I'm still doing rewrites on Hart, as opposed to doing actual writes, which might constitute work. People with sniffles don't have to work, because sneezing and blowing our noses is very energy consuming.
One day last week, pre-sniffles but possibly during the tiny snow storm we got, I invented a whole new medicine to be used exclusively by characters in Hart. Well, at the time, it was only going to be used by one character, my poor beleaguered heroine. I gave the medicine a name (this is the kind of stuff I love doing when I'm writing, working out names for completely made up medicines), and even gave it an additional side effect, although it's really more like two effects and no sides.
I know there are those of you here who are very sensitive to spoilers, which I think in this case is even sillier, since I'm talking about a book that has no beginning and no end, just a lot of middle I keep rewriting. It's not like the publishing industry is knocking on my door, begging to see what I've got.
But I love all of you, even those of you who are spoiler sensitive, so I'll only say about this medicine that it affects memory. But because my heroine takes it, and her memory is affected, I had to change the book from past tense to present.
At some point, early on, I had considered writing Hart in the present tense, which is a tense I rarely use. But since the book is first person, if my heroine can't remember certain things, she can't write about those things in a past tense voice. That's pure gothic romantic psychological thriller logic.
Now my favorite verb is "said." My characters go around saiding all the time. So I figured I'd take advantage of the cleverness of computers and tell my document to change all "said"s to "says," a true time saver.
It almost worked great. But it definitely had a negative impact on some of the dialogue:
"I love you," he says.
"I love you too," I says.
Sounds a little Ma and Pa Kettle.
So I still have to go around editing those says, but it's still something of a time saver.
Last night, in between sniffles and Philadelphia Eagles missed field goals, I changed the ending the book, to make better use of the medicine part of the plot, and also because I had a really good image that I wanted to exploit. Between sneezes and waking up at 3 AM, I worked out a new ending (so it's a good thing I never wrote the original one). My concern had been that the ending I had, while nice and dramatique, left my poor beleaguered heroine kind of passive, and even in a book as crazy as this one, I do believe main characters should act and not just be acted upon.
But at 3 AM, I figured out what she could do that would leave her in control of her own destiny. I love it. My book is no longer a gothic psychological romantic horror novel. It's a gothic psychological romantic horror noir novel.
Now if I could only stop sniffling long enough to actually write it!