Sunday, June 17, 2012

Kiss and Tell

This week has been crazy for writing. In addition to regular life, Minchkin has been sick. Her fever has sat around 103 for a few days and then down to the 101.5 range for several more. She is nauseous constantly and has lost 9 pounds which is fine when you are me, but when you already weigh next to nothing, not such a good thing. And although she is turning into a teenager before my very eyes, she needed her mommy, and I wasn't about to give that chance up. So we spent a lot of time watching shows together, talking, and just trying to get her to feel better.

I also had a job interview this week and a history test, a party for my church girls at my house (I teach the 10 and 11 year olds), and D was out of town for 3 days. The point is, writing got put on the back burner--the far far back burner. I hate it when that happens. I understand that sometimes it has to. My family comes first, which means right now school has to come first as well so I can finish this degree and have more time to spend with them, but it is still hard to neglect my characters for a whole week, even if I am thinking of them, and boy was I thinking of them. Mostly because I couldn't figure out where they needed to go.

I tried one thing, and then another, and then another. I rewrote the end of chapter eleven three times, and chapter twelve just wouldn't start. (Another reason I probably allowed myself to put writing on the side lines.) And in the midst of all this not writing, I remembered a piece of my own advice. My friend in writers group has been struggling to submit things as her life is just as crazy and possibly more so than mine. So two weeks ago I told her not to worry about anything, just write the scene where they kiss. And guess what? She turned in an assignment that week!

I took those pearls of wisdom and decided to see what would happen if I threw a kiss into the end of the chapter. It was a first kiss and technically a fake kiss, a kiss to cover up a lie, so I knew that when it ended I would have to deal with the whole awkwardness of the we-just-kissed situation. I didn't want to deal with that. I'd had enough awkward up until that point, another scene was just going to go over the top. But I had to write and so I did and guess what? In the middle of their kiss, out of the blue something happened that not only allowed me to hold off on the awkward talk moment (yes, I know it still needs to come, but not for awhile) and also changed the whole direction the book was going.

One small sentence in the middle of their kiss changed everything. There I am typing happily along and it just came out. I had to look at it three times, and I kept saying, "Why would I have written that?" And then it dawned on me, because it was perfect and it opened up a whole new world of possibilities for E and J and even R. All it took was a kiss, not even a good swoon worthy kiss. But it was worth it.

My book is a YA novel, so there was bound to be a kiss in it. Your's might not have any kissing in it, but still, if you are struggling, wondering what comes next, why not try out something totally unexpected and see where it leads you? It might be horrible and you end up deleting the whole scene, but then again, maybe you won't.

Oh and since it is Father's Day, I better go upstairs and give a kiss to my favorite main character! Because our first kiss was another kiss that changed my whole world, and look how good that one turned out! Happy Father's Day and Write On!

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