Tuesday, January 24, 2012


My cousin was here visiting this week and he asked me how my book was going. I tried to explain to him that I was working on the denouement.

I said: “You know, I’ve written the climax already. It’s just the stuff that comes after the climax, the denouement,” only I don’t know how to say denouement so it sounded like I was a ninth grader on the first day of French class. Or a white-tennis-shoed-very-American-tourist bouncing around Paris and butchering the language. And to drive in the fact that I didn’t know how to pronounce denouement, I repeated it like three times.

Each time I said it differently.

My nine-year-old son was working on some legos on the couch. I was unaware he was even listening to the conversation. Without even looking up, he explained to my cousin, “Falling action, resolution.”

What the what?

Me, sitting on the rocking chair, mouth agape. “Yes,” I finally said. “Like that.”

In my defense, I work with words all day long. I’m constantly in word overload. I find myself tripping over the most common everyday words. Words like of or because. I’m thinking about bringing my son around with me everywhere. I can just punch him in the shoulder when I need a word.

Do you have this problem too?

Also, how long should a denouement/falling action/resolution be? When is it too long? When is it too short? Thoughts?

Also, I’m proud of my son because he doesn’t exactly fit into the public education box at school. His teachers wanted to retain him in kindergarten, first and second grade. You can read about it here.

Clearly, they were wrong. He’s a genius!

Also, how do you pronounce denouement?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Worlds Collide.

So. I’ve been having an existential breakdown slash breakthrough while you have all been doing productive things like write books and stuff. Here’s the thing, I have written two manuscripts. One of my goals this year is to query. So I became consumed with re-writing my first manuscript, again, in order to get it agent ready. I have re-written this MS many times now. And I still feel like I’m s-t-r-u-g-g-l-i-n-g to get the right pacing, plot, dialogue, voice…you get the idea.

But, I love this MS. It’s full of exciting characters, ideas and plot. And it’s Science Fiction. So uber exciting, you know with space ships and physics and mind-bending imponderables. A whole universe to build and explore.

But, again with the but, I have this other MS that I wrote for NaNo and I also love it. It’s contemporary and sweet and safe, and, well, ME. Here’s the thing, many other people love this one too. And when more than one of my Betas texted me in the middle of the night to say she had stayed up to finish it…I had a moment of clarity.

*I think *

Maybe I need to give my first MS a break. A well-deserved break. Maybe it’s too complex for a first novel. Maybe I need to change the POV again. Maybe I need to tweak the plot. Maybe I need to build a better world/universe. Or, maybe I need to take what’s working and focus on that. Maybe I need to build my NaNo and go from there.

What do you think? Have you ever shelved, top-drawered, back-burnered a book? I feel like I’m letting someone die. My husband says I can always go back to it, but can I? Will I?

What’s your experience?

*A call out to the Universe for help.*

It doesn't help that I'm reading this right now.