A blog about writing . . . and a lot of other things

Saturday, June 9, 2012

A day of Norman Rockwell & torture

As you know, yesterday I posted sweet pictures of my children and the childhood memories we shared over the breakfast table.  It was all very Norman Rockwell.  We ate scrambled eggs and homemade banana bread.

Then I spent the rest of the morning torturing Piper in Ravenswood, since the novel is suddenly no longer complete and I have to try to write a new climax and ending for it . . . again.

As I was telling my kids over lunch (yes, we talk a lot at meals), the way you make fictional characters do things is to torture them.  If you don't torture them, then they act a lot like real people do.  They read books and watch TV and surreptitiously pick their noses - none of which makes for great literature or even a fun read.

You know how when you read a good book you get to the end and kind of wake up and think, "Whoa!  Where am I?" because you've been so sucked into that world?  Well, the same thing happens when I'm writing, which means I really felt like I'd spent the morning, to some extent, torturing Piper in my selfish attempt to get a full-length novel out of her.  The poor girl took it all quite well, I must say.

The most heartbreaking thing about yesterday's efforts, for me, is that I again have all this first-draft stuff that will need several revisions before it rises above crap, let alone blends seamlessly into the rest of the novel.  For one thing, I managed to drop ninjas in there.  I've mentioned in my blog before that Meagan saved me during last year's NaNoWriMo by suggesting ninja pirates to me, thus freeing my novel Blue from a heroine who was content to wander in a blissful meadow all day (I wish I were kidding).  The ninja pirates were awesome, and I got a new favorite character, Sebastian, out of the deal.

However, I can't have ninjas in all my books.  If I ever do become a bestselling author or even (fingers-crossed) a respected one, I don't want someone writing their dissertation on the meaning of ninjas in Amy Moran's novels.  I want them instead to write about my use of food as a reflection of family dysfunction.  It's a consistent theme, and would make a great thesis.  


  1. Someday if I ever have great uninterrupted stretches of free time, I will read this novel-in-progress of yours (so long as it's not a romance novel) and see if I can't think of another brilliant idea that will rescue this Piper damsel from the evil dragons of dullness.

    Hey... have you considered dragons? Dragons are good... ;-)

    1. Nope. This one can't have dragons. Blue can have dragons.

      Ravenswood is a young adult novel with some paranormal stuff in it, but not fantasy. There's a little romance, but it's pretty light. She's just in high school, after all.