Friday, July 23, 2010

Progress Friday

It's not easy being a writer when you have little boys screaming bl**dy murder or 'The force is not with you, I will demolish you with my light saber and transform into a megaTransformer to annihilate you and all your Hot Wheels garage!' Yes, that's typical play day at my place, and with just 2 boys. No need to tell you where the sanity heads to - yes, Bedlam.

Still, did manage to get 'some' done on the WIP. It's now sitting down at 15K-something, not bad when it was around 9K last Friday. Bursts and spurts - even these get the word count to tally up!

So I'm at this stage where the dynamics in the story change, and a new pivotal character comes in - the hero. Yes, in case you're wondering, it's women's fiction hence the delay to get the man on board. Right - the man. Who is he? I have an idea. I mean, you don't write a full outline without knowing who your hero is, innit? But while I know who this bloke is, I don't know him. Not yet. This is what I set out to do for the last few days - flesh out this skeleton and breathe some life into him (Poor hero. For a man who's supposed to be drop-dead gorgeous, he's just a sack of bones right now. Sniffle...)

I cannot tell you exactly how I go about getting to know my characters. I have an idea of their background and where they come from, what their life story is, but that much doesn't really tell you what a person is really like. Giving it lots of thought (especially during cooking time, when I'm not singing along to ABBA - long story, that I might tell one day!), I'm letting this man tell me who he is. Almost like my heroine, I'm getting to know him.

And lo and behold - he's into bikes! The serious, heavy, thoroughly sexy and fast competition motorbikes! Now what do I know of these machines other than they're powerful, make a lot of noise, and are, well, sexy-looking? Dilemma, dilemma. Hero wants his bike. What to do?

This is how I found myself contacting a good friend/family member who is into motorbike racing. The good thing is, he know I'm a writer and he's all set to help me. Spent a good portion of this morning on the phone with him, and he tells me all about bikes - makes, models, accessories, engine power, defensive v/s competition driving, gear, lifestyle, et al. All the while, I keep going, why don't you spell it all in Greek so I can understand? At which he slows, and I start to note things down. Figures, alphabets, wacky combinations of both that look like a huge mash-up between calculus and algebra, and I need to point out I barely passed maths in secondary school!

At the end of our call, I'm seriously hyperventilating. What on earth have I gotten myself into? Or better yet, who on earth is this crazy hero who couldn't be into anything normal like cars (and that's another story - I always thought you put water in the carburator. Hubby debunked this myth for me saying this was the surefire way of breaking the car down - water goes in the radiator!). Then this absolute darling of the bloke on the other end of the line laughs, and tells me I'll be just fine. Because he has faith in me... Now if that doesn't make your day...

So this weekend I'm gonna get better acquainted with bikes, and with this unnerving man trying his darndest to make my life hell (Hero, hello? You have a heroine to woo, remember?)

Wish me some sanity, because the Transformer-Hot Wheels-Star Wars fights have just gone past warming up stage.

From Mauritius with love,


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