Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

working it out

 a Tucson sunset from last year

In previous posts, I've mentioned my difficulty in figuring out what to write here, when readers apparently are turned off with blogs about any aspects of romantic fiction. Well, I don't know they are turned off, but comments diminish or vanish when I write about it. Would this happen if it was instead a book I expected to fit in fine literature? chick lit? memoir? cultural expose? I have wondered if it's discomfort with romance novels.

The problem for me in writing about what might make readers happier is that when I am putting together a rough draft of a novel, it consumes my thinking. Because I wanted the recent rough draft done before the grandchildren arrive, it has been 20 pretty intensive days. Every day isn't a writing day; but when it has been, it's been 5-6000 words. When not writing, there are few times when I am not thinking-- how did that work or what comes next? Am I capturing these characters or have I gone off the rails?

I don't know how many of you have ever written a full-length novel, but it takes a lot for me to get from--
"Walking into the cool of the house from a morning spent in her yard was one of life’s small pleasures. Lily Jacobs put her oil paints, palette and brushes on their shelves, cleaned her fingers with turpentine, followed by soap and a rose lotion before pouring herself a cold lemonade." 
through 22 chapters, an epilogue, some 80,000+ words to finally type--
"The End"
In the midst of such marathon writing, I wake up thinking about what happens next. Would the hero really do that? What would her reaction be if he did? I eat breakfast with a quick perusal of the newspaper before I am back wrestling with secondary characters. While making a bed, I am wondering if the villain made sense. Yes, they have to make sense. Except for the intervention of fate or nature, everything that happens in one of my books has to come out of the personalities of the characters. Actions lead to reactions.

Curiously (at least for me) during such a time of intense writing, my dreams tend to be extremely mundane and often frustrating where I lose something and can't find it, or I go shopping and forget where I put the car. And on it goes all night until I wake up annoyed as to why I'd have let the kitten and puppy (which we've never had) loose and then became desperate in trying to get them back.

During the daytime, real life will interfere, through planned activities or a problem of some sort. Time has to be spent writing blurbs or promo pieces to get the next book seen. I do not plan many activities that take much time away from the real work-- which is that rough draft. 

The irony of this heavy duty writing is this one isn't going to be out until November 5th. But this is the way I like to paint too-- get it roughed in as fast as I can. With a book, I stay with the stream of consciousness that is helping me see what happens, to feel the nuances, and enjoy the whole experience of seeing another story come together. 

Because my part of the Pacific Northwest has been experiencing a heat wave (95ºF qualifies for that in the Oregon Coast Range), being outside is a nice break with the shade trees and a cold drink and a chance to connect with my husband. 

Some ask how all this writing works for my husband. Well, since he's also my editor and publisher, he is into it. He listens with interest to various scenarios, when I am not sure where something is going. We even argue over nuances of an event-- where I listen but do not always follow his advice. 

Since besides the cattle and sheep ranch, his life is wrapped up in working with start-up companies, where he is a technology consultant, he and I take turns listening to each other's problems. I find interesting his marketing or political problems-- right up until it comes to a techie issue and my eyes glaze over.

When we sit outside, watching the birds, enjoying the intense blue sky, sipping a glass of wine, having the cats rub around our feet, we might be discussing a possible murder and how to make it happen and immediately switch to something about a shady venture capitalist. It's kind of funny sounding, but it works and has been this way all our 50+ married years. 

This spring has seen me write one novella and two full-length novels, publish another novel with the next one due the 21st. It has been writing intensive. It will all change today when we have our grandchildren at the farm for two weeks. We have no firm plans for any activities as we more or less wing it and plan things they will like once they are here. As has been my practice, respecting their privacy, I don't write about them (even though I am exceedingly proud of them all).  

Anyway, much as I miss comments, I am going to stay with writing about my romance novels, because it's such a big part of my life. Creating characters and plots that inspire me is where I am. My blog has always been aimed at ideas and my ideas right now are-- is there a plot for that third brother that would inspire me enough to write his story? Currently, I don't know; and when I have the grandchildren here, I won't be finding out. I'll stick to things that are easier to come in and out of.

For those readers, where this kind of writing is a turn off, I do understand your not coming so often or even at all. I know when blogs change directions, they lose readers. I've experienced that in the blogs I read and those I used to read.  

But for others, who would like to write, but maybe haven't found their muse, I hope this blog will be a conduit to get them started.  I am hopeful it will find commenters who are eager to discuss their own creative work, whatever that might be and in whatever field. 

So I will keep this blog to two times a week-- Wednesday and Saturday. For those interested in the writing, snippets from my books are in [Rain Trueax] every Tuesday. That takes little time and is fun to look for scenes that might surprise the non-romance reader about what these books are really about-- relationships or all sorts and how people work them out-- or not. (I keep that blog to PG-13... I think).


Tabor said...

I read the posts...just have nothing to comment upon most times. As I have said it is not my genre, but I tend not to comment when folks write about their sports teams or their games. It is just silence, not rejection. I must admit your life does sound perfect to me, since you are able to enjoy the extremes of life.

OldLady Of The Hills said...

Hey, Rain....I apologize for not visiting too often and for not commenting when I don't. I am very interested in your process--as a writer, myself---no novels but I've written quite a few plays----. Right now, because of my Health Issues, I'm not writing very much on my own blog, and don't always get around to reading other peoples blogs, either. I'm hoping that will change---but who knows.....

I am so impressed that you are as prolific as you are, given all the many other things that need tending to in your life, like--The Farm, and your dear Grandchildren, etc....I enjoy whatever you write about, even if I don;t always comment......

You just keep writing whatever you want on your blog, my dear....People may come and go, but for me, I love the fact that you write about what you want-----And, I wish you Much Good Luck with the up-coming deadline......!

Rain Trueax said...

Thank you for letting me know as it helps. I understand about not commenting. I often don't either but when making a change, as I have here, with bringing in more about the writing, I did wonder.

la peregrina said...

My thoughts are the same as OldLady Of The Hills. I too find the process of writing interesting but do not feel I have anything to offer so I do not leave any comments. Actually, I envy your ability to write fiction, it is a wonderful gift.

Rain Trueax said...

Creative people might consider adding comments regarding their own endeavors. To me comments about say photography or poetry would be welcome. In a lot of ways the struggles with the work are not that different as we try to find the goals and make the work go where we visualized.

robin andrea said...

I always stop by and read your blog, and I too mostly don't have anything to add. Not sure why that is. I appreciate your passion and creativity.

Rain Trueax said...

I think I've been edgy about this because of changing the direction of a blog that long went one way while I kept a separate blog for the writing. The time ran out for doing both. Anyway I appreciate feedback and understand not commenting. I don't everywhere I read either.