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Monday, May 2, 2016

Writing a Hard Thing


This new WIP is already getting under my skin, embedded in my brain. I've been writing for two weeks now and, when I say writing, I mean thinking.

I do a lot of pre-writing when I start a new project. I cannot approach a blank page cold, without sketching out ideas first. These 'sketches' happen in my head, while I'm washing dishes or making a cup of tea - random acts of housewifery and home repair.

And I DO NOT write these sketches down. I build them up in my mind, telling myself the story as if it's a memory. "Oh yeah, Maribel is always stuck making the tea for her abuelita. And her aunt will tell her that Americans don't use soap and water to clean their bathrooms, they use Aguajane. Hmm. Got to Google what the generic Spanish term for bleach is..."

Basically, I have to give the main characters the chance to become real to me.

But for this WIP I have to do something else. I have to research two things that are hard. Grief and Immigration. Those are two heavy M-Fing subjects and I don't want this book to be a quagmire. I don't want to gloss over two very serious things either. I know I'll have to strike a balance.

Thing is, I know this WIP is going to be hard. It's going to stretch me and challenge me and will make me drink Hendrick's Gin and Tonic at 4:45PM. I'm a little scared of this WIP, this new idea.

That's why I'm doing it. It's not like other things I've written. It's going to require a level of writerly skill that I think I WILL have, that I MAY even already have, but one I haven't shown. In other words it's the challenging, heartbreaking book.

Trepidation. Worry. Excitement. Anticipation.

This is going to be good.

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