right direction for me.  What took so long for that to sink in and come up with a solution?

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