Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Purple People Readers

Purple Holly is coming along. I've written several scenes, and I like the way it's going. I had a dream, however, that someone broke into my blogger account, stole every scene, and published it themselves.

But in my dream, it was a hit, so I suppose I should be proud. Right?

Andrew Whitaker, the main character, and Purple, are both becoming more clearly defined. I like them both. I understand them better, which makes the ending painful for me. I can feel resistance building in me. To avoid writing what happens. It makes me sick.

I worry about little things while I write, I noticed. And I wonder if this is the key to my numerous blocks: the little worries ensnare my creativity.

For example, Purple goes to the local thrift store to buy clothes from the 60s and 70s. She alters them to fit, and also to make them relatively current. (In my mind, Purple - who is 17 - is a throwback to the days of Hippies. She loves the style, loves the music, etc.) So I went to Google and searched things like "Hippies" and "Hippie clothing styles" and "Pot-smoking free-love Woodstock"

Found lots of porn, as usual. But also stumbled upon what I was looking for: BOHO.

Apparently there's this "new" fashion craze happening that follows the bohemian look (thus BOHO) and I'll be damned if the photos I saw didn't remind me of Purple Holly.

But here's my little fear: how the hell am I gonna write about a girl who alters clothes? I don't know the first thing about fashion or alterations. I know, research, research, research. I can do research. But, my fear is, will it sound authentic?

Little fears like that.

Like, am I coloring my world correctly? Skies are blue, grass is green (or brown, if dead) fire engines are red. Yada yada yada. I get it. But I don't want to use cliches. I want the story to vibrate through the use of ever sense. And color is a biggie. Corrine reads my stuff, and she says it's spot-on. I suppose I'll have to list her as "technical expert". Maybe she'll model BOHO for me? Smoke a reefer. You know, to help me get the full effect.

(DISCLAIMER: Corrine does not smoke reefers. That was what we in the writing business call "A LIE IN ORDER TO GET A CHEAP LAUGH AT THE EXPENSE OF SOMEONE ELSE")

I've asked a few of my very closest of friends, Corrine, and my older children to follow along as I develop the story. I write a scene a day, and post it in a private blog. But I've turned off the comments because I don't want to know what they think. That sounds ridiculous, I know. Why create blog, invite them to it, and then deny them the chance to make a comment.

Well, I like the idea of having an audience to write to. When I work each scene, I am thinking of my little "reading committee", helping to spur me on toward each new entry. A guilty pleasure of mine, to know that eyes are on these words. It forces me to continue.

The scenes are rough. This is, of course, the first draft. Some things will not make sense. The writing is not 100 percent fluid, yet. You can read one scene one day, and the next day the tenor of the writing will be just a slight bit different.

But this is the writing process. The readers are getting a glimpse of it in its raw state. I'm dying to know what they think, of course, but knowing would influence the writing. And you should never, ever write under the influence.

Corrine can get loaded all she wants.

(see? told you)


  1. Well, if I have to..I have to.
    Anything for you, and "research".

  2. If you write a chapter on jello shots, I'm your gal.


  3. Maybe you can only dream of the success of Purple Holly (out of insecurity that it won't be?) and that's why someone else stole your work to produce it. I'm sure that's natural.
    I am loving this Purple Holly character already. And, as a reader, I appreciate your trying to avoid cliches. As a writer, I use them often, but I hate it when I do so, but I think to myself, "It's a blog, for G's sake, not a term paper!" Still, to me, when a writer dedicates the time and solid effort to come up with something unique, moving, and original, I appreciate it very much.

  4. I know a little bit about altering clothes. And a lot about altering reality. Feel free to call upon me at any time.

    But I think you disabled the comments just to bug me.

  5. You can also call on Jami and myself for the whole clothes altering thing. Both of us have utilized thrift and vintage stores to 'create' new fashions. Jami, though, was the best out of the two of us. Ask her to model her necktie skirt.

  6. Your putting a lot of work into this book!! I had never thought about the research writers do to create a book.

    Very fun that you have a private blog with the comments disabled :-)

  7. The bohemian or batik style as it is often called is right up my daughter's alley. She's 19 and creates unusual stuff from ...well, unusual stuff. Nothing matches, but it's very colorful...good grief you should see her room...actually I'd be embarrassed, she'd be proud. It kind of grows on you after a while and now if my clothes don't match, I'm suddenly very cool.