Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Why I Write Fiction

I found myself yesterday in a very good mood.

I'd been in a good mood the day before, but the day before I'd finally seen The King's Speech, a movie I'd really been looking forward to seeing and which I enjoyed every bit as much as I thought I would. In fact, I liked it so much that I didn't even mind having to do a mother job that turned out to be fruitless and probably will have to be done today as well. That's the sort of thing that can ruin a week for me nowadays.

But Tuesday, even though I'd run the fruitless errand the evening before and I didn't have a movie to go to and the weekly snowstorm was replaced by a sleet storm, which made it extremely treacherous to get to my car, which I did to run an errand at Macy's, which also proved to be fruitless, and then even though some gentleman decided to stroll across the road right in front of my car, forcing me to brake pretty abruptly, which caused the car behind me to rear end me, I still was in a very good mood. I can't say I liked the street crossing gentleman, but the young man who rear ended me was very nice, and once I had assured both him and me that neither my car nor I was damaged, I resumed my trip home, still humming "I just called to say I love you," which isn't even a song I like, but is kind of jolly. It got replaced by "Tzena Tzena" in my mind, which is extremely bouncy and not at all the sort of song one usually whistles after a great deal of fruitlessness and being rear ended.

I had no trouble determining why I was in a good mood, and that was because I'd figured something out in Hart. Hart, for those of you just tuning in, is the gothic romantic noir psychological thriller novel I'd been playing at writing for entirely too long now. Unlike every other book I've ever written, I started Hart in the middle, then muddled my way to the end, and only on Sunday did I begin the beginning. All the work I usually do before I write I'm doing as I write, and as a result, I'm constantly changing things, and getting rid of things I don't need, and occasionally getting rid of things it turns out I do need. In other words, I have no control over the material, and since I have no control over my life, as a general rule, I like having control over the material. It's kind of compensatory.

But what is fun about Hart, and it's fun about the whole writing process for me, is the solving of the puzzles. Smack on my way to The King's Speech, I solved what had been a significant problem for me, kind of a What Does Hart Know And When Does He Know It issue. Pieces fell into place. The whole of the book started to reveal itself. It began to make sense.

So I smiled when I ran my fruitless mother errand and I smiled when I ran my fruitless Macy's errand, and I smiled when I got rear ended (or at least I smiled at the very nice young man who rear ended me). I smiled and I hummed and I whistled.

The real proof of how much I'm enjoying writing this particular piece of puzzling fiction is I intended to write this blog entry yesterday, but instead went right to work on Hart.

And I'm still smiling!


Nora Durbin said...

That's awesome that writing this book is bringing you so many smiles!

Lisa-Marie Jordan said...

I'm glad to hear you weren't hurt when you were rear-ended and were even to continue on smiling and singing! Take care!

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hello Nora Durbin and Lisa-Marie Jordan (Durbin and Jordan are almost a near rhyme, if you slur the "a" in Jordan a bit)-

I have to admit I haven't started working on Hart today, and since it's 4:19 PM, I really ought to. I kind of slide into writing nowadays, rather than waking up and getting going.

So let's hope I get that slide going right now. My Feb. 17 birthday deadline is rapidly approaching!

Wanda Vaughn said...

I grew up when The A-Team was in its prime and I can't help but recall the leader's catch phrase and then twist it: "I love it when a book comes together."

I, too, am very happy to know you weren't hurt in the car accident. You've got to be careful! The world is waiting for Hart! Plus, we kinda like you, too.

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi Wanda Vaughn-

Is that a new picture of you? I don't remember it. It's very nice indeed.

I left the comments section to follow the picture's link and lost my word verification, which was "dedist." A made up word like that is easy to remember.

Anyway, I'm glad the accident was a big nothing (or a little nothing), since I'd like to stay alive just a little while longer myself.

My new verification word is "oveliga" which sounds like something that could leave you dedist if you don't watch out!

Linda Jacobs said...

Cool! Your post made me smile, too! BTW, is Hart a YA novel or an adult one?

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hallo Linda Jacobs-

As of the moment, Hart is an R rated YA. Or maybe a PG 15.

Or maybe just a big self-indulgent mess of a novel!

We'll see how it ends up after the first draft is completed, I take a bit of time off, and return to whip it into shape.