Friday, January 18, 2013

Going Deeper

I'm disgracefully late posting today. In fact, I forgot it was Friday. That's because I'm at the moment in a new book that I confess I love -- that moment when all things are possible. That moment when I have an idea and then another and suddenly it all seems to fall into place. I have a plot. I have characters. I see connections.

It started last night when I was reading an article in a magazine that happened to be about the modern approach to funerals. The victim in my new book is going to be a funeral director. And suddenly I had a brilliant idea about the first chapter -- the chapter that is always torture because I can't do anything else until I have the first sentence and the first paragraph. The chapter that I write over and over again. But last night, I read the article and I could see it all.

The fact that I suddenly remembered that today is Friday, and my day to post, should tell you that reality intruded. As I was thinking about the new book and seeing all those connections, I remembered all the marketing I must do for the book that is coming out this fall if I am to get to a second book and have readers waiting to read it. I remembered that I have to get started with Twitter and Facebook. Yes, started. I have never done either and now am about to begin. I'm also about to pick up a camera and begin a photo essay of the places in the first book. This from someone who uses disposable cameras when I need to take photos during research. But the photo essay, over several months, seems much easier to do if I think of it as a "writer's photo essay".

So the reality of having "stuff" to do to promote the first book is distracting me from the second. But, for the moment, even being distracted is a minor problem. For I can see the pieces, and I have a plot. And until I'm stuck in the middle, I can imagine that this next book will be easy. That it will almost write itself.

I love this period of self-delusion, and I have come to expect it. It reminds me that I need to dig deeper. I need to keep looking for connections, to let my imagination run wild. I need to allow myself to have crazy ideas and imagine stories that are beyond my ability to tell. Eventually I will be brought low by my inadequacies as a writer. But for now, I can brainstorm. I can give myself a mental "high five" for my own brilliance.

It's going to get hard soon. But right now, I'm having a wonderful time.


Charlotte Hinger said...

Frankie, there has to be some weird connection between us. I thought today was my day. It wasn't. But I was going to grovel over posting so late. You saved me from a hasty poor-worded blog.

Frankie Y. Bailey said...


I double-checked to make sure I wasn't feeling guilty on the wrong day -- and saw you posted last Friday :).

Rick Blechta said...

I've seen later...

Hannah Dennison said...

I know all about funerals since my protagonist is an obituary writer .... Frankie - let me know if you need the inside scoop!

Frankie Y. Bailey said...

Thanks, Hannah! I'm likely to take you up on that. It's get more complicated because my funeral director/victim is in a book set in 2020. I'm trying to figure out what funerals are going to look like in six years. Of course, since my 2020 is in a kind of parallel universe, I could just go for it and make it all up :)