Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Final Turn and Heading for Home

by Martha Reed

Easter weekend was a big weekend for me for a lot of reasons, mostly because my late Winter/early Spring calendar booked up quickly and then the events turned challenging: driving up I-79 and over on I-90 in a blizzard for my sisters 50th birthday in Niagara; nervously keeping a wary weather eye on the river in Confluence during our PGH SinC Writer’s Workshop with Ramona Long. Last weekend in Vegas was enough to do anyone in although I have to admit that watching the movie The Hangover when actually in sitting in a hotel room in Vegas in pajamas does add a certain degree of verisimilitude.

But Easter was it! I promised myself, flipping the calendar page into April and May. After we get through with the egg dyeing, chocolate bunnies and cinnamon jellybeans, I am sending the family away for six weeks while I take one final pass at my manuscript in preparation for the PennWriters conference mid-May. It’s my birthday present to myself and I can’t wait to dig in and get it DONE.

Which makes me laugh even as I write it because technically my mss was complete last year when the conference was in Pittsburgh. The hitch occurred when I met an actual retired homicide detective last year and in talking with him for a couple of hours I realized how thin my homicide detective was, which meant – drumroll, please – back to the drawing board.

Which has me curious: have you ever met someone new who triggered a extensive revamping of one of your characters? What was the trigger that did it, and what was your response? Inquiring minds want to know…


PatRemick said...

Six weeks? You'll have to post weekly updates.Good luck!

Martha Reed said...

Thanks, Pat! I figure if I do something writerly every day and massive sessions on the weekend I'll be all set. I'm very excited about this mss - it's dark and sexy and I can't wait to get feedback on it.

Patg said...

Actually, when I was first writing my villans, I learned about antagonists not necessarily being the villan. That gave me a great chance to go back and add enough antagonism into some of the characters to make them more interesting than just 'people who populate the story' and that allowed me plenty of room for the twists.
Frankly, I think antagonists to the protagonist are even more fun and interesting than the villan.
I also think it is much easier to rewrite, Martha, than to create on the spot. Good luck.