Backward, and in high heels

Gracefully dancing;
thoughts swirl in sparked synapses
to music one sees.

Introspective this morning?  Me?  Nahhh.  My very first Haiku.  The season it’s set in would be spring, a rebirth of thought from the roots of the old, but that is hard to figure out since it’s about nothing you can touch.  Yup, I’m in rewrite mode, and the brain is firing in odd ways.

I got through chapter four yesterday, and Rachel’s first day is just about to wind down.  The major plot is set (chapter one) new people are introduced, (chapter one and two) and the complications are starting to appear. (chapter three and four.)  Today I’m going back to my laundry list that I made yesterday, (again) and seeing what I need to tweak in order to start addressing them.  I tried yesterday, and only got the easy stuff.  Must get serious about it now.

I’ve already considered three options to one of the biggies on my list and thrown them out this morning, deciding I need to drop back all the way back down to chapter one and add a missed phone call, and then a brief visual in chapter two or three, so that when he shows up in chapter four to actually say something, it makes sense.  Not a big change paper wise, maybe a page or two, but big change in the story.

And so it begins . . .


P.S.  Ten points if you know what ” joke” the punch line in the title of today’s post goes to.





Filed under Drama Box

42 responses to “Backward, and in high heels

  1. Jelle

    I wonder, have you ever tryed to write a whole novel in reverse, starting with the final chapter and working backwards toward the beginning?

  2. theweightofsilence

    Holy crap, this one is sounding sooo good (haha, like any of the others HAVEN’T been??). I think I’m going to be so sad when this series ends, haha! Kind of like when your most favorite TV show ends… how do you go on with life?? It’s okay, I’ll just have to re-read them over and over while reading any new series you come up with 😀

    Yes, a motivator is definitely good. I think right now, my biggest motivator is myself. I’ve recently discovered that I’ve taken advantage of the natural talent that I have. Writing is work, and it can be hard work at times, and it’s something that needs to be worked at to work FOR you. I think I would be much further in my writing if I would have worked at it and not fallen on my natural talent as a crutch. It’s a horrible mistake, but one that was essential in learning.

    I suppose in the grand scheme of things, 3-4 re-writes isn’t that bad, considering how involved your plots are and how well they work with your great characters =]

  3. Marsha

    When most of my friends were crazy about Mick Jagger I loved Fred Astaire. Yeah, I’m weird. But he and Ginger (and Leslie Caron in Daddy Longlegs) were so much fun to watch.

    • -grin- I lost my heart to Tom Baker, though I think his Tardis might have had something to do with it. Some people are attracted to looks, some to time and relative dimensions in space ships.

  4. Douglas

    Hurt my feelings that I couldn’t remember the joke till I looked it up. I taught Ballroom Dancing for four years and had heard it many times. I just drew a blank 😛
    With the comments about first drafts and editing, I thought I would relate an experiment I tried last weekend. Hemingway once said to write drunk, and edit sober. I don’t advise it as a constant writing style, but it had some interesting results. I tried it 2 nights in a row and ended up with 2 short stories. Each was about 2500 words before editing. First one was ok, but with editing, it will be about 900 words. Good for flash fiction. The second one was much better and might make the core for something more interesting.
    What I figure, is that with my inhibitions reduced and my thoughts slowed, I was able to type as fast as my thoughts would come out. Then, Monday when I went back and looked at them, I was able to pick out the logic flaws and duplications and was left with a core that only needed fleshing out to make a story.
    Anyone else have a trick they use when they need to jumpstart ideas or get stuck re-writing the same paragraph too many times?

    • Don’t worry about it, Douglas! 😉 I have mind hiccups all the time. It just means you’re thinking about something else.

      Okay, I know I said there is no wrong way to write, but that method is not one I’d recommend to anyone. Ever. I’m not pointing fingers and being a prude, but I am a firm believer that if you have to rely on drug stimulation to be creative, then you are not a writer, you are a transcriber for a drunk man. That is a trap that is going to snap your career short when the pressure is applied, and believe me, the pressure is immense from time to time.

  5. Fred & Ginger of course.
    Ginger did everything Fred did, only backwards, and in high heels. Therefore making it harder, so her doing it flawlessly and making it look effortless in reality is 10 times harder than Fred doing it forward, in dancing shoes. Not to mention he’s in pants and she’s in a dress… but I won’t even get started on that.

    I love to hear that your brain synapses are firing – albeit out of order. I have a feeling that is when the great moments in the hollows happen. I am beyond thrilled at these tidbits…. I have to make sure Evie reads this blog… she’ll be fascinated.

    This blog? My hands down favorite so far.

    • I think dresses are sexy, actually. Very powerful tools in presenting oneself correctly. My legs are not shaped right to look good in them, so I don’t wear them. Ah, well. We all have our strengths.

      I’m glad you’re enjoying the Drama Box. It takes a bit of time, so knowing it’s appreciated makes it worth it.

  6. I knew if I kept reading writers writing about writing, pieces would fall into place. I had an “ah ha” moment this morning thanks to your current topic on first drafts and rewriting. I had stopped writing through a first draft because I kept changing the action scenes, who’s doing what to whom, and who’s telling the story. I knew (and still know) the major plot points and what the final outcome will be but I became lost in the middle. I thought that, as a writer, I was supposed to keep it all tidy as I went along. I don’t know where this idea came from but, there it is.

    Kim, a few days ago you posted how you simply write through every scene that pops into your head on your first draft and save the sorting, deleting, and sense of it all for your rewrite. PING! Can you see the light coil (no more bulbs these days) over my wild woman head? I get it now. I do. Thanks for this.

    • That is fabulous, Jeannie! I’m so glad you’re finding ways to work more successfully! I love seeing my own writing methods shift and change.

      Keep it up!

  7. Kathy Ritchie

    Damn, just got here and read your note only to see everyone beat me with the answer by hours! Dang it is hard to win when you work and have to wait till lunch to view internet sites!

    Missed again, by just that much!

  8. Of course, it’s the comments made about Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

    Everyone always commented on what a wonderful dancer Fred Astaire was (and he was) but no one ever praised Ginger Rogers for her ability to do an entire sequence in one take (Fred insisted) and to match his skill while wearing high heels and doing everything exactly backwards.

    Though Fred was a fantastic dancer, he wasn’t exactly a lady killer in appearance. Ginger made him believable as a leading man and added sex appeal to the mix. Fred always danced with beautiful leading ladies but Ginger was the BEST MATCH EVER!

  9. Gail S

    Hi Kim, Welcome back from vacation. Sounds like you worked awfully hard while on vacation 😉
    I like your Haiku, appropriate as I believe April is Poetry month. I like the reference to Ginger Rogers, when I was a kid watching those old movies I dreamed of being able to dance like her, now I’m just happy not to trip over my own feet 🙂
    Happy Spring !

    • Hi Gail. Yep, I worked hard in the yard, while on vacation, and I enjoyed it!

      I didn’t remember it being poetry month until you mentioned it. Huh! I don’t do a lot of poetry, but I do enjoy it.

  10. Vampyre

    Howdy ma’am,

    What theysaid about Gnger Rogers…


  11. Amy

    I have always loved to write and I appreciate the insight into how you do things. I might have to try it sometime and see if I can finish the half finished book I’ve not worked on in so long.

    I hope in the future the trouble Rachel finds herself getting into is because of someone else and not because she didn’t think things quite through. I was at a book signing when you addressed a question about Rachel and her growing up. The woman asking the question was rather tired of her making these stupid mistakes. I had a thought about it, as I’ve noticed her change and mature. If witches live to be 150 years old and Rachel is only in her mid twenties, well she still is young for a witch so perhaps we shouldn’t quite judge her by human standards. Who is to say witches don’t mature until like forty or something.

    Enjoy the spring in Michigan, it comes much too late for my taste!

    • Oh, I hope you do finish one, Amy. The satisfaction is immense.

      I think I remember that woman. Personally, I think Rachel is making better life choices, but it’s easy to say she’s making bad ones when she’s making choices you would not.

      Rachel is always doing things I wouldn’t do, but if she made my choices, she’d be sitting at her desk all day writing stuff, not kicking butt and falling in love. -laugh- A very ho-hum book indeed.

  12. The last two posts have provided some really helpful insights into what goes into writing a novel. It’s very different from my nonfiction, where I have to spend a lot of time checking and rechecking facts and what others have had to say. Someday, when & if I finish the books I’ve been working on for way too long, I’d like to try it. I’ve certainly got plenty of ideas, though my ex (who has published several fantasy novels) says my narrative skills leave a lot to be desired.

    • jkh

      Narrative skills can be developed. Don’t let anybody discourage you; writers go through many, many drafts and “first works” that are not sold. I would have trouble going over and over the “facts” for a nonfiction, that’s a skill set I find challenging. You’re doing fine!

    • Hi Ronald. I’ve heard that fiction and non fiction are very different writing. I can’t say I’ve done much non fiction, so my hat is off to you for the attention to detail you’ve put into it.

      It can be hard with two creative forces in one household.

  13. Robin

    I had to smile the minute I saw today’s header. By brother-in-laws LOVE it when I make the Ginger Rogers crack under my breath. I can’t help it if it’s true. 🙂

  14. Jade/Third Coast

    I always heard it connected with Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, as the other posters pointed out. I have always wondered how old that joke was and if she ever heard it before passing away. I hope she did.

    Is the new man going to be significant to Rachel, as in a personal way? I am in Trent’s corner right now, but that could change depending on what your imagination cooks up.

    • Ten points to you, Jade!

      New man, new man. Gosh, I don’t know. I’ve got three versions of this puppy I’m working on now, and I’m known for making major changes in the editorial rewrite. I’m going to be staying very tight-lipped on it now. -grin-

  15. Maryellen

    I see that some of my fellow “Inder-Fans” already got the Ginger Rogers reference, which I love by the way. I have a soft spot for old movies; Fred Astaire, Ginger, Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron et al.

    Thank you, Miss Kim for letting us see into your writing process. I find it extremely helpful 🙂

    Have a wonderful SPRING day!

  16. Jen H

    Ha Ha. That title is so true. Ginger Rogers did have to dance better than Fred Astaire since she did everything he did but backwards and in heels!!

  17. Hey Kim! I hope you had a good “vacation.” 🙂 Sorry I haven’t been around for a few days (I’m certain you missed me *grin*), but work and school have been cresting and sucking the life out of me again. The end of the semester is coming up and it’s pretty brutal, mainly because I’m lazy and don’t have the energy to work ahead like I know I should.

    I like the haiku, thank you for sharing your first with us! As always, I love reading about your writing process. I love it when I’ve written about a character enough that they begin to take on a life of their own. It’s always fascinating to me.

  18. No points for me because I had to Google it. I’ll wait to see if someone knows the answer before I cut and paste what I found!

    I wonder what adventures you will think up for our Rachel today? Miss her and the gang!

    Bored in NYC

    • Hi Cathy.

      Ahhh, she had an argument I wasn’t expecting, saying something she knew wasn’t true, but she just couldn’t stop herself. Pride is a huge stumbling stone.

  19. Jenn

    Is it the fact that Ginger Rogers, did everything that Fred Astaire did – only backwards and in high heels?

    It sounds like things are going well for you in the rewright. A new man huh? I’m sure Jenks will come up with some interesting one liners! I’m assuming that she is going to be back across the lines again at some point 🙂

  20. mudepoz

    Ginger Rogers HAD to be a better dancer than Fred Astaire. Watching late night TV? It’s a beautiful haiku, no matter what sparked it.
    So, now you tease us for, what? 2 books into the future? A phone call in the first chapter?
    I appreciate your blogs on the peeks inside your head as you rewrite. I still don’t love them, but I think I’m getting to understand them.

    • Ten points to you, Mud!

      And thanks! I rather like my first haiku. It was fun, if I may say so.

      Actually, the teaser is for the next book, so not long to wait now. 😉