I’m rewriting the beginning of the hellhound novella again. Remember when I figured out that my conflict sucked? Well, it did, and I fixed it … but then I didn’t change much else. I decided to just change how the information is given out.
Big mistake. I could barely write it, because it was awful. It was the right change to make, but I hadn’t yet realized that I needed to change more than that.
So, starting again with a new opening scene (remember that tidbit posted earlier? gone now). The good thing is, the bulk part of the romance and conflict between my characters is the same, so I can just move stuff around and rewrite conversations into new settings — it’s just the external conflict getting an overhaul. So it’s going fast. And I like this much, much better.
Then it’s on to my short story, which is all ready to go in my head (and I’m totally happy with it), then back to my next Guardian book, which is screaming at me to get out.
One thing about the novella is that I haven’t had any outside focus stuff — like my usual collage, soundtrack, inspirational piece. For DEMON BOUND, it was music like CCR’s “Fortunate Son,” Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried” (one of Jake’s scenes is pretty much a homage to that story, only I don’t like to call it a homage, because it can’t do the original justice — so maybe I’ll just call it a very, very grateful nod), Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper,” and probably far too many readings of “The Madwoman in the Attic.”
For the next Guardian book, I’ve got things like a portion of Sylvia Plath’s “Lady Lazarus” taped over my desk. Not even the whole poem — just the final lines:
You poke and stir.
Flesh, bone, there is nothing there—–
A cake of soap,
A wedding ring,
A gold filling.
Herr God, Herr Lucifer
Out of the ash
I rise with my red hair
And I eat men like air.
Because even though the subject of the poem has nothing to do with my heroine, the emotion does. And it keeps me centered on the character.
The short story, it’s “The Taming of the Shrew.” Not a rewrite of it — just inspired by it.
But this novella? Argh, it’s like I’ve been without an anchor for a while.Â And I still don’t have a thing … but the story itself, I think I’ve got it pinned now. Finally.
So, writing and writing, and by god I’ll have this out soon.Â Here’s one thing I’m certain of: writing novellas is, for me, the hardest thing in the world. (Which means that I’m going to keep on writing them until they aren’t — that might be never.)