Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hart To Hart

I keep writing and rewriting my gothic psychological romantic noir thriller novel Hart, and it has occurred to me that one reason why I'm writing it is to avoid all reality in my life.

Now you might legitimately wonder what reality I am choosing to avoid, given that I never leave my apartment because it's either snowed or is going to snow or is threatening to think about going to snow, and while I'm in my apartment, all I do is watch Australian Open tennis on TV (Rafa lost- now there's a tragic reality for me) and skating online (US Nationals last night, Europeans this morning). This is not what you call a low quality life, although I do have to say in defense of my January blues that Scooter has proven to be unusually sensitive to the lengthening of the days, and wakes me up each morning a minute earlier than the day before. By April, there'll probably be no point in going to sleep at all.

Because I've been writing Hart in sections, and thus having to rewrite it endlessly when I change the action in an earlier (or later) section, it's been hard to get a sense of what I've actually accomplished. So this morning, in between men's short programs, I did the third and I trust final chapter outline. It seems to have a lot of chapters, but that's because the chapters are very short. The little dashes indicate I haven't written that chapter (very few and mostly in the beginning). I don't seem to remember if I've written Chapter 7 (I definitely wrote Chapter 5 many times over). One chapter remains a question mark, and at the top right I put Glory Calls (?) because I have written a chapter where Glory calls, but it'll have to be rewritten in its entirety and I don't seem to know where it goes.

Hart is actually a lot of fun to write, which is a good thing since I have absolutely no idea if it will ever be published. I've given myself permission again to go bouncety bounce over the top, which I just love doing. And it's a book where things don't get explained right away, so I'm constantly shifting the revelations to try and improve their dramatic impact. Yesterday, for example, I put a big reveal in the dinner party scene, but this morning I thought I should move the reveal to the as yet unwritten announcement of dinner party scene.

I think some of these endless rewrites will come in handy when I actually put the first draft together and begin to polish it. My hope is some sections are close to where they need to be, just because I've rewritten them so often. You'd think by accident at least I'd have gotten some of the material right.

So here, using up two more sheets from the Speech Language Pathologist notepad, is the final chapter outline for Hart. Don't worry about being spoilered. Even I can't figure out what half my scribbles mean!


abigail said...

It sounds like it is coming along fabulously!!

qwertyuiop said...

It looks awesome!

Bethanie said...

Did I see the words 'sacrifice in the woods', 'gothic horror romance' and something I couldn't make out that strangely looked like missiles in one blog post? *giddy scream*

Now if I can just forget the little part about might not be published this would be amazing...

Nina said...

I agree with Bethanie! Giddy scream :*)

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Good evening Abigail, Qwertyuiop, Bethanie and Nina and thank you for your encouraging comments-

I don't think there are any missiles in Hart, but my handwriting is so bad, one might have slipped in when I wasn't looking.

In spite of all the skating and tennis, I did a little bit of writing (the announcement of dinner party scene). And while I was exercycling, I worked out a new Hart/Glory test scene, which will be much more dramatic.

Maybe someday I'll even write the beginning of the book!

ETA to say my word verification is "brati," a term much used to describe me in my very young years.

Elaine Marie Alphin said...

I'm just delighted you're having so much fun writing Hart - sometimes we tend to forget how joyful this process can be when we're worried about how publishable it's going to turn out.

And I think feeling mostly housebound because of the unending snow threat really helps, because even with the online skating and the Australian tennis, after a while you feel so shut in (and you can't even sleep late with faithful alarm clock Scooter) that your mind just can't help turning to the book. I once wrote an entire novel (Ghost Soldier) during what felt like a two-month ice storm.... It was quite successful, too! No sacrifices in the woods, though...

Keep on having a terrific time with Hart and Glory - we all are eager to see the results!

: ) Elaine

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi Elaine Marie Alphin-

My faithful alarm clock Scooter decided to play with his twist tie on my bed at 5:30 this morning. I removed the twist tie from him, and he found another, which he then played with on my bed at 5:31 this morning.

I removed that one too, and he promptly fell back asleep. Alas I did not!

rbcca said...

ok so just to clar things up between you and me are you really susan beth peffer?
if you r i love your books!!!!!!!!!
love your writing everything, i know this has nothing to do with your blog that you wrote but i felt liek i needed to tell you this even though im a total stanger to you this is imporant to me.
your my fav author!