Monday, October 11, 2010

Bleeding at the Typewriter . . .

. . . is my day gig.

It is otherwise known as the art of writing. For the first time in my life, I wrote for a week straight, Number 113 on my Bucket List -- me and my writer pal Pamela Samuels Young.

If you're a writer trying to focus, sometimes you need to get out of your own way. Los Angeles is a great place to be if you're a mogul with your own movie studio or the governator of your own state, but if you're a writer trying to hone in on her story, you need to get away from distractions of Kardashian proportions.

So Pamela and I drove to Palm Springs, writing from the moment we arrived at the house, breaking only for meals, which we never took together. Pamela worked on her fifth legal thriller, while I pecked away at my debut novel, Sput Louie, Cherokee Freedwoman.

It's historical fiction about a freed black woman, Sput Louie, who is chasing the American dream of owning her own land when she suddenly finds herself back at the mercy of her former owner, a Cherokee Indian, himself in the throes of fighting for his own dream. But love, lies and a vicious murder stand in both their ways. When a third party arrives, it becomes a nightmare of a struggle between the land-rich, the land-poor and the land-greedy.

I said we wrote from the moment we hit the door, but that's not entirely true. Ah, the unreliable narrator rears her ugly head, and she didn't even comb it first. While Pamela was writing in the living room, I did my usual writing routine: first, I spread all of my research out on the dining room table, put it in alphabetical order chronologically, from smallest to largest according to color, height and weight. Only after that bit of procrastination did I begin to write. I wrote and wrote and wrote some more, and the story began to bleed out of me.

It was such an invigorating experience, I'm determined not to let the momentum subside. I know that my work is less than a fourth of the way done, so I've added a word-meter widget at the bottom of my blog to showcase the pace of my WIP. I just hope it whips me in line when I'm slacking.

Strike through Number 113 on my Bucket List. I wrote for a week straight and lived to blog about it. Next time, maybe a month?

7 comments:

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Congratulations, Arlene! Good for you. And by the way, your novel sounds amazing! I would definitely read it. :)

MsALWalker said...

Thanks for your support, Madeline! That means a lot coming from the most prolific writer I know!

Kay said...

Your novel sounds wonderful. I can't wait to read it.

It's probably good we live on opposite sides of the country. I have a feeling we could get into some serious trouble together.

Keep writing!

Kay

injaynesworld said...

That is a huge achievement. Good for you.

MsALWalker said...

Thanks Kay, You're probably right, but don't forget, you're only a plane ride away.

Jayne, I certainly feel like I've accomplished something there; now I have to keep it up. Thanks, as always, for your support!

Cathy C. Hall said...

I love this idea! And writing for a solid week is pretty impressive, too. Not sure I could sit that long. I mean, my butt's pretty flat already...:-)

(Good luck with the novel!)

MsALWalker said...

So THAT'S why my butt is flat! Leave it to Cathy, the humor writer, to put a funny spin on it. Thanks for stopping by again!